Are You Tuning In to Motherhood?
Do you trash talk? You may know what I’m talking about. You’re in a mad rush getting everyone out the door in the morning, barely get the kiddos to school on time, and now you’re stuck in traffic soon to be late to work. All you can think about is how late you are and how you just can’t seem to pull it together. So, the inner trash talking begins.
You talk to yourself like you would never allow anyone to speak to you. Reminding yourself of your shortcomings and mistakes. Even calling yourself names. You may trash talk so often that you don’t even realize how often you’re engaging in it, or the impact it has.
You forget what time you’re supposed to attend your child’s party at school and end up missing it and you ask yourself “how could I be so stupid?” You forget your child’s jacket at home and it’s too chilly to be outside without one and you label yourself a “bad mom.”
Your Inner Voice
Have you ever stopped to pay attention to what your inner voice is really saying, especially in those not-so-pretty moments? Is it mean spirited? Is it critical and discouraging? Or is it helpful and kind?
I love what Tara Brach, author, psychologist, and meditation teacher says, Attention is the most basic form of love. She writes in her book Radical Acceptance that when we pause and pay attention to what is going on inside, “our hearts naturally become more open and engaged.”
In other words, when you engage yourself (or even your child or loved one) in a caring and thoughtful way you are showing a simple act of love. When we can stop in the middle of the chaos of our everyday life and genuinely listen and pay attention to our inner voice, we are shining a light within.
Slow Down and Tune In
When I recognize that my critical voice is showing up for a visit, I try to remember to slow down and tune in. I pay attention to the criticism and the damage it’s doing to my spirit.
Slowing down to tune in does not mean that you drop everything to sit down for a timeout in a corner (although sometimes I know I’d benefit from some corner time). For me, slowing down means taking a few deep mindful breaths, turning off the car radio and driving in silence, or slowing down long enough to feel the breeze on your skin.
Think for a minute about how you’d respond to your good girlfriend if she called you in need of a shoulder to cry on. You hear the pain in her voice and your heart aches with her. Your own heart softens towards her. You tune in.
And now think about the possibility of offering the same kindness and compassion to yourself when you find yourself in pain. Every mom can learn to be their own good girlfriend by paying attention.
How are you practicing to be your own good girlfriend?