A Mindful Mother’s Day

Being a mother is the most important job in the world, and, without a doubt, one of the most exhausting! To celebrate Mother’s Day and all hard-working women everywhere, we are sharing nine mindfulness exercises to help you find an oasis of calm in your busy days . . .

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Cultivating Optimism

  1. Sit comfortably either in a chair or on a cushion. Make sure you’re sitting nice and tall.
  2. Place your palms face-down on top of your thighs.
  3. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale; and as you exhale, imagine emptying your mind of all its thoughts. It is the nature of the mind to think, so these thoughts will come. Simply let them pass as though they’re floating down a river. Try not to judge yourself or self-criticize. Or get caught up in your unresolved problems of the day.
  4. Focus on your breath, your inhales and exhales. This relaxes both the mind and the body. Do this a few times.

Savouring Happiness

  1. Sit comfortably either in a chair or on a cushion. Make sure you’re sitting nice and tall.
  2. Place your palms face-down on top of your thighs.
  3. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, your inhales and exhales. When you inhale, bring in the positive. When you exhale, let go of the negative. Do this a few times until you feel relaxed.
  4. Think about something that went well for you recently, even a simple experience like eating a sweet, juicy peach. Spend time recalling this experience. Enjoy the unhurried appreciation of joy. Savour it.

Attitude of Gratitude

  1. Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably, undisturbed.
  2. Place your palms face-up on top of your thighs. Palms face-up is symbolic of being open to receiving the intention of this mindfulness exercise.
  3. Close your eyes and start focusing on your breath. Each inhale and exhale.
  4. Begin by thinking about every single thing in your life that you are grateful for.
  5. Even if the mind wanders, keep the list going. They might be small things such as being grateful for having more than one pair of shoes. Or being grateful for the smile that someone gave you yesterday.

Transforming Anger

  1. Sit in a comfortable position, palms facedown.
  2. Close your eyes. Begin paying attention to your inhales and exhales.
  3. After a few moments of focused breathing, bring to mind something or someone that brings up anger.
  4. Recall the situation. Feel the emotions that arise— resentment, jealousy, anger, or fear.
  5. Notice if the anger finds a place in your body. Some people feel the anger in their shoulders, some in their hips, and some in their lower back. Simply observe this.
  6. Dedicate this meditation as you repeat silently: “May ………. be free from pain and sorrow.”

Releasing Sadness

  1. Sit comfortably either in a chair or on a cushion. Make sure you’re sitting nice and tall.
  2. Place your palms face-up on top of your thighs.
  3. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale; and as you exhale, observe your thoughts and try to just let them pass through like clouds in the sky. Sit quietly for a few minutes.
  4. Focusing on your breath relaxes both the mind and the body.
  5. When you feel ready, bring to mind something that has made you sad. Maybe it’s the loss of a loved one or a pet. Maybe it’s a conflict with someone you know. Whatever it is, allow the feelings to come. You might cry and that’s okay.
  6. Visualize healing bright light surrounding the person or situation.
  7. With each inhale, breathe in acceptance; with each exhale, breathe out release.

Sitting with Fear

  1. Sit comfortably either in a chair or on a cushion. Make sure you’re sitting nice and tall.
  2. Place your palms face-down on top of your thighs.
  3. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale; and as you exhale, visualize your thoughts, worries, and anxieties emptying out of the bottom of a pail. The thoughts will still come but try not to get “hooked” on one. Simply observe and let it float away.
  4. With each inhale, imagine clear, pure air filling up your body.
  5. With each exhale, imagine exhaling the fear in the form of black smoke.

Discovering Empathy

  1. Sit comfortably either in a chair or on a cushion. Make sure you’re sitting nice and tall.
  2. Place your palms face-up on top of your thighs.
  3. Close your eyes and take a few deep inhales and exhales, settling into your body.
  4. Observe the thoughts that arise, and let them drift off. Keep your attention on your breath.
  5. When you feel ready, bring to mind the object of your empathy. This might be a person you know or a situation in your town, city, state, country, or elsewhere in the world. It might be an event going on in your own life. It can even be someone you don’t know very well, such as your mail carrier, bank teller, or neighbour.
  6. Say the following: “I wish [this person or this situation] to be free from suffering.” Repeat silently while visualizing the person or situation for as long as it’s comfortable.

Becoming Compassionate

  1. Sit comfortably either in a chair or on a cushion. Make sure you’re sitting nice and tall.
  2. Place your palms face-up on top of your thighs as a symbol of receiving.
  3. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale; and as you exhale, imagine your thoughts as clouds drifting across your mind. Try not to judge yourself or self-criticize or get caught up in your unresolved problems of the day.
  4. Focus on your breath, at first being conscious of only your inhales and exhales. After a few breaths, when you feel calm yet energized, direct your thoughts toward a person or situation that is in need of your compassion.

Tending to Kindness

  1. Sit comfortably either in a chair or on a cushion. Make sure you’re sitting nice and tall.
  2. Place your palms face-down on top of your thighs. This will help ground you.
  3. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale; and as you exhale, observe your thoughts floating through your mind.
  4. Focus on your breath, your inhales and exhales.
  5. When you feel ready, bring to mind a kind act that someone has done for you. Thank that person as you recall this event.
  6. Bring to mind a kind act you have done for someone. Recall how good you felt at that moment.
  7. Keep going, switching between thinking about a kind gesture someone has done for you and one that you have done for someone.
  8. Just be aware of how you feel and cherish the potential for kindness within you—and others.
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