Fifteen years ago today she was born. As the oldest of my two daughters she catapulted me into a whole new world – a world I wasn’t prepared for, yet one that I committed to wholeheartedly, not only for her but for her sister too.
My commitment began with an overflow of love from my heart when I first held my daughter in my arms at home. I recall thinking that in order for my love for her to be expressed as fully as I felt it, and not put her in a bubble, I would need to teach not only her, but all of her peers too. My love had to encompass them all. And so my intention was set but I did not yet know how I would meet it.
Years went by, however, and through numerous challenges I often wanted to give up. Then one day my sister, who had a child similar in nature to my daughter, told me that I simply had to decide to love my daughter despite the challenges, that I had to be her ally.
People often think that attaining goals in life takes motivation but we don’t always feel motivated. Commitment is about a decision, an intention. My sister’s advice helped to bring me back to my intention. Commitment to an intention fuels motivation.
In 2011 I discovered mindfulness meditation. Taking the time to meditate daily is also a commitment, an intention, but for me it’s also a God send, as it is only through this practice that I’ve been able to stop resisting everything and slow down, to embrace parenting, my daughters, and ultimately myself. As the roadblocks fell away, and my love for myself deepened, that love, which resonates at a high frequency of 528, began to ripple outward.
In 2011 I started to teach mindfulness to children at Tomek Eastern Elementary as a parent volunteer in my daughters’ classrooms and eventually beyond. Seven years later I still hear from the children I taught on how mindfulness helps them. Over the next 6 1/2 years I continued to develop my meditation practice, obtain training and certification, and share mindfulness with numerous schools, groups, businesses and individuals. Staying committed to following my calling has been like climbing a mountain, weathering storms, sometimes hanging on to a cliff with my fingertips, and certainly falling over and over again, but the rewards are beyond measure. Giving a child or an adult tools to nurture peace and happiness is like reaching the top of the mountain over and over again, each time with a different but magnificent view. It’s no wonder that Jon Kabat-Zinn said if he were to give mindfulness a name today it would be heartfulness.
Today I teach mindfulness meditation to people of all ages at my home away from home, Vibe Well. Meeting Jen and Christine, the owners of Vibe Well, was a stroke of serendipity. In the moment we met we all knew we shared a deeper connection that would continue to grow. It was the kind of knowing that comes from being in tune through having a meditation practice. Every day we are thankful for our connection, and most importantly for being able to bring mindfulness to our community.
Next time I will share with you about my oldest daughter’s mindfulness journey.