Mindful Parenting. By Michelle Sedas

I’m delighted that Carina invited me to write a guest post for her Mindful Parenting series. I must admit that even though she reminded me that this post is, “not about being an expert, it is about being human,” I was still hesitant. In fact, I am a week late turning in this post, and for this deadline-driven writer, that is a rare occurrence, indeed. As may be the case with many of you, Mindfulness is not something that comes easily for me. I began studying it recently in order to alleviate anxiety. As a full-time mom and wife and a part-time writer, trying (with all my might) to juggle everything often leaves me feeling anxious. Yet what drives me to improve myself is my love for my family.

While being able to stay easily accessible to others with today’s technology can be good, staying in constant contact can become addictive. I must make a conscious effort to go off-line so that I can focus on what matters most. And with all of life’s demands bombarding us, it can become easy to get caught up in our jobs, hobbies, and volunteer work. I believe, though, that the quality of our relationships create the quality of our lives, and my most sacred relationships are those that I have with my family.

I remind myself on a daily, at times hourly, basis, to be present for my children. To look them in the eyes when they are speaking. To ask open-ended questions to encourage them to engage in conversation. To notice when they act with kindness or compassion and to praise them for it. As part of our routine, each afternoon, we play soothing music throughout the house and spend time together. We play puzzles or games or read. This is one of my favorite family rituals, allowing us an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company. It is also our family tradition to always eat dinner together at the table. For us, this time is priceless and we spend it talking about our days.

Being present with my children often requires that I turn off my phone and hide it in a drawer. Or that I completely shut down my computer so that I’m not temped to multi-task. There are times, however, when I do slip up. When I’m not fully present for my children. In those moments, I remind myself that I am a work in progress. I am making an effort to become a more relaxed and mindful parent. And, as Carina says, I am, after all, human.

~Michelle Sedas

Michelle Sedas is the author of Welcome The Rain, Live Inspired, and the coauthor ofThe Power of 10%. She is the cofounder of Running Moms Rock and the host of the Inspired Living Cafe. Her stories have appeared in five Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

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Visit Michelle on her site,Twitter @MichelleSedas

“How to make 5 mill. by grinding your teeth...”

Using social media is rather new to me. I have had my personal facebook page for a long time, but never thought to go full on with it for my business. Diving into it was just out of curiousity. I have been a bit overwhelmed by it the past few weeks. For several reasons... I’ll get to them in a minute. One important thing for me, was how do I stay authentic and still go about in the fast and quick fix world of social media? I found out there are A LOT of answers to that question. I have very high expectations regarding my work. Morally, ethically and quality wise. I work hard. I can’t stand that I have started a course too soon in the past, or if I know that someone feels that they aren’t getting what they wanted from me. I try my best to give my all, when I teach, and give a big part of me everytime. I spend most of my time reading, researching, meditating and often way too much time. I just feel that it is my duty when I teach what I do. It doesn’t come from a place of selfpromoting, or wanting to be the best at everything, but from somewhere in me that sees no other way of doing it. I am working on lightening up a bit...  : )

The important part for me is that I am honest, that the people who give me money know who I am and what I stand for. I am not trying to be an expert, talk in weird fraises because that’s what some masters do, let my language clean up totally because that promotes inner peace, look as if I have been touched my an angel all day even though my morning started with my little cutie pie headbutting me in total rage. I am working hard on being real.

So... I joined the social media world in my search, and I am amazed how good people are selling their products. I have been bombarded with experts telling me how to do this and that to become an expert, guru or 1st lady... in 10 easy ways of course. Adding up the all the 10 ways, I am now trying to wrap my head around 1000000 ways to become succesful, beautiful, rich, fabulisious and stay authentic. When what I really want is to be me, and for someone to see that maybe, just maybe that is enough... to be yourself.

I am sticking to social media because I have found a lot of people who are interesting. I am going slow down a bit again, and remind myself that I am actually already doing enough and going to go back to being for a bit, and that is truly authentic.

Have you ever been caught up in all the offers online? And forgotten what you already know?