Practicing Mindful Living:
Daily, Practically, and Imperfectly
Hello, there! And thank you for being here with me. I am quite new to this whole blogging world, so please forgive my learning curve as we go through this process together. I suppose I should start by telling you a little about me and why I’m here.
Who I am? I am a Counselor, and before that I am a Mom, and before that I am a Wife, and even before that I am just Me. This list of ‘hats’ doesn’t compile all my life roles but for our points and purposes, we’ll start with these.
What I’ve come to really love about all these ‘hats’ is they can be worn together (though that might look awkward) and separately. I chose the path of becoming a counselor to help others, but what I wasn’t aware of at the time was how being a counselor would help me. I’d like to think I’m a better wife, a better mother, a better person thanks to being a counselor, and hopefully, in some ways, this is true.
But, the reality is I’m still so full of flaws, insecurities, bad days, regretted moments, and always yet more room to grow. Good news is I’ve been learning (and mostly believing) that this is okay. There is ample room for forgiveness, growth, love, acceptance, learning, connecting, appreciating, and living.
Mindfulness has taught me it is all okay, not good, not bad, that all of our so called mistakes are pieces of information for us to use for the goodness of growing towards a more happy mind and happy home.
I have been practicing mindfulness personally for many years and strive to apply these principles in all areas of my life. What I’ve learned along the way? We’ll save that mostly for later, but overall what I’ve learned is that living mindfully is not easy and it is so simple all at the same time.
Most of my time and energy goes towards being a mom. Not just a mom but a good mom. Sometimes I even try to be a great mom, a perfect mom, a fabulous mom! Ha! Then…fail, again. This is all part of the glorious and ever challenging world of mindful living and mindful parenting.
Being a child counselor and parent educator blends beautifully into my personal efforts at being this so called “great parent”. I get to practice what I preach and have empathy for all those parents failing miserably at it, because hey, so am I.
We are all in this together.
I’m learning to let go of this idea of “perfect parenting” and embrace the concept of real parenting.
Before I am a counselor, before I am a mom, before I am a wife, a friend, a daughter, you name it, I am just me, myself, and I. No matter which way we look at it, we are all stuck with ourselves, so we better learn to like it.
What I have learned about self-love (maybe self-like for starters) and have to remember daily, is that if I’m not doing a good job taking care of me then I’m not doing a good job taking care of anyone else.
It has taken me a loooong time to shake off the “you’re being selfish” label attached to self care. I mean, if you’re putting yourself first then doesn’t that mean you’re putting others second? Umm, well yes it does thank you very much. And guess what, that is okay. Good even. I’m not saying put yourself first all of the time, now that might be a little excessive. I’m saying if you aren’t taking care of your own mind and body then you are not in the best emotional and physical condition to be giving your best to those you love. Trust me, I’ve tried it and failed at it numerous times.
You can’t give away what you don’t have.
So in essence, being “selfish” is good for everyone. (Just be mindful of how you are going about meeting your needs. More on this to come….)
There’s so much more to share, but in effort at keeping you coming back for more, I’ll wrap us up for now. So, in blending these roles of counselor, mother, wife, and myself, I am on the continual winding path of learning how to practice…
Self Care & Self Love
…and learning to live, really live, in a space of awareness and acceptance while growing in the ability to truly connect with the people that matter the most.
Being real, being honest, offering forgiveness, accepting forgiveness, being open, letting go, savouring the experiences we encounter daily are all such beautiful concepts. My hope here is to share the pieces I have learned along the way, while being privileged enough to grow with you in the process of stumbling forward into this world of Mindful Living.
Lisa Barber M.Ed., LPC, Registered Play Therapist