MINDFUL RELATIONSHIPS and a happy family life.

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Being a mother is a big gig! Once a mother always a mother and its hard work juggling life and constantly changing caps. Mother, wife, friend, daughter, worker, boss, chef, problem solver and the list goes on and on…

Mindfulness is beneficial to all aspects of life and there is nothing more important than being with your family. Life is busy and it’s hard to find the time for relationships, that’s for your husband or partner, friends, children, family and yourself. People say the same thing about meditation, “I don’t have time.” Well, make the time. A small investment of time will benefit yourself and others and being fully present builds positive, joyful relationships

Everyone wants attention so here are a few tips on how to use informal Mindfulness to nurture fulfilling relationships with family, friends and colleagues

Actively listen, to everyone which sounds easy but it’s not. Every now and then I find myself in a situation and I know I’m not listening, I’m either formulating my reply, thinking about the next topic for discussion or just thinking about something else altogether. It does take effort to be present. Make eye contact, nod your head, ask questions and clarify. Active listening is a skill to be learned and when you really listen you can hear a lot.

Never be too busy for your kids, husband or friends. If teenagers need to be driven somewhere then drive them, the car is a good place for conversations and pretty soon they will stop asking for your help. Listen to and talk with your husband because if you don’t he might look for attention somewhere else. Same goes for friends, be there for them and they will be there for you.

Have a good laugh, it’s impossible to be distracted when you are laughing. There is nothing better than a good laugh with your children, husband and friends. It could just be a look, a shared joke or a silly situation. To laugh with someone and be silly with someone takes a lot of confidence and familiarity. Some of our best days as a family are when we laugh a lot, it is happy and joyful. My closest friends are people I laugh with easily and often.

History. Make history and happy memories regularly through shared experiences with friends and family. Friendships are built on the history of shared experiences.

Have regular dates with your husband, kids and friends, spend time with them individuality, go for a meal or coffee or to the movies. Try to find a shared interest and if you really can’t find common ground, do something they want to do. Show interest in them, you might learn something.

Have regular holidays or getaways, this is a great time for families to connect when they are away from the normal day to day routine.

Be real and be present for your family and most importantly for yourself, you can’t fill from an empty cup. Take some time out, there’s that time word again, and do something that you love. Sit in nature, go for a walk or a run, bake a cake, read and let go of all distractions. Don’t judge or lecture yourself or others, it’s OK to be vulnerable.

Give these tips a go, choose one a week and enjoy wonderful relationships and a happy life, moment by moment.

“Love is the absence of judgement” –The Dalai Lama

Coming soon, 4 week Mindfulness for Life and living with teenagers.

Image courtesy Family portraits from Ryan Smith Photography

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