Mindful Living

Mindfulness for Moms

Mindfulness for Moms Vidya Sury

Today’s post is dedicated to my Mother, my mentor and my motivator – and most of all, my mindfulness “master” – it is her birthday today. As long as I participate in the A to Z Challenge, “M” will always be reserved for her.

I am yet to meet someone more cheerful, kind, generous and mindful than my Mom. A life filled with difficult times and later, years of chronic illness did not stop her from deciding to be happy and mindful. I will always hear her voice saying

“Live in the moment. This moment. You lose it and it will never come back. Ever. So appreciate it. And do all things with joy”

She taught by example.

According to her, children are the best mindfulness teachers and claimed that she became more conscious, thanks to them. She was a teacher and interacted with children every day.

Ever spent time with a child and tried to multitask? Yes. You know what I mean.

A child will never allow your mind to stray. Just try it and she’ll yank you back to the present. She’ll pull those heart strings and force you to focus on her and what she’s doing or saying. And she’ll practice it herself, until she’s distracted by something, when she’ll shift her focus to it. Most times, she won’t bear grudges. She will let go and fly into your arms with the same energy – simply because she will respond to love.

I know my Mom meditated regularly – she would just sit still, cross-legged, eyes closed, face smiling. Love just shone out of her face and she was always ready to burst into a smile.

She taught me to wish abundance and happiness for everyone we knew – so that they would be so involved in their own joy, they wouldn’t have time to bug others. Ha ha. Yeah!.

My Mom was generous in life, and generous in death. She abhorred rites and rituals and wished to donate her body to a medical college rather than be cremated – she insisted that there shall be none of the death rituals on her passing – rather, if we wished to spend, the money should go to needy children – and we’ve been honoring her wishes as best as we can.

I miss my Mom every day – and through my tears, I hear her laughter. I think of her joyous attitude and feel inspired.

She was always so positive. I can’t remember a time when she did not make me feel unconditionally loved.

She taught mindful living through:

Mindful conversation and interaction with people – listening attentively when speaking with someone. Appreciating their voice, their facial expressions. Not interrupting when they spoke. Responding to them warmly. And when we had visitors, simply putting aside whatever she was doing and greeting them with a bright smile.

Mindful eating – whether we had a one-dish meal or a three-course one, she made sure she cooked with love and enjoyed each morsel, noticing its color, texture, its temperature and taste. She encouraged us to pay attention to what we were doing – eating with joy.

Mindful walking – We walked every day, and were conscious about the smells, colors, sounds and sights of nature around us. We kept up a pace for the first 30 minutes and then slowed down so we could chat as we walked, holding hands.

Mindful bedtime – No technology anywhere close to her bed. She read before going to bed, but made sure to sleep at the same time every day, thinking pleasant thoughts and feeling grateful.

My Mother taught me:

  • To see the world through my son’s eyes, to see things from his point of view without coloring it with my own opinions.
  • To see myself from my son’s point of view. How would I like it if I were my Mom? Would it change the way I am, the way I talk and how I say it? A very grounding exercise, and one that has made me feel sheepish quite a few times.
  • To see my son as he was, not how I wanted him to be. Acceptance, especially in tough times.
  • To be mindful of my expectations of my son. Are they in his best interests?
  • To be aware of how I project my expectations and how he feels about them.
  • To be generous, make my son’s needs a priority above my own and see how we can reach a common ground – funny how things overlap when we are calm – and become much easier to manage.
  • To quiet my mind when I feel overwhelmed and meditate by focusing on the present moment, on my son, myself, my family to bring clarity to my thoughts and actions.
  • To listen by being present fully
  • To learn to live with chaos without losing my own sanity, to make it a habit of seeing a situation the way it is, to trust my intituion.
  • To apologize without hesitation when I’ve let my son down – because apologies heal and show I care about my son’s point of view.
  • To recognize that like every child, my son is special, with a unique way of seeing things and to love him unconditionally, the same way she loved me.
  • To be strong and firm with my son because I understand, not because I want to control.
  • To give my son the gift of presence more than presents.

Great lessons in being a mindful Mom, and I am ever grateful for the constant support she lovingly gave me. Did I practice being a mindful Mom? Most of the time, yes. My reward? A wonderful relationship with my son.

Do you practice mindfulness as a parent?

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    seena
    April 15, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    What a magnificent lesson from your mom to you and now to us. 🙂
    Thank you!
    Cheers,
    Seena

  • Reply
    Dahlia
    April 15, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Great lessons from a great person 🙂 Thank you for sharing…
    Dahlia recently posted…M = MangalsutraMy Profile

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    April 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Beautiful post! I’m moved beyond words. On a side note, I acted mindfully today in a way that pleases me tremendously. Stuck at a neighborhood stoplight (yet again), I began counting out the seconds. I wanted to grudgingly add up just how much of my time is wasted waiting there. Then I caught myself. What would be the point? I started looking around me and, lo and behold, saw a lovely bird in a nearby shrub picking through the berries. What a different it made in my heart and heart right that moment. And that little minute or so went much more quickly. Thank you for the inspiration. Be well!
    Darla M Sands recently posted…M is for Mindless Self IndulgenceMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 15, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      Oh Darla! That’s such a lovely experience! Thank you for sharing. Isn’t that the truth? It only takes a moment to notice. Hugs! What color was the bird?
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Mindfulness for MomsMy Profile

      • Reply
        Darla M Sands
        April 16, 2016 at 1:08 am

        I believe the species to have been a black-capped chickadee. Though not colorful, the tiny birds display amusing athleticism that is a joy to watch. It could have been a European sparrow, too, an unfortunately invasive species that has hurt our native bluebird population. The distance, size, and elusive activity made me unsure. Either way, I felt decidedly grateful and enjoyed the sighting.
        Darla M Sands recently posted…M is for Mindless Self IndulgenceMy Profile

        • Reply
          Vidya Sury
          April 16, 2016 at 9:01 am

          Ahh! I am not sure I’ve seen a bluebird, except maybe at the zoo. Here, we’re mourning the disappearance of the common house sparrow. We only get to see them at the airport, imagine! It is always amusing to watch a bird go about its business. Thank you, Darla! I had such a nice visual of what you saw!

  • Reply
    Susan Scott
    April 16, 2016 at 1:11 am

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful mother Vidya. No doubt looking down on you and smiling! What wonderful lessons she passed onto you in your loving relationship with your son which he will and so it will go from generation to generation .. And yes, I like to think I’m mindful of my sons and their unique beings .. and of all people mindful of their individuality and special souls. Thank you for this lovely post!.
    Susan Scott recently posted…M: Moon: Metaphor, Metamorphoses for ChangeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 16, 2016 at 8:59 am

      She was a wonderful human being, Susan. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Hugs!

  • Reply
    durba dhyani
    April 16, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Beautiful life lessons. Need to keep reminding myself to be mindful.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 16, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Thank you for coming by, Durba, and for your comment. Have a great day ahead!

  • Reply
    Vasantha Vivek
    April 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Inspiring life lessons from your mom. Lucky you are, Vidya !!!
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Nurturing Thursday : Let It GoMy Profile

  • Reply
    Arti
    April 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you for this aspiring post Vidya. You are so blessed to be born to your mom. And the legacy of her mindfulness carries on.
    Hugs and gratitude to you.
    Arti recently posted…M is for MerakiMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kala Ravi
    April 16, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Vidya your posts are like a balm to the mind and soul. I don’t know what it is you do….but all I know is, it is something heartfelt and hence touches the right chords! Your mother must have been such a wonderful person, I feel her positive vibes right through your words. I haven’t met either of you but I think you have inherited and imbibed all those positive traits of your mum. All of us in touch with such a warm and generous person as you, are bound to stay motivated and soothed by your words. Your son is lucky to have such a wonderful mother. God bless you dear! I am sure your mum must be smiling reading your beautiful words everyday…..and yes I smiled today 🙂
    Kala Ravi recently posted…Nice to have NichesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Kala! My Mom and I were best friends, and I consider myself very lucky to be her daughter. My friends adored her and so did her students. She had so much to give – and she gave generously. Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Nothing Really MattersMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sundari Venkatraman
    April 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    What a lovely post, Vidya. It touched my heart. It also reminded me so much of my mom (not that I have forgotten her) – the epitome of love. Thank you for writing it 😀 <3

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      Thank you so much, Sundari! Our mothers live in our hearts forever!

  • Reply
    G Angela
    April 17, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Lovely post vidya, what an inspiration your mother was, so nice to read …. and I did not want your post to end, beautifully written and thanks for all the learning s you shared !!

  • Reply
    Yolanda Renee
    April 17, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I am so thrilled that you had a wonderful mother and a great example. My mother and I were enemies from the day I was born, something I didn’t learn until I was 16 and she threw me out after telling me I was the ruination of her life. It makes such a difference to a child’s life to know they are loved, and to have such wonderful role models. I was blessed to have a grandmother who made all the difference. The little time that we were together she set the example I strive to follow! Blessing to you and your mother!
    Yolanda Renee recently posted…N – NOMEMy Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    April 18, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Your mom was a joy that, through your writings, I feel like I know her…just a tiny little bit. You have been lucky and are lucky to have known her and be part of her. I’m not a parent but my mom always tried to show the positive even when things were tough. Sometimes, it didn’t work and I was her positive especially when she faced losing all she worked for. She had so much that she worked for and to see it go was very, very difficult. In the end, she did find some measure of peace and now, I do my best to give her the sunshine.
    Birgit recently posted…Letter NMy Profile

  • Reply
    themoonstone
    April 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Lovely teachings by your mom ! In today’s world, technology does play a very negative role in mindfulness, probably we were better off before it got so pervasive.
    themoonstone recently posted…Purposeless on PurposeMy Profile

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