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An unexpected reminder about the power of mindfulness

Most people that know me would describe me as calm and collected and pragmatic and sensible. Truth is most people don’t know me that well. In fact, for many, many years, even I didn’t know me that well.

A very strange and unexpected part of me became alive when I became a mom. The calm and collected Barbara would, in a matter of seconds, become the crazy lady. More often than I would like to admit, I would listen to myself screaming with a voice that I did not know I even had and saying words that I never thought would come out of my mouth. The more I would say things to make my boy feel bad and in some part of my consciousness be aware that it was not a good choice, the more I would keep screaming those painful words. Those episodes would be followed by lots of guilt and remorse and apologies. And it was really hard to forgive myself afterwards.

I had been meditating on and off for many years, but when I was pregnant with my second son I joined a training in spiritual psychology, and that’s when my spiritual journey really got ignited.

Those who know me also know that I am a pretty skeptical person, so Spiritual Psychology was not a particularly appealing training name for me. But it had been referred to me by someone I really admired, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt.

After some research I was sold and joined the 9 month course which turned into almost 3 years. In this case, “spiritual” is not religious, but the belief that there is more to life than “checking the boxes” in the physical realm. And that happiness doesn’t really come from a paycheck, a title, a marital status. It can only be achieved by working out our internal stuff. And I would be happy to elaborate more on that, but that’s not the goal of this article...

Since then I have been deepening my knowledge and practice of spiritual psychology and mindfulness to the point that it became my full time job. And what is really interesting about this kind of work, is that it can’t really be separated from your personal life. A mindfulness teacher or coach really needs to embody what they teach, otherwise they are a fraud. I am not suggesting that we cannot get angry, or react negatively to circumstances, or feel stressed or fearful. Even the Dalai Lama admitted he “loses” it sometimes. But I am suggesting that overtime we learn how to look at and address those circumstances in a more productive way than before.

But as I am sure many of you can relate, when I learn something new I am pretty good at making the new reality quickly become the new normal and at forgetting how life used to be before that growth. And that makes it hard to acknowledge all the progress that happens over time.

Luckily, on mother’s day, I was very much reminded of how much I have evolved.

My husband recorded the cutest video of my kids (4 and 6 years old) saying what they love about mommy. To my total surprise, my oldest son said I am CALM (!). Me? Calm? With the kids? Truth is that I don’t really stop and notice often how much more calm I am with them, but my baby’s comment on video really got me to reflect how far I have come in terms of being able to pause and choose how I want to respond to situations that might trigger me. I do still lose my mind (even more often than I would like to admit), but this mother’s day message was a great concrete reminder that this mindfulness thingy really works. Even a 6 year old can see.

If the world of mindfulness is unknown, strange or even intimidating to you but you are curious to learn more, please reach out and I can point you to some resources.

Stay healthy and remember to breath everyone!

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Bárbara, adorei o artigo. Cada dia que passa penso que esse é o caminho! Bjo grande saudade

Marise Grinstein

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