An important part of our message and mission at Enlightenedhood is to help make spirituality and mindfulness more easily accessible for mothers. We believe every mindfulness practice is important, no matter what it looks like and that just because you don’t wake up at 5 am for your rituals, meditate sitting down or work with the power of crystals doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. We want to help our community learn to take the wealth of spiritual knowledge available and bring it into their lives in ways that are actually attainable for them.
Beginning a meditation practice can seem overwhelming. There are many different styles of meditation and learning to sit with your thoughts, to control the wandering of your attention, and honestly for a Mother, finding the time during the day can seem almost impossible!
To begin a meditation practice, the first step is to give yourself grace. You are interested in beginning a mindfulness practice and that pull is going to lead you to incredible change and growth. Many women can become frustrated with themselves when they aren’t able to mimic or recreate the “perfect practice”. It is important to remember that your practice is your own. It will grow and evolve with you, your desires, needs, and if we’re being frank, the whims of our children. When we can be open and flexible with our personal practice we are able to more easily commit to this work in a long term way.
As you begin this journey, commitment to this practice is key. Every morning, set the simple but powerful intention that today you will make time for your personal practice. First thing in the morning, you are committing to your practice but with no added expectation, no limitations on what that looks like, no specifications on how long it will be. Just the strong intent that today you will find time for your personal practice. (Remember, give yourself grace!) Today, you will find a small window of opportunity to dedicate to mindfulness and with that intent, as you go about your day you’ll begin to notice times where you can take time for yourself and get your mindfulness practice in.
Meditation with a Personal Mantra
Once you have naturally found a little window of time to dedicate to your practice, what should you do next? Working with Mantras can be a wonderful first introduction to a meditation practice (and a great addition to a current one.)
Mantras are incredibly effective at silencing the wandering and frequent thoughts of our mind. They work similarly to affirmations in using repetition to create new, chosen pathways in the brain. They can also be a powerful way to work with the manifestation of our desires. Using mantra repetition, we channel in energy, really feeling the way we will feel when our intention manifests itself in our life. Harnessing that power brings that intention into existence.
First, choose your personal Mantra. Mantras can be any short, simple, and concise sentence that holds your intention. Find the positive, current statement that assumes the feelings of exactly what you desire. Let go of the “I want” or “when” passive statements and let yourself FEEL the strength of putting yourself right in the moment of your intention
I am _________.
I am strong enough for change.
I am courageous.
I have the power to transform my reality.
Mantra Meditation using a Mala
Once you have chosen your personal Mantra, a beautiful way to connect with this mantra and manifestation is to use Mala Beads during the meditation. A Mala is a strand of 108 beads plus a guru bead, that has been traditionally used for meditation, usually referred to as a “japa” meditation. Using a mala can help you stay grounded, centered, and strengthen your concentration to avoid becoming distracted.
- Find a quiet space and sit in a comfortable position.
- Hold your mala in your right hand, between your middle and first finger
- Begin to breathe deeply and bring your focus and attention to your mantra
- Beginning at the guru bead, use your thumb to count each smaller bead. Repeat this 108 times, moving around the mala, until you once again reach the guru bead
- Each time you touch a new bead, repeat your mantra to yourself, aloud or silently
- It is recommended to practice with the same mantra for 40 days. It takes this amount of time for the real shifts in mental and emotional energy to occur.
Taking the first step is always the most daunting but we hope that these tips help you to more easily bring mindfulness into your daily routine!