In order to tackle some toddler tantrum issues that have have recently surfaced at my house, I have had to change some of my own behaviors. I am having to learn how to breathe.
Up to his point, I think it is fair to say I have lived a pretty reactionary existence. I have carried this characteristic into adulthood and parenthood. I’m learning as a mother that our children are little mirrors of ourselves. They love us, want to be like us, and in turn mimic our behavior.
This has recently challenged me to think before reacting from an emotional standpoint. I am learning to be more mindful of my emotions, my use of them, and my parental instincts. This is not just a parental lesson; this is a lesson that can be applied to life in general. It’s important to be conscious and mindful of the way we interact with the world and how our behaviors and reactions affect others.
I have been working on a series of paintings lately I’ve been calling “Meditation Paintings”. They have a mandala quality to them. They require a repetitive motion to make. If I make one wrong stroke the entire painting can be ruined. I have started using these paintings as a way to challenge myself with a meditative mindfulness. In order to be mindful I have to clear my head of all the other clutter around me and be completely and totally in the moment. I will admit, I’m not very good at it, but I am a work in progress. When I find my mind wandering, I notice my paint strokes are less consistent. I am gentle with myself. I remind myself to breathe, clear my mind, and come back to the moment. With each stroke I make I take a breath. I am learning to breathe all over again…in parenting, art, and life.