It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.

It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

(Author Unknown)

This quote caught my attention this morning when I was contemplating what to write on this blog post. The words reflect what I have learned mindfulness to encompass. So much is being said, researched and written about mindfulness these days, it can be confusing to know where to start and more than that, to know why to consider mindfulness at all?

Mindfulness can be described as being fully present in each moment. We can look to children to help clarify this idea of being fully present in each moment as young children seem to engage in mindfulness quite naturally. Imagine a child playing outside at the park and looking down and noticing a caterpillar climbing on a leaf or a bee pollinating the flowers on the lemon tree and simply allowing themselves to be absorbed in the moment and often inviting others to join in the wonder that has been discovered. All too often as we grow, worries of life such as pressures of school success, managing interpersonal relationships, getting through a busy day, finances, career, raising children and being a good parent can effortlessly distract one from being fully present in each moment. It is this kind of distractedness that can perpetuate increased worries, stress, depression and be missing out on the little joys of life and simply, not find that peace and calm in the midst of it all.

Much has been written and researched regarding the practice of mindfulness and the positive influences mindfulness practice has on emotional/mental health and on physical health as well. Daniel Siegal, M.D. sums up positive outcomes of becoming more mindful as, “Rather than being consumed by worries about the future or preoccupations with the past, living fully in the present is an art form that liberates the mind to relieve mental suffering.” (Daniel Siegal, 2010, The Mindful Therapist pg.1)

As a parent, mindfulness can increase the ability to be fully present and attuned to our child in a healthy way. If a parent is living in the present moment when their child invites them to experience the wonder of the caterpillar or when the child is experiencing frustration, the parent is more likely to be attuned to the child and respond in a manner that encourages healthy attachment bonds which will help healthy development of the child in interpersonal relationships and self-regulation.

Learning and implementing mindfulness practice a person can discover increased peace and increased the ability to enjoy daily life, just what I was looking for!

Yvonne Miler, MA, LMFT, RPT

If this sounds like something you would like to know more about I have included a couple books you may like to take a look at.

The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegal

No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegal

The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children Paperback – May 30, 2017

by Shefali Tsabary Ph.D. (Author)

Mindfulness research:

Mindfulness Research Article

Integrating Mindfulness With Parent Training: Effects of the Mindfulness-Enhanced Strengthening Families Program (2014) Developmental Psychology, Vol. 51, No. 1, 26 –35 Authors; J. Douglas Coatsworth Colorado State University Larissa G. Duncan University of California, San Francisco Robert L. Nix, Mark T. Greenberg, Jochebed G. Gayles, Katharine T. Bamberger, Elaine Berrena, and Mary Ann Demi The Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Yvonne Miller, LMFT
Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy
EMDR Certified
Registered Play Therapist

Lic #99234

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