23 June 2011

My Mindfulness Challenge

Welcome to the First Mindful Mama Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Blog Carnival hosted by Zoie at TouchstoneZ. Participants are writing posts about what mindful practices mean to them, how they parent mindfully, obstacles to mindful practice and experiences along the way. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

For a long time, I have considered myself to be a mindful person or at the very least, significantly more mindful than the general population. Even so, I feel as though I've been less mindful about my mindfulness in recent years and I intend to change that.

The wonderful and amazing Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama has been working through a mindful mothering challenge for a while now and I think it is fantastic. However, I have not felt called to participate in this challenge (originally set forth by another blogger) even though I feel I should. Instead, it recently occurred to me to create my own challenge based on what I feel is most important for me to be mindful of (such as not ending a sentence with a preposition...).Thus, I have created the following list of challenges that I will work on over the coming weeks and post my progress as I feel able to. 

Challenge #1 - Gratitutde. I have already started working on this, but I plan to dive further into it until I literally live and exude thankfulness.

Challenge #2 - Words. I am someone who is already very careful about what she says, but I still have a long way to go to become someone who always speaks with love and respect towards everyone, including myself.

Challenge #3 - Eating. I've always been pretty good about this, but marriage has created some bad habits for me and I intend to change them.

Challenge #4 - Change. I love change, I embrace it and I welcome it. However, part of the art of mindfulness is changing ever so tiny things in our lives to keep our brains working and force us to live in the present moment by paying attention.

Challenge #5 - Prayer/Meditation - I have always believed in prayer and meditation, yet have never made it a regular practice. I think it's time I start a ritual of meditating daily.

Challenge #6 - Letting Go. Otherwise known as being mindful of my thoughts, I, um... will be more mindful of my thoughts.

Challenge #7 - Focus. Am I focusing on the right thing? Am I focusing at all? This challenge is designed to force me to live and focus on every moment.

Some of these challenges already seem incredibly daunting to me and I admit I am afraid of them. Nevertheless, I am always working to be the best me I can be and taking on challenges I am personally afraid of will set a positive example for my children and likely make me into a better mother for them. Here I go.


Mindful Mama Blog CarnivalVisit TouchstoneZ to find out how you can participate in the next Mindful Mama Blog Carnival!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


  1. This is a great idea! I agree that a list such as this really would be best when it is customized to fit the individual. I think I would really like to develop my own list and start to challenge myself as well. Thank you so much for writing this! : )
    Oh and I look forward to reading as you do updates on your own personal journey. The very fact that you want to do these things tells me what a truly lovely person you are. ((hug))

  2. Definitely a fabulous idea! Jennifer's challenge has been thought-provoking, but like you, I didn't feel compelled to participate. I suppose that's because it wasn't specifically aligned to my goals and priorities. I have so many things I want to work on, but few get past the thought stage. I think making a list of my own would really be helpful in setting intention. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Your Challenges #4-6 are really resonating with me. I agree that each mama has to make her own list of challenges that are specific to her needs and values, but I think you may have inspired me with some of yours! :-)

    This is such a great Carnival! I am so enjoying all of the great posts and I'm thrilled that Zoie was able to inspire such fabulous mommy-writers to inspire each other.

  4. As an angry (often), foul-mouthed (sometimes), easily distracted mama, Challenges #1, #2, and #7 especially speak to me. Are you taking all of your challenges on at once? What sorts of concrete steps are you taking? Do tell more, please ...

  5. Thank you :) I love this carnival too!

    I'm absolutely not doing them all at once and I have not set any sort of time limit for myself either. I am working on gratitude right now, which started with my weekly gratitude post and will continue to extend out. For some of these challenges, I have ideas of what I'm going to do but for others, it is not so set in stone. Those things would be revealed either in the post of the same name or one that comes before as a prelude.

  6. Love it. I so need to set myself these types of personalized challenges to help me keep focused...I wander in so many directions. Hmm you got me thinking of where to start...think I'll be pinching some of yours. I'm opening a new word document right this minute! Look forward to reading more about your journey.

  7. Love your post - and your comment about not doing all at once/setting time limits.

    I have found in my life I get tripped up when I set goals I want to have accomplished by a certain point; when they're not (or I see they're not going to be) it becomes so discouraging!

    But leaving things more open-ended (while still having specifics in mind) has enabled me to make so many changes - and to be gracious with myself when I've failed - allowing me to move on instead of giving up.

    All that to say - you are right on! And awesome! And I find it hilarious that you wrote about not ending your sentence in a preposition! ;)

    Also, I want to join you in your gratitude posts - is that cool? I've been enjoying yours and I really need to be more thankful too...

  8. Thanks Terri!

    Kelly, don't be so silly! You don't have to ask me if it's OK for you to be more thankful! ;)

  9. I love that you decided to make a challenge specifically for yourself! It's so refreshing to be honest with ourselves, isn't it?

  10. This is a great post for the carnival. Thank you so much for participating!

    I follow the 8 limbs of Yoga and it strikes me how closely your mindfulness list coincides with them. I love the idea of them as challenges. It's so easy to become complacent and get into a rut without challenging myself. Each of your points are areas I'm working on as well. Constantly. And probably for the rest of my life. Sometimes, I feel so defeated by how little progress I make. Personalizing the list myself, I'd add compassion-or perhaps simply a reminder to reread #1.

    I'm going to begin taking part in your gratitude posts. I would like to cultivate more of that and have enjoyed reading your and the other posts about gratitude.

  11. Thank you, Zoie :)

    I truly am afraid of some of these challenges, partially because of how well I will do at them, as you mentioned. For some, I don't even know how I am going to implement change in a way that does not shock my system completely, but that is why I'm taking this very slowly, one aspect at a time.

  12. I respect the way you considered whether a certain challenge "fits" you; not all worthy works should be undertaken by everyone at once.

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