Mindful Shoe Shopping-I Mean Parenting
July 22, 2010 · Posted in Buddhism/Parenting, Parenting · Permalink

A friend/colleague and I were window shopping and strolling up Broadway. We were commiserating about how hard it is to stay centered in the parenting trenches. A veteran meditator and psychologist, she talked about a class she teaches in mindfulness and parenting. Mindfulness is a moment by moment practice of trying to stay present, grounded, strong and aware. Practicing mindfulness allows people to truly experience their life, avoiding the waste of time ruminating over the past or worrying about the future. The practice helps people make clear, kind and healthy decisions.

We happened to pass a great shoe store and laughed that we should go in and practice mindfulness in the service of buying shoes! So with a few boxes in front of us, we began.

Step 1: Take a comfortable seat and get grounded. Check.

Step 2: Breathe deeply in and out and find a calm, relaxed breathing pattern. Check.

Step 3:  Observe. Check.

Hmmmm. The brown high heels with the laces, or the black wedgies? Brown? Black?

Step 4: Scan your body for sensation.

I wobble in the dangerously high wedgies. I take a few steps in the laces. They feel a little tight. I ask for a 1/2 size bigger and my feet feel comfortable.

Step 5: Let your heart speak. I sit. I breathe. The awesomely fierce wedges or the perfectly fitted, brown, quirky heels. A deep breath in and out and my heart chooses… The brown with the laces!!!!!!

So if you are faced with a similarly serious dilemma, use these same steps as you consider your options. For example, you walk in on your two children crying and one has a truck held high in his hand. Observe, breathe, consider your options. Scream? Separate them? Yank the truck? Timeout for the truck yielder? Comfort to the crier? Don’t react until you find yourself  in a calm place. Let your heart speak. Comforting the crier wins!!!!! Mindfulness is so helpful, be it sandal shopping or disciplining your children. It’s a way of being that puts you in the driver’s seat of your life.

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