Mindful Mom Retreat - A Birthday Gift To Myself

I want to share with you how I celebrated my birthday in advance by attending Mommy Mundo's Mindful Mom Retreat. When I got an invit...

I want to share with you how I celebrated my birthday in advance by attending Mommy Mundo's Mindful Mom Retreat.
When I got an invitation, I readily said yes because I've been contemplating on doing something meaningful for myself on my birthday.  A retreat is always a perfect idea for that solo flight.  I need at least half of my day by myself as ME, not as a wife, a mom, a friend, nor a career woman.  I need time alone to reflect on where am I right now in my life and where do I want to go.  I often ask, what's my life purpose?  Am I doing good with the roles that I'm currently juggling?  Am I okay?  Am I enough?  Though I know I'm good, sometimes I need a push and a voice telling me "YES! You're doing great Louise!"
The Mindful Mom Retreat was what I needed at that exact time.  It was a morning filled with motivational and inspirational thoughts and realizations about myself as a mom.  Being a mom is not as easy as everyone thinks.  Only another mom would understand how much we wish we have a clone when caring for the kids, tending the household, working in the office, and even cooking meals.  Only another mom would know how much we want to have an extra five minutes of shower and not hear a knock on the door rushing us to come out.  Only another mom would understand how tired we get everyday and yet we cannot or do not complain at all, but still wish we could do more.  Only another mom would understand that even after doing everything for the family, we still feel guilty for not doing enough.  It's an exhausting job and so YES YES YES to a retreat.  My body, my mind, and my spirit needs it.  You need it too!

The retreat was facilitated by Michele Alignay, a registered psychologist who helped get us back to mindful mommy shape after hearing her talk and share her insights on being a mom.  The activities she asked us to do were all intentional in getting to know what fills our day, in identifying life scripts, in getting to know our strengths and weaknesses as moms, in illustrating who we really are as a woman, and lastly drawing our mindful mom plan.
Hearing Ichel talk in front telling us to reboot, recharge, slow down, destress, and care for ourselves was helpful to me in being more intentional.  She gave me a much-needed pat on my back and encouraging beliefs to live by while I go on my life as a mom after the retreat.

Here were my main key takeaways:

1.   Be mindful of what you're busy about everyday. "It's not enough that you are busy, but the question is, "What are we busy about?"  Most of the time we equate being a mom to being a superwoman or super-multi-tasker.  We tend to become overly busy that we do not find balance anymore.  And when there's no balance, of course we tip over and burn out happens.  In everything we do, let's ask ourselves, will this contribute to my own well-being?  Will this bring happiness to my children?  Is this fulfilling?  Most of the time, we become busy doing things for our children that we forget to spend quality time with them.  We should be mindful in living the now with them than hide in the endless list of chores.

2.   Choose the happy train of thought.  Looking back at how we were raised when we were younger, it's so much different today.  The way how to discipline the children before may not work now.  We also hear many things from other moms/parents on how we should go about parenting.  Hence, we have unrealistic expectations, misinterpretations, and irrational beliefs which affect our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions.  What if we filter everything we hear and CHOOSE only which we think will work best for our kids and our family, we'll be at peace with ourselves with less stress and struggles in making it work at home. "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become!" - Carl Jung

3.   Let go of things that bring you down.  Three phrases we should let go from our minds are: What If... If only... Why me...  Let's just do what we think we should be doing.  If we make a mistake, move on and be better.  And if we can do it, let's just do it.  It's emotionally and psychologically dragging to be asking ourselves those three phrases.  Let go and just do it anyway.

4.   Accept your imperfections.  Let's face it, no one is perfect.  No motherhood method is perfect.  We are all beautifully imperfect and hey, that's okay!  Accepting our own imperfections will set us free.  Knowing that will make us more mindful and tolerant about the imperfections of our family, other people and other circumstances.  We have a messy house, piled up laundry, rooms with scattered toys around, unplanned weekly menu, less appealing baon for kids, it's OKAY.  I've accepted that I can never be perfect and I love what I have right now, my imperfect family. :)

5.   Self-Care is important to mindfulness.  It is to BE than to DO.  It is pausing, reflecting, and being present in the moment.  It's not overthinking nor comparing ourselves to others. Self-care is connecting ourselves to the the chosen good influences in our lives.  For me, the influences I retain right now are those that bring value to my life and lift me up instead of bring me down.  Self-care is being able to declutter our thoughts and minds and being able to say NO if needed.  It's pacing tasks, learning how and when to pause, letting go of things we have no control of, and lastly, honoring ourselves.
All these things when we practice intentionally will make us mindful moms.  It will make us more loving moms and wives.  It will result to clearer thoughts and make us more focused on the goals we have for our families.

Ichel had been helpful in helping me reboot that day.  Admittedly, I was late for the session because of the "busyness" of my morning at home, which I realized during the session that I just had been keeping my self unnecessarily busy.  There were things to do which I could have left my husband to do for me.  But instead, I sort of punish myself for feeling guilty if I had not done it myself.  Mali yun.  I have to let go of this itchiness to do everything by myself and accept that I can't do everything or else, I'll really be drained before the day ends and I couldn't intentionally live and be and I cannot be mindfully present for my family.

Thanks Ichel for the reminder and for being an inspiration not only to me but to many moms during the session.  I'm also fortunate to be one of the first of your audiences during your book launch, "Family Goals".

Thanks to the sponsors of the Mindful Mom Retreat for the goodies as well!
For more of Mommy Mundo's mindful events, visit www.mommymundo.com and like them on Facebook.

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Mommy Practicality is a home and lifestyle blog that's about positive, informative, 
inspirational and helpful sharing of life experiences of a working mom 
with topics on motherhood, relationships, events, food, travel, shopping, and finances. 
It hopes to influence moms and women to realize 
that it's possible to live a quality life while choosing a practical lifestyle.

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