Your Magenta Monday Magic.
We’ve been talking about the importance of setting aside quiet time every day for reflection to guide us through rediscovering what we’re all about and step into living our truth. We’ve gone from carving out space to focus our minds to noticing the clues our body gives us – clues that are a great way to get more in touch with our truth.
Why is it so important for us to pay attention to our bodies?
When it comes to dealing with a mom midlife crisis, it's important to be in a state of inquiry - to actively ask yourself questions so that you can consider what brings you joy and what possibilities lie ahead for you.
In many instances, we are really good at responding to what our bodies need. We’ve been conditioned that way. When we feel hungry, we eat. When we feel thirsty, we reach for a drink to rehydrate. When we feel fatigue or illness, we know we need to rest and recuperate.
As Moms though, we’ve become accustomed to putting our own needs on the back burner while attending to the needs of our families. We’ve gotten used to ignoring what our bodies say. How many times have you put off going to the bathroom because it wasn’t convenient? How often over the years did you ignore the fact that you felt tired, angry, sore, hungry, or thirsty while you took care of your kids’ needs first?
When you become an empty nester, you may find that you have more time and space to listen to your body's needs beyond the basic ones like hunger, thirst, fatigue, and illness. This can be a great opportunity to begin reinventing yourself and exploring new paths.
I can’t even count the number of times I put myself last.
When you’re not used to paying close attention to how you are feeling – because you're so focused on everyone else’s needs – you get a little rusty. You lose touch with the clues and signals your body sends. Your body may be trying to communicate with you but you may have lost your ability to hear – or notice – what it is saying – especially the more nuanced signals it’s sending.
The butterflies in your stomach that tell you you’re excited about something... The hitch in your breath that tells you something isn’t quite right in a new relationship and maybe you should pull back… the wave of heat that rises up over your face when someone is taking advantage of you and you know you should speak up.
How do you shift that? How do you tune in and start paying more attention to your body? How do you follow your body’s clues to solve the mystery of what your own truth actually is?
One way to start is to practice being present.
Instead of defaulting to worrying about the future or ruminating about the past, I invite you to practice noticing what’s right in front of you. Not only will you capture those small moments that you may have been missing, but you’ll be ready to hear the messages your body is sending.
Here are a few easy exercises to get you started:
Guided meditation This is a great way to help you learn to acknowledge your thoughts – like they are clouds passing by – without getting swept away by them. Many of my clients new to meditation believe that they are ‘bad’ at it because they think too much. But the goal is NOT to NOT think. The goal over time is to learn how to notice your thoughts, and then return to your breath to get back on track. (Check out some suggestions for meditation apps at the bottom of this email.)
5,4,3,2,1 Exercise This is a great one to turn to when you notice that you are caught up in thinking about something in the future – when you feel like you are spinning out of control with worry. Stop, plant both of your feet firmly on the ground, and look around you.
5 things you can see. Notice all the details about those things: the way the light shines through the drapes or how green the tree is outside your window.
4 things you can touch – feel the firmness of the chair underneath you, feel your feet planted firmly on the ground, feel the cold, hard surface of your desk under your fingertips.
3 things you can smell – the scent of jasmine in the backyard or the smell of the lotion on your skin.
2 things you can hear – the sound of a dog barking in the backyard or the wind in the trees.
1 thing you can taste – maybe the cool, minty flavor of your toothpaste.
This exercise not only helps to re-center you and alleviate your anxiety or worry over things you can’t control, but it will also help you practice grounding in the present moment. It will help you get better at noticing all your different senses and what information they are giving you.
Box breathing This one is a deceptively simple way to calm your central nervous system and bring you back to the present.
Inhale for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Exhale for 4 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds. Repeat for as long as you need to bring yourself back to the present.
Practicing mindfulness is a powerful tool to help you find purpose as an empty nester. It can anchor you in the present moment, bring you back to your center, and relieve the anxiety of worrying about things that are outside of your control.
Not only is this a handy practice for regulating your response in a stressful situation, but it can help you get really good at paying attention to what’s happening right now, in the present moment, with your body and your breath.
It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.
With Mother’s Day coming up, in the spirit of expressing your truth, start thinking about something that will celebrate and replenish you. What activity would bring you the most joy on the day that’s meant to celebrate you?
Would you love to have a bit of quiet time to read or write in your journal? Or would you like to go for a morning hike with family – or even on your own? Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, think about the different possibilities for how you could spend the day, and notice what clues your body gives you. What feels the best when you think about it. What happens to your breathing when you consider something you would love to do? Maybe even try thinking about things you wouldn’t want to do – just as an exercise to see how it feels in your body!
Once you settle on what you think would be the perfect way to spend your Mother’s Day, give yourself the gift of asking for it from your family. And if your family is not around? All the better – make a plan to nurture yourself by spending the day doing what you would most love to do. Make a plan to spend Mother’s Day living your truth.
Guided Meditation Apps:
PS. I’d love to hear what activities you did to connect to your intentions! I invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with us in Thriving Mom’s Collective FB Group!
Living BRIGHTer is...
B - Be Brave
R - Cultivate Relationships
I - Live with Intention
G - Practice Gratitude
H - Prioritize Health
T - Live your Truth
What is Magenta?
The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
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