What are mindful families?
Are you a mindful family?
Busy schedules, screens, rushing.... We struggle to connect on an individual level but when it comes to our own family the disconnection can be even more unplugged than any other relationship around us.
We feel the need to improve our relationships and various aspects of our lives through diet, mindfulness and yoga. And from Soul Mates we believe that all these changes should also be applied in our family life, improving the quality of our presence when we are together.
We are not perfect. None of us are. No matter how hard we try, we won't be. I'm sure you know that. But why is it so hard for us to accept? Even those of us who have taught mindfulness courses, who are giving you advice on this blog, who do workshops, we honestly confess that we are not perfect and we will never come close to perfection. We also overreact and say and do things that we know we shouldn't have done. It is true that perhaps we have improved a little and we are closer to what we would like to be, but basically the change is to accept our imperfections as parents without beating ourselves up for the mistakes we make. With love, self-compassion and self-acceptance, we transform ourselves and teach our children to be able to do the same for themselves and others. And we believe - in our deepest humility - that teaching these values is an immense gift.
We often get distracted: we try to do too many things at the same time, we constantly look at our Whatsapp, we don't stop making judgements and we lose our calm with our children or our partner creating disconnections and many misunderstandings that grow bigger and bigger. If we stop, if we REALLY listen to ourselves we can get involved in the emotions and experiences of our partners. Instead of judging ourselves or them, we can get better at recognising when we don't understand each other and try to work it out. Curious listening opens up more possibilities for less misunderstanding, more clarity, greater connection and better outcomes in our day-to-day lives.
We find it hard to talk about painful topics. I don't know if it's because of shame, to avoid conflict, to avoid feeling vulnerable... But we at Soul Mates honestly think that when we don't talk about something painful or uncomfortable, it ends up becoming resentment, mistrust and disconnection. The truth is that being clear and honest about what we need and feel is an act of kindness that builds trust and connection in families and couples. It is about speaking from the heart about how we feel, trying to be understood and not hurt. Often, it is better to fight and disagree than to remain silent. Because what is not spoken cannot be healed.
Appreciate and gratitude
Acknowledging the work of our children or our partner for small day-to-day activities such as emptying the dishwasher, hanging out the washing or tidying the wardrobe is appreciating ourselves. If we are grateful, our home becomes cooperative, we become a team. While some may find it annoying to go on and on thanking, others like to be thanked when we have made an effort, we like to be grateful for a job well done. At home, for example, we always applaud the person who has made dinner, creating an atmosphere of kindness and understanding when we eat together.
Forgiving ourselves and each other
Every family has its difficult moments with monumental fights and spectacular tantrums. If we have gone too far, we should forgive ourselves by understanding that we cannot change the past, remembering that we are not perfect and realising that we often make mistakes out of ignorance, confusion or emotions. We should analyse where we went astray, the impact it had and how we might respond differently another time. Forgiving and forgiving ourselves is an incredible vehicle for healing, connection and growth in you and your family. And it is, perhaps, the most difficult point.
One of the core values of mindfulness is generosity. Being generous is not JUST giving money; it is helping a sick person by bringing them food, it is taking care of your friend's dog if they go away for the weekend, it is donating your children's clothes to people in need, it is drawing pictures or writing letters to grandparents who live far away, it is making lemonade for a charitable cause, it is hugging a friend when they need it. These small acts wrap up our family, our tribe of friends, our culture and the world.
Do you have a Mindful family?
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