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Mindful Parenting Book Club Part III

post #1 of 197
Thread Starter 
Welcome to Part III of our book discussion on "Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting" by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. This Sunday, December 15 we will be moving forward to Part IV of the book, "Mindfulness: A Way of Seeing." We plan to be discussing Part IV until mid-January or longer. There are ten Parts to the book which is almost 400 pages. Part IV begins on page 89. If you are not currently part of our discussion, you are welcome to join us. Some of us have read the book and some of us are reading it as we go. And some of us are re-reading it as we go. For your convenience here are some helpful links:
Powell's Books: http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/bibli...2-0786883146-5
Table of Contents: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...11#reader-link
MPBC Part I:
Support for MF Mamas:

Every so often we create a new thread to save loading time. Our last thread was almost nine full pages. Thanks for joining us at the new thread!
post #2 of 197
Well, my epiphanies are probably a dime a dozen, but I've got some more . . . went to yoga yesterday and they were just pouring in!

First, here are two quotes my teacher shared at the beginning of the class:

"If you try really really hard, nothing good or bad will ever happen to you."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the decision that something else is more important than the fear." (from The Princess Bride, I believe) *I'm gonna use this one when I talk with expectant mothers about natural childbirth!

So he had me thinking about being brave, and throughout the class talked about opening our hearts and letting the thoughts drift away, so by the resting meditation at the end, I was fully primed! As I'm meditating, I see this image of myself -- almost in cartoon -- and it's me with this HUGE head, you can see the enormous brain inside it, and I'm being lead around my this head (this is not a good thing -- please don't think I'm an egomaniac!). And I thought, "I don't want to be lead by my head, I want to be lead by my HEART." So I held this new image of me with a big, beating, cartoon heart leaping out of my chest and leading me down a path. At this point, tears were streaming down my face bc I had such clarity: My whole adult life I have tried to THINK my way. I am a critical, judging, contemplative person (hence my entry into a PhD program) and this is NOT who I really am or who I want to be. I want to FEEL my way and let my heart be my guide -- as a mother, a wife, a daughter, and an individual.

It's kinda funny cuz my next thought was that I have a small little heart (bc I can be so critical and judgemental) but then I realized that in fact I have a big and VERY TENDER heart, which has been bruised, broken, and boarded up over time. All of this thinking I've been doing has been DEFENSIVE -- to protect me from feeling (aka hurting).

And viola! I knew that I must quit grad school immediately -- it was SO clear to me -- and that this will be a very brave thing for me, cause it means leaving the old "thinking me" behind (well, hopefully I'll still think some! ) and tearing down the boards that have been around my heart so I can live by it.

And what does this have to do with our book discussion, Eleanor?!?! :

Well, I realized that "MINDfulness" is a bit of a misnomer for me. I need to think of this concept as "heartfulness" bc that's really what they mean, and I'm such a simpleton, I was misinterpreting the word! It's scary as hell to me, but when I live by heart, my heart opens more and it becomes easier to do so. (kinda like the Grinch, huh?!) And I guess without knowing it, I've been trying to THINK my way into mindful parenting.

So that was pretty big for me, and while I know my confidence in this decision will wax and wane (and my big 'ole head will struggle to regain control!), I think as long as I keep meditating, maybe I can hold on to this clarity.

Okay, so if you wanna send me a bill for the therapy session, send it to:

Mama El, formerly the BigHeaded Mother
101 Strugglingtofindher Way
In The Clouds, NC xoxoxo

post #3 of 197
what a great visualization! it is so important for us to be able to laugh at ourselves while we learn.

i have a dream book that can be used for both dreams and images that appear during meditation, and it says for the word head:

"you are intellectualizing too much. used humorously means- get out of your head!"

but you sure didn't need a book to come to that conclusion! good work el!

did you have a dream of a party or celebration that night?
post #4 of 197
Thread Starter 
Hey, El~ I just checked in...been out most of the day with ds. It's so great to have these wonderful posts (Epiphanies) of yours to look forward to. I like your word for mindfulness. Maybe it will come in handy for me. Some days I feel clarity in my thinking and then other days it's so fuzzy. Maybe thinking is where I'm getting into trouble as well. When I start thinking I, too, start getting defensive thoughts and get angry. If I would think and talk with my heart first then others like dh and ds won't in turn get defensive which is a vicious cycle of blaming and defensiveness.

I'm really looking forward to processing Part IV "Mindfulness: A Way of Seeing" over the next month or long. There's so much to be gained from cultivating our daily meditation through whatever door we get to meditation. My door is yoga whether it be with a video or just doing some of my favorite poses....downward dog, child's play, cobra, forward bend, and many others. I also like some of the floor lying meditation positions. I'm uncomfortable with just sitting up Indian style.

Mamakarata mentioned that she does her meditation while nursing and I find that so creative of her. When ds was six months and younger and nursing for much longer periods, I would get very relaxed. Now that he's older I and I am much more on the go I find it hard to relax unless it is the bed-time nursing. I'm anxious to see what other creative doors to meditation are out there.

Thanks again El for sharing your Ephipanies and I'm glad you are well today! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!
post #5 of 197
Oh my gosh, where to start...

I've decided I'm a mindful mama wannabe. Only, saying I'm a wannabe is even generous. I'm so not good at this. If I were really a wannabe wouldn't I try a little harder than I'm trying?

It's been a really hard day. Meg and I were only asleep seven hours (not counting the usual wakeups) before the movers came today to pack. Now we are living among many boxes for the weekend, with no dishes, few clothes, coupla towels, no cooking things...and we have so many things to get rid of - trash or donate - this weekend. And so many things to clean. And DH just workingworkingworking.

This is relevant b/c maybe it's not the best time for me to be mindful. And maybe I'm a perfectionist and will never feel like I'm doing well enough.

By the way, are any of y'all NOT perfectionists?

I need to get into yoga. I'm such a beginner that I tried Rodney Yee's beginner morning and evening tapes and I found them too advanced.

I took Meg to her one-year checkup and let her get the varicella vaccine despite a lot of hesitation on my part...and I'm wondering if I let her down.

AND...my EB book got packed and I have no idea where. Along with my house and car keys.
post #6 of 197
Megsmom. I don't know who I would be without being a perfectionist. It is not good though. I think you are being a little hard on yourself. You are really going through a lot, with moving and everything. I think it is on the top ten list of stressors and let me tell you, we moved in June and I didn't turn my computer on for several weeks. Plus I am still not unpacked (can I throw it out since I don't seem to need it? How very buddist that would be!) And some stuff I am still looking for. Plus, don't forget that you only see a part of us and I am very guilty of letting my imaginiation build up people I don't know into the perfect mothers. I thought my infant massage teacher was a perfect mother. I never even saw her with her baby/toddler but she just seemed perfect.:
So, here is a big hug from me

And El, someone told me once that if a decision is really hard to make, than either decision would probably be fine. Plus, nothing is permanent. One day DS will be grown and yo can go back to school. My mom went to grad school when I was 12. I knew women in grad school who had grown/older kids. Think of it as a sabbatical.

I am not so good at meditating or even doing yoga. I decided though that I need to lower my expectations. Three deep mindful breaths now and then is good enough. Ten minutes of yoga is fine. a couple of poses with or without dd and whether I have eaten recently or not. (Check the yoga journal website for ideas megsmom)

OK everyone, have a fabulous weekend.
post #7 of 197
Thanks for the hug, nuggetsmom, much needed. And for the website, going there next while Meg is still asleep.

I do need to remember that moving is a huge stress. I always think, well yeah, it's stressful for most people, but I'm not most people. And you know whose voice that is? MY DAD'S! Bad, bad Dad.
post #8 of 197
Thread Starter 
Analisa~Thanks for letting us help you get thru such a stressful time. I'm a perfectionist wannabe and hate it and sometimes a mindful mama, but getting better every day. I'm no expert about vax's and I just asked the midwife we see if they have thimersol in the vax's and she answered "no Thimersol" before I even finished half my sentence, like she was very positive. She used to be a LLL and nursed her kids for years. I just trust her. But after El's post on the support thread about some old shots still being in the system it made me wonder. Analisa, you're such a sweety! I hope the move hurrys up for you! I know it just sucks and the 400 s.f. housing in Dallas...at least it will be spring soon in Texas and you can go outside. ild (hope ya laughed at me sticking out my tongue) And ya got APconnect folks as a wonderful resource...I'm soooo jealous! BTW, Happy belated 1st birthday to Meg from the book club mamas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We hope it was a happy day.

BTW, I have that Rodney Yee tape set that has the AM and PM with the woman on the PM yoga tape. I don't remember if it was too advanced for me since it's been about three years since then but I love the AM tape better and use it all the time. I think the PM tape is not as relaxing and more advanced than Rodney's AM tape. HTH. Before you know it the AM tape will be a

Peace ! And fwiw (where's Tara???) I haven't even re-read Part IV. Bad perfectionist moderator!!! But I am working on it.
post #9 of 197
Okay, ds is napping, dh is showering, and I'm supposed to be paying bills, so I have to make this fast (just heard the water turn off!!).

Just wanted to send loving, supporting thoughts to you, El, in your decision - had a FABULOUS guided meditation of my own on Thurs eve - more on that later... but congratulations on the decision. It's absolutely the right one.

BTW, dh used to always laugh at me when I went through these bouts of insomnia - I'd "try so hard" to sleep! Of course, then it eluded me...

And lots of love and hugs to you, too, Megs Mom - hope the move goes well, and that dh figures out how to give you some help REALLY SOON! Wish all of us were closer (although I have a dear friend in Somerville - we've toyed with moving there, although the housing market in recent years scared us away) to help you out with the physical stuff. It will all be over soon, and you'll be able to play outside ALL WINTER! I'm so jealous.

Bye, all!
post #10 of 197
Thread Starter 
Hello! Dh is the shower and ds needs me but I just wanted to say I've been reading Part IV here and there lately (not today) and I found a really neat quote I want to type if I have time within the next few days. It's on page 93 ...second paragraph I think. I hope you read it if you get a chance.

It's supposed to be 52 and sunny all day here and 58 tomorrow! That's spring weather this time of year so we'll be out and about enjoying it! I got most of my cards done last night...finally! Just gotta get that tree up.

And Analisa, I hope dh finds time to help you, like Karen stated! Wish we could help.

On the same lines El was trying to express about the young boy that died in a fire in her area recently: Yesterday I was at a Christmas gathering with some old collegues at the pastor's house that married dh and I and found out that the president of the social service agency we all worked for passed away suddenly of a heartattack a few weeks back. He was only 55 and had a seven year old son and two other grown children and a wife that he left behind. That was my wake up call this year. That could happen to dh and I. I have no problem appreciating ds (for the most part). It's dh that I take for granted. He has been under a lot of work stress, working 50-60 hours, and then trying to get into another career field that is a very time consuming and tedious process.

Well dh is getting that I'm not off-line yet so I better get off and try to focus on "what is important here" this weekend. BTW, we did yoga as a family this morning. It started the day off right. Have a great weekend and many s to Analisa!! And Tara who we haven't heard from so she must be knee deep in toddler hell...hope not though. Here Tara
post #11 of 197
I'm here, and only ankle deep in toddler hell, so there has been some improvement!!

I'm going to re-read the section so I have something to contribute!
post #12 of 197
Nice to see everyone giving off such positive vibes!

Perfectionism ... I used to be the worst about it. Then I learned how to let go of certain areas. Now I'm backing up to even it all out across the board. Be mindful in the process of doing something and then once it's done, let it go. It's hard to do -- but oh, so good to move on and live in the moment rather than in tangles over what you should have done!

post #13 of 197
Thread Starter 
Hi! Yeah...Today we're officially on Part IV "Mindfulness: A Way of Seeing." I enjoyed our discussion of Part III and I am so pysched about Part IV. I'm loving what I am getting out of my re-read of Part IV. It's like watching a movie over and over. Every time I read it I realize or pick up on something I had forgotten or missed the first time.

I'm not sure what the best way to approach Part IV is. Do we want to divide it into parts to help give us some focus? There are 11 chapters and approx. 60 pages. If you would like to break it down, I would like to suggest that we discuss the first three chapters for the next two weeks. That is about 15 pages: Parenting is the Full Catastrophe, Live-in Zen Maters, and Eighteen Year Retreat. And maybe move ahead on Dec. 29. That will give us more clarity/foucs and not feel so pushed with all that is happening in our lives...the holidays, Analisa's move, illnesses, traveling, etc. Sound o.k.? :

There's so many quotes I want to type but it's all so yummy and fascinating that I don't know where to start. The first chapter of Part IV, "Parenting is the Full Catastrophe" has a sentence I just love every time I read it: "So why do it (become a parent)? Maybe Pete Seeger said it best: "We do it for the high wages...kisses." Here's kisses for the babes and a hug for all of you
post #14 of 197
DH and I had a rousing debate last night over a subject quite close to JKZ's idea of mindful parenting as an 18-year (plus! ) retreat. We both read widely on integral theory and practice (Ken Wilber, Don Beck, etc.; please reference those sources for more info, as there is no way lil' ol' me could do it justice in a MDC post!). We find ourselves serious but diffident about moving on to the "yellow meme" or next stage -- we know we need to set aside serious meditation time in order to develop, but neither of us is ready to give up the commitments and pursuits that prevent us from having time to do so. We've examined our current busy-ness as an attachment we should/could simply let go of, but we've both come to believe that we are doing what we should be doing at this time in our lives and that our "evolution time" will come later down the road.

So. That leaves us in the here and now with a house full of children and attachment parenting values and very little time for formal meditation practices.

Enter mindful parenting!

(Baby waking, more later ...)
post #15 of 197
Thread Starter 
BP~That sounded like a heavy debate! I'm not familar w/ the references (Ken Wilber/Don Beck). I think everyone could benefit from some serious meditation retreat or meditation time on a daily basis. But like the K-Z's say not many people have the time or money to take off for a week. I'm not sure if that is what you and your dh were debating about or just the daily meditation.

Also, meditation practices (and the definition of) are so different for each person. My meditation is doing yoga or pilates, and generally not the seated meditation. And I only do 15-25 minutes of yoga a day. That is all I can handle right now and all I am mentally ready for at this stage.

post #16 of 197
Hello again!

I did actual take some time to read from Pt IV yesterday... *and* even to take some comtemplative time (in a warm bath ahhh). All of which took up nap time, so no time to post!

On this subject, I often jst feel lazy. I'm also trying to wean off my suddenly serious TV addiction. Both avoiding meditation & not "finding time" for yoga, cooking healthfully, prayer, I think these behaviors are coming from a place of mild depresssion, or numbness about parts of my life and values which I am not living our right now. So I am hiding out in passive passtimes, keeping NPR or TV on to drown some things out. At certain points it's hard to dwell in the silence, to attend to what is in the mind.

Anyway, that's my experience. I do notice I can bring myself to the present well w/dd. I am getting a bit better at just diapering when i am diapering, just singing to her when i am singing to her...

speaking of which, she is about to fuss right now and i am ignoring her to type this, lol! 'scuse me...

peace, mb
post #17 of 197
Thread Starter 
MB~ Thanks for your candidness and here's a . I'm glad you had a chance to do some reading and meditating. What part of Pt. IV was your favorite? So far mine is the 18 Year Retreat.

Life has been strange for me lately too. I am much more aware of my feelings and yet frightened sometimes by my new awareness and not sure how to deal with some inner turmoil. I'm hopefull we'll all make it to the end of this book together. I feel there's a lot of inner growth going on inside of us all and it's worth some of the agony we are experiencing at times. It makes the highs higher and the lows seem not quite so bad. The holidays and darker weather are getting to me. The holidays are very strange for me. It brings up a lot of inner junk about my extended family dysfunction that I'd rather sweep under the rug...IYKNWIM.

Ds is asleep and has a third cold. He pooped on the floor while I was doing my yoga this morning (he gave me no warning) and was a little bit of a headache and funny all at the same time. But I am just learning to relax with this potty business and take it slow. He's only a year old. It's funny to watch him walk around so happy buck naked! He really hates diaper changes now...way more than he did before so I leave him half naked most of the day. I'm so crazzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyy!!!!

Is anyone feeling stressed about our reading and discussion pace??? I am! But mainly b/c of the holidays, my broken computer, and ds's nakedness and peeing next to the potty and not in it and getting his socks all wet...such a learning process.

post #18 of 197
HI all, I have started rereading, but I think we have an ambitious pace with the holidays coming up. Since my family is coming, I doubt I will even turn my computer on at all. Of course I will have MDC withdrawel...
OK, whatever you guys decide is fine

Not feeling very mindful here in the storms, with a crazy DD sleep habit as of late (not so much nightwaking as not wanting to be picked up and yet crying) and having to come up with five minute toddler activities about 200 times a day.........

So I have no mindful thoughts or indeed any isights at all. I realize that I can't even remember what the book says or is about.
post #19 of 197
Thread Starter 

New Pace

Hi! My computer is about to make me crazy!!!! It is so slow and acting nuts!!!! For the sake of my sanity, and the rest of you that are feeling the holiday time crunch, I think we should take this week off and chat the weekend after Christmas to see how everyone is doing with their reading.

If anyone has anything they want to post about Part IV this week, please feel free. I'll be checking in and reading your posts. But I'm with Jacqueline...hard to focus on the book with all the happenings this coming week.

Happy holidays!!
post #20 of 197
i have been 6 days in the dark from a power outage from the storms. just got my power back at 10:30p last night! so my vote is after the holidays too!

take care all!
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