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“Everyday Blessings” Part V ~ Book Discussion & Tea Party

post #1 of 250
Thread Starter 
On Sunday we’ll be ready to move onto a new chapter, which is in Part V of the book. For the last six months we’ve been the “Mindful Parenting Book Club” in which we have been discussing a chapter each week from “Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting” by Myla and Jon Kabat Zinn,

I hope you like the new thread name which was inspired by our book club’s longevity and b/c somedays I have a hard time focusing on my personal everyday blessings for whatever reason…[I’m attempting not to give any energy to those reasons at the moment]. Therefore, as we continue our discussion here, I would like this to be a place where we can come and focus on the blessings in our daily lives whether those blessings are “good or bad” in our own minds. Sharing our experiences here as wannabe mindful mamas via “EB” has been a gift to us in many ways.

So lets put on a kettle on the stove as we get ready to move onto Part V of “Everyday Blessings” and may we continue to be a blessing to one another here, our children, spouses, which in turn is a huge blessing and gift to the world.

Part V ~ "A Way of Being"
"Pregnancy" pg 153
"Birth" pg 160
"Well-Being" pg 165
"Nourishment" pg 169
"Soul Food" pg 174
"Family Bed" pg 178

I’ll be back on Sunday to discuss the next chapter, “Pregnancy.” Have a great weekend. I’m sending you and the world every mindful vibe in my being.

CLINK (my mug hitting your mug, can, glass, or whatever you’re having )
post #2 of 250
Thread Starter 

Book for sale

FirstTimeMom has a used copy of "EB" on the MDC Trading Post for $9, which includes shipping. Here's the link to the TP~
post #3 of 250
Clink! and Hugs! Looking forward to part V and doing a "new thread" dance.
post #4 of 250
busy but still here!

CL- i loved your "new moon" emoticon! LOL.

i fell behind (if that is possible at our pace) but will be back in the game again asap.

hope all is well everyone!
post #5 of 250
Thread Starter 

Thanks for still being here...:)

Part V: "Pregnancy"~page 153...We're going to forge ahead. Everytime I read this chapter I am amazed and shudder with wonder at the miracle our bodies perform. I dont know where to begin in discussing this chapter. I've been pondering it for weeks. Do I go back to my own birth? Do I go back to the days when I was afraid I would not make a good mother b/c of the way I was mothered or NOT mothered? And then I am reminded of how far I have come as person over the years. Being an AP mother has slowly healed many wounds.

I think I'd like to just meditate a little longer on all these wonders in my heart and mind. I'm feeling very grateful right now for the gift of motherhood. Although sometimes those gifts do get buried under overwhelming feelings from the everyday challenges we face.

What did you get out of this chapter? If you havent read it yet I hope you get a chance to. You dont need to feel obligated to post your thoughts, if you dont have time. Just embrace whatever blessings you get from reading it and know as a mothers we can all relate to the joys and sorrows that pregnancy brings.

O.k. here's one of the many, many, many quotes I underlined in this chapter that was sooo me and maybe you too:
"Prior to getting pregnant, we may have been living our lives in a state pf constant doing, in a sort of hyper drive: fast, relatively unconscious, focused on doing more and more. Then all of the sudden may find ourselves in a slower, more receptive, "being" mode."
I notice that over the last two years since conception that I have slowly shifted from a girl to a woman...as a girl I was very focused on trying to gain approval from others by doing, doing, doing. As a woman I am very focused on my little family and being the best mother and person possible for myself and child.

Happy spring equinox!!! Gotta run...
post #6 of 250
Thread Starter 


...to say sorry for the long and rambling, non-sensical above post! I guess what I should have wrote was that being pregnant was the first time I was more consistantly learning how to be in tune with my mind, my body, my soul, as well as trying to understand the miracle growing inside of me. It was a huge, mindful learning experience. Everything I did was not about me or dh anymore. It was about doing what was best for in the belly. It was the beginning of the conscious of my mind's awakening...which I am finding is a never ending process. KWIM??? Or did I just post another ramble...:
post #7 of 250

Also really busy, but I am still here. I will read and give my thoughts later this week. I had an interestng reaction to being pregnant see.

post #8 of 250
Hi All,

I enjoyed this chapter, too, but after all the reading I did while/about being pg, I thought it pretty much just skimmed the surface. Is it me, or are mkz's chapters a little less deep?

I agree w/CL that my pregnancy was when I first experienced trying to be mindful . . . it was such a, well, pregnant time for me . . . in the sense that I felt my soul and my heart and my chakras blossoming right along with my belly. And also like CL, I believe I truly became MYSELF when I got pg. It's like all the searching I had been doing in my post-college yrs had led me to THAT experience, and I loved every minute of it. In fact, grieved a good bit when I wasn't pg anymore -- kinda funny, huh?

I'll be interested to hear how you mamas experienced this time in your lives . . . My hippie friends seemed to feel similarly to me (special, magical, blessed, blooming) -- in fact, I MET most of them bc we were searching for other pg mamas who wanted to share the spiritual side of it -- but then I have a bunch of "mainstream" friends who almost to a T complain about being pg. They feel bad, want it to be over, "want their bodies back" (hah!), and so on.

So I have this theory (don't flame me, just being honest here) that maybe, sadly, these women will also have trouble surrendering to motherhood. I'm afraid that the resistance they feel now will just continue at each and every stage. I'm watching w/interest.

How about you guys? Did any of you really dread pregnancy? Any of you really sick? Would any of you say that your journey twd mindfulness began AFTER your baby was born? Please note that I'm not judging . . . I'm truly curious, bc if some of you wonderful, spiritual women had tough times in pg, you can help me to re-frame how I see my friends' experiences.

Please share.

(No more wine for me . . . had THREE glasses last night at a birthday party and I believe I was actually DRUNK! Not fun, not fun. Doogie was okay though -- didn't seem to feel the effects, thank goodness.)

I raise my ginger beer to you all!
post #9 of 250
Thread Starter 

Me again!

Thanks for the thoughtful post, Breathe! Great wonderings...I'm curious to know what the others will say about their pg's too. I thought MKZ did o.k. with this chapter. I think she was trying to be as mindful as possible in the chapter...She touched on so many things and if she would have dug really DEEP it could have been a book in itself maybe?

I had terrible morning sickness...I couldnt eat or smell certain things w/o wanting to barf. But I had waited so long to be a mama that I totally wanted to surrender to my embroyo. But that doesnt mean I was able to completely surrender...I complained a little that I was tired and that no one could understand my mood swings and what I was going thru.

Dh was let go from his job in Texas when I was six months pg and we had just bought a house. He moved back to where we live now to try to get his old job back. Meanwhile I got our house sold and we were reunited when I was 8 months along and we drove away into the sunset....That was a huge obstacle and yet a wonderful bonding time for ds and I, while he was in the belly. It also made us realize that whatever we were doing with our lives, we needed to be much more mindful of the consequences...like moving, changing jobs...EVERYTHING was a lot of work pregnant and would be much more complicated with a child.

Pregnancy was just the beginning for me too! And I agree all that soul searching up until that point seemed did seem to pay off somehow, and I knew instantly that being a mom (even when pg) was that something that was missing. I think if I hadnt of surrendered, I would still be searching for whatever I was looking for.

post #10 of 250
Random thoughts, quickly ~

Pregnancy and birth are obstetrical, medical events now. There is no sense of patience, growing, building, changing ... I think if fewer women made a medical problem out of it and were able to perceive it as a normal stage and family event, more women would be able to go with the flow instead of battle against it.

"Getting my body back" -- yes, yes, so common in this country ... Women perceive pregnancy and birth as a nuisance. I revel in my pregnancy, my birthing, my nursing, my mothering ... If you are so busy "getting through it" and pushing your family and children to become independent and doing too many things, you become so overscheduled that you have no inner life. There's no hope for a family that is so overscheduled in this way. They really can't develop an inner life -- no time.

So hmm, perhaps finding that inner life through parenting is relatively easy (moreso than people choosing to work on their inner lives at other points in their lives) because we have a ready-made view port inside ourselves. We see inside our bodies during pregnancy, we see inside love and trust and relationship-building as we raise our families ... The tools practically demand that we use them.

Frankly, it boggles my mind that parents can't see what's happening right before their eyes. The beautiful flower that's unfolding. I guess they are in too much of a hurry to get to the next event on the calendar. :
post #11 of 250
I really struggle with the whole overscheduling thing. I'm happiest when I'm very busy. Which is probably not a good thing. But I'm working on it. (Really, I am!) Today we left the house just before 10 am and got home at 6:45 pm. We went to a playgroup then lunch then a scrapbook store then the doctor then the grocery store. Meg freaked in the car on the way from the SB store to the dr. and then was OK but I definitely pushed her too far. Was going to go to a toddler LLL mtg. tomorrow morning as we are having toddler nursing issues, but maybe it would be better for us both to stay home.

Here's an interesting article on stillness I got from another list I'm on (not an Oprah list!) http://www.oprah.com/spiritself/know...slide_01.jhtml
post #12 of 250
I found the *way* I approach my busy-ness has a stronger effect on my psyche (and DD's) than the actual number of hours I'm gone or the number of places I go, Analisa. If we take our time and focus on the things we see -- loads of talking, yes, it's incredibly, *painstakingly* mindful -- then the trip becomes all about being together. I hate when I'm out and I realize I haven't been conversing with DD. What a lousy way to live, ignoring someone you love.

Anyway, if you love to stay busy, I don't see why that can't be a wonderful, bonding experience for you and DD as long as you do it mindfully .
post #13 of 250
Lisa, that makes me feel so much better! Because that's exactly how it is! We talk, sing, and enjoy being together constantly! In fact, since I knew we'd be gone so much today I was making an extra effort to do just that. Wow, I so feel better. Thanks!

Just stressed out tonight b/c I'm having a bad rxn to a tetanus booster (severe muscle pain a week later - I sliced my finger with the kitchen knife last week and had to get five stitches). AND we have breast yeast and thrush. And my cholesterol is too high, despite having lost 35 pounds since August.
post #14 of 250
my 1st pg at 21 yrs old was what i considered my "emotional life saver" in that i found a postive direction to focus my emotional turmoil toward. it fueled much of my passion to do things differently and think alternatively, and be totally accountable for my baby. it grew me up and down and all around. i have so much gratitude for my dd having gone through that journey with me.

then 11 years ltr i am pg with ds, and realize how much more i still needed to learn. and ds straightened me out quick when the pg became high risk (from his miscarried twin) and i was forced to bed rest for 6 of those pg months. now THERE was some time for soul searching! and boy did i search. after a day of "hey, i can play solitare and read magazines and books", i went straight to bed rest hell with depression and anxiety, and low self esteem and worth, and and and and.

my gem from it all was realizing how much emphasis my self worth derived from my "doing", and not from just my "being". it was my one of my many break throughs and has much more punch behind it than those simple words can relay. kind of like "you had to be there".

so all of the emotional energy that fueled my motivation to "do" has come full circle into "being" with my 2nd. from the moment he was born i saw the world through his eyes and empathized with every single thing he might have been subjected to, and consequently never let him out of my reach.

i am so proud to recognize that my parenting is so much more from an intuitive as needed basis, rather than a pre planned idea of how things are supposed to be.

while i attribute much of that to time and maturity, i also recognize how this 2nd pg and it's complication really whipped me into shape to remind me how fast paced i had allowed my life to become, and how no matter how much i tried, i was forced to slow down and fathom what might happen if i couldn't be at work, home, shopping, wifing, cooking, cleaning, and everythinging all at once.

the world kept going, nobody died, work still thrived, the dust collected just fine.
post #15 of 250
Logged on last night to read posts, but didn't have the energy to reply - laughed, though, when I read your post, El - I was drinking a Stewart's ginger beer while reading. *clink!*

I LOVED being pg. All of the changes my body went through were remarkable to me. We were trying to get pg for well over a year (I have a connective tissue thing similar to lupus, so we knew it would take a while), and when we finally did - WOW! Pretty cool stuff. Perhaps it's different if you get pg quickly??? Or if it is unplanned? I don't know.

I, too, am saddened by women who treat pregnancy as something to be "gotten through." Yes, there are difficult days, days when you're tired, sore, or scared. But those are the days when the whole thing feels like such a miracle, too - it's such a small price to pay to bring another soul to earth! I could really envision myself pg again - just can't envision myself going through the sleep-deprivation of teething again (LOL)!

I thought the chapter was pretty basic, too, but what can you do in just one chapter? Hard to do justice to something so completely, totally life-changing and miraculous in only a few pages.
post #16 of 250
Originally posted by Breathe
So I have this theory (don't flame me, just being honest here) that maybe, sadly, these women will also have trouble surrendering to motherhood. I'm afraid that the resistance they feel now will just continue at each and every stage. I'm watching w/interest.

How about you guys? Did any of you really dread pregnancy? Any of you really sick? Would any of you say that your journey twd mindfulness began AFTER your baby was born?
I was one of those women! I hated being pregnant and I had a really pretty easy pregnancy. NO sickness and not too much discomfort if that is possible with large heavy thing riding in your pelvis I never really complained though. I didn't want it to be over because I knew that then I would be a mommy and that scared me even more

It was more of an emotional time for me. I really freaked out and worried that I would not be up to motherhood. I felt like my body was invaded and I really resented people constantly asking and talking about being pregnant. As if that was all I was anymore, a uterus with legs. THe miracle never occured to me because I was so freaked out. I would say that I was completely detached and I was afraid of losing my wholeness and my self.

But I think that for me that was the best possible pregnancy. I didn't want to think ahead of what to do once I had the baby. Besides a "I will give BFing my best shot (and when I say that I usually succeed at something) and my goal os to BF for a year" attitude, I didn't make any decision about anything else.
So once I had DD I HAD to surrender because she was a high need baby, and I hadn't figured out how to do that. So I put her in my bed, carried her as much as possible and it transformed the mother I could have been into the mother I am. And, in spite of less than perfect behavior on my part, I feel that I am a very attuned and surrendered and (attempting to be) mindful mother. If I had read up in advance, I would have been very mainstream (maybe, maybe I would have seen the light after all). And my mainstream friends I support as much as possible with the realizaton that they are trying to do their best too. They are just reading the wrong books and looking at the rest of society for their cues. Oh, and I am still BFing! at 19 months. I NEVER thought I would be BFing still and most people think I am crazy!

I often think I would like to get pregnant again. THis time I would know it would all be OK and perhaps I could surrender to it and enjoy the miracle and the inward mindfulness. But then I realize I have to put up with the nightwaking again. And we are still putting up with it. I have high hopes for the final teeth being in... Oh, and I would do family bed from the outset. But I feel fine about putting DD to bed in ehr own bed at the beginning of the evening so I would do that too. Of course the next baby would probably have their crib in our room till s/he was able to sleep in the room with DD.

So El, I am the other pregnant people. Even mainstream friends don't seem to freak out like I did though.

clink (my coffee)
post #17 of 250
Jacq, that's quite a story! Thanks for telling it! My pg was tough, despite the fact that I had wanted it for at least a couple of years (though hadn't actually tried until the month we conceived). I did revel in the miracle and all that, but I was also scared and very nauseus (I can NEVER spell that). I haven't read the chapter yet, though. Clink (coffee - decaf b/c it's afternoon).
post #18 of 250
Thread Starter 

Wanna post a reply to everyone's experiences!!!!

Sitting back and taking it all in AND sending out loving vibes to all....Loving everyone's thoughts and finding your pregnancy experiences to be very interesting reading. I'll be back tomorrow, when I'm not so !

post #19 of 250
Hello, tribe! my water glass clinks your more exciting beverage. i'm parched as the dessert right now as my moon is rising.

Thanks for sharing your stories and making me remember almost 2 years ago.

Ahhh, pregnancy! I definitely wallowed in it, feeling both amazing and scared and just wanting to soak the whole transition up (hence the word liminal, meaning threshhold, in my username). I remember napping religiously (even when I couldn't get myself to fall asleep), making endless excuses for not getting work done, feeling nauseous for the first trimester, but also feeling magical, feeling like i wanted to remember being on the cusp of parenthood and thinking way too much about the type of parent that I wanted to be.

I was in no hurry for Finn (or Ringo as he was called in uterus) to be born, not that I didn't want to meet him, but I tried to be patient and let my body call the shots.

I look forward to being pregnant again sometime I think but I'm already a little sad that I won't be able to wallow as much. I hate the idea of being stressed during pregnancy, not being able to at a moment's notice feed a craving. I think that's part of the reason that I can't imagine doing it anytime soon or with a toddler for that matter. Not to mention parenting two (boggles my mind), but I'm sure that you develop the skills necessary to cope with whatever the situation offers, right? Still, waiting for awhile seems to be the best option for us right now, though baby lust is very seductive..... Anyone else thinking ahead to next time

post #20 of 250
Hi all!

Good to settle in with you and a cup of tea (I actually did just make myself one!)

Thank you for sharing these pregnancy stories!! I did just read the chapter over last night (this was my favorite section the first time around too, Heather!) and found it strange to read... I feel sort of distanced from that time now, and the *obsession* I had with thinking/reading/devouring all info related to pregnancy & birthing has faded.

But reading your stories was a wonderful new window into your mothering paths. And it did have me thinking of mine again. Sophie was not the product of intentional 'planning' or trying. We had been married 2 years but thought vaguely we would wait another 2. This was more dh's desire - I was beginning to have very strong longings for motherhood. When my period was late I was nervous about his reaction, just that he would be so shocked -- fortunately he was able to be thrilled from the first.

At the risk of giving away too much info about myself if anyone reading this knows me, but oh well -- Dh was facing trial for a peace action months before, and it happened when I was 8 weeks pregnant. Much to everyone's surprise, he got an unprecedented 6 month sentence.

Now I wouldn't have 'chosen' this, but it really was an amazing time. Yes, we were apart, but it gave each of us so much space for introspection, reading, prayer, thought. He used it as a period of self-improvement, and I was so wrapped up in the changes within me, my own preparations, etc, that the time alone was very special. I missed him terribly, but with letter writing daily (who ever does that anymore when you are married?) and long uninterrupted visits in the prison visiting room, (plus no squabbles over stupid household stuff, lol!) our relationship was the strongest it's ever been.

And I had a sense, though I didn't know the extent of it, that I'd never be alone in the same way again. So I revelled in baths, naps, daily walks, read dozens of novels. I don't have to tell any of you how rare those things are since her birth!

I also regained a yoga practiced and healthy eating during that time, and while I felt like *crap* (really really bad) for weeks 7-12, the next few months I felt amazing -- more energy than pre-pregnancy, and an actual sex-drive which isn't my strong suit (and which hasn't been heard from since, ) When dh returned at my 8th month it was a beautiful reunion!

Also, all the letter writing and journaling was very meditative, and I would say it was a very mindful time overall.

Nap time's almost over -- back to the dishes and a few minutes of the NPR news, which gets more horrible each day .

love, anne
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