There are so many experts and studies on the value of mindfulness. And I suspect, it will continue to grow as the number of distractions in our lives grow. And, yes, meditation does work, but there are so many of us with children underfoot all day long there’s not much time for sitting in quiet trying not to think.
In fact, many of my own attempts to meditate even first thing in the morning have been interrupted. My new book “The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Savoring Slow” is about living a mindful, intentional life all day long without ever actually sitting down on a meditation cushion.
So I want to share what I do to bring myself back to being focused on one thing and one thing only.
Talking to myself.
I first talk to myself in the morning when I set my daily intention for how I want the day to flow. And then I step right into my life armed with mantras I can repeat over and over again until I get it right. And when I’m failing in all of this, I use positive statements to bring me back to center and try again.
Through this self-talk, I am able to stay in the moment longer and more frequently and also to intentionally limit the number of distractions I allow myself to get influenced by in single day. These statements are meant to be lived as much as they are stated in your head. These mantras for busy moms are meant to be used over and over until we get it. Finally.
Introducing … more 4 Mantras for Busy Moms.
The Do One Thing or Do Nothing Mantra
Once you see the value in putting all of yourself into a moment or a single task — uni-tasking — it’s easy to return to it again and again.
This applies to everything. Do one thing or do nothing simply means if you can’t put all of your effort into something, then don’t do it.
Do one thing that is big that week.
Do one activity per day, per week, per month.
The power of one is incredible when you make it an intentional choice.
This rule is pretty simple. When I’m with my kids, I’m with my kids. When I’m working, I’m working.
There are always exceptions, but this is the rule.
And, yes, rules are meant to be broken now and then. Let it go.
The One Slow Thing Mantra
It can be easy to give ourselves the impression we need to do every single thing slow and easy all day.
We are always searching for that magic bullet — the fast fix — for what’s ailing our lives right now. And, let’s face it, some days there is a lot ailing us.
And while we’re searching, we realize all that we need to do to change things for the better, and we want to implement them all right now!
We think this will finally bring happiness.
I admit I have been guilty of this myself.
The truth is that none of it works when it’s all tossed into the same pot at once.
The One Slow Thing per day mantra takes all of that away. We no longer have to do everything slowly — unless it works out that way — and it will if you want it to, eventually.
One Slow Thing per day takes away the guilt and the pressure to be perfect all day long and lets you start with baby steps of slowing down. Maybe you lead up to One Slow Thing per morning and then per afternoon and then per evening. Same for the weekends, too.
Life is so much simpler when we realize we don’t need to do everything in one day — not even the slow stuff.
But when we choose do to one slow thing per day, we’re permitting ourselves to do something that is possible.
And the possibilities are endless.
The Joy Lives Here Mantra
So many of us are busy doing too much.
And we have many other things we want to do, perhaps that we haven’t found the time for in our lives.
Those things are no less important, but there just isn’t enough time in the day.
Dinner needs to be made. The floor needs to be swept. The to-dos creep in and pile up and grow like weeds.
Except once you realize that doing the good stuff first makes the other stuff more fun, you learn to trade things around in your schedule. This is when we repeat Joy Lives Here. This is a transition mantra as much as it is a live-in-the-moment mantra.
So set a timer for joy. Actually set a timer on your stove or phone or watch and seek out a fun task for a half hour or longer. Give yourself that gift of play and being in the moment. And once the time runs out, slowly return to your busy life, if you need to.
Setting a timer for joy can work for many things. Set a timer for joy to take care of yourself. Or even for working on a special project that has been on your mind.
This habit of focusing is not about making ourselves slaves to time but rather releasing the hold the to-do list has over us all day long. Eventually, you won’t need to set that timer because you will automatically add in the good stuff because it feels good.
The Everything I Need is Here Mantra
We all get in the middle of something and think of something else. We’ll talk more about how to avoid this later. But for now it’s important to go back to the beginning of this book and think about what you value, what’s most important.
If playing and connecting as a family is important, you should know that’s all you need right now. I’m not saying all you need to do. I’m saying all you need.
There’s a big difference.
What you have to do will get done as it needs to get done and in the order it needs to be accomplished. What you need, however, is a different story and deserves a more prominent place on your to-do list and in your mind.
By saying to yourself repeatedly, “Everything I need is here,” you are allowing yourself to relax and feel content, which is the first step to not feeling distracted and torn by all the other things that need to be done.
If you got sick tomorrow, your floors would still be sticky and the grass would need to be mowed, but you wouldn’t do any of it because you are sick.
You should take care of your self and your basic needs.