How to use mindfulness while you're taking a shower and your toddler is crying

How to use mindfulness while you’re taking a shower and your toddler is crying

Once you really get the hang of mindfulness practice, you realize you can use it anywhere, even in ridiculous situations (such as the title of this blog post).  You don’t have to stop what you’re doing in order to be mindful (but you do have to change what you’re thinking).

I think the shower is a great place to practice mindfulness.  It is full of a lot of sensory input especially with touch and smell (unless if you use all unscented things). The awesome thing about a shower (or bath) is that your biggest organ (your skin) is getting a lot of attention!  The nice warm water hitting your skin over and over again…..  It’s pretty awesome.

New moms (and dads too) talk about how they can’t even shower in peace.  And for me that is true.  My little one stands by the shower screaming because I am not available to her.  But with some singing and playing peek-a-boo with the shower curtain, showers can be tolerable.

I don’t want to be singing twinkle twinkle and playing peek-a-boo with the shower curtain, I want to go back to my peaceful, mindful showers….

My solution may sound silly to most people, but hey, I do what works.  I’m all about efficiency.

The other day I experimented and decided to sing my mindful thoughts in the shower.  I sang about the warm water hitting my skin, the white soap bubbles on my legs, the lovely smell of lavender shampoo…. And much much more.  I basically just sang everything I was noticing about my experience and engaging the use of my senses.

Mindfulness doesn’t need to be a relaxing serene experience.  It can involve singing what you’re noticing while your child is unhappy.  It is in that moment that you are not thinking “this is the worst shower in the world” or “will you please stop crying, I’m right here!” You’re noticing what you’re experiencing, and simultaneously calming your child with you’re amazing vocal talents. The serenity comes from the absence of negative thoughts.

I hope this example illustrates that mindfulness can be used anywhere, all the time.  I have clients that are the overly-busy sort and sometimes send messages like, “I don’t have time to do your skills but fix my anxiety anyway.” One of the most difficult things about anxiety treatment is taking the time to work on getting better. These “hacks” come in really handy if you feel you don’t have the time to use the skills.  Parents especially complain of this so I thought this funny example would be helpful as often people might ask how to me mindful when there is a toddler around… or child or any other time demanding responsibility…

If you can’t make lifestyle changes yet, or if your circumstance doesn’t allow you to quietly sip tea outside and watch the leave rustling in the light wind, you can still be mindful, you can still stop the negative thoughts, and you can still experience peace of mind.

Give it a try… let me know how it works for you :)

Can I be my authentic self if I wear makeup

Can I be my Authentic Self if I wear Makeup?

I felt inspired to write this blog post after my friend Anne Van Dusen  posted a picture of herself in her natural hair color, gray (or silver if you will).  I am not at that point in my life of making the decision that many women go through of, “do i dye my hair? Or let it turn and show the world my age?!”  Personally I could not relate; however, it brought up an issue that I HAVE struggled with that is similar and mainly another female struggle.

I value authenticity (no duh).  I have been on a journey of working toward my authentic self and plan to continue on this journey for quite some time.

If you know me, you know I’m not a “makeup person.”  I have friends who are makeup people and I have friends who don’t wear makeup at all.  There are a lot of beliefs that people hold about makeup.  Why we wear it, how much we should wear, what kind to wear.  It’s actually pretty complicated (or so it seems to someone like me).

I first started wanting to wear makeup when I was an early teen and would take my moms stuff to try and hide my breakouts.  I really never got “fully” into makeup.  A part of me always felt guilty for wearing it.

Why guilty?

I would hear things like “well, you don’t need to wear makeup… I need to wear it… but you don’t”  Or “makeup is fake, you don’t want to be fake” or “makeup makes some people look so ugly”  and on and on negative comments about makeup.

I was afraid of the message I would send if I wore makeup.  Am I telling the world I’m not pretty?  What if I do it wrong and look worse?  I don’t want to seem fake….

Down and down into the spiral of the makeup conundrum.

Over the past 15+ years I’ve always worn what I consider to be minimal makeup and often don’t wear it as well.  I’ve never developed a good relationship with makeup but we have coexisted as part of necessity to cover blemishes, part of being a woman, and being careful not to overuse for fear of fakeness. (that doesn’t seem to be a word)

A few years ago I wanted to try and give up makeup.  I can’t remember the exact reasons but maybe because my husband isn’t a big makeup fan, or maybe because I wanted to save time in the morning, or maybe it was because of the person I wanted to present to the world as not caring about how I looked and being OK with the natural thing.

I went a while without wearing makeup, but after a week or so I found myself wanting to put it on.  Not because I HAD to, but because I WANTED to.  There was learning here but I didn’t adequately reflect upon it.

The question remains, can I be my authentic self, if I wear makeup??

Does your authentic self wear makeup?
Do you like makeup?
Do you WANT to wear makeup?
Are you wearing it out of necessity?
Do you do it because you think you’re ugly?
Do you wear it because it feels good?
Does someone else want you to wear makeup?
Does someone else NOT want you to wear makeup?
Are you experiencing “BUTS” like  “I want to wear makeup but….” or “I don’t want to wear makeup but….”

By going through these questions and analyzing more about WHY you wear or don’t wear makeup, you’ll come to realize more about what you truly WANT to do and if your authentic self is someone who does or doesn’t wear makeup or anything in between!! Remember answers don’t have to be black and white!!

You might find that some days you want to wear makeup and other days you don’t!

Am I authentic if I change my mind like that?  Shouldn’t I be the same every day?!

I think this is a myth too.  We find what we like and then we need to stick to it, unwavering, or else we might be seen as the flip flop politician.

Newsflash, you’re allowed to change your mind.  You don’t need to be the SAME every day.  We are not the same every day!! We learn, we grow, we experiencing things…. All these things require change!

Does your authentic self wear makeup?  Yes, no, sometimes… only you can answer that question.  Hopefully this blog post will help you through the makeup conundrum or something similar.  As it doesn’t have to be about makeup…. that was just the example I used :)