Remembering To Be Mindful

I grew up watching Ruby Wax on UK television.

If my, now fading, memory serves me correctly, there was one show I particularly enjoyed, where Ruby went out and about meeting people. And that’s as much as I can remember about the detail. In my defence we are going back a couple of decades.

What I do remember is she was funny. I have always found Ruby Wax very funny.

I’m intrigued by those who are unapologetically themselves. That lack of insecurity is very appealing. To be so comfortable in your own skin surely is something we all aspire to. Even if, sometimes, it divides opinion and favour.

One of my mantras is ‘Be true to you’.

So, when I heard Ruby’s voice on BBC Radio 2, being interviewed about her new book, my ears pricked up.  I downed tools (aka moved away from my pc) and sat in a comfy chair. Then I listened, mindfully, to her.

After the interview, I downloaded her book *‘Sane New World’. Any book that covers psychology and is written by a comedian is going to be my kind of book.

This isn’t a book review, rather I  would like to share something.

I soon read the book, enjoying the content and the style. The subject matter of ‘being mindful’ is something that I am interested in, and strive to practice in my daily life.

But I’m not perfect – no-one is. From time to time I forget to be mindful.

And when that happens I remind myself that;

‘The days are long, but the years are short’ Gretchen Rubin.

When I remember that, this is how I remind myself to be mindful (in the present) with my children:

  • When they talk – I listen.
  • When they ask questions – I answer them, as honestly as I can.
  • When they give me a gift – I show gratitude.
  • When they want to sit and just be physically close – I do that (even if we only have a minute or 2 spare)
  • When they read – I sit with them and listen, answering questions as they arise.
  • When they want to try something new – I support them.
  • When they make a mess – I help them to clean it up. After all actions speak louder than words.
  • When they are sad – I empathise, and demonstrate they are not alone.
  • When they are happy – I celebrate with them.

There are no perfect parents, just those who try to do the best they can.

Remembering that children live in a different time-frame is important. They live for the present.

BeFunky_Joanne aged 6.jpg

Children do not need to practice mindfullness. It’s their default mode. It’s what adults start to lose, as we mature and commitments and responsibilities increase.

In the words of Ruby Wax herself ‘Yes Oprah, I’m available’.

And over to you. How do you remember to live in the present and enjoy the fleeting moments that arise and so quickly disappear in the busyness of the 21st century?

(Just to add, interestingly when I read Ruby’s book, I discovered that insecurity has been very much a part of her life. That I, without doubt, got very wrong from watching her on TV)

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Vicki@ Vee's Easy Vegan May 20, 2014, 9:45 pm

    These days I take the time to remember to slow down. I was always on over drive, the way my mind works, trying to get things done. I find when I slow down I am able to function better, able to be a better mum and partner and am ultimately better to me. Meditation has helped in this regard.

    I once had this indigenous elder tell a story of racing up the highway in his small car speeding to try and out run a large truck. They were being macho and competitive and the elder mentioned how he realised by speeding and being a tough guy he was putting himself in danger. In that moment he took his foot off the peddle by an inch and slowed down and the truck sped past. He said that by slowing down his adrenal slowed down, his mind calmed and he was driving at a safe speed. This always stuck with me as a reminder to slow down.

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:48 am

      Great story Vicki! And it’s reminded me, I need to drop you a mail!

  • Vicki@ Vee's Easy Vegan May 20, 2014, 9:45 pm

    These days I take the time to remember to slow down. I was always on over drive, the way my mind works, trying to get things done. I find when I slow down I am able to function better, able to be a better mum and partner and am ultimately better to me. Meditation has helped in this regard.

    I once had this indigenous elder tell a story of racing up the highway in his small car speeding to try and out run a large truck. They were being macho and competitive and the elder mentioned how he realised by speeding and being a tough guy he was putting himself in danger. In that moment he took his foot off the peddle by an inch and slowed down and the truck sped past. He said that by slowing down his adrenal slowed down, his mind calmed and he was driving at a safe speed. This always stuck with me as a reminder to slow down.

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:48 am

      Great story Vicki! And it’s reminded me, I need to drop you a mail!

  • Clare May 21, 2014, 1:53 am

    Cute photo 🙂 I started a new routine for the new term (it’s week 3 this week) and these are some of the things we’ve been doing that are working really well to help me/us be more in the moment:
    – I walk to school and home again with the kids as often as possible. No matter how much rushing and stressing happens in those few moments before we leave the house, once we are walking, we have at least ten minutes of wonderful time together, just being present and enjoying each other’s company and it’s a great time of connection before we get home.
    – I also have an alarm go on my phone a couple of times in the afternoon/evening reminding me to ‘be calm and gentle’ so I stop rushing or getting caught up in things and to chill out!
    – Family games in the evening are not only bringing us closer, but both kids are having to deal with not winning! They still don’t deal with losing well! You can’t not be in the present when you’re playing a board game 🙂
    – I a still struggling with being really present when the kids are talking to me, because they both talk continuously!!!!
    – lots of cuddles 🙂
    I must add the Ruby Wax book to my reading list 🙂

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:50 am

      Fab list Clare. Walking to school is definitely being in the present – if you take the time to make it. We play a game where we spot things.
      Your new routine sounds great. As ‘not a morning person’ I do struggle still with getting into gear before school – but I’m aware of that and do try.

      The book is really good. And really funny. If you find Ruby Wax funny.

      • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:51 am

        I need to mail you also!

        • Clare May 22, 2014, 10:39 am

          You know, I could just mail you instead 🙂 There have been a couple of additions to the Monster High family that a certain 9 year old would love to discuss with another Monster High fan 🙂 We’ve got them all displayed on the top of her bookcase, I think they are the thing she is most proud of in her room! I discovered Gretchen Rubin after you recommended her, and I thought, seeing as how she loves them so much, they shouldn’t be in a box! We should make a shrine to Monster High! And it has brought her so much enjoyment 🙂

  • Clare May 21, 2014, 1:53 am

    Cute photo 🙂 I started a new routine for the new term (it’s week 3 this week) and these are some of the things we’ve been doing that are working really well to help me/us be more in the moment:
    – I walk to school and home again with the kids as often as possible. No matter how much rushing and stressing happens in those few moments before we leave the house, once we are walking, we have at least ten minutes of wonderful time together, just being present and enjoying each other’s company and it’s a great time of connection before we get home.
    – I also have an alarm go on my phone a couple of times in the afternoon/evening reminding me to ‘be calm and gentle’ so I stop rushing or getting caught up in things and to chill out!
    – Family games in the evening are not only bringing us closer, but both kids are having to deal with not winning! They still don’t deal with losing well! You can’t not be in the present when you’re playing a board game 🙂
    – I a still struggling with being really present when the kids are talking to me, because they both talk continuously!!!!
    – lots of cuddles 🙂
    I must add the Ruby Wax book to my reading list 🙂

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:50 am

      Fab list Clare. Walking to school is definitely being in the present – if you take the time to make it. We play a game where we spot things.
      Your new routine sounds great. As ‘not a morning person’ I do struggle still with getting into gear before school – but I’m aware of that and do try.

      The book is really good. And really funny. If you find Ruby Wax funny.

      • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:51 am

        I need to mail you also!

        • Clare May 22, 2014, 10:39 am

          You know, I could just mail you instead 🙂 There have been a couple of additions to the Monster High family that a certain 9 year old would love to discuss with another Monster High fan 🙂 We’ve got them all displayed on the top of her bookcase, I think they are the thing she is most proud of in her room! I discovered Gretchen Rubin after you recommended her, and I thought, seeing as how she loves them so much, they shouldn’t be in a box! We should make a shrine to Monster High! And it has brought her so much enjoyment 🙂

  • Miranda B May 21, 2014, 4:46 pm

    Amazing blog post. Ruby Wax is simply awesome and her book is sensational. Her work has been inspiring. Thank you for sharing such a great post.

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:56 am

      Thank you Miranda. I have been over to yours and lifted this video – which I have not yet watched but sharing here will remind me to do so.

      • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:57 am

        oops my coding didn’t work! I’ll pop back over, watch video and share on social media…

        • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 9:08 am

          Watched and shared on Twitter – great lead in to reading the book for those who haven’t – Twitter feed on side of blog.

  • Miranda B May 21, 2014, 4:46 pm

    Amazing blog post. Ruby Wax is simply awesome and her book is sensational. Her work has been inspiring. Thank you for sharing such a great post.

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:56 am

      Thank you Miranda. I have been over to yours and lifted this video – which I have not yet watched but sharing here will remind me to do so.

      • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:57 am

        oops my coding didn’t work! I’ll pop back over, watch video and share on social media…

        • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 9:08 am

          Watched and shared on Twitter – great lead in to reading the book for those who haven’t – Twitter feed on side of blog.

  • ~Carla~ May 22, 2014, 4:00 am

    I am honestly forever aiming for “simplicity” in my life, but I struggle with it fiercely. I try to remember that the days & moments are fleeting and i’ll never get them back again… time is *now*.

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:58 am

      Hey Carla – lovely to hear from you! We all forget to slow down. This post was as much a reminder to me as it was to share my thoughts!

  • ~Carla~ May 22, 2014, 4:00 am

    I am honestly forever aiming for “simplicity” in my life, but I struggle with it fiercely. I try to remember that the days & moments are fleeting and i’ll never get them back again… time is *now*.

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 8:58 am

      Hey Carla – lovely to hear from you! We all forget to slow down. This post was as much a reminder to me as it was to share my thoughts!

  • Nissa May 22, 2014, 5:10 pm

    For me, what has helped being mindful, is unplugging from social media. I don’t carry my smart phone in my pocket anymore. Also, thanks for sharing your words : )

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 5:31 pm

      Now I could do with doing just that. Phones are very tempting when you get 5 mins spare when out and about…

  • Nissa May 22, 2014, 5:10 pm

    For me, what has helped being mindful, is unplugging from social media. I don’t carry my smart phone in my pocket anymore. Also, thanks for sharing your words : )

    • simplybeingmum May 22, 2014, 5:31 pm

      Now I could do with doing just that. Phones are very tempting when you get 5 mins spare when out and about…

  • Jo H. May 24, 2014, 6:23 pm

    I seem to have the opposite problem – always did. I’m so in the moment I don’t get as much done as I should. There is a happy balance, and some of us have to approach it from the opposite end 🙂

  • Jo H. May 24, 2014, 6:23 pm

    I seem to have the opposite problem – always did. I’m so in the moment I don’t get as much done as I should. There is a happy balance, and some of us have to approach it from the opposite end 🙂

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