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  • Maria

Stop, Breathe and Smile

Updated: Apr 29

Hello beautiful people!

It’s me again. How has your week been? If it has been anything like mine then, roll on the weekend! Living with two teenage boys and a husband can be challenging sometimes. It’s just always so busy and there is always so much to do. Sometimes, it feels like I literally fly through my week. Like I have wings, I’m moving that fast. This week for instance, I have been constantly in the car driving the boys from one place to the other and if I’m not in the car, I’m cooking, cleaning, shopping, unpacking (we moved yet again) or doing some work for my former boss.

When do I get time to do the stuff I want to do, like writing and talking to you guys?

Well, that’s the thing. If you don’t make time, you’ll never get around to the stuff you want to do. There will always be someone willing to pull at you and get you to do stuff for them. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I love my husband, but if you give them even a hint of a possibility that you will do their ‘stuff’ for them, they’ll gladly load it on to you.

Us, mothers have a tendency to accept all the crap that comes with a family, just to make sure we keep the wheels turning and everything gets done – but at what price?

Very often, mothers tend to be the ‘hub’ of the family around which everything rotates. Even the father often rotates around the mother. The mother is often the one who organises the house, knows where stuff is and therefore is the reference point for most queries. This can be tiring in itself but add to this all the cooking, cleaning, washing, driving, homework etc and it can be overwhelming especially if you have a job to boot!

There was a time when I was constantly stressed, agitated and tired. Both my husband and I had busy full-time jobs but he seemed to handle it better than me. He often said to me “I don’t know why you let things get to you so much”. On reflection, the reason why things got to me so much was because I was not giving myself time. Time to read a book, or to have a long bath or to meet a friend for coffee. I was not giving myself a morning off to go shopping or do whatever the heck I wanted to do for myself.

I decided to quit my job. Guess what? Time heals all wounds…even the wounds of stress.

Fast forward three years, a rather substantial change in employment and lifestyle and have things REALLY changed?

Well, I have to admit that yes things have changed for the better. I made more time for myself and I decided to get myself sorted out from both a health and spiritual perspective. The first year, because I had completely changed my lifestyle, I found myself alone quite a lot.

This was a good thing, though!

However, as time has moved on every member of the family has integrated into our new way of life. Life is slower and more family focused. Yet, like everything as we settled into the new routine, along came new commitments, schedules, meetings and appointments. This is all very natural and positive. However, it’s important to stand back every now and then and take stock.

Are things snowballing out of control again? Are we taking on too much? Does life feel too hectic?

If it smells like a snowball and tastes like a snowball, then it’s time to stop and smell the flowers! Rest, put your feet up. Cancel that meeting you have this afternoon or tell the football coach the boys can’t make it this afternoon – their mum is taking a rest!

We need to do this more often. We need to SELF CARE regularly. Do you know why? Because if we are not enjoying our lives then what is it all for? What is all the running for, if it is not fun? If we don’t have a smile on our faces at least half the time, then there is something not right in our lives.

If we run around too much, then the smiles disappear and the stress appears, the moaning under our breath starts up and people around start to feel uncomfortable in our presence. Life becomes less fun, stress mounts even more and before we know it, we are in a spiraling cycle of stress and moaning all day long.

I have made it my mission for the rest of my life to stop myself when I start to feel that urge to move faster, that urge to beep at the driver in front of me for being hesitant, that urge to scream at my kids because we are going to be late. I have made it my mission to make myself stop, rest and smile. Drop everything if you have to, even for just a minute and take that time to breathe and regroup. This allows you to consciously change your attitude towards your day.

You will never get this day back again and like Deepak Chopra says regularly all we have is the present moment. The past is gone and the present hasn’t happened yet so live in the present. Mark Twain also had a great quote about this “Don't live in the past, don't ponder about the future, stay at the present moment now...always.”

If we all prioritised mindfulness and following this little sequence of actions, stop - breathe - smile, then life in our world would be that little bit nicer and a little bit less stressed.

Namaste people


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