Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mindful Motherhood (Book Review)

"Mindful Motherhood"
-Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D

"Mindful motherhood is not about becoming unflappable, aloof, untouchable, or above it all.  Mindful motherhood is being present, aware, and allowing of experience and remaining in your body all the while.  Mindful motherhood is a practice that is living, embodied, down and dirty, sensual, caring, centered and grounded in this world, in this body, in this moment.  It's about being present, in your body, and connected with your baby."

     I would consider this book a must read for all expecting women and mothers alike.  Vieten does a remarkable job at explaining mindfulness in a way that is easy to understand and relate to daily life.  Newcomers to mindfulness can benefit from exercises at the end of each chapter, as well as an online course that compliments the book if they choose to enroll in it.  Even those with experience in the practice of mindfulness can take away a new outlook as it relates to this new stage in their life. 

     Personally I feel that the book has been instrumental in helping me through the end of my pregnancy and as I prepare for childbirth and my new role as my little boy's mommy.  While I enjoyed many of the exercises included in the book, a favorite of mine was the yoga series that I have taken to practicing several times a day.  It has been extremely beneficial in relieving some of the aches, pains, and restlessness that I feel in my body.  

     Also thanks to Vieten's encouraging words through the book I have been able to cultivate an open mind regarding labor and childbirth especially.  I feel confident that going into labor with my mindfulness techniques in tow will allow me to stay calm and be present in the moment, greeting each stage with the attention and loving-kindness it deserves.  Likewise, if any issues shall arise I know that mindfulness will give me the clarity of mind and strength to accept them and make the best choice for both baby and I at the time.  

     Just as the book has helped me through pregnancy and will in the birth of my child, It is very likely that Vieten's techniques and suggestions will continue to be beneficial in rising my little boy.  From being aware of his needs as a tiny infant in my arms to dealing with his meltdowns as a toddler...I can see mindfulness being a part of my parenting style then and beyond.

"It's playing with your baby in the dirt, rather than worrying about how it's going to get cleaned up.  It's spending all morning in bed together, playing peek-a-boo, eating, napping, and cuddling, rather than having the dirty dishes in the sink call you back to work."

Institute of Noetic Sciences. (2014). Mindful motherhood online course. Retrieved 

Vieten, C. (2009). Mindful motherhood: Practical tools for staying sane during 
     pregnancy and your child's first year.  Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 

DISCLAIMER: The content on this blog, www.mind-bodypursuit.blogspot.com, represents the thoughts, ideas, and experiences of its author and should be taken as such…with a grain of salt.  It is for entertainment purposes only and not intended to prevent, diagnose, or cure.  Before trying any new physical activity, dietary plan, supplementation, complementary and alternative therapy, or other wellness tip please seek the guidance of a qualified professional.

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