There are so many positive things happening via social media. For example, through Instagram, we’ve been able to collab with, partner and befriend so many amazing souls that we would have perhaps never crossed paths with otherwise. It’s truly an amazing time. One of the beautiful connections we made recently was with Archana – who is the soulful spirit behind @presentfullmama and also an associate marriage and family therapist. With it being Positive Thinking Day, we wanted to share with all of you, some of the things that Archana has shared with us that helps her keep the positive vibes flowing as busy mommas. Thank you so much, Archana…it’s truly our privilege to know you.
1. Healthy containment with your kiddos. Here, we are looking at two things. Structure and balance. With the structure, you are supporting your children with what they need to build trust in your relationship with them and dwindle the anxiety that can arise in chaos. And not to mention calming your own anxieties around what to expect when you’re not expecting. Yikes! On the flip side however, it’s just as important to create flexibility for children and yourself as this will promote a more resilient child and who wouldn’t want their child to be? For us mommas, by practicing to sit with the unknown, you are challenging the rigid thinking that occur during power struggles. So this healthy containment will naturally prepare your child for life’s unknown and you’re bound to loosen up and feel oh so positive about your balancing act.
2. Internal and external forms of self-care. I break this up in two categories because it’s necessary for both to promote positivity in your mommahood. External forms are identified in actions that may require additional supports such as people, props or physically being somewhere. Examples can be attending a workout class, communication with your partner, time with girlfriends, meeting your therapist, a hug from mom, etc. In terms of internal forms, we are talking about self-compassion, meditation, prayer, spirituality…basically any means to internally regulate anywhere
and anytime. The forms of self-care are endless and I think it’s great to find what’s salient to you so you aren’t losing yourself completely when trying something new while you are in a jam. But I do gently encourage you to play around with new forms of self-care because let’s be real…with adding more and more tools of self-care in your diaper bag, you’ll be saying it’s a piece of cake and enjoying that piece of cake.
3. Emotional reality versus “just be happy”. One of the misconceptions out there is this painted image of mothers always “being happy”, constantly gawking at our children even when they are pulling your hair and throwing down a tantrum. Of course, when your child decides to test your limits with a sleepless night or when your mother in law decides to feed your child a pack of Parle-G Biscuits before dinner, you push through and stay positive. But when we have longer periods of time trying to stay happy even when we may not be, or in worst cases, ignore the other
not so feel good feelings, we are less likely to generate positivity and ultimately become reactive versus reflective. Also if we could just “be happy” wouldn’t we be all doing it all the time? One key point to remember is that emotions are simply energetic shifts created in the body. They are a form of release in response to neural networks. For example, when you witness your child doing something so silly that you feel like you can’t stop laughing. Yet, you do actually stop laughing because it would be exhausting to stay in that giddy state, not to mention a little odd. Similarly, it would be quite exhausting to maintain a happy state indefinitely.
4. Witnessing your mind-body network. Also a common theme I’ve been told about our parents’ generation is their advice to not feel or exhibiting emotion. This concept perhaps exists some miscommunication among generations, but there is a very powerful message Krishna communicates to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita. “You must exist with a perfect evenness of mind and be equally unattached to defeat and success”. This is the ultimate, but is more likely attainable when you witness your emotions a few steps before they arise with possibly revisiting points 1 and 2 from above to convert the roller coaster into a toddler train ride. When you acknowledge and honor your emotions and the thoughts that accompany them, you will more likely be able to watch them flow through you. With practice, you begin to witness your mind-body network, and learn to be in a state of “being” that will generate an authentic positive and soulful you.
Archana is a realistic wife and mom of two and also works as an associate marriage and family therapist in Silicon Valley, California with over 10 years of experience in mental health and a lifetime of opportunities for spiritual growth. She left the tech world to follow her passion to support the South Asian community as she wanted to raise awareness, remove the stigma, and encourage compassion and connection. She also runs a family focused blog incorporating psychology, spirituality, and everything #momlife because that is a huge part of her truth. Follow her on Instagram for your regular doses for real talk, positivity and just goodness. Archana is also available for virtual or teletherapy for residents in California. For more info, you can visit her site at http://presentfullmama.com/ or visit her work site at http://anthroposcounseling.org/.