Tell me about your mindfulness journey. When did you start focusing on mindset? Why?
Mindfulness as a concept has been on my radar since I was a teen. I revisited it several times as I navigated my 20s through the lens of depression and anxiety, but always struggled to be consistent with applying any mindfulness tools. The real shift for me happened at the end of 2017, on the eve of returning to work after my first child was born. I felt a pull to take a different path from the one I had always believed I would take. I had spent years focusing on building my career as a paediatric occupational therapist, and was finally in a job where I felt valued, content and impactful. But transitioning into motherhood had created such a huge shift within me. I decided to stay at home with my son for an extra year, and (tentatively!) start a blog and business. That sparked the true beginning of my journey into my spiritual mindset. I dove in deep and have not looked back!
How did you begin implementing these tools into your life?
Squeezing them into my day any way that I could! I started devouring podcasts on business mindset and manifestation. I learnt about gaining clarity with my vision, lifting my vibration and acting ‘as if’. I started making small shifts in my daily life.
When my son was no longer breastfeeding, I started investing in myself. I went to Unleash the Power Within in September 2018 with my husband. This was a real pivotal point for us both. I did the firewalk 5 months pregnant with my daughter and started dreaming big and stepping into my next level. I signed up for the Manifestation Babe Academy with Kathrin Zenkina later that year and really started owning the woo!
What are your daily mindfulness rituals now?
I’m a big believer of modeling and living by example for my kids, so most of my daily rituals happen while they are there playing beside me, or together with them. They are only 2.5yo and 4mo, but I love that they are taking all of this in on a subconscious level.
These are small, quick rituals (because, mumlife) and I still squeeze then into my day any way I can!
- Gratitudes – I’ll say these out loud to myself while getting ready in the morning, or do this together with my husband and kids while we eat our breakfast.
- Affirmations – These are written on notes which I read aloud while I inhale my essential oils. A friend of mine introduced me to the You Are Creators Youtube channel which has a couple of affirmation videos which I like to play while I’m doing chores and the kids are playing.
- Ho’oponopono – This was massive for me. I started seeing huge shifts when I began using this as a way of clearing negative feelings that I’m holding on to. I will use this when I find myself feeling angry or frustrated at someone else, or at myself
- Tapping/EFT – I mostly use this when I feel unexplained muscular pain in my shoulders and arms and realise it is a physical manifestation of emotional stress. Or I might use it sometimes when I’m feeling “stuck” and not sure how to shake the feeling. I follow along with the Tapping Solution app on my phone to guide me.
- Daily inspiration through podcasts and audiobooks – I play this while doing housework and when I’m driving.
- Moon rituals – Working in harmony with the current lunar energy, using it to guide when to channel my masculine vs feminine energy.
- Journalling – I’ll use this to work through “stuck” feelings or when I need to gain clarity and set intentions. I usually do this on my own when the kids are asleep or being cared for by our parents.
- Priming and visualisation – I’m working on doing this more consistently but it has been powerful in manifesting desires into my reality.
- Guided meditations – My husband and I will sometimes listen to these with my son at bedtime.
- Quantum jumping using the 2 cup method – This was recently introduced to me by a friend who I met along my spiritual journey and it is a really new one for me but has been super powerful in manifesting things into my reality.
How has your mindfulness practice changed after having children?
My mindfulness practice exists BECAUSE I have children. Before I was a mother, I treated mindfulness as an “add on” that I could never find the time to “indulge” in. Now, I see mindfulness as a core part of my self-care.
I now know that the reason I struggled with being consistent with daily mindfulness rituals in the past was because I was disconnected from myself and was struggling to find my purpose and my vision. Learning to become a parent awakened me and set the wheels in motion for this spiritual journey that I am on.
How has mindfulness affected your parenting?
I feel like I met myself for the first time through mindfulness. I challenge myself to be present and intentional in everything I do as a parent, even when sometimes if feels exhausting or inconvenient. Mindfulness has guarded me from making decisions based on fear. And most importantly, as an ex-chronic overachiever, mindfulness has taught me to give myself compassion, to forgive myself and to keep showing up and growing.
My husband has been on this journey alongside me, and we have learned to stop acting from a place of fear and to just take the leap. So we are in the midst of a big life change right now – starting online businesses, renting out our home, test drive living overseas for a while and creating a lifestyle where we can both parent and work together!
What have you learned about yourself throughout this journey?
When I attended UPW I had an epiphany that until that moment in my life, I was just a collection of other people’s limiting beliefs. I had no idea who I was without these beliefs. So part of my journey has been meeting myself for the first time, and learning who I truly am.
I have also learnt that my struggle is my strength, and to own this and use it to serve others.
What advice would you give to any mother who thinks she’s too busy to put any energy towards mindfulness?
Mindfulness is part of your self-care. Self-care is imperative, so make your self-care sacred. There is no doubt that motherhood is busy, even for a woman who consciously protects her time. You can best serve others when you show up as the better version of yourself, and the key to unlocking that is mindfulness.
Carve out time for yourself where you have quiet moments to yourself to reflect. But know that mindfulness does not have to exist only when you have “alone time”. Practise your daily mindfulness rituals with your children, or when they are around. I recently heard a quote, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach”, and it really shifted my thinking around how I parent. Model what you’d like to see your kids do themselves.
If it seems overwhelming, start with small “edits” to your day that are brief and manageable, e.g.
- Say 3 things you’re grateful for out loud
- Listen to inspiring podcast episodes or audio books while you’re doing housework
- Listen to guided meditations together with your children
- Incorporate mindfulness activities in play with your kids, e.g. breathing/blowing toys, creating mandalas
- Being aware of what you are letting into your life, and guard your energy.
Essentially, be more intentional!
What is intentional living? How can we as mothers live more intentionally?
For me, intentional living is a conscious attempt to live according to our values. We can live more intentionally by:
- Gaining crystal clarity on our vision of what we want our life to be
- Gaining clarity of what our big “why” is
- Simplifying by cutting out the excess, i.e. anything that doesn’t contribute to our vision, whether that be physical objects, thoughts and behaviours, relationships and activities on our to-do list that no longer serve us
- Being unapologetic about it and owning our decisions and actions
- We are so blessed to have this life. Why should we be, do and have anything less than the life we dream of and deserve?
Listen to Michelle on The Enlightenedhood Podcast