When things go wrong, I can be tempted to spend hours or weeks or years thinking about how stupid I was, what I should have done. or how much I hurt someone. With mindfulness, I'm learning to recover from mistakes more easily because I get intentional practice every day.
When I'm doing mindful breathing, I don't just stay with the breath. My attention wanders away as I get caught up in stories, sensations, judgment, or the past and future. Once I notice that I've wandered (sometimes after a moment and sometimes after a longer time), I get the chance to be clear and open with myself and to come back to the present moment. This happens again and again, and I do it with the explicit intention to accept my whole experience without judgment. Over time, I've become more gentle with myself.
This helps when I make a mistake with my kids. I use the same practice, simply noticing that I'm off track, accepting and inwardly acknowledging my mistake, and moving on. There are so many great acronyms in mindfulness and parenting, I think I could do better than NAAM, but that's what I've got today!!
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.