Mama Love: Nurturing Self-Compassion Daily

I use the Staples 'Easy button' in my day-to-day mothering. For those of you who don't have any (I like to have 5 but I keep gifting them so I'm at a low 2 at the moment) it's a big red plastic button that when you press it says in a nonchalant male monotonous voice, "that was easy." Myself or the kids press it after a chore we are dreading or after a workout routine that was being resisted but wasn't so bad or after a particular trying apology or after a meditation - you get the idea. The button is like a breath of fresh air.

My Easy button has spent a fair bit of time on the ledge of my kitchen sink - some work is pretty thankless and I admit that I have had a habit of spending more time averting the gaze of a sink full of dishes than I do getting in there and just doing it. I go through phases of putting myself in a state of washing-dishes-gratitude i.e. trying to bring my attention to the fact that I am fortunate to have dishes that are dirty and mouths to feed, etc.  but sometimes I can't get there and I don't want to start washing - it's not a habit and it just feels like such a hard thing to do that's going to take forever! Ugh. Truth is, washing the dishes, pots and pans and casserole dishes doesn't actually take a tonne of time and isn't so terrible -  the worst is the thinking about it before I start. Hitting my easy button at the end (or during!) reinforces the realization that it's not so bad and that actually it is pretty "easy". I timed myself and 20 minutes is the very most it's taken and that pile was nut-so. 

I also like to bring the Easy button to my workshops with mamas as we make changes and get to hit the button and celebrate our successes. Being our own best friend and celebrating our successes seems to be an ongoing work in progress for myself and other moms ... and cultivating self-compassion and catching and shifting inner disempowering dialogue is part of that.

Being able to sometimes say to ourselves (with as much loving kindness that we can muster up!) , "That was shitty." sometimes is exactly what is needed ... to have our own back as we would a friend and direct some care/acknowledgement in our own direction. Say what ?! Yes, and so all this to say that I had my graphic designer make myself and the women in our 8 week Pillars of Peace for Moms Program this 'Shitty button' (Easy Button ripoff!) as a surprise graduation gift. It's a reminder for 'Mama to be kind to Mama' and it's there for you too if you'd like some levity around all this for yourself. (-: Be good to YOU this week soul sistah! Much love, xo Monika

PS - For lovely (free to download) guided meditations on cultivating self-compassion check out my favourite source : Kristen Neff's work at www.selfcompassion.org or the Mama Be Meditations on this site. (-: