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Meditation Mama: An Insightful Chat Between…
Jinjee Talifero & Erica (Eek) Palmcrantz
Jinjee: I am here with my cousin Erica. I call her Eek! She tells me that no, she has not had much time for meditation and yoga lately, but that her baby is her meditation! I asked for an interview, because this brought up many questions that I’m sure will prove enlightening for all of us mothers!
I am always looking for ways to be more present with my children, with life, with myself, and ways to embrace this precious gift of family, to embrace this fleeting time in the lives of my children, and to make their childhood beautiful, meaningful, and the best it can be! You say Motherhood can be a Meditation. How?
Eek: To observe my daughter in every moment is meditation. It doesn’t mean that I sit and look at her all day, it’s more an awareness of feeling if she needs me or wants to play for herself.
Jinjee: What kinds of things can you do as Mama Meditations?
One thing that I have tried that has been very fun is to watch Saga when she shows her anger, grief, sadness, fear or love. I pretend in my mind how I would look if I did express that feeling, maybe plates had been thrown around in the kitchen, kissed a cutie guy on the bus, or bursted out into tears in the middle of the street. Instead, I allow myself to feel all these different feelings, accept that they are a part of me, see myself doing what I should do if I were a child, and let it go. I don’t have to take action on my feelings, just more so feel them and letting go.
Another thing is to do exactly the same things that she does for a while; I become equal to her, and not her mother.
Jinjee: Are there any games that you play which are Mama Meditations?
Eek: Saga and I are seldom at playgrounds; we go to the forest and hug trees instead, eating wild, edible greens and smell the earth. It helps to balance out when you live in a city as we do. Playing with food is mostly allowed in our house. We smell, feel, kiss and put gratitude into the food.
Jinjee: What are the benefits of Mama Meditation?
As a mother, you can feel a constant feeling not to be good enough. You have a thousands things to do, you want to be a nice, sexy wife, have a carrier, be a best friend, have a clean home, etc. A child knows nothing about this feeling; they always feel good enough and they only do what they like to do and you still love them as they are. So I learn to put joy in what I do and do one thing at the time, feeling that I’m good enough and I love myself.
Jinjee: Do you miss quiet Meditations alone?
I didn’t do quiet meditation too often before I had Saga. But having a baby did increase my need for stillness. I didn’t find the time to just sit down and meditate, therefore, I started to mama meditate. That kind of meditation brought me in to wanting to go deeper into myself in the silent meditation alone, so I started practice Ashtanga yoga, which is meditating and working out at the same time. Oh boy, things are happening with your mind and body! If I do silent meditations, I do it early in the morning, around 5 a.m. for half an hour or so before Saga wakes up.
Jinjee: What has your baby Saga taught you during your Mama Meditations?
Eek: To love life as it is, and do it simple. Eat when you are hungry, pee when you need to, and have courage to be who you are.
Jinjee: Can Dadas do it, too?
Eek: From my experience, Dadas learn a lot about life spending time with their kids. Sam, my husband, said: ”It’s very basic; if she gets enough sleep, she eats better and can play more, then she eats better, sleeps better and can play even more! And I like a satisfied baby; she automatically will be more loving and happy!”
Jinjee: Do you see Saga getting benefits from your Mama Meditations?
Eek: Oh yeah, kids are an instant reflection of your state of mind. If she is in a bad mood, hmmh wonder way? She has gotten a more aware, loving, happy and playful mum. She can also understand when it is not okay do to something. Saga has a high integrity and is very determined, so the Mama Meditations have helped me to show her when things are not okay to do and to do things in a determined and peaceful way.
Jinjee: I want to learn to do Mama Meditation. What steps can I take?
Eek: Jinj, you are a master of it already!!! One first step is to actually see your child for how she/he is. They are depending on you, they are full of love, and they have you as a guru. Be reminded of that; they do as you do, not what you say. So pick your nose when they don’t see!:-)?Take time to observe them and yourself. Are you getting restless because you are doing “nothing”, what do you want to do instead and why? If you do that thing is that going to make you a happier mama? An example: When Saga wants to play with me and I know that I have to start making dinner because my husband is coming home soon, I play with her, but I’m not there in my mind. I’m worrying about not having the food ready until dinner time, and why do I worry? Is it that my husband won’t love me? I’m certain that he would love me even though the dinner would be five minutes late. Our mind plays tricks on us, and worrying has never been a good solution. So I play with Saga for a while, then tell her that we’ll continue the play in the kitchen helping Mama prepare the dinner. And I tell her that we need dinner to have the energy to play!
Jinjee: What other things do you do in raising Saga?
Eek: She is eating mostly raw food. When she goes to bed, we always lie beside her, and before she falls asleep we say a gratitude pray. I tell her that she is love unconditionally, she is beautiful, intelligent, has courage to fulfill her dreams, and that we will always be here for her.
Jinjee: What do you do for yourself when you take time out from motherhood?
Eek: Work! Yoga, take a power walk, eating without someone messing with my food (why is my food always tastier? She has exactly the same food on her plate!!), or just hanging out with Sam, alone.
Jinjee: How has Mama Meditation improved your life?
Eek: In so many ways! That everything isn’t about me. Before I had all the time in the world for me and myself. When you are a mother, you are always interrupted during daytime, so it has taught me to make a quick change in my mind from what I’m doing to listen to her and do it with a welcoming smile. In the darkest of days, yes, there are those days, too, and she is my light that radiates love. Putting my hand on her little chest, feeling her heartbeat and knowing that this is for real. I do want to see her grow and to know that she did choose me as her mama for a reason, helps me get by.
Jinjee: Anything else you would like to add?
Eek: Saga loves to help out and gets furious if she’s not allowed to! As often as I can, I make time for her to help wash the dishes, clean the floor, fold the clothes. Get the kids to help out, so you can meditate more!??Encourage your child, instead of having a disbelieve that they can’t do this or that. See all the positive stuff that they are doing. Instead of saying, “Stop messing with your food,” you can say, “Wow, you’re eating by yourself.”??Give your baby the best food as you possible can! The better food you and your child are eating, the more are you able to tune into your child’s vibrations of what kind of food they need.
Dearest cousin, thanks for letting me having a space, and these words will hopefully encourage and inspire mothers/fathers out there. One last thing – remember that you are the perfect mother/father for your child and your intuition guides you, always!
Love you, Jinj