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Micaela @Mindfulmomma

I'm right there with you Joy! I feel so much guilt for relaxing. But exercising is something I can justify. I've posted on Mindful Walking: http://mindfulmomma.com/2012/07/mindful-walking.html

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Thanks for the link to your post, Micaela--interesting! It is funny how we have to justify relaxing and exercising, both to ourselves and to others.


I can definitely relax. Two of my favorite hobbies - reading books and napping. :) I usually meditate every day. My children aren't in school yet and so far, we haven't had any trouble saying no to stuff and just spending time as a family camping, skiing, hiking, biking, swimming, playing and travelling. I hope when our children start school this fall that we'll still be a family with a lot of time to play outside and go on trips and just relax, but I have heard it gets harder as they get older...

Mary Anne Enriquez

There are many kinds of meditation. Even "doing the dishes" can be a form to engage meditative practice. Common everyday tasks are a way to embrace meditation...as is walking in nature; stopping in a doorway in a busy city to look up at the sky at clouds,"canyon shadows" (I am from NY); or the peregrine falcon chasing that pigeon (true story ..in Chicago for me while waiting for a bus).

When times are stressful...even sitting with the dog at your side on the couch...stroking their head and body for a few minutes...is relaxing for both of you. I have to get my meditation in tiny bits and pieces when some days are chaotic, and schedules filled.

Meditation is really about mindfulness...and being "in the moment"...and most folks assume it always means sitting on a cushion with cross legs in a room. Not so! Actually that is difficult to do and takes much practice. I can't do it well either.

As for outdoor activities...in my heart outdoors is where I want to be. But I am not able to do that as much as I used to for various reasons. So, I must find my meditations wherever I happen to be, and within whatever i am doing. I completely agree that our modern world seldom allows for mindfulness, the search inward, or even quiet mind. We seem to be multitasking even as we try to fall asleep at night...all those things we need to do, should have done..MUST do tomorrow! Phones, computers, tv, and all the rest dilute our energies and make us ever frantic to do more, catch up, and multitask.

I cannot believe just how much we get our children sucked into it at so early an age too. Its astonishing how scheduled kids are nowadays. I am glad I don't have kids...but I have taught plenty in art classes, and docenting thousands of school children at nature centers, and museums. My sister is a 3rd grade teacher...I get earfuls. We are training our kids to be more frantic multitaskers then we are. I cannot imagine what people in 25 years will be like, let alone 50.

We, as adults NEED to become mindful, learn to slow down, and be aware. Stop rushing, stop driving places shuttling kids here and there. always texting, typing, watching media...tuning out. Get outside...hear the silence...which its not...silence is really LOUD when you are not used to it!

This topic is very very close to my heart Joy. I used to work up to 90 hours a week, w/o a day off for say 3 months! Worked in Manhattan NYC, and Chicago in advertising, animation, and the fashion world...so I know those endless days of intense focus on all things human manufactured. Left me very disillusioned and burnt out.

Namaste Joy. (((Hugs)))
Love the photo above too!


Hi Joy, beautiful piece and photos, thank you. I'm doing something really radical these days--home parenting. It's where i parent from home, instead of the front seat of my car. Staying home is amazing, I love it.
Enjoy the peace,

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

This sounds wonderful, Janna, and youre doing your family a BIG favor by making relaxation a priority. I think of reading time as luxurious--nothing better than curling up with a good book, uninterrupted! Ive been taking steps to carve out time for it, because when I try to read before bed, Im asleep before I read two pages!

It definitely gets more challenging when school begins for the children (at least it did for me), but its well worth it to stick to your priorities of quality family time.

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

So true about the many types of meditation--years ago, I read about meditating on a candle flame, which became one of my favorite ways to quiet my mind--just watching the flame flicker and swirl, in a darkened room.  I havent done it in ages, but your comment reminded me that I should try it again. Its extremely soothing.

You also reminded me of a book that a friend told me about called The Sleep Thieves--I havent read it yet, but its about how all of these technologies keep us always buzzing and awake, so that we are thoroughly exhausted as a society.

Although I over-schedule myself, I am VERY careful not to over-schedule my kids. I am a huge proponent of free, unstructured playtime for children. And if Im being totally honest about it, I dont want to be shuttling them around to various activities because I am already busy enough! So, we limit their activities to a couple each that they truly enjoy. (Actually, thats a great idea for a future post!)

Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments, Mary Anne!

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Thanks for the nice comment, Sonia. Does this mean you are home schooling, or does it mean you are just cutting down on their extracurricular activities?


I find it hard to relax too, and always over-commit then feel guilty about it! Your comment about being a fast walker when you lived in New York made me giggle - I was exactly the same when I lived in London, I had to be as like you say, if you stop, you'll get mown down by a herd of angry commuters!

Your blog looks lovely by the way, I'm going to take a look later after I've done my chores for the day :D

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for stopping by at my blog as well--nice to make the acquaintance of a like-minded blogger. Hope your exit from city life has tamed the busy-ness beast at least a little bit! I still have a city mind in the suburbs, but Im trying...:)


Yeah ... I'm definitely guilty of being a multi-tasker, too. I recently heard that every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. Being conscious of this has helped me to stop & think before blindly saying yes.

BTW, the only time I completely focus on just one thing is when I'm in nature. Which is why I call nature my "fix."

Tiffany (NatureMom)

I am a bad relaxer as well. It bothers me how uncomfortable I am to "just be". I have to be doing something that feels productive. Gotta work on that. :)

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Just realizing that we need to work on it is half the battle!

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Next school year will be my big year of saying NO to stuff I really dont want to do! (At least I hope it will be...)


I'm a hopeless relaxer too - and also like walking meditation. I really struggle to even keep my eyes closed some times with sitting meditation. Good luck and enjoy :-)

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