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Can Mindfulness Help with Family Life

Mindfulness Expert Ann-Marie Ireland will help you discover how mindful living can really bring a new dimension of connection and healing to family life.

The world that we live in today can be hectic; mobile phones, smart devices, technology that updates at the speed of light it seems, busier schedules, after school activities and work pressures….this kind of life is unfortunately leading to more and more families becoming fragmented and disconnected. Healthy family life is dependent on bonding and connection and yet this level of distraction and disconnection can significantly weaken these bonds between partners, between siblings and between parents and children. It’s great to be busy but too much of this can lead to a disintegration of relationships within the family and over time, this can create bigger problems.

Mindful living provides a new way of being for families; it breathes life into these connections and allows families the space to make intimate connections again. Mindfulness offers a space to be present with those you love and to give them your full, undivided attention in that moment. Nothing in the world compares to a physical hug or kiss, making eye contact with someone you love or offering a supportive hand on hand touch when someone is upset. The comfort and connection that comes in these interactions cannot be matched by a text, tweet, message or phone call. Mindfulness as always begins with connecting with yourself first; if you are a parent, teenager or child….you must always begin with you. Then you will value where your attention goes. You will also feel calmer and grounded thus offering more to the people around you.

Mindfulness and My Family – Where do I begin??

Whether you are a parent, sister, brother, daughter, son…whatever your position or positions in your family, you and the rest of your family will benefit from bringing mindful practice into the home.

Let’s look at it in a simple way; if you were building a house, what is the first thing that you do? You dig foundations. No house will stand the test of time without foundations being built first. So if you are reading this looking at a way of bringing mindfulness into your family, then starting with yourself is the mindful equivalent of building the foundations! There is no point in you sitting at the dinner table or calling a family meeting and announcing that ‘we are all going to practice mindfulness from here on in!’ Your family would probably resist this immediately and moan and groan about a new regime! The key to a healthy mindful family is you practicing mindfulness first; you modelling good behaviour and your family witnessing this.

This may seem less drastic and also less ‘productive’ than calling a family meeting and bringing a ‘mindfulness schedule’ into the household, but it is proven to be the best approach in bringing a calmer and more connected atmosphere into home life. If you model this behaviour and your family notice a difference in you, they will be more likely to take on these practices for themselves. These practices also then have a much greater chance of being sustained over time, rather than a ‘fad’ that fizzles out quickly. Self-care practices are all part of your mindful practice too; looking after yourself has a huge ripple effect on your family’s lives. The better you feel, the more you will have to give to them.

So here on the course, we are going to explore where you feel you are on your own mindful journey and then move into how you can link this into family life. Under the umbrella of ‘Mindfulness,’ we also look at the following principles:

  • Gratitude
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Kindness

You will see these threads being woven throughout the course below in order to bring about a more mindful and compassionate household for you and your family to enjoy.