This month at Nurture, our mother’s circle, I had planned the following, but everyone ended up being sick or celebrating brithdays, so just me and Sarah hung out and did the questions. Here was my planning – you can join us!
I asked all the mothers to begin with a longer guided meditation, a settling of the mind. You can do this, too. Find a comfortable position to sit, set a clock for ten or fifteen minutes, and let yourself rest. Follow your breath with your attention. When your mind wanders, and you start to think about laundry, or bills, or one hundred other things, that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. One of my favorite things I ever heard Pema Chodron say was, “The basic teaching is, No Big Deal.” Thoughts arise, you can simply notice them, and let them go. Come back to the breath, to the feeling of your body sitting here, in this place.
Now get a pen and paper. Here are some questions – don’t think about them too hard, just write down the first answers that come to you.
What are you grateful for today? Write at least four things.
What is a task you have been putting off or avoiding? This could be an errand, or it could be a conversation or email.
What is your earliest memory? Write as much as you can, using all of your senses.
Name at least two qualities you admire in your own mother.
Think of other mother friends you have, or a friend you would like to have. What are the things that attract you to them – what do you admire?
At the beginning of the year, we talked about envisioning what qualities in ourselves we would like to increase. Which qualities did you choose to work on? How’s it going?
Name something that was very important to you ten years ago, but isn’t important to you now. This could be an idea, a hobby, a person.
List ten things that make you happy. Not ten indulgences or treats per se, but ten actions, that when you do them, you experience a feeling of happiness afterwards.
After you have answered your questions, think back over them for a few minutes. Did any of your answers surprise you? Are any of them asking to be noticed?