Don’t Get in Your Own Way of Happiness

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Tuesday, April 20, 2021
By Anastasiya Rusilka, M.A., CMC, ACC.

6:30 AM. I am sitting in front of the candle and trying to let the thoughts pass so I can be in the present moment. 10 minutes in, I can hear my 4-year old screaming in the kitchen. I am sitting and trying to say the Om mantra. When I can not take it anymore, I get up, go into the kitchen and start screaming that I cannot do my morning meditation. The situation is comical.  Here I am.  I am supposed to be calm, peaceful and yet, I am screaming at my son. And I accept it because I know that it is all part of learning.

Doing things for others is part of being a mom. If you are a working mom, then your responsibilities are doubled or tripled depending on the position. With the Pandemic, finding even five minutes of solitude is a luxury. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out is a new norm. For a mom, who is preparing lunch, answering an important phone call as she is putting the laundry in, and taking care of her daughter’s meltdown, hearing words like mindful and conscious living seems like a joke. How can she find time to do a 20-minute meditation or a yoga class, when all she wants at the moment is to take a nap and decompress?

Being a mom myself, I know how hard it can be at times. But guess what: there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Actually, it is not at the end, it is within – within you. And, the way to discover this light and get out of Groundhog Day is to change your PERSPECTIVE about your everyday existence.  Beginning to realize that what you have right now and where you currently are, IS your gift. Your little creatures, or big ones, are the meaning for your existence; they are your best teachers, they are your greatest happiness and sadness.

By going to the Himalayan mountains and meditating there day and night, you won’t improve yourself as much as when you choose to respond instead of reacting to your child’s screams.  That you were kind and loving to people around you and yourself because happiness and fulfillment start with you. That you took care of yourself first by developing a habit of being happy.   That you put the perfection and guilt feelings aside. Look for meaning in everything that you do. Do your best and experience the joy of it. Make fun memories with your kids. Take a break when you need it. Write a list of constructive hobbies that you have, and pick one that brings you energy and positive emotions. Being patient and explaining for the twentieth time the need to share and take turns.

This is what mindful living is about. It is about accepting your life the way it is and making every moment a conscious choice. And yes, you will fail multiple times because no one is perfect.  Perfection is not the goal here. The goal is to feel you have done your best when you look back at your day.

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“…the way to…get out of Groundhog Day is to change your PERSPECTIVE about your everyday existence.” – Anastasiya Rusilka