meditatingIn Buddhism, there is a meditation practice called metta or loving-kindness. According to the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, “Metta bhavana, or loving-kindness meditation, is a method of developing compassion. It comes from the Buddhist tradition, but it can be adapted and practiced by anyone, regardless of religious affiliation; loving-kindness meditation is essentially about cultivating love.”

Since I began practicing mindfulness and meditation and learning more about the philosophies surrounding its practice, metta has resonated with me particularly. It is my favorite meditation practice, and I think it can be particularly useful for women — especially moms.

Compassion comes naturally to most of us. We care for our children, our spouses, our parents, our friends, our co-workers, our nieces and nephews, our neighbors, even strangers. Metta is not a difficult concept for women. But when you spend a lot of time with women — as most women do — you will hear a common complaint: we spend all this time taking care of other people, but we all wish we were better at taking care of ourselves.

Self-care can mean a lot of things. It can be as simple as taking a minute in a chaotic day to just slow down and breathe. It can mean eating well, exercising more, getting enough sleep. It can mean making time for the things that make you feel happy and calm and centered.

In metta practice, we first focus all of our love and kindness and compassion on ourselves. We must learn to be gentle, kind, and accepting of ourselves before we can learn to generate those feelings for others. It’s like adjusting your own oxygen mask before helping others. I think most women could benefit from a reminder to love ourselves as much as we love others.

For the next few weeks, I will be posting here about some of the things I’ve been learning in my own metta practice. I will be writing about self-care, kindness, and compassionate living. How can we be kinder to ourselves, each other, our kids, our spouses, and the world? How can we be more mindful of the present moment, and help our kids learn to do the same? How can we be happier, calmer, and more fulfilled through these practices?

I am testing these ideas here in the hopes of starting a new project, but I know many of my frugal living readers can benefit from these concepts, too. I hope that you will follow along and chime in!

Photo by Take Back Your Health Conference courtesy of Creative Commons license.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Does having kids destroy your marriage?

April 4, 2015

Yesterday, this terribly sad editorial about a writer who blames having children for the destruction of her marriage popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. I made the mistake of reading the comments, which were split between people calling this couple terrible and selfish, and child-free people using it to justify their life choices.  After reading […]

3 comments MORE ...

Cheap (or free!) summer activities for kids

May 12, 2014
Thumbnail image for Cheap (or free!) summer activities for kids

Oh, summer. I have made no secret about the fact that it’s not my personal favorite time of year. Southern Indiana turns into a swamp in July. But I am determined to make the most of summer this year, so I’ve spent some time compiling a list of activities to fill up our schedule without […]

3 comments MORE ...

On Mother’s Day

May 11, 2014
Thumbnail image for On Mother’s Day

Today I am thankful for my boys. Being a mom is the hardest and easiest thing I have ever done. Loving these boys feels as natural as breathing, but the sleepless nights, the worry, the days when my patience is low and they’re being particularly challenging — those parts of motherhood don’t always come so […]

MORE ...

On encouraging each other

January 28, 2014

I don’t have to tell you that parenting is hard work. Especially parenting small children. When you’re toting two small kids around on a sub-zero, snowy day, tasks that would maybe be a minor inconvenience on your own become monumental, exhausting hard work. Case in point: a trip to a doctor’s office. Before I had […]

3 comments MORE ...

How much is convenience worth to you?

November 12, 2013

I am allergic to paying for shipping. At least that’s how it feels when I get to the checkout page for an item I want to buy online, see the shipping charge, and back out at the last minute. Shipping feels like such a wasteful way to spend money to me. If I can purchase […]

6 comments MORE ...

Breast pumps are covered by insurance with no copays! (If you’re willing to do some work.)

July 15, 2013

When I was pregnant with Judah, I planned to be a 100% stay-at-home mom, so I didn’t invest in an expensive breast pump. It turned out I didn’t need one. I only pumped a handful of times, so a $300 pump would have been overkill. However, for full-time working moms who want to breastfeed, an […]

3 comments MORE ...

Preparing for baby 2

July 10, 2013
Thumbnail image for Preparing for baby 2

I’m now 29 weeks pregnant, and officially into the third trimester. In the beginning of my pregnancy, everyone told me I would be amazed at how different pregnancy would be the second time. That hasn’t really been the case for me. I’m struggling with the same aches and pains, nausea, and extreme exhaustion (only this […]

1 comment MORE ...

Potty training: the Final Frontier. Or something.

June 18, 2013

This is the last post I will write about my child’s toilet habits. I promise. (Well, my first child anyway.) Since I was only a few days into the potty training adventure when I wrote my step-by-step breakdown of our potty training boot camp adaptation, I wanted to share a quick update. I fully expected […]

5 comments MORE ...