One of our teachers on our qualifying course, spoke of practicing mindfulness ‘in the midst of this’. She was referring to the fact that there are rarely ideal conditions in which to find space and stillness. Noise, upheaval and change are more usually the circumstances in which we learn and practice mindfulness. Right now, the volume of this cacophony has become very loud indeed. And it’s coming from all directions.
Five weeks into our mindfulness course for adopters and we are filled with respect for these amazing parents who are struggling against the odds to provide their children with a ‘secure base’ in these very insecure times.
When they adopted they knew that they were embarking on a different lifetime journey to other parents; they knew that the children would have baggage from their past experience; they knew that they might need additional support from adoption and other services along the way. But none of them could have known what awaited them in 2020.
Covid has affected the lives of virtually everyone – but in different ways. For adoptive parents, it can be hard to allow themselves to really feel just how difficult things are whilst trying to care for children who may themselves be experiencing disruption in school or missing friends as a result of the virus. ‘Pushing through’, keeping cheerful, trying to be in control - of events and feelings – comes at a price and may not even be sustainable. When support services are stretched or what they are offering just isn’t ‘cutting it’, what then? How can we trust our own wisdom; how can we recognise our own strength?
Our mindfulness course for adoptive parents ‘Caring For Me, Caring For You’ is about making taking a pause and finding space for recognising and acknowledging what is arising moment by moment – in our minds and in our bodies. Only from this place can we learn to take care of these bodies and minds in the gentle and compassionate way we want to take care of our children. For these adoptive parents, the metaphor of the aircraft oxygen mask is totally apt. Having their own masks securely in place will help them to assist their children in putting on theirs.
So let’s take a pause right here, right now.
Let’s just feel the sensations in the feet as they rest on the ground – experiencing the firmness and solidity
Let’s just feel the weight of the body on the seat of chair that we are sitting on and allow that chair to support us
And take just a few easy breaths – all the way in and all the way out.
It’s like this now.