One of my very favorite books of all time is The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. It's one of those books that is so powerful that it has the potential to have an impact on the rest of your life. I realized recently that The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior should also be The Way of a Peaceful Mother. A warrior does not give up what she loves. She finds love in what she does. I share with you now some of my favorite lessons from this book and how you can apply them to being a mom!
1. "The time is, was and always will be NOW". We spend so much of motherhood worrying about our mistakes and our children's future. Will they walk or talk at a particular time? Should I have breastfed? And the questions go on and on. The only time is now. We all agree that motherhood will go by in the blink of an eye. The only way to extend that blink is to be fully present in the now.
2. "There are no ordinary moments". So often we think of life as connected by big memories. Milestones of our babies lives connected to birthday parties connected to vacations, etc. However there is great magic and beauty in the ordinary moments. The bubble bath, tummy time, a shared nap. Your child is the purest of joy. They are mesmerized by the feel of the carpet, the light of the sun, the site of a snail. Capture that with them. As Dan Millman says, "The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination."
3. "Mind Full or Mindful?". Our minds are so full when we become parents.
- Did I buy diapers?
- Will I have time to shower?
- When do I have to sign her up for preschool?
- How will I get the laundry done?
Meditation is about clearing out the noise in your head. While you may not have time to meditate, you can be mindful in your daily actions. Be fully present. Breathe. Enjoy the moment. “You can live a whole life time never being awake.” Dan Millman.
4. "It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now." How much of parenthood do we waste in trying to achieve? To achieve being the perfect parent, wife, family? The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior says that there is no problem and there never was. You have everything you need to be happy right now so just do it. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.
5. "Everything has a purpose. It's up to us to find it." What a gift it would be to look at every challenge and every obstacle in life as having a purpose. How might you look at your whining child differently if you realize that it has a purpose, and it's up to us to find it. It’s our choice whether we want to look internally and find it or continue to dwell on the outward experience it created.
The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior is not a new book. I believe it's more than 25 years old. There is even a movie about it (haven't seen it yet). According to the Random House Dictionary, the term "warrior" has two meanings. The first refers to "a man engaged or experienced in warfare. The second refers to "a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics." The term "warrior" is often associated with images of power, confidence, accomplishment, integrity, chivalry, honor and integrity. I choose the latter version to describe you as a mom, as it definitely takes great courage, power and confidence on a daily basis. You are a warrior! And your sword is LOVE!