top of page

The Present Dance: Unveiling Joy in the Chaos of Motherhood Through Mindfulness

Art by Akiko Miyakoshi from The Storm

The hourglass of motherhood feels like a cruel joke sometimes, doesn't it? The sand trickles through our fingers faster than we can imagine, each grain a precious moment slipping away." Playtime with [our child]," we tell ourselves, carving out a mental sliver of time. But then work deadlines loom, like storm clouds on the horizon, demanding our immediate attention. Errands pile up, a never-ending to-do list taunting us from the corner. And the ever-elusive "me time"? It shimmers in the distance like a mirage in the desert, a promise that always seems just out of reach.

We yearn for a compartmentalized existence, a life where "motherhood" is a neatly labeled box on a shelf, separate from "work" and "self-care." But reality, like a stubborn child, refuses to be categorised. The lines blur, the demands multiply, and the pressure to "do it all" can feel overwhelming.

What if, instead of chasing this phantom "me time," we unearthed a deeper wellspring of fulfillment?

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen master whose words hold the wisdom of centuries, whispers a secret in his book, "The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation."

It's not about adding more to our overflowing plates, but about a radical shift in perspective.

He says:

Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh
"Remember that there is only one important time and that is now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person you are with, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future? ”

Through mindfulness, I’ve discovered a way to have a lot more time. In the past, I used to look at my time as if it were divided into several parts. One part I reserved for my daughter, Isabella, another part was for my partner, Jose, another part to help my clients and students, another part for household work. The time left over I considered my own. I could read, write, do research, go for walks.

But now I try not to divide time into parts anymore. I consider my time with Isabella and Jose as my own time. When I help Isabella with her projects, I try to find ways of seeing her time as my own time. I go through her lessons with her, sharing her presence and finding ways to be interested in what we do during that time. The time for her becomes my own time. The same with Jose and with my website design clients and yoga students. The remarkable thing is that now I have unlimited time for myself!


Imagine this: You are sitting at the kitchen table, a jumble of school papers and deadlines swirling around you. Perhaps, your vibrant daughter or son is there, pleading for help with a science project. Frustration might begin to prickle at your skin – feeling like another stolen moment from your elusive "me time."

But what if you paused, took a deep breath, and truly saw this as an opportunity?

With a touch of mindfulness, the scene transforms. You delve into the world of volcanoes with your child, a shared exploration that ignites a forgotten spark of curiosity within you. The frustration melts away, replaced by the joy of connection, of learning alongside your child. This isn't a stolen moment; it's a precious tapestry woven with the threads of shared experience.

This, my dear reader, is the magic of mindfulness. It's not about achieving some unattainable state of Zen, but about being fully present in the here and now. It's about washing the dishes with a symphony of splashing water and the quiet hum of contentment. It's about savoring the scent of freshly cut grass on an evening walk with your partner, the worries of the day dissolving with each step.

A drawing of a boy mindfully looking up at at a tree and feeling at one with it
"The Tree in Me" by Corinna Luyken

These moments, once fleeting and mundane, become gateways to connection. They are the cracks in the pavement where vibrant wildflowers bloom – unexpected bursts of joy amidst the daily routine. There's no rigid structure to mindfulness, no destination to reach. It's a dance with the present moment, a waltz with the chaos and the beauty that life throws our way.

So, the next time you feel the familiar tug towards "me time," remember, the wellspring of fulfillment lies not in the future, but in the richness of the present moment. Embrace the chaos, savor the connections, and discover the boundless well of joy that mindfulness offers.

In fact, perhaps you could start with a few mindful breaths today, right in this very moment.


Mindfulness in Motherhood

A drawing of a boy whose heart is filled with light and happiness
"The Tree in Me" by Corinna Luyken

Gently close your eyes, or soften your gaze if you prefer. Let your shoulders relax, and take a moment to settle into your posture.

Now, bring your awareness to your breath. Feel the coolness of the air entering your nostrils as you inhale, and the warmth of it leaving as you exhale. Notice the rise and fall of your chest with each breath, a gentle rhythm like the waves lapping at the shore.

With each inhale, imagine you're drawing in fresh energy and clarity. With each exhale, let go of any tension or worries you may be holding onto. Imagine them like wispy clouds drifting across a vast blue sky. Don't try to force them away, just acknowledge them and allow them to float on by.

If your mind wanders, which is perfectly natural, gently guide your attention back to your breath. Don't judge yourself for getting lost in thought, simply return your awareness to the rhythm of your breath.

Continue for a few minutes, focusing solely on the sensation of your breath. Even five minutes of mindful breathing can make a difference, helping you center yourself and reconnect with the present moment.

When you're ready, take a few deep breaths and slowly open your eyes. Notice how you feel – perhaps a sense of calm, a lighter physical sensation, or simply a renewed awareness of your surroundings.


Even a few minutes of mindful breathing can help you center yourself and reconnect with the present moment.

The book cover of "The Miracle of Mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hanh

This is just the beginning of your mindfulness in motherhood journey, and there are many resources available to help you along the way.

Books like "The Miracle of Mindfulness" offer guided meditations and exercises, and there are countless online resources and apps as well. But the most important step is simply to begin.

By cultivating presence in everyday moments, we nurture the seeds of connection. We listen more deeply, communicate more authentically, and appreciate the simple joys of being together.

As you embark on this journey of mindful living, remember, there's no destination to reach. It's about the present moment, the breath you take right now, the smile on your loved one's face. So take a deep breath, savor the little things, and embrace the joy of connection that mindfulness offers.

With gratitude to you,


p.s. I'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment, offer a suggestion, or simply open the floor to discussion 💜


39 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating


Every month, I spend hundreds of hours keeping the Yoga Shakti Blog going. Since 2005, it has remained free, ad-free and alive thanks to patronage from readers. I have no staff, no interns, not even an assistant — it is a thoroughly one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. If this labor makes your own life more livable in any way, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. Your support makes all the difference.


♥ £3 / month

£5 / month

£7 / month

£10 / month

£25 / month


You can also become a spontaneous supporter with a one-time donation in any amount — between a cup of tea or a lunch.


Thank you for your donation!


Also: Because The Yoga Shakti Blog is well into its second decade and because I write primarily about ideas of timeless nourishment, each week I dive into the archive and resurface from among the thousands of essays one worth re-savoring. Subscribe to this free midweek pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit below — it is separate from the standard blog subscription of new pieces:

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page