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Metamorphosis, in front of my eyes.

A month ago the postman knocked at the door. “You’d better open this one soon,” he winked, handing a brown box to our six-year old birthday girl. “Are they dead, mummy?” she asked wide-eyed, carefully lifting the clear pot out of the box and staring at the five motionless hairy caterpillars inside, sprawled across some pale brown gunk. “Erm, I think they are sleeping,” I hoped, quietly wondering whether it was legal to send living things in the post.

A week later those caterpillars had eaten all the gunk at the bottom of the jar, quadrupled in size and crawled up to the underside of the lid, to dangle like a showoff doing one-handed tricks on monkey bars. Over the next couple of days they seemed to grow a cocoon, as if it was their own body thickening up, rather than spinning a web around themselves as I had always imagined. When those chrysalides hardened, we carefully lifted the lid off the pot, creatures still attached, and transferred it to the pop-up net habitat that had arrived with our unusual package. Over the next few days the chrysalides darkened and texturized into charcoal grey beads flecked with gold.

I became obsessed with them, watching for the slightest changes in their outer layer, imagining I could see the imprint of folded wings pushing against the hard casing. One sunny morning we went to the beach for a couple of hours, and piled back into the house all noisy and sandy before someone cried, “Look!” Three butterflies had emerged, and were clinging to the wall of their net home. Their shed skins remained attached to the lid at one end, the other end burst through in that moment of emergence.

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They began as caterpillars and emerged as butterflies. I knew it was likely to happen. Of course I did. I had learnt about it in primary school forty years ago. But still I’m not sure I believed it would actually work. It seemed unfathomable. How did the caterpillars know what to do? How was that brown gunk enough to create something so beautiful? Where were their wings hidden? Surely they didn’t just spin them like fairy fabric in a matter of days? And how on earth did three of them emerge within an hour or so of each other, after all that time? (The other two had been disturbed when we moved them to their habitat and had fidgeted for a while. That must have taken some of their energy reserves, and they were the last to emerge a couple of days later)

Perhaps what amazed me the most was the realization that the caterpillar doesn’t actually turn into the butterfly, changing its whole body and so on. Rather it simply grows wings. I don’t think I knew that before, but having studied them so closely before they became chrysalides, I recognized their caterpillar faces as butterflies. Close up they were the essentially the same. From a distance they were completely new. When we released them, they instinctively knew what to do.

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Their period of retreat had been an intense period of growth, away from the world, still and silent yet intensely fertile as they spun potential from their own bodies. What emerged was not another creature, but the same one, changed. The same face, but with the courage and confidence that wings can bring – wings they didn’t have to think to grow, but rather wings that grew on them, when they surrendered to the process, and trusted. Metamorphosis, just like that.

I am sending this to you from a short writing retreat where I too am surrendering to the process. It isn’t easy, or comfortable, but my winged friends reminded me that I don’t have to work so hard at it. Instead I just need to get quiet and wait. Then I’ll know what to write, or I perhaps will be written.

Have a good week friends,
Beth Xx

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PS Did you know I have a brand new course starting on Monday? It’s called Excavate Your Life: writing towards clarity and direction. This extraordinarily rich five week life-exploration/personal development/writing course is a unique opportunity to discover what you really want from life. And as a special treat to celebrate its launch you can get 30% off with the code DIGDEEP if you register here by Monday.

(Butterfly images: Holly Bobbins Photography. Lotus image: Unsplash/Zoltan Tasi)

Excavate Your Life (brand new personal development + writing course!)

For months now I have been working on a brand new course which combines personal development and writing, as a way to navigate life. Excavate Your Life is a rich online course which offers a unique opportunity to explore what you really want from life, while honing your writing skills. Join me, bestselling self-help author Beth Kempton as I guide you on a wild and beautiful journey towards clarity and direction. Each weekday for five weeks you will get a juicy lesson (audio, video, journaling worksheet and writing challenge) to help you go deep and stretch your writing. By the end of the course, the alchemical nature of it all will ensure you have a stronger sense of what really matters to you, and a clearer idea of where to focus your time, energy and attention. Not to mention having much more confidence in your writing after all that practice…

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This is a very special hybrid writing and personal growth course which I have designed to help you find clarity and direction, both in your writing and in your life. I have spent more than a decade helping people to navigate change and reconfigure their lives to do what they love. I have also written a series of self-help books, all connected by a thread of making the most of this precious life.

It’s so easy in the rush of the modern world to go through the motions of each day without stopping to think what it’s all about, whether we are actually awake to our experience, and how we want to make the most of whatever is left, without knowing how long that will be. Personally I find journaling and writing incredibly powerful tools to help me tune in to the world, to my life, to other people, and to myself. I have brought all of this together in this course, with the aim that by the end of it you will be inspired, motivated and ready for whatever might be next.

To celebrate the launch of this brand new course you are invited to join with a 30% discount – just use the coupon code DIGDEEP when you register here by Monday August 23 (when class begins). Sign up now and start excavating your life. You never know what goodness you might find.

Beth Xx

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Who’s it for?

This is for you if any of the following are true:

  • You want to make a major change in life
  • You are wondering ‘What should I do with my life?’
  • You need help figuring out what you really want
  • You want to shake things up and get out of a rut
  • You want to mine your life for its most valuable lessons
  • You are looking for a sense of meaning and purpose OR
  • You want to write a memoir or a book that explores the human experience

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What’s included?

The course has been designed as a five-week intensive class, and includes:

  • Daily Spark audios to get your creative juices flowing
  • Daily video lessons, each guiding you to excavate your life from a different perspective
  • Daily journaling worksheets to guide you gently through the excavation process, seeking out clues and patterns to help you envision what kind of life you want to create
  • Daily writing challenges to push you out of your writing comfort zone and explore what you are really capable of
  • PLUS Along the way I include a host of insights into my experience helping thousands of people to navigate change, and writing five self-help books

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About your tutor

Beth Kempton has spent the last decade helping tens of thousands of people find creative ways to live well doing what they love, through powerful online courses and workshops as founder of Do What You Love. Beth writes self-help books which have been translated into 24 languages.

Her bestselling book ‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect lifehas been recommended by TIME Magazine, British Vogue, The Telegraph, and Psychologies Magazine, described as ‘a truly transformational read’ by Sunday Times Style. She is also the author of Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love., Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year and most recently, We Are in This Together: Finding hope and opportunity in the depths of adversity’ (Piatkus) which she wrote in sixteen days in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. Mother of two adorable girls, she lives a slow-ish life in Devon, UK.

Important note

Please be aware that this is not a replacement for clinical therapy. Please seek professional clinical advice if you need it. Please also note that this class does not include specific advice on writing technique or any feedback on individual writing samples. It is a self-paced course so there is no direct interaction with Beth. It is also designed as a very personal experience so there is no private community with this course.

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FAQ

Do I have to be online at a certain time to join in?

The classroom will open on August 23, 2021, and content will be released from that date. You do not have to log on at a certain time – you can follow the course at whatever pace suits you. You will have classroom access until January 31 2023 and most of the content is downloadable anyway.

Can I join if I live outside of the UK?

Yes you can join from anywhere.

Any other questions?

Drop the team a line at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help.

Comfort + joy in winter

Nourishing your mind at this time of year can look as simple as turning away from overstimulation—to-do lists, screens, loud music, bright lights, toxic conversations—and making your way into nature, open spaces, fresh air, peace and quiet. Try counting the shades of evergreens, inhaling the aroma of wild herbs, listening for signs of life. On cold, sunny days, look for berries, or different leaf shapes, or visiting birds. Seek out hardy plants emerging from cracks in the pavement. Make bark rubbings with a little person. Fill up a feeder for the birds. I find the ever-changing sky a powerful tonic for the soul. For you, it might be the nearness of water, or the bare bones of trees, stripped of their leaves. Seek whatever you need. Document your finds. Photograph them. Sketch them. Forage a few samples for your bedside table. Or nourish your mind with words—write about your day, take time out with an inspiring podcast or a good book, or settle in for a long conversation.

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With England heading back into national lockdown today, and tensions high for so many people, it seems like a good time to look for ways to find comfort and joy in winter. This week’s episode of The Calm Christmas Podcast is all about that, and it’s out now on iTunes, on Spotify or here on my website.

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I also invite you to join my Winter Writing Sanctuary, a two-week online class starting on November 23. Given all that is going on in the world right now I have decided to make this completely FREE. Book your place here and join me and hundreds of other writers from all around the world as we escape into a cosy world of words this winter. All levels welcome. Hope to see you there!

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Take good care
Beth Xx

 

Writing is medicine and it can help us get through this together.

How have you been doing lately? I have been thinking about you, in your corner of the world, dealing with the things that have been thrown at you, and I have been quietly sending love.

We all deal with difficult situations in different ways. For me, writing always helps.

Whether that means journaling to get something out of my head, penning poetry to find beauty in the darkness, exploring ideas on paper or channelling my fire into a new book,

I always find that words are my medicine.

We are all grieving something right now. Lost loved ones, lost freedoms, lost jobs, lost rites of passage that will never take place, old pieces of our lives that will never return in the same form.

Collectively, our healing is going to take a long time, but we can begin where we are, putting words onto paper, and letting our hearts speak.

That’s why I have created ‘Words Heal’, a short writing class, offering gentle guidance, inspiring prompts and an insight into the writing life, to help you write your way through this. You can join me for this live class over two weeks in June (worth £20) for FREE when you pre-order my new book ‘We Are in This Together: Finding hope and opportunity in the depths of adversity’.

Writing can be medicine, and we need it more than ever at times like this. This short online class will equip you with tools to help process some of the complex feelings that bubble up in a crisis, stabilise your ship and find reasons to be hopeful. It will also help you hone your writing into something deeply personal which will help you connect with others.

If you want to join me, it’s simple:

  • Pre-order We Are in This Together on Amazon. If you are in the US/Canada, the audiobook is here. The ebook will be available for pre-order from early next week so please check amazon.com then.
  • Click here and fill in the short form with your details. That’s it! Then you’ll get my new book as soon as it is out, and I’ll see you in the writing class on June 8.

Much love at this time

Beth Xx

*New book for you!* Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year

Friends, I wrote a new book for you. It is a book about Christmas. But it’s also a book about belonging, connection, self-care, joy and ordinary magic. Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year offers inspiration for a new kind of holiday season – one where you radiate calm and cultivate delight. Spanning late November to early January, Calm Christmas embraces the festive build-up, the celebrations and the turn of the year in a holistic, nurturing way.

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Let me whisk you away from the frenetic energy of the high street and invite you to come sit awhile by the fire, pausing to explore what a more mindful festive season could mean for you.

Full of personal stories, tips and advice for slowing down, staying calm and connecting with others, it offers a welcome retreat from the pressure to create ‘the perfect Christmas’.

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At its heart Calm Christmas is about a book about wellbeing in winter, which will encourage you to use this time of natural hibernation to germinate new dreams and nurture a beautiful life in the year ahead. Instead of entering January exhausted, further in debt, and already regretting broken resolutions, you will begin the New Year with precious memories, feeling rested, rejuvenated and inspired.

This atmospheric book will lead you through the darkness of winter, back to the enchantment of an authentic and meaningful Christmas and New Year.

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I hope you will pick up a copy for yourself, or gift it to a friend. You can get your copy here or from any good bookshop. If you are in the US/Canada you can get it from bookdepository.com with free shipping!

Beth Xx

Life lessons inspired by centuries-old Japanese culture

As the sun rises on the day that my new book ‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life’ is released into the world, I find myself transported back to a quiet temple in Kyoto, where I had been staying in simple temple lodgings back in March. I rose early for the morning meditation, then padded barefoot to a quiet room to interview the Deputy Head Priest Reverend Takafumi Kawakami.

One of the things Reverend Kawakami told me, which has stuck with me ever since, was this: “People think Zen is all about calmness and tranquillity and living in some blissed-out space of good vibes. But actually it’s about how you face your challenges: unhappiness, worry, loneliness, difficult emotions. It’s about learning to deal with what life throws at you, and acceptance of actuality is central to that.”

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This idea of acceptance is really at the heart of this new book, inspired by my twenty-year love affair with Japan. ‘Wabi sabi’ is intimately intertwined with the idea that everything in nature is transient – it’s all impermanent, imperfect and incomplete, as are we. Just think about that for a moment. Imperfection is our natural state of being. We are not supposed to be perfect. I don’t know about you, but that pretty much turns everything upside down for me, because so much of what we are taught tells us the exact opposite.

With this book I set about discovering the truth of the life lessons tucked away into centuries-old Japanese culture and aesthetics. It takes us on a gentle winding path through nature, deepening our appreciation of beauty and the gifts of simple living, and reminds us why this wisdom has never been more relevant than today. I hope you will read it, and soak it all up.

Researching and crafting this book has been one of the most wonderful creative projects I have ever had the pleasure to bring to life, and as I pick up my bag and head for the early train to London for a day of bookshop tours, full of gratitude to those who helped along the way, I am sending you a quiet wish on the breeze, that you will come to see that you are perfectly imperfect, just as you are.

Beth Xx

On love, art-making, friendship and all the things

For many people, making their living as a creative professional is a dream. For today’s podcast guests Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose McDonough, it’s the life path they have chosen. It hasn’t always been easy, but their friendship has played a huge part in keeping them inspired and motivated through the good times and the tough times.

I am especially delighted to have them on the show, together, because of the pivotal role they have played in my life. Get yourself a cuppa and pull up a chair. You’ll feel like you are round the kitchen table with these inspiring ladies…

LISTEN HERE

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What do you want to be grateful for, years from now?

 

Greetings from a cosy rainy England – such a difference from just a week ago. Right now my mum is building a theatre with our two little ones, and Mr K and I are in a café reviewing our numbers. We do this regularly, checking in on where we are, what’s going well, what has fallen behind, what we want to change, what we want to celebrate. And we each get to do this with one of our favourite people in the world. I am so grateful for the many varied opportunities entrepreneurship has brought to my door, but mostly I am grateful that we get to dream, plan and bring it to life together.

I’ll let you into a little secret. Back in the beginning, when I first started my business, every time Mr K came home from work (he was an civil engineer back then), we would do a high five for every course that had been sold that day. One day, soon after launching our first e-course there were a couple of high fives, a few more the next day, one the next, a couple the next and so on. It became a small but important reminder that it was working – this idea to do something different, and support others wanting to do something different, was working. I’ll never forget the first time we sold over 100 courses in a day, and our hands hurt from all the high fives, and our faces hurt from the grinning. It wasn’t about the money, it was about the freedom. I had created something from nothing, and it was helping people. That still blows my mind today, eight years on.

A couple of years after that day, the business was flourishing well enough for Mr K to quit his job completely and come on board. He started the first Monday after our honeymoon. It took a while for us to find our working rhythm, figuring out how best to use his skills, for me to let go of the need to do everything myself, and for him to get used to a very different way of working. But here we are, more than five years on, and he is absolutely crucial to the success of our business. He also gets paid a lot more than before, to work a lot fewer hours and spend large amounts of precious time with our daughters. We are building a life and future for our family, not just growing a business.

I am thinking about all this because tomorrow sees the start of our brand new online course, co-taught with my Make Art That Sells (MATS) co-founder Lilla Rogers. For the first time ever we are sharing all we have learned about money – in the context of business and life – in an intense and fun three week crash course, MATS MBA (Money BadAss). I love the title of the course because it is so Lilla – she has a brilliant attitude to business, while being both nurturing and fun, and a total badass. We combine strategy, practical guidance, advice on dealing with money stories and of course some woo, to bring you what I think will soon become one of our favourite courses. With daily video lessons, weekly live teaching and an amazing Playbook that provides a Game Plan for your business over the next twelve months. Class has just started but you can still squeeze in here.

Even if you don’t have a business, this week I want to challenge you to answer this question: What do you want to be grateful for having done NOW, in a few years’ time? I’d love to know your answer – come and share over on Instagram @bethkempton.

Have a great week

Beth Xx

Some thoughts on building a thriving creative career

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I am writing this to you from a private room above one of my favourite coffee shops, which is a regular hot desk space for me. Next to me is Mr K, making notes ahead of a full day of interviewing for a new team member. We just had a conversation about how it never ceases to amaze us how doing what we love enables other people to do what they love, as well as pay their mortgages, be there to collect their children from school, explore their own creativity or whatever matters to them. Being able to employ others in your own business is a huge responsibility, but also a huge privilege that you become part of that person’s career story.

This got me thinking about the ripple effect of any of us following our hearts and doing what we love. Other people sense it, get inspired by it, start asking themselves why they also can’t do it, and we become beacons for others feeling stuck or unfulfilled. The reward of that is almost as precious as the doing it ourselves.

Of course it isn’t always easy, and confidence can be a massive barrier to creative success. That’s why I invited Lilla Rogers – top art agent and my co-Founder of MakeArtThatSells.com – onto the podcast this week to share her thoughts and advice on thriving in a creative career. Listen in here and give yourself a huge motivational boost.

This month it feels like we have opened the faucet and so many new things we (and our amazing teams) have created are spilling forth into the world. Let me give you a taster, so you can see how much variety there can be in a creative career (and see if any of these new things can help YOU in yours!)

–       Today sees the launch of The Colour Gang, the new members’ club from Make It In Design which I co-founded with Rachael Taylor. We have created this in response to huge demand from our alumni for an accessibly-priced, year-round place to go for creative challenges, colour-based teaching, trend reports, and a buzzing community. And now the doors are open – come and join us here!

–       Next Monday is the first day of the first live class I have taught in over a year – it is a brand new co-taught class with Lilla Rogers, called MATS MBA (Money BadAss), a three-week intensive and super-fun course to help you deal with your money stories, take control of your money situation and figure out how to make a lot more in your creative business. It is completely video based (with daily videos and a downloadable Playbook), and includes a weekly live teachings with Lilla and me. If this is for you, come and join us. Starts next Monday!

–       We are on the countdown for the release of my new book ‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life. With just over three weeks to go, I am looking forward to a photoshoot, videoshoots and a lot of podcast interviews over the coming days. If you would love to discover what life lessons lie hidden in ancient Japanese culture and aesthetics, I think you will drink in every page of this book. If you pre-order before August 30 it you can also get a place at my live group coaching sessions which will run online from late October-early November, diving deep into the main themes of the book and reflecting on what they could mean in your life. To secure your spot just pre-order from Amazon or any bookshop and pop your details on the form here.

Phew! So much goodness in such a short space of time! Thank you for being part of it, and for believing in your own potential to do what you love. It’s an ongoing journey for all of us, and I am so grateful to share it with you.

Beth Xx

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Why Every Parent Needs More Headspace

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by guest writer Alison Qualter-Berna

The mother of a 6-month-old baby rushes to the kitchen as soon as her daughter falls asleep so she can mash organic avocado into the BPA free glass bowl she just bought. You know the kind; the one promising to seal in nutrients. As her breastmilk seems to be dwindling with each passing day, making her feel insecure and insufficient, she feels she has to provide supplemental nutrition where she can. She stops briefly to read 4 lines of an article about what she’s “supposed” to do when, alas, naptime is over and it’s back to parenthood. As she picks up her bundle of magic, she realizes she’s yet to brush her teeth.

The father of a 6-year-old child rushes home from the office to do “homework” with his first grader wondering if all little boys swing from the headboard while they are reading. The human brain can absorb vocabulary while upside down, can’t it? Is he the only one who doesn’t read chapter books yet? Is the dad the only father trying to squeeze the love of an entire afternoon into a few precious, tired hours before bed?

The mother of a 16-year-old teenager watches her daughter walk out of the house to go to a birthday party wearing a half shirt. Is it okay or if she suggests something with more coverage or does it means she’s sexualizing what is simply a fashion trend?  She swallows her inner disapproval with a smile that says ‘I love you no matter what,’ only to receive a comment about how much homework is on deck for the next day…that of course after the ride to soccer and then the drive to lacrosse in another state. Her overscheduled brain will still figure out how her daughter will fit piano and cello practice in before the big recital. “Oh, and I forgot…Mom, can you set your alarm for 6am? I need you to quiz me in science”

Every phase of parenthood is both blissfully fulfilling and (if you’re all in) utterly exhausting. You love and you love, and you give and you give, but some days you wonder where did I go?  Is there a pause button I can press in the struggle to find myself?

Enter meditation.

Meditation carries the answers to so many issues facing parents and yet many of us are too busy to slow down, let alone sit in silence for 10 or 15 minutes. There are lots of ways to get started and workshops to explore but the simplest way is right in your back pocket on your smartphone. My absolutely favorite app is called Headspace. Headspace is ideal for new meditators or for busy parents because it’s an app that makes it all accessible. You don’t have to sit cross-legged. You don’t have to practice yoga. You don’t have to be versed in Buddhist philosophy.  You just have to commit to taking 10 minutes for yourself, every single day.

Headspace’s incredibly varied theme packs range from managing anxiety or stress, to finding productivity or happiness. Whether you are looking to be more productive in your days or heal childhood wounds, meditation has a (different) answer for each one of us. I have many friends who seem to crave meditation but ask me how I can possibly fit it into my hour-to-hour, frenetic work days. I invite them to simply try Andy’s soothing and knowledgeable voice on Headspace for just 10 minutes a day for 10 days and then check back with me. Every single time I hear about the positive change it makes…and in such a short window of time.

Meditation offers a safe space for each of us to start a conversation with ourselves, however afraid we might be to have it.  What parent doesn’t long for the time to explore the musings in the mind and simply observe them, without judgement? Meditation can be exactly that “pause button” we crave as busy parents.

In that pause, we can learn many lessons that support not only our parenting journey but all of our relationships.

  • Meditation teaches us about letting go. Meditation helps us internalize letting go which may be the most difficult task of a loving parent: letting your infant sleep on their own, letting your toddler explore their boundaries, letting your young child lose or fail, letting your teenager individuate, letting your young adult enter the great big world. Meditation is a practice that supports our efforts to relinquish control and simply celebrate the various roads our children will travel.
  • Meditation teaches us to be comfortable in uncertainty. After 12 years of working with families I have not met a parent who isn’t racked with uncertainty.  How do I potty train my strong-willed child?  How come my kid won’t eat anything that’s green? Can I get my child into the best preschool? What should I do if my child doesn’t make the soccer team? What should I say when my teenager admits she’s been drinking? What do I do if my child is moving in a direction I didn’t expect? We long for answers but the truth is that life simply unfolds. Meditation teaches us to sit with the uncertainty until we get to the moment when we need to act. And when we do, we respond in a calmer and more centered way.
  • Meditation teaches us to be fully present. In these incredible tech-heavy times, I see too many parents on their phones while their child is talking to them, and too many kids with their face in their devices when they should be having face to face conversations. Meditation encourages us to step out of what we are doing and get into the present moment. There is no guilt in being swallowed by your inbox (I am) or working all day only to miss your child’s dinner and bath. But in those 30 rushed minutes before bed, meditation teaches us how to make those fleeting minutes the most present time you can spend with your child. I always tell parents it’s the quality of time you spend with your child, not the quantity. Meditation supports that line of thinking and the benefits are endless.
  • Meditation teaches us to be more empathetic and really see through the lens of our child. My babies are now teenagers and I have a deep well of empathy for their experiences.  But when I’m stretched thin or overly exhausted, I can easily forget that my way isn’t the only way. Meditation teaches us to be more sensitive to their needs, even if they aren’t meeting ours. The best part of this gift is its translation into every other relationship in life.
  • Meditation actually makes us less tired and more patient. If I could capture the number one thing parents have told me over the last decade at apple seeds, it very often comes back to, “I need more sleep.” Babies keep us up all night because they need us and teenagers keep us up all night because they don’t need us. It seems counterintuitive but taking just 10 or 20 minutes out of your day to meditate actually adds to how much you get done in that day. Your level of patience goes up and you complete more tasks in a less frenetic way. Meditation can improve your sleep which makes us less agitated. I used to pop a pill to fall back to sleep and now I just reach for Headspace. Headspace is the healthiest (and cheapest) cure for insomnia on the market.
  • Meditation is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children. We spend so much time and money on our kids and I often wonder if they greatest gift we could ever give to them is actually free. In this crazy world, as more and more screens dominate our children’s minds, teaching them to meditate and be present or mindful is a gift they will carry throughout their lives. Not many other things we give our kids can compare. Meditation can teach a child to step out of their mind and observe their thoughts, helping them manage natural anxieties, increase their level of empathy, and help them navigate the throes of life.

Someone once told me that I should take note of how I feel immediately after doing something. If it doesn’t feel positive, then I should stop. If it does, then I should seek more. I keep seeking meditation because it always shows up. It’s like a daily morning date with my mind, and a safe space to explore questions where I’m still longing for answers. It’s a way for me to find separation from issues that can overtake me and allow new ideas to flow in. It’s a way to for me to start my day more centered and grounded, ready to parent with calmer energy, and ready to walk into my office and face anything that comes.

Perhaps most importantly, meditation is way for me to let go of things I hold on to and internalize the deep appreciation for every single ounce of what I’ve got.  What busy parent doesn’t need that reminder?

Editor’s note: We also love Insight Timer (especially Yoga Nidra for Sleep with Jennifer Piercy) and Buddhify, created by our friend Rohan Gunatillake.

About Alison Qualter-Berna: Alison lives in NYC with her husband and three children. She spent five years in production at NBC News and six years at UNICEF where she created and managed a global program in Sports for Development. After her twin girls were born, she created apple seeds, an all-in-one play space for children 0-5 years, with three NYC locations and 20 songs for seeds music franchises. Alison is obsessed with yoga and endurance challenges. With her friends, she formed the nonprofit Team See Possibilities, making history three times.

Feeling rushed and exhausted? Try our on-demand course ‘How to be Happy (and Calm, Organized + Focused)

Read more about finding headspace and heartspace in ‘Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love.” by DWYL Founder Beth Kempton:

Why Every Parent Needs More Headspace BK WABI SABI PREO.DER FB 1.3 800X400PX LR