I was never good at being still. Yoga was boring. Mediation usually resulted in an inappropriate fit of giggles. And mindfulness only ever conjured up the image of the eye-roll emoji. Even if I was physically still, my mind was racing. Organising, planning, making lists of my lists. I never stopped. Until I met my baby. 

 

I started to slow down. Hours could be lost staring at the details of my newborn. How tiny those fingernails are. Watching his eyes try to focus and wondering if the specks of colour in those early blue eyes were an indicator that they would change colour. Questions were simple because they were constantly interrupted by waves of sheer love. Those first smiles that brought tears of joy. Those first gurgles that made the world silence. My mind slowed in the nicest possible way. 

 

Then I came out of the newborn stage, work and lists edged ever so quickly back into my life. Time to call on a toddler. The wildest most erratic creatures in the world who bring the most beautiful stillness. I loved going for a five-minute walk because I knew it would take a half an hour. Walking with a toddler brings wonder and awe back into your world. Every step is taken cautiously because every ant has to be examined. Every flower has to be smelt and inevitably picked. A clock is irrelevant to a toddler and while it is the most frustrating when you are trying to get out the door it is also the best life lesson I have learnt. 

 

The madness has made me still.

 

My children have become my yoga, my meditation and my mindfulness. 

Michelle Greaves: mum of two boys, writer, photographer, traveller, secondary school teacher.

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