For mom of two Alicia Keys, a huge part of being a good parent is taking time out for herself, away from her kids — but for a very specific purpose.
The Grammy-winning artist and Voice coach meditates daily, and she credits it with giving her a "whole new perspective" and making her a more mindful mother to sons Egypt, 6, and Genesis, 21 months.
Keys spoke about her daily practice onstage during the Brooklyn leg of WME’s Together Tour, a national tour moderated by Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, adding that she had to rid her entire life of adversity to achieve her mindfulness goals.
"I needed to clear the negative space, the negative people in my space… [which] probably should’ve happened years ago," she said. "But now, there’s even more of a reason. My purpose is so much bigger, it’s so much bigger than me."
If you've tried meditation and quit because it just wasn't working, Keys can relate. She admitted that it was a struggle at first and that she even fell asleep during her early attempts. But she persevered and now describes it as "a need […], a yearning, a desire" rather than a grind.
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a mindfulness expert, says mindful parenting is remembering what is really important during our daily lives with our children. It requires paying attention to our children's needs, acknowledging that they may be different from our own and committing to finding ways for everybody's needs to be met — at least to some extent. It's about learning to be still in an increasingly hectic world and working toward a place of greater calmness in order to strengthen our bond with our kids.
One important aspect of becoming a more mindful parent is embracing the fact that you are "good enough," says mindfulness teacher Lisa Kring. According to Kring, it's actually good for our kids to see us fail now and again in order to have a genuine role model of what it is to be human. When we put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, we waste too much energy focusing on an unrealistic standard and not enough on simply being open, available and connected to our children.
Put like that, it's pretty hard to argue with Keys that this is a parenting goal we should all strive for.
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