Book Review: Momfulness: Mothering with Mindfulness, Compassion, and Grace

This book is for all those mothers who work to see the thread of magic that runs just beneath the most simple, ordinary days of our lives. 

As mothers, we all know it's there, but sometimes it hides and we have to do something to remember how very lucky we are to be standing here in a mess of a house making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 
Denise Roy's book touches on exactly how to find this thread and pull it up to reveal the beauty and the grace that motherhood brings into our experience as nothing else can. 

Denise Roy is an experienced spiritual guide for mothers. Her previous book, My Monastery is a Minivan, has been an oft-visited title on my shelf. The book is a series of essays straight from her real life; essays that help to bring me back to my spiritual center when I forget it. 

In Momfulness, Roy takes a slightly different approach. Just as motherhood is a continual back-and-forth ride between the routine and the transcendent, the practical and the sublime, the nose-wipes and the deep-snuggles – Roy's new book alternates between stories and suggestions; reflections and practical tips. 

Momfulness is arranged around a series of lessons that most of would agree are natural to the journey of motherhood: presence, attention, compassion, embodiment, the sacred in all things, and community. There are six chapters devoted to each of the lessons, and each begins with a quotation (including those from some of my own favorite writers, such as Thich Nhat Hahn, Brenda Ueland, and Anne Lamott) followed by an essay or story. Each chapter concludes with practical steps you can take to weave this idea, technique, or skill into your daily life. 

The reflective pieces are where Roy really shines. She is great at being honest and showing how even the most mundane moments can present a pathway to a richer world if we can take the time to notice and to embrace them. 

Such a book is a gift for those times when we need to be able to look on our children with a renewed appreciation for the gifts that they are – and the gifts they present to us in our every moment of motherhood. 

Denise Roy is a licensed marriage & family therapist, a spiritual teacher and seminar leader, and a mother of five, so she has no shortage of stories to draw from. 
This is a quick read and great for group study. It would be particularly ideal for a regular church group or mom's group. 

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