The Philly Happening Women Series is a reoccurring feature that highlights inspirational female personalities, entrepreneurs, and women making a difference in the City of Brotherly Love!
Tejal Patel strives to teach children and families the practice of meditation.
Tejal Patel’s journey as a mindfulness and meditation coach began in an unlikely way: while working as a divorce attorney.
Patel worked with families on collaborative divorces—out-of-court divorce resolutions— using mediation. The goal of her work was to do what was in the best interest of the children involved. Patel felt the tension on both sides of the cases. “I would go home and wonder, ‘if I feel this much stress, how are the children involved feeling?’
As a child, Patel suffered from anxiety, stress, and low-self esteem. Her work as an attorney brought back some of her childhood pains. At 28, she began suffering from anxiety, stress, and panic attacks again. Patel remembered that as a child, her father taught her to meditate and it helped her to feel more calm. She started practicing meditation again and immediately saw the benefits.
“I said to myself, ‘Children should know this skill. Why aren’t we teaching them this?’” I realized that it’s not enough to just teach kids. My intention is that families practice meditation. Moms should know how to do this when they’re stressed. They should model this behavior for their children. Teachers should model this behavior for their students,” Patel said.
From this idea, Patel’s work as The Mindful Mama Coach was born. Patel offers the programs 7-Day Stress Detox, the Mindful Mama Course, the Mindful Kid Masterclass, and other special offers, such as the 5-Day Mindfulness Experience. Her Website, Tejalvpatel.com features free stress relief tools to help moms live a more mindful life and raise mindful kids. By following Patel on Social Media, followers will have access to additional mindfulness tips and tricks. Patel also has her own YouTube channel, Tejal TV, with the tagline: Create Calmness Amongst Life’s Chaos.
Patel’s mission is geared toward giving moms experience on how to infuse peaceful pauses into the day; how to turn small everyday moments into a small, mindful recess. As a mom of a toddler herself, Patel can relate first-hand to the moms that she teaches.
“The mindfulness tools aren’t hard,” said Patel, who is also a yoga and mindfulness teacher for children. “The hard part is remembering to practice our tools throughout the day when our mind goes into autopilot.”
Patel’s work as the Mindful Mama focuses on helping others make daily shifts that transform into monumental changes over time.
“The beauty of meditation is that you start feeling changes right away,” Patel said.
Philly Happening Co-Editor Susan Field caught up with Patel in a phone interview to get the scoop on how to infuse meditation and mindfulness into your daily life, why you should look into your left eye while brushing your teeth, and the Mindful Mama’s course offerings for 2018.
Tell us more about your 6-week coaching program, The Mindful Mamma Experience:
I’m a student and teacher of Kundalini yoga and meditation coined the householders yoga and meditation. I teach mamas simple, life-changing tools that help them feel calm in just 3 minutes a day. We infuse different mindful breaks throughout the day to help you stay calm when you’re confronted with stressful moments like meltdowns, falling behind with work or any unexpected issue that arises.
The last week of the program, I teach moms tools that they can start practicing with their children. They will “walk the walk”—they’re modeling mindfulness for their kids so they can create a family experience out of it.
It’s really been such a beautiful experience to see how moms are transformed to feeling more balanced and have more energy. These moms are modeling what it means to be a thriving, happy, fulfilled, mom and woman, and the children reap the benefits of that.
What feedback have you received from the moms who have completed your program?
A lot of moms say they feel more confident about unexpected challenges that life throws at them.
We go deep in this program, and they heal many childhood wounds that get triggered by their children’s meltdowns. Moms have said they never felt this much of self-love for themselves and so many have transformed the idea of what it means to take care of themselves.
This isn’t about taking care of yourself on a random spa day, vacation or when you get a mani-pedi. This is about infusing small moments of self-care in just 1-3 minutes a day.
Before the program, a lot of moms said that they were feeling out of balance, like they didn’t have enough time, that they were not doing enough, or they were not present enough. In the program, I teach tools for dealing with those problems. I give tools on how to build patience, how to calm down, how to connect to your emotions, how to tap into your inner peace. A big portion of it is self-love and acceptance. We’re so hardwired to feel guilty for taking time for ourselves, but I’ve heard people say that they now prioritize their own time and they feel so empowered.
I’ve seen moms post pics of their kids meditating with them. It’s been rewarding to see how their kids have embraced this practice in their lives.
How do you embrace mindfulness in your life?
I have reminders set up all throughout my life during everyday tasks like when I’m driving, cooking, brushing. This helps me stay consistent. It becomes ingrained, just like brushing your teeth. Listen to your body when it becomes overworked and overwhelmed. Get to know the point of feeling overwhelmed before burnout.
You have to add pauses throughout your day. Especially in the digital age we are in, it’s really important to tune into ourselves before we go out into the world.
With our phones, we check our email or log onto Facebook and we basically get sucked in and go into autopilot mode. For example, if you start your day by checking your email and you get an email that annoys you, then you’re starting your day in an annoyed state of mind and you’re not starting out in a centered, peaceful state of mind.
How do you recommend starting your day in a centered, peaceful state of mind?
I suggest, putting a post-it on the bathroom mirror that says “Breathe Deep. I love you.” The reason I say ‘I love you,’ is because how often do we say ‘I love you’ to ourselves?
While you’re brushing your teeth, gaze into your left eye. As you’re brushing for that minute, look into your left eye, breathe in and out of our nose and recite to yourself, ‘I love you. I love that you’re so strong.’ Think of the things you value and are worthy about you.
When moms start validating how they feel in the morning, it shifts how you feel about yourself. When you tell yourself those things, it is really powerful.
Why look into the left eye?
We always hear that the eyes are the windows to the soul. The left eye is the window to the soul.
Do you practice what you preach?
Yes, I’ve been practicing since pregnancy. From the moment I became a mom, I noticed how so many people kept asking me if I was ‘so exhausted and tired?’ and I said, “being a mom has it’s challenges, but I feel calm and peaceful most of the time.’ I realized how differently I felt than them, so I realized that there really is so much value to practicing mindfulness and meditation as a mom. Being a mom doesn’t have to be as stressful as we all make it.”
Yes I have extremely tough moments but I now have tools to not let my anxiety to get the best of me. I’ve never been as fulfilled and happy as I am now.
What courses are you offering in 2018?
In Feb. 2018 I’m offering my 4 week Mindful Kids Masterclass. This is a group coaching course that helps parents learn the tools to better cope with stress, difficult emotions and build self-confidence at a young age (even if you’ve never taken a mindful breath in your life). To sign up for the wait list go here: www.TejalVPatel.com/mindful-kids-masterclass-waitlist
In April 2018, I’ll be launching The Mindful Mama Experience that helps any stressed-out and overwhelmed mom learn how to better manage anxiety, frustration and self-care. To learn more go here www.TheMindfulMamaExperience.com
How can readers connect with you?
Mamas are welcome to join my private and safe Mindful Mama Facebook group at www.ModZenMamaTribe.com. This is the place to learn simple ways to stress less and live a more mindful life.
To get a real-life look on my mindful (and not-so-mindful) mama moments check me out at Instagram @tejalvpatel.com and for inspiring Facebook Live Trainings like my Facebook Page @tejalpatel.tv
To learn how to work more closely to me go to www.tejalvpatel.com and click on “Work With Me.” You can sign up on the wait list for my courses. By doing this, you will be privy to early bird bonuses and pricing that is not available anywhere else.