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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Meditating Mama: I took the first step!

Being a mom is very rewarding, but also very challenging. It's Mom-I'm-hungry-Why-is-the-sky-blue-Why-are-you-rubbing-your-forehead-like-that challenging! It's difficult to find time to breathe.

So this morning, I decided to give meditation a try. I've done a little meditating in the past - not much - just enough to know that it can be helpful and bring a sense of calm to an otherwise anxiety-provoked existence.

The boys have been away for a few days. I spent the first days getting things done and sleeping. Ah, sleep, how I have missed you! Today, was meditation day. I decided to start slow - just five minutes today to get the feel of it. No pressure! I woke up too early but ready to begin. I sat on the floor and closed my eyes.

Something was missing. A candle. I needed a candle. I had just the one - a soothingly scented purple candle to inspire deep thoughts. Perfect! ... but... I needed something to light it with... so I went looking for a match.

There were no matches in the first few places I looked, but I did find an enormous amount of dust that needed to be wiped off of a dresser. Also, it was such a lovely day I opened up all of the windows. I found a box and checked inside for matches. No matches, but it did contain a beautiful crystal that used to hang on a window. It would be lovely if I needed something to focus on... you know... if I got distracted. It just needed a pretty ribbon to hang from. I rummaged through another drawer and found the perfect pearlescent blue ribbon, fed it through the loop of the crystal and tied it in a neat bow.

I went to the kitchen to look for matches, found some, and then remembered that I needed to feed the cat and give her some medicine.... which then reminded me that I needed to clean out her litter box. That reminded me that I needed to go to the bathroom myself. No point trying to meditate with a full bladder.

Relieved, candle lit, beautiful chirping bird sounds spilling in through the windows, I sat on the floor and closed my eyes. As my thoughts drifted to discomfort or my to-do list, trying to breathe "naturally", I returned to the mantra, "so hum" ("I am"). So hum... So hum... I am... I am... I am hungry, I thought, as my tummy rumbled. So hum... This isn't working. How can I quiet my mind when my stomach is talking to me? Just a quick bite to eat, that's all I needed. Back to the kitchen I went and poured myself a bowl of cereal. I figured I might as well just have breakfast and then return to meditating.

Now I was nourished and ready to clear my mind of debris. I sat again, legs crossed, palms open and closed my eyes. I was slouching. I'm not supposed to be slouching. I returned from the living room with a foam block, after carrying some dirty dishes to the kitchen, rinsing the cat's food bowl and having a glass of lemonade.

So hum... So hum... SAM! (my cat) Do NOT drag your tail through the flame! PLEASE! Be careful, Sammy. Exhale. So hum... So hum... So hum...

My cat has no trouble relaxing.

After a few deep, cleansing breaths I decided that it had been a good first effort and blew out the candle. As distracted as I had been, I gave myself credit for the effort. And I did feel more relaxed!

Now everything is set up for tomorrow, so there should be nothing to distract me.... Okay, there will still be plenty to distract me, but, with time and practice, I'm confident that this will get easier. I can already feel the benefits.

If you're feeling tense or under pressure, I highly recommend taking a few moments for yourself each morning before your day begins, meditating, doing yoga, writing in a journal or performing some other relaxing activity that is all about you!


If you like, you can try this meditation guided by Deepak Choprah.

If you are unable to view this video, you can link to it directly here: http://youtu.be/D56tUOdpgts


  1. This was so funny...and really something I'd do too(the getting distracted part). Good for you, for trying it out!

  2. This sounds like me - always getting distracted!

  3. You are too funny, I would get distracted too! Kudos for trying!

  4. I find meditation is so hard to do! Actually, the first successful one that I had was when I was at yoga for bad backs. I felt so relaxed afterwards.

  5. Too funny! I think this is how I would meditate too. It's hard to empty your mind when there are dishes in the sink. :)

  6. I love this! My mom was a very loud insomniac throughout my childhood, which made it difficult in turn for me to sleep. In the very early mornings, I'd thus begin the half-hour walk in darkness toward my mom's church for their morning meditation. My mom had a key to the church for cleaning purposes, which she passed to me (since, with permission, I also sometimes helped clean) so I could show up really early. Those moments in the big, dark, blessedly empty meeting room were some of the only moments of peace I found those days. Actual meditation left me feeling a kind of peace that carried with me for several hours.

    Remembering that has left me thinking I ought start again, but I think that the same way I think I ought to start working on these last 10 pounds of baby weight that cling to me! Perhaps I ought consider giving it a real shot again. A few minutes of just allowing myself to try for a clear mind would do me wonders . . . after a few months of practice, I'd wager!

    The giggles that came from your delightful recounting of your first effort already have :)

  7. Ladies, thanks for laughing with me, rather than at me. I meditated again yesterday morning - ish. It's also hard to meditate when you're half asleep. Tip from me to all of you: It is not wise to think, 'I'll just lie down for a second', while trying to meditate. Sigh.