I meditate so that my mind cannot complicate my life ~ Sri Chimnoy (BINGO! This guy nailed it!)
I KNOW you've all had a morning like the one I've had. I'm not special, I know that. I'm just like every other mom out there who, at certain times, actually tip-toes around their children so as to not set off that completely irrational, totally out of left field, Defcon-5, temper tantrum.
I swear, the more you avoid it, fear it and tip-toe around it, the more they sense it and immediately explooooooooood into alien beings. They become a whirlwind of legs and hands flailing all over in rapid motion. It's a sight to behold.
Did I really give birth to an alien? Who in their right mind would sign up for this? No one told me that children could turn into something out of the Exorcist and that some (most) of my days would start off with me standing in a pool of my child's tears! (Completly irrational ones to boot.)
Except for this morning, the tears were all mine. Huge, fat, snotty tears.
And here I am, reeling from the latest mega temper tantrum, trying to figure out how I can survive motherhood. (Seriously, for unsuspecting mom's to be, we really should rethink the phrase 'Terrible Two's' and replace it with something totally more accurate, like "Armageddon Two's, Three's, Four's and beyond!" If you can survive it and come out on the other side as one, mentally capable, socially functioning, happy human being, then baby, you're gonna be A-OK!)
If your mornings sound in any way shape or form like mine, then God bless sister, I'm happy you're here! And if I may impart some wisdom, I've been experimenting and I may be able to help.
All this mediation and mindfulness is not for nothin'!
Pardon my French, but this sh*t works! If you're not on the meditation bandwagon yet, then you need to pony up my friend because this literally could save your sanity. (And tears. Lots and lots of tears!) I've become addicted to it and I swear, if you give it the good old college try, really tune in to what's going on inside your head (and outside - because there is a big old world out there - way bigger than the one we usually reside in), you will get space. And space is essential. We all covet our personal space and when we feel encroachment coming on, our 2 million-year-old brain is thinking Can I fight this? Can I outrun this? Or should I freeze right here and hope they don't see me anymore?!
Before your caveman brain can enter into the equation, meditation allows for that space before your reaction hits the ground running and there's no turning back! Given space, one can actually react calmly, rationally, and in a totally acceptable adult manner. It's astounding!
The benefits of meditation far outweigh any sideways glances you might get at your next playdate, or PTA meeting when chatting up other moms. (This is actually a great way to weed out any Negative Nellies out there - keep them and their half empty glass at arms length.) And the way to incorporate it into your day is simple. Let me show you the way!
- Find a little spot. It doesn't have to be big, it can be super small, small enough to fit you and ONLY you! It's a kid-free, hubby-free, pet-free zone. This spot is somewhere where you can be alone, and space out.
- Once you find a little nook, sit down. I use a little pillow as a prop to help open up my hips if I'm sitting cross-legged on the floor (criss-cross applesauce!) Hands are on my knees, palms face up and I'm as upright as I comfortably can be.
- Close your eyes and breathe. I usually begin with the 4-7-8 breath, very common and very helpful to relax into your seat. I do 4 breathing rounds of that and then do regular, conscious breathing.
- Now this step may be weird but it totally helps put things into perspective for me, making sure I feel super insignificant - but in a good way!
Once you're pretty relaxed (and beginning to get all into your to-do list - it will happen, just politely tell yourself to quit it), begin to envision that you're up in space - no space costume required or big astronaut helmet. You're happily sitting up in space in your comfy yoga pants and you're looking down on earth. There, rolling around before you is all of North America, South America, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, even a few parts of Europe, your view is expansive and wide.
Then think about all that living that is going on at that moment in all those far away places. There is TONS of life going on, people coming and going, shopping, eating, sleeping, working, endlessly moving.
SIt with that for a little bit.
Next, try to find where you are in all of that. Notice how much you have to zoom in to even find your state, then your city, then your neighborhood, then your house, and then you in the house. That's a long journey! Sit with that.
How many temper tantrums did you pass on your way to zooming in? Probably a million!
This whole visualization (done while performing some good belly breaths) can take you as little as 7 minutes, and it's a game-changer, I swear! And this is just one small simple way to experience it. Other times I work on cultivating massive amounts of self-love since I lack it. Or I work on creating laser-focus on what I want to see in my life.
When I want to feel less fear, I head to the floor. I want to feel as though I'm above it all and working at a higher frequency, I head to the floor. It's not an ego thing, it's actually the opposite. By sitting and breathing, I'm kicking the ego to the curb for those moments.
Think of it literally as a grounding experience and a way for you to actively and consciously elevate your current state of mind, because the truth is, if you can elevate your mind, which in turn elevates your emotions, your perceptions, and your reactions, then you've hit rockstar status and ain't no temper tantrum going bring you down! In fact, you can waltz right through it without even realizing it's going on. Spiritual sanity!
So bring on the Armageddon Two's (and three's, four's, five's and six's!)
Now I'd love to hear from you and if this is a practice you already use, or if it's a new thing and you're not really sure if it will work for you? What's holding you back from making it a practice? Comment in the section below, I would love to hear from you!