Are you having one of those days? Your to-do list is a mile long. Cranberry juice knocked over on a carpet that has just been cleaned. Clothes piled up in four laundry baskets and no underwear to be found. A baby screaming at the grocery store (oh wait, is it YOUR kid?). Somebody’s having a meltdown and you’re thisclose to joining in. There are some days where the words “family” and “peace” can’t seem to co-exist. So what are you going to do?
I’ll tell you what works for me: Meditation Moments.
A few years ago I started practicing meditation on a regular basis. At first, I tried to do the typical meditation of quieting the mind, focusing on breath, and humming “ommmmm.” After a short time, my ADD mind would wander off. I was mentally adding to my mile long to-do in between breaths.
By accident, I discovered that when I took time out during the day to pray, to be thankful, to go in nature–a natural meditative state occurred. Intrigued, I started making a practice of taking time out to get into this state of mindfulness. To be fully present in the moment. To reflect, be aware, and just…be.
I began capturing those moments in photographs–and finding that I was even more mindful of everything around me as a result. Suddenly I was aware of a drop of dew on a leaf or the way the sun sparkled through the petals of a flower. Those meditation moments brought me a sense of calm and lowered my stress level tremendously.
After doing a little research, I learned a really cool definition of what it means to truly be in a meditative state:
When I skip the meditative moments throughout my day, there’s often a price to pay. Things begin to pile up in my head until they have nowhere to go–but out. The other day, I was wound up so tight I was simply a disaster waiting to happen. Sure enough, it did. I was running around trying to get several things done, so I gave the hubby and son one thing to do–go pick up dinner. I ran out the door to do one more errand which took an hour and half. I was tired, crabby, and freaking hungry when I arrived home. There was no dinner to be found.
I lost it. I mean, I really LOST IT. My tirade was peppered with swear words–something that takes a lot coming from me. My son’s eyes were as big as saucers as I let off steam.
I went into the bathroom, turned off the light, and sat on the floor. First, I allowed myself to go into every rotten piece of feeling that was flowing through me. Because you see, meditation is not about retreating from the world, it’s about going into the very moment you have within you. Then I slowed down my breathing and focused on the darkness. Meditation is the calm between thoughts. It’s the awareness of being.
Yes, I came out of that bathroom in a whole different state of mind. It took a little while for the hubby and son to forgive me.
Like anything in life, one has to create new ways of thinking and new habits to be able to incorporate a different way of life into the day. To embrace meditation moments, take time out in your day to purposefully, mindfully, go into the moment. Stop the train wreck of go-go-go and create moments where you can slow down and fully BE. Better yet, bring meditative moments into your family routine. The peace that results will be worth it.