Spirit Blog

Personal reflections on a spiritual journey...

Meditation

Last week I was in a funk. Everything seemed out of my control. All my thoughts teetered on full-blown pessimism.

My son wouldn't enter school in the morning without a total meltdown (his tiny face covered in tears, begging me not to let go of his hand as the school staff took him into the building), every meal with my children involved someone whining/crying/throwing tantrum (Paul only likes rice and beans, Rita won't eat beans, that kind of thing), my baby wouldn't nap (teething), both daughters were diagnosed as lactose intolerant (after months of one child with severe constipation and one having the opposite problem, trying every method to return their digestive tracks back to perfect health, and so. many. dirty. diapers.), homework time for my son was insanely tedious (just straight-up refusal to do it), my husband and I were bickering about the mundane details of our life together (you know, like who is right and who is wrong), lots of traffic, lots of tension, lots of stress...and, among other things, my IPod officially broke (after weeks of faulty function following a cracked screen incident).

In the scheme of life, none of this detailed list is all that serious, I know. In fact, it isn't what was happening, it was how I responded to what was happening.

My negative reaction to it all only perpetuated the cycle. I felt disconnected, unsupported, helpless, and alone, despite the fact that I am very connected, extremely supported, "powerful beyond measure," and never alone. 

Finally, I remembered that I have a choice. I can choose to see it all as really unfortunate and annoying and difficult OR I can choose to see it differently. I can take a few deep breaths and change the thought pattern. So I decided to return to the only method I know for solving this kind of thing, self-work, and more specifically, meditation. 

Ten short minutes, timed with a timer, mid-day in silence, eyes closed. Long deep breath. My mind wanders of course, but I gently guide it back to my inhale or a mantra. This is easily available to us all. After just a week straight, I am always amazed at how different I feel. I am more patient, more compassionate, and more positive when I incorporate meditation into my day. Everything seems so much better even if nothing has changed at all. 

How To:

1. Sit in a comfortable upright position, with a long straight spine.

2. Breathe in and out through your nostrils. Allow your belly to expand on the inhale and draw back toward your spine on your exhale. 

3. If you are using a mantra, repeat it silently.

Possible mantras:

I am love.

I am enough.

Peace begins with me.

I am a miracle.

I am surrounded by love and light.

I am supported.

4. As your mind wanders, gently guide it without judgment back to your breath or the mantra. 

5. Be kind to yourself. There is nothing to achieve in this practice but a little peace of mind. 

Namaste.

Doing Versus Being

Simultaneously unloading the dishwasher, stirring the food in the pot cooking on the stove, interacting with my son about his Lego creation, helping my daughter undress her doll, replacing the pacifier in the baby's mouth, while talking on the phone with a friend and checking my calendar as we make plans to take a meditation class (the irony of which is not lost on me). This type of "being" has become quite normal for me. What about you?

I have never been a procrastinator. In fact, just the opposite. Honestly, sometimes it feels like I am in a self-created competition to see how much I can accomplish in one solid hour. I am always busy. I am always working. I am always doing. I am always multi-tasking. 

Yet this comes into complete opposition with my desire to reach higher consciousness, since that is the practice of undoing, of simply being. It is the practice of stillness, of mindfulness. It is the antithesis of multi-tasking. And, in addition, all that doing layered about doing, thoughts upon thoughts, can really cause quite a bit of stress. It makes me feel entirely disconnected with my highest self, with the divine within. So here I am constantly in a place of self-imposed mandatory time out sessions. For me, unless I commit to daily slowing down, daily relaxation time, daily meditation, I will not stop moving/working/creating/completing/doing from the minute I wake up until the minute my eyes close at the end of the day.

If this sounds familiar then maybe you should commit too. Commit to a practice that embraces stillness, something that speaks to your soul, your inner being. Commit even for five minutes a day. Just commit.

Don't worry. The dishes and the laundry, the plans, the work, the dinner, the phone call, can wait. It really can. But inner peace cannot.

It is so important for physical, emotional, and spiritual health to put the phone down, turn the tv off, stop checking Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/messageboard/blog, stop working/cleaning/organizing/planning/creating/thinking even just for a few short minutes so as to sit in silence, in stillness, to sit with yourself, to just be. This is how we reach higher consciousness, how we connect with our intuition. This is how we know God/Spirit/Self.

This simple practice can truly change everything. Try it now.

"Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God." -Diana Robinson