I find life pretty hectic. I chuckle when I think of my parents “going for coffee.” Imagine, lingering over one cup! My cup of joe is always on the run from the nearest drive-thru. I often view my life as a merry-go-round- hang on tight or I’ll fly off the horse! Desperately, I latch onto the painted pastel seat, harness dangling off to the side.
So, I wondered what I could do to bring about change to my precarious lifestyle? Besides drinking red wine, I decided to explore the world of meditation-conscious relaxation! Sounded simple enough-merely find a quiet place to “just be.” I thought I’d allow 10-15 minutes to begin my practice. I waited until the girls left for school-how would I calm down after their incessant arguing?!! “That’s my headband and you can’t wear it!” “Well, you wore my sweatshirt yesterday!” “The bus!!!!,” I screamed like a mad woman. My ah moment happened when their backs faced me as they crossed the icy terrain of our driveway. Feeling like a PTSD victim, I ambled to the couch trying to embrace the calm that awaited me. I grabbed my “touchy-feely” CD and began breathing. In, sat, out, nam. I circled my neck. So far, so good. Then the chatter began, “Whose picking my son up from school? Did I mail the frame returns? Did the third party insurances get done on time?” Focus, let the thoughts float by like little clouds…In, sat, out nam. A few seconds go by, “Crap, I forgot to make an appointment for my car inspection!” Breathe, I admonish myself. “What if the timer doesn’t go off and I fall asleep?” I decide to reassure myself by checking the timer. I open my eyes slowly and peek at the clock – 4 minutes have passed! Really?!!! “Sit like the Buddha,” I reprimand myself. I stay seated with my back straight and my feet flat on the floor, palms facing up on my thighs. I hear the house crack and icicles fall. Breathe! Acknowledge the sounds and continue in the stillness. Beep, beep, beep… the microwave timer goes off! I have two thoughts, regret that I couldn’t free my mind for ten minutes and relief that it’s over!
It’s ironic that when I need to focus my mind the most, the chatter in my head won’t let me. At times, I’ve managed to sit in stillness for twenty minutes, but not today. My “to do” list is too long. I will continue to practice meditation on a daily basis, adding another duty to my already over-burdened schedule. The difference is that meditation is for me- a quiet time to reflect. It’s a chance to do nothing, but sit peacefully. An opportunity to alleviate some of my stress and start the day with a clean slate. Perhaps with continued practice, I’ll watch my harried thoughts float by as I sit and smile, like a Buddha- Namaste!