There is plenty of time for worry – this is time for calm

I often get asked how I handle my stress and I usually have the same answer: I meditate. When you think of meditation what pops into your head?

When I used to think of meditation, I would picture people sitting with their legs crossed, their hands on their knees, with perfect posture and in a place of total enlightenment:

And that’s awesome. But my back hurts. And when I try to sit like this, instead of quieting my mind, all I can think about is how uncomfortable I am and how much my back hurts. And so that was when I would stop meditating and declare it doesn’t work and give up. Then I saw an interview with Deepak Chopra  and he said to meditate you should get into a comfortable position.

Of course as an autism mommy, business owner, mommy of a typical 8-year-old, domestic goddess,  etc… I don’t get a lot of “me time”. Very rarely is there quiet in my home. Usually it is quite the opposite:

So my version of meditation is not a very zen version of calm. Maybe we need a new category for meditation – the busy mom version.

I catch whatever few moments of calm I can find and use those moments to take deep breaths and quiet my mind. My favorite place to do this is my bed – lying flat on my back, no feet on the floor or hands on knees with palms facing up… just lying flat. But I do touch my pointer finger to my thumb, this helps center me in my happy place. My happy place is the blue ridge mountains.  

And maybe I am doing it wrong – but it works.

I try to get at least 20 full minutes of meditation time a day but usually I have to just split it up into several little moments throughout the day. I sometimes close my eyes for a minute and focus on my breath at red lights, or in the car line while picking the kids up from school (I recommend putting the car in park if you try this haha) And even when I can’t close my eyes I just take the time to intentionally focus on my breath and calm my mind. And one of my favorite times for nice quiet meditation is when I get in bed to go to sleep.

I breathe deep. Inhale big and exhale longer than I inhale. I clear my mind. Which is next to impossible since I usually have to listen to the kids and translate the sounds to determine the level of destruction they are  causing in my absence. But that’s okay.

Thoughts will enter my mind, I worry if I paid that bill or what’s for dinner or if homeworks done or if the dogs need to go out, but then I just usher the thought out and clear my mind again. There is plenty of time for worry – this is time for calm. And lots of thoughts enter, and they just get ushered out. I just keep my focus – picture my mountain view – and clear my mind.

Another approach I have tried is to focus on what I want. Once, I really wanted to win these concert tickets so every day all week I meditated for 20 minutes and pictured myself on a mountain with the tickets in my hand. And you know what? I won the tickets!!! It was awesome!! But I didn’t have the same luck when I pictured myself with a giant winning lotto check in my hand. Doh! So I went back to just clearing my mind and not thinking about anything except how it feels to be on the mountain looking at that magnificent view. It feels happy and calm 🙂

I have moments of being a very stressed out person. And I am often irritable and overwhelmed, I am always grumpy in the morning, and exhausted by 2pm though my son usually doesn’t settle down (if he sleeps at all) until after 11pm. My typical daughter can drive me batty with her constant chatter and questions – and one liners — like last night when I was cleaning dog pee off the floor and yelling and mad at the dog and then I slipped in the pee and fell and hurt myself — she chimed in with “Well that’s what you get for yelling.” And of course my son with autism keeps it interesting by climbing and/or breaking  and/or peeing on everything in sight.

Sooooo… of course I drink plenty of booze.

But aside from that — one thing that really keeps me sane in this crazy world — is meditation. And a positive outlook. And realizing that this is my life, I need to be here now and enjoy it before they are all grown up and I am a lonely old woman with a perfectly clean house and no more kids running around keeping it interesting. Well except for the grandkids…

An anonymous poem I found in a magazine reminds me of what is important:  “I hope my children look back on today, and remember a mom who had time to play. There will be years for cleaning and cooking, but children grow up when we aren’t looking”

So I just have to roll with the punches and realize how blessed I am. One day I will look back fondly on this time as “the good ol’ days” 🙂

August 2020