Meditation takes you beyond the mind’s noisy chatter
into the pure awareness
that is the source of all of your happiness, inspiration, and love
I think it’s been evident through these posts that I’ve been struggling a bit with my return from maternity leave. I had this idea that I’d return from my second maternity leave with ease. I thought, somehow, that I’d “mastered it.” That, having been through the worst of the worst returning to work after having my oldest daughter, I’d have all the answers and be able to soar through my work days feeling balanced, successful, and happy.
Much to my dismay, I found that that wasn’t the case.
My youngest is now eight months old, and I’m still searching for the secret. In the past eight months, I have had moments of intense and unexplainable anxiety. I’ve felt out of control of my personal life and career and schedule on certain occasions. I’ve continued to have these moments even though I’ve begun to schedule myself better at work, practice gratitude for the wonderful blessings in my life, and live more in the present moment. And, I believe that in the past two weeks that I found the secret…
Now, I generally haven’t bought into meditation. I had tried it once when I was in college, but I didn’t put much effort into it. I never felt like it got me anywhere. I didn’t feel a connection to my inner self. What I found was that I’d sit there for fifteen minutes (maybe) and listen to the endless cycle of thoughts that went on in my head. So, when a friend mentioned that I should try a kundalini yoga and meditation class to help me get through this difficult period in my life, I was willing to try it but didn’t have much hope–or any expectation–that it would heal anything in me. Boy, was I wrong.
From my first class, I knew that this was something I needed to make a habit. Perhaps it’s that I’m at a different point in my life or that my psyche is crying out for permission to disconnect from the outside world, but I felt that stillness that so many speak about. I felt my body become less important, for lack of a better description. I felt bigger than my body. My breath felt as though I was breathing into a cave. I could sense the thoughts that were running through my head, but I was able to let them happen and pass through without paying attention to them. I couldn’t tell you for how long this feeling lasted, but it lasted for long enough that I felt a shift in me. I felt the benefits of my better scheduling, my gratitude, my “being present” because I spent time in the stillness reflecting on the wonderfulness of my life.
Given the immediacy of meditation’s benefits for me, I did some research into whether this is a practice that others in high stress, client-driven professions have benefited from, as well. Google it; I implore you. You’ll find an endless list of articles written about CEOs of multinational corporations, lawyers, financiers, etc. touting the benefits of meditation and discussing its impact on their lives. Just check out this article that lists a number of Fortune 500 CEOs that practice meditation. It’s incredible!
If I had to give you a piece of advice for changing your life this week, it would be this: Take the time for yourself to try to meditate. Here’s my recommendations for building it into your schedule:
- Give yourself permission to take time for you. I’m not going to say much on this point because I think it’s fairly self-explanatory. As working moms, we can come up with any number of reasons not to take time for ourselves. We aren’t home with our kids that often, so we need to spend as much time with them as we can. There’s so much we haven’t accomplished at home this week, so we should stay home to do it. We should grocery shop. We should do laundry. We should prepare dinners for the week. The “should” list could go on forever and, somehow, “I should really do something that takes care of my emotional and physical health” never makes the list. Schedule an hour for yourself. Give yourself permission to meditate.
- Find a time that you’re able to do it and a space you feel comfortable meditating in. Now, I know that I’m fortunate to have an office with a door on it. I take advantage of that by getting in a little bit earlier, shutting my door, and meditating. Generally speaking, I have a harder time finding the time to meditate when I’m at home. When I hear my kids running around or playing downstairs, I have a hard time getting to that openness, that stillness, that sets me up for a successful day. This week, I’m working on creating that space. For those of you that live in the area and are interested, I’ll be at Yoga + Herbs in Marlboro for its weekend meditation classes. There are two tonight at 5pm and 6pm, and I’ll be attending one of those. There’s another two tomorrow at 11am and 12pm, and I’m going to try to attend one of those, as well. I took my Kundalini class there, and the studio is really wonderful. If you’re in the area, I suggest you try it out.
- Find a meditation practice that speaks to you. I’m still searching for the perfect meditation practice. I really enjoy Kundalini and chakra balancing meditation. For whatever reason, I feel like it’s able to get me to the space that I need to get to in order to really feel the benefits of meditating. If you’re a meditation beginner and don’t know where to start, I find that Oprah and Deepak’s 21-day meditation challenges are a great place to start. They have a free one going on right now that you can sign up for at oprah.com. There are also some great kundalini meditation videos on YouTube if you’re interested in trying that. I really like this one. There are also a few Kundalini and Chakra Balancing playlists on Spotify that I really enjoy listening to.
So, this week, I implore you to try to build this into your schedule. Just do it for one week and see if it doesn’t shift your perspective on your day and your life. See if you don’t find yourself to be more at peace.
Namaste, Mamas. I hope you have an amazing weekend.
Do you meditate? Are you going to commit this week to trying?
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