Welcome to real life meditation
This is my story. Maybe it's yours too.
(Adopted from Dana's "momoir," The Yoga Pants Years)
As I was tending to my two-year-old having a total melt down in a coffee shop in 2015, I stopped for a moment at the cream and sugar station and temporarily zoned out. I was transported by the colorful ad above, which showed white sand, turquoise waves, and blissed out people, doing meditation - looking all Zen.
“Maybe this is what thriving looks like,” I thought. “I want to feel how these people look.”
My thoughts drifted to the people teaching the retreat.
I wondered if these well-meaning teachers and gurus were really “in it”? Like in survival mode? The culmination of chaos, high stress, multi-tasking, and making sure others needs are met before your own.
“In it” is parenthood, especially to young kids, and especially to multiple young kids, who depend on you for pretty much everything you can think of.
Could these leaders, teachers and “gurus” even relate to a person who knowingly has someone else’s puke on her shirt but doesn’t have the time to change it? Now, I wasn’t looking for the fast-food version of self-help, but we need the message to reach us where we are in our lives, at home in yoga pants and up to our elbows in crazy, raising our little miracles.
After seeing the ad of the happy, bendy people that was in stark contrast to my life, I thought about tearing it down from that coffee shop bulletin board in a fit of rage. But then, a thrashing child jolted me back to reality.
Oh yes, I was tending to the temper tantrum, and then I just laughed out loud.
I laughed because it was just so far away, like light years away, from my reality.
It seems as though a lot of parents are looking for ways to create more balance within our over-scheduled, jam-packed, stressful lives. How can we, as parents, as moms and dads, who don’t even have time for personal grooming, have time for personal growth when we are “in it”?
How can we embrace this new life of ours? And, yes. “In it” is temporary. A season. “This too shall pass.” However, “in it” can last for years. So shouldn’t we equip ourselves the best way possible for this phase of our lives?
I decided that if ever there was time for real growth, it should be now.
And I need the advice to meet me where I am, in the trenches with tantrums, not in a Himalayan cave or on a tropical destination retreat. Although an umbrella drink sounds like a good idea. And at times I wouldn’t mind crawling into a cave for a few hours of quiet.
Maybe with that umbrella drink.
Forget Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love method I was hoping to use. Turns out you can’t leave your kids with your husband for a year of travel. I can hardly leave them to pee at this point. And so, I would need a more conventional path, closer to home.
I was in need. In need of a journey that was a little closer to home, like, in my home that allowed me to become more comfortable with my new role as a momma, these new emotions, fears, and vulnerabilities. Because as far as I can tell, being a mom is a pretty permanent gig. They don’t even give you a sick day. And the hours can be brutal.
So I decided that I was going to settle into this new life, explore it, and get comfortable with it. Find ways to reveal more of this magic during mommahood. And I would need to do it in full-out mom-mode.
That’s when I picked up my meditation practice once again. Wrote a book. And was told by a tarot card reader on Pearl Street that I should be teaching this to other women.
But that's a story for another day.
Welcome to real life meditation filled with humor, humility and grace.