I’ve always been a Type A, need-for-order sort.  Liking structure in my days.  Preferring to avoid the unexpected.  Planning and enjoying knowing what’s coming next.  But as anyone who has had a baby knows, order goes out the window pretty soon after you bring that bundle of joy home from the hospital.  When my second arrived and I had a toddler and a baby on my hands, any last strand of predictability to my days was snapped in two.  Torn to shreds.  Became a long-lost dream.Boppy

As a working mom, I was having a harder and harder time finding calm in the chaos around me and was grasping for ideas on how I might get my head in a better place.  I remembered people recommending meditation to me over the years as a way to find stillness and calm, and truth be told, I’d tried some guided meditations and liked them in the past.  But that was before becoming a mom and having NO time for myself whatsoever.  How on earth could I pick up a new meditation “hobby” now?  Doing nothing for some period of time – any period of time! – seemed like a waste of time.

Until I tried it.  In tiny, tiny doses.  Because that was all the time I had.

First, I had to fight off all those voices that told me I couldn’t do this:

You don’t have a zafu (a meditation pillow)?  Can’t start until you get one!  Nonsense, I told her.  There’s a Boppy in the baby’s room.  Sit on that.  And so I did.

Your house isn’t quiet!  You have nowhere to go to sit and do this.  Okay, you win on that one.  My house isn’t quiet most days.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t start.  So now on my way to work some days, I sit outside on a park bench by a fountain (or in a hotel lobby near my office on cold or rainy days), turn on the fabulous Insight Timer app for 5 minutes, and away I go.  On Fridays I work from home and my house is quiet though, so I pull out the Bobby in the baby’s room, plop down on the floor, and take my 5 minutes of calm.

All you have is 5 minutes!  Ha!  That’s nothing.  What good can that do?  Oh sweetie, you have no idea, I now have to laugh.  According to my Insight Timer stats (yes, the app actually has stats…it knows the Type A side of me likes my metrics!), I’ve meditated exactly 34% of days over the 4 past months.  And my average meditation session is exactly 5.3 minutes.  So if I wanted to beat myself up and say that’s a pathetic record, I easily could.  But I don’t, because I feel the difference.  I know even just 5 minutes sets my day on a different track and calms me down immensely.

This sitting and doing nothing is frivolous!  You have a million things to do!  And I will get them done faster, better, and in a more relaxed state, if I take this time for me.

My meditation adventure is work in progress, and I’m absolutely still a novice.  But even these small doses have made all the difference in helping me be present for myself and for those two wonderful and crazy kids of mine.

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