Meditate anywhere, meditate everywhere.

It’s a small distinction, but stick with me here.

Last year some time, Brad signed up for the app, Waking Up by Sam Harris. Taken from his website:

Waking Up is a guide to understanding the mind, for the purpose of living a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Join Sam Harris—neuroscientist, philosopher, and New York Times best-selling author—as he explores the practice of meditation and examines the theory behind it.

I have had a little exposure to meditation, mostly during yoga, and our first attempt to start a daily routine that included meditation failed. We had even gotten Archer into meditating with us, which he really got into with the use of a meditation rock (or other item to concentrate on). But, it quickly fell away, as we would stay up too late watching a show and run out of time or come up with some other excuse not to meditate. Most often, I would fall asleep while trying to meditating in bed. (Tip 1: don’t meditate laying down in bed, ready to sleep, unless you are listening to a meditation to help you sleep.)

A couple of weekends ago, when Brad and I were out on a date night, we started talking about things that we wanted to improve in our day to day life. We decided, together, that we wanted to try to work meditation back into our (hopefully close to) daily lives. It has been 9 days, and we have successfully completed up to day 8 of Sam Harris’ meditations. I’m proud of us! I even sat with Brad to meditate on Monday after I had done a meditation to start my yoga class and participated in a mindful savasana to end the class!

Smiling Woman in Cozy Hat and Sweater Sitting at Desk

Waiting for school to start.

I thought I would take the opportunity to share a few things I have learned from meditation:

All it takes is half a second to stop yourself from reacting to a situation and simply take an extra breath. Real Life Example: Yesterday morning at breakfast, Archer was talking instead of eating. (Okay this happens every morning at breakfast, lunch and dinner.) I reminded him a couple of times to eat, mostly because he was distracting his brother from eating his breakfast, and I could see that it was only going to go downhill from there. As I approached the point where I was going to yell, I stopped what I was doing in the kitchen and took one deep breath with my eyes closed. When I opened them again, I found that I was looking at the clock. We had plenty of time to get to school, and Brad was taking Maverick to day care in case it took them another 45 minutes to finish eating. It was okay that he was chatting. He had gotten himself up, dressed and made his breakfast all by himself. In that one breath, I changed the events that happened. Instead of everyone getting upset, I let it go.

 

Closing your eyes and settling your mind can do wonders for your body. I intentionally relax my posture, while still sitting straight, my shoulders fall down from my ears and I welcome breath into my chest in a much more fluid way. When the meditation is over, I find that I am refreshed and calm in a way that I can only get from reaching inside myself and appreciating the external world for what it is around me. Not what it makes me be.

Dedicated time together with your spouse is priceless. And the fact that we are doing something that is not for anyone else other than us, individually and together, reinforces the bond we are creating during those 5-10 minutes.

I’ve also come to learn that while I can meditate physically anywhere, the aspect of meditation that appeals to me most is the ability to meditate everywhere. While parenting, in my daily life. As a tool to help me become a better person.

Meditation is not for everyone. Nothing is. But I challenge you some time soon, to stop yourself in a moment. Whether in the moments before you get out of the car at the grocery store, or while on a walk outside somewhere. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about how those small actions could very well change your day.

Everywhere,

Anya

PS:

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