Meditation Roadmap for Motherhood

Meditating Momma

I was choked up, but I was doing okay.  At least, I was until I turned on the car and the slow, sad lyrics “I ain’t missing you at all” from that heart-wrenching 80’s ballad (yes, you know the one) came through the car radio.  I braced myself for the uncontrollable sob that I was expecting.  But, instead, I found myself laughing.  I couldn’t have scripted a more dramatic moment as I dropped my son off for his first day of daycare but, it turns out, I wasn’t all that sad after all.

I laughed because I knew, in my heart of hearts, that it was the right decision.  My meditation practice helped me get to a place where I could laugh through what I had anticipated would be devastating.

I was able to get through the guilt, the worry, and my fear of judgment for leaving my child because I could listen to my intuition and be confident in what I heard.

In the beginning, time away from my child, even setting aside the financial concerns, was fraught with judgment and guilt.  What kind of mother didn’t want to spend 24/7 with her kid?  (Um, good ones?)  But once I finally admitted that, I was even a bit conflicted about what to do with the extra time that I had.  During the time I wasn’t working, should I run a few necessary errands for my family without the burden of a stroller?  Or should I do something that I wanted to do, something that’s not immediately necessary, like take a yoga class or catch up with a friend – in short, one of those things that really feed my soul?  Or should I take care of another necessary “want,” like getting a haircut, or buying those cute shoes for that party next weekend?  (Spoiler alert: I started this blog in my “free” time, so I still need a haircut and new shoes.)

It was difficult to admit that I needed time to myself, but I didn’t do anyone any good if I was cranky and frazzled.  By taking care of myself, I was really taking care of my family.  That’s the kind of mom I am.

My momself needs a break to be myself.

Of course, there was research.  Of course, I had fears.  But these were just normal, everyday concerns.  I was able to put the “Coulds, Shoulds, Woulds, and Can’ts” in a bag.  Instead of carrying that bag as a burden on my shoulder, I simply stored it away in the attic.  I know where it is – but it’s of no use to me right now.  I’ll pull that bag out of the attic, dust it off, and carry it around with me at the next decision (maybe).

My meditation practice helped me drill down to what I really thought was best for my child and me.  Tuning into myself, my values, and what I truly needed at that particular time was what was important.  It helped me turn the volume down on my analysis paralysis and what I feared others might think.  Once the volume was turned down on those other noises, I heard what my heart was telling me.  When we have clarity with our values, it makes other people’s opinions and judgments less powerful.  It makes our fears seem less critical.

When we can be still enough to ask ourselves what we need, and quiet enough to listen to what is most necessary to us, our inner voice becomes stronger.   {click to tweet}

On the long road of motherhood, my meditation practice has become my compass, my map, trail mix, and canteen, or, in today’s world, it’s become my organic paleo trail mix, fruit-infused water bottle, and smartphone.  Sometimes I can find this sweet space in meditation where solutions to problems bubble to the surface.  If I’m troubled about something, I can sit and think about it and feel what’s going on in my body.  And, even if my mind is in the way, my breath and my body can help me feel what my intuition is telling me.

My meditation isn’t “perfect” (and I wouldn’t want it to be, anyway).  I wouldn’t even say I am good at sitting still — but that’s why I keep practicing.  Sometimes my meditation is ten minutes, sometimes more, and, often, I only meditate during the three minutes it takes for the shower water to heat up in the morning.  But consistently meditating is the best way I can take care of myself.  The more I can do that, the better I am at being who I need and want to be for those that I love.

Wishing you a few moments of clarity amidst the chaos, 

Anne English signature Anne

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Once a month, along with my regular weekly posts, I’ll be sharing posts on meditation.  I’ll be giving you tips on how to start, resources for different styles of meditation, and specific guided meditations to try.  Do you have any questions about meditation? Is there an area of meditation that you’d like to see discussed?  Do you have a favorite meditation? Email me or comment below!

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