July 13, 2012

M{omm}: The Meditating Mom, or, "Must not beat the children"

Moms are notorious for being stressed. Reminder: I am a mom. Maybe meditation seems silly to you; something that only single, childless women take part in to begin their relaxing day, most likely in New York City, because moms in small towns don't meditate. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I live in a small town (literally 1 square mile) and on some days, meditation can save my life, and the lives of my family, potentially.
We've all heard the term "Om", said in a humming way, complete with the visual of a man or woman sitting with their legs crossed, elbows on thighs, palms facing up. Having trouble picturing yourself in that position? That's okay. Meditation doesn't require any specific tools or positions, just a specific state of mind. That can be difficult to achieve when you are surrounded by children, so try meditating before they wake up (this helps start the day on a peaceful note), during their nap time, or after they go to sleep (this will help you sleep soundly). 
I've found that the best way to get started with meditation is to use a CD or even a track on your iPod. After you get the hang of the types of thoughts that relax you and turn you into mush (this is a GOOD thing), you can switch to doing your own meditations internally. A mantra that I use when meditating is "Om shanti", which means "I am a being of peace." Sometimes, as a mom, I feel incapable or inadequate. On days like this, you can boost your mom-confidence by adopting the characteristics you WISH you had; for example, I might chant "I am patient, I am kind. I am slow to anger." I truly believe that the mouth speaks, and the mind follows.
Meditating moms are everywhere. Even those who wouldn't consider themselves the meditation type have created mantras to get them through the day-- "Must not beat the children", or even "Serenity now!" However you choose to seek solace from the day, remember that the goal of meditation is to keep you in touch with yourself, sans diapers, cookie crumbs, and apple juice. Meditation is what anchors me to the girl I once was, and still can be.

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