Mindful MEditation

May 21, 2013

I learned to meditate about 20 years ago and I loved it immediately. I remember the voice of the woman who taught me, smooth, deliberate, steady…quiet; exactly how her words made me feel.   

That is not my usual state.  

I am a very energetic person by nature, some might even say a bit high strung. 

I generally have no complaints with it. It has served me well for much of my life, allowing me to get my work done, party until dawn and care for sleepless babies, a house and a job with relative ease.  

Unfortunately, what I have never been able to do well is be still.

I do not nap, I am not a tv watcher (and when I am watching I am usually doing the bills or looking at a magazine at the same time), I do not read in the middle of the day. I tend to eat breakfast and lunch standing up. I once took that 10,000-steps-a-day challenge and I had reached the goal by 2pm. 

A fast metabolism is wonderful in so many ways, but the one thing it does not foster is calm. 

When I took that first class on meditation I was young and a bit skeptical, but I was into new ways of getting healthy and I so gave it a try. I was shocked at the euphoric feeling I had afterwards, garnered by basically just sitting…and trying not to think.  

The notion that I could let ideas come into my head and then leave without acting on them or engaging them was so foreign to me and so freeing. I learned to unlock the power of my breath and to focus on the present moment. The relaxation, a lovely side effect of meditation, was addictive. I was hooked right away and I became a hungry disciple.

I meditated regularly, twice a day when I had the time.  

I read about i, practiced it and for a few years, I was a relatively relaxed and quiet girl. I was more conscious of the present moment, trying to live mindfully in the serenity of the now. Then came the kids.  

I tried to meditate, but no matter how skilled one becomes at blocking the world out, it’s pretty hard to ignore a screaming baby with a loaded diaper.

While the diaper days have come and are long gone, for some reason I have not been able to resume my mediation practice with any regularity. I could make a million excuses itemizing the people and things that get in my way, year after meditation-less year, but the bottom line is that I do not make it (or, I guess, ME) a priority and that needs to change.

So, after completely falling off the wagon 3 days into Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge, I have decided to start my own challenge. I am challenging myself to Kim’s Meditation.

I figure I am allowed to put ME first for 10-20 minutes every day. The laundry can wait, the dishes can wait and, yes, even the children can wait for 10-20 minutes.  

It really is the key to making ME a better mom, a better wife and a better, healthier person overall.

Now I am sure I am not the only one out there who puts herself on the back burner, at some point I think it happens to all women, mother or not.  

So if want to join me and challenge yourself to take that walk, read that book, call that girlfriend, watch that reality show or use the bathroom in private, let me know…and I will be sure let you know how I’m doing, because while peace of mind and enlightenment should be enough to keep me on track, I find the threat of public humiliation to be a much better motivator!   

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  1. Any recommended meditations?

    1. I do! I was actually going to share some resources on Facebook this week! If you don't follow me there, you can by clicking the giant red F in the red circle up top!

  2. The word ME is always the one word that is much easier to say than to realize!


  3. I completely understand!Like you, I rarely sit still (honestly, I never have the time with 4 kiddos and pets and a military husband!)and like you, it has served me well! I appreciate the amount of energy I have and the fact that I am able to get things accomplished easily. I will say that I have a hard time doing things for me, too, like exercising or even just sitting and relaxing. I want to make this a priority as I'm rapidly approaching 40 (eek!) and I know that if I don't covet "ME" time, nobody else will either! Great post!

    1. Thanks Kelly! I think as moms we are always making others our priority. For so many of us, that is the definition of a good mother. Claiming time for yourself usually means leaving something unattended to, even if it's only for a brief moment and that can feel selfish. I am trying to break that mindset, but it is not easy!

  4. okay how can this euphoric peaceful feeling transcend the blogosphere? "...smooth, deliberate, steady…quiet", resonated with me and somehow felt a similar peace. I could've written this myself!

    I have ppa/d/ocd (postpartum anxiety, depression and ocd) and at times (especially when meds aren't taken all of the time)I feel bipolar. I'm either up or down.

    My worst time either up or down, I put myself to sleep listening to comedy albums because anything with meditative qualities manages to make me more anxious! But I really need to at least find ME time also. I'm thinking laptop time isn't qualified ME time. lol

    Going to post your quote in places and this post has inspired me! Thanks Kim!

    1. I am so sorry that you suffer from so much. It's hard for me to imagine what it's like, but I am a certified worrier, so sometimes (a lot of times) it's hard for me to turn off and just be. In the beginning, I found sitting still very anxiety inducing, so I do get that! While I am certainly no meditation expert, I believe that almost anything can be meditative. If you find peace in laughter, than that's great! And, yes, I agree with you, the laptop is not good ME time! (But it is so addictive, isn't it?) ;) Be well. Kim

  5. Hmmm, only 3 days on Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge, think I tied you on that one.
    Meditation is excellent, and finding ME time is very important.

    1. Join me! Maybe we can get to day 4 this time! ;)

  6. I have wanted to mediate for years. You and I are similar with the high energy levels and the constant "go, go, go." I just can't ever turn my brain off. I usually fall into bed at night around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and then I'm up again in a few hours for work. I say I will "catch up" on sleep on the weekends but I never do.

    I need something that lets me relax, bring my blood pressure down, and focus on one thing at a time. Honestly, I have no idea how to do it, so any guidance you can give would be great.

    Is there a book I should look at, or something I need to know?

    Here's how an attempt at relaxation goes for me.

    **Laying in bed staring at ceiling fan.**

    "Why is that ceiling fan so dirty? Wasn't it just cleaned? Is the cleaning service not cleaning the fan? I'm going to email about that in the morning. Wait, no...I don't want to do that because one of the women is pregnant and i don't want to jeapordize her job. I will wait and just clean it myself. Speaking of clean, I need to clean out my closet. There are so many things I don't wear anymore and I can donate so much to charity if I would just go through it. Speaking of charity, I can't believe those poor kids and the tornado that hit Oklahoma. I can't imagine what that must have been like. I need to send The Red Cross some money. I wonder if they need shoes. I have extra shoes. I would want to die if something happened to Matt. What if I couldn't find him? ***panic sets in.****"

    And that's only the first minute of my "relaxation time." I need help!

    1. Lisa, even your comments are funny, but I hear you! Relaxation is not supposed to be so hard! There are some really great books that are not torturous to read and a few guided meditations that are great. You follow the instructor's voice, so you are not left to your own devices! I was going to simply list them on my Facebook page, but a lot of people have asked for more details, so I think I'll put together a quick post this week instead. Hey, thanks for the great comment and I have to be honest, I love your blog! I find your posts very, very funny and they say laughter is the best medicine! So thanks! :) Kim

  7. I know how you feel ever since I started taking care of my sister I havent had a lot of time for me and I have been feeling the same urge to find a quiet space for me even if it just in my own mind.I used to meditate alot when I was teenager it helped alot with my PTSD and depression.

    1. Being a caregiver is very difficult, everyone needs a bit of ME time to recharge and I do find meditation very helpful.

  8. Hi Kim,

    I think ME time is soo important. The sad thing is, as a woman in general, we tend to focus on others, when in reality we need to also focus on us. If we don't take care of us, how can we take care of the ones we do care for? Thanks for sharing this with us @ My Favorite Posts SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party :)

    The Wondering Brain


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