Meditation does not come naturally — at least, not to me. I’m easily distracted, there are a million things on my “mom mind” and I feel a little guilty when I’m not doing something productive. But I work at Gaiam: I have seen the benefits with my very own eyes, and the reasons to meditate are convincing! Besides, I work at Gaiam: Shouldn’t I at least try meditating?
So I did. I mean, I am. I started meditating a couple of weeks ago. And I’ve discovered that meditation is an underrated sport. Here’s what I’ve learned in the ten days since the Great Meditation Experiment began:
Just like exercise, you have to make time to meditate. I set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier than usual and, almost literally, slip out of bed and into a seated position. The bonus of this method is that you don’t have to open your eyes.
You’re not legally obligated to use “om” as your mantra. I chose one that felt more natural to me, a sort of “nahhh” sound. Most days I don’t concentrate on a mantra at all, but it helps when the cat’s meowing or the dryer’s running.
A regular practice deserves a special space. The beauty of meditation is that it can be done almost anywhere. Still, when I sit on the floor with my back against the metal bed, I feel a little too grounded — too aware of my surroundings and my body. It has me considering purchasing a meditation chair.
Before starting this practice, I thought meditation chairs were beautiful, but that they’re for people with more discretionary funds, more discretionary time and more discretionary space in their homes. Now, though, trying to quiet my mind has led me to change my mind. And boy, do I long for the comfort, the focus, the sacredness of a special place, just for me. When that meditation chair is finally in my room, I predict that a calmer, cooler, more-collected me will emerge.
Whether you’re exploring meditation yourself or are a seasoned sitter-and-chanter, think about creating a sacred space for your practice. This is particularly important if you’re a mom. We moms rarely carve out an oasis of calm in our homes. You deserve a place to regroup so you can emerge relaxed and re-energized, better able to handle the demands of the day. For you, it may not be a chair; perhaps it’s a “time out” corner, a meditation cushion … even a bubble bath. What’s important is to recognize what you need to give back to yourself so you can be your best self. Cool, made-up mantra optional.