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Every winter, I yearn for a vacation. Surprisingly, ice and snow, the post-holiday blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder are not the chief motivators. What drives me is the chance to stop routines, habits and patterns — even the healthy ones: the dietary habits I’ll resume, the exercise routines I worked hard to put into place. Ever since I took my first meditation retreat over the week between Christmas and New Year’s, vacation has meant more to me than just fun and sun. It has meant permission: permission to relax, to reconnect inner body and outer body, and, most of all, to stop talking.
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?
I was recently around a parent who was teaching their child discipline. When the child would become disruptive and disobedient, the parent would say, “Do you want a time out?” If the child continued, the parent would say, “All right, if you keep this up, you will take a time out.” The child continued and the parent said, “Okay, that’s it! Time out!” They then made the child sit in a place that they were not allowed to get out of until the parent gave permission. Of course, the child was upset even though they were clearly testing the boundaries.