I tried something new the other day — and I think I kinda I liked it.
For five minutes, I stopped thinking.
I did not compile grocery lists. I did not start writing my next blog post. I did not work out a new strategy for dealing with the sibling rivalry that is building between my girls. I did not compose my next email/plan my next meeting or decide what was for dinner. I did not think at all. And as a result, I thought better all day long.
I've never been very good at meditation. To be honest, I have tried it before. I would find a moment of peace and quiet (this was obviously before I had kids.) I would find a comfy chair. I would sit down and try to focus on my breathing. Deep inhale, deep exhale. And then, before I knew it, my mind would be off and running. I would try in vain over and over again to reel it in and focus on my breathing, but it was no use. I simply had to make that call, send that email, finish that report.
So I gave up.
But recently, I decided to give it another try. At first, it seemed impossible. With everything I have going on each day, I just don't have time to shut down for even five minutes. But I have found that on the days that I do, I am so much more focused for the rest of the day. Those five minutes help me make better decisions, have a calmer demeanor, and give more patience throughout the day.
So often as parents, we are rushed. The daily chores of breakfast ... dishes ... getting kids to school ... work ... meetings ... errands ... picking kids up from school or soccer (or ballet or piano lessons) ... dinner ... more dishes ... getting kids to bed ... and so on, leaving little time for thinking, let alone a dedicated period of not thinking. But I really can't recommend meditation more, especially for those of us who are so insanely busy we can't possibly find the time. Because, at least for me, it makes everything else I do each day feel easier and more connected.
I'm still nowhere near good at meditation. My mind wanders. I skip days (even weeks) in between sessions. But I'm glad I'm doing it and I find that the more I do it, the more I want to do it everyday.