Friday, February 26, 2016

What Meditation Looks Like in My Life These Days

The 40/40 is complete.  Much as I expected, it's taking some time to settle into a new year without the list looming over my daily and or monthly schedule. I am growing more and more comfortable with the quiet, low tech life I have carved out for myself.

True to my 2016 goals, I am reading more, resting, and writing my book's second draft. (Book stats: 54 pages double-spaced; word count is at nearly 19,000 words.)

I have read a lot about meditation and always felt inadequate at my attempts. In the spirit of being gentle and not worrying about outcome, I've begun to meditate several mornings a week before I leave for work. I set my phone alarm for 10 or 11 minutes, sit quietly in a chair in my office, and close my eyes.

The mantra that helps me quiet my mental chatter the most is: dwell <inhale>, here <exhale>. I notice these two words help me to watch my thoughts pass across my mind's eye like a cloud.

I can't explain it really, but I am experiencing what I have read would happen as a result of meditation: I move more purposefully through my day. I feel calmer. I feel more in touch with my emotions and more aware of the sensations I experience in my body. I am better able to handle the ups and downs of every day life. Yes, all of this in just ten minutes' time.

I wondered what Cadence would make of this new practice. I have been pleasantly surprised. This morning she set the alarm for me. She continued her personal morning routine without my needing to coax her. She walks quietly past my open office door.

When I hear her approach, I stick out my hand and offer to hold it.  I do this with my eyes closed and with no words.  She takes my hand, holds it for a moment, and then moves along.

This morning after the hand holding, I heard her walk to her room and begin reciting her Girl Scout pledge, several lines of text that her troop leaders have asked the girls to memorize in preparation for their bridging ceremony to Junior Girl Scouts this spring.

She took this upon herself, and has nearly the entire passage memorized.

I smiled to myself as I heard her practice.

I am so pleased that the new life I am creating for myself is making space for my daughter to explore, think, and create in her own life. I love that we've reached a stage where she honors my time and choices without a fuss. It's quite an experience to be encouraged in your own pursuits by your child.