Tag: daily meditation

Resistance is futile.

Our refrigerator door has a feature in which a tight seal is activated each time you close the door. Once you shut it, it takes a few seconds, maybe 3 or 4, for the seal to loosen enough to open the door again. So if you  try immediately, it is difficult to pull. There is resistance.

It used to bug me this feature. I occasionally even exclaimed out loud a rather inappropriate epithet, followed by a frustrated sigh. To a refrigerator door. For a delay of possibly 2 seconds of time.

Then one day when all was calm and the seal had activated as I was putting away groceries, I just stood there, hand on the handle, and took a big deep belly breath. In, down, out. In the time it took to take that breath, the seal released its vulcan grip, and I easily, effortlessly opened the door. AND had the benefits that a deep breath can bring.

Simple as that. What was frustration, was now benefit. What was blood-pressure-raising, was now calming. And at the risk of sounding all spiritually haughty, what was resistance, was now empowerment.

All day I looked for more chances to turn frustration around. And I didn’t have to look too far. Each time I came across the little things that aggravate like red lights and toothpaste on the counter and socks on the living room floor, I froze. And took a breath. The things that are so momentary and so minuscule really, but became monumental in the way I let them impact me. And all day I used those frustrations as a reminder to take a deep breath.

Now it’s my sometimes mantra. FREEZE! Take a breath. Feel better.

Because really, though I long to remember these mantras of mine ALL the time, I am human and it is only sometimes I am wise.

I am grateful when I do remember, and even a tiny bit grateful for these little frustrations now that I know I can use them to my advantage.

Because believe me, living in a house with 4 other humans,  those little frustrations aren’t going anywhere and I am breathing deeply all day long. When I am not shouting inappropriate epithets that is.

 

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I’ve been struggling lately with bedtime for the 4 year old. Well, 4 and 5/6ths  actually. On the very tangible cusp of 5 and feeling it in a big, big way.

I was sharing that info with my dear friend and co-author, Kathie. We have been sharing parenting tales, ideas and inspirations for years. Who would know she had yet another trick up her sleeve. Here’s what she does…

At the end of the bedtime ritual, when the teeth have been brushed and the jammies on and the stories read, she dims the lights and sets her timer for 15 minutes. All is quiet. Kids are tucked and all the needs have been met (or denied!). She told her kids that she would stay in the room for that period as long as all was calm and quiet. While they drift off, she gets in her daily 15 minutes of meditation. Or breathing. Or stillness. Or whatever you want to call it. And it works. And everyone gets what they need.

She gets her time. They get her presence.

Before I extolled its virtues I decided to give it a try with my 4 almost 5 year old. We read our nightly story. Then his one last trip to the bathroom. Lights dimmed. Snuggle up. Kiss goodnight. Timer set. 15 minutes.

It worked. It works. It’s working. And I love it! Because before I would try to get those 15 minutes in at my own bedtime during which time I’d be really exhausted and rather than linger in it and enjoy it, it felt like a burden. And this way it feels like a treat. And I leave the room feeling full rather than drained. A total victory for me.

And he loves it! A last little connect before sleep for him. Full of love instead of angst.

And we all lived happily ever after.

Thanks to Kathie and her brilliant ideas.

 

 

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