I’m supposed to be meditating twice daily. Oops. I still haven’t done it, once.
And I know the problem, actually I have two problems. The first and most formidable, is this: I kind of think it’s a bunch of hooey.
I know there’s tons of research to support meditation as a powerful form of stress relief. I know it’s an ancient practice dating back thousands of years. I know, I KNOW! But it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing I would do.
My vision of people that meditate run the spectrum from stoned hippies to the Dalai Lama. And while my soul screams “child of the sixties,” I’m really not. I came of age in the 1980s, when consumerism and excess were as big as my hair.
Thus I don’t relate to the hippie era, and the Dalai Lama, well, we’re not exactly cut from the same cloth either. He’s far too intellectual, spiritual and serious. I’m not that sophisticated. I don’t sit and ponder the mysteries of the universe. Or reflect on the impact of climate change. Or consider the social decay brought on by reality TV.
I take my kids to soccer, run to the grocery store, and worry about funding both college and my retirement. I enjoy coffee with my friends, drinking wine, cooking, and I laugh at fart jokes. I’m just a regular girl. And, as hard as I try, I just can’t picture the Dalai Lama holding a glass of chardonnay and saying, “pull my finger.”
This leaves me squarely in meditation no-man’s-land, between the hippies and the Tibetans.
Even given all that, I’m willing to try. Which brings me to my second problem. Where exactly am I supposed to contemplate and reflect on my life?
My mission today was to look for a suitable meditation space in my home.
The obvious first choice was my bedroom. However, glancing around, I spied with my little eye, a mound of clean clothes draped over the dog’s crate, an unmade bed, dust on my chest of drawers, and an empty teacup. How could I sit there and clear my mind when the room screamed, “Clean up this pig sty!”
Exiting my room, I traipsed down the hall quickly passing Janelle’s room, my first-grader. Most of the time the floor is barely visible through the mass of Barbie dolls and princess dresses. Tiaras, tulle, and tiny clothes aren’t exactly serene to me either.
Likewise, I bypassed Grant’s room, my nine-year-old son’s. Although it’s tidier than Janelle’s room, he has a Star Wars collection which includes a two-foot by three-foot movie poster on the wall. Sitting on his floor staring at Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, I know my mind would go down some “let the force be with you” path or worse, I’d start speaking like Yoda just to pass the time. “Mediate I must.”
With a heavy sigh, I looked across the hall to Amanda’s room, my twelve-year-old’s. That was a definite possibility, but her room is painted electric green with a turquoise ceiling. Very energizing, but not really calming. I was running out of options.
Finally, I ventured upstairs to the attic. Housing file cabinets, an old PC, discarded furniture, holiday decorations, old baby toys, and everything else we don’t know what to do with, the space resembles a storage facility. Not exactly a clutter-free environment, but at least I could shut the door and lock it.
Clearing a space between a beanbag chair and an old trunk, I was ready. Unfortunately, after glancing at a clock I realized meditating would have to wait. The kids were due home from school any minute.
De-stressing my life would have to wait until after homework, playdates, chores, dinner, baths, and bedtime.