What is #meditatewithme about?
If you hadn’t noticed, last week I started a daily 5-minute live meditation – #meditatewithme on Instagram stories. Perhaps you are starting mindfulness or hypnosis for birth or maybe you’re a new parent who wants to add some of this brain magic in to their life. If you’ve not done this regularly it can feel a bit daunting and it’s easy to say “ I’ll start next week”, or “do it tomorrow” – with the #meditatewithme series I wanted to show you it’s not all beaches, beautiful studios and silence but it’s about making it work in your life whatever is going on and wherever you are. It’s also not about finding time, it’s about being in the time you have.
That time may be at work with lots of people and noise around, it may be at home with children, everywhere all the time. Those are the moments that you can hone your practice and find balance in. Really, honestly!
Where it began for me.
Let me tell you a story. Years ago I went on a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh…and a 3 and 4 year old. Was I crazy, perhaps, a little bit naïve, maybe. It was the retreat I grew most in. There were quite a few children and so there were exercises integrated for parenting – he said that children’s noises were like birdsong to him, and that children were our greatest pleasure. They also offered us a wonderful lesson. To meditate in a quiet room is easy he said but it takes time to develop a practice with interruptions and noise.
I learned a lot about this at the first dinner. Meals were eaten in silence, you would serve yourself then go the table where there were places, set your food down and wait until the table was full until before you began to eat. I sat down with my children and my mother, and we waited, and waited and waited. Our food grew cold. Nearly 20 people deliberately ignored us, walked past – filling up the tables behind us. My children were quiet, and patient, waiting to eat too. But I sat there in conflict, part of me was so angry, part of me felt close to tears, part of me tried to find compassion for those who walked by and there were around 20 of them! But I stayed silent. Then a group of young people in their late teens and early 20’s came and pointedly sat down and smiled at us. It was a moment of immense joy!
What an opportunity the people who walked by missed! The practice did not fit in with them, and they choose to walk by instead of allowing themselves to experience the practice as it was in the moment. An opportunity for kindness for growth and for connection. These moments are moment of growth and you can be open to them.
What is #meditatewithme?
I started #meditatewithme as I wanted you to see the reality of mindfulness. I have two teens and I often feel I’m chasing my tail, still catching up from when they were born. The house is often a bit (*cough*) messy, there are normal everyday house noises, children bickering, shouting, laughing, trampoline bouncing, my mum at the door, the dog barking, my husband swearing at the slugs munching on our three sorry strawberries in the veggie patch while I’m about to click “go live” and unexpected calls from friends as I’m about to settle down.
Last week was a really busy week, the type of week in which my own practice slips. Most days my live ended up being toward the end of the day when I forced myself to find that time, because I knew that there were people expecting it. I had a hilarious moment with a very calming candle meditation and super loud bird timer going off, poor reception, battery about to run down just as I was about to start.
Also if the camera is facing away from me, I’ve probably got marmite smeared across my face, hair scrapped off my face and mascara still there from Saturday’s dinner (It’s Monday). I’m probably also wearing my working from home uniform.
But….I felt so much better afterwards. When my son got out of his maths lesson and I’d done my five minutes I was so much better dealing with the fall out and when my 13 year old rang to say he’d miss his school bus, I was calm as a cucumber.
This week I started the challenge by stepping out of my comfort zone and doing a quick video in TKMaxx, yup, I did. And in the coming weeks I want to show you other ways that you can be integrate mindfulness into your parenting, or if you are a mum-to-be who is preparing for her birth how you can fit practice in around a busy work shedule. It could be hilarious, or it could help you to see how you can integrate it more into work and home.
If you do a video, a story or a photo remember to tag me @mindfulmammauk and use the hashtage #meditate with me.
See you over on Instagram!