Recently I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and exhaustion. A grande sweeping label trying to rationalize an array of medical health issues I have experienced over the past year and a half. Everything from drastic weight loss to reoccurring infections in my face, fingers, and toes. I have spent what little money and time I have seeking specialist to try to help me figure out ways of balancing my life so that it rests in a sustainable place.
Now living where you work, and having three young kids, a marriage, and a smattering of friends leaves one with a little time for personal care. My focus has been on incorporating small daily practices into my ongoing life that provide a space of nurturing amongst the unhinged chaos. It is small things like employing breathing techniques in stressful situations, having strips of paper with mantras on them placed in a wooden bowl to be grabbed at random as needed, the use of grounding mudras for both myself and my children, doing yoga in 15 and 30 minute intervals when possible, but my personal favorite and what I find to be the most effective is finding between 2 to 5 minutes in the morning as a meditation space where I can set up my day to be successful from the very beginning.
One must be very open-minded to the idea of what meditation may or may not be. You must have a meditation sign on the door so that it is a known fact that this is persona time ( I recommend a sign with images for children that can not yet read. You can see mine at the bottom of the post). Even a loving cup of coffee is not welcome here. I have a small altar with pictures and singing bowls. I may look at one image the whole time or scan through all of them, I may just focus on breathing in love and exhaling love. I may ring the singing bowls particularly chosen to be nurturing for the first chakra and the fourth chakra. I may even just sit in silence.
Of course while that’s happening in my room, life is of course still going on around me. What I find to be the most important part of the practice is not being deterred when a child screams, or a dish breaks, or somebody sneaks into the room and sits next to me. My children are very aware of the fact that meditation of time is private and quiet. That one may be welcome to sit in the space if they are willing to be a part of the process. I find in the days when my three-year-old joins she is more peaceful, more sure of her self and more responsive to the words of others. It’s in these times that I am aware of the fact that my own journey into health and healing is as much for them as it is for myself.
My initial hope for myself was to do 10 minutes of meditation seven days a week, but then life happened. Rather than maintaining unreal like realistic expectation for myself I’ve given myself the freedom to miss days. To find resiliency and peace in the fact that it is OK to miss a meditation today because we can try again tomorrow.
So my gift for you today is that I will share the verse that I read to end my meditation every morning. Make of it what you will, but most importantly find ways to meditate that are gentle and work with your schedule.
The seed of Truth lives in Love,
In Truth seek the root of Love:
This speaks thy higher Self.
The fires’ glow transforms
Wood into warming rays.
Wisdom’s purposeful Will
Converts work into strength.
So let thy work be the shadow
Cast by thine I
When it is shone on,
Illuminated by the flame
Of thy higher self.
– Rudolf Steiner