How can we transform those exhausting dull grotty moments of motherhood into something that can lift us up instead…?
With a lovely little unexpected unlikely meditation of course.
So let's gather together some meditations for those less-than-meditative mothering moments - like the endless washing up and hoovering, the race not to be late for school, the sleepless nights, the constant mess-juggling or whatever's winding you up right now.
And share a photo to illustrate your words - think of it as your alternative to a classic ambient CD cover perhaps... (whale noises optional)?
If you would like to meditate on one of unlikely meditations below, just double click on the picture.
Join us over on facebook for a week (or more!) of Unlikely Meditations for Mamas from 13 October, we'll be sharing one of those submitted every day to encourage us all along...
Next time you're doing something that annoys or frustrates you, try and think about how you could transform the experience into a random meditation. Be as honest or as cheesy as you like. Whatever works for you!
See the large space before you
Take a deep breath
Drop your shoulders
Stretch and plump the pillows and toss them to the end of bed
Fold over and exhale smooth out of the surface infront of you
Gently pace to the other side and repeat
Put everything back into place
Relax, that's done - get on with the rest of the day
Having cleared a space in room and your mind
From the other side of the room
Another child screams
It seems to reflect off all four walls
And eat away at me
And the room smells like feet
And ketchup and the sticky sweetness of
And endless cups of tea
Is this you, Mama? Enduring the sounds of soft play? Take a moment. Breathe.
Have a cup of your tea... Or coffee if that's your thing
Or fruit shoot... Honestly, no judgement here
But let's try to re-frame what we can hear
Our children screaming with uncensored joy
As they play with this room-sized toy
Making new friends that may only last the allotted duration
And knowing that's ok by them; they have no expectation
These moments will pass and we may even miss them... Sort of
So add any of our own take homes - all the ones I haven't thought of
As they smile and wave while we watch from our coffee-fuelled thrones
And if we're lucky we might even get to meditate while they nap on the way home!
An Unlikely Meditation for Being Astronomically Busy
We’re all busy. Life is busy. Being a grown up is busy. Busy busy busy. The word is overused.
Am I busy or am I just living? If my day were not full of activity, what would it be? Sad? Lonely? Isolated?
I remind myself how lucky I am to have a life so full of energy, challenge and hype. Yin and yang. I take the ebb with the flow.
Those days that are truly busy, they’re a sign to slow down; stop taking on so much. Don't fill up every second of every day.
Keep your mind receptive and your body energised to enjoy a happy space in between fulfilment.
This everlasting laundry
Will be the death of me
Then I wonder what it would be like
If we never went out and played in the dirt
If he always returned from nursery with a spotless shirt?
Or if the washing was only generated by Mr B
And I am thankful
I am thankful I have the little clothes that make up most of this washload
His gorgeous face to kiss, his little body to hold...
Then I just take out our favourite clothes
And wash them first
Meditation for pooey bottoms
The poo is inconvenient and badly timed.
As I bend and coax and crouch and wipe and reach and stretch, I consider what my boy has eaten to make him poo so prolifically and enthusiastically. I notice we are well fed and digest easily. My body has recovered from recent birth well enough to let me polish a reluctant toddler. The squealing bundle strapped to my front as I pin down his older brother is a joyous gift, even while making the task physically harder.
In contrast, the fragrant saffron poo of my newborn speaks of freshness and life and a body that is growing entirely from me.
Both my boys need this service from me now, but one day their bottoms will be private (and probably hairy).
A Meditation For The Last Few Minutes of Work-Time Before Collecting The Kids
For once, instead of working up until the absolute last possible Oh-SH*T-I’m-going-to-be-late second to leave the house, I am stopping five minutes early.
And I will sit here and look out the window, instead of at my computer screen.
And I will try to let the list of Important Things that I need to DO that rushes straight into my head... rush straight out again.
And I will ignore the toys on the floor, and the ping of an email, and buzz of my phone.
And if I need to go for a wee, I will go for a wee, instead of holding it in and rushing out the door because there isn’t enough time for that.
And I will breathe. And sit.
And be proud of all I have achieved today, even if it wasn’t as much as I had hoped.
Because I am managing this juggling of work and life and home and somehow getting through it.
And I will take a moment to let my heart fill with delight at the thought of my children’s beautiful faces and what a pleasure it will be to spend time with them again.
Because, truly, everything else can wait.
Apart from that wee.
Whilst on the losing side of a negotiation with a small child who is convinced that they don't like something they loved yesterday.
As a fork is swiped away and the food tumbles to the floor, and you think "let battle commence"...take your mind forward to after the battle, to fields covered in poppies, where it no longer matters who won each skirmish, and remember that this hour soon passes. Be reminded that this is a trivial frustration compared to these real battles, no matter how it feels at the time.
As you argue about whether or not they like yesterday's favourite food today, be grateful for their fluency in language, and negotiation skills which will carry them far in life.
As you dig deep into your imagination for another way to persuade them to eat one more mouthful, take a moment to look around and wonder at the inspired creativity within you which comes up with these things meal after meal after meal.
As you clear yet another unfinished plate, focus not on the food remaining but on the food which has gone, and remind yourself that your growing, thriving, developing child must be taking on some nutrients.
Get some chocolate out for dessert and have some yourself, and remember - all things will pass!
A Meditation for Washing Up
Here I am washing up again. As I pick bits of cereal out from under my nails, scrub crusted saucepans that haven't yet soaked, and stack more plates than I really should unsafely in my drying rack to avoid drying them, I try to shift from grumpy resentment into my little washing up meditation...
The water running over my hands reminds me of the sea.
I try to remember moments of peace, of my skin being caressed by the water as I splash and swim and float on my back looking up at the sky.
I am reminded that I am made of water. This miraculous liquid that connects us, cleans us, and supports us.
And I am reminded of how lucky I am to have access to clean hot water, at the turn of my tap.
I can protect my children from germs with a simple squirt of washing up liquid, and a wipe.
I am so lucky to have them, healthy and here.
I may think I hate washing up. But this life, of clean water, good health, regular food, this life of washing up is a gift.
Now all I need is a drying up meditation, or one that will magically imbue me with safer stacking skills.
I watch him as he jumps up and down
Reminding me that he’s ‘still not tired!’
Or that he’s ‘really really hungry’
And just needs me to ‘make up one more story.’
I hold in my sigh
My desire for ‘me-time’
And remind myself
That this too shall pass
He will fall asleep, eventually
And all too soon he’ll no longer need me
So I indulge him while I can
Before this sleep resistant little boy
Becomes a sleep monster of a man
The rain pours down, I'm still there.
Have a migraine that would debilitate an elephant? I'm still there.
Broken leg, horrific flood, snow storms that would impress the Arctic. I'm still there.
I'm there waiting in the cold, waiting in the dark, waiting for hours, waiting alone, waiting in a crowd, waiting hungry, waiting tired, waiting.
And then that door opens, that little bundle of love and smiles charges out of the door, gabbles at a million miles an hour about their day (or not), and I remember why I don't mind waiting. Because those 6 hours are torture without them.