This year’s Independence Day, deeper levels of gratitude surfaced in my life. Thinking about the sacrifices required of many brave souls, to create the freedom my family and I enjoy, lays a heavy burden at our feet to utilize this freedom wisely. With so many options available to us, the daily task of raising our children to be more vital and successful than us (and enjoy life in the process) can feel like an insurmountable task.
When emotional fireworks take center stage, it’s a good time to recenter and reinforce our positive intentions. The quickest route to quieting distracting mental chatter is through meditation. The word meditation typically conjures up images of Buddha-esque yogis bent into pretzels, silently beaming into oblivion. My brief encounters with Vipassana meditation were about as close as I ever got to that sort of Zen state. And those rare moments were few and far between, punctuated by frequent naps, as my brain seems to just shut down when given a moments pause.
Most of my attempts to meditate since the birth of my son have ended with me sawing some serious logs. The best gift mother’s are given is that special shared dreamy time when our babies are breastfeeding. I guess you could call that my current meditation practice, along with some Kirtan (singing lullabies) and ecstatic dance (spinning us both in circles till we’re dizzy).
While I would like to carve out a little extra time to journal and retune my physical body with a little more focused yoga, I’m also grateful to share these moments with my baby now. Gradually he’ll become more independent and our shared meditation time will need to evolve. Maybe we will both enjoy the same activities like designing mandalas.
More than likely he’ll need an active approach to quiet his busy thoughts. So then, maybe we introduce tai chi, labyrinth walking, and Kung Fu. As we broaden our definition of meditation to include any Flow inducing activity, then any activity we fully engage ourselves in, lends itself to meditative bliss.
So today, go surf, skateboard, cycle, run, paint, create, cook, garden…whatever makes you feel alive and tuned in. We have the freedom, now let’s fully appreciate it and actualize our potential to thrive! And pray we become examples we would be proud to have our children follow.