This morning I called my sister on FaceTime. She lives in Melbourne, Australia so it was bedtime for her children as Noah and I were having our breakfast. She was sitting on the edge of the bath with her 3 year old Elliott playing in the water whilst she was feeding her 10 month old baby. Her partner had just got home from work and she looked absolutely exhausted.
I asked her how she was and she said she wasn’t great and that she was completely frazzled. It was the first week of her going back to work and she was worn out and run down. Suggesting a session of Meditation to someone with a hectic work life and with two screaming kids doesn’t usually go down particularly well. How can they possibly fit it in with all their commitments?
Other people have different reasons for struggling to fit meditation in, work, social commitments, responsibilities to others. Most of us feel as though there are not enough hours in the day and that every moment is taken up. As a mother it can feel like you haven’t got enough arms hug everyone.
Starting to become mindful through meditation takes commitment and takes regular practice. The good news is that we can all make a few of our daily activities mindful and in doing so give ourselves some much needed breathing space.
Think of times where you have no choice but to wait. A red traffic light, your computer being slow to start up, being put on hold in a telephone queue, waiting to be served in the supermarket, brushing your teeth, drying your hair, feeding your baby.
For those of us who pack our days full these times can be frustrating and we can see them as wasted minutes in our already hectic life. Try changing how you think of these times and see them as opportunities for a spot of mindfulness.
Next time you find yourself waiting check in with yourself. A good way to do this is to focus on your breath, it is always with you and you don’t need to tell your body what to do so you can just observe. Notice the speed of your breathing, whether it is deep or shallow, whether it is regular or not. This can give you so many clues in terms of how you are feeling.
If your wait goes on for a bit longer try a bit of brain training. Count your breaths up to 10, and then start at 1 again. If your mind wanders and you become distracted then go back to 1 and start again. Each time you notice the distraction and bring your breath back to 1 you are training your mind to focus. What better use of your time could there be. Relaxation and a quick work out for your mind.
If you think you are too busy to be mindful you probably really need it. Come on a Revitalise Day to learn how you can make room for mindfulness in your life. As you become more clear headed you day will not be so hectic, your mind will calm and you will start to see more and more opportunities to look after yourself and your mind. Loose that frazzled feeling and become calm, balanced and focused.