Practices are such a foundational part of my daily life. They keep me balanced and sane. They help me centre and be present and also help me in ever revealing more and more levels of awareness and attention. I make it a practice to feel my feelings, stay with myself and create a strong connection with my heart and my mind (something that was non-existent during my corporate career).
My ideal morning looks a lot like this, a 6am wake up, followed by a toilet visit, a drink of water and my favourite morning coffee. An hour of just me being still, maybe writing a little, or just listening for what the day wants of me. At 7:30am morning group practices call, with friends from all over the world. A period of writing, journaling or Fear Inventory or free form writing, whatever feels like the spot for that day. A reading of some sort, my preference is recovery material, like 12 step literature. This helps me connect to something beyond myself. Next writing Gratitudes for a period, followed by a meditation.
To me this is BLISS.
And, I did say this was my ideal! For I am a single working mum of a 2.5 year old boy, filled with enough electricity to power England. Oh yes, and this electricity is fully engaged from the moment he opens his eyes, which is with the sun. I’m sure there are a few who can relate….
Now to the reality,
6am wake up with a slap or a kick, or if I’m extra lucky a face to face vice grip hug with potential nose breaking abilities. A trip to the toilet, with a boy sized tumor on my leg. If I’m on it, I might be able to race him from the toilet and get the kitchen door closed, so that I can have 2 minutes staring at the kettle as I boil it for coffee. The door is no match for him and so the running around me in circles laughing and shouting Weet-y-bix, in between repeating Moooomy, over and over ensues. Breakfast prepared, made it to sitting position. He wants his morning children’s show on, certainly (hopefully I can get my laptop and get to another room to just have this hour of practice time – with any luck he will be entertained for long enough!)
Morning practice begins, I’m writing and settling in. After 5 minutes, I hear shouting and checking rooms (thank god for mute button). I pause for a minute and think I could just stay quiet and hide, he will get bored and forget about me….no I birthed a blood hound with a taste for constant connection. He finds me. He wants his own pillow. He wants his own pen. He wants his own page. He wants to know what I’m doing. He wants to write and draw on Mommys page. I write a few more lines, writing time over! Next reading, I take a few deep breaths. Sometimes I read, which was the case this morning. I begin, he wants to read. He thinks I sound funny. He loves me. He agrees with me. He wants to read the big blue book. It’s mine Mommy. My turn to talk, my turn, Mommy don’t talk anymore. He says what he needs to say. Reading over, time for Gratitudes. He’s sitting quite still now next to me, checking the screen every so often to see if people are still listening to him reading. He seems satisfied they are. I look at the page, feeling decidedly Ungrateful. I decide to write gratitudes only for him, so that I can sooth my growing frustration and irritation. It helps somewhat. Time for mediation, lol not a chance! Bouncing vigorous hugs and kisses have commenced. He decides he’s done and quickly leaves. I manage to settle in and have the last 5 minutes of meditation.
Morning Practice ends. And even though people message and share that there was so much joy and permission and that it was all so beautifully handled, I cry my eyes out with frustration. Frustration of not having things the way I want them. Not getting any time to myself. Being burdened constantly by someone else’s needs. Wishing and wishing and wishing things were different, and if only I could have this in this way, if I could just be by myself life would be infinitely better. I think all the illegal thoughts as he jumps on me and enthusiastically tells me about his trains and who is his favourite. I decide to think the thoughts and have the feelings, allowing them to be and to move through because underneath I have knowledge that they will pass, and that I normally don’t allow that at all.
So I have the thoughts and I feel the feelings and I keep moving, maybe a bit slower so I don’t leave myself behind. I realise some things. It’s my resistance to what’s happening right now, what’s present in this exact moment that has me tortured and frustrated. My wish that things were different that have me think the thoughts that aren’t actually true. A fight between reality and the way I want things. I realise there’s actually a surrender being called for, and not just a resigned oh ok he’s here and I have to allow it, but an actual surrender to what’s present, which is naturally inclusive and abundant.
And, that there’s no actual presence without a surrender of some kind. My practice becomes where I am in relation to the present moment and my 2.5 year old is the guide.
It’s definitely a journey, I used to think that any kind of practices was impossible with a child. Who knows maybe tomorrow, I get 10 minutes mediation 🙂