I’m always telling people that meditation is super important for our spiritual and mental development. Honestly, if you do nothing else, meditation will facilitate growth in your mind and soul, as well as promote peace and calm in your life.
I often hear—especially from mamas with preschoolers, toddlers and babies—a multitude of objections. “I can’t meditate. I get interrupted. I have no time. There’s never any silence in my house.”
Can I just say, I get it. I so totally and completely understand. I have four kids under 10, I’m studying full time, I’m in the beginning stages of running a successful business, and well, I have a life. The only time I get to meditate in complete silence without 200 interruptions is at three a.m. or when I go to Kinesiology school on the weekends, child-free. As you can imagine, it doesn’t happen often.
So, let’s bust some myths and get you meditating right now!
Myth 1: I can’t meditate.
I thought I couldn’t meditate for years. I knew there was no way, no how I could clear my overactive mind to find the lake of calm that all the meditation masters tell you about. After my youngest babe was born and I started looking into ways to improve my mental health, I re-discovered meditation. Funnily enough, I discovered that I had been unconsciously meditating for years already. Everyone can meditate; it’s just that not everyone can meditate the same way. Meditation is a state of mind—not just a verb. If you find yourself cringing at the thought of sitting in lotus position in complete silence, trying to keep your mind clear of thoughts, then try something like coloring, writing or painting. Or if sitting still at all gives you the heebie-jeebies, why not try a movement meditation like dance, yoga or walking? I love walking meditations, and I can even manage it with the kids!
Myth 2: I get interrupted all the time.
Newsflash, gorgeous one, me too. Every second time I meditate, one of the kids desperately needs something, or the dog sticks his cold wet nose in my lap, or a timer goes off in the kitchen, or a reminder dings on my phone. Interruptions happen. It’s life, and there isn’t a great deal we can do about it. I’ve discovered two things through my own highly-interrupted meditation practice:
1. Finding a time when the kids are likely to be occupied or asleep minimizes interruptions and maximizes the me-time factor.
2. If you do get interrupted, deal with whatever the interruption is and then go back to meditating. Even if it’s just for a couple more minutes. By going back to your practice after an interruption, you show yourself that this is important for you and that you can do it. The interruptions eventually begin to lessen.
Myth 3: I have no time to meditate.
Okay, this is a big one. In today’s busy, over-scheduled world, time is key. If you’re like me and linear time doesn’t really do it for you, this isn’t so much of a problem. But if you’re not like me and you’ve got a to-do list five miles long and can’t see how you can possibly fit anything else into your jam-packed life, I’d ask you to reconsider. Do you have a shower in the mornings minus kids? Use that time to meditate. Could you manage waking up or going to sleep 10 minutes earlier or later? Use that time to meditate. Did you know that because meditation is a state of mind, you can meditate and find that state of mind in just a few deep, conscious breaths? I know you have time to take five deep, conscious breaths throughout your day. As a single mum of four-under-10, I understand just how flat-out life can get and just how tired poor mamas can be. But that makes it even more important for us to make the time to take care of our mind, body and spirit.
Myth 4: There’s never any silence in my house so how can I meditate?
I have four kids, two dogs and a radio going 99 percent of the time. It’s not terribly conducive to silence. I meditate anyway. The thing is, at the risk of repeating myself, meditation is a state of mind, and it’s something we can obtain no matter what is going on externally. If I really need silence, then I wait until everyone is asleep and turn the radio off for 20 minutes. Or I wait until have a lunch break at college and meditate there. Mostly, I just meditate whenever, wherever. Find what works for you, and if that means you need silence, then you can find it. If you want to get started, just like I did, you will find a way to slip into the meditative state no matter what’s going on externally.
At the end of the day, if you want growth, meditation is by far the easiest and most flexible way to get it. I know that starting a new discipline or practice can be scary and big and really hard, but meditation is worth it.
Author: Cas Hartley
Editor: Toby Israel