Morning meditation makes routine blissful

meditationThe big day has finally arrived! The kids are back to school and I don’t think it’s my imagination when I say parents around town are smiling more than average these days. Please don’t think I’m cold- It’s not that I want to get rid of my kids. I, and probably most of my peers as well, are joyful about the return of school because it gives the entire family something we often lack in the summer months- routine.
Normal bedtimes, predictable everyday tasks, meal plans and regular activities. Routine may mean that we need to spend a few more minutes in the evening preparing for the next day but also it gives everyone in the household a sense of purpose- a feeling of security. Routine grounds you and connects you in a meaningful way to the everyday. Whether it comes in the form of school, work, or other scheduled daily activities.
Now that school is in, one of my newest routines includes getting up a little earlier in the morning and meditating. This is no small feat. To quiet the mind in the wee hours of the morning without drifting back to sleep again is excruciatingly difficult. Accomplished meditators often advise that the key to stilling the mind is to simply let your thoughts go. That means that when a thought enters your mind you notice it and then you let it go. Like clouds floating across a clear blue sky, thoughts should appear in the mind and then disappear just as easily without you actively engaging with them…easier said than done! But every morning, before the little ones rise for their action-packed days, this is my goal. It is one routine that fills me up more than any other (except yoga, of course) and the routine that gives me the calmness and strength I need to be a great mother, friend and community member.
Over the years, a wise friend repeatedly advised that I should engage in self-care. For me, meditation and yoga are wonderful ways of caring for myself but self-care is different for everyone.
Routine gives us the opportunity to reestablish that regularly occurring activity of self-care. It could be carving out time to get lost in a novel three evenings a week, getting on your bike and riding anywhere for a while or taking time during the work day to stretch and drink water.
Now that our schedules are getting refined, take the time to put in your time for self-care. Find something that fills you up and plan to make that thing a part of your life- pencil it in and make it normal.
Kids thrive when engaging in regular, routine activity and you can too. Use their re-entry to school as your opportunity to set new goals for your own self-care. Do this and you’ll find you feel more joy and peace each and every day.

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