Putting the "OM" in Mom: Practicing the Art of Presence
I exercise six days a week. I do this not because I want to be in the best possible shape, I do it to maintain my sanity. As part of my weekly regimen I practice yoga. I find that endeavor is my most challenging hour. Not because of the crazy poses we are asked to hold, rather it is the mental aspect of remaining "present" I find taxing. Some weeks are better than others; I suppose that's why they call it "practice".
The kinds of things that creep into my consciousness during class range from what I "should" be doing (calling the insurance company, creating a resume, picking up the drycleaning...) to random thoughts such as whether or not the broasted chicken I bought at Sam's Club a week ago is still a safe option to serve my family for dinner. Needless to say, staying in the moment is a challenge for me.
Another way I work to preserve my mental health is to meditate at home...
this gets tricky, especially with everyone around during summer break. Nonetheless, I would be nowhere without my faculties, so I persist in the behavior. Each morning (see my bedhead above as evidence), I sit "criss-cross applesauce" under three Hobby Lobby plaques (which obviously read Faith/Hope/Love) quietly willing myself to emit all three words throughout my day. I often end my meditation with the Serenity Prayer:
Our culture seems to care more about what you possess and where you're headed then concentrating on where you're at and what you've got. To me meditation is a time to reflect on the blessings in my life, especially with regard to relationships, for these are more valuable than anything one can physically purchase.
Last month I got a new tattoo; its phrase is a reminder to me that life is a journey of self-discovery. In my mind the saying reflects that I should remain open to all possibilities and people who walk through my life. Everyone crosses your path for a reason. Sometimes it's brief, other times they stay for awhile. But all hold purpose; be open and question what they might be bringing to you.
This is one of my very favorite quotes: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift...that's why they call it the present. " ~author unknown
Would love to hear what helps you maintain your sanity in this crazy life...