I’ve been getting my mom meditation on, because becoming a mom is wild. For many reasons.
From your nipples being on display 24 hours a day to having to see, and tend to, someone else’s butthole way more than you thought possible, this shit is not for the faint of heart. But the most startling reason for me was the realization that I’m the one in charge here now. This little guy is up to me.
Sure, I can and do, of course, listen to his pediatrician. And rely on family and my mom and my fellow mom friends a ton. My husband is an amazing, proactive and hands-on father. But at the end of the day, even he looks to me. Everyone looks to me when it comes to Foster. I’m the one who decides.
So after a few mental breakdowns and snot cries and some crippling indecision over insignificant things like which wipes to use on his tiny baby ass, I made a little promise to myself to get better at being decisive. To following and fully trusting my gut. Because that’s what I’ve got to rely on – listening to my own inner guidance. My higher self. Dana 3.0. Dana who knows deep down she’s one with the Universe and Source Energy. (And who also realizes that saying “source energy” in front of your extended, loud, Irish family who thinks therapy is for weenies is a great way to get ripped on. Kind of like wearing jeans with holes in them around your Grandpa. You’re just asking for the jokes.)
In order to get really good at listening to my gut, to connecting with Dana 3.0, I had to create the space to listen. The world is loud and busy and sometimes it’s hard to hear.
Sitting down, being still, getting quiet and observing all the bullshit running around in my brain, without judgement, is how I do that. Also known as meditating.
I let the thoughts come and go and reconnect to my breath and feel the energy of the world buzzing around me. I remind myself that I am directly connected to that energy because it’s what I’m made of too. I fully embrace the woo.
A Quick Guide to Meditation
The most frequent thing I hear when I talk about meditation is “I don’t know how to do that” or “I don’t think I could do that”. And to those people, I’d like to say: umm, shut up.
Step 1. Sit down and get comfortable.
Step 2. Breathe in through your nose and as you exhale through your mouth, gently close your eyes.
Step 3. Stay still and quiet and focus on your breath as you’re breathing. (If it helps, think “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.”)
Step 4. Keep breathing.
Step 5. Let any thoughts that come, come, and then let them go and bring your focus back to your breath.
Step 6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for a few minutes.
Step 7. Eventually open your eyes.
That’s really all there is to it. Some days it’s harder to do than others. But everyone can do it.
The Key is Non-Judgemental Observation
Unless you’re a trained meditation master, your mind is going to wander. To your to-do list. To your problems. To totally random shit you thought you’d forgotten all about. The key is to observe it without judging the hell out of yourself. To look at it and think “Huh. Isn’t that interesting? Thanks for sharing, brain.” And then move on. Don’t get hung up on your thoughts. Most of the thoughts we think throughout the day are total garbage anyway, especially if we’re not actively trying to manage them. So don’t judge yourself for having them in the first place. They’re just thoughts. Getting caught up in judgement is a great way to dilute the potency of this practice.
Meditation Helps You Stop Comparing and Second Guessing Yourself
If you’re a mom, you already understand how easy it is to judge and second guess yourself. All the books and the mom groups and the mom forums and the older relatives and the friends who have a totally different approaches to parenting, it’s all a bit … much. And it’s hard to remain confident in your decisions when you’re constantly allowing input from all of these people who don’t actually know what the hell they’re talking about any more than you do. It’s easy to let all of these opinions drown out your inner guidance. Don’t let them.
Meditation helps to amplify that inner voice when it’s at risk of being drowned out.
As I continue to meditate, I get better and better at it. As I work the muscle, it gets stronger and stronger. Decisions get easier, and I realize I already have the answers inside of me, for any question that comes up, regarding Foster or life in general. I get quiet and let the answers come. I trust myself more and more.
Now, for the record, this doesn’t mean I don’t listen to anyone else. I sure as hell listen to his doctor. I’ve read more than one book. Joel and I discuss things at length. And I get tons of advice from my friends and family. But at the end of the day, the decisions are still mine to make.
It’s Not Just About Parenting
This is true for any challenge or goal or ongoing process in your life, from creating great relationships, to progressing in your career, to getting out of debt, to launching a business, to losing 40 pounds, or quitting some shitty habit. In any of these pursuits, there will be a ton of decisions to make, so it’s important to get comfortable making them. And trusting yourself in the process.
If You’re Feeling Stuck on Something and You’re Not Meditating
May I humbly suggest that you get your shit together already and make it a priority? Sure it can feel real weird and useless at first, but keep at it. You know how. I don’t wanna hear the excuses. For the love of God just do it. Just sit there and breathe and focus on your breath. Do it for three minutes. And then keep doing it.
You’ll be surprised at how good it starts to feel and how clear you start to become and how much you start to crave it.
And then life starts getting wild.
- You become much more present.
- You raise your vibe.
- You get so many ideas.
- You start to relax more.
- You start to sleep better.
- You become so much more confident in yourself and following your intuition.
- You start to realize that you know exactly what you need to do and that you’ve known it all along and that helps to encourage aligned action-taking.
Becoming a mom is wild.
For many reasons.
But just as losing the weight isn’t just about losing the weight, or leaving the boyfriend isn’t just about leaving the boyfriend, or spending the money on the coach isn’t just about spending the money on the coach, being a good mom isn’t just about being a good mom.
It’s about becoming the woman I need to be in order to do it. A woman with the confidence to trust herself, because I am now the one who decides.
All of this business is a journey. It’s really about becoming the women we know we need to be in order to rise to the challenge. Meditating is one of the fastest ways to connect to the inner guidance that will lead us through.
What about you? Ever tried meditating? How has it helped you?