As a teacher, at the beginning of new terms or even on a Sunday evenings getting the ‘fear’ is not uncommon. Something about standing on the edge of a new week can seem rather daunting. For some, it means another week of demands, overwhelming task and the race of life – chasing that never ending ‘to-do’ list. Of course the ‘fear’ isn’t just a teacher or student concept – the ‘fear’ is inclusive to the entire human race. Sadly.
During exam periods I always encourage my pupils to books several big events during the revision / exam period – it gives a positive focus to what can seem like a never ending carousel of post-its, essay practise, and highlighting sentences. This year one of my high anxiety pupils booked a concert, a meal with friends (no revision cards allowed) and her Mum booked her a ‘surprise weekend’ which turned out to be some well needed family time at Centre Parks.
When I first became a Mummy on maternity leave I realised that I would quickly need a similar recipe for success and sanity. Money was an issue, so instead I treated myself to smaller treats like ‘posh teas’ and made sure I had time to drink them hot (oh the luxury). I used cooing visitors or close family to have bubble baths and silly treats of time mainly to straighten my hair, paint my nails or frankly just sit alone with a book or just to daze out of the window. I guess in some respect this post is a similar message to my last post found here, which is about prioritising yourself.
However, this week I want to take that message one step further – to creating moments of joy in the humdrum of life. To planning family time that units all members and to crucially prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed.
If you look at many of the people winning at life, from Oprah to Louise Haye meditation is key to their mental well being and subsequent happiness and success. I recently embarked on an 8 week mindfulness course. Many of the aspects of the course I found unhelpful – either because I already do them or chewing a raisin for twenty minutes just doesn’t seem to resonate with me. I signed up for the course because I was keen to increase and perfect my meditation practise. My instructor gave us a CD full of mediations of different time spans and contents, but I have always found youtube to be an awesome source of led meditation (if thats your thing). I have a few favourites that motivate, chill or empty my mind. During the course I was foolishly waiting for the moment when I had perfected my meditation process and could leave proudly announcing to the world that ‘I can meditate’ and hold my certificate proudly…only to discover that its a daily working progress and you can’t actually meditate incorrectly. In essence for non-meditating readers; you focus on your breathe and try to stop your mind from wondering off…at the start its a little bit like supermarket shopping with a toddler, with practise you learn that online shopping is best for all and that popping in to Waitrose for some milk and bread is your maximum capacity. You become comfortable in your own skin, head and letting go seems to flow much easier. What they don’t warn you is that is highly addictive and the sense of well being that it can give you is exactly the same as when your child reaches the age where you can monthly shop with them and ACTUALLY enjoy their company.
If you have never tried it – you’re wrong. Ive never met anyone who hasn’t driven somewhere like on a daily commute to work and upon arrival can’t remember the journey. Or perhaps read a book and become so enthralled in the characters and plot that you’ve lost track of time, although not ‘strictly’ meditation these events are extremely similar. Escaping your current reality and the demands of the world and freeing your mind – even just for a few minutes.
The evidence for this practise is abundant and a quick google will put any logical mind at ease. However, if you are someone that resonates with the quote above about worry dominating your life, or perhaps every now and then anxiety pops around for an unexpected cuppa and stays way too long, or you just can’t remember when you last enjoyed the now, the today and the present and instead your mind is busy analysing the ‘what ifs’ of tomorrow, then I promise making a few minutes before you fall asleep and listening to a guided meditation will be the best gift you gave yourself.