I’ve been feeling very much off-kilter for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been working hard to just let myself feel off-kilter, but I much prefer to take a situation and reason it into submission if it’s not turning out the way I want it to. I’m a big fan of creating plans. And schedules. And lists. And making major changes and not waiting around for the dust to settle before making another major change.
But I’m still meditating. Still meeting with myself every morning to confront the very noisy silence and the restlessness in my body that just wants to get up and DO something.
Every morning I whine to my husband that I just don’t want to meditate.
Every morning I find piddling little tasks to postpone the trek downstairs to the yoga mat and the meditation cushion. I need to put these beans on to soak. I need to look up that smoothie recipe for breakfast. I need to set out today’s homeschool books in a line on the table, even though they’re all going to get stacked out of the way before we can start the math lesson anyway.
And then I pout and stomp downstairs and sit or stretch or sit and stretch, even though the struggle to get there is tough and the short-term benefits are minimal. Many times these past couple of weeks I’ve lamented that meditation “just isn’t working anymore.” But still I keep on doing it.
This week, though, several things have come together to help me feel a little more optimistic and to see that maybe the meditation is still “working,” it’s just on a different time scale than the one I’ve got in my head.
The other day, Leigh from Live Your Bliss posted about the detoxification effects of the Gerson Therapy for cancer. The “lots of veggies” shift I’ve made in my diet over the past month hasn’t been nearly (nearly) as intense as the protocol for the Gerson Therapy, but it’s still significant. Leigh’s post reminded me that perhaps some of my sense of disequilibrium (physical and emotional) is a sign that my body’s adjusting to the healthier diet and letting go of the cravings and other things I don’t need.
The weather has been warm and the children cooperative, so I’ve been able to walk every day this week. On Monday, we took an hour-long hike and found our first letterbox. On Wednesday, the kids and I walked to the library and back (5 miles round-trip). Tuesday and Thursday, the kids and I took little 20-minute walks around the neighborhood, the toddler in the mei tai on my chest and zipped into my jacket, my daughter’s hand in mine. I don’t know if it’s the vitamin D or the fresh air or the exercise or just the promise of spring (or the oxytocin from the pleasant closeness with my kids), but walking has brought me a sense of peace each day.
Then today my daughter’s history lesson was about ancient India and included a brief retelling of the story of the birth of Siddhartha, aka Buddha. After our walk, the kids and I snuggled on the bed and read Buddha by Demi, which included more details about Siddhartha’s life and short versions of two of his famous parables. As I read aloud about Siddhartha’s life and teachings, my son fell asleep in my arms.
What beautiful reminders these all have been to live in the moment.
This isn’t to say I’ve not done some scheduling and planning (exhibit A: the detailed and unrealistic homeschooling schedules littering our dining room table). But just as in meditation when I bring my mind back to the present when I find it’s begun to wander, I’ve been gently bringing myself back from the plan-schedule-ruminate rut I usually fall into so easily. These things—the walks, the blog post, the picture book, the snuggling with my kids—have all helped bring me back.
I’d love it if I were back for good, if I no longer had to work to just be present. But I’m here now. And that’s about the best I can do.
And today I had an awesome (and enormous) salad with watercress, romaine lettuce, walnuts, pears, and dried currants. Awesome salads don’t hurt, either.