Although I am not working at present, I have so many wonderful things to do that I cannot experience them all in one day. So I get up at 6:30 am or so and start my day in front of the coffee and the computer.
Some background info here – I haven’t been alone in my home for several years now. Not for any length of time at all – maybe an hour or two when we lived in Prince Edward Island and the guys would go to a movie and the flea market. Since we’ve been in Maine, 6 years now – I was only alone for a few minutes while my husband took our son to work before he got his own car. So I am not alone. And I am an alone-type person.
A couple of ways I live with this is to first go to my sewing room. It is a small 9 x 12 room in the front of the house with two big windows looking out onto Broadway Park. There I can relax, plan, create, draw, doodle and of course, sew. This is a great place to be. I like the room and the sunshine and I love all the fabrics, trims, thread, etc. that surround me.
Secondly I meditate. I have taken time almost every day since 1995 to be alone in my bedroom for an hour or more. This has not been easy to train my family to. At first either one of them would interrupt me concerned that because I wasn’t hanging around their every word (or need) that I was either pissed or depressed. To give them their due I have spent a great portion of my life either pissed or depressed. Maybe that’s because I could not be alone ever.
In 1998 my father and his dog came to live with us. So even though the other two were out at work, Dad and I were home alone. Poor Papa. He loved to watch TV and was deaf in one ear and couldn’t hear out of the other so the volume was always up high. When sports were on the screaming of the fans or the whir of the racing cars almost put me over the edge. Unfortunately I was raised to believe that the men in the family were kings and us mere women not queens at all.
I digress. Anyway meditation became my time for me. It became something that I so look forward to in my day. If I am worried or anxious – usually about money or someone’s health – meditation became my way to shut out my whirling thoughts and get centered. Which I need in order to live in the moment and shut up for God’s sake.
As I mentioned in another post, I listen to Shankardev’s Meditation and Yoga Nidra. I read Thich Nhat Hanh and sometimes just spend an hour aware of my breath. I read the Bhagavad Gita and Paramahansa Yogananda. I listen and yes SING with Krishna Das and his kirtan. I have most all of his music. The man has such a sweet voice. I read Deepak Chopra although not as much as before. Too political sometimes. I thank God always. I love living and my life.
So how do you get time to meditate? If you are working full time AND have a family – this is very hard. I know this feeling and how exhausted you can be at just the thought of doing something else in your day. It is so important and rewarding that making time is absolutely the best thing you can do for yourself! So here are some ideas –
1. Take a bath – so who’s going to follow you into the bathroom? Unless you have toddlers who listen to nothing – you should be able to let everyone know that your bath time is inviolate. You can get a good hour out of a tub of hot water. And you can just watch your breath or listen to music or just be.
2. When you are off work for a whole day – spend your kid’s nap time alone in your room. Do not do chores when it’s quiet – do you!
3. Go for a walk after supper alone. You can do a walking meditation too. You practice stepping on the Earth with love. Even a half hour walk will bring you peace and without peace we are nothing.
4. Shut off the phone. The cell phone, the home phone — any phone. You can connect later after you have relaxed and are in your center. I am always amazed when I go to the grocery store or anywhere frankly, that people have this cell phone in their hands and are checking their text messages or their calls. They talk on the cell phone while grocery shopping. I shop. I need to have grocery shopping be grocery shopping, driving driving and meditating meditating. Unless there is a wildfire in your neighborhood – you can be without your phone for an hour. It is possible.
5. Quit watching the news. Then you won’t have half as much mind garbage to remove so you can be peaceful. There are so many things on the news that I do not need to know.
6. Get up early. I get up at least 2 hours before anyone else if I’m lucky. My husband can annoy me no end if he decides to get up when I do. He has a Parkinsons-like disease that makes it hard for him to fend for himself. So I fix his breakfast, etc. If I have to do this before I have my coffee ————– well life is not good. I try to sneak out of bed so I can have my time and put his breakfast on the table in stages. Hopefully soon I will be working 9 am to 2 pm – then our son will be with him while I’m gone and I can put his breakfast on the table before I go. And I will meditate as soon as I get home.
It is quite possible to get time to meditate. I do not think it is possible to live in our world today with all of the high-pitched noise, violence, anger and despair we have created in our world without backing off from it. Your soul will thank you and give you immense satisfaction if you take time to be alone with it. Try it.