Good morning. Or afternoon. Or evening. Or whenever you are listening to this podcast. That’s what I love about podcasts. You can squeeze them in to the nooks and crannies of your day. Would love to hear where you listen to the Motivating Mom podcast. I welcome you and I thank you for choosing to spend your precious time with me.
Today, we are going to talk about meditation. Now, don’t just shut this off because you are sure you don’t want to meditate. I’ll have something for you too! I want you to find your meditation and maybe that looks different.
I have had the opportunity to train thousands of women over the course of my career. I’ve gotten people to change their exercise habits and their nutrition habits but rarely have I been able to create this new habit. I so get it. The idea of sitting and doing nothing when you have so much to do is absolutely, well it’s just crazy. And for most of us, sitting quietly doing nothing when there is so much to do (and probably chaos around us) is anything but relaxing.
I’m not really making a case for myself right now. So, let’s go a little deeper.
I have been inconsistently meditation for nearly twenty years. I have been daily consisten for the last 5 and it has been life changing. Let me tell you how i got started. I took yoga classes from a friend and mentor, Michele Hebert. I’ll include her website in the show notes. I’m not sure she will even remember this story I’m about to tell you. I was her guest at a beautiful resort called Rancho La Puerta. I accidentally messed up giving her directions to my house and she arrived very stressed out after getting caught in traffic and getting all turned around. Realize this was before GPS. Heck, this was before cell phones. I had actually never seen my calm, spiritual friend so flustered. I guess she was human. So, as soon as we arrived to The Ranch, she took me to a special meditation room so she could decompress and regain her spirit. We took a seated meditation pose. And we sat. And sat. And sat. It was soooo painful for me. Nothing relaxing about it. How long is she going to sit like that? How long are we going to be here? My hips are killing me. Can I move. So needless to say, it was not relaxing for me. At all! When I expressed my discontent to Michele, she explained that it’s a practice and that means you have to practice. Maybe you start with one minute, then two and so on.
So, if this whole thing is so hard, why would we want to do it? I’ll tell you why.
Do any of you like getting a massage? You know that feeling, that feeling when you are between wake and sleep and it’s just… well, it’s quite delicious in my opinion. What if I told you that meditation can help you bring on that feeling, without a massage? Honestly, that’s about enough for me. But I’ll give you more reasons to meditate.
These are all scientifically proven. This is not new age, hippy dippy stuff.
It increases happiness
It increases your immune system
It decreases stress. Many of you come to me as stressed out moms. Many of you complain about stress eating. Ladies, this is a way to decrease that stress
It improves your memory, attention and focus. Basically, it is strengthening your brain.
It’s good for your body in ways we don’t totally understand. It has positive effects on Heart disease, Osteoporosis, Sleep problems, Digestive problems, Depression, and Obesity
It’s even good for our relationships. Couples say that they become more loving when the meditate. No, I have not gotten Jason to meditate. I’m just saying that that science shows it’s good stuff.
Don’t make too much of how to meditate. It’s really as simple as sitting quietly. The goal is not to have no thoughts. That will basically never happen. A mind never turns off. But the chatter does quiet. With practice. You can focus on your breath. Or a word or mantra. You can focus on a sound.
I absolutely swear to you that my days go better on the days that I meditate. I feel more grounded, calmer. Maybe I don’t notice that as much as I notice that on the days that I don’t meditate, I am more agitated, quicker to yell...definitely more stressed. I respond better to the chaos of family life when I meditate in the morning.
My morning practice looks something like this. I wake up before the family does. I take about 10 minutes to journal and then read a passage or quote from an inspirational book. Right now I’m reading Wide Awake Every Day by my friend Starla J King. I then set a time for 11 minutes (11 only because it’s my favorite number) and sit. I also put on some soft nature music or meditation music that I find on itunes or Spotify.
That’s it. What has happened after practicing for so long is that my mind goes in to that relaxed space quite quickly. Some days, it doesn’t and that’s ok. Some days, I feel I need to meditate again. If I’m feeling particularly stressed or anxious, I tell the kids that mommy needs a time out and I’ll go meditate. Funny enough, what has happened is that Rachel has gotten curious and has joined me. Actually both kids have joined me before. They like one meditation that I do where I sit in front of a candle and try to still the flame by being very quiet on the outside and the inside. Rachel loves this rainbow breath meditation that I do. She even asks for it sometimes before she goes to bed.
If you prefer more guidance, there are so many great FREE resources out there. Check out
I am going to upload a mommy meditation with the Rainbow Breath to youtube for you to use as a guide as well. If you like it, tell me and I’ll record more!
Depending on the season of your life, my morning practice might not work for you. I get that it’s hard to wake up earlier than your family if you are a sleep deprived new mom. You can even meditate while you are nursing or when they are napping. Ask any mom how she is and she answers...crazy, busy, stressed. I don’t like that answer and you shouldn’t either. Being crazy busy isn’t a badge of honor. If that’s how you feel, then you owe it to yourself, to your kids to find a way to chill out. If this whole meditation thing is still a no go for you, then find your meditation. Maybe it’s prayer, or knitting, or art. But find something that you can tap in to easily and daily to recharge your spirit and calm your mind. If meditating works for you, please share your practice and tell us how you got started and what you do. I promise you! It works! If you feel you don’t have time to meditate, you probably need it the most.
Ok, here’s how we are going to finish off this segment. With breath. Because even that is quite powerful.
Take a deep breath in. Let it out in a big open mouth exhale.
That feels good.
Now let’s do a 4 count breath. Breathe in for 4 counts. Relax around the held breath for 4 counts and release for 4 counts.
Keep doing that for a few cycles.
Now let your breath return to normal.
I use my breath as a destressor, as an energizer all day long. Really! I imagine that oxygen filling my body. I imagine stress releasing with the exhale. It doesn’t take any time.
In this episode, we take questions about fitting in cardio as well as how to model healthy behaviors for our children.
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