By Carissa Sutherland Ciuca
Most days, I tiptoe downstairs in my jammies and glasses, the air in house calm, the sky still a little grayish before moving toward orange.
It’s perfect and calm.
I set a timer, take off my glasses and close my eyes and begin to meditate. First, I hear what’s around me. The ticking of a clock, a bird outside, the hum of electronics in our house.
Then, I intentionally breathe slowly and deeply and move my awareness through the koshas. I notice holding in my belly and let it go. I soften my jaw and cheeks and notice a meltiness move through my body.
Most days, before I can get much deeper, I hear my son peeing and forgetting to flush and then shouting, “Mom!” at the top of the stairs. I hear my daughter babbling baby talk in her bed. I hear the trash truck go by and try not to think about how I forgot to roll out the trash bin. Again.
Most days, I turn off my timer, put my glasses back on, unfold my legs and go hug a kid or wipe a bottom.
The truth is, most days, if I can get a full 10 minutes in, I am hungry for more but also so grateful.
I can’t explain the magic of these mini-meditations or even the power and simplicity of the intention behind them, regardless the amount of sitting time, but I can tell you that it’s for real. It’s like a drug. Even a few breaths and some body awareness changes the quality of the day. Make me nicer to my children. Help me lose my temper less.
I’m magically more patient with others, open to various viewpoints, compassionate. Happy. Aware. Connected to something bigger and brighter that I typically allow myself to believe I am, and that connection shines through a little clearer.
I say all this to encourage you to try a few minutes too. As a mom and small business owner and military wife, I understand those who have no time, who are exhausted, who feel stretched too thin, pressed too hard.
I know what it feels like to be lonely, to make what you fear are terrible decisions, to feel guilt, to feel out of shape, to feel unhappy, to wish you’d said something else.
I also know how it feels to just notice that you’re feeling those temporary, untrue, not real things and allow them to go. To see—even if for just a minute or two—that beneath those feelings, you’re pure and good and better than you often allow yourself to believe.
You don’t have to do a handstand or ever sweat in a yoga class or put a foot behind your head (though it’s true that those things are fun to try and when you let go of your perceptions you might just try some new things.)
You don’t need expensive yoga clothes or a designer mat. You don’t have to have an hour to meditate. You can have a few sacred moments everyday and that can be enough to notice a little shift in the pieces that create your life.
Won’t you try it?