"To meditate means to be there. To be with yourself”.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
I have been an avid early morning meditator for many years. It has been my non-negotiable, daily ritual keeping me balanced and sane while navigating single motherhood and running a business.
Meditation has been the balm for my soul and the blanket for my heart.
It has become a part of me - a limb - and has sustained my capacity to remain connected to my breath, my body, and the present moment as life has unfolded.
My time on my cushion is stabilizing, enlivening, and enlightening. Not always easy or comfortable, yet I feel held during the quiet and stillness by my own arms and more upright in who I am.
My 9 year-old son, Kai, has had special needs, which have challenged him in his ability to self-regulate, sensory integration, and other behavioral issues. He has witnessed my practices over the years and has been averse to joining in in any context – making endearing comments about my alter, asking me why I am so “spirit-full” (a favorite!), and telling me that I am a “weird” yoga mom.
A few months ago I offered to buy him a deck of Animal Spirit Cards as the cards that I draw noticeably intrigued him. He enthusiastically obliged and what has unfolded since then has been incredibly beautiful and powerful to witness and be a part of.
Kai has now set up his own alter with meaningful stones, a candle, and draws weekly Spirit Animal cards, which have potent and positive messages on them. A couple of nights a week we light our candles and sit together for 10 minutes. He rolls out his own yoga mat with pride, wraps a blanket over his shoulders, and sits quietly (with the occasional outburst of laughter or a burp!).
Recently, as the timer indicated the completion of our meditation, my son said “I felt in synch with you”. I felt it too. After our many weeks of sitting together we have landed and the result is palpable.
Observations since beginning our practice together:
Kai and I are more connected.
Kai is more present and engaged when we are talking.
He makes eye contact more consistently.
He has become more resilient.
He is more relaxed in his body and able to receive physical contact.
He is able to self-regulate and calm his system more rapidly.
He has become more flexible and open with the flow of life.
It is affirming to me that anyone can meditate and the crucial nature of exposing our children to these life-altering practices early on.
During this time of giving, consider giving yourselves and your children the gift of a meditation practice.
The benefits are infinite.
Are you interested in bringing a meditation practice into your household yet do not know where to begin? As a gift to you, I am offering FREE 15 minute consultations to get your practice started.
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear”.
~Baba Ram Dass