Today we have a guest blogger, Sonja Alarr. Sonja is a fab woman and mother of two. I met her in my Martha Beck Life Coach program. I loved her writing and wanted to share it with you. Even though Sonja is not a techno gal we are still able to share her wonderful insights with the rest of you. For those of you wondering “How She Really Does It”…..here is Sonja.
I’m not a person who’s ever had much luck meditating. I try it, but alas, I have the patience of a gnat. Still, it gets recommended to me as an exercise—most recently by a woman I hired as a life coach. “Sit and be still for 15 minutes every day. Don’t read, don’t talk. Just sit. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.”
“Yeah, right,” I thought to myself; but I do want to change, do want to experience more peace, and self-acceptance; I decided what the hell, I’d give it a go.
So the other day, I was sitting there striving hard for peace. And being distracted from anything of the sort by my belly. See, my hands were resting in my lap—or they would have been, except that my stomach gets in the way, being overweight as I am. “Well, this is not peaceful. This is miserable,” I thought, followed immediately by: “I wish I could lose weight. I wish I could move in the direction I want. I wish I was someone else….”
“Oh great!” my peace-yearning self snapped. “This is just perfect! I’m sure relaxation is just a breath or two away!” I breathed in deeply again, trying to ignore all the shrieking in my brain. No good. Every time I breathed in, my belly expanded. There was just no getting around it.
“Well this sucks,” was what my cynical non-meditating mind was rattling when all of my interior voices were interrupted by an exterior one—that of my 5 year old daughter, Zosia, calling imperiously from the next room: “Cuddle! Mama, cuddle!” Whew! Saved from trying for peace! On with the chaos of the day! Now, this is where I’m comfortable—distracted, doing a lot for other people with great flurry and always with too little time. With relief I call out, “Here I come.”
I should give you some background, I suppose, about Zosia. My little daughter is like no one I’ve ever met before. She’s a warrior queen at home, a rule follower at school. She started talking at 4 months—yelling “Mama!” whenever I dared to set her down for 2 seconds—but wouldn’t look at or deal with anyone else til she was around 3. She cried for a year and a half and didn’t let go of my leg for 2. I thought she was incredibly introverted and felt for her: the rest of the family is extroverted as a yente at a bris. But a year or so ago, she transformed. Suddenly she was chatty and gregarious and would offer to do a little dance show or sing some opera for anyone who walked in the door. Odd.
I came to motherhood late in life and have found much of the experience to be as perplexing and elusive as the peace supposedly garnered from meditation. From the second she came to the planet, Zosia has baffled and delighted me and taught me things I had no idea I needed to learn.
This meditation morning was no different. Still annoyed at myself for not being able to sit still, not being able to BREATHE, for God’s sake, and really mad at my offending stomach, I went to her room and curled up next to her in her bed. She likes to pretend she’s a “tobbler” (toddler) in the morning and often talks in a wee little voice til she’s ready to get her game face on and handle the demands of kindergarten.
“Mama!” she said, as glad to see me as a golden retriever, and cuddled into my soft body. She patted my stomach, which made me immediately tense. But, “I love your tummy, Mama,” she said. “I lived in there.” She touched me again. “I like your big tummy. “ And she laid her head contentedly on my chest. “And I nursed from your breasts. I like them in the morning when they’re soft and you don’t have your brawd (bra) on. Zosia likes Mama’s body.” She snuggled in.
I lay there, still. Not reading, not talking, not doing anything. Breathing. Holding on to my daughter. I remember I smiled. As I cradled her head next to my heart, the voices in my head calmed down. And for the first time in a long time, I felt a little peace. Meditate, schmeditate. My little guru. She’ll be the one to drag me into self-acceptance, I just know it. As with most things, all I have to do is show up and remember to breathe.