Forced into Meditation


This post was originally written for Deborah Williamson’s Wild Abundant Life.  View the original post on WAL, here:

I have never been able to meditate.  Even when I enrolled in a structured yoga and meditation program, I always cheated on the meditation part.

I will do as many hours of yoga as my body can handle, but I simply cannot meditate.

Something about sitting still for an extended period of time makes me want to crawl out of my skin.  I immediately start to feel guilty – here I am not doing anything, not accomplishing anything.  My mind races through the things I could be doing and before I know it, I am up – folding laundry, working on a new playlist for class, going for a run.  For someone who feels like she must constantly be productive, meditation is pretty close to torture for me.

So when I had a baby 6 weeks ago and started breastfeeding, I felt like I was in my own personal torture chamber.

Every 2 – 3 hours, I must sit still and nurse – sometimes only for 20 minutes but sometimes for an hour and 20 minutes.   The uncertainty of how long I will need to sit in one place just makes it all the more difficult.  In all fairness, I am sometimes multi-tasking – checking my email or facebook on my phone, watching TV and or even eating my lunch.  But I know that the time I have to experience sitting alone with my daughter in quiet is limited so I try my best to shut everything off and be still.

Amazingly, what I am finding is that being in this stillness does not translate to doing nothing.  It does not mean I am not accomplishing anything or being unproductive.  It is actually just the opposite.  I leave those quiet moments not only feeling more connected to my daughter but feeling more rested and prepared to take on what’s next.

It is immediately after nursing that I feel ready to tackle my next project – preparing for my next yoga class, writing my next blog post – and it’s because I took a step away from everything and gave myself the opportunity to truly rest, recharge and reconnect.

I don’t know if breastfeeding will inspire me to adopt a regular meditation program, but I do know that it has inspired in me a different understanding of how being still can actually be the most productive part of my day.




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