Motherhood Is a Meditation

I admittedly have a limited knowledge of meditation, outside of what I learned during yoga teacher training eons ago. At least at this current phase of my life, I am not a meditator.

But my understanding of its basic principle is that by practicing stillness, stillness then becomes part of you and informs your being and all your interactions.

I've been thinking that motherhood is a kind of meditation, too. It requires so much of us, and by practicing these things day in and day out, they become a part of us.

It's a meditation in sacrifice—our time, our talents, our bodies are no longer ours alone.

It's a meditation in compassion—concerning ourselves with the trials and sufferings of others, and maybe even seeing those who are struggling and recognizing that they, too, are someone's child.

It's a meditation in joy—experiencing the bright, big world through the eyes of a child—and in wonder—seeing everything as fresh and new.

It's a meditation in forgiveness and grace—extending second and tenth and millionth chances to our children, asking their forgiveness when we get it wrong, and for some of us, getting a chance to redo things from childhood that perhaps were less than ideal or even broken.

It's a meditation in humility—enduring hardships and submitting ourselves to serve others.

It's the ultimate meditation in patience—with the messes, the interruptions, the inconveniences, the discomforts.

It's a meditation in grit—pushing on through the hard days and weeks and sometimes months and years, hoping that this too, shall pass.

It's a meditation in community—seeing that it truly does take a village, and embracing that village for both the sake of the child and the family unit.

In meditation class, we learned it's a misconception that we should feel relaxed and zen-like while we're practicing meditation. In fact, we might feel uncomfortable or restless or downright anxious while sitting in stillness.

The benefit from meditation doesn't come while we're practicing it, then, but while we're moving throughout our worlds. Just like a serene lake returns to stillness after a pebble is thrown in, meditation gives our minds the ability to return to stillness quicker and with more resiliency during the waves of life's disruptions.

What meditation does for the mind, motherhood, I would argue, does for the heart. We might not feel Iike a serene picture of motherhood during the daily grind of diapers and dishes and discipline; most of the time I feel quite frazzled. But by stretching and bending and twisting ourselves into a million roles every day, this practice of motherhood reforms us—body, mind and spirit—into something new.

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