Work-life balance for moms is a hot topic right now, with Yahoo! CEO Marrisa Mayer's new work from home policy (ix-nay on the work at home-ay) and Sheryl Sandberg's book calling women to Lean In. I can't really relate to women who live a privileged life and can afford to build a baby nursery right next door to their corporate office and round the clock nannies. Luckily for them, work-life balance can be bought.
For the rest of us moms, we struggle daily, maybe hourly with work-life balance. This week has been a sleep deprived scramble to get work done during nap times, bedtimes, and sneak away in the bathroom times. With a restless, unintentional nap or two thrown in for good measure. I don't mind this kind of schedule as long as there's an end in sight. It's a temporary schedule, though I'm sure it's likely to recur.
I also started a meditation course this week, you know because I needed more on my plate. Several of us in my Inspiring Moms Network signed up for Deepak Chopra's 21 Day Meditation Challenge. I've always wanted to learn how to meditate. Even more so after I read Renee Trudeau's latest book. I know meditation would help me with my stress. I'm a day behind on the challenge (you can start anytime-there's no quiz at the end). Each day we're giving a meditation guided by Deepak himself, an affirmation (centering thought), and a Sanskrit mantra to repeat during our meditation.
For Day 2, the centering thought was Balance is my true nature. It felt so good to say it after my schedule this week. No matter how crazy life gets, deep down, we all crave balance. It's there. We have to open to it, whether it's saying no to something or giving ourselves permission to go to bed early. I'm working on the going to bed earlier part.
I listened to Deepak (his voice so comforting, we're on a first name basis) explain that day's Sanskrit mantra. Yum. Yum. Yum. Saying Yum enlivens the heart chakra, according to Deepak. I don't know a whole lot about chakras, but just mentally saying Yum made my heart happy. I even smiled as I thought that word/sound over and over.
Smiling or not, I found it challenging to stay focused and within during the meditation. Still once I was finished, I did feel more centered. I've been taking the 15 or so minutes to meditate during Jaxson's nap. I found the second day more challenging than the first day. It probably would have helped if I hadn't put a load of laundry in before I started. The laundry "center" is right behind my office area.
After my meditation time with Deepak was done, I kept thinking Yum. Yum. Yum. Over and over. It stuck with me, along with Balance is my true nature. So I pulled out my watercolors and started painting. First, I wrote the word Yum over and over on the page. Since Yum is about our heart, I added a layer of paint over the words. Just like our heart is right under our breast, Yum is protected by this extra layer.
Once the paint dried, I wrote the affirmation on top of Yum and added some doodles. Then I painted in some of the doodles. I'm not 100% happy with it, but I'm working on becoming an "imperfectionist."
I'm hanging it up near my desk so when I'm working I can remember that to find balance I need to look into my heart and find my Yum. This all fits in perfectly with my word for the year, Nourish. The work I do needs to nourish my heart too.
Also I think I'm scheduling a massage for myself this weekend. Cause I will go crazy without me time.
Have you tried meditation? Any tips for this beginner?