My mind overfloweth. Not only does it overfloweth, it raceth like Usain Bolt on a really, really good day. A fast Usain Bolt? That’s magic. My fast mind? Not so much. A bit more like chaos.
A couple of years ago, I rediscovered meditation. I used to meditate in my twenties. When marriage, children and the myriad other things that seem to denote adulthood in our culture came along, my meditation practice fell by the wayside.
Funny how a divorce and a bit of life chaos changed that. I eagerly picked up where I left off.
Only things were different.
In my twenties, I meditated in my high-rise apartment, looking out at Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park. I lit candles. I eagerly approached my bedtime inspiration reading. It was a smooth, calm, quiet ritual.
Fast forward to a recent Monday night.
I light the candle. I log into the online meditation guide. And I click on the play button.
As the guide’s melodious voice tells me to focus on the white orb of light surrounding me, I envision it—and in the middle of it, my dog groomer, Joan, appears.
Did I tip Joan last time Bailey saw her? I think I did. I remember walking Bailey to pick out her bone and then—sheesh. Blank. I hope I did. I better call and find out. Speaking of bones, I need to buy more of that calcium-fortified orange juice. We’re out.
As I breathe in and out, I start to relax and then—thwack.
My eyes open as I realize I’ve just been whacked across the face. My large black Labrador retriever has her nose in my face, begging for attention. The tail thwack is just collateral damage from her overenthusiastic greeting, as is the large wet spot on my cheek where her dripping jowls just rested. She must have been drinking water. I could really go for some OJ right about now. Oh, that’s right—we’re out. Must buy. I swear I buy it daily now.
Closing my eyes, I focus on the voice. . . . opening your heart to . . .
“Mom, I need the project supply fee to turn in tomorrow. It was due last week.”
As I try to keep my eyes closed and wordlessly point to my purse (which is hard to do with any accuracy when your eyes are closed), my brain takes off again.
Not only is the supply fee late, I need to register him for that basketball camp before it fills up. And make plane reservations for the family wedding. Ooh, I need a dress for that one. I’d better be getting to the gym so I find one that fits. Which reminds me, I think I left my delicates in the wash. Better hang those to dry before bed.
I go back to the mantra, hoping I’m getting the Sanskrit words right. For all I know, I could be swearing in Sanskrit rather than coaxing the universe to help open my heart chakra. It’s all about getting the syllables right and I think I missed that second one when the supply fee request happened.
Then, from downstairs: “Mom, don’t we have any orange juice?”
I say, under my breath, “Who is drinking all the freaking orange juice?”
And then, the gong sounds. Meditation over.
Zen accomplished? Not so much.
Perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow—in the orange juice aisle of the grocery store.
It might be more peaceful.