Jen is an artist and works both from home and at her art studio. Recently she has been working more from home as she has a very energetic 2 year old boy and a 7 month old girl. She told me that sometimes she feels overwhelmed with the daily tasks of raising 2 kids so young and asked if I could recommend some strategies to help her out. I said “Of course!” and we set up a Skype appointment.
Before we began, Jen informed me that she was a little hesitant about mediation. Her sister had opened a meditation practice in Arizona. She recently changed her name and says all the time she talks this “sun, moon, stars nonsense.” I told her that I understood where she was coming from and that we would keep this very practical and easy to use, plus she could keep her name!
Jen was a natural learner and easily performed the basic breathing techniques. I customized a practice for her that would keep her relaxed and would calm her down in those situations when she feels overwhelmed trying to meet the needs of her young kids. After the session Jen noted that she had felt very relaxed, comparing it to how she felt after yoga, without having to leave her home and in much less time.
I started off our next session by asking her if she felt the techniques were working, or if we needed to tweak something. She responded by describing a situation I feel every parent has been through. “I was feeding the baby in the kitchen and my son Thomas was in the living room playing. The baby was being fussy and not taking the bottle. As I was getting slightly frustrated, I realized that it was way too quiet in the living room. I checked on Thomas and found he had gotten into the crayons and drew on the couches and TV! At that point I was about to lose my stuff, but I remembered what we had gone over and I started to do the “peace and calm” breathing. I got to a point where I could calmly talk to Thomas, feed the baby and get the place cleaned up.”
I was happy that Jen was able to apply this technique to the exact situation in which we discussed beforehand. I laughed and told her you don’t need to pray to the sun, moon and stars in order for meditation to work – sometimes it just works!