Standing at the laundry tub scrubbing mud, and maybe dog poop, off the bottom of my shoe, it started – the self-talk. It was mid-day and I had not yet meditated. I realized in that moment that I was not likely to meditate any time soon.
You are supposed to be “doing the work”, meditating every day. You were up late helping your daughter with homework though, and then there was that meeting at the school for your other daughter. And now the guy is here putting in a new floor.
Then, just as soon as I started I stopped. That is the beauty of a regular meditation practice – you tend to catch yourself falling into the trap of self-judgment and deprecation before you hit the ground. I reminded myself that the basis for mindfulness meditation is moment by moment awareness withoug judgment. I believe letting go of judgment is the most critical part of this kind of meditation, maybe because it’s been the hardest part for me. After 9+ years of a regular meditation practice I didn’t even realize how caught up I was in judging myself until a woman from a local store where I drop off resale items told me, “ Be patient with yourself. You are patient with everyone else. You need to patient with yourself.” Sometimes when we hear something in a different way the meaning of the message gets through. It wasn’t just her words, it was her tone, her total confidence. I started to pay attention. And then I noticed, she is right.
Suddenly, I felt in love again. Yesterday a woman told me I had a great smile. She said it was “coming through” me. That’s because I keep choosing to be “in love” with life, even when it takes me on a detour. One thing is for sure, I am glad I stopped into the resale store that day as I ended up taking just the turn I needed.
Meditating just to meditate, then checking it off of your To Do list might be a way to start a meditation practice, but hopefully, you get to the point where life becomes the practice.