Having changed my nighttime habits (no work after 9 p.m.) and noticing that the world continued to spin, I tried another new thing: mornings.
As I've said, mornings were a battlefield around here. It had to stop. So I made a small change. I sat in bed until I was awake enough to put on my bathrobe without stumbling. That meant everything and everybody had to wait just another few minutes. And they did. And it was fine.
One morning, while practicing my new "wake up before you get up" idea, J called for me from the bathroom. "Mom, I need to go poo." I took a few breaths and got up. I shuffled in and sat on the tile floor next to him while he went. I didn't tidy up the bathroom or brush my teeth or any of the other little chores I normally do during this particular event. Just sat. This was pretty Zen and quiet. Then we went downstairs.
I set Miss A up in her high chair with a big bowl of applesauce and yogurt. Then I poured myself a mug of coffee and curled up on the sofa for a few minutes, staring out the big front window at naked trees. I set my cup down and closed my eyes. For five golden minutes, I meditated. It wasn’t a great or complete meditation by any means, since there was a lot of activity going on behind me. But that was okay. Ram Dass made his students meditate in Times Square. I could give it a go while my kids ate breakfast.
I was interested to note that even though my mind was still fluctuating all over the place, while I meditated it was fluctuating into different areas than it normally would be at that time of day. That was an unexpected relief.
Then I remembered how yoga is meant to calm the fluctuations of the mind. Calling my thoughts and emotions “fluctuations of the mind” just relieved me of a whole load of guilt, analysis, scheming, and planning.
What a gift first thing in the morning.