Friday, May 30, 2008

Meditation and Other Questions

Have you ever meditated? What is it? Do you sit silently and concentrate on your breath and letting all thoughts go? Church leaders often talk about prayer and meditation. I've always figured meditation was sitting around thinking spiritual thoughts, like figuring out a tricky verse of scripture or how I should be helping my neighbor or listening more carefully to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

I had, until recently, always presumed that meditation including thinking. But, for whatever reason, thinking has become weirdly overrated in new age spirituality.

I'm looking to somehow steal a few moments of peace. Do I do it late at night? Early in the morning?

As I write this post my clock reads 11:43 pm. Yet, I long to be an "early to bed, early to rise" type.

When I lived in Spanish Fork with two babies and a fragile marriage, a ward member with 3 kids, all notably older than mine, advised me to get up before the kids. "You'll see," she said, "as your kids get older and into school, you have to get up early. You have to get up before they do, study your scriptures, work out and be ready for them. You have to get up early to prepare for the day."

It's advice I've never forgotten. And never followed. Well, almost never. I've taken a few stabs at getting up early with major negative consequences: the kids get up too. They want to join me on my walk, when I really want to think or have grown up conversations. I'm just trying to empty the dishwasher, but kids are veritably jumping out of bed to see if these sounds mean something cool cooking for breakfast.

I long for a sunrise walk and scripture study, though I hate to drag myself out of bed. So. I guess I'm just wondering how other moms do it. When do you do your scripture study? When do you exercise? Do you ever meditate? Enlighten me. I'm ready.


Kate said...

Umm... I don't exercise. Not something I'm proud to admit, but the 20 pounds I need to lose just prove the fact that I don't. I have no idea how to get exercise in.

However, I do find time to read my Bible. I am with you, I have this inner desire to be the early to bed early to rise person, but never make it. I just get so caught up in enjoying the evening quiet :-) I often read at night, most times something that has some relevance to my faith, but I do try to read in the morning. Even if it's just a verse.

But one way that has worked out great was that we got a patio swing. When the kids go outside to play, I bring my Bible outside and swing and read. And my kids are the kind that if they hear me in the house they wake up too. So if I actually get up before they do, I can sneak out to the swing to get some nice quiet time in as well.

Jenna Wood said...

I've never thought of reading scriptures outside. That would be tricky in the winter, but in the spring/summer/fall it would be great.

Thanks for the great idea!!

PS I'd give my eye teeth to only have 20 lbs to lose. I've narrowed it down to just under 60. Yikes!

Alisa said...

Good post-- I am pretty much just like you. I long to be early to bed and early to rise and why should it be so hard?- it just is. I do exercise but not early and my kids are often awake while I am doing it. I have gotten up early to do it sometimes and there are things I like about that, but there are things I like also about lazier mornings. So to sum it up I am not a good person to learn from- sorry, no advice here.
Still I TRY to no let myself feel to guilty for being a night person and just try to make do getting as much as I can get done as best I can on the schedule that seems to fit my personality better. There is always hope though-- I always imagine being and earlier riser when my kids get older- yah right! We'll see.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Awesome advice. I've had moments in my life where I've done something similar. I'm not an exercise person. I need to be, but it's hard. I've been thinking that I need to start getting up early and reading my scriptures. I've felt such a disconnect with God and have wondered if He even remembers that I'm here. I'm sure some quiet time with my scriptures will help me.

The few times I've ever done this, my days have gone better, I know.

Nancy said...

I know what you mean about it being hard to find the time. With everything that has happened with me & our pursuits for children, I've found I need to take the time to meditate and read my scriptures, but I want to less and less. Just last night I found myself deep in the hold of depression about things, and I took a chance to just hold still. After about 10 minutes of just listening to my own breath, I found peace and comfort. To me, meditation is more about stillness than anything else.

I'm also reading a great book called "Eat, Pray, Love" and she talks directly about meditation and the benefits she's found from it. If you can find a time to read, it's amazing!

Jenna Wood said...

Nancy, ((HUGS)) If I can hijack some time to read, it sounds like a good book.

Tara Rickards said...

I love that you write about what is on your mind! I wish you lived close to me because I am just falling in love with you all over again--Not in any weird way! I just think that you are such a cool person and I wish we could hang out! I know I am cheesy. My husband used to call me "cheddar" because of it.

I am a night person. Left to my own, I would be up until 2 and sleep until 10am! I have tried the morning thing over and over again and failed almost everytime. When we booked our trip to the Bahamas, I knew I had to get serious. I set my alarm for 6am and went to the gym. The first few days were rough. It actually hurt to get out of bed! By the second week, I actually started to look forward to it and I have noticed that my days go so much better. I feel awake and refreshed when my kids wake up. As far as finding a quiet moment, that is harder. I used to bring my journal and sometimes my scriptures with me when I took my kids to the park. They would run off and play and I would lay on a blanket under a tree and read or write. I'm having a harder time now finding a consistent time. I just started using the Sauna at the gym and I spend the time answering a few work emails on my phone. After reading your post, I just realized that would be a perfect time! I get the scriptures on my phone. Hmmm.... I'm feeling inspired!