I thought I’d be better at practicing you by now.
I’m about to finish the book Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, which is a four week program to learn all about meditation. I all read about the benefits of meditation, and I’ve practiced breathing meditations, body scan meditations, letting go of thoughts meditations and lovingkindness meditations. I’m now on the final week, and instead of being able to ease through the recommended five to six meditation sessions a week, at least one of which is over 20 minutes long, I still find myself wiggly and itchy and fidgety and peeking at the timer to discover that only two minutes had passed since the initial chime.
My massage therapist encourages me to keep it up, that meditation is like exercise and I just need to keep practicing so those meditation muscles get stronger and can be used for longer stretches of time. So I’ll keep trying, finishing this week’s lovingkindness focus with the mantra, “May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.” And I’ll make sure that, in addition to sending those vibes out to those I’m fond of and those I’m not-so-fond of, I’ll include myself in lovingkindness wishes.
An Improving Meditator
Dear Commercial Airlines,
Thanks for making your flights ridiculously expensive during Spring Break. At first I was totally bummed that flying four people to sunny Florida would require me to auction off my internal organs, but as Facebook friends continued to offer fun suggestions for road tripping with kids, I’m kind of looking forward to being trapped in a car with my family for many, many hours. I think back very fondly to the family road trips my parents took me and my brother on when we were kids, and I know one day my little ones will appreciate the time spent together as well.
A Mom Ready for the Family-Friendly Version of Spring Break
Dear Parents of Teenage Boys,
I have less than a week until my boy enters his teenage years. He is almost as tall as me, his voice is suddenly so deep I barely recognize it, and the other day he received his first love note from a young lady requesting to be his girlfriend. None of that really scares me though. That’s pretty typical. It’s all that other stuff that teenagers face these days that my generation didn’t have to deal with that really scares me. Snapchat. Cyberbullying. Internet porn.
So parents, how do I get through these teenage years with my sanity intact? How do I get him through his teenage years with more wisdom than rebellion? How do I not screw it all up?!
Send some prayers,
A Parent About to Join the Club of Parents with Teenage Boys
Dear Lady in the Grocery Store Checkout Line,
I saw you out of the corner of my eye. I saw you look away when I looked at you. You and your husband were overdressed for Food Lion, likely picking up some essentials after church. You were an older couple, older than my parents, and I figured you averted your gaze because of my pink hair. And while pink hair isn’t as wild and crazy as it was once considered, I don’t think older generations get it. In fact, just minutes before, another older woman looked practically frightened when I passed her in the international foods aisle. So I thought I was about to get handed some harsh judgment when you tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, but I just have to know…”
Here it comes, I thought. She’s going to ask me why I would do such a horrible thing to my long blonde hair. I braced myself and prepared to brush her off.
“Which came first: the hair or the shirt?”
Huh? I looked down and realized I was wearing a pink shirt, a shade that almost exactly matched my hair.
“Because you’re perfectly color coordinated,” she continued with a smile.
I laughed, and she gave me a wink. “I just love the hair,” she said to me, then linked arms with her husband and said to him, “Don’t you just love her hair, honey?”
I waved to the couple as I left with my groceries, hit with the realization that not only had this couple NOT passed judgment on me or make assumptions about me based on my appearance, but I had done exactly that toward them.
With everything going on in the world right now, it sure is easy to pass judgment on others and brace ourselves in a defensive stance. My brief encounter with this sweet woman in Food Lion was a great reminder to keep an open mind, avoid jumping to conclusions, and by all means, take the time to share a laugh with others, even strangers with pink hair in the grocery store.
With thanks and appreciation,
The Stranger with the Pink Hair in the Grocery Store