I’d only been home for 10 minutes before somebody called me a bitch. You’d think that after an entire day of mindfulness exercises at my local Quaker centre, I’d be impervious to insults, but I was riled.
Who was at fault? Me of course. What kind of parent am I? My kids are disrespectful and rude. I wouldn’t dare call my mother a bitch…etc etc. Then I was reminded of a quote from today’s event. I can’t remember it exactly, but it was along the lines of – travel the whole world and you won’t find anybody more deserving of your compassion than you.
I am sure it sounded better than that, but that’s the gist of it. How true. I’m doing my best here and with insults flying from all corners, the last thing I need is vitriol from my own mind.
It was a lovely day. I turned up with no expectations and even refused to name my intention. I showed up as I was – headachy with a sore back and knotted shoulders. I left feeling a whole lot better. I even got a shoulder rub from a complete stranger. Result!
The theme was compassion, connection and community and all three were delivered in abundance.
Meditation has been a struggle for me all week, but today, my mind was quiet. I find it so much easier to meditate in a group. There were 30 of us and the energy in the room was like a warm embrace. We made a beautiful noise too – a roomful of people chanting the word ‘om’ is a most divine sound.
I’ve had a week of intense spiritual practice, from my midweek quiet day through to Marion’s Friday group and today’s mindfulness event. I’m not exactly floating on a cloud, but I am a little bit nicer for it.
One of our meditations was interrupted by half a dozen children squealing in the gardens of the centre. They were just a few feet away from us and the noise was shrill. I took great pleasure in watching them play with joyful abandon. Ordinarily, I would have found it irritating, but not this time. Today it was my own offspring who pressed my buttons.
No matter how much I meditate, chant, pray, cast spells or read spiritual books, I find mindful parenting the hardest thing in the world. I wonder, is it even possible? Answers on a white flag please…