Vacuum Meditation: Go Within and Be
I groaned as my alarm went off and I made my way into the kitchen to make coffee. I could feel my blood pressure rise as I noticed the previous night’s dishes in the sink. “Just one more thing for me to have to do!” I thought angrily to myself. That’s when I heard the background noise of CNN blaring on the TV and my husband came in the room to share the results of the Presidential election. The next hour seemed to go by in a blur of distracted thoughts, in between making lunches, checking my to do list and emails, and trying to hurry my daughter who still wasn’t dressed so we could make it out the door and to school on time. “But I’m sooo tired today,” she whined…”stop rushing me.” And then the mother of all tantrums began. Followed by a flood of soggy Cheerios and milk on the floor, and the sound of her bedroom door being slammed. “What the heck was I thinking?” as I remembered I’d volunteered for the school field trip to chaperone 18 kids. I was 5 seconds away from a tantrum of my own.
For the next few days, each day seemed to repeat itself. Was I caught up in my own version of the movie ‘Groundhog Day’? The main character Phil Connors is an arrogant TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again. I went to bed each night with worried thoughts, woke up each morning with dread, witnessed numerous (and epic) tantrums, and ended each day complaining to my husband about the world and our frantic household. “You need to chill out,” he replied. So I vented to a close friend instead.
“How can you expect Izzy to be centered and grounded when you aren’t doing that yourself?” I was absolutely speechless for the first time in a week.
She was absolutely right. “But our country is so divided now, my kid is melting down over her spelling words, and our dog keeps barking at someone or something I can’t see in our house.”
“Libba, it is on you. You need to stop participating in the drama of the current climate, stop allowing distractions and stop making excuses about not doing what you need to ‘be’ doing.”
OK. Point taken. I decided for the sake of experiment I would do just that. I would try to go to bed an hour earlier. I would put limits on my interactions with activities that did not serve me or at least move me towards a better feeling. I would eliminate as much clutter as I could and ask my husband to clean up the kitchen at night. I would play music I loved instead of listening to negative news. I would stop scrolling on Facebook waiting to pounce on any views that differed from my own. I would make a new plan to take action on the priorities I knew Spirit was calling me to do that had been a long time in the making. I felt a little better almost instantly. But I still felt uncertain about what might happen next. I was committed to ‘doing’ less but I still wasn’t ‘just being’…. in a state of trust, calm, or connection to my Creator.
“Are you meditating every morning before work?” my husband asked me carefully.
”Well, I have been vacuuming when I can and of course I’ve been praying.” (Don’t laugh. Vacuuming is really satisfying especially if you have a Dyson DC 25 model.)
“No, I mean meditating by sitting still on the couch for at least 10-20 minutes each day like you used to do.”
“Well, no, not exactly. I’ve been too distracted to meditate.”
“Hmm, maybe you could give that a try today?”
I’ll admit the first time back in my meditation practice this week it seemed like I was trying to wrangle about 100 wild monkeys. But the more I kept bringing my thoughts and my breathing back to ‘here right now’ the better I felt.
And in that moment I could remember the benefits of re-committing to the practice. Maybe I could raise my vibration and change the physiology of my anxious brain. But could I really change the current climate of fear and uncertainty? I believe if we have more conscious people ‘being’ instead of unconscious, angry people ‘doing’ then we have a really good chance of rising above finding solutions that will work for all people. At least for now, I could start by changing the climate in my own home and in my own mind by staying connected to Spirit with one OM and one prayer at a time.