Ten minutes a day. My January goal. I am very proud of myself for committing to such a goal. Even more than that, I'm proud of myself for sticking to it. There were about three days when I didn't take my ten minutes. At least one of those days included a yoga class with a five minute shavasana (the final relaxation pose in a yoga practice).
There were many times when my mind did not want to become a blank slate. Things to do pummeled my mind at times, enjoying the break in thoughts to grab their moment of fame. Sometimes I was able to quiet them and let them go. Other times I found it more helpful to pick a word or image on which to focus. And then there were those blissful times when I felt suspended in time, relaxed but aware, focused but only on the moment. Fleeting but beautiful nonetheless.
I realize as I'm writing this that one of the best things I've learned through this practice is that those ethereal-seeming moments can exist and that I can occupy the moment with them. It is unbelievably hard to remain in the present at all times. I'd daresay impossible (at least for those of us not secluded in some monastery in the remote areas of Nepal). But to feel that I can reach that place momentarily, that I can bring it into my life and find peace from it, is such an uplifting feeling. A feeling of reassurance that life, in all its wonder and glory, goes on around us and is there for the experiencing if we are willing to reach out for it and be open to it.
There are other aspects of this practice that have been helpful to realize: taking time to slow down is in my power; I can control my reactions to Jacob's actions; taking time for myself is the best thing I can do to help me be a better mom; being productive is a state of mind; a peaceful mind is a healthier mind.
Just like many things in life, though, meditation is something to practice. Doing it daily made it easier for me to choose it over other distractions (cleaning, organizing, making irrelevant lists) and to find that quiet place inside of me. These are new pathways in my brain, though. Ones that need to be trodden frequently in order to become deeper, more reliable ruts. The things my brain tells me come from old pathways and are things I may always hear ("If you're not doing something you're not being productive"). But hopefully, with time and practice, a new voice will interrupt. A voice telling me that this, right here, right now, is my life and it is my choice how I will live it.