My daughter was 11 months old when I realized it had been exactly eleven months since I had consistently meditated.
Being a big believer in the many benefits of meditation I became pissed off I had fallen trap to the 'motherhood won't let me' excuse. So using my anger as perseverance and determination, I set off to find a mommy and me meditation routine.
And I hit a big fat brick wall.
The Google-verse came up with nothing about meditations for new moms with babies or toddlers. No simple solution. No one sharing their secrets or even a glimpse into their routine.
I thought, "What?! I could not be the first one who was craving this?!"
While on this hunt for a simple meditation solution as a new mom, a little voice inside kept whispering, "Katie, if you want something and it doesn't exist... create it. Don't just try to find someone to follow. Lead the way and create exactly what you want."
So I did.
And after nine months of trials and successes, I've developed a daily meditation routine that includes my daughter. And I'm here to report... it was actually pretty EASY!
I baby-proofed her room. Added a bit more time into our routine after her bath and before her bedtime. And then I was ready. That was it. Simple.
I join her in her room and play those beautiful guided meditations I loved so much before I became a mom. I hold the space for us. I close my eyes. I remain present. I focus on the meditation and let everything else go.
I don't worry about what my daughter is or isn't doing. I simply be. And I let her be.
And nine months later I'm amazed at this little toddler as I see the power of teaching her stillness. In teaching her quiet. In teaching her calm. And not by force but rather by example. She doesn't sit with mommy the whole time... but the times she does... it's POWERFUL.
Especially those times, she sits in front of me and stares up at me with those big beautiful hazel eyes. She's quiet. We don't say a word and yet you feel like everything that needs to be said is already being said.
Sometimes she lays upside down and thumps her feet on the floor. She rubs her belly and plays with her eyelashes. And that's okay.
Sometimes Daddy joins us and the whole family sits in quiet. Ava will venture from Mommy and Daddy then back to Mommy and then back to Daddy again. And that's OK, too.
I don't force her to do (or not do) anything. And I hold zero expectations. I do what I choose to do for my meditation practice and create a space where we both can simply be. We both embrace the present and release out worries (probably me a little more than her since toddlers don't need much help living in the present). But it's our space. And a time where we simply let go.
It's been a gift and continues to be a gift. And today I'm sharing my routine with you.
I've created a short video below to shed a little light on how it all works in hopes to inspire other moms who want to meditate. For those moms who want to stress less. Who want to relax more. For moms who want to create that sacred space for themselves (and their children).
My hope for you is that you find a sliver of inspiration from me sharing my simple routine with you.
May you never have to use motherhood as an excuse to prevent you from doing anything that will honor and nourish your soul. If whatever you're doing isn't working or if you're craving something more... get creative, get determined and go make it happen.
Katie O'Brien is a Life Coach who is on a mission to inspire a happier, simpler motherhood experience for everyone. She writes about real life, simple stress management solutions and how to find inner peace as a busy mom. Visit http://katieobrien.com to connect with her today!