Go Ahead, Help Yourself

This morning was my morning to sleep in. (Yay.) But because I’ve been craving a long meditation session, I rolled out of bed and went to sit on my cushion in my closet. (Short backstory: I’ve got a ton of big, exciting work projects going — including my first retreat this Friday, woot! — and my husband and daughter have both been sick and in bed for several days, meaning I’ve been busier than usual on the caretaking front just as my workload is amping up. My meditation practice for the last 10 days or so has been relegated to a few deep breaths when I needed a moment of quiet reflection. The pain of not having a longer conversation with my intuition was building up, big time, and it was starting to affect how I was relating to others, and feeling about myself.)

Everything was going great. I was in a good mental groove — I was getting a ton of insights, coming fast and furious, but I trusted that I would remember them when I was done and could return my focus to my breath. This was all happening even though I could hear my husband getting my 2-year-old up and out of bed, and there was tons of their external chatter to focus on. And then my 2-year-old started to have a mini tantrum.

It was all I could do not to get up and go to him, because my mind was telling me that only I could understand why he was getting upset, and only I could help him find his way out of the storm. Suddenly it wasn’t so easy to let what I was hearing go and return to my breath. I got physically agitated. I wanted to bounce up off that cushion in the worst way!

Then I reminded myself how badly I wanted to meditate. I wanted it for myself, so I would know what was most important to focus on, and so I would remember that I always had a quiet oasis inside me when my schedule went off the rails. But I also wanted it for my family, so I could be clear and loving toward them, and my clients, for the same reasons. These thoughts kept me in my spot long enough for my husband to completely handle the tantrum. It was maybe a minute.

By sitting still and staying true to what I wanted, my husband had the chance to parent in his own way without me swooping in and taking the reins from him (how demoralizing that would have been!). My son got a chance to be parented by his Dad without any confusing interference from Mommy. My daughter got to see her Daddy taking care of her brother. And I got a story I could share on my website that now has the potential to help someone else stay focused on what she truly wants for herself.

Here’s my pithy takeaway — when you stop running to everyone else’s aid, because you know what you want and what’s true for you, you make it possible for a ton of great things to happen.

P.S. Carolyn, this one’s for you.

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