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It’s easy to wake up and just start running around the house like a crazy person making breakfast, checking email, putting dishes away, doing push-ups, rummaging through closet hangers for an outfit and getting the kids out of the house. Ambitiously, in the spirit of “getting it all done.”

Most of us can relate to a morning like that. And how it starts is typically how it ends.

Our days begin to look colorless and feel monotonous, and we can’t see the horizon because we’ve cluttered our view with tasks, obligations, chores and responsibilities. The weight of it all is debilitating.

We have only 24 hours in a day and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough because we’re cramming too much in.

So much so that it’s confused us, clouded our focus and crippled our peace. Our effort to get it all done is actually counterproductive.

But what if we started a little slower and a little more thoughtfully? How would a peaceful start change our day, its course and momentum? How would our morning affect our focus throughout the day? How would it improve the way we speak to others, what we put in our bodies, and how we feel by the time we return home at night?

How can we use our morning to put us on the good foot? To open us up to receive what comes and to welcome it with open arms, whatever it is? I have an idea how…

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As we get ready to shower mom with love and appreciation on this upcoming Mother’s Day, the idea of parenthood comes into question. How did your parents do as parents?

Hmm, good question. I’ve wrestled with a few complaints about mom and dad over the years:

  • They always have to be right. They don’t even listen to my side of the story; it’s only their way or no way. Don’t they understand they don’t know everything?
  • They want me to do everything their way. They won’t let me be my own person and learn my own lessons. Don’t they understand that I’m living my life, not theirs?
  • I’ll never measure up. Everything I do is never enough. Instead of congratulations, I get skepticism. Don’t they understand that it doesn’t have to look like they think it should?
  • It’s ok for you to do it but if I do the exact same thing, I get a lecture. Why is it wrong for me and not for you? Don’t they understand that nobody respects a hypocrite?
  • If I’m content being single, it must mean I’m unhappy and something must be wrong with me. God forbid, I get married later than 20 years old. Don’t they understand that some people choose not to rush into marriage?
  • They don’t even know what I do for a living. I’ve never had to repeat myself so often about what I do, for it to go in one ear and out the other. It’s like unless it promises a pension, I don’t have a real job. Don’t they understand this isn’t the 1950s?

You said it, Will; parents just don’t understand.

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Meditation is for everyone. Even you. How do I know this? Because, as humans made of spirit and flesh, we seek balance. We seek both action and inaction. Both challenge and ease. Both excitement and calm.

Coming into balance, given the daily exchange of stimuli, requires that we pause the incoming and outgoing, and allow for the settling. Like a shaken snow globe returning to still after it is set down.

After encountering stimulation after stimulation in our waking life, we need to calm the mind and center our attention inward. We need to reconnect with and replenish ourselves. Imagine us as little batteries walking around; at some point, we need to get recharged.

The recharging that meditation offers, however, is different than sleep. It’s much more than just relaxing our muscles, closing our eyes and dreaming. Meditation is decluttering.

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