Meditating on Meditation
(Part 8: In the Open blog series)
by Stephanie Pericich
Rather than recount all of the stressors of the last 12 months, I would like to focus on two of my favorite stress antidotes: humor and meditation. Scientific research indicates that both humor and meditation can help to reduce stress, but I am not going to focus on the science in this blog post (a quick internet search can call up multitudes of relevant studies and summaries). Instead, I’m going to address humor and meditation by sharing a humorous poem about meditation.
In reading the poem, you will likely discern my difficulty with “traditional” meditation, due to my apparent inability to sit still. Fortunately, just as there are many ways to incorporate humor into one’s life, there are numerous methods by which to meditate.
My family employs several meditation techniques, including yoga, guided imagery, labyrinth walking, listening to music, and nature walks. This last one – taking mindful nature walks – is our favorite, because it resonates with all three of us; It’s something that we can do together, while still receiving the benefits of mindfulness and calm.
Which outlets for humor and/or meditation do you and your family use to keep stress at bay? Are there any that you haven’t yet explored, but are interested in trying?
Meditating on Meditation “Take a deep cleansing breath” what if I hyperventilate? “Now take another deep breath” wasn’t one enough? “Feel the air pass through your nostrils” my allergies must be acting up “And concentrate on your heart beat” uh oh – my heart skipped a beat! “Feel yourself melting into your chair” kind of like the Wicked Witch of the West? “Now let’s do a full-body scan” that doesn’t sound like a good idea at all “Begin by focusing on your toes” what a weird place to start “Tense and relax each body part” tensed too hard…muscle cramp! “Place all of your worries on clouds…” what if it’s a cloudless sky? “…and then watch the clouds drift away” my clouds won’t budge “Now take three more cleansing breaths” didn’t I do it right the first two times? “And when you’re ready, open your eyes” maybe a nap would be a better choice “Take a moment to notice how you are feeling” better! I feel better! I actually feel better! “Remember to repeat this sequence every day.” now you’re pushing it
Pericich, Stephanie. (2020). “Meditating on Meditation.” Sum of Experiences: A book of Poetry. Self-published eBook.
Stephanie Pericich is a Parkway area wife, mother and an independent author of non-fiction and poetry. Ms. Pericich has volunteered to share her experiences and perspectives as a mother navigating the challenges of parenting for the purpose of encouraging community conversations about keeping kids safe and healthy.
LOL…I love this poem. I am like you, I am not a good “sit still-er” type person. I find a lot of meditation in music however, and I think that is often how my family can relax together. But, even then, it is rarely “calm”, as with a family of 6 most everyone is regularly vying for attention, and everyone must talk over someone else (loudly) in order to be heard. Sometimes dinner feels like a competition for who can speak the loudest. We enjoy each other though, but our family is not for the faint of heart or the meek.
I really like this idea though, mediating through an active nature walk, that sounds lovely. Often I just walk with the dog, and listen to the bible- that is very relaxing, but perhaps we should do a walk as a family. That will likely be our next weekend adventure. Thanks for the idea!
Hi Melody! I am so glad that you enjoyed the poem and the nature walk idea. I can see how it would be difficult to find quiet moments, but I love that your family dines together (something that is increasingly rare these days). Thanks also for sharing some of the ways in which you unwind.