Thursday, August 7, 2014

Calm your mind, calm your life

The decision to simplify came out of a moment of despair. Overwhelmed with trying to balance work, household chores, motherhood and life in general, I had a constant feeling of dread. I felt like a failure - a bad mom, a bad wife, a bad friend - because I didn't have enough time to be devote to just one of those things in order to be good enough.

Good enough for whom? I'm not sure. Probably my own standards but there was an incessant chatter in my mind, a little voice that kept saying "You are letting down everyone you love. Do more."

How long can you live with those expectations before you break down? Not long.

I finally realized that doing more was NOT the answer. The answer was less. I decided to make a list of things I wanted to simplify. 

Besides focusing on paying off bills, decluttering and living with less material possessions (Less clothing doesn't just mean less shopping but also less laundry and less time deciding what to wear. And what do all those things mean? More time.), I really wanted to simplify my diet and exercise routine. With Lu starting to eat solids, I knew I needed to figure out how to transition from time-consuming recipes to more nutritious and easier meals. I also wanted to incorporate regular exercise into my day. I knew it would give me more energy and that it needed to become a habit. So, I decided to start Beachbody's 21-Day Fix (more on this later) on 8/11.

Now, remember how I said I had this voice telling me I was failing? And I phrased the experience in past tense? I should have used present. I still feel that way. 

Yoga is one of my great loves, so I've had many people tell me that I should try meditation to calm myself and clear my mind. But I've always laughed it off - my mind? It is going a mile a minute, all day, every single day. Meditation is not for someone like me. My mind could never be clear!

Tonight, reading Buzzfeed (yes, I know, waste of time!), I came across a piece about meditation where Deepak Chopra answers questions about the practice ( Halfway through, I came across this:

How about someone with stress and anxiety who can't even fathom having a "clear mind"?

DC: Such a person needs meditation more than anyone else because they are headed for a crisis. If stress and anxiety are so great that you can’t even imagine a calm clear mind, that indicates you are reaching your coping limits, and need to begin something like meditation just for the stress reduction benefits.

Wow. That's me.

The piece was connected to promotion for a 21-day meditation program that starts on (get this...) 8/11.

If that's not a sign that this is something I need to try to incorporate into my  simplification journey, I don't know what is. 

Have you tried meditation? Any advice?


  1. You are an awesome mom, wife and friend. Finding balance is never easy but I just try to take each day as they come, and breath. Lu will not remember your clean house or amazing meals, she will remember you her wonderful mom who does it all. Can't wait I hear about the beach body thing. I was thinking of trying that.

  2. This is a great post and lots of this resonates with me. I've been attempting to simplify my life and have been doing project 333
    I also started meditating and wrote some posts about this on my other blog (including various free resources you can try)
    I've found both of these have really helped me towards a more simple life. You might want to check out as they run challenges to get you started with meditating and the community is very supportive.