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March 18, 2013

Being a little Type A, I’ve always found a life/career balance challenging and once I added a kid to the mix…. well…. things got even more interesting.

I recently asked eco mom-actress-multi-hyphenate Alysia Reiner how she balanced work and motherhood; one tip she mentioned was doing meditation with her daughter.

I’ve always had a lot of resistance to meditation but I knew it was something I should try. Dallas Travers suggests meditating on one word, so I chose that as my technique and committed to 5 minutes a day.

Day 1. I set my kitchen timer for 5 minutes and explained to my 2 yr old that I was going to sit on my yoga mat, close my eyes and mediate.  I invited him to sit with me and sat in lotus position on a stack of magazines (I have tight hips.)  My son climbed all over me immediately.  As I focused on the word Patience he pulled my hair, “What you doing Mummy? You meditating Mummy? You meditating?”   When the timer went off, I blessed my practice with Namaste and rolled up my mat – it was messy but I’d done it.

Day 5. He became less interested and just quietly played nearby.

Day 6. He got out his own magazines from the rack and sat across from me!!

Day 7. When the timer went off he whispered very earnestly “Mama-stay, Mama-stay.” (His understanding of Namaste)  He did this for 2 weeks.

Day 15. I got into the habit of telling him the word I chose to meditate on.  (Honestly, having a two-year-old, it was often Patience.)  However, without fail my son would say “No! Monkey, Mummy…Meditate on Monkey, Mediate on Monkey.”

Day 20 I gave Monkey a try – I did not find it as effective at setting a tone for my day as Joy, Peace or Breathe!  But… I then spoke to my friend, yoga teacher Rachel Bennett, and she said quieting the monkey mind is actually a meditation technique, so maybe he was trying to tell me something after all!

Day 66.  My practice has increased to 15 mins and I find it an invaluable way to get quiet amidst the often-chaotic mum/actor juggle.  This week I had a very last-minute commercial audition appointment.  In the pre-baby days dropping everything suddenly to head downtown was no problem, but now abrupt shifts can be tough.  It is surprisingly time-consuming to wake up a kid mid-nap and then wrestle sweaters and shoes on the now screaming kid, while at the same time figuring out your outfit and makeup.  Taking a breathe and reminding myself of my intention, Ease, prevented me from having a huge meltdown too.  It allowed me to arrive at my audition calm and ready to rock!

Do you mediate?  What techniques to you use? If you have any tips for me, I’d love to hear them.

Talk soon,

The Mothering Actor Signature

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2013 12:34 pm

    I think it’s wonderful that you are introducing meditation into your son’s life at such a young age! It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I love that you invited him to sit WITH you as you meditated. If you ever have a moment go to and download some of their podcasts and videos. A wonderful tool to have at home when you’re not able to go there in person.

    • The Mothering Actor permalink
      March 18, 2013 8:31 pm

      thanks for the tip, I’ll check it out.

  2. The Growing Artist permalink
    March 18, 2013 5:07 pm

    That’s wonderful that you and your son are able to spend that special time together. I’m sure it took a lot of patience, but it sounds like it was worth it 🙂

    • The Mothering Actor permalink
      March 18, 2013 8:34 pm

      Thanks! – yes def worth it. I’ve started doing some mantras too and I love that he has an awareness of yoga/meditation/mantra already.

  3. March 19, 2013 9:52 am

    Meditation is great! I got the idea from Dallas Travers too. If you want to really get in depth with it, Emily Fletcher of Ziva Meditation is great. She has a class in NYC coming up on 3/24 .



    • The Mothering Actor permalink
      March 19, 2013 3:34 pm

      Emily’s name keeps coming up! I’d def look into, Thanks!

  4. Courtney Young permalink
    March 31, 2013 7:39 pm

    What a terrific idea! I’ve often thought to myself that meditation isn’t for me because of the small people who run around my apartment all day long. Never once did it occur to me that they might join me. I’ll do it and will even borrow “patience” as my word of choice for a while. Daddy will be away for three weeks. I’ll need all the patience I can get.

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