February 3, 2014

Come On! Breathe. ~ Jennifer Moore


Some mornings are here to teach us patience—like today.

I got a cat to keep my son company and to give him someone else to play with while I work. He is an only child and in constant search for a companion. It can’t always be me.

I did not get a cat to act as an alarm clock.

4:30 am

I was pulled from sleep by the strange sensation of tickles around my nose, like baby spiders crawling around on my face. I opened my eyes to see Jack the Cat crouched on my pillow; his face less then an inch from mine. The room was still dark. I pulled the blanket over my head. Then he began to pounce. This continued until I fell back to sleep, determined to get 20 more minutes.

6:00 am

Next came Atticus. I heard him before I saw him, running to my room.

I smiled, “Morning.”

“Mom, may I watch something?” First question out of his mouth, to which I replied, “No.”

And then came a stream of whining and complaining; still half-asleep, I struggled to clear the fog in my mind so I could respond. “Enough, I said no. Please lie down and snuggle.” I was hoping for just another 20 minutes. Atticus crawled beneath the covers and I held him. My body softened and my pulse slowed. Ahhh…

“Mom, why can’t I watch something?”

And my response…

“Come on!!!!”

Completely reactive and not at all patient. I took a breath and then in my best trying to be calm voice, I explained what we were going to do instead of watch something: breakfast of French toast, get dressed, brush teeth and get to school.

“French toast, but I want pancakes!”

{Cue deep breathing}

My chest constricted around my heart and I could feel the tightness up in my throat. I wanted to scream, but I didn’t. For the next hour, I took lots of deep breaths as I parented—and made French toast (yes, I am in charge… and we didn’t have the ingredients for pancakes).

I walked him to school, kissed him goodbye and returned home to begin my day. Seven hours to complete my work; but first some time for self-care. I unrolled the mat and began a gentle asana practice, focussing on my breath. My mind was flooded with thoughts (judgements, worries, fears…tasks of the day). I returned my focus to my breath, again and again. And slowly, breath by breath, my chest softened and my heart opened. Calm returned to me once more.

To close my asana practice I bowed. I bowed to myself, to Atticus, to Jack and to the morning.

The Practice:

Commit to awareness.
Watch the quality of the breath and the sensations in the body.
Sit quietly and focus on the breath at least 10 minutes each day.

Practice in the calm moments. Parent in the quiet moments.
Because when the lessons in patience come (and they will), we want to be ready.

Today is a good lesson; and it is only 9:39 am.



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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Jennifer Moore


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