The First Day of the Rest of My Life: Challenges
My main struggle during this experiment was with consistency. I did not manage to commit to 6-7 days/week. I averaged 4/days week, which is 4 days more than I was doing 2 months ago, but definitely leaves room for improvement. This goes back to my need to be more disciplined in general. Intellectually, I know that structure and discipline are important not only in order for me to reach goals and be successful, but also critical for children in order to feel safe and secure. I will be home this summer full-time with my children, for the first time, and this will be so important. Once we have some kind of structure, we can fill our time with openness, fun and adventure. If not, I can see things devolving into chaos. My parents never provided structure and discipline for me (other than 12 years at Catholic school—which I credit with my ability to sit still for long periods of time), and I tend to be resistant to discipline and “authority figures” in general (see above regarding Catholic schoolJ). Again, I have finally recognized that importance of discipline and have a more positive attitude toward it. This is definitely a good thing as I move in the direction of a career as a high school teacher. The ability to set boundaries and clear expectations will be critical to my success in connecting with students.
I also noticed that the closer I got to my final day at work, my mind really fought to hold on to old stories, patterns, hurts, frustrations, etc. In addition, I had a lot of work to logistically wrap-up. I had a much more difficult time quieting my mind during these sessions. I just stuck with it, and kept coming back to my breath, attempting to let the thoughts just float away.
I also decided to move the asana practice from before meditation to after. This would allow me to be sure to get in some meditation (and the rest of the steps leading up to it) before my kids woke up. They are early risers, and it was not uncommon for one of them to wake up and come into the room while I was meditating, my daughter occasionally plopping down in my lap. I would send them to my sleeping husband and get back to meditation. I was very focused on committing to meditation at this time, and felt I would rather miss the asana then the rest of the routine.