I'm a new mom and if you are a mom reading this you know exactly what that means. I am lucky to get enough sleep, have a sit down meal or even use the bathroom in peace, let alone meditate. But as a doctor and yoga instructor, I know how beneficial meditation is, especially when you are chronically stressed. That's why I decided to join the Deepak Oprah 21 Day Meditation Challenge!
Now I am not saying that my baby isn't the most joyous aspect of my life; he is. In fact, I am crazy about him.
However, motherhood isn't without its moments and I will admit that despite all my medical education, my initial reaction to my own child is always to freak out when there is something scary new. “What? The baby didn't poop today! Oh, right, they do that.” Stressful.
Stress and My Daily Meditation Practice
But my stress began way before motherhood. Once upon a time, in a life that seems ages away, I had a daily meditation practice. Bliss. It went along with my daily yoga practice. Sigh. But then came medical school and the days of movement and meditation became few and far between. I still practiced. I still meditated, but far less than what I had done in the past.
Then comes motherhood, a time in which you dedicate pretty much all your energy and resources to your most precious asset. I take the babe on walks, but oh wait, the dog has to come too. A squirrel crazy dog in a city of trees with my mini riding in the Moby is a workout and hardly peaceful. Well, to the dog's credit, it is sometimes peaceful.
I am finding myself at that place where I meet many of my patients. It's the place where I tell them to take time for themselves, to find ways to revitalize and to nourish the calm in their lives amidst all the chaos. “Great idea, Doc!” Yup and now it's my turn.
Deepak & Oprah 21 Day Meditation Challenge
So, why Oprah and Deepak? Honestly, I never thought I'd jump on the Oprah wagon. Ever. (Although she did recommend Portland's Salt & Straw's Olive Oil icecream and she was spot on with that one.) But these days I spend a lot more time mindlessly wandering the internet in an attempt to stay awake during one of the many middle of the night feeding sessions. When I saw the challenge pop up on my Facebook page I wandered my way right into signing up.
During this 21 day challenge you are emailed on the daily with a mantra centered meditation. The meditations are guided by Deepak, which I need at this stage in my life. Guided meditations can be very useful in focusing the mind and allowing you to let go of all other thoughts. I'm juggling a lot and finding that sitting in silence only allows my to-do list to grow.
The program also offers a daily lesson on how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life, as well as questions for daily reflection. I am hoping this will grow my tool box of ways to live a more present life for myself and provide tangible information I can share with my patients.
I know from experience that my patients who feel a sense of accountability are more successful in the changes the make. This program has a level of accountability with a whole lot of encouragement. Plus, the
I am doing this challenge for myself, but in my heart I know that it will help me be a better mother and a better doctor overall.