Simple Joy (not quite) Sundays: Breath

It’s time to take a breath. As always, I reach for my favorite old mantra:

Change nothing. Everything changes.

Not surprisingly, teaching the kids to meditate with me is a challenge.

Max is head of the class, so far, enjoying his nightly moment with me. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Four times because you are four, buddy. It’s useful later, when he’s angry. I’ll remind him to take a big breath as he winds up to scream, and about half the time that simple pause, that breath will shut down his almost-tantrum.

Elliot tries to do yoga with me, but, bored after a few moments, she winds up being a heavy, seven-year-old monkey on my back. Not great for down dog. Down right painful in triangle pose.

Then there is my Maya, who follows my lead, but concludes with her signature diplomacy: I’m glad this works for you, Mom, but I don’t get it.

Yet she needs the stress relief, so we’ll keep practicing. We all need it. August has been a busy month, brimming with once-in-a-lifetime projects and celebrations that have left us all off whatever summer routines we had managed previously.

We have two quiet weeks to catch our breath. I’m grateful for them. For the opportunity to rest and play together before the necessities of a rigorous everyday school schedule. Granted, our big projects aren’t complete. Just paused. And yes, thanks to a bountiful August, we may spend the time spinning apples into sauce, canning marinara, and researching fencing options for our future barn inhabitants. But such simple activities are a meditation in and of themselves.

And for the next two weeks, until the next big change, we’ll take a breath.

Change nothing, everything changes.

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