Here is the meditation that helped me emotionally survive a weekend of dance competition. Almost.
Our late start Saturday morning thankfully gave me time to sit for 20 minutes.
The solidity of the floor is always best for a long straight spine but hotel room carpets always feel threatening to me. So, I sat comfortably on the pillowy bed. I closed my eyes and felt my breath. Then I started to listen for all the noises around me, loud and quiet. The hum of machines, slamming doors, cars passing on the road, people talking, water running, children running, As my mind noticed all the noises, I quietly said to myself, “There is noise but I am still. There is noise but I am still. There is noise but I am still.” I didn’t have to be moved by the noise and sensory chaos. I tried to memorize the feeling of noticing noise without the need to be moved by it. The feeling of being the calm center of a storm, the feeling of channeling Aristotle’s unmoved mover.
I sat in my pillow nest enjoying the quiet center of a noisy day.
The 20 minutes made a world of a difference sitting in the loud auditorium. There is noise but I am still.
I thought I won the day. I defeated the fatigue of watching dance all day. I was confident of my yogic super powers.
The awards began past 10:00 pm that evening. After 15 minutes I folded and found myself hunched over as if child’s pose. My serenity lost.
I wasn’t ready for the repetitive, auction-like rush of words and numbers. I couldn’t just tune out, after all I was waiting to hear about how our dancers did. What to do? How can I be aware and engaged but not burdened and fatigued?
What helped was commiserating with other moms just as tired and invested as I was. It didn’t take away our fatigue but the jokes, sighs and laughter sure made it bearable. Sometimes meditation works and sometimes we just need to laugh with a friend to get through difficult hours of waiting.
Next competition I’m going in with all the support I can muster: snacks, meditation and friends.
May I focus beyond my achy back, hungry tummy and overloaded eyes and ears to be in the present and enjoy our girls dance through the long days with grace, skill and beauty.
Wishing you all laughter and quiet, as needed,