Allow me to start with a confession: I am a horrible Buddhist.
I don’t know how to “let it go” or “just be.” I know that there is serenity in relinquishing control of the many things in life that I cannot control, but to actually embody that philosophy has been absolutely lost on me.
It’s not for lack of trying.
I’ve tried meditation, but my to-do list tasks ping across my consciousness like pinballs in a pinball machine as soon as I close my eyes. I’ve tried yoga, but I only beat myself up when I can’t get all twisty and bendy like the others in the room. I’ve also tried coloring books, but my perfectionist tendencies have turned a stress-relieving activity into another stress-creating one, as pages of “mess ups” pile in the recycling bin.
But finally, at the ripe age of 35, I’ve finally felt moments of peace, contentment and pure joy. What’s my secret?
Two words: Baby O.
Before I describe how O has helped me find my Zen, I want to preface my personal experience with the caveat that I don’t expect that every new mommy feel the same way I do. I absolutely agree that it’s hard work, that there are ups and downs, and that it comes with its own set of new stressors (which will be likely sources of future posts).
I do, however, feel that I would be inauthentic if I did not share that becoming O’s mommy is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Despite all the complaints and grumblings I may have about the burdens of motherhood, O has taught me so much in her six months’ existence: the exquisite sweetness of sleep (something I took for granted in my youth), the elation of discovering a new sight, texture or taste, the deep comfort and peace of being in the arms of someone who loves you unconditionally.
Self-imposed to-do lists suddenly seem ridiculous when Baby O squeals in delight at the simplest (not even the best) of what life has to offer: Charlie Patch’s wagging tail, splashing water from the faucet, the softness of her blanket or the sound of her own voice.
My most recent Zen moment? I’ve walked a beach countless times – lost in convoluted thoughts in my head or checking how many steps I’ve taken on my Fitbit. But today, with O and the hubs, we wiggled our feet in the sand; we splashed the sea with the palms of our hands; and we laughed as the breeze blew our hair in our faces…
Experiencing life with O has made the dull renderings of life come alive – bright, shiny and new. The most mundane or routine is suddenly a source of wonder. To see the world again through her eyes is awakening. For me, this is what life is about.
I am reborn.
Who knew that my search for Zen would lead me here? No oms needed.
Just Baby O.