By Kelly Hines
Every morning, my husband goes upstairs with his cup of coffee and sits in his special chair. He rubs a little essential oil on his wrists, and inhales it deeply. He puts on his headphones and listens to the gentle sounds of a rainforest, interspersed with the melodic chanting of a Trappist monk. He reads from one book, then another, then a third. He closes his eyes and drifts into a deep meditative state.
Meanwhile, I am downstairs in a meditative state staring at Facebook.
I want to pray, really I do. I want to be in touch with the Great Creator. I want to be in touch with myself, my inner feelings; I want to tap the potential within. I want to begin and end my day with peace. In reality, my day begins with coffee and ends with bourbon. It’s punctuated by brief prayers like OH MY LORD IS IT BEDTIME YET and similar, less printable petitions.
I’ve purchased books on prayer that go unread on my nightstand. I have signed up for daily meditations that I stare at all day before guiltily clicking ‘delete’. I’ve made dozens of false starts, resolutions, commitments, and half-hearted attempts. I excel at failure, due to nothing more than my own laziness and inability to focus.
Recently, I suggested to my nine year old that the key to success is visualization. When I try to visualize positivity, my mind drifts and suddenly I’m thinking about whether or not I remembered to buy toilet paper. I also helped her start a gratitude journal, and encouraged morning and evening meditation. My youngest child swiped my (blank) gratitude journal and it now contains drawings of Skylanders. The nine year old on the other hand has embraced all of these things, and is doing them regularly and without prompting. I’m thinking about asking her to be my spiritual mentor.
I do realize of course, that I could change all this. I have plenty of opportunities during the day to dedicate myself to spiritual practice. But who wants to reflect on their inner self and bring themselves to a higher plane when there is Candy to be Crushed? Surely there is inspiration to be found in a Facebook meme or Buzzfeed quiz! I’d bet my life on there being a meditation board on Pinterest. When I do manage to close my eyes and bow my head, my prayers tend to be brief. Thank you. Give me patience. Give me more patience than that. Please give me enough patience to not lose my mind. Thank you again.
To give myself a little bit of a break – it is kind of hard to concentrate around here. Since I’ve started writing this: the middle child came in with muddy pants, the six year old tried to pick a lock with a screwdriver, my oldest wanted to talk about how Donald Trump looks like a yam, my husband talked to me about painting the house, the neighbor kid came over, I had to switch the laundry over, a horde of children descended on the kitchen demanding snacks, and the dog needed to poop. It is suddenly the best time to pray.
OH MY LORD IS IT BEDTIME YET???