The school holidays are almost over, and if you are like me, you’ll have a mountain of holiday washing and grey, rain clouds to thwart any attempt to get it done.
My three children are ready to see their friends, and get back to the scheduled lifestyle we know and trust. As much as I love the school holidays; the getting up late and pleasing ourselves, after six weeks I begin to crave normal.
There is something strangely reassuring about a six-thirty alarm call, the scrum for the bathroom, and chatting with my kids over breakfast. I chase them all out of the door at eight and turn my mind to the jobs I have to do before three o’clock, and the evening routine.
There is one thing I’ve noticed more this summer, and that is the inability to find any quiet space. I hadn’t realised just how much I craved it. I was lucky enough to go to Italy this year where we trekked around Lake Garda. We rushed from ancient building to medieval castle, and then ‘relaxed’ with a crazy hour or two in the pool, followed by a beautiful meal in a bustling Italian piazza. It was a fabulous week, but it wasn’t quiet.
I then drove my kids to Somerset for ten days, where we chilled out and managed to dodge quite a few thunderstorms. Again, there was that ever-present dull roar in my ears. Seagulls squawked overhead, the youngsters on-site squealed and enjoyed themselves, and the drunks staggered home in the early hours of the morning singing Tom Jones songs at the top of their lungs. Not at all quiet.
They are all wonderful sounds, of families having fun, and the music of the seaside. But I did wonder where the quiet space had gone. Had it always been this loud and I hadn’t noticed, or maybe the quiet space had never really existed? Whatever it was, I became quite twitchy and anxious.
It was then that I realised I hadn’t meditated for most of the summer. As the saying goes; time flies when you’re having fun, and having fun meant I had misplaced an important personal development tool. One that gave me the quiet space I craved so much.
When you need a quick fix to calm your anxiety or stop your chattering mind, meditation is the simplest gift you can give to yourself. I use the Headspace app on my iPhone; this app gives you short, daily meditations. You can upload the app and get the first ten for free. I would recommend subscribing, but you are under no obligation. Each meditation is just ten minutes long and is a perfect way to start your day.
There are still a few crazy days left of the school holiday, but I know that when I need it, I can take ten minutes and find my quiet space to recharge my batteries.
How do you find your quiet space?
Looking for an easy to use guide to get you started? Meditation for Beginners, is available from Amazon as eBook or paperback