three seconds, two words & a slug

It started as a simple expedition.

A walk, really.

Me and the dog.

Then Eleanor joined us.

And what should have been a brisk, heart-rate-rising outing slowed. Stopped. Turned around twice.

The only thing going up was my blood pressure.

Blackberries. Fallen leaves. Slugs by the dozens. With a discussion of each one. “Mom, does it seem to you there are tremendlously more slugs than usual?”

Tremendous, indeed. And we slowed even more to find and count. each. one.

We were stopped by a neighbor. A politely long conversation ensued. My heart rate now matched that of the slugs’.

And I finally gave in. I finally gave up. I finally stopped taking a brisk walk in my mind and embraced where I was.

The walk became a stroll, and the moment became beautiful.

Nothing changed. Except me.

I love the idea of meditation. I do. And I’ve heard the saying if you you are too busy to meditate for 30 minutes, you must do it for an hour. But I’m a parent. I’m happy to use the bathroom by myself.

I need something that works in three seconds, or less. So this summer I’ve been making up micro-meditations. Ways to pull myself out of my head and into my reality. Ways to release my story and enter my life. Ways that work with a single breath.

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The final leg home was at a much brisker pace. “I think we walk faster when we sing” she said in between rounds of Edelweiss.

Maybe. Or maybe it was that I had finally, finally stopped trying to be anywhere else and just been there. In that moment. Me, my daughter, and our dog. Beautiful.

How do you do it? How do you pull yourself from one frame of mind to another? What helps you shift gears and be with your kids? I’d love to know.

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