Sylvia, my client of several months, sat across from me, clearly agitated. This forty-something woman, mother of two teenage boys, going through a divorce but still living under the same roof with her soon-to-be-ex, crossed her denim clad legs exclaiming, “I’m SOOOO stressed out!”
“Have you ever tried meditation?” I asked. After practicing meditation for quite a few years myself, I was convinced that it could help her. But I was also ready for her response.
“Hah!” she barked. “You know I don’t have time for that!” She was a single mom with a full time job, a house to run, and a to-do list that never ended. She really did seem too busy to meditate. Sylvia responded slowly, “You know, I have to be honest. Even if I had the time, I don’t think I would do it. I’ve tried meditation and quite frankly, it’s a little boring. When I close my eyes and sit quietly, my mind wanders. I just think of the million and one things I’ve got to do and then I get even more stressed.”
“Well let’s see,” I brainstormed, “You have time to wash your hands after you use the bathroom, right?”
She laughed, “Yeah, usually!”
“What if I gave you a tool to use – a shortcut — something to calm yourself that isn’t a formal meditation but that you could do when you washed your hands?” I ad-libbed.
She smiled . . . she laughed, “That would be perfect.”
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW is the author of
“Transcending Loss: Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make it Meaningful”
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