If you are a busy parent you may not have the luxury of being able to attend a yoga or meditation studio for your daily or weekly fix of calm and tranquility. But with a bit of thought, you might be able to find a space at home, however small, which you could dedicate to your own meditation practice or a family meditation practice.
In an ideal world it would be wonderful to have a spare room which you could de-clutter and convert into a meditation room. In a busy household where space is scarce, you might not be able to “lose an entire room” to the purpose of meditation, but you might be able to create a multi-purpose room which can be used by the whole family.
Here are a few ideas for “room-sharing”.
You could turn the room into a reading room by day and meditation room in the evening or morning before school and work. The room could also be a “non-electronic playroom”. By this I mean a space where children can do puzzles, colour-in or build Lego. This is exactly what I did in our previous home. I encouraged my daughter to use the room but for relaxing and reading, or games which did not require electronic gadgets such as iPads, phones, X-box, Play Station and so forth. I had a sofa in the room, but otherwise it was pretty much empty which meant there was lots of floor space for Lego building. When children came over to visit, they tended to congregate in there and spread all the toys out to play with as they enjoyed the simple clutter free space. Clearing up was quick too. With some clever storage to reduce clutter and minimal furniture the space can be quickly converted into a meditation room once play time is over.
Designing your meditation room can be great fun and needn’t cost a lot of money. With a few pictures on the walls, a small table or shelf for a couple of candles and incense and an empty corner to stand a few yoga mats and cushions in until needed, you have your space. If you do have the luxury of a dedicated room, then you can enhance and deepen your quiet time by creating just the right atmosphere for you by painting walls and accessorizing the room to your taste. You could choose a minimalist theme, a cosy warm theme using deeper colours, or a room which is open, spacious and full of natural light. When choosing a room in your home, try and choose a room where noise is at a minimum from TVs, the kitchen, children playing outside and traffic. Traffic noise can be the most distracting and depending on how busy the road is, completely disrupt your meditation practice as a beginner. As you become more used to meditating, noises will recede and be far less noticeable.
But what if space at home is really scarce?
If space in your home is at a premium, you might need to find a “quiet corner” where you or you and your family have enough space to sit on a couple of yoga mats or cushions during meditation time. If you do not have any space at all to dedicate to a meditation practice, then sitting in bed to meditate will do just fine. Just try not to fall asleep, but do not beat yourself up about it if you do. Children can practice their breathing and listen to guided imagery meditation whilst lying in bed before they go to sleep. You can also practice mindfulness as an individual or a family which will not require you to have anywhere special to meditate at all, but instead encourages you and your family to bring awareness to how you feel and pay more attention in any given moment regardless of where you might be at that moment.
If you would like to know more about how to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into family life, join me on the next Chilled Out Child programme or contact me to discuss individual mindfulness coaching.