Last Updated on October 8, 2020 by Paul Farrell, MRP, JD, PhD
When it comes to stress, nothing beats raising children. Every parent understands this. So it’s no wonder family life and parenting are without question the world’s number one opportunity for meditation. At its best we experience the joy of being in a moment so beautifully captured by Anna Quindlen in A Short Guide to a Happy Life:
“Get a life in which you pay attention to a baby as she scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cherrio with her thumb and first finger. Turn off the cell phone. Turn off your regular phone, for that matter. Keep still. Be present. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you.”
Parenting – The Ultimate Meditation
In the parenting relationship you will experience the ultimate meditation. Anyone who’s been a parent knows that as much as you love your kids, those moments may be fleeting. And yet, in between those “Cherrio moments” and the “you’re-driving-me-crazy” stresses of dealing with a rebellious teenager, there are endless opportunities for meditation.
When it comes to raising children, parents aren’t experts, we’re learning on the job. We have no choice but to live in the moment! But in each of those moments you do have a choice.
Reduce the Stress
Maybe you can’t meditate like Zen or Trappist monk in a quiet monastery. And it’s highly probably you’ll never attain total peace and serenity around a bunch of noisy, demanding, self-centered teenagers. But you do have tools available to reduce the stress – and meditation is the best one available, even if you only get it in very brief moments – while car pooling, at a play rehearsal, making their dinner, or singing a lullaby.
Here’s a message for any stressed-out parent: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition of true success in life. Tape it to your bathroom mirror and meditate on it when you get up in the morning:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
About the Author
Dr. Farrell is a Behavioral Economist. His books include The Millionaire Code; The Millionaire Meditation: Stress Management for Wall Street, Corporate America & Entrepreneurs; The Zen Millionaire; The Winning Portfolio; Expert Investing on The Net; Mutual Funds on The Net; and The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing.
He also published 1,643 columns on DowJones-MarketWatch and for years was their #1 traffic-generating columnist. Before the Internet, he edited & published FNX: Future News Index, a financial newsletter for stock market traders. Earlier he was a Wall Street investment banker with Morgan Stanley, Executive Vice President of the Financial News Network; and Associate Editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
He has a Doctorate in Psychology, Juris Doctor, Masters in Regional Planning and Bachelor of Architecture. He worked on the Esalen organic farm and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as Staff Sergeant in aviation computer technology.