The first time I heard about mindfulness and meditation, I thought it was BS. I thought it was for people who didn’t have their sh*t together. I was super type-A and I didn’t need that hippie baloney.
And then I had kids. And everything changed.
It took me longer than I’d like to admit to stop being Little Miss JudgyPants and start integrating mindfulness into my daily life. Needless to say, once I did, I became, well, a true believer. I saw how it helped me to effectively manage my anxiety and stress, and to stay calm and present in challenging parenting moments, among other benefits.
My story is just one reason I loved Dan Harris’ first book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story. Dan is a correspondent for ABC News, and he also went from being a super skeptic to a serious mindfulness practitioner. The book is snarky and honest and full of great stories, and I frequently recommend it to folks who are curious but aren’t yet sure about all of this stuff.
Dan’s written a new book this year, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book. It’s also a great read, and not just because I’m in it.
Yup. You read that right. I’m in his new book! I would love to tell you that he called me for an expert interview, but that’s no quite how it happened. Rather, Dan and his co-author Jeff Warren came to do a talk in my town. During the Q&A period, I stepped to the microphone and asked him how, as a busy professional and the father of a toddler, he manages to meditate for TWO HOURS a day. More pointedly, I wanted to know how his wife puts up with that.
As I noted, I love my husband, and as much as I want him to be enlightened, I actually want him to unload the dishwasher.
You can read the whole exchange, including Dan’s response to my challenge, starting on page 89 of his new book. You can also hear an audio clip of me asking my questions in episode #114 of the 10% Happier Podcast. The episode is an honest and touching conversation between Dan and his wife, Dr. Bianca Harris, about her evolving mindfulness practice. My bit comes in around the 49:30 mark.
Are you a parent struggling to integrate mindfulness into your life? Have you had a hard time finding time to meditate? Or have you already figured out how to make it work? I’d love to hear what you’re struggling with, and what works. I’d love to share your tips for fitting mindfulness and meditation into a busy day in my next post!
(For the record, I don’t actually know Dan. I’ve tweeted at him, and harassed him about his meditation practice in public venues, but that’s about it. And no, I don’t get any kickbacks from the sales of his books.)
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