Happy Mother’s Day to these remarkable women and all the meditating moms and dads reading this. We welcome your tips and reflections too. Please post them in the Comment section below. And if you missed our first installment of Meditating Moms, you can still enjoy it now.
Whether these moms have been meditating a few years or for decades, they carve out time to nourish themselves and grow through their Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) practice. Here they share how TM has helped them become their best selves, while weathering the challenges of work, family, and motherhood.
“TM Has Been the Greatest Gift in My Life!”
Krista Kiaha, San Luis Obispo, California
“When I first learned TM, my five children were all under the age of 10,” writes Krista Kiaha, 44, an archaeologist and manager of the Environmental Planning branch of the California Department of Transportation. “As a single mom, I didn’t know how I would be able to find 20 minutes by myself to meditate.”
But Krista found ways to fit her TM practice into her kids’ lives. “I’d meditate on the bed next to my one-year old. If he woke up, I’d let him lay on my lap while I finished, and he’d fall asleep again quickly,” she says.
“Now, after four years, my kids are so used to me meditating that I’m rarely disturbed,” she adds. “I just get up 30 minutes before I anticipate them waking up, and meditate where the boys are sleeping. If they wake up, they know I’m meditating. I just whisper I’ll be done in a few minutes, and they quietly wait for me to be done.”
“A More Calm, Relaxed, and Fun Mom”
Krista also finds her car to be a life-saver: “I usually try to get my evening meditation done in my car after work before coming home. The car is really a great place to do TM undisturbed.”
The benefits of her TM practice have been many. “TM has helped me to be a more calm, relaxed, and fun mom. I am able to handle the stresses of their squabbles and demands much more easily. I also feel that they are calmer after I meditate,” Krista says. “TM has been the greatest gift in my life!”
“I am able to handle the stresses of their squabbles and demands much more easily. I also feel that they are calmer after I meditate.”
—Krista Kiaha, mother of five
“Faced with a Really Difficult Time in My Life”
Learning the TM technique played a significant role in helping Krista through an especially challenging transition. She’d been interested in TM long before, “but it intimidated me to contact someone, so I figured the right time would present itself,” she recalls.
“Fast forward many years, and I was faced with a really difficult time in my life. My marriage was ending, despite my hopes it could be repaired. I had five young children and was heartbroken, yet I knew I needed to move on with my life and heal,” shares Krista.
“Moving on to Higher and Greater Things”
Krista tried therapy, art, spending time with friends, and going to church, “but my heart was really hurting,” she says. Running during her lunch break always made feel better, and one run proved to be a turning point.
“A few weeks before my divorce date, I knew that forgiveness was the answer to healing my heart, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. So on this crisp, wintery afternoon in January 2014, I ran to the top of a hill where I loved to look out at the view and put my life into perspective,” she says.
“I began praying with all my heart that I would find the answer to forgiveness. Every step I took, I pleaded with the Almighty to help me. Nothing came to me, even as I reached the summit and stood on my favorite rock. I ran back down the hill, still pleading for help, when a voice in my head said, ‘Have gratitude,’ ” she remembers.
Back at her office, Krista found a friend’s invitation to a talk on TM that evening. Full of gratitude and a desire for forgiveness, and remembering her earlier interest in TM, she said, “Yes.”
“When the TM teacher started talking, I was enthralled. Every word he spoke seemed to resonate with the message I’d heard earlier that day. I knew then and there that the knowledge he was presenting was meant for me,” she says. “‘How do I learn?’ I asked. And within a week I had been given the greatest tool in my life! By the time the divorce date had come and gone, I was meditating regularly and moving on to higher and greater things in my life.”
“Meditation Keeps Me Calm through the Storm”
Vanessa A. Carter-Bos, Holiday, Florida
“I am a meditating mom, but I first sought out Transcendental Meditation in college, to relieve the anxieties of being a student with my first serious, working-world job,” writes Vanessa Carter-Bos, 49, of Holiday, Florida, where she’s raising two sons as a single mom. She provides customer service for companies from home.
Vanessa’s passion is sewing the creative clothing and accessories that she sells online. When she reflects on the impact of her TM practice, she notes its stress-relieving effects and how it enables greater “flow” in everyday activity. “The main thing I’ve noticed from the beginning is that when I meditate daily, things just seem to flow naturally and fall into place without causing stress,” she says.
While giving birth to her first child at 30, Vanessa intuitively decided to meditate between contractions. Her mother and twin sister were in the delivery room with her and remember this vividly.
“They said the monitors would show that I was having a strong contraction, but it seemed like I was sleeping through them,” Vanessa says. “I still laugh at that, because I know I felt every contraction and was not sleeping—I was meditating like there was no tomorrow!”
Based on that and other experiences, “I would say that meditation keeps me calm through the storm, even though I am very aware of the storm,” she says.
“When I meditate daily, things just seem to flow naturally and fall into place without causing stress.” —Vanessa Carter-Bos, mother of two
“TM Has Been My Partner in Raising These Kids with a Loving Heart and a Calm Mind”
Wanting to share this tool for handling life’s ups and downs with grace and resilience, Vanessa introduced it to her sons, who took the TM course three years ago.
“Vincent, my firstborn, who’s now 20 and working full-time, usually invites me to meditate with him,” she says. “He has had his share of life stresses, but I believe meditation has helped him keep a calm head through it all. Our slogan is: ‘More Meditation, Less Medication.’ ”
Her second son, Ivane, who’s in high school now, isn’t as interested in meditating at this time. “But I am confident that he knows how to do it and that it will cycle into his life when he most needs it,” says Vanessa.
Vanessa closes by saying, “As a single mom, TM has been my partner in raising these kids with a loving heart, a calm mind, and the strength to know that I can remain calm, even through the difficulties of my life.”
“TM Means That I Can Give and Receive Love”
Jackie Meyers Smith, Millwood, New York
“I am a meditation mom, and a TM ‘newbie’ who learned in November 2016 as my life became increasingly stressful and unbearable,” writes Jackie Meyers Smith, an artist and licensed massage therapist from Millwood, New York. “My husband had been laid off from work for almost two years, my daughter was home from college because we couldn’t make the payments, and my son was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah and also needed funds for summer camp.”
While the financial challenges mounted, Jackie’s mother was losing her short-term memory. “It’s a horrible thing, watching someone you have loved all your life, who was dynamic and beautiful, experience mental decay and waste away before your eyes,” she reflects.
Jackie had been aware of the TM technique since she was 12, when her older sister started in college. “She was 10 years older than I was, and I didn’t realize then how helpful TM could be for someone going through a major life transition such as graduating,” says Jackie.
Later, Jackie was drawn towards yoga, Shambala meditation, and Kabbalah study. Then, with her life, family, and 25-year marriage under tremendous strain, she met a TM teacher who became a close friend. When Jackie attended a TM conference with her, it brought clarity to what she needed.
“On a rare occasion, I get what I call an ‘intuitive hit’ or an ‘ah-ha’ moment, and I must act on it with no regret,” she says. “My friend and the women at the conference inspired something within me, and I intuitively knew that I needed to make TM part of my daily life,” she says.
“Two 20-Minute Times of Quiet, Peace, and Solitude”
The effects were immediate. “It wasn’t until I learned TM that I was able to sit still on my own and use this invaluable technique to reset my full energetic field. I love my two 20-minute times of quiet, peace, and solitude,” Jackie says. “I make sure that everyone around knows not to disturb me. I think it sets a great example for my kids to know I’m taking care of myself.”
Practicing TM has helped Jackie’s work as a massage therapist. “I’m more present for my massage clients,” she says. She is also finding greater creative courage as an artist. “After practicing art for most of my life, I finally have the confidence to share what I do with others,” she says. Her work can be seen at jackiemeyerssmith.com.
“TM means that I get to take time out for me. It means that I get to increase my focus, health, and stamina each day.”
—Jackie Meyers Smith, mother of two
“A Mom Who Loves and Values Her Self, Setting the Best Example She Can”
Practicing TM has profoundly benefited Jackie’s relationship with herself and others. “Since I started TM, I’ve been able to say good-bye to toxic friends,” she explains. “Finally, I can put my energy towards myself and people who are loving and kind, and make space for new friends who feel great about themselves and share common goals and interests with me—like TM for one!”
The strains on her marriage eased with her husband’s new job and her newfound perspective. “After the last few years of intense difficulties, I am fortunate to recognize all the blessings that exist in my life,” notes Jackie. “Through meditation I have been able to clear away a lot of confusion and anger. I’ve built up my self-esteem, which allows me to stay on track to be loving and caring to myself and be a mom who is present for her family.”
The TM technique has been equally beneficial to Jackie’s health and well-being. “I know that I will continue my TM practice for the rest of my life,” she says. “Now I can stop blaming others for the angst in my life and see all the beauty that abounds in each moment.”
In closing, Jackie writes, “Thanks for the opportunity to express what my TM practice means to me. It means that I get to take time out for me. It means that I get to increase my focus, health, and stamina each day. It means that we all make mistakes and can be forgiving to ourselves and others. It means that I’m a mom who loves and values herself, setting the best example she can every day. It means that I can give and receive love. It means just about everything!”
An Enjoy TM News Invitation
We’re grateful to Vanessa, Krista, and Jackie for sharing their inspiring stories with us and our readers. They’ve shown how practicing TM can help us all be our best selves, at home, work, and with everyone in our lives. Thank you.
Now we invite you, dear readers, to share your own stories and tips as meditating parents. We welcome your comments below, or send them to Harbour at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Mother’s Day!