Whether they started TM a few weeks or four years ago, whether they have a new baby girl or teen-aged boys in the house, these two mothers look to their Transcendental Meditation® (TM) practice as both a respite and a source of renewal in their very full lives.
Here, in response to our Enjoy TM News Mother’s Day call, they share their stories and tips about the joys and challenges of being a meditating mom. Stay tuned for “Meditating Moms (part 2)” in a future issue.
Andrea Jayavelu: I Had to Get Creative!
“I am a mom of a 7-month-old baby, and I just started my TM journey. As a working mom, I have had to get creative!” writes Andrea Jayavelu, a business analyst. She and her husband Jay Jayavelu, an IT consultant, live with their daughter Kamala in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. Both 34, they’ve been practicing the TM technique for almost 3 weeks.
“First of all, I am lucky that my husband and I did our TM course together. We work as a team to ensure both of us complete our two daily meditation sessions,” she says.
Andrea and Jay had been interested in meditation “for a long time, but didn’t know how to start. After some research, the TM technique seemed to be the best fit” for them and their family.
“We started TM because we wanted to begin filtering out some of the unnecessary ‘noise’ in our lives,” she says. “We also wanted to slow down and focus on what was really important to us. Modern lives are full of stressors, distractions, and negativity. TM is a great way to manage ‘knee-jerk reactions’ and instead channel that energy into increasing focus, creativity, and peace!”
But that’s not always easy with a beautiful new baby and full-time careers. So Andrea has gotten creative.
“First of all, I am lucky that my husband and I did our TM course together. We work as a team to ensure both of us complete our two daily meditation sessions.” —Andrea Jayavelu.
Andrea’s TM Tips for New Moms
“On weekdays, I try to complete at least one meditation session during work hours. I try to do both at work when I can,” says Andrea.
She follows up with an inside tip that other new moms can try: “Still nursing, I’ve found that meditation after a breast-pump session works well for me, as our office has a designated privacy room.”
When she’s on the go, Andrea extols her car as a great place to meditate. “When I’m at a client site, or I have a packed schedule, I try to arrive early and do a session in my car. Most of the time, I do the other session at home,” she says.
Their trusty car is also Andrea’s secret retreat when she and Jay are outside the house or traveling. “When I’m running errands without the baby, or when our family goes to visit friends, or when we stay at a hotel, take long road trips, etc., I try to utilize the car as much as possible,” she explains.
When she’s on the go, Andrea extols her car as a great place to meditate.
On weekends, Andrea has to be even more creative: “Flexibility is the key. I try to meditate when the baby is napping. Or if it’s just ‘one of those days,’ my husband will take the helm while I slip away. Sometimes my second session isn’t until later in the evening.”
“As a new mom and someone new to TM practice, I think it’s great you’re asking moms to weigh in,” Andrea concludes. “I’m looking forward to hearing what other moms have to say!”
Lina Trujillo: TM Is the Best Friend for Moms
Lina Trujillo’s kids think she has superpowers. Being an engineer, entrepreneur, and 24/7 mom, you can understand why.
One morning Lina entered her teenaged son’s bedroom and saw him with his head in his hands. She asked what was wrong, and he said, “I’m tired.”
“How can you be tired? You just slept 8 hours,” she said. “Look at me. I’m older, I’ve been awake for two hours, I’ve done a lot of things, and I’m not tired.”
His response? You’re able to do so much because you’re a woman.
Lina shares this story “because today being a woman is a synonym for having superpowers. Moms are those rare kinds of human beings who do everything for themselves and others. And they’re supposed to have the energy, time, health, and everything else necessary to accomplish whatever they have or want to do.”
But having superpowers isn’t easy.
“TM is my recharge station. When I think I’m not going to be able to make the time for my meditation, I just think I’m a car, and I need gas. There is no ‘later’ if my tank is empty. I just have to stop at the gas station to fill up my tank. Life can wait,” Lina says.
“TM is the best friend for moms,” she adds. “Life as a mom is very stressful, and regular TM practice gives us clarity, energy, and connection.”
TM as Exponential Everyday Growth
In 2000, Lina, 44, and her husband Luis Trujillo, 48, emigrated from Colombia to Miami, where their sons Lucas, 15, and Matias, 12, were born.
Lina, who’s an engineer, is “first of all a mom.” She combines this 24/7 job with running a clothing export business. She’s also starting a career as a speaker, “to inspire and empower women to live a balanced life. I believe it is possible to have it all.”
But Lina didn’t always feel that way: “Four years ago I was at a point in my life where I had everything I was supposed to have. I was an engineer, married, two kids, and had my own business. What else could I ask for, right? I have always been a happy, positive, and strong person. But at that moment, I just felt that something was missing.”
Trying to figure out what that was, Lina read The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood and discovered her passions. “They also mentioned how important the TM program was in their lives, and it got my attention,” she says.
“I fell in love with TM from day one. My life changed completely from that moment in terms of energy, clarity, and serenity. Everything has expanded—my heart, my soul, my love.” —Lina Trujillo
As an engineer, Lina was skeptical about meditation. “But what got me into TM was the scientific research about it,” she reports. “I was looking for something measurable. I was looking for proof. And I loved finding so many studies, articles, and recommendations from doctors. I felt they were my kind of people, and this was the right type of meditation for me.”
It was love at first meeting. “I fell in love with TM from day one. My life changed completely from that moment in terms of energy, clarity, and serenity. Everything has expanded—my heart, my soul, my love. I just describe TM as exponential everyday growth,” writes Lina.
Lina’s TM Tips for Having It All
How does Lina do it? With a routine that prioritizes TM practice—for herself and her family. Soon after she started TM, her husband said, “I want what you have.” So on their family trip to Colombia that summer, Luis and their sons took the TM course, as a gift from Lina.
Lina’s day starts at 5:00: “I do my morning TM for 20 minutes, then I run to Yoga from 6:00 to 7:30 three times a week. Then I go to work. And no matter what is happening in my life, at 2:30, I stop everything and do my afternoon TM.”
Lina especially loves the simplicity of the TM technique. “I can do it anywhere, anytime—and that’s important,” she adds. “I spend a lot of time on benches, waiting for my kids to finish their swimming practice!”
For her teens, the car is a good place to meditate: “I take one of my kids to school before going to work, and he meditates in the car. My husband takes my other son to school, and he does the same. In the afternoon I pick them both up, and they do their afternoon TM.”
As a result, Lina’s kids are doing great in school. “They also swim competitively and play instruments for their school bands. They have time to socialize with friends, play some games at home, and be happy,” she says. “This wouldn’t be possible without their TM practice.”
When Lina shares all this with friends, their first reaction is that it’s not doable.
“But for me, it’s just a matter of realizing how important this is for functioning well in my life,” she says. “It’s a matter of commitment to living a healthy life, with a clear mind, and making sure I’m not accumulating daily stress. If TM has a purpose in your life, you will make it a habit!”
To Be Continued . . .
Watch for more tips and stories from meditating moms in an upcoming issue! The response to our request for your thoughts was so great, we couldn’t fit everything into one article. To share your story and tips as a TM mom, add your comments below, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.