My yoga teacher, Erika, was one of first few people I told when I found out that I was pregnant with Kai. I was doing regular yoga and meditation classes with her, and it was important for her to know that she's also nurturing another soul through me. :)
One of the things she always said to me (and still do), is to "clear yourself of any issues". If you can't take care of yourself--whether it's your body or your feelings--it'll get passed on to the baby. Babies and children are very sensitive to negative energy. So if you're stressed, impatient or angry, they can pick it up straight away and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is bad for them.
I was meditating and doing yoga regularly right up to the point when Kai was born. But sadly, ever since then, I've not been going for classes so regularly and I've stopped doing my pre-work and before-bedtime meditation. I'm aware of the effects on me: I'm more impatient, get stressed easily and my bruxism (unconscious grinding of teeth at night) has come back with a vengeance.
I hope that by blogging about this, I can remind myself of the importance of meditation, and taking time off to do something for myself. If I'm not well, it will affect Kai and my relationship with Terence. I also hope that this will help others.
What exactly is meditation? I always find it hard to explain what meditation is. The intangible and spiritual concepts described in text makes it hard for the layman to understand, and even harder to describe.
I can only say that the next time you feel anger rising because your kids are fighting or get impatient towards a silly colleague or client, take deep breaths in AND out before your react or say something. (If you can remember this at the heat of the moment, make sure your breath out is longer than your breath in.)
You'll find yourself doing a simple meditation "exercise", which calms you down. It certainly isn't easy to do; who says meditation is easy! But it helps. You're less likely to say or do things you'll regret.
(For those who're interested in scientific studies related to meditation, check out the article by Time Magazine--How to get smarter, one breath at a time. It was referred to me by Erika.)