Saucha/Cleanliness is another interesting reflection when raising a child.
I remember that when Jaya was little, the messes were big. There were times when I just couldn’t focus on anything I needed to do until I cleaned everything up. Our environments have an effect on how we feel. Taking Jaya to the park was the best environment of all! Nature has a good ambiance for all of us. As Jaya gets older, she is getting more and more aware of her own surroundings, e.g. her room, and how the space makes her feel about herself.
Days used to go by, and I couldn’t get Jaya into the bath. She was way too busy playing to be bothered with hygiene. Now I can’t get her out of the shower without worrying about the planet’s clean water supply. My, how times change!
Really, the biggest responsibility I feel to my child regarding Saucha/Cleanliness is teaching her the importance of keeping her mind free of “clutter.” For instance, what she watches on TV – the images, sounds and stories that she assimilates through her senses – must somehow be digested. Too much TV, or watching anything that is not what I call “Mommy Approved,” causes what I consider to be indigestion of the mind or “psychic indigestion.”
When Jaya is scared in the night of “bad guys” (or whatever), I work to empathize with her no matter how unreal I think her actual danger is. Then we talk about the mind, and about how it can play like a TV does. I tell her that it helps to practice “changing the channel” in her mind to another channel that protects and supports her.
I also taught her how to use mantra when she was little, because mantra protects the mind. A simple mantra such as “Om Namah Shivaya” replaces undesirable thoughts with a different type of sound, and distracts her from what she is scared of.
Lastly, I make sure to keep up my own meditation practice to keep my mind as free of clutter as possible. Trust me, I know It’s hard enough when you are a parent to find the time to do the bare necessities, let alone find the quiet time to meditate! Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter if you have the time or not, it doesn’t matter if it’s quiet or not. I know that what matters is that Jaya is aware that I’m in the other room sitting still, quietly, not doing anything else, and that this is very good for mommy.
Here is an affirmation for you:
I keep my mind uncluttered so I can be present with my child. I keep my body and environment in order to create a sense of calm.