I am a recent convert to the benefits of daily meditation practice.

It’s a vital mental workout for me. Imagine what it’s like to quiet my brain down. Exactly. I saw your face there. I know. I get it. I live with it every day.

Meditation helps me stay grounded and focused. So, for about 15 minutes a day, the needs of everyone else come second to my own. And that is a good thing.

I don’t have a fancy cushion, smelly candles or even a corner of the room dedicated to the practice. I tried the dog’s bed once but she retaliated by leaving me a present of her own making on my carpet. Clearly, she is ego-driven.

And while I have yet to find my inner Zen, I have an app for that. A soft, gentle voice guides me through my headspace. I sit cross-legged in the comfort of my bed, close my eyes, and take direction to focus on calm. My legs usually fall asleep. It’s distracting, but distraction is part of the process, according to the soft, gentle voice.

Push away the thought that your leg is full of pins and needles and may actually cut off all circulation to the remainder of your body, in which case you’ll die. Come back to your breath, the soft, gentle voice says.

Meditation should be easier than it is, but determination is key, especially in moments like one recent session. The sun filled my room with natural light. The dog lay asleep on her bed nearby. The cat was asleep at the foot of my bed. Nobody else was home. There would be no interruptions. I tapped my phone’s meditation app, selected my theme and got into meditation pose; legs crossed, back straight, hands gently resting on my knees, palms up. Eyes closed. Deep breath in and out.

That’s when I heard it. Chewing. Gnawing. Scratching. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Scritch, scritch, crunch. A shiver went up the back of my spine that I knew was not a sign my chakras had aligned. The sound came from the Carpenter’s closet, about a foot away. I peeked out one eye to gauge my pet’s reactions. Neither were phased by the noise.  Surely, I was imagining things. Breathe in. Centre. Don’t get distracted, Kelly. Exhale. The soft, gentle voice told me to picture the ocean, the beach. Barefoot. Feel the warm sand where the cold water ripples in to caress your feet. Calm. Peaceful. Crunch, crunch, crunch, scritch, scritch, crunch. Okay, ignore that. Focus on Bermuda. Happy place. Hot sun on your face. Smell the ocean air. Scratch, scritch, scritch.

What on God’s green earth is that? I imagined something venomous or at the very least, leggy, with a long, scaly tail and seriously large teeth living in the Carpenter’s side of the closet making a buffet out of the walls. I am never putting my feet on the floor again, I thought. This is horrifying. I am not in Bermuda. Pause the app.

My sleeping dog was oblivious, but the cat clued in. She jumped down and thoroughly investigated the closet. She’s a critter assassin. This won’t be pretty, but it will end quickly, I thought. But, the noise stopped. No scent. No sign of a critter. The bored cat sauntered off. And then I understood.

There may be mice in my walls, but not on the beach in Bermuda. Restart app. Inhale. This is the Carpenter’s problem now.  Exhale.

WriteOut of Her Mind