The day I rediscovered my inner zen

I’ve been trying to find my inner calm lately as I attempt to recover from my latest bout of depression and anxiety. As you probably already know, I am not naturally calm or relaxed. My mind is always racing, thinking about what I need to do next, what I need to get ready for the kids, what I need to prepare for work. It’s an exhausting existence and I’m sick and tired of never resting or enjoying or really living.

On Wednesday I took a day off work to take Matilda to an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment. I figured there wasn’t much point then racing back to work or getting Matilda back to school so I had planned for some free time with her afterwards. I can’t honestly remember the last time we had some real one-on-one time together.

On our way to the appointment, I received a call from the OT service saying the therapist was sick and asking to reschedule. My first reaction was annoyance – that meant another day off work, more time away from school for my daughter, more hassle. I was looking forward to our day together but I didn’t relish the thought of going back to work to ask for more time away.

I started thinking through my options. It was still early, I had time to head back to work and swing by the house to get Matilda ready for school. Yes, I could do that.


My inner zen, the inner calm that I have not been able to find for many years, finally returned. It came to the fore and told me to keep driving. To still go ahead with our day. To not worry about work until I had to go back there. To just have a nice, easy, relaxed day, with no plans and no expectations.


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And so we did. It was lovely. We had morning tea together and went shopping for clothes (BTW my girl is not so little anymore – she’s growing up more and more every single day!) We then headed to an indoor play centre where she ran around with lots of other kids, rode on the tea cup ride, slid down slippery slides, bounced on the jumping castle and spun around until she was dizzy with excitement. While she is definitely growing up, it’s lovely to see proof that she is still a sweet little girl at heart!

We enjoyed lunch together and played a game of air hockey too – it was fun and free and just what I needed. I have been run down and full of worries for so long. I’ve had a cold this week and have been at the end of my tether with the kids at home. So, to just sit back, live in the moment and really enjoy some rare one-on-one time with my daughter, that was just fabulous.

It’s fitting I’ve finally made this discovery. I’m currently working on relaxation techniques with my psychologist. Because I am a bad patient it’s taken me nearly 2 weeks to actually listen to the CD she gave me at our first appointment!

It all seemed too hard to take a breath, step back and just relax for a moment. Why would I stop to have a break when that would mean I would be left even further behind than I am now? Why breathe slower when that would mean I would have to rush back in order to catch up again?

But now I’ve seen just how refreshing it can be to take that step back from the rush of life, even for just a little while. I can see, belatedly, that taking that step (even if it feels like a backwards one) is really the best thing I can do.

Let’s hope I can retain my inner zen now that I have finally rediscovered it once again!

What tips do you have for reclaiming/rediscovering/retaining your inner zen?



Linking up with Grace and with Miss Cinders this fine Friday!

P.S. BTW, apparently this is post number 400 for My Home Truths – yay for me!

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30 Responses

  1. Oh how lovely for both of you to spend some girly time together! It always feels like there’s so much pressure & we’re torn in so many directions! Zen sounds like a happy place – will have to find my way there too (hopefully!)
    Jodie@FreshHomeCook recently posted..Quick Recipes – Sneaky Vegetable Pasta Sauce

  2. I go to the movies – but I agree, nothing like the naughtiness of skiving off to make you feel free and happy! Build a few ‘do nothing’ days into your weekends and see where they take you…
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted..Heartache spoken here

    • Kirsty says:

      I hadn’t thought of it in that way Lydia, but maybe the whole ‘skiving off’ aspect influenced my decision to just go with the flow on that day? I should definitely build a few more nothing days into my life, I think they could definitely help me out!

  3. Hi Kirsty, Good on you for having the courage to carry on as planned – I’m only too well acquainted with the stress of asking for time off work for kid stuff. I know it’s a clichΓ© but I try to just count my blessings each day. A good friend’s 8yo daughter has just been terribly, life-threateningly ill and it’s a powerful reminder of what is really, truly important in life. Cheers Leanne.
    Leanne Winter recently posted..Baby Signing – benefits for boys?

    • Kirsty says:

      Things like that are powerful reminders to be thankful for all that we have aren’t they Leanne? Thanks for the wise words.

  4. That is wonderful you got to have some one on one time with Matilda and find your inner zen. Finding my inner zen is something I struggle with too. It could have been me you were writing about. I can just never sit still and am always doing 10 things at once and worrying about a million more. I really need to work hard to find my inner zen.

  5. I hear ya. My mind and brain chatter never stops. I fill in every 5 minutes of my day. Today I am feeling particularly anxious. Not sure why. I am putting it down to carb withdrawal (day three of new diet). My client just cancelled. Initial thought was “typical” but quick follow up thought was “ME TIME”. 90 minutes I didn’t have before. So it will be spent on the couch in front of Ellen.
    Hope your inner zen is giving you big warm hugs!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit recently posted..Day 1349 – Cover Girl

    • Kirsty says:

      Good on you Leanne. It sometimes is all about changing our own attitudes first, isn’t it? It feels good to let go and do something for yourself – I just need to remember to do it more often!

  6. Kathy says:

    Hi Kirsty – glad you followed your intuition and allowed yourself, and your daughter, some zen time. I blog about yin yang balance – yang is the action side of life, doing achieving etc. But it’s only one half of the ‘equation’. At the very least I think we need to look at life as we would driving – sometimes you have to stop for lights (its not as though our roads would function without them), sometimes we get stuck in traffic, we have to follow different speed limits etc- we can’t drive like we’re on a freeway all the time, so how can we live life like that….cheers…kathy
    Kathy recently posted..Are you juggling life rather than making time?

    • Kirsty says:

      I like that analogy Kathy – I definitely need to be more patient at traffic lights and get off the freeway, pronto!

  7. Trish says:

    I am glad you had a silver lined kind of day , despite the cancelled appointment.
    I bet Matilda will long remember it.
    Happy 400th post.
    Trish recently posted..How do you measure a year ~ Breast Cancer

  8. Yay for you looking after YOU!! Our kids remember little days like this, don’t they. πŸ™‚
    Lisa@RandomActsOfZen recently posted..5 Good Things For You

  9. I can relate to this! I have a speedy mind…but have found that relaxation in general has helped with my overall mind health and happiness. What works for me is breathing into my tummy. I am a heady person, and it grounds me. Best of luck with it!
    Zanni Louise recently posted..Slow Sundays

  10. Rhianna says:

    Yay for finding your inner zen! It made me smile when I read your facebook update the other day about making the most of what was before you. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses for more inner zen days lovely xx
    Rhianna recently posted..Things I Know

  11. Yay for post #400!

    Good on you for keeping going with your day πŸ™‚ Sometimes you just have to say “stuff it”, and it makes such a huge difference to everything.

    The most important thing though, Matilda has an awesome memory of her special day with Mum πŸ™‚

    MC x
    Miss Cinders recently posted..things i know #29

    • Kirsty says:

      That’s so right MC – I really did enjoy just having time to devote to her and to do the things she wanted to do. And, the world didn’t end either – I might try that again sometime!

  12. victoria says:

    good for you! or should i say good ON you in the language of Austrailia!!

  13. Shari says:

    *EXACTLY* what you needed and it sounds like it was a perfectly wonderful day. Here’s to many more like that xx

  14. Go you Kirsty – it’s not easy just taking things as they come especially with work, kids, appointments life. I hope this is continuing for you! I’m trying super hard to be less cranky/grumpy at the kids for silly things but it’s very hard πŸ™ Em x
    Emily @ Have a laugh on me recently posted..A weekend camping in Yamba – Part 2 (night time) – Wordless Wednesday

  15. Wow 400 posts and great work on slowing down and enjoying the simple things. I need to follow suit I think.

    Thanks for linking up for my Sharing is Caring Sunday. I’m still in what was I thinking mode with today’s confession.
    Mystery Case recently posted..Let’s talk about my most embarrassing moment

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