The Shower Portal

A story about the power of childhood imagination. A lesson on the importance of finding stillness in a moving world.

When I was a little girl, the shower was to me, what that box was to Spongebob and Patrick in the "Imagination" episode. It was the place where I could be Celine Dion, a spitting fountain, an actress in a rainy scene, and of course win all debates. It was my creative place. One of my favourite things to do would be to travel through "a shower portal." I would sit down in the shower and curl up into a tiny little ball, hugging my knees in close to my chest while tucking my head in. I would create a cup around my ears with my wet hair, similar to how you create a vacuum with a seashell and you can hear "the ocean." The sound of the water would intensify and suddenly I was on an airplane. I would close my eyes and pretend I was taking off. I would be so focused on the sound, on the mental image of flying that I could reach a complete state of serenity. When I opened my eyes I would be completely present. I had arrived, I was in a new place. In a new time zone. It was fun, it was light hearted, but it was peaceful. I was practising a sort of meditation without even trying. As an adult, I have tried meditation several times, and I still find it very difficult to master. One moment I'm at the bottom of the ocean counting air bubbles and the next I'm making a mental grocery list. It got me thinking about this idea we have of "meditation". Most of us have this image of someone sitting down legs crossed applesauce, fingertips a la chef's kiss followed by some humming, when in reality mediation is a state of mind. It can be found laying on a field of grass, while on a run, or even standing in your shower.

"Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state." -Definition by Wikipedia Encyclopaedia

Finding time to be still, to be present and to focus on our breathing can be difficult, especially when we live in a society that demands we be constantly busy, or doing new and exciting things all the time. Being still can also be daunting, because it forces us to face our demons, to look at our fears straight in the face and acknowledge them. But don't take "still" too literal, for me "being still" isn't so much about staying static, but about finding ways to freeze time in a moving world. For example, running can be quite meditative, after all it is a mental sport. The repetition of breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth, that "in the zone" mentality and complete awareness of your surroundings. Find what works for you. So instead of "meditating" think of this time as "your own portal" whatever that may look like to you. Find a way to travel within yourself and find tranquility, a playfulness that is difficult to find in the rush of everyday life. ✨