Building a Brick Wall

I try to meditate. Well, I mean, in my own way. I don't light incense or sit in a corner practicing my breathing or anything because my dog would bark and my husband would laugh. Not to mention, finding a quiet minute to myself with two crazy boys is next to impossible, so I take the quiet when I can get it. That means that any and all quiet reflection is usually done when I'm in the bathtub or running an errand alone, although the serene quiet of the car is usually overpowered by a mystery smell that I'm trying to find coming from the back seat that I eventually realize is either due to a a dirty soccer sock or a cheesy paste left over from crackers that I told my kids not to eat in the car. Alas, I digress.

No, quiet moments are not easy to find and when they do come around, I usually fall asleep before any type of serious mental reflection takes place. Last night, however, something profound happened when I lay in a bubble bath with tiny Lego men scattered where my bath salts used to be. I tried to block it all out. The world. I put a washcloth over my eyes and tried to ignore every worry, calendar entry, to-do item, and thought that was fighting for first-in-line attention in my head. Today, Monday morning, is for all of that. Last night was all about losing myself in bubbles and leaving my worries at the door with the pile of dirty clothes.

First, let me just say that I believe in spirit guides. I believe that we're supposed to be learning lessons that we didn't learn the first, second, or tenth time around. I believe that the people in our lives are there for a reason. I try to live an honest life, one that is fulfilled with my soul's calling and regular trips to Starbucks; in addition to being the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend that I can be, I try to figure out what my soul has yet to learn and how I can take my skills and build on them. I take these quiet moments to reflect on all of that, spending as much time pondering my life as the warm washcloth allows. Admittedly, I typically leave my quiet space learning nothing profound; it's not for lack of trying, but my head wanders to other things so easily. It feels like such a luxury to tune everything out. I'm hard-wired to tune everything back in immediately, the calming nothingness that I strive so desperately to reach both beautiful and unsettling. Then, last night, something happened.

A vision came to mind. It was clear and simple – a two-image snapshot in my mind. The image on the right was of a person sitting next to a brick wall; the image on the left was of a person building one. I was the person on the left. That's it. Simple. Two images that were crisp, and clear, and profound. A message from above? Perhaps. A strange image created by a tired mind? That's entirely possible, too. Whatever the reason or source, I found comfort in the image and immediately felt at peace.

My life is the brick wall – not a barrier or obstacle – but the symbol of a work in progress that requires care, attention, and patience. Others may be done with their walls; others may sit next to a wall constructed by someone else. There may be some people who have amazing brick walls and spend the majority of their lives perched on top of them with the best views of the world. That's okay; it's all okay. I need to pay no mind to what other walls look like and simply focus on my own, careful not to rush a process that is meant to be mindful and deliberate if I want my wall to be strong and everlasting. I actually gave myself the gift of a two-minute bathtub meditation and left smarter, enlightened, and lighter.

There were two images – one of a person sitting next to a wall, and the other of a person building her own.


Tiffany wears many hats, but prefers the comfy one from her alma mater that
she wears cheering her boys on from the stands.  Her resume may read lawyer, 
author, and freelance writer, but she thinks a description of life juggler, 
worry wart, and latte-lover might provide a more accurate picture of her
daily life.  A scribe at-heart, Tiffany loves writing stories that speak to
readers' hearts and enjoys tackling the subjects that invite conversation
and debate.  With articles featured in 435 Magazine, NORTH, and M Magazine, 
Tiffany served as Editor-in-Chief of NORTH Magazine after leaving private
practice in 2015.  She has been a contributing writer with the Kansas City
Moms Blog and has appeared on Fox 4's Morning Show, The Now KC, and Better
KC to discuss her blog posts and magazine articles.  Her first novel, Six
Weeks in Petrograd, was published in 2013 and she is currently working with
her agent to sell two manuscripts that she's convinced would make fantastic
films starring Ben Affleck.  You can find Tiffany sitting on the second
floor of her favorite coffee shop in Parkville, strolling English Landing
Park with her husband and two boys, or trying not to be "that mom" at her
sons' baseball games. www.TiffanyKilloren.com