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The Transcendental Meditation Technique helps mothers maintain their own equilibrium as professional women, as well as a balanced family life.



TM eliminates ‘five o’clock meltdown’ for working mothers and their families
by Global Good News staff writer
27 January 2011

Meredith Briggs Skeath’s life encompasses a wide range of personal and professional abilities and experiences. Educated at Harvard and other universities, with two master's degrees, Ms Skeath is a professional writer, songwriter, and artist—who also has over 40 years experience teaching, from preschool through post-graduate school.

In the past decade as an educator, she has focused on teaching students with language-based learning disabilities, ADHD, and executive dysfunction in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. She also trains tutors and has coached adolescents, parents, and teachers in learning strategies and executive skills. She works closely with parents and families to support students’ progress.

As a professional woman often working with people of all ages who are in challenging circumstances, Meredith describes how practising the Transcendental Meditation Technique has helped her maintain her own equilibrium as well as a balanced family life.

‘Because I deal with families in crisis,’ she says, ‘at least once a week a parent calls me, now, to ask me about Transcendental Meditation.

‘It has been the most useful tool I have for creating balance in my own life, and harmony within our family.’

She describes a complex end-of-the-day schedule many families would relate to: ‘I come home at 5:00 pm, my kids come home at 3:00 to 5:00 to 7:00 pm, my husband comes home.’ Yet they ‘have never experienced the “five o’clock meltdown” that many Americans experience—everyone’s tired, hungry, out of sorts—they don’t have anything left to give to each other.’

How does the Skeath family avoid the relentless daily buildup of stress that causes so many families to implode?

‘We come home, we meditate,’ says Meredith simply. Twice-daily practice of the simple technique of Transcendental Meditation is built into their family routines, and that regular dive into a peaceful, restfully alert state of mind and body makes a huge difference to each one personally, and for the whole family.

According to Meredith, it adds another dimension to her family’s home life and interrelationships. ‘They have a whole life at home, because they have Transcendental Meditation to give them the rest, clarity, and peace they need.’

Nancy Lonsdorf, MD, a nationally renowned expert in women’s health, brings another perspective to Meredith Skeath’s experiences as a professional woman, wife, and parent.  [NOTE: comma after ‘MD’ goes right after end of link (no space before comma)]

‘If you are a woman in the workplace,’ Dr Lonsdorf said recently, ‘you know the kind of pressures that women face on the job every day—deadlines, time pressure, learning new technologies, and getting along with co-workers, clients, and the boss. All of these put tremendous pressure on women.’

In addition, when women go home at the end of the day, they face another set of responsibilities and stressors, she said. ‘Women take on the bulk of the child rearing responsibilities, organizing schedules, . . . and try to put a healthy meal on the table night after night.’ At times the stress can be overwhelming, resulting in fatigue, chronic health problems, and burnout. ‘And many of these stressors are not going away tomorrow. They’re not within your control, and the best that you can do is learn how to deal with them more effectively.’

Asked what she would recommend for women who want to improve their health by reducing stress, Dr Lonsdorf said, ‘The Transcendental Meditation Technique has been shown to provide a deep state of rest that refreshes both the mind and body. This results in improved sleep, increased job productivity, creativity and intelligence—as well as reduced anxiety, another drain on energy.’

Transcendental Meditation offers something unique in stress management programmes, Dr Lonsdorf said. ‘It actually changes the way your nervous system processes stress—allowing it to process stress in a way that is not harmful.’

She described scientific research on Transcendental Meditation showing reduced cortisol (known as the ‘stress hormone’). With just four months of practice of Transcendental Meditation, baseline levels of cortisol  (the amount of cortisol in the blood day-by-day) dropped significantly—by one-third when compared to a control group that was given only health education or stress management instruction.

‘Reducing cortisol through the Transcendental Meditation Technique helps eliminate the negative effects of stress on your health,’ she said.

Dr Lonsdorf’s comments give new insight into Meredith Skeath’s ability to gracefully juggle the demands of work and home—giving tirelessly of herself to her students and family—and the Skeath family’s balanced, harmonious family life.

‘I respect and enjoy each student I am privileged to work with,’ Meredith says. ‘While I teach specific skills and strategies to students, I also hope to instil in them an ease and lighthearted zest for life.’ 

‘The Transcendental Meditation Programme is time taken truly for one’s “self”—our quiet, blissful inner self that is the source of our creativity and energy,’ Dr Lonsdorf says. ‘Coming out of meditation, the mind is more settled and clear, which in the morning leaves you ready to dive into your work—and in the evening refreshes you to enjoy your family more fully.’


© Copyright 2011 Global Good News and and American Association of Physicians Practicing the Transcendental Meditation Technique


"The potential of every student is infinite. The time of student life should serve to unfold that infinite potential so that every individual becomes a vibrant centre of Total Knowledge."—Maharishi

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