How We Present
How I Found Inner Peace, Clarity, and Connection
As a Working Mother of Six Beautiful Children
by Juliet Biros Jarmosco
Enlightenment - The Transcendental Meditation Magazine Translate This Article
17 June 2015
A few years ago, I was a corporate working mom living a fast-paced life. It all looked perfect from the outside, like we were living the American Dream. At that time my husband, Darryl, and I had four beautiful children under the age of seven (now we have six), we were spending time in Hawaii, and we lived in a 4000-square-foot house a mile fro m Lake Michigan on an acre of land.
But internally, I was lacking that peace, that connection. Now, I realize, I was missing out on the true meaning of life. I was caught in the quest for bigger, better, and more to attain happiness. My husband and I had the better house, we had the better car, we had the better jobs. But even though externally things seemed to be perfect, I was slowly realizing that all the external riches in the world couldn't create the internal peace and contentment I was seeking. If anything, it created more pressure and stress to keep up the lifestyle we had created.
Getting off this fast-paced treadmill became my new focus. Waking up at five in the morning to work out, shower, and prepare for work was becoming tiring and unfulfilling. We were homeschooling our oldest kids, so in the early morning I was also reading curriculum and trying to figure out what needed to be done each day.
Then I'd go to work as a dental consultant for Patterson Dental Supply Company, calling on my loyal customers of fifteen years. In the evenings, I would go out to do a photo shoot (my side-passion), come home, help my husband put the kids to bed, then prepare for the next day's proposals. There wasn't much time for peace and connection.
I really loved my career, but I was craving more time with my children. My husband, Darryl, was running his own business of life coaching and motivational speaking, while coaching up to 70 clients a month for Robbins Research (Tony Robbins), and traveling for speaking engagements for Monster.com. Being health educators with NSA Juice Plus was also a side business we enjoyed.
Rarely did I live in the present moment. My mind was constantly thinking about what I needed to do next. I always thought, when I get everything done, then I will feel some peace. But there was always something more that needed to be done (with the kids, the dental business, health education, or photography). Despite giving everything I could, I often felt like I wasn't giving enough to my work OR my family.
Finding Inner Calm with TM
We had no idea how a simple decision to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique would change our lives. The concept of reducing stress to improve health and create inner peace and clarity intrigued us. We were putting the right foods in our body but not doing anything for our minds. With four young children, we felt TM was something we really needed to calm our nerves and slow down.
After learning TM in Kauai in January of 2009, practicing it regularly twice a day, attending a TM Weekend Retreat in Oahu, and connecting with the TM community, I was starting to feel the inner peace I was seeking. The people we met who had been meditating for years seemed more calm and present than most of the people I knew. This, along with my own experience of inner calmness and clarity, was all the evidence I needed to keep me meditating regularly.
After a few months of regular meditation, it became very clear to me that I needed to shift direction in my career. I wanted to live a simple life with more time to be present with my family.
In May 2009, we decided to visit Fairfield, Iowa, to check out what was so special about this place that the TM community raved about. At first glance, nothing seemed too different about the town, until we started to meet the people. There was a peace, a calmness, a simplicity. We toured Maharishi School, where the students meditate and do yoga twice a day and their cafeteria is all-vegetarian and non-GMO.
In addition to standard academics, the students were learning things I didn't know, like sustainability, gardening, and Ayurveda health care. I saw that the teachers were raising the students up based on their strengths and interests rather than labeling them by their test scores. But the students didn't fall short on their achievements like I would have expected—in fact, they were scoring well on standardized tests and were sweeping state and national awards in science, history, drama, art, and creativity.
People seemed to be very present in this town and easily started conversations with our family. We even walked into restaurants where perfect strangers smiled at us and welcomed our children with open hearts. Usually walking into a restaurant with four young kids, I can feel people thinking, Don't sit next to us, please don't sit next to us. They don't want that crazy kid energy.
What a wonderful place to raise our kids, I thought. Someday. But the eight-hour drive home gave us plenty of time to reflect on what we wanted, and by the time we arrived in Michigan, we had decided to put our house up for sale.
Finding the Peaceful Life in Fairfield
At the time of our move, our kids were one, three, five, and seven years old, and I was pregnant with our fifth child. Our home was not selling (this was the fall of 2009), so we decided to move before it finally sold at a loss in April of 2010. Financially, we were taking a huge step backwards, giving up 75 percent of our income, and at the same time our expenses were going up since we now needed to pay school tuition and health insurance out-of-pocket.
There was a huge gap between our expenses and income. Yet at the same time, we felt very clear about what was important to us—and felt that we were, hopefully, on the right path to attaining it. We were riding the waves of hope, daily, that we could make a living doing what we loved. For me, that was photography, and for Darryl that was coaching and speaking.
I have to credit TM for helping me evolve into a more creative photographer who now can see and understand light. My photography is no longer just a hobby. It has grown into a career that contributes to paying the bills. It has allowed me to travel, doing commercial and fashion work while being compensated well. Photography has led me to become more interested in film, and giving up my ''corporate job'' has allowed me the time to explore that world.
I can now see myself making or being a part of films that raise the level of consciousness in this world. Already, having the opportunity to work with very talented cinematographers has turned my work into my dream job for sure. Before TM, I didn't really believe I could make a living doing what I love. I do now. I feel like a little kid again.
Learning to meditate together has strengthened our marriage, as we are able to be more present and feel more connected. We had a good marriage before we started meditating, but the fast pace of our lives gave us little time to connect and be in the moment. Now, we are happy to have a great tool to release stress versus self-medicating through overworking, overeating, or alcohol. We now have a healthy way to get grounded and centered.
Modeling a healthy lifestyle is one of the things we hope will benefit our children now and in the future. I'm definitely more present with my children and I truly enjoy the moments we share. I can be more of a mother to them, nourishing them with my cooking. (I rarely had time to cook before.) My patience has increased, and I'm more able to put the small things in perspective.
Before TM, I didn't really believe I could make a living doing what I love. I do now. I feel like a little kid again.
Our kids also meditate, at Maharishi School and at home. All our kids work together as a team (most of the time). I've heard from others in this very supportive community that they enjoy the dynamics of our family. They see the siblings taking care of each other at school or out on the town. The sense of unity is strong.
They were already great kids. It wasn't like we had problems before, but I do feel a deeper connection with them now. I feel grateful to have made this major shift in my life while the children were young, before I could have lost a chance for a meaningful relationship with them. Not that we were horrible parents before, but I can definitely see how they would have picked up more of our stress—taken it on themselves.
I find it so interesting when I hear people describe me as a calm mother. I don't think anybody used the adjective ''calm'' to describe me before I started TM! No one. I was Type A, I was a doer, and I was an achiever—there was no calm about me.
But I do feel much calmer, more at peace. Internally, it's a drastic change, so why wouldn't it show up externally? It was nothing I tried to do; it was the beingness of it all, the inner peace I experience every day in my meditations.
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