“The weight of summertime chaos was starting to bring me down and then… I gave The Discontented Buddha a try. It really is remarkably satisfying!”

This is the testimonial of an anonymous mom sent in from behind a giant Yucca plant while “gardening” in her backyard.

The Discontented Buddha was born one hot July afternoon after being asked too many questions while carrying heavy groceries into a messy, craft-filled kitchen with the words: “Mommy, I’m done!” being shouted from the upstairs bathroom. You know the scene. The one that makes you want to flee. Throw in some PMS, and a mom is bound to feel trapped.

Sometimes we want to be alone–by ourselves with no questions to answer, in a nice clean environment with only us to think about…

But obviously we don’t just do this on a whim. We need to pre-plan our alone time. Why? Because we’re the mom!

Some solace can be found, however, in the quick and simple practice of this new technique: The Discontented Buddha. It’s perfect for those days when the clock seems to be running in slow motion and it feels like their bedtime is a million hours away. It can be quickly and effectively unleashed between sibling disputes, social calls, work and domestic duties.

Here are the 10 simple steps to a calmer, happier you…

The Discontented Buddha

1. Stop and seize the moment. The one that occurs right before you lose your temper, your cool or your mind. (If you’ve missed it this time, don’t worry, there’s always next time).
2. Remove yourself from the situation and promptly find a semi-quiet corner, behind a curtain or large plant perhaps, in a bathroom, a closet or even the garage.
3. Imagine the smell of eucalyptus or lavender wafting through the air as you inhale and exhale deeply.
4. Lift both arms above your head, palms facing behind you.
5. Place each hand into a fist, releasing only the middle finger on each (note the calm starting to take hold).
6. Now take a deep, cleansing breath and exhale while simultaneously lowering your two hands’ middle fingers extended.
7. Feel the instant sense of peace as it blankets over you.
8. Repeat until you are no longer in meltdown mode.
9. Return to your family, a new woman until next time…
10. Then start back at 1.

No longer is closet time reserved just for crying, hiding, wine sipping and ice cream eating. It can also be used for this very handy yoga-like technique. It’s surprisingly effective and easy to practice.

So, go on, share The Discontented Buddha with your fellow mom-friends so they too can fend off their meltdowns, two fingers at a time.


Shannon Day is co-author of Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! (a funny and heartwarming book & martini guide for moms). She is a freelance writer and blogger whose words and wit can be found at several online sites, including her own: Martinis & Motherhood. Get in touch with Shannon via Facebook or Twitter.


  1. Awesome post. I appreciate thay you at least step away before giving the ‘bird’ I’ve been known to do it in closer proximity 🙁
    Love how you keep it real – keeps me encouraged! Rock on.

  2. It’s all good Jessica! There are times when overt and covert flippings of the bird are required. They can’t all be peaceful and buddha-like.

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