My mind feels quieter lately, less disturbed, and much more calm these past couple of weeks. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs this pregnancy and I feel that I’m finally coming to a place of peace, which is somewhat ironic given that soon I won’t be pregnant at all, but instead will have the change of my new baby to grapple with. At which time I’m sure I’ll have a lot of newness to contend with, but for now, I feel calm, quiet, serene even as I enjoy these last few weeks of holding my baby inside.
Tips on how to shit proof your brain:
It is more than a little ironic that Yoga is the activity I turn to on a daily basis to cope with the ups and downs of being a parent. The more I think about it, the more I realize YOGA is the perfect metaphor for parenting.
I can almost hear each reader’s audible ugh as I type this post. YOGA….
Ya either love it, hate it, OR BOTH. Some of you haven’t tried it yet. Some of you never will. Kind of sums up having children does it?
I can’t recall exactly when my love affair with yoga began, but let me assure you; it definitely was NOT love at first sight. Truth be told, my first date with yoga TOTALLY sucked.
First of all, before the date even started, Yoga wanted me to be quiet-STRIKE 1- I like to talk. Correction: I LOOOVE talking. Besides, how are we going to know if we like each other if we don’t talk?
Our love connection was off to a very rocky start.
Next, YOGA proceeded to tell me to “be still”. Seriously? Who the hell does this YOGA think he is? Doesn’t he realize I’m a mom & dishes don’t wash themselves? I’ve got things to do. Furthermore, when I am still…I start thinking. I think too much…waay toooo much. Strike 2.
The final strike came when Yoga wanted me to set an intention. An intention for what? Staying alive? Fine. My intention was pretty much to try super hard not to throw up or pass out OR die a heaping hot sweaty mess in the middle of all of these toned and tan & oddly serene strangers.
Ok…you win YOGA. I intend to survive this class.
As it turns out, I not only survived the first date; I came back for more.
YOGA and I proceeded to “date” on and off for the next few years. We even broke up a few times (my decision), before I realized that I really missed it..and loved it….and NEEEEEEEEEEEDED IT.
So now we are back together…at least for the time being.
Anyway, I digress. My point was to tell you how lessons learned in YOGA mirror that of my experience in parenting.
YOGA ASKS THAT WE:
- Show up. Most days, making it onto your mat is the hardest part.
- Set an intention to guide your practice. Intentions are unique and change on a daily basis depending on your child’s sugar intake & the amount of caffeine you have ingested.
Today, I want my children to be responsible, compassionate, passionate about learning, and kind. Tomorrow I intend to not screw them up too much. By Wednesday, my intention is usually not to throw up, pass out or die trying.
- Focus inward…. How does the vision I have of myself, others and the world shape my choices as a parent. How am I reacting to their successes & failures? What parts of my own childhood am I replicating or running from and why?
- Rest. It is a sign of strength. I repeat..RESTING IS ALWAYS A SIGN OF STRENGTH, never a sign of weakness.
- Be flexible. The more rigid you are, the more it’s gonna hurt.
- Focus on small daily progress. The practice doesn’t change. You do.
- Don’t look around. When you do, you give your energy away. This is not a competition & comparisons are a not helpful.
- Be present. Looking behind or ahead only distracts you from making the most each moment.
BREATHE…You Only Gott A Breathe…When you feel like giving up (& you will want to), you only gotta breathe. As long as you are breathing and staying present, you are doing it right.
Other lessons from “Yoga”…
- You will never do it perfectly no matter how hard you try. In fact, you will often fall. You will look super weird and awkward…crazy even. The good news is, so does everybody else!
- It sometimes feels like it will never end.
- It’s crowded & sweaty….Everyone else is working hard too.
- Everyone has an opinion about how to do it & people are really quick to point out that you are doing it wrong. Tell them to shut the * up and get back on their own mat.
- You mostly go it alone-unless you count the other awkward, hot sweaty messes around you.
- You may or may not have a teacher. If you do, you are lucky. But keep in mind, he or she is just a guide. …She/He doesn’t have all the answers either.
Namaste…the sweaty hot mess in me honors the sweaty hot mess in you.
The last few weeks have felt like a race.
End of school projects, events and parties. Wrapping up sports…I am not sure why I broke my one sport each rule. Wait, yes I do, so they can find their favorite. A packed work schedule, plus travel for a 3 day conference. Not to mention Mother’s day festivities and a staycation weekend with my hubby. I did not get to make it to dinner with my tribe one night because both kids had to be on separate parts of town at the same time. I did not finish the craft project for sister’s nursery. I haven’t seen my BFF in months and I need some guacamole! I have not been eating as healthy as I’d like and I sure have not been making it to yoga. My house looks very lived in and we are expecting a letter from the HOA any day about the weeds in the flower bed. Some days I just need more hours in the day.
I laid in bed last night with my mind racing of the many to-dos I need and want to do. I laid in bed last night feeling guilty I have not been present enough for those I cherish the most. I laid in bed wondering if I should just get up and get to work. I laid in bed wishing I had a maid and lawn service on call. I laid in bed wishing I just had more help. I laid in bed wondering if my priorities are off. I laid in bed wishing there were more hours to the day so I can just catch up.
This is all very convicting because if you have been following me I am all about showing up, not glorifying being busy and setting priorities. Okay, so my dilemma is ALL this is a priority. My marriage, being a mom, being a good therapist, being a good sister, being a good friend, growing my business, staying mentally health, staying physically healthy. With all this comes being real, honest, and authentic. This is all convicting because even though these are my priorities and I preach this all the time to others, it is hard. This is a day I could use just a few more hours.
Today I am feeling a bit defeated.
Today I am feeling sad.
Today I am feeling overwhelmed.
Today I am feeling like a failure.
Today I am feeling tired.
Today I must take one step at a time.
Today is a refresher course of being in the fire. Today I gain wisdom about myself, my relationships, my goals, my priorities.
Today I dig for strength to put one step in front of the other. Wake up, get up, put on my makeup, one step in front of the other. I dig for strength to show up, my kids need me as they are a bit run down from all the rush rush lately too. I dig for strength to trust that even my though my marriage is not perfect, we are forgiving of one another for times of disconnection and discontent. I dig for strength to show up for my client’s as they work on their story.
I am reminded that I must be kind to myself. Another reminder to practice what I preach. Be kind and loving. Kindness comes from a practice of mindfulness to not allow all the self-sabotage talk to soak in. Kindness is reminding myself that perfection is an illusion, perfectly imperfect is the goal. Taking one step at a time is good enough.
Today has been hard.
I pray tomorrow is better.
Right now I will pray, I will rest, I will reset.
Mother May I…just get through this month!
Those of you who are as old as I am probably played the game Mother May I at least once in your life. The basic gist of the game (for you hot young mamas) is that two teams stand in separate lines and ask for permission to do a certain action…i.e. Mother may I take 4 steps forward?
The “mother ” on the opposing team can grant or deny this request and/or add a modification to the request to suite her liking. Any player who forgets to ask for “Mother’s permission” before taking action has to go back to the starting line.
The irony of this post is that it is officially May (ugh) and as a mother I really want to ask for permission to take 10 steps back, fall into bed,pull the covers over my head and wake up on July 1st!
If you are a mom-you know MAY!! It is that short month squashed between April and June that is chocked full of field trips, award ceremonies, bug spray, field days, and mom “daze.”
May is the reason they invented blood pressure medicine, Xanax and booze.
May means more than a calendar that is over sharpied. It’s an ending….
And endings are hard for me.
Endings make me feel nostalgic..
So this May, “Mother May I” remember to…
- Allow my kids to know what it feels like to be “bored”
- Savor every last drop of that melting popsicle
- Kiss the red kool-aid mustache on my son’s face
- Build a sandcastle or bury my body and my worries in the sand
- Kitchen dance in bare feet to Brown Eyed Girl
- Soak in the sun on my skin
- Sloooooowwwww down & sleep LATE
- Breath deeply…and just BE. .
- Mother May I be mindful that there are only so many summers left before my babies are out on their own!
You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you will return. You came here to learn personal love.
Universal love. Messy Love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken Love. Whole love.
Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of….messing up. Often.
You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering.
But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that YOU SHOW UP. And do your best.
That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.
-Courtney A. Walsh
I needed this today. It spoke to my heart. I hope it speaks to yours too!
Have I mentioned yet that I’m currently pregnant with baby #3? Have I told you already that I’m going to have 3 kids? Forgive my redundancy here, I’m still trying to let this sink in…
I always wanted three kids. I told my husband this from the time we first started dating, and I wouldn’t let it go when he tried to convince me I was crazy after our second child was born. And now that the act is under way, I feel pretty close to nuts. I mean, the two kids I have already keep me right on the edge of insanity each and every day. How could I possibly handle three?