I was disappointed with myself yesterday morning. I had set an intention, a goal, an expectation for myself and I didn’t follow through. Then my super self-criticizing-self showed up to make sure I paid for my “failure.” You see I didn’t get out of bed early in the morning to have the time to myself that I have been attempting to create. Well actually I did but only to walk into the other room where I strategically placed my alarm to increase my odds of follow through, to turn off said alarm. Well, twice, because the second time was to turn off the snooze I thought I hadn't set.
As the morning carried on, my disappointment turned into frustration, and then worse, resentment. I observed this as it was happening, I felt resistance from within as my negative emotions transpired but still, I fell into the web of despair in my mind despite my consciousness of what was happening.
I then made my attempt to practice yoga with Leif, asking him to practice next to me or play with his room full of toys while mommy "took a few minutes to take care of herself." It was going reasonably well at first, but of course, it wasn't the desired state of inner peace that I was starting to feel somewhat desperate for. As I pushed back to downward dog and attempted to extend my leg to the sky, I felt the roughly 30 lbs of my sweet little Leif attached to my leg (perhaps he was just trying to increase the difficulty of the pose?) I then felt defeated and agitated. I found myself short and snappy in my responses to Leif, not at all how I usually interact with him, not cool on my part. Little dude was just business as usual, and he just wanted to hang with (on) his homegirl. So, I gave up on yoga and somewhat bitterly returned my attention to Leif and his needs.
A little while later, I tried yoga again. I set Leif up with an art project and told him to make me a picture. He excitedly agreed. I returned to my mat and took Child's Pose, ditching the vigorous power flow I was previously seeking, I just NEEDED to take SLOW DEEP BREATHS. I was able to stay there for a few minutes undisturbed until Leif crawled on my back and whispered "guess what mom? I love you." At which point I felt another one of my least favorite emotions, guilt. Actually, I straight up felt like a big asshole. Luckily those few moments in Child's Pose created just enough space that rather than continue to entertain self-loathing and limiting stories related to my mom guilt and shame, I knew that we just needed to shift gears.
We needed a project!!!
I set Leif up with sources of entertainment, made him a part of the project, and we played together while completing the task. This went well for quite a while. I felt pretty pleased with myself for creatively making it doable and enjoyable with Leif (especially with all internal struggle of the morning.)
What was this all-important, fun for everyone project, you ask?
Cleaning out my closet and sorting clothes for donation!!! Yeah I know this sounds riveting and soooooooooo important- to me it was - what it was to me was a literal and symbolic clearing of a clutter that has been weighing on me. At a certain point it became meditative, as I cleared space and removed items of clothing that no longer serve me, I simultaneously observed the thoughts and fears that have been bogging me down from time to time.
Sidenote and irrelevant to my profound personal findings, I also discovered- A) I have more than enough pairs of yoga pants. B) My wardrobe has multiple personalities. It's sporadic and incohesive. C) A fancy lady lives in my closet, and I need more reasons to dress up!
Now, let me explain my more serious findings.
Becoming a Mother was single-handedly the best decision I have ever made. I also never could have prepared myself for just how challenging (and rewarding) it would be. I didn't anticipate it being such platform for my self-discovery and development of a deeper connection with myself (makes perfect sense that I am drawn to teaching and practicing yoga, which beyond the surface level of the physical practice, is all about self-discovery.)
As I round the corner towards my third year at home with Leif, I find myself reflecting on the transformation that has and continues to occur within me. I am supremely GRATEFUL for having this time to be with Leif. We have grown so much together. I consider him my little guru and my daily reminder to slow down and be more present and joyful. However, while I am grateful, at the risk of judgment from others and my worry that what I am about to say puts me on the "naughty mommy list"; staying at home has been hard and I don't always enjoy it. Truth be told at times, I find myself longing for something different, on the brink of losing it because I just can't put out any more fires or play construction site any longer. However, I do acknowledge that the grass is exceptionally green right where I am, struggle and all, I know without experiencing it, that working full time as a mom provides the feeling of being spread thin also. Just being a mom in general creates a long list of demands and worries. Bottomline, it's hard. It is also amazing and I know I will look back and long for these days when he is all grown.
What I have been clearing out of the closet of my mind is the coming up short on an expectation that I set before walking in my mother shoes. The intention to maintain a balance of my self-care and have my dream business, while momming-hard. I knew enough from the other mothers in my life that this would be difficult, yet, somehow, I thought I wouldn't struggle as mightily with it. What I realize is that things have been out of balance, and although I have gotten better at taking real time for myself and asking for help when I need it, things aren't quite balanced in the way I NEED them to be.
I never agreed to sell my soul and identity to motherhood. I need to live in accordance with the purpose and passions that I have beyond that which being a mom provides. I also don't need to feel guilty or ashamed of feeling this way. Neither does any other mom who finds herself battling with yearning for something beyond being a mom. You can love your children fully, while loving yourself up with activities/interests that are all your own. Giving yourself this freedom will surely provide more love, which will also increase your energy for living the fullest, most satisfying life you can imagine
All mothers need (and deserve) time and space for whatever ignites their soul. This I know.
What I am working to release from my mind are the fears and roadblocks that I have created to keep myself from being truly raw and vulnerable, the ones that have been holding me back from my vision. I am learning to befriend my fears, to make them my ally, and understand that they serve to reveal to me the things that matter most. The tricky part is realizing when I am reacting and making decisions based on fears, rather than honoring what they are trying to tell me and responding with grace and gratitude.
The hardest thing to admit, no one has been stopping me from having it all (mom + dream business), but, me.
This morning I awoke at 5 am free from yesterdays frustration, with knowledge of where it was coming from. Yesterday I broke a promise that I made to myself, a small piece of a more significant commitment and then I ran with the storyline of never having enough time. The truth is I can create whatever I want and so can you! If you want more time for something YOU have to CLEAR THE SPACE for it.
Yesterday was meant to remind me to be patient with myself and the process that is unfolding, to remind me let go of the sense of urgency I place on my desired outcomes and invite an allowance of all that is manifesting.
In the words of one of my favorite artists of all time, DMB "Dark clouds may hang on me sometimes, but I'll work it out...what's the use in worrying, what's the use in hurrying."
All of my dreams will come true, and I need not control the timeline when that only causes me suffering. I am the creator of my experience, and with that responsibility, I am also the creation.
Today I hold the space of gratitude and love for all the abundance I have in my life. I am blessed to live the life I do. I have all that I need. A supportive and easy-going husband whom I laugh with on a daily basis. I know that I can be my unfiltered self with him and that I am unconditionally accepted. I have my happy and healthy Leif, who continues to provide challenge and growth while reminding me to be more joyful. I have wonderful family and friends, who I cherish and I hold in the highest regard. I have the space that I hold for others every time I get up in front of a class and teach yoga, and through this, I continue to heal and discover myself further. I am thankful for the countless number of writers and creatives that inspire me to live out my dreams in the face of my fears. For all of this, I am GRATEFUL!
Last and certainly not least, I have me, and I have decided, I’m pretty freaking awesome.
Now, I invite you too “clean out your closet”:
What's in your closet? (literally or figuratively speaking, lol)
What are the thoughts, fears, and limiting beliefs that hold you back from living your purpose?
What do you want to create more time and space for in your life?
What are you grateful for?
What have you learned for better or worse about yourself since becoming a mom?
Until next time!
Ps. I made mention of manifesting, if you are interested in learning more about what that means and how you can manifest your dreams listen to this podcast with my beautiful and wise Sister-in-law the goddess of manifesting, or read her book!