I’ve been on this wild ride as described over and over here. Lately it feels like a marathon without any real breaks. It’s the same race all of us mothers run. Same story, different city. Same maxed out feeling, different tale. Whenever she sleeps I try to work. When she’s at “school” I’ve decided I have to go running or I’ll let my stress do the talking during the day and lose it by 4pm.
We all have this same sense, working full-time or not, of losing ourselves or pieces of ourselves. After all, we’re not the important ones. These little people come first as well as husbands or wives. Toes go unpainted, gyms are sometimes eluded. Making it to kids’ bedtimes seems the ultimate goal occasionally or every day. We add pressure where it might not naturally exist. There is the pressure that comes from losing a job or your faith in your partner. From judging ourselves too harshly for the mothering we’re doing. The pressure to provide. We have all been there. For me, I create pressure around ensuring Landon’s therapy is just what it needs to be with the right people. On mastering the sensory processing she is currently struggling with. There is pressure of the ever drifting eye and the internal battle I’m fighting to decide whether or not to operate on it. The pressure of being present when we play together. And so on.
On Sunday, after I dropped my mom at the airport, I was so sad as I drove back to the house. As I sat in traffic and Landon whined and people honked and terrible drivers swerved, it dawned on me. I bought myself a Christmas gift that I had forgotten… one month of yoga. Hallelujah. So… the very next day I went in and began my unlimited month. It felt like such an indulgence. Shouldn’t I be doing something else? I wondered if my muscles would remember the rhythms. Would I enjoy it here like I did before? Could I quiet my mind after all we’ve endured in 5 months?
I arrived early and sprawled out my rarely used mat. As I laid down, I decided to try something for the first time in my adult life. I meditated for 5 solid minutes. I remembered my breath and allowed the peace I desperately needed in my head and heart to take over. I saw Landon’s face and smiled. I saw Bo’s face and smiled. My people. All my love. I then made a conscious decision to think of myself. How far I’ve come as a mother and as a person. And I smiled. To love these other people in our lives, we must love ourselves first. I was given that advice by my first therapist at 22 when my parents split, my dear friend died and my boyfriend had broken up with me. This statement has meant so much to me in my life. I’d of course forgotten it. I opened my eyes and did the class and at the end, the instructor read a passage about finding peace in our minds while we practice. After it was over, I sat quietly and reflected on how much this one class gave me. I realize that I had craved a type of sanctuary. A place that was for me. I realized suddenly that it wasn’t for me, it was in me. This sounds too philosophical for me to say, but I find that sanctuary in myself when I practice yoga. That is the place where I feel ultimately my best. I’m able to unlock something in my mind that I am unable to doing anything else. So my promise now is if I cannot go, or cannot afford it, I’ll try at minimum to meditate. After dinner, after bug’s bedtime, that’s my window. My five minutes. My sanctuary. I don’t necessarily need the beautiful teak floor and candles. The sanctuary I crave is somewhere in my own heart, and the peace provides clarity around what is truly important. Loving my husband and my little girl. Loving our parents. Making sure to tell my husband that I believe in him. Remembering that despite all we deal with, we’ll be great because of each other.
The peace we seek and comfort we yearn for exists in all of us. We just need to find the way to unlock these sanctuaries.