So this is it Tribe; the half-way marker in my first ever attempt at doing anything for 60 days in a row. And I’ve done it. Not to toot my own horn- I’m going to anyway – but this feels like something worth mentioning. If you haven’t been following my very public attempt at yogic commitment, or haven’t read any of my previous posts about the 60 Day Challenge, all you need to know is this: I have been, up until recently, a complete and utter commitment-phoebe.
To put it plainly I have at times suffered from wanderlust, career dissatisfaction, long-term relationship fears, and geographic restlessness. Before finding massage therapy and teaching yoga, I was a dancer, exterior house painter, fishmonger, stylist’s assistant, studio manager, photo researcher, magazine photo editor, hostess, retail goddess and personal assistant. I have never been involved in a relationship that has lasted longer than the one I shared with my college sweetheart – and that was only lasted 3 years. But more to the point; I have never done anything consistently for 30 days, let alone 60. I’m not even sure I could honestly say I’ve flossed my teeth every day for 60 days in a row- though I consistently make the effort to do so. So this, my friends, is a big, big deal.
The cool thing is, though the point was to develop a more “disciplined” or “devoted” practice, I have actually accomplished a reverence for all the other little things that take up my time in between my asanas and meditations. Because the 20 minutes a day I’ve been consistently setting aside for the challenge has been so central, every other moment around the 20 has become that much more important. Time itself has become more valuable: time with my son, time with my partner, time with my teachers and students, and even all the insignificant moments of my daily life- now more significant. Instead of rushing through things to get them done, I now pause, and enjoy them all so much more – washing my face and brushing my teeth feels like a more like a ritual of self-care. The down moments stolen on the couch with Burr feel more potent and meaningful in fostering good bonding and a healthy relationship. Filling up the VW has morphed into an opportunity to smile at the guy with the pump in his hand, perhaps making his day (and mine) a little brighter Maybe most importantly -this challenge has helped me embrace Motherhood like I’ve never embraced it before. The time I spend with my son, Griffin (who is quickly approaching 2), has now become utterly priceless.
The practice of cultivating self-awareness that has been the point of all this daily meditation and/or asana, has facilitated a much deeper awareness of my practice as a parent – an amazing side effect I hadn’t anticipated at all. It was only a few months ago I felt like my life was a series of responsibilities linked in a forever repeating loop of daily tasks: wake up, heat the bottle, put the kettle on, change the baby, make the breakfast, pack the backpack and lunch, drop off the baby at daycare, go to work, pick up the baby, facilitate a nap, bathe the baby, make dinner, put the baby down, attempt to sleep until at least 5:30 or 6, repeat. And all that noise all the older mothers and grandmothers I know who kept repeating that mantra of “enjoy this time while you have it, he’ll never be a baby again.. ” yeah well, blah blah blah – didn’t they know how hard I was working just to get through my day ? How could I possibly have the patience to enjoy it. “They grow up so fast” they’d say to me… Good, I’d think.
But seriously, of course I love my son. I love him more than anything in the entire world. And now I feel so grateful to yoga - again- for giving me the tools I need to honor my special little boy, and to be the best mother I can possibly be.
So to those of you who might feel like spending 20 minutes (or more, or less) on yourselves is selfish, or wasteful – to you I say this: cultivating a practice, whatever it may be; yoga, walking the dog, sitting in meditation, exercise, taking a bath, whatever, for the sake of cultivating self-love and self-acceptance is probably the most rewarding commitment you can make. Your whole family will reap the benefits of your practice.
In closing tonight, I’d like to extend some Thank Yous:
To my ex-husband Paul, for loving our son, especially when physically I am elsewhere.
To the powerful yogini-goddesses I studied and connected with this week: Elena, Shiva and Schyler (what a way to top off a month of practice).
To my teacher and mentor, Shannah, for her on-going support and love.
A big big thank-you to my partner, Burr, whos work in NYC made our trip this week a reality. For his on-going encouragement of my yogic journey, my teaching and not so pretty ventures deep into myself. And above all else for his patience. I am far, far, far from the perfect partner (see commitment-phoebia above), and prone to giving up… So far, he has not given up on me.
And to my son Griffin – who has made me a much better person, living in a much richer world. I love you Griffin, more than I could possibly tell you.
Jai, jai, jai yogis!