Observing

When an introvert spends her entire week off  from her day job giving and giving and giving and giving bad things can occur.  It all seemed so logical when I said yes.  I said yes to three luncheons, I said yes to subbing a gazillion classes, I said yes to extra stimuli.  It is one thing to go to IKEA when you introvert tank is full, it is another to do so when you are completely depleted.  Add in a noisy peanut infested, babies crying steak house and it is a wonder this gal did not end up on the news.

All kidding aside, it is a remarkable moment for me to be the observer of my madness.

Maybe it is my yoga training or maybe it is the integration of meditation, journaling, and a yoga practice that has offered me this beautiful gift of observing.

As I was walking this morning, I was feeling myself on the verge of tears.  Walking, I recalled all of the energy sucking events–while ALL beautiful–of my week.  I also noted that the week did not include a single walk in nature or time alone that was off my mat which are typical ways that I find myself. Rather, it was a week of constant output. Not once did I refuel my tank the way that I know how to.

The tears never fell as I walked this morning, instead I marveled at my ability to observe.  In that observation I was able to step away from the feelings of sadness and take in all the beauty of my life. The love.  The opportunity. The sharing of my life.

And I found great and  magnificent solace on my mat this afternoon and while sinking into a glorious bubble bath.  I am refueled and oh, so content.

Three moments

I rarely write from a prompt but this was a prompt that was offered several days ago and I felt my heart flutter a bit with the immediate thoughts that came.

What are the three most memorable moments — good or bad, happy or sad — in your life? Go!

I am not sure that the following mishmash of memories are my three most memorable, but they certainly are my three most defining.

1. I stood at the top of my stairs with my aqua colored nightgown on. I was five years old.  My dad stood at the bottom of the stairs and he was saying good-bye.  He was leaving.  Forever.  I waved to him and innocently said goodbye with absolutely no idea what was really happening.  I knew it must be something bad because my older brother was crying.  As I heard the door close, my mother walked to the stairs and said to us both, “this isn’t an excuse to make bad decisions……buck up”. So there in an instant my emotions were stifled.  I stuffed them deep into my heart. I had no idea what all of this meant at five years old. It would take a lifetime of learning to understand this. This would be the portal, or defining moment, in which all my relationships were seeded.

2.  The girl was three years old and I was a miserably unhappy woman.  I was overwhelmed with the constant giving that being of mother to three little kids can bring.  I was in a miserable marriage and I had absolutely no idea who I was.  At that moment I was defined only by being a mom.  I rarely did my hair, makeup was slapped on with minimal effort, and my clothes were chosen and worn to hide my eighty pounds of extra weight, and to be comfortable. The defining moment came when the afternoon heat had taken hold of the house and the idea of kids napping was a big joke.  All of us were exhausted and cranky.  Because I had no sense of my self, I was incapable of knowing any sense of anyone else’s feelings or identity.  I was surviving. In an instant, I lost my temper.  I stood over my sweet girl and because of my rage, I saw in her eyes fear.  Fear.  Fear of me.  My world slowed.  My thoughts raced to a time when I was just a little girl and I feared my mom.  That moment I made a choice.  A defining choice. Never ever again would I be the cause of my children’s fear. Ever.

3. The doorbell rang.  His smile was soft and his eyes were bright.  The cold November air was brisk to the breath and stung the skin. I invited him in.  He extended his hand to offer me a gift. The moment that I took the gift my life changed.  The gift that was given was so far beyond the gift card to buy groceries for my kids first Thanksgiving in our own home following my divorce.  The gift was actually the defining moment when I learned to receive.  I learned to take in love from another person.  I learned to accept.  I learned to say thank you.  I learned that it is okay to be vulnerable.  I learned that I am worth love.

Long overdue

There are moments when I least expect it that the presence of my former husband is so strong. At times I question this, mostly because it wasn’t as if we were particularly close at the time of his death, and other times because I have never sensed someone who has passed in this way. His presence in my life now feels more valuable and more real than anything that we shared while he was living.

Before his death, there was an energy between that was tainted with past hurts and disappointments. The few times we spoke the tension was so evident. Not long after our interaction would end, I could feel intuitively the disconnect and negativity that was always present.

Now, there is a soft comfort that envelopes me as I sense his presence. There is a knowing that he is free and he is okay. We have these very deep “conversations” about the kids that we could never have had while he was alive.

These moments come when I am quiet, still, and open-hearted. Usually after or during meditation, or while I rest in the final pose of my yoga practice. Sometimes I sense him while I walk in the very early hours of the day.

No matter the time, the sensations are the same. And for this long overdue “relationship”, I am grateful.

Full Circle

Last night I received an unexpected message from my oldest son.  Earlier in the evening, he had attended an autism film festival benefit event. As he comes into his own life and deals with the loss of his dad, I see him struggling to make sense of his path, his life, his choices, and the people who have been part of his journey. And then in the unexpected, his heart opens and he sees.  Like a sunrise, I see that he is coming into a newness of clarity and hope.

The message:

You are unbelievable. They had one called 4 fathers. 4 dads that were so damn amazing for their autistic kids. So great to see them. I Cried/couldn’t look the whole time. Made me realize how fucked it up it was. The dejection/rejection and actions of forgetting on his part. But then also the amazing, beautiful job you did. Of taking on two superhero capes. Make that 6. You had to be completely different parents for all of us. And be both parents at the same time. Just wow. Every man can say they love their mom, but not many can say Youre a gift to the world mom.

The circle of affirmation.  As parents we selflessly give to our children with no expectations.  It is a rare and beautiful gift when they mirror back to you the sacrifices and love that was given.  It is then that the circle comes together.

Finally

Years and years I have been torn about completing my 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification.  I have taught hundreds of classes with just my simple ‘yoga instructor ‘ certification that I obtained in a weekend, although I have studied under a master teacher since I first unrolled my mat 9 years ago.

I have hidden behind the shame of not having the “official” 200 hours.  And yet, I know that a piece of paper will not change how I teach from my heart.  Instead, this piece of paper and extensive training will enhance me personally.  It will help me to affirm the worthiness of me.  It will allow me to allow others to help me, so that I can commit time to the training and the involved work in self-study. It will slowly peel away the baggage of shame that I have carried on my shoulders since I first became a yoga instructor.

My intention is to grow as a person and as a teacher.  My intention is to love each moment and to be challenged by the content.  I know that this will be an accomplishment that I have longed for and I will feel great contentment when I am complete.  I can finally, finally put the fear aside and the shame aside.

I know for absolute sure that it will only bring more to my heart-felt teaching.  Piece of paper or not, this is finally something I can cross off my list of hopes for my personal growth.