In our yoga practice, we should try to resist the words ‘right’ ‘wrong’ ‘good’ ‘bad’ ‘better’ ‘worse’ because they are subjective, but when it comes to being a mother… everything is subjective. In honor of Mother’s Day, here’s a shout out to all the mamas regardless of how you ‘mama’. In our household we cloth diaper, we feed 100% breast milk, sometimes we co-sleep, and we let Mags watch TV from time to time… If you don’t have children, you probably are thinking, “ok, who gives a shit?” But in the mommy world, how you choose to parent your child can put some heat in your conversations with other mamas. So here’s to ALL the mamas! If you have kept your children alive and happy- CONGRATS! You’re #nailingit . And if you aren’t a mama, go take a nap for me. K, Thanks.
Since I’ve become a mother, I’ve gone to the depths of my soul in ways I didn’t know possible. I’ve had anger I didn’t know existed, and a profound depth of love I didn’t know possible. Without a second thought I will wipe her butt, pick her nose and handle any other fluids that previously would have made me barf. If I even think about someone causing harm to her, I literally feel steam coming out of my head. I’ve become so engrossed in this tiny person’s present and future, and just like everyone has told me… I’ve lost sight in the process of me. Now to some degree, this has to happen. It takes a great deal to keep a small human alive, and in doing so, you have to give up many parts of yourself… However, it becomes your default after a while and letting go of the things that used to matter a great deal to you don’t even seem to register as being important anymore. Priorities can shift, however yourself cannot be one of them.
So if you are reading this and you’re not a mother, chances are you have something else that takes the same kind of focus: an intense job, a fur baby, a spouse or partner you are utterly devoted to… We all have something that we love so much and are devoted to that sometimes creates a sort of magnetism that pulls us out of ourselves. The Self though, is what we are cultivating in our yoga practice. The more we can find unity within our Self, the better we can be to those around us. If we can first be in service to ourselves, then, when the time comes, we will be better equipped to care for those in our life with 100% focus.
Back to the subjective part. I want to be a ‘better’ me… since better is one of my ‘no-no’ words, I want to get closer to my truer self. I was saying, I want to get ‘back to me’… but that’s impossible. Being a mother has changed me. Being in this moment past the last moment has changed me. Whether we like it or not, we change in every moment and so we can never go back to a former version of ourselves. We can only build on who we are now and ‘improve’. Now the improvement part is also subjective, because at the heart of it, it’s more of a scraping away than an adding on. We need to undo some of our own damage on ourselves in order to return to our truest nature.
There are days lately that I feel like an absolute failure. I get super angry, I don’t workout, I eat bags on bags on bags of Doritos and I just cannot seem to get my shit together. Part of this is my disillusionment that certain things matter more than others, but it also comes from my inability to take a moment or two during the day to devote to myself. I’ve become so consumed with taking care of Magnolia, that I begin to become resentful of her. SHE IS A PRECIOUS PERFECT BABY! THAT IS HORRIBLE. But if I’m being honest, I do. I get frustrated that I can’t feel better about myself and then I just throw that energy into her. What I should do is set myself up for success, become more disciplined with my time with her and myself so that I am able to be there for us both. If I can be more disciplined and focused, I will be able to adequately serve (and love) us both.
Now to our niyama this week: vrata or self-discipline. This is a little bit different than Tapas from a few weeks back in that this type of self discipline is rooted in an oath. This oath is a spiritual practice that you intend to carry out. This is voluntary oath set by the practitioner and it helps develop self confidence and foster detachment. The intention behind vrata is to stay true to one’s oath or commitment. It’s in exercise in will power and devotion. If you’ve ever done Lent or fasted for another religious holiday, it’s the same type of dedication.
So this week we will be focusing on pledging an oath to yourself. What needs to change in order for you to find the ‘better’ you? What oath do you need to make to yourself over the next week/ month/ year in order to return some of yourSelf back to you? To lead by example, I am going to set my oath below. I will be focusing on a few specific habits I am trying to cultivate in order to encapsulate some of the most important values to me: family, gratitude, marriage, health and spirituality. If you set an oath, let someone know about it to hold you accountable. Post it on your Facebook page. Write it in your journal. Do something that keeps you honest with your oath.
To all the mamas out there, you’re doing great work! However, if you have lost yourself a bit in the process of being a mama, use this post as the sign to get you back to working on yourself. Dedicate at least 10 minutes every day to being with yourself. That might mean you have to get up 10 minutes (or more) early to get it done! Note how when you are better to yourself, you are better to those you love. If you’re not a mama, I’m pretty sure you can still relate. What’s the one thing that’s pulling you away from doing what you really want to do or focus on? Make a pact to improve. You got this!
I will wake up at 5am every day (which means, I will go to bed by 9:30pm every night)
I will read for at least 10 minutes every day
I will drink lemon water as my first meal every day
I will CrossFit 5X a week and practice yoga every day
I will mediate for 10 minutes every day based in heart centering and gratitude
I will list out 3 things I’m grateful for every morning
Things I will do that have a little more to do with those that I love:
I will spend an undetermined amount of time with JUST Peter every day. No phones, no tv, no computer, just being with my husband.
I will read to Magnolia every day