Archive | June, 2008

identity crisis

19 Jun

Here is a post I wrote about a month ago. It got lost in the shuffle:

I know that I am more than my roles, I get that. I understand that I am not defined by what I do and how I take on form in this world. I’ve noticed though, that the role of parenthood is an especially hard one to dis-identify from. I’ve also noticed that many of the spiritual teachers around are not and have never been parents!

This was on my mind intensely while I took my two youngest kids to the grocery store with me tonight. I usually sneak out to the store without my kids, or opt to take just one of them. But, as life will demand – I ended up with both little ones in Safeway tonight during the evening rush. The store was packed and my kids are pretty needy at 5:30 at night. I’m navigating the cart and minding my list, putting back things that my youngest was adding to the cart (somehow the sneaky little girl succeeded – I ended up unpacking a bag of M&M’s I didn’t know was there), breaking up the tension of my son who was trying to manage my daughter who was loudly protesting, trying to find decent produce without losing the kids out of the corner of my eye, stop 3-year old from eating (poor thing was so hungry she ate half a carrot and two bites of apple – this is the kid who won’t eat anything in plant form), have an evolved talk with Kieran as to why it was too crowded to wear his heely’s in the store – have him stubbornly dig into the conversation while little sister darts away, I lose my patience/shut him down, only to have him sneak his heals out half way through the shopping trip. Amidst all of this, just trying to keep the kids safe and somewhat well behaved, the whole time being fully aware that I was getting “the look” from every child-less person I passed.

And we wonder why parents have a hard time remembering that we are more than our role as parents! Being a parent is such an all-encompassing job. It’s a wonderful role to play, one I am very grateful for. That said, keeping small children safe and meeting their basic needs is so saturated with energy and focus that it is a huge challenge to unplug from. A hands-on parent really can’t unplug too much during their childs’ younger years, those children really count on us to play the role of parent well and hold that consistent space around their childhood in order for them to grow.

There is a book called, “I was a great mother and then I had kids.” Being a parent is one of those things that as a non-parent, you can look at it and say, “yep, that’s intense, time consuming and full of love.” You know it intellectually and can imagine what it might be like, but to actually experience it is another level of knowing – one you can’t really know without the experience.

I guess I’m beating around the bush a bit, talking in circles. Truth is, the more I work on opening the yoga studio, the more needy my kids have become. They are asking for attention in many not-so-subtle ways. My little one is throwing tantrums at school and my middle child is at my heels constantly. My 12-year old is taking advantage of my pre-occupation and sliding into his own world. I’m feeling an emotion I haven’t felt in a long time….. guilt.

Intellectually, I know that I am a member of the family team too. I know that starting a yoga studio is like giving birth and that the kids will be thrilled to be a part of it. My friend asked me the other day “how do you do it all?” I answered truthfully, ” I DON”T do it all. I say no a lot and pick and choose what we’ll be involved in. Normally, I feel really good about it and am able to be OK with a less-than-perfect home and all that comes with it. Today though, I’m feeling it.

I’m sitting there in the grocery store, trying to patiently listen to ramblings of an 8-year old while his sister wanders off and I can’t find the right kind of bread. I’m noticing the intensity of it all and remembering to try to be in the moment. I’m remembering to breath, and trying to remember how.

I know that I am more than a Mom, and today, I feel like a bad mom.


Hibernation and feeling Haunted

19 Jun

Wow… I’ve be so busy (time to actually take a shower now) that I’ve been hibernating in the blogosphere. I’ve been feeling just great about my little hibernation – and the craziness that is, in itself, a bit of balance. I do miss the writing though, and I’ve learned to love my little blog. It’s a symbol of my commitment to spiritual evolution.

I’m learning about balance, time as a resource, and how important it is to stay sharply aware during periods of time that move quickly. The necessity of ishvarapranidana is so apparent to me now. There are some things that I just have to let go of. There are some things that I don’t want to let go of – like a mowed lawn and tucking my kids into bed. As the dust settles on my big project, I am realizing that this business is balance for now. If I kept every category of my life in ideal priorities all of the time, then there is no literal way I could accomplish something like opening a yoga studio. Letting part of my life slide in order to create something new, is itself part of a balanced life.

So, I’ve let this blog just chill for a while and then today, I had a conversation that chilled me – it left me feeling haunted. I was helping a woman at the studio. (a very lovely woman, who I respect and am no way dis-respecting – please be kind if you comment) She has physical issues and I was helping her pick the best classes for her. Because of her spinal issues, I recommended private yoga sessions, as they are great to learn modifications. We also spoke of Iyurveda and how that might help her relieve some of her chronic issues. It was a lovely conversation with a lovely person. Then she pulled her energy back, as if to go into a shell, and said, “now will the private yoga sessions include meditation? Because that’s something that I just won’t do.” I spoke kindly with her, and gently asked why. She said it was religious reasons (etc), and that it is dangerous to open the mind. I just listened and suggested that instead of meditating she might find some relief just watching her mind throughout the day to see where it was taking her. She gave me another look as if to say “step off”, so I let go and didn’t go into her space anymore. I think she left with some hope.

Wow. I’m feeling haunted. I don’t feel superior, or frustrated, I just have an eerie feeling settling over me, and I think it is gratitude and compassion. I feel so much compassion for this person. She’s listing off a huge list of maladies, and traumas that I know have affected her mind cycles and her body. The maladies line right up with the chakra associated with the disfunctions. She is doing her best, but I’m sure that every time she gets close to going deeper within, closer to healing, this wall comes up – a thought – it’s dangerous to open my mind. I understand how she feels, it’s a really scary world to live in from that viewpoint. To be so scared of where the mind might take us.

Maybe that’s just my own projection, but I think I was pretty in tune. The only thing I can really do today is let her walk her own journey and send her lots of love. And, in the end I have to just flip that story around to myself. What walls or thought patterns do I have that cause me to hit a wall of my own? Where am I not open?

I appreciate those gurus all around me. It’s given me a lot to meditate on.