Nurturing Self

img_4455There have been multiple signs coming into my awareness lately, all pointing to the same message: now is the time to go deep into self-care.

While teaching Kundalini Yoga last Monday night, it all snapped into place. I love to do a warm up where we move the spine in all directions with five quick, easy postures. A message came to me that I initially thought was for the class but the timing never seemed right to say it out loud. That’s when I knew the message was for me. It was, “Even if you only do this each day, it’s enough. Just move your spine.”

I’ve struggled since my son was born, two years ago, to find my personal yoga practice again. Before he was born, I was getting up early most mornings and doing at least 30-45 minutes of practice and meditation before getting ready for work. It took me a long time to accept that my former practice is not realistic for my lifestyle now. Over this time, I’ve felt many emotions around this reality – guilt, shame, resentment, anger. I started to let “should” rule my mind. A yoga teacher should have a really strong practice. I should be able to get up before him. He should be sleeping through the night now (pause to let all parents silently chuckle).

I very slowly started to realize that my expectations were far too high and beating myself up wasn’t helping. It has been a deep lesson in letting go of expectations, even if only in this one aspect of my life. It has also allowed me to transform my views on what a “good” yoga practice looks like. The truth is, a strong practice looks different for each person and it’s healthy to allow it to transform as life ever changes, remaining flexible to the ebbs and flows. Isn’t that what yoga teaches us anyway?

Over the past two years, I have been intimately introduced to what it really means to live the yoga practice in every breath and every movement (as I say often at the end of my classes). We truly do teach what we most need to learn. I’m discovering other forms of self-care and how to center, calm and balance myself throughout the day in the pockets of time I now have, rather than a big chunk in the morning. Often my practice is one deep, conscious breath taken as many times as I can remember in a day, even if just once.

I still hold the dream of getting up an hour and a half before my son to do yoga, walk, meditate and shower. Aaahhhh. I’ll be there someday. In the meantime, with another baby on the way, I’m settling into this new phase of life, loving it’s slower rhythm, and knowing it is all so temporary. The blessing of waking up next to my baby each morning is unmatched by anything else I could be doing at that time.

Now back to the other signs. The message in class was on February 29th. The next day being March 1st, I like starting things at the beginning of a month, it just so happened to also be the same day I entered the 3rd trimester of this pregnancy. A perfect reason to be gentle and easy with my body and mind (not that any reason is ever needed). So since that day, I’ve been doing those five simple spinal movements each day. Letting it be enough and letting go of any guilt, shame or “shoulds”. It feels fantastic.

A couple days before that class, I signed up for a ten day e-course I’ve been wanting to do for a while called Water Your Mama Soul by Liz Lamoreux, one of my mentors in the writing, art, spiritual worlds. The timing never seemed right before, but I jumped on immediately this time when the invitation came through. It starts in a couple days.

On the same day that course ends, I’m taking a weekend trip to Kansas City, BY MYSELF, to visit family and relax. I cannot even express how much this means to me. I haven’t been away from Collin for even one day since his birth. And the last time I took a trip by myself was in May 2013 (and I love to travel by myself). The significant part about this though has less to do with the trip itself and more to do with the place and people I’m visiting. When I’m at the home of my aunt and uncle it gives me a sense that no matter what happens, everything is going to be alright. An unfamiliar feeling to me growing up in a much more turbulent environment. I feel safe, loved and nurtured there unlike any other place on the planet. It brings up for healing all kinds of deep unmet childhood needs. Perfect timing for this self-care theme.

The last sign came from my Louise Hay I Can Do It daily calendar. In addition to daily affirmations, there is a longer monthly affirmation that I keep posted in my bathroom. The March affirmation is about nurturing self, allowing in more fun, and thus more love. Yes. Yes. Yes.

I think these messages are here now for me to really fill up my mama soul, replenish my love energy, connect with supportive resources, and discover new ways to care for myself so that when baby two arrives I can easily meet the increased outflow of energy without running dry. Thank you Universe for always knowing what I need and providing the answers. I breathe. I trust. I let go.

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