Tessa was quite nervous to start her new school year. She hadn’t slept well the night before because she’d wrestled with demons: Would her new grade be too hard? Would she be accepted? Would she have what she needs? Would she do the right things, wear the right things, say the right things? And the most insidious demon of all — Am I good enough?
Tessa woke up with a stomach ache and an inability to focus on getting ready. As I walked her and her brother toward the school, I addressed her anxiety.
“Sweetie, I know that by the time you come home today, you’re going to be beaming. You’re going to tell me how wonderfully your day went, how you are so happy to be where you are. How prepared you are, how everything clicked for you.”
“Do you really think so, Mom?” she asked. “I hope you’re right but I’m afraid you won’t be.”
“I know I’m right. Mom’s know.”
And I did. Hours later, she beamed, she chattered happily as she recounted her triumphant day, things clicked for her.
My next stop was my yoga mat. After my yoga class, I planned to return to my book manuscript, due soon, the one that I’d put aside for much of the summer. In about a week I will move from the private activity of writing to the collaborative effort of editing.
The yoga teacher warmed us up and eventually guided us into Firelog pose (agnistambhasana) — a deep hip opener. I found I was tighter than usual. As I breathed through the pose, I could feel energy and matter stuck.
Our teacher left us in the pose long enough (each side got a turn) for me to tune in to my own fears and blockages. Like Tessa, I was afraid of making a transition, of leaving behind what was within my comfort zone and revealing myself to The New. Would my work be deemed acceptable? Would I prove to have what it takes? Would I be able to say and do the right things in this next stage of my book’s journey? Am I good enough?
Soon I will share my so-far private project with a critic — my editor. Of course, the end-step will be to share it with the world (or an adoption corner of it). My impending steps toward increased vulnerability triggered low-level anxiety, much like my daughter experienced.
I inhaled these insights and exhaled release. The tension in my hips began to soften and eventually unknot. With each breath I was able to ease more deeply into the pose.
At the end of class as I lay in savasana, a pose of complete relaxation and release, I experienced the perfect a-ha! moment. The words I used to calm Tessa could also be used to calm me. I will get this manuscript turned in. Chances are I will end up beaming and things will go wonderfully (and if not, I will deal with that). I am prepared for the next stage of my book journey and I bet I’ll be just as content and competent in my new phase as I’ve been in my old one.
I am enough.
Moms know. I know.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
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I love falafel in small quantities, but I hate the smell of fried foods, so I’ll never make them in the house. It’s been over ten years since I fried something. But my friend had a post on her Facebook wall about a baked falafel recipe and said they were fairly decent, so I decided to give them a try. I made hummus and tehina and Israeli salad.
Tonight, I let out a big sigh of relief. Tomorrow, I’m going to celebrate. Yes, tomorrow is the first day of school but, while I’m certainly happy my kids will be occupied by someone other than me all day, that is not the biggest reason I am happy.
I’m starting to think that quite possibly the best trait to possess as a human being is not beauty or wit or talent of any kind but instead: resilience. I’m not a fan of that twerpy wor...
“‘The greater fool’ is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy… For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool, someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their lives trying not to be the greater fool. We toss him the hot potato. We dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.” ~ Sloan Sabbith on The Newsroom
My daughter’s anxiety about starting school highlights my own demons about entering a new stage and becoming vulnerable. How to deal with Am I enough?
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When I first started this blog in January 2008, the twins were in 1st grade, Jordan was in Pre-K, and Kaelyn was a 2-year-old who looked like this: Now, I have two 6th graders, a 4th grader, and a once-Spiderman-superhero