Category Archives: Mindfulness

Identity crisis

I’m having one.

I have said that I aim to integrate my thoughts, words and actions, and that I want to integrate all my selves — the different faces I show in various situations. Self, wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, writer, employee, and all the other titles I wear.

It came to a head recently, and I feel like I am failing.

I won’t go into details about the interactions that sent me spiraling. Suffice it to say that who I aim to be — a mindful mom who knows what to say to her kids in any situation, a wise elder who survived infertility and adoption and can shine light for others, a spiritual yogini able to breathe through any energy disturbance, be it physical, emotional, or otherwise, a woman grateful for all she has — well, I don’t consistently meet my own expectations.

Distorted identity

Actually, at times it’s tough being a mom. I seem to need a lot of solitary time, and I dread the tedium of wiping yet another bottom or playing yet another game of Teacher. I’m not experiencing gratefulness at the moment, even though I have the life others may dream of. And I’m feeling pretty blocked — down and spent. On top of it all, I’m wallowing in this malaise.

Bleh.

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The preceding entry was written several years ago — I haven’t had to wipe another person’s bottom for quite some time — and has resided, forgotten, in my Drafts folder. I’m pulling it out now because once again, I feel unmoored, shaken by a couple of recent encounters in which I was energetically knocked over. When faced with my own personal Sandy, I did not breathe. I was not mindful. My actions and reactions came from someone I didn’t recognize.

Or like a whole lot.

Perfect Moment Monday: Good enough?

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.

My demons.

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.

A yoga class.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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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will begin September 24.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
  2. Write up your own Perfect Moment and post for August.
  3. Use List.ly below to enter your name (or blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment post. You can even embed the entire list on your own post (holler if you need any help doing so).
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog. (Looky! Its the 2012 version, courtesy the fabulous Justine!)What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.