What a week it has been, flew back from the Gulf Coast last Wednesday and started teaching again the next day. I am very blessed with my occupation, the people I get to meet and share the practice with every class. I do feel like I could have used one day to settle back into life in DC. Instead I taught and my kids started different camps this week. Selfishly this helped with the emotional tears my daughter sheds every summer when we have to come home as she misses her beloved cousin. My sweet niece also sheds tears as we leave but I think my daughter is the bigger weeper. Basketball camp, her first time playing or trying the sport, has been a huge hit, helped her adjust back and softened her loss of being with her cousin 24/7.
What surprised me this year coming back was how emotional my son was about both going down to my sister's and coming back. He was excited to see his beloved cousin, my very patient almost 15 yr old nehphew, but did not want to leave his daddy. My husband could not join us this year so tears from both kids leaving their dad. When it was time to return, my son shed many tears about not wanting to leave his beloved Thor, my nephew whom I also adore, but he did want to come home to see his daddy. My post on emotional rollercoasters did pop into my head when dealing with their feelings.
My own sadness of leaving my sister and her family gets pushed to the back as I try to be present with their feelings. I guess I did this too well as my daughter asked me if I was sad to be leaving! I assured her I was but explained that I have lived very far from my family for over 20 years now, so I know I will be leaving but I also know that I plan to go back. Hard for my kids to understand completely at 9 and 5 but we fortunately will always be greeting new people and experiences, in turn we will also always be saying goodbye to people and experiences. Does not make it easy but to be healthy emotionally we all have to figure out the best way to process the feelings.
That is why I think for me I need to allow a day to transition back, one where I can just be present to process the joys of having seen my family, the sorry for not living closer and the hope of being together again in the near future.
It is a late addition of my weekend's thorns & roses post vacation. Slow to get back in the swing of things for me.
Busy weekend with lots of goodness.
To find the balance between between being engaged while being at ease has been the focus of my classes this week. On the mat this might seem easy but as one moves through a practice being in a pose breathing, is when the mind may find it a challenge to be at ease. I don't mean that the body (or the mind) is not being challenged but can we be at ease knowing that we don't know how long we will be there?
This is frequently similar to our lives off the mat. I know in my life there are daily challenges where I may not want to be engaged so in turn I am not at ease. My jaw gets tight as do my shoulders, my breath becomes short & shallow clear indications I am not at ease. This is my body's stress response so the challenge is to find how I can be engaged while my body and mind are also at ease?
"Free yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds."
- Bob Marley
At the end of last week I ventured to Hershey Park with my kids to meet up with one of my dear friends and her kids. I love rollercoasters but have not ridden any in about 10+ years due to kids. I was looking forward to the coasters and riding them with my kids. My expectation of sharing the fun was one I had a hard time letting go of, something I talk about in my classes. I encourage my students to let go of their expectations of what they think should happen and just be in the experience. It would have been good for me to have remembered that a bit sooner during our trip.
My expectation that my kids would love rollercoasters as much as I do was not to happen. Looking back I wish i had softened my grasp of this expectation, but instead I could not understand why they didn't. I went from having fun to frustration, to enjoying the time to back to frustration with their fear and/or anxiety. So, while I was not riding many coasters physically with my kids I was riding one heck of an emotional one. Not one of my more stellar parenting moments but my reflection back on it will hopefully help in the future.
Our lives are typically filled with ups, downs, slow rise and fast drops, twists, spins, turns and feeling like we are upside down. The more we fight to change others versus our own reaction makes the ride more like the old wooden coasters, very bumpy where you feel like you are getting beat up, so my emotional ride last week was more like a wooden coaster. This week the ride has been more like the newer rides, still has the thrills but much smoother.
I am a DC based yoga teacher, wife, mother of two kids and three animals who is using yoga both on and off the mat to find balance.