Has someone else’s words rocked your every being? As if the words literally lifted a giant weight from your shoulders? Massaged the stress from your brain and left you with peaceful space to breathe, think, and be?
Sometimes they come as Aha! moments, as if the words had been there all along and this person helped to unlock what you always knew. This moment happened for me this weekend during a Sunday yoga class.
My three-year-old and I are starting a new habit of attending a Sunday yoga class. She gets to hang out with the energetic little people in Kid’s Yoga, and I get to try and turn off my brain in the “adult” class. Yoga has become a new daily habit of mine, mostly at home. The idea to start attending formal classes had more to do with introducing my daughter to yoga at young age. I forgot to think about how beneficial it would be for me too.
That’s pretty common, isn’t it? We devote a great percentage of our thoughts to our children, we forget the important pieces of the puzzle in raising healthy, happy children: ourselves. We all hope to offer our children the best chance they have. This sometimes plays out as enrolling them in extracurricular activities, signing them up for tutoring, planning learning activities at home, attending library story times, making sure they have social interaction at playgroups, reading enough books, feeding them, snuggling them, signing them up for sports, and on, and on.
In this case, I signed Elizabeth up for yoga. I also woke up extra early to pump enough milk for our seven month old, to prepare a breakfast for the whole family, and on the way to yoga, checked in with my husband to make sure everything was okay, that the world kept turning even in my absence. When we arrived at the studio, I worried about Elizabeth possibly feeling nervous in a class of “big kids,” and I entered my yoga class with a tinge of guilt for spending Sunday morning doing something for myself while my husband took care of the baby.
The thing is, when all of these actions, thoughts, and feelings occur, they can stream almost unnoticed through the mind. I don’t give a lot of thought to the guilt or the hectic morning of trying to prepare for just an hour and half away. That is, until the words of the yoga instructor highlighted their presence and allowed me to finally face their impact on my whole being.
“Just be.” That was it. Those two words nearly knocked me over. I remember trying to breathe steadily while balancing on one food and bring one foot out to the side just hoping I didn’t topple on my neighbor or even invade his space. I was also subconsciously thinking of Elizabeth in class without me, wondering if an hour and a half was too long.
Then the instructor shared a concept passed on to him by his teacher: we all share one religion, the “religion of me.” We worry about being good enough, what we need to have, what we want to be. Even when I devote my thoughts to raising our daughters, I spend time with the same worries: “Am I mom enough?” “Will my children appreciate me?” “Am I doing everything I can?” “Am I a good enough wife?” In essence, my thoughts shape around the worry of being mom.
When I stopped being mom and just was . . .
Then I heard the words: just be. Stop trying to become someone others expect. It was as if those words flooded my mind and cleaned out the unnecessary worry. I stopped thinking. I stopped trying. I just was, in that moment, in that room, nothing else but me.
Rather than feeling selfish or guilty for one moment in time allowing myself to stop thinking of my children, or my husband, or my obligations as a mother and wife, I felt free to love them even more. Not as someone obligated to take care of them or see to my motherly obligations; but, just as someone who was and loved them for who they were. In that way, I am of better service to them and myself.
What about you? Have you ever had one of those moments? I would love to hear about it! Please share in the comments!
If you are interested in the health benefits of starting a yoga practice, even if just at home, I covered that subject in this article.