Monday, November 17, 2014
One gift my third child has blessed me with is learning to take care of myself. As we welcomed him into our home, it came a few months after our oldest child's third birthday. Here I was a mama of 3 babies in just over 3 years and I could no longer "fake it." I couldn't continue to give from an empty cup. I have written about this concept before, but it initially felt very backwards to carve time out of my day to take care of myself. It seemed there already wasn't enough of me to go around. I already felt overwhelmed at the never-ending list of things needing my attention, even just within the walls of my own home. Little by little I have learned more and more how to holistically care for myself and to fill my cup each day physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As I seek to be filled, I have what I need to give to my family and those within my circle of influence. He can use me as His instrument because there is enough for myself, plus some left over.
I can see God' wisdom in the nearly 4 year space between Leland and Shipton. As my baby became toddler, then preschooler, and no additional babe in arms, I was granted the time to perfect self-care and come to know myself better.
In addition to things running fairly smoothly with my little ones and my day at home, my husband worked 2 jobs until late. I grew accustom to tucking the little ones in bed and having at least an hour in the scriptures and an hour for my daily yoga practice (sadhana) as I waited up for his return.
Between healing from pregnancy and birth, a baby needing lots of holding and love, and sleep deprivation to name a few, my self care was shorter and basic after Shipton's arrival. I began learning what my new normal was. Little by little I began expanding my self-care out, Yoga included. At first, it was mostly singing mantras or doing Kirtan Kriya mudras with one hand while I was rocking the baby with the other. As my Midwife cleared me for physical workouts again post-partum, I began Nhabi Kriya as well as the Adi Shakti meditation.
I was soon discouraged in finding a good time for my sadhana. As I weighed my options, sleep was more important in this time and season than waking up before my baby or little ones. If I did it during the day, I literally had train tracks built around my body by busy little boys. I missed the private focus of distraction-free practice. If I did it at night, I risked falling asleep as I rocked the baby down or felt over-whelmed to spend so much time on myself instead of putting a dent in house work or other areas. I did the best I thought I could to keep up. After several weeks I was getting into the groove, even if it meant feeding the baby in the middle, then clearing with a long "Sat" and a short "Nam" and finishing or tuning out little voices. I was doing fairly well and most weeks would get 5 or 6 days out of the week. At one point I even got into 20+ days in a row before I missed a day or two.
About 2 months ago I realized that wasn't good enough. I was prayerfully shown that it was more important for me to keep up with a daily practice, even if it was short, than to have a long practice that was hit-and-miss or even nearly perfect. Once He showed me that I had been limiting myself by what I felt my sadhana needed to be based on what I had been doing in in the past, my heart was opened to understand. He needed me to commit. I had allowed myself to be lulled into the lie that it was "good enough." I swallowed my pride and all of the excuses that I could now see were distractions or resistance and committed to 40 days in a row.
I am thrilled to say that I finished my first 40-day (in a row) meditation since my baby arrived a few weeks ago! Not only did I finish a personal sadhana, but my husband and I also finished a couples sadhana too! It amazes me how much more was cleared out from the daily 3 minute practice extended over 40 (now plus) days compared to an hour that wasn't consistent.
Now what? Well, I feel lifted from the fog and can see that it is vital for me on so many levels to be committed to yoga daily again. Not only yoga daily, but also a more thorough practice at this time and season. I wish I could say this is a new time and season because my baby is sleeping better at night or that my schedule has changed, or something on that end. In this time and season of processing and clearing, it is vital to my progression. Yoga is towards the top of my list every day for self-care.
I also realized limiting beliefs I held that I had to do all of my self-care in one sitting. I pray in a chunk. After kiddo care and house work, I meditate in a chunk. After lunch and homeschool, I read my scriptures. After dinner and kids are in bed, and while my hubby is having personal time, I do my Kriya. I can do my self-care in about 15-20 min chunks and can usually get through that much undisturbed (AKA my little ones can TCOY for chunks of time too without needing Mommy).
God is so good. I can see Him leading me on and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for His goodness and long-suffering patience and kindness.