Sunday, February 15, 2015

Seasons of Life

I haven't been blogging much huh? Having a baby makes it hard to do anything consistently. And actually, since I found out I was pregnant in December, I've been sleeping when I usually blog because I'm nauseous/tired most of the time. 

I've been thinking a lot about how my life has changed so drastically since I've began motherhood. Before I got pregnant, I was on this spiritual journey, discovering all sorts of things about myself and the world around me. I completed yoga teacher training, converted to Catholicism, plus doing a lot of over things like dream groups, a course in miracles, etc. After returning from Africa, I knew it was time and started on my path towards becoming a mother. Once I became pregnant, all of the other stuff stopped. It was a trimester of sickness, then a trimester of getting myself together, then a trimester of preparation. And then, of course, once I had Ellie, it was all about survival haha. That sounds terrible but that first year as a new mother is a doozy. It was for me anyway. I have loved every minute of it and also hated some of it too. That sounds awful but I've been challenged in ways I didn't really want to be. I've had to grow in some areas that have been really hard and am still trying to grow in som others areas too. Just like marriage, motherhood forces you to look at parts of yourself that you can keep hidden in most areas of your life. Having a husband and a child exposes parts of yourself that need the most work, and it can get ugly. Or at least, that's been my experience. 

I really felt like all of that personal growth, spiritual growth, had stopped because I have been living in the moment so much for the past 17 months. I really didn't start feeling like my old self again until the end of last year and then BAM, here comes baby number 2. I tried to take part in yoga challenges, meditation challenges, workshops, things like that but even going to mass tends to be difficult nowadays. I've honestly been kind of bummed about it. I've passed up some fun opportunities to teach yoga and missed out on some really neat classes/workshops. I even found out that one of my favorite teachers, Kino Machregor, is going to be in Charlotte soon, but I am not supposed to practice ashtanga right now, so I'm opting out. Bummer. 

The thing is, I am grateful and excited about the opportunity to build a family. I get so much joy out of being a mom, and so what I've realized is that life isn't really all of these events happening concurrently, but it's a series of seasons. Growth isn't necessarily a straight line starting from the bottom and steadily increasing, but a bunch of zig zags and circles and who knows what else. I've always been one who wants it all right now, and I've realized that it's not the end result that's important, but the process and the journey. Keeping that in mind, I've come to accept that my season of life in this moment is poopy diapers, sippy cups, and Disney movies. It won't be like this forever, and then I'll be missing the hugs and baby snuggles. What I don't want to happen is miss out on something really special in the quest for having it all. What's the point of having it all if you're too busy to enjoy it? 

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Paris Mountain State Park

I absolutely love this time of year. When I was young, it meant PRESENTS!! As I've gotten older, it has come to mean something completely different. It's a time of reflection, and it's a time of preparation. As Advent begins, we take the time to humble ourselves, get quiet, and reflect on our year in preparation for the celebration of Christ's birth. We are literally celebrating the coming of Christ, but as Father Pat always emphasizes (and this is why I love the Catholic faith), we must take the scripture and apply it to our lives today.

In any twelve step program, there is a process of atonement that one must go through before experiencing a "Spiritual Awakening". While the reprieve from our malady is daily and a gift of God, we take certain actions in order to help that prepare ourselves for that gift. We first admit our issue and realize that something needs to change. We, then, go through a process of examination and surrender in order to clear up all of the yuckiness that lives within us. That yuckiness is something we've created through desperate acts and poor decisions but it can be cleared out. We examine those actions, and we attempt to make it right. We ask each person we've harmed how we can make it better. We don't apologize, but we recognize our mistakes and take action to make them right. It is through this process that we can then, be forgiven by others (hopefully), and more importantly, by ourselves. While this process is extremely important in the recovery of an alcoholic/addict, I feel strongly that this is something we must all do in our lives. To think that one is infallible is short sighted, and really delusional. We are all humans and it is through our pain and our mistakes that we learn to be better. We cannot grow, though, if we do not recognize that we can be wrong.

Advent is that time for Christians. And actually, it can be that time for anyone. While we celebrate the birth of Christ, we can also prepare ourselves for the birth of the christ within us. Each one of us has a perfect love that exists within us. This love is so pure that it trumps all of the mistakes we've made, all of the ego that exists, all of that which is not love, and makes us holy. The first thing we need to do is realize that this love is there. Then, we must clear out all of the junk in order for that love to grow. Really, all we need to do is realize it is there and then forgive, but if forgiveness was so easy, we wouldn't have the world we live in today. This process of atonement is what helps us to be forgiven, and to forgive. Once we align ourselves with Christ, we realize our only function is this world is to love. All the other mess will be taken care of, but in my daily life, if I can be of loving service to all that I meet, the world can be saved.