Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekly Reflection (week 14): To go gently

What do I need to nurture?

In the words of Winnie-the-Pooh: "Oh, help and bother!" I am stuck and like Pooh, I am resistant to admitting this fact. Unlike Pooh, I cannot seem to adopt the ruse of "Just resting and thinking and humming to myself" when confronted with my stuckedness, but instead am foolishly clinging to the notion it's not me but - as Pooh points out - the fact "of not having front doors big enough."

I am all too aware of myself thrashing through my days. I rush around feeling hurried about everything and resentful of this attitude which I have clearly imposed upon myself. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I carry with me this burden of believing I ought to be somewhere else or further along or feeling more attuned to the moment and not so out of sync. I am standing stuck between attraction/aversion and the pendulum swinging back and forth is knocking the stuffing out of me. Of course I have a good idea of where to turn to get myself out of this mess - I know the practices that support me and put me back on course, but I am not doing them. Further complicating matters is my aggressiveness towards myself: I ought to know better; I ought not to fall into this trap; I ought to be more skillful more ... anything but what I am feeling right now. Feeling overwhelmed, I recognize I need to start at square one.

What I need to nurture right now is being gentle with myself. I recognize that when I am frustration, angry or dissatisfied with myself, that negative attitude seeps into my relationship with others. Frustrated with myself for oversleeping, I snapped at Cowgirl when we were in the car this morning. Actually, first I whacked the side view mirror against the garage frame as I backed the car out and then I reacted harshly when asked if we could listen to music, as if that request caused me to loose focus.

When I am being ugly towards myself, I send that energy out upon others, as if to relieve the pressure of what I am feeling. Not wanting to be hurtful towards others, I see that first I need to practice being loving towards myself as the root of my caustic behavior is my attitude towards myself.

According to the Yoga Sutras, our true nature is love and compassion. To be hurtful, harmful, negative is to act against the essence of who we really are and we suffer when we hold that mis-perception to be true. To practice the Yama of Ahimsa, nonharming, is to realign myself with the truth that all life is Love. But rather than focus upon what I don't want to be - negative, critical, impatience - I choose to direct my attention to those qualities I want to uncover within myself. I need to cultivate a loving attitude towards myself, being accepting of who I am and where I am on my journey. I need to let go of notions of "ought to" and practice reverence for where I am right now and what lessons are being given to me in every moment of my life.

Driving home today from work, Cowgirl sweetly informed me "you've worked hard mama, you should go home and have a lazy day." Her school recently had a pajamas day and she wisely recognizes we need to incorporate more pajama days into our lives. I need to put on my mental p.j.s and ease up on myself. I can choose to soften in this moment and recognize all that I juggle in a given day and allow that balls will fall and that's part of the process. What my family wants is not a more accomplished me, but a loving and present me.

"Embracing reverence and love for all (Ahimsa), we experience oneness." (Nischala Joy Devi, The Secret Power of Yoga)

This is my practice starting now. And now. And now again. I do believe I can feel myself slowly becoming unstuck ... attitudes loosening ... clouds breaking free.


  1. Your daughter is so wise. Ahhhh. Yes. Rest. Balance. Be gentle. Balance. Love. Yes. Balance.

  2. I LOVE your art journal pages!

    What more can I say? A very wise post indeed.

  3. "What my family wants is not a more accomplished me, but a loving and present me."

    Yes, and what I want for myself.

    So difficult for some of us, and I think, especially for women, to nurture ourselves. We seem so geared towards nurturing others. As you point out, they are notexclusive, and we HAVE to start with us first.

    My first step was to let the balls drop, and be okay with that. Recently (last year or so), I've been working on not picking up so many in the first place. Next step - the art of daydreaming.... or pajama days... :)


  4. Great post! And your daughter is so wise!

    It is so important we nurture ourselves first. But I'm struggling with it too. My soul work this year centres around it. I ran myself into the ground last year doing the opposite and learned my lesson, but have still to embrace being gentle with myself fully.

  5. your journal pages are just beautiful...i'm slighly jeolous...i've been trying to draw and paint, but it's not happening...would love to start a journal myself!

  6. your journals are amazing.....and your blog is simply beautiful. Very inspiring.