Nothing of me is original. I am a combined effort of everybody I've known." --Chuck Palahniuk
This week as we approach Mother's Day, I always have mixed emotions.
After losing my mom, I thought this would be the hardest holiday to be missing her.
In actuality, I am always overwhelmed with immense gratitude.
From an early age, my parents made me feel special and loved and that I was destined for great things.
But, it wasnt only my parents who motivated me, I had an intrinsic confidence and a yearning to learn from everyone that has had a part in my life. I've had so many guiding moms in my life and am so grateful to have such mentors.
Still, no one can replace the love of a mom. After my mom's death almost 3 years ago, it took such a long time to process.
I was "Adrift. Wandering around. Lost in grieving. Not letting go, but being cut loose. A castaway is a person set adrift or one whose boat has been cut from its anchor."
A part of me went missing. I suddenly felt changed and had no idea how to grieve.
"Grief has its own undertow, an undertow that can be just as treacherous as the one beneath the sea. As we let go of grief and move once again toward a new life, we often misjudge our own strength and readiness. As survivors, we want to move forward. We want the blessing of honoring and remembrance, and we want to get back into life again. But we aren't always ready."
And then, one day, you are ready. You dig deep and find your roots!
I'm finally ready to give my gifts to the world. I am worth it! Because, "those who have reached the shore turn and pull others out of the crashing surf of grief, saving them from being pulled down by the undertow."
Becoming a wife and mother was so exciting for me. I had so much love to give and I strived to always find solutions to life's bumps in the road. From cloth diapering to buying as much organic or local food as we could I was trying to keep us as healthy as possible. I found products that I liked at online stores and corporations, big box stores, local shops, and local farms.....you name it, I was using it all and it was complicated. I also stressed the importance of self care so my husband and I can be there for our kids and for our community, but there just never seemed much time for this.
So, then came a series of traumatic events in our life. First, the death of my mother in law after a long illness followed 2 years later with the death of both of my parents from cancer. Having 2 young kids (one of which was diagnosed with asthma) and navigating this time in our lives was nothing short of a miracle. We have so many friends and family to thank for this! We were maintaining self care (honestly, my yoga practice was crucial) and healthy living as best we could given our circumstances or at least that's what I thought.
In the summer of 2018, my husband was hospitalized with severe gastrointestinal problems. After a week in the hospital, we received a diagnosis of Crohns disease. On the day of his release from the hospital, I was a mess. My body and mind had HAD enough. I didn't know how we were going to manage all of these changes. I cried all day!! I felt like I couldn't be strong for the one person that was strong through all of our battles so far. In the next few months, we had new food to buy, new supplements, new medical bills, and the list goes on. I was having daily headaches, irregular bowel movements, and increased anxiety. Bills and shopping were so hard to keep up with. It was time to make some decisions for the whole family.
I realized that staying in the teaching field was unsustainable to my well-being and detrimental to my family's well-being. I chose to really listen to my intuition, strengthen the practices that help me listen, and follow the path that I was being led to follow. Leading and living from the heart was the only option. My love for what yoga does for my mind, body, and soul was the missing piece to my puzzle on how to make all my passions and dreams a reality.
Today, I have much less stress because I have a place for one stop shopping (did I mention that I really don't like shopping?) to get everything that my family needs to live a healthy life. I sleep better. I have much fewer headaches and muscle pains. My anxiety is managed and I worry less about providing what my family needs for proper nutrition. And best of all, I now have a self care routine (teaching yoga!) so that I can be there for my family and their needs. I also have more time for the things that I enjoy doing like cooking, playing outside, and family time.