As the sun set on 2015, I took the dog for a walk and contemplated the year that has passed. I had just finished teaching a three day Urban Ritual Retreat at my house the day before. It was one of the highlights of my year. After three days of hosting, teaching, cooking some of my favorite dishes and feeding my guests, cleaning the house, diving deep into meaningful themes to share with the people, I was inspired, proud, and exhausted.
It was a year full of gentle, loving, and sweet moments. I have accomplished some things. I have manifested a goal or two. But I also a moved through intense inner experiences of disappointment, frustration and disenchantment. The reality I was living didn’t match the vision I had for myself. I was grieving. Grieving the death of the person I thought I was supposed to be. Fierce emotions moved through me regularly. Every time I thought I was getting back on my feet, a challenging situation emerged and I was knocked back to the ground. It was so unlike me. Instead of facing the difficulties I was easily defeated by them. I often felt defeated by life.
As I walked the dog into the last sunset of the year, I realized that there were both outer circumstances and profound inner shifts over the last couple of years that shook my ground. And yet my expectations of myself were still up there, at the top floor of the skyscraper of my life. They belonged to a version of myself that was not quite there anymore. Some basic, foundational elements of life were threatened throughout the year. And within myself I felt like I had no ground of being to stand on. I lost faith in my practices.
Sometimes in life the earth shakes. And then, one cannot climb to the top floor of a fallen tower. One needs to rebuild a strong base.
My life has changed so much in the last three years. Being a mama has been the most joyful, powerful, transformative, inspiring, LOVING experience I have ever been blessed with. And for the first couple of years I was in heaven. But some time in the middle of last year, I faced my first real mama crisis.
I am not who I thought I was. I am not where I thought I was gonna be.
It was like the person I used to be before I had a baby disappeared, and all that was left was this giant pool of melted love. Which is most beautiful and profound. For the first couple of years of mamahood I was drunk on it. I wanted nothing more. I cared about nothing else. It was fulfilling. And I was blissed out in my little bubble of homemaking.
And then boom! All of a sudden it wasn’t enough. All of a sudden I was not enough. Other than the care for my child, the family, and the home, who am I?
Where am I?
My direction seemed unclear. It was like I was on a train. It was fast and exhilarating. I jumped off at some point because I wanted to slow down and smell the flowers. I sat on some rocks and allowed the wind to caress me. I strolled through the hills and felt the sunshine on my skin. But then, when I wanted to get back on the train, I couldn’t find the way. The technology has changed. It was going too fast. And I didn’t know where the station was. So I began to run. And I ran in all directions at once. And I ran in circles.
And then, every challenge that I faced seemed like a huge mountain to climb. And every obstacle felt like a dead end. And every night seemed like endless darkness. And every hardship was a dramatic experience of a railroad ending in the middle of the road.
I was stuck.
Who am I??? This is so unlike me!
I realized, on that last sunset of 2015, as the dog sniffed away the grass and trees and plants in the neighborhood, that I need to rebuild my own foundation.
But how the hell do I do that? What does that even mean?
In foundation there’s solidity, there’s safety, there’s commitment. In foundation there’s care. There’s an energy that allows for release, because things flow downwards when you let them go. There’s presence. There’s slowness. There’s nourishing and nurturing. You think of a baby’s first months – the foundation of one’s life – there’s just, love, food, sleep (not for the parents), and poop. And like death, the beginning of life is something you cannot ignore.
As the sun rises on 2016, my intention is to build a strong, solid foundation within myself to stand on. I am considering the things that I can do internally, to recreate a safe base, so that I can grow as the new person that I am. Stop treating life like a race – slow down, but also get better at maximizing my time. Focus, pay attention, and be present (even if three people talk to me all at once). Give myself space to release. Nourish and nurture my interests. That’s just to mention a few…
What I want for myself might take more time to create. And what I need from myself is patience.
May you be grounded in yourself, so that all of your goals, intentions, and aspirations take form and come alive. May you flourish. Happy New Year!