We just wrapped up our annual gratitude challenge and coincidentally a dear friend and yoga teacher shared this wonderful quote in her class last week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I am grateful for my limits
It's a grateful day! A day for coming together - with your biological family, extended family, or chosen family. Which can be wonderful and amazing! It can also be hard and exhausting.
So in addition to gratitude, I hope you'll find a few minutes today to practice acceptance - toward yourself, toward these conflicting emotions, and toward things not always (or maybe never?) turning out exactly how you had hoped or planned.
As you notice your love, fear, disappointment, joy, and host of other seemingly contradictory emotions, sit with that ambivalence. It may be uncomfortable, but see if you can welcome it in. Witness the complexity of your being, your family, your life.
And from there, be in it. The complex messiness of life. The joy of a shared meal and the deep sadness of a family member no longer with us. Toddler tantrums that test the very limits of our patience and the heartwarming sound of uncontrollable laughter echoing around the house. Sweet snuggles. Tense disagreements. A moment of quiet.
It's all here for us.
I wish you all the things - and hope you'll join us (and invite a friend!) as we wind down the year. I'll be teaching a few more yoga classes, we have one more Mamas Circle, and after that it's into 2020!
With the busy busy of fall in full-swing many of us have this phrase on repeat:
I don't have enough time!
Whether it's staring at a seemingly endless to-do list, trying to catch-up on work, attempting to get anything done while caring for a newborn, or failing to make plans to do something for ourselves, it seems there are never enough hours in the day.
We spend our time on work, family, laundry, reading emails (thanks!!), and so much more. So, how do we make time for all of those things?
We prioritize them.
What we're really saying when we say "I don't have enough time" is "that is not a priority." Which often translates to "I am not a priority."
Sit with it for a minute. See if it holds true.
Last week I took a yoga class and the teacher asked us to think about our practice: Were we looking to integrate or create? To take what we've learned and bring it together, make it more cohesive, and settle in? Or to bring forward something new?
The answer for me was easy - but surprising. I've always been a creator and an entrepreneur, continually seeking, planning, and looking ahead. But in that moment I knew what I needed more than anything was to integrate. To settle in, move and breathe. It was a beautiful practice.
And, of course, the lessons on our yoga mat are also the lessons of our lives.
It's the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and a wonderful time to celebrate growth, abundance, and summer. It's the perfect day to get outside, kick off your shoes, and soak in some of our planet's natural beauty. And since it's also the International Day of Yoga (as declared by the United Nations) maybe sneak in a little yoga practice - or at least a couple of deep breaths.
I always find seasonal shifts to be pretty intense and consistently need to remind myself to simply ENJOY. My to-do list is endless, the house constantly in need of picking up, but there's also always time to get outside and soak it all in or roll out my yoga mat and sneak in a 5-minute practice. Because most of the emails can wait, the toys can stay on the floor, and I know I'll be so much happier returning to it all after a little break.
And since reading e-mails is not the best part of summer, I'll let you go! I hope you'll find ways to make time for the things you really enjoy - and join us for yoga, a mamas circle, or a babywearing play date!
Oh hi there!
I'd like to tell you a little bit about self-care's less sexy but much more important big sister: community care. I struggle with its blah name and hard-to-explain content, but it's what literally keeps me thriving.
I've struggled with the idea of self-care for a while - yes, I love taking a yoga class, reading a good book, and getting out for a walk, but I am suck on this: why do we have to do everything ON OUR OWN? Why do we so greatly value independence over community when it is the very thing that has helped us to thrive as a species for as long as we have existed?
I'm so over independence.
Ok here's the story:
I have a LOT to tell you about what's happening, but I'd also like to tell you about what's not happening.
I'm not putting the toys away.
I'm not answering phone calls, texts and emails all day long.
I'm not launching the new amazing inclusive mama community I've been dreaming about (yet!).
Multiple times a week I find myself saying "as soon as we get the hang of it, everything changes." Often it's in regard to baby nap schedules or a new approach to a yoga pose, but this past week I personally felt it more intensely than usual.
I LOVE the longer days, daffodils, afternoons at the park, and emerging seedlings taking over our windowsills - the very beginning of our summer vegetable garden. And as much promise as that all holds, this seasonal shift has been accompanied by an uneasy feeling - am I really ready to burst forth with new energy? Didn't I just get the whole "taking it a little easier during the winter" thing figured out?
It's time to send down roots.
In nature as the days get longer and warmer, bulbs start their growth by sending down roots. Once they are firmly settled in the ground their shoots emerge, then leaves, and finally flowers. Their first movement toward spring is setting a firm foundation.
Similarly, it's a time of year I need my people to help keep me grounded before I emerge from hibernation. I'm fueled by evenings filled with laughter surrounded by friends I don't see as often as I'd like. Or simply sitting with a fellow mom to drink tea while our kids run around in circles, eager to burst forth like new plants into the sunshine. I'm also eager but I know I need my own deep roots: friendships and community to create stability so I'm not blown over by the metaphorical crazy wind or late season snow storm.
It's (still) cold outside!
Kind of...So last week when I wrote this newsletter it was snowing and there were a few days it didn't get above freezing. Today I wore a tank top to take the kids to the park! But I know winter isn't over yet... so even if you're enjoying the almost summer weather in the DC area bear with me here :)
Winter is here in full force and for so many of us the early darkness, bone chilling cold, and days and days inside with little people are getting EXHAUSTING. The other night I was texting with a group of mamas and we were all dreaming of getaways - Tahiti and Sanibel Island were at the top of their lists. I'm SO ready for some warm weather and a beautiful sandy beach, but with no island vacation planned I couldn't help but think: what can we do in the here and now to make these days better?
I was reminded of this quote from Albert Camus:
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”