Warning: This post is a long one. Probably my longest ever and hopefully my longest for some time to come. But moving beyond the stress of deciding whether size matters, I feel it is something that needs to be written. Whether it is something that needs to be read is up to you.
It is a question that has been not necessarily a choice, but a requirement for consciously living the next moment of my life.
For some time, I have been meaning to create a static post with a link as to why this blog exists - its purpose, scope, etc. It is a seemingly mild task that has taken me to the depths of my being, forcing me to question not only why I write this blog, but what "LifeUnity" means to me, what purpose it plays in my life, why I do what I do and think what I think.
I transitioned into stay at home motherhood around 5 years ago shortly after my son was born. As I'm sure many transitioning into this phase do, I imagined days filled with playing with my son, pursuing my passions, developing a business that spoke to my soul, lunches with friends, nights out with my husband...a story that at this point could probably be made into a joke with the punchline "And then she became a stay-at-home mommy".
Shortly after that time, I suffered an unimaginable loss - my father's death-by-choice. I cannot write this without tearing up even now, but it is a story I share with the readers of my blog not to venture into something too personal (I promise - my journal pages won't venture into these lines of type!) but to further exhale that which I've been suffocating on for so long. My father, as is to many girls, was my unconscious block of my stability, that part of your being that you don't question because, well, there is no need to question it. My mother, my brother, my sister, my aunt and uncle, and all of those who loved and cared for my father all had to start on a path of healing that continues to this day. We all had our realities swept away and had to come face to face with our next step.
I am in a good place with this now...it is not for sympathy that I share this. It is because it is a crucial step in understanding why this blog exists, why my days play out why they do, and why "I" (labels and all) am. If your reality has been shaken so much that you have no ground left on which to stand, you have to learn how to fly. You must rebuild the earth. I share with honesty lest you think I just sprouted wings...to acknowledge that sometimes it is the worst of unthinkable tragedies that forces us to soar highest. (I acknowledge that all of you beautiful readers may have such gale-force winds behind you as well and honor you for being where you are.)
It is quite the situation to be in: at home alone with a young child, no responsibilities save for putting away a few dishes, no one to hold you accountable, and no known "reality-safe-zone" to return to. It is moment after moment of waking or falling into unconsciousness.
It is making a choice because life goes on, because a choice will be made whether or not you participate. Because of all my parents had taught me when I was young, because of lessons learned along the way, because of my son and my husband, and because of ME...I knew that I could not fall back asleep.
Fast-forward a few years.
I am still a stay-at-home mom. I've been through yoga teacher training and part of a Master's program (at Prescott College -- lovely place!) and various ventures, yet each day is still a moment by moment choice of creation.
In truth, it is for everyone. I guess because I have no deadlines, no reports to turn in nor bosses to answer to, I am more sensitive to the power of my choice - how what I do or do NOT that day (turn on the t.v., read, exercise, play, nap, etc) truly makes me who I am.
I've shared our recent venture into the running and triathlon worlds. (I still can't quite believe it!) I admit that hubby and I totally fell off the wagon (and didn't run to catch up with it) through the month of December.
So when I laced up my shoes in early January and took those first few steps, I was really huffing and puffing. An x-ray also indicated that my spinal problem has, at the least, not gotten better. So about 5 minutes into a run, as I was almost ready to just give up, I again ran face-first into the Wall of Why. Why am I doing this? Why run? Why bother with a triathlon...we could probably make some good money by selling those bikes.
Through the past year, I've certainly increased my blogging. Again, there are days when I step away from the computer, a few days pass with no post, the comments and emails slow down, and the Answer-to-Why is the only oomph that brings me back to the keyboard.
I don't know.
I hope you weren't expecting any life-revealing, angels-singing, light-piercing response. To be honest, I don't have the foggiest idea. I know I run because I want to lose weight, I know I am going to complete a triathlon because it is totally cool to be able to say I did one, I know I blog because it makes me feel important, I know I play with the kids because I feel I should, I know I create because I'm hoping to stumble upon some big money-making venture that will create security for our family. I have many shallow reasons for doing what I'm doing. Unfortunately, these reasons do not, and will never pull me past those recurring moments when "because" simply isn't enough. (Ya know, the 6 a.m. alarm, the everything-is-going-wrong kinda days when the coffee just spilled, the moments when you can't even find your crafting supplies because the dirty laundry just ate them.)
I also have my deeper reasons, the ones that call to my soul to awaken.
This blog. Connection. I am connecting to myself, connecting with friends and family members with whom I've lost touch or don't get to hear the stories I share on here, and to other beautiful souls I would have never found without this blog. I don't want to pull out specific names lest I forget someone, but the comments and emails that I have received recently have made me feel more honored, beautiful, and simply Heard than I probably ever have. To each of you, Thank You.
Running, the mini-marathon, the triathlon(s). Tapas. The Inner Fire, Discipline. I've talked with others about a training schedule for this upcoming 13.1 mile race/event (oh dear. I'm tired even typing it.). I've been asked where I want to be before the race, how far I want to have run, what time I'm aiming for. I didn't really have a reason. I've talked with others about why I'd attempt a triathlon, which ones I want to do, how far I want to go with this. I've talked with my husband in the early morning hours about why I would ever want to get out of bed when I'm already there and quite comfortable. Again, no reasons.
I've realized that I'm pushing my body beyond those reasons that get me to "just because" as a result of feeling that fire burning and, unless I want to douse it, needing to keep it going. I run into the next step when I'm 1/3 of the way up the hill and know no one is watching and have to force my next breath in and my legs have already decided they want to walk and my mind is just giving up because I know that if I stop - if I walk that next step - the exhale of relief will blow the fire out. It is Tapas, willingness, discipline, that fire that I look to stoke, that keeps me training. I measure my success by that, not by the clock.
Yoga. Unity Life is swirly. We all play a lot of roles, have a lot of responsibilities, have a lot of inner questions, a lot of choices. It is easy to forget about a waning connection with a friend when job responsibilities are piled on. It's easy to break apart our roles in life, not make that silly face (even when it would totally be appropriate) around co-workers that we'd do in a heartbeat around our kids, forget about our posture and the strength of our core when we're in the middle of a traffic jam or at line at the groccery store. But we are all of ourselves all the time. We don't suddenly stop becoming a mother simply because we're at work, a body in need of health simply because we're mentally stresed. Yoga - the practice on and off the mat - helps me to re-member, to re-find that unity. Through my breath, I am reconnected to my body. Through awareness of (and attempts at control of!) my thoughts, I am reconnected to my heart. Through all of this, I am reconnected to myself, and thus you...to our one-ness.
Creativity. Expression. The soul, that voice that calls out to us of "something more!!" in life, is a tricky li'l gal. Language does not provide a means of communication for her. That which is primarily of the soul does not have the words to define it. Example? Try defining "love". My creative endeavors - whatever form they may take that day - provide a way for my soul to speak. Whether through poetry, stitching, folding paper, adding glitter, cutting, painting, or ???, I find a moment where my mind and my body are simply a mouth for my soul and for the greater spirit. Sometimes, these moments are simply meditations. Sometimes, they are times for me to create my to-do list. But always, they are a way for me to plug in, to re-energize, to express that which otherwise remains silent and unheard.
I have my reasons for choosing to be a loving mother and wife, for preparing the meals that I do, for leaving the house a mess, for driving a mini-van. Some are shallow (well, except for the mini-van. I'm sure any shallow reason would lead me NOT to drive a mini-van), some are much deeper. But part of the path in becoming more comfortable in myself is realizing that whatever it may be, there is no right and wrong reason. There are only conscious and unconscious choices.
My driving motto? I choose to live awake.
I challenge you, oh lovely reader who somehow made it to the bottom of this very long post, to do the same. I cannot offer advice or a path or any reasons for why you "should" or "should not" do something. I can only ask that, every now and then, you exhale what you no longer need to make room, inhale space, breath, and energy,...and ask why. Breathe...And then, you let go and just be. You take each moment to make a conscious choice and understand that it is ok to change your path.
Live awake with me.