The song shared below has come on the radio every morning, after I drop my son off at school, for the past week or so. Every time it is a beautiful reminder to slow down and breathe it all in. This phase is crazy, busy, and often a bit overwhelming. There is so much beauty in everything that needs to get done, but it can be easy to slip into that space of doing and not feeling.
I was speaking to my fiance recently about some realizations I've had with my emotional cycles and needs. He asked me what intentions I was setting for my days. We agreed that what I was really needing was to be present and connected. After a lifetime of thinking I hated winter, and weeks of realizing I feel really down by Thursday, and apathetic by Friday, I saw that it is not winter I hate - it is lack of connection. In the summer I have both of my children with my all day. We are able to go out and see friends as often as we'd like. The sun stays out late so we are able to relax and enjoy the yard together until bedtime. As soon as school started this cycle of ups and downs began. Through journaling I saw that what I was really missing was those connections. Time being present with those I care about is what fills my cup. Without that time to connect my monkey brain kicks in. It feels the lack and begins looking for reasons. My anxiety spikes and I over analyze everything.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that now that life is joyful and peaceful old habits and triggers should fall away, because they are no longer needed. That is not the way we work. The defense mechanisms developed over a lifetime do not simply rewire themselves because you tell them you're safe now. They still want to protect you, and look for calamity at every turn.
After months of trying to shut that part of myself off, and feeling extremely irritated that I cannot, I am still trying to approach myself with gentleness. What I have found is that I do not need to rearrange my entire life to squeeze connection in, but rather change my perspective. What is helpful is slowing down, and being mindful with my time. When I check in with friends I lean into their energy and feel the love I have for them. My time with my children is focused. I do not just float through, distracted by what needs to be done. Instead I set things up so even if I am working or cleaning, we are able to be together and bonding. I pause to send my partner love notes during the day. I work to get as much done before he gets home as I can, to protect our time together as sacred.
When I pulled cards last night, at Red Tent, I first pulled Oshun/Sensuality. This card is all about drinking in the sensations of life. The way your hips move when you walk, the taste of your food, the sound of your children’s laughter, the feel of your partner - it is all sacred. It is all connection. This confirmed that this will be a part of my path for healing. The next card I pulled was a bit more sassy, and direct. It simply read: Take Your Time. This is my least favorite advice, but I know it is valid.
on the outside my life does not look drastically different than it was before, but my heart feels fuller, and my mind is more at peace. How often do we feel a lack in our lives not because things are truly missing, but because we are too busy or distracted to feel them? We prepare a yummy meal, but our minds are racing through to-do lists, and we hardly taste it. We sit next to our family members engrossed in our phones. We miss the things our children are showing us as we race through the room. We kiss or hug those we love without ever stopping to breathe in their energy.
Lets be honest; for most of us life is not going to slow down any time soon. That does not mean we cannot slow our minds to drink it in before these stunning days pass us by.