This morning I am pausing to feel gratitude and wonder, and asking myself the question, “how did I get here?” After I left the “regular” yoga world and decided to focus on serving moms and moms-to-be, I get to spend time with wonderful yogis and teachers who are excited by the possibilities of co-creating our lives in an authentic, meaningful way. It was the opportunity of new motherhood that brought me to where I am.
I get to enjoy being with moms-to-be and share in this exciting time. And as new locations pop up (over 12 now!) I get to meet other people like me, who are dedicated to supporting women in their childbearing years.
When I graduated from my first teacher training 15 years ago and my teacher asked me to take over a prenatal yoga class, I never imagined I would get to have this experience of being part of a tribe of teachers who share such similar world views.
I realize how I got here started with a question.
We all know postpartum is a beautiful time – babies open our hearts and remind us of the magic of being alive. And if you’ve been through it, or you know someone who has, you also know it’s a difficult time. In addition to sleep deprivation, stress, and isolation, we also lose many of the elements that have helped us know who we are: work, friends, even our identity as a productive person falls away for a time.
But it was when I asked this question – what is the opportunity life is offering us during this time – that things started to shift for me. I began to ask myself: when the forms of our lives dissolve into pieces, can we choose to focus on our essence, our gifts, our desires, our value? As we put the pieces together, can we find a new and better way to live each day that makes more sense to our most authentic and wisest Self?
And when we take this kind of evolutionary perspective, recognizing that the intelligence of the universe is us and arises as an impulse toward goodness, truth and beauty, and we pay attention and lean into it we then begin to discover ways to make our own unique contribution to the world.
I learned this for myself and I re-learn it all the time coaching new moms. Once we take this kind of perspective, life becomes less a burden and more an exciting mystery unfolding. Who am I really? What do I want truly? How can I live that uncompromisingly?
The HOW is, of course, the next question. Things are crazy, sleep is hard to find, and we are in charge of keeping another human being alive who can’t even lift their own head up . It isn’t the time to start doing daily practices. Or is it? The practices I have found to be essential to accessing the power, wisdom and love of my feminine side each day do not take long.
They do not have to be done in a yoga studio or when there is silence.
In the phase of new motherhood they can be squeezed in between doing dishes. And they’re also not just on the mat practices – the yoga lifestyle anchor practices have to do with eating, drinking, daily rhythms, and giving your body access to prana in every way possible.
But the key point I want to make, and the answer to my question of “how did I get here”, and the teaching that makes it less overwhelming for new mothers to create a whole new identity from their more feminine, wise, intuitive side, IS: just take the next step.
Want to start a career? Think about a skill you might need to be successful and take an online course to hone it.
Want to eat healthier? Plan a visit this week to a farmer’s market and make a green smoothie for breakfast.
Feeling isolated? Make one plan this week with a friend, or go to a breastfeeding support group if you’re a new mom, or get someone’s phone number from prenatal yoga.
Whatever it is that’s arising in our lives, we can just ask ourselves: what’s my next step toward more goodness, beauty and truth? Remembering the 3 R’s of being in your feminine Self – receptive, relational, and reversible – can help us receive the guidance we seek.
Let go of how you thought things should be, and imagine how things could be. Take that one step this week mama – don’t worry if you don’t know what you’re doing. You are navigating to a place that doesn’t exist yet as you begin this road of new motherhood.
As a Shaman/ massage therapist who encouraged me to start yoga almost 20 years ago once told me: if it feels like you’re walking in the dark, feeling your way along, and you have no idea where you’re going except for a sense that there’s something exciting in that direction, then you’re on the right path. Just take that one step.
My wish for us is that someday we will all be grateful and full of wonder, asking that question, “how did I get there?” and we will remember back to the very week when we took our first baby step toward co-creating the life we want to live.