Piece Yourself Together

Ever feel like you are a wanted human?

Not in that sexy, “every person in the room has their eyes on you” type of way…or like Britney’s lovely “Piece of Me” song…

More like, you feel like you are the foundation for every person in your life and you feel like you are pulled in every direction on the compass rose. You feel like you have to show up in every part of your world because you are the life raft for people in your world and they will drown without you type of way.

Ever feel like that?

We all do at some in our lives or in some season of our life, it’s just a reality, not a complaint. We certainly all get tangled up in those patterns and lose ourselves in doing so.

Human nature.

This outward dialogue of “Here I am”, “I can do that”, “Yes, I will be there” certainly has been the case for me for the past several months. Just this morning, in the book that I have mentioned before called The Language of Letting Go   , the author talked about the importance of taking time for ourselves. Taking time for SELF. She talked about how we stray away from ourselves by taking on the responsibility of taking care of others needs and feelings before ourselves. It’s a challenge to remember this basic principle when things feel completely loaded every minute of every day. It’s like manic energy is the only way to psyche the mind out enough to get through all of it. That has been my unhealthy means of survival at times.

Fall is a rough season in my life each year because school has started for me and my kids, the competitive football teams my boys are on has a crazy demanding schedule, my daughter is doing volleyball and, as of yesterday–I FINISHED MY MASTER’S DEGREE! (with a 4.0) Talk about stressful…whew wee. And let’s not forget about nourishing and keeping a loving and supportive relationship with my partner afloat–caring and giving back to someone who has your back 100% of the time has been an absoltely life transforming thing. I haven’t had such a magical partnership until now and as a historically “independent woman” I have to check-in to make sure I’m being the partner to him that he is to me. But, yes! I have a Master’s in Education Administration which hopefully means that by this time next year, I will be an Assistant Principal using my Education as the investment that it’s meant to be. I was thinking to myself this morning that I should reflect and be abundantly proud of myself for overcoming so much to make that a reality but I’m just not quite there yet.

My newest goal is to practice settling into myself more and letting go of the “fight or flight”, I have to just BE.

Starting early summer, I told myself that I would not allow myself to slip into the despair of overwhelming darkness fed by activity after activity supported by stress, worry and anxiety that usually rolls in with Fall. Metaphorically, as the autumn leaves fall off of the trees, I am one among those trees with pieces of me just falling off and rolling into the ground leaving little for myself.

…And this, this is where the power of yoga and more importantly, breathing has played a huge HUGE role in getting through all of it. Had I heard someone tell me that even two years ago, I probably would’ve been like, “mmm ok, sure” but now I am starting to understand the practice on a level that gets me through the really tough, uncomfortable and stressful times. Emerging, into the journey, if you will. I recognize the power of the journey through every day life and realize that I’m not necessarily headed for a destination, I’m headed towards slowing things down, making space to evaluate and notice. Like…taking a deep breath in passing a street sign I have passed hundreds of times but never stopped to notice on my way home from a tiring day, checking in with myself on the way up the stairs every morning to my classroom by breathing and counting the steps, listening to every. single. word. of a song in my car on my way to work and noticing the artist’s lyrics. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? In theory it should be but in practice it is challenging but certainly powerful. Those breaths lead to questions I ask myself like, “in this present moment, are you safe?” “are you ok?” “can you breath in this second, right now?” Once I have established those raw basics for myself, I feel the strength and persistence that tells me that I can make it to the next breath and then I know that I will be ok. Maybe not comfortable, maybe not “at ease” but I know that if I can breathe into the next moment…all will be well. The yogi belief of “what you practice on the mat is how you will react to life outside of the mat” has really come into a beautiful and applicable truth. It’s true that you just gotta breath…for real.

With my schedule+knowing my mental state is easily swayed towards anxiety and depression, I decided that this year, this year I could not survive allowing the waves and clouds of depression to consume me. And so began the yoga journey. I am at 173 days of consecutive practice of yoga…every morning.

I can only be a better me if I find space for me. That idea applies to every single human, it really does. If that means getting up at 4:00 am (and it does 3 to 4 out of 7 days a week), then that is the time I will do it. In fact, that is the time that I now long for, my body, mind and soul are ready for it….so much so that 95% of the time I don’t use my alarm to wake up because all parts of me are READY TO SHOW UP FOR ME and the yoga journey has taught me that that’s not selfish…that is compassion. The same compassion that I extend and give to others.

When we are wanted/needed by so many people in our lives, we cannot forget about the person who matters the most…ourselves. When we are wanted/needed on a constant basis, it is a brutal balance BUT we must know that when we stop caring for ourselves, we lose ourselves and the capacity to then show up for others. When we cannot show up for others as our authentic selves, we aren’t showing up at all.

So…I think I will practice showing up for me in the Britney Spears way, I’m giving a piece of me to me and in doing that I can be the woman I am meant to be for others. And really, if I can do it–so can you. Save room for you.

 

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