Not to Touch the Earth

If I ended my last post with a link to a Wyclef Jean tune, it is proper to swing into this one with a Doors reference. I am full spectrum, my people.

Now that I’m closer to full grown, I am trying to unravel the narrative of needing to be perfect that I carry around in my head. The Things We Carry, right? I have a mantra that I practice where I remind myself that I am an imperfect person, living imperfect days as an imperfect mother. It is very supportive.

This weekend past, I made it to a yoga class that was challenging, opening and worthy of my time.

My body, tired and in demand as it is, desires strengthening, a heart challenged to beat faster, a posture more aligned… many things that are feeling beyond me these days.

In the days that have followed, I have not chosen to follow through on the fruits of the yoga practice: greater spine length, space and fluidity between my joints, an enlivened heart, shoulders relaxed down my back rather than hunched forward. I am not practicing on my own right now, nor cultivating the full array of bodywork I require. (Cue mantra).

And as the days rolled out, I have felt my lower back re-compressing, my digestion becoming more bungled and my connection between my heart and my limbs less sure. Awareness I have, but no shift in behavior, yet, to accommodate it.

So, it’s not too surprising that by mid-week I find myself triggered by challenging interpersonal dynamics and rather swiftly thrown from my center.

And that looks like staring alternatively at the ceiling and the interwebs, eating extra quesadillas, waiting for the clock to move to the next thing I must attend. I was finding it impossible to choose routes of self care today: no, I won’t step on the mat and live within my body, no, I won’t sit in my chair at my Writing Time and craft something carefully.

I speak this not because it was a challenging week, but because I see a pattern developing and I want to make some adjustments.

How do I reorient towards feeling like I’m on this earth, rather than lost in my own echo chamber? From where does grounding arise for me? How do my feet touch the ground? Is it ok to let my shoulders and heart slump forward sometimes on my way back to feeling grounded and uplifted?

Today, it looked like preparing food with extra care for our family dinner and reaching out to people whom I could ask through their ears and hearts to hear me.

Trusting that it is safe to feel uncomfortable and un-centered remain real opportunities for me on this path.

In fact, I do land back in my body and ground through the points of my feet and lift my heart toward the sky and I am grateful every time.

More practically, I see that I respond poorly to a lack of structure when I am not in a grounded place. When both boys are home, there is a fairly obvious routine to be followed and it leaves a comfortable amount of space for me to wander mentally. As I look towards the next year of being at home with a soon-to-be toddler and Liam transitioning to five day a week kindergarden, I won’t have quite the multitude of needs and our routines to provide that structure. So, it’s time to dig in again and imagine a functional parenting lifestyle for myself. Realistically, I feel like I do that approximately every three months anyhow.

When you are knocked off center, how does it feel? Do you allow yourself time to follow the threads back to yourself rather than seeking to jump right back into your version of normal? 

(This post was revised over three days while hearing a nearly constant stream of narration of “Sword vs. Sword” and monitoring a gleeful, mobile monkey. I am fairly sure this is not a practice that I will continue to cultivate!)

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2 thoughts on “Not to Touch the Earth

  1. Devon, this is way too many deep thoughts for one post! I had in mind to paste my favorite bits, (the feeling of compression, the existential questions, etc, etc), but there were too many. Can we bring a printout on our next hike so we can unravel it bit by bit?

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