I hope you all are well. I’ve written this particular note to you in my mind several times, and scrapped each draft in quest for a more useful, honest, and non judgmental message. I was certain (5 weeks ago) the topics I’m about to dive into could be covered in a simple “5 Lessons Learned” neatly-tied-up-type note. However, OMG I underestimated the profound nature and complexity of the iceberg I will humbly attempt to explore.
Also, I’m sitting here with the most awesome baby Daisy passed out, milk drunk on my lap. I recognize how incredibly blessed, lucky, and fortunate we are to have her here. She is perfect in every way and teaching us many lessons every day. It’s been amazing to have this time together with her, front and center. We planned a gap in my schedule to be able to just chill with her. In reality, that looks more like feeding every 2 hours, diaper changes all day and night long, and loads of cuddle time. It’s a wild ride. It’s hard. It’s crazy. It’s awesome. I wouldn’t change this for anything.
Having her here is like having my entire body, mind and spirit turned inside out, embodied by a tiny human who has limitless potential and infinite wisdom of her own. It’s holding a shooting star that I am responsible for keeping safe, forever. It’s enough emotion to muse on for many lifetimes. It’s a sudden and obvious shift to reprioritize everything. It’s the most scary and the most heart-explosive permanent feeling that might be possible.
Daisy was born on Feb 15th at 10:17pm, after 2 of the most wild and intense days of labor. Puke everywhere and a traumatized Mike watching without being able to fix things quickly is a massive understatement.
This note was originally meant to detail my/her “birth story,” which is apparently fashionable to show and tell days after delivery. I do plan to share the gory details of my / really her birth story soon. But more fascinating for now is one of the lessons I learned during the roller coaster wild events that felt like an 18 wheeler running me over on an icy road in the middle of nowhere, left for dead, and having to fight and crawl my way up some massive never-ending mountains, eventually to find safety. How is that for a preview!
It’s also worth mentioning that asking a new mother to share her birth story, as casually as asking what she wants in her coffee, can feel as invasive as asking details of her private life or financial status, or as ridiculous as asking her to run down 5th avenue naked at rush hour. And for some women, it is the most normal and welcoming topic of conversation and feels comforting, exciting, and therapeutic to share. Feelings of a new mother are as varied as stars in the sky. However, the desire to connect and heal remains pulling. Becoming a mother has, for one big lesson, raised my sensitivity and compassion to a whole new level for new parents. This is the ride of my life for sure. The lesson is, plain and simple:
This is NOT about me. This is about her.
For once in my life, that message is actually sinking in. It’s always been there as a universal truth, but when we choose to, or in my recent case am forced to open up and let the beating heart of life through, I got whacked over the head and realized the world does not revolve around me, and even more frightening, the world does not revolve around what other people think of me.
We spend SO MUCH TIME carefully choosing how we present ourselves in this world. If we do a good job here, we’ll get positive feedback. We’ll be supported. But maybe the support and positive feedback for this careful presentation isn’t the positive we’re looking for. Because what is all the support really for? An image. A presentation. It’s not who we are, getting this support. Sure there’s some temporary good feeling from it. But it can’t ever feel like enough. Because really the only thing that’s ever enough is you.
Not the image of you, but really you.
So probably we need to spend less time on the image, more time just on being. More time just on cultivating who you are.
Here is my lesson. I suppose it’s actually 5 Lessons Learned. And although it might be the same lesson over and over, it works best when practiced in order.
Be with yourself.
Be with what’s going on in you.
Be with what’s right in front of you.
Self care continues to be a fully present wild animal, that requires respect for all to remain safe. When we abandon self care in the misaligned thought that our priority is to take care of others first, our ability to take care of others, and of ourself, massively shrinks. We become small, worried, afraid and uncomfortable. When we abandon paying attention to ourselves it’s impossible to make a great connection with others. Our physical and emotional tension transfers to everyone and everything we touch.
Self care can be a guilty subject, depending on our personal story, and how we’re used to relating to ourselves and others. It can even be a topic we write off as unnecessary and self indulgent.
There is a massive difference
between being selfish and self care.
It’s important to explore our thoughts, feelings, and actions to identify how we are, so we can improve how we feel in our lives, and the quality of our connection with others.
As a new mom I renew my dedication to self care. Sometimes that means putting an extra pillow under my elbow when feeding Daisy, instead of dealing with being uncomfortable. Sometimes that means doing my yoga on that mat with her while she hangs out doing her tummy time exercises. Self care is an all together interconnected action. When we participate fully, do our best every day, we get to enjoy that awesome state of being that we all strive for.
I promise an upcoming note will include the whole birth story. It might take a bit of time to edit to keep it PG. For now, I’m feeling pretty great physically and emotionally, and looking forward to getting back into the swing of things this Spring with leading classes, workshops and trainings. We added a few more events to NYC and London. Join in. We’ll have the little one in tow.
For more baby pictures and musings, I’m keeping a bit of a deep sleep-deprived thought-journal here.
Upcoming Classes, Workshops & Trainings
New Events Added in NYC & London
April, NYC, Strala ENERGIZE class, 22 April 2017, 11am – 12:30pm, RSVP
May, NYC, Strala Intensive Training, May 20-21, 10am – 6pm, RSVP
June, Chicago, Strala Intensive Training, June 24-25, 9am – 5pm, RSVP
July, NYC, Strala 300+Hour Advanced Leadership Training, Jul 15-Aug 4, 2017, RSVP
September, London, Strala Intensive Training, September 9 – 10, RSVP
October, Amsterdam, Strala 200+Hour Ready-To-Lead Training, October 7-20, 2017, RSVP
February, London, Strala 200+Hour Ready-to-Lead Training: February 3 – 16, 2018, RSVP
Lots of love from the 3 of us.