I’ve found myself fighting reality often during the past few months, and have spent a significant amount of time pondering the George Orwell quote I used to title this post. I knew life would change when I became a mother, but the magnitude of the change is something you can’t really understand until it’s happened to you.
I knew I would be taking a break from seeing private clients and running my meetup group. I knew sleep would be a distant memory. I knew I wouldn’t be able to have the same level of productivity I was used to. I knew my alone time would decrease significantly.
What I didn’t know was how extreme the change would be. What I thought would simply be a downshift turned out to be closer to going from 120mph to a standstill. What’s more- I didn’t know how much I would enjoy that standstill… but only once I accepted it.
And accepting it has been REALLY HARD. I pride myself on my effectiveness, on my productivity, on being able to hold up a list at the end of the day and say “Look at everything I got done!”. Motherhood requires a whole new list that includes things like “changed a billion diapers, got the baby down in five minutes vs. fifty, enjoyed tummy time without tears, read 3.5 children’s books.” All worthwhile, all important… but it’s a far cry from “Helped client A realize it’s her mother’s voice telling her she eats too much, taught client B how to have a non violent conversation with her father, responded to ten meditation question emails, meditated two times for 25 minutes with 10 minutes of yoga and 5 minutes of breathing before each meditation.” I haven’t skipped a day of meditation yet, but sometimes those meditation sessions only last ten minutes. Up until recently I struggled with all of this change tremendously. I vacillated between relishing my new role as Mom, to on some level resenting how dramatic a twist my life had taken- which in turn made me feel guilty because aren’t we “supposed” to love every single second with our children?? Isn’t this what I’ve been wanting for the past seven years with all my heart?
During the meditation trainings I always talk about how Love is not just about who you are in relationship with. There are many facets to the heart, and one of them is Peace, which is cultivated by Acceptance. I use the phrase “What we resists, persists” an awful lot because it is true, as is the followup-
“That which you accept, you choose to let go of.”
These are universal laws of the heart. The more you resist, the less energy you have. The more you accept, the greater the opening for new energy and new choices. It’s important to note that Resistance is natural. Accepting that resistance is a major step to transforming it and stepping out of suffering.
Charlie turned four months old last weekend and it has taken me this long to finally accept my resistance to all the change, which turned very quickly into accepting my new reality as a whole. To be ok with not always getting these newsletters out “on time”. To be ok with it taking literally the entire week to clean the kitchen. To be ok with no more hour long lazy starts to my day.
And this choice- this shift from fighting to hold on to some vestige of life before Charlie, to truly opening to all that motherhood has to offer, has led to a whole new level of peace I didn’t know I was capable of. Who knew I could be ok with having a list and *not* getting it all done? Who knew I could not only tolerate but revel in entire days spent at home with nothing to do but sleep, eat, play with my son, and repeat four times over? Who knew I could be ok with finding a different sort of balance between work and home life? This is a brand new level of happiness- my cup runneth over.
So what I propose to you for the month of November is to take note of what you are resisting in your world. Is it a job you don’t really want to be in? A relationship you wish would function a little differently? A living situation? A past decision of yours? What is it in your world that you wish wasn’t so?
And then see if you can stop resisting it. See if you can find some way to accept it. See the good that it is doing for you. Or embrace that it is a means to an end. See if you can send all that energy of resistance into a positive force- whether to change the situation entirely, or to give new energy towards accepting that which you can not change. I’m certainly not saying this is easy- it took me four months, not one! But start the process. At least take the time to investigate what you are throwing your time and energy into resisting because once you realize what a waste of resources that is, you open the door to discovering a new peace.
“Barns burnt down, now I can see the moon” ~Masahide