Saturday, October 13, 2012

Remind yourself you are one...

On Wednesday I had another appointment with the midwife. It was the one thing getting me through my flying week. I tend to be quite irritable lately so everyone from the pilots to the revolving door of flight attendants was driving me crazy. There wasn’t much fanfare to the midwife appointment, just going over some lab results, asking questions (for which I can never remember what it is I want to ask until I get home) and then the part that makes it all worth it – hearing the heartbeat.

Honestly the time I got to hear the heartbeat wasn’t long enough. Apparently the orange (it’s progressed to that size this week although I’ve taken a liking to calling it a lemon) “swam away” and before I knew it the appointment was over. Somehow none of this feels real until I have that appointment where I get to hear the heartbeat. I keep thinking all of this will go away any day. That I’ll wake up and the orange will be gone and this will all just have been a dream. I think that’s why I had the initial hesitation to bonding with the experience and with the orange. I compare it to a relationship that you have with anyone new. It takes you awhile to get to know someone before you can have that trust and fall in love. For me I couldn’t just give away my heart to someone I knew could leave my life at any moment.

So every time I get to hear that heartbeat it’s an unspoken language to me. It says, “I’m here, I’m alive.” I often take moments in my own life to feel my own heart beat and connect to the life force that moves within and keeps me alive. So I guess it should be no different that any chance I get to hear that second heart beat I feel more alive and reassured.

My best friend and soon to be doula (horray!) reminded me the other day how cool it was to be chosen as parents. And I believe that’s what we are is chosen. I believe that children are a gift that is given to us but in essence, not ours. It’s a detachment way of thinking that I inherited from my practice of yoga and studying the Bhagavad Ghita. This is a gift given an entrusted to me. It’s my duty to care for it, nourish, love it and ultimately prepare it for the world and then, one day when it’s ready, set it free to grow into its own person.

Although I don’t know how I can raise someone in this life when I’m not even sure I know what the hell it is I’m doing.

I am enjoying this time however, that the orange is with me. I know your children are always a part of you but they do grow up and move on and sometimes you find yourself a great distance apart. But for now I carry you not only in my heart but in body. Throughout yoga, spin, flying, walking, sleeping, throughout my good days and bad. Meetings and conversations with friends that no one else hears or knows about. Pretty soon I read it will be able to hear my voice. If you know me you know I like to talk, I imagine I’ll have a lot to say when no one else is around. Right now, in this time, I have this second spirit with me. It’s made me more grateful, reflective. More receptive to love. My world has opened up to the kindness of people all around me. There truly is so much respect and love and happiness in the world…but much like my initial reaction to finding out I was pregnant so much of our perceptions are negative. We neglect to see the positive and the beauty in every person, every moment, every day.

Tonight in my yoga class I talked about being a miracle. How each of us is a miracle and we lose sight of that in our lives. Somewhere along the way we get swallowed up by society and think we have to look a certain way. It’s the ego that tells us this. Because when we are in the beginning we are perfect. And someone loved us from the very beginning. Someone carried us for nine months and when we were born they saw no flaws. Our skin, our eyes, fingers, toes -there was nothing to be upset about as long as we were there. But at the core of our being is the heart. It’s the only thing anyone can hear to know we are alive from early on.

And it’s the only thing that matters.

It’s the only thing that should ever matter.

So when are we going to stop looking at the outside, and start looking in?

This life, not mine but the one I’m growing has taught me so much already.

And you’re only the size of an orange.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Falling into Acceptance

When I first started teaching yoga I would often bring in a quote or some song lyrics to theme my class around. I was, of course, learning as a teacher and so as I grew more confident in myself and what I had to say I began to offer more. Instead of writing everything down I wished to say, I now think about the conversation it is I wish to have with my students and I speak from the heart. I'd like to think it makes me more relatable as a teacher and gives the students trust in me to guide them in their practice. Usually I pick something I am working on in my own life and as the theme grows and the week goes I explore the topic even more. This week's topic: Acceptance.

I asked my students this week what fall meant to them. With the seasons brings change and new opportunities. For most it was something as simple as being excited to wear boots and scarves again. The ability to have a pumpkin spice latte or enjoying the fall colors. My friend and student Oz, said something along the lines of what I was thinking which was deeper than a new wardrobe - that this time of year was a reminder of slowing down and of awarness. Of paying attention to what's all around us and cultivating. Nature is not in a hurry. It's timing is perfect and it's rythm is set to the sun. As the days get shorter and the weather cooler it's a time for us to accept that nothing can stay as it was. That the earth rotates with or without us. So you might as well find something to enjoy and a reason to celebrate or else be miserable and fight the changes kicking and screaming.

I feel the similarites in my own life. Acceptance is what I am cultivating. Today I had an overnight in Aspen and arrived at the hotel early. I was content to just sit in my room until I looked out my window at the base of Buttermilk Mountain and saw the most yellow aspen trees. Aspen trees are my favorite, especially when they are yellow. I am drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I want to hug them...literally. So I left my hotel and began a walk up the mountain with no destination in mind just to be surrounded by the trees. And for the first time I talked to the Lemon. That's what the baby is this week, the size of a lemon. Maybe the trees pulled me because I was reminded of the color of a lemon I don't know. But no one was around so I decided to talk to the lemon. I asked the lemon how it was enjoying the hike. That hiking is something I love to do and I hope one day it would enjoy hiking too. And even if not it would find it's own adventures to dazzle me just as I dazzle my own mother. I told the lemon I was happy to take it hiking. That I enjoyed the time we got to spend together. I told it about me and about it's dad. How we are both kind of crazy so to be prepared.

And for the first time, I told the lemon, the little baby that I loved it.

I hadn't told it that before and I felt like it should know it and hear it. I told it I would love it as best I could and though I wasn't sure why it chose us as parents that we'd always do our best. I didn't want it to think it wasn't wanted. That just because it wasn't in my plans that life has a way of fulfilling wishes you didn't even know you had. I was reminded of my favorite quote from Peter Pan, "Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it."

It was my first step in Acceptance.

I sat for a long while on top of the mountain, watching the leaves fall around me. In one way I envied the trees because they are perfect in their timing of changing. They are not rushed, they do not grieve, they do not regret. They cycle through the seasons and stand tall and proud even as they are naked and covered heavy with snow. But I had to remind myself that trees cannot move. They must remain where they are. They change but they never move forward. And that's not how I want my life to be.

I feel like my body is like a tree. It knows what to do and with each week it adapts and it prepares for the next step. Instead of fighting my body I have to let it do what it does and what it's been doing for thousands of years in pregnant women around the world. It knows. Acceptance. I may never have a six pack again, or smaller hips, my butt or boobs might sag and I might get stretch marks. But I have to accept that where I end up is far better than what I leave behind. And I have gratitude for my body and for every wonderful way it moves me. Like a tree I should not grieve for what I once was and accept what will come.

In my yoga class this week I encouraged my students to check their egos at the door. To not be afraid. To tell themselves they are strong and yes, they can. They can do anything. I hope to embody these things myself.

I took one final look at the aspen's and the town around me before I headed back to my hotel room. I placed my palm on a tree and felt the connection with nature. I took a moment to remind myself that this would be the last October I'd be alone. That it would be just me and Chad and Bebe and Kingsley. This time next year who knows if I'd even be flying to Aspen. So I took it all in and enjoyed getting paid to have this revelation. I'm glad I took the time to look out the window today...