The Guest Blog: Getting Right Side Up
After Noah was born, I spent many sleepless nights and sleep deprived days dreaming of the time when I’d be able to get back to my routine, my yoga mat and teaching. I vividly recall during one late night feeding session being struck by a moment of inspiration, hearing a voice inside me say “you’re going upside down in 2015!” I thought this was in reference to my asana practice, but it turned out to be so much more.
If you know me than you know that inversions are my arch nemesis—and given this insight came to me in what I thought was a moment of clarity, it was a huge leap for me. I was so excited to go upside down, that I pushed myself before I was ready. In my plight to get back to normality (whatever that means) I felt as though I was somehow stronger for having gone through a difficult pregnancy and a long, exhausting, slightly traumatic birth experience and going upside down was happening. In many ways, I am stronger, but that has nothing to do with going upside down—well, not physically anyway.
The truth is that my whole world has been upside down since the moment I found out I was pregnant. But the arrival of my sweet little boy really threw things in to overdrive.
IT’S NOT THAT I WAS GOING UPSIDE DOWN IN 2015, BUT THAT I WAS GOING TO GET MYSELF RIGHT SIDE UP INSTEAD.
The problem with getting right side up is that I didn’t realize I was upside down to begin with.Instead of taking inventory of my life as it is with my growing family and what this transition meant for me moving forward, I was trying to cram my growing family into my small and narrow way of how I had previously operated. I bet you can guess how that worked out.
Getting right side up is my current practice. Nothing is the same, yet everything is familiar. I’m learning to navigate my career in a new ways, tapping in to creative wells and trying to put myself out there in ways that sometimes makes my skin crawl with excitement and trepidation. The problem is that while it all sounds fun and whimsical, it’s scary for me. It requires much more energy than I ever imagined to be a mom while being a vessel to serve, keep up my spiritual practice, and continue to be creative. I’ve learned to cut back and go slower, two very important lessons. And yet, most days I want to throw in the towel because it’s too damn hard.
OUR NEW LIFE AND DAILY ROUTINE IS MY SPIRITUAL PRACTICE AND IT’S MUCH HARDER THAN ANY YOGA CLASS I EVER TOOK.
But I keep going. I’m like that annoying pink Energizer bunny. I can’t serve the way I used to and I’m finally coming to terms with that. Being a full-time yoga teacher in the classic sense, just doesn’t work for our family. This small realization was a major blow to my ego—once I realized my ego was bruised that is. Truth be told, instead of facing this reality head on, I let myself be scared shitless for many months. Now I’m coming out of that murk and trying put one foot in front of the other as I wobble may way towards my new normal.
We are always in a constant state of change. Nothing can ever remain the same, no matter how much we will it to. I finally have the space for the specialized yoga programming that I’ve always wanted to do and I’m diving in to my Ayurveda training. I’m excited for my upcoming retreat and working on another for next spring. I’m taking on more private clients, both individual and corporate, and I’m toying with finally delivering a webinar some time by the end of this year.
In the midst of all this, I was reminded that I really miss event planning—my former (I never really left) career—and have decided to get back in the ring by launching my own event planning business, focusing on social occasion planning.
I was talking with my beautiful, sweet teacher the other day and she reminded me that I can’t go back. That everything has changed and until I accept this, then I won’t be able to serve the way I’m needed now, including my students and family. I think that’s why I’ve reached real moments of sadness during this transition. I’ve been grieving for my former life, while letting myself feel guilty for being blissfully happy in my new role as mother. While I delight in helping my son’s beautiful spirit shine, I still feel the call to serve others and until now I haven’t been able to figure out how to make that happen. I know I’m not the only one. I’ve talked to so many women in similar circumstances who feel the same way. It’s like starting from scratch, but with half of the cake already baked. You can’t really start over, so you have to work with what you’ve got to come up with something yummy, delicious and satisfying.
Rachel Upside-Down Cake? Mmmm, delicious!