These past few weeks sucked.
No easy way to say it.
They. Just. Sucked.
I am in the middle of ending the school year (that means reading and grading and reading and grading), training clients at the gym, and starting up a new business venture to help seniors and those with Parkinson’s. On top of that, there are still the two kids to take care of, a house to keep clean, and a weightlifting meet in June to train for.
Oh yeah, and a husband to (hopefully) get to talk to every so often.
And maybe somewhere in there, I get to sleep.
It’s a full load.
Don’t get me wrong. All the things I am doing are exciting and rewarding and when I’m in the moment, I am energized and can’t think of anything else. But by the end of the day, I’m beat. I’m tired. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.
So what did I do? Before, I would have used food restriction or compulsive exercise to cope with stress. Now? I got snappy. I got grumpy. I ate chocolate. Then I still felt grumpy. So I complained. And complained. And complained.
I knew I SHOULD HAVE prayed and breathed and been calm. But in the moment, it was so much easier to whine to my husband about the fatigue I felt and the chores that were not completed. It was so much easier to be curt with my daughter about not putting her dirty socks in the hamper. It was so much easier to let my words be daggers.
My ongoing weeks of complaining and whining and, well, basically sounding like a toddler having a tantrum came to a head on Mother’s Day, the day I should have been honored and given an hour to nap (oh, the irony). After talking my husband’s ear off about how much I just wanted to lie down and not be bothered and the house was still dirty and I was so tired and this was all so much…he snapped.
“I’m tired too. Just. Stop.”
Granted, my immediate reaction was not one of apology and clemency. In fact, I got even MORE snappy and made some kind of passive aggressive comment which provoked him even more.
It wasn’t until I had a few moments at home that I sat, quiet, in the bedroom, and started re-reading part of the yoga sutras. Now I am a devout Christian, one who loves Jesus with all my heart, but there are certain parts of the sutras that remind me of Jesus’ teachings. One, in particular, is ahimsa, or non-violence. Similar to how Jesus said to love one’s neighbor, ahimsa also refers to being loving and kind in actions and thought to others…and that those same non-violent behaviors should be practiced on oneself. In my daily interactions, I am normally not physically violent (I even cringe when I have to swat a fly), but the curt words I would yell to my husband or the way I didn’t smile at my son for a full day because I was so tired WERE violent in nature.
And in effect, my negative attitude was me being violent to myself. With a down-and-out, woe-is-me attitude, I was slowly killing my joy. My peace. My love. My spirit.
It was then and there, on Mother’s Day afternoon, that I decided to spend a few minutes every day going “back to my roots.” Long ago, I practiced yoga. Sadly, back then, I never really engaged in the asanas for the breathing and alignment, but moreso did it because I thought I could maintain a certain physique by hitting the yoga studio as often as I could. Now, I realize just how much I missed out on. Rather than hold a standing posture and think of it “firming my thighs”, I instead have been sitting in lotus, focusing on the inhales and exhales, my belly filling with air, my chest expanding, the calmness it produces in my heart, the fullness in my spirit.
So, here I am. I am going to the origins, to the roots. Meditating. Sitting with God’s word. Letting His Holy Spirit wash over me. Breathing in truth and releasing kindness and love to others. Finding the non-violent path and seeing that there is wholeness and joy and peace in the midst of life.