I wear multiple “hats” if you will. Mom, wife, researcher, collaborator, teacher, mentor, sister, daughter, granddaughter, aunt, to name a few. In each of these roles, I am asked to communicate, to lead, to converse, and to do. Often all I want is to just be.
In drawing inward I find a great sense of calm. I prefer to sit quietly in a meditative state, to be independently writing at my desk, or drawing and sketching to re-create and generate new ideas.
Where is the balance? I find social activities to be exhausting. I get distracted easily when several others are asking of my time, my presence, and my energy. And often, in interaction with others, I give a lot of myself. I don’t see a real reason to “be” somewhere, called to “do” something if I’m not really going to “be” there. Yet in giving myself fully to a social situation, I easily get depleted of energy. Over time, this repeated depletion leaves me vulnerable and susceptible to illness.
Again, where is the balance? I forced a yoga class to happen today, with crying toddler in tow, I barely made it there in time, squeezing my mat in the corner of the studio space. Yet in being in that space, I remembered the importance of taking time to fill up. In yoga class I am in a social space, I am fully present, yet I’m not asked to talk and teach and lead.
I’m asked to breathe and to link breath with movement. I’m guided on an inward journey to come in tune with the true version of myself. To transform stuck energy into something beautiful.
Is it possible to take this stance of introspection in social spheres? To perhaps give a little less of my full presence to others, and instead prioritize full presence to myself. Perhaps I push too hard. When my body aches, I often ignore it and keep working. When my hunger pains I often ignore it and keep working. Even now I can feel the pain of my belly, the tension in my jaw, the ache of my spine, the thirst in my throat.
—“Hey mom. We didn’t have dinner”
(I laugh. We had dinner before tee-ball practice tonight).
“Didn’t you say we could have smoothies and pancakes?”
(Yes! I did. Let’s do bath, and then have smoothies and pancakes.)
And here I go. The next test. To move through an introspective moving meditation of bath time, dinner, stories, bedtime. While attending to my own needs, being present with my children and spouse, and not pushing too hard. Doing while being.
“Do you have to finish all your work?”
(I’m just writing)
“Can’t you just not write, can’t you just help your boys?”
(Breaking away, from this quiet introspective space, a calm I create while creating. Now my work is to re-create a sense of calm in interaction and leadership with others. A state of being while doing.)
“Are you writing about me, mom?”
(Yes. I love you. Let’s go.)