Hey friends! I’m back from taking a break from writing and yoga-ing and I’ve missed you! I’d like to say that I carefully planned this break, but the reality is that the invitation to slow down and rest came as a whisper of an idea as I was falling asleep one night.
I’ve come to recognize that the whispers that come up from deep down within you…the ones that are trying to care for you, have compassion for you and draw your attention to what’s important and what you might be missing– are the whisperings of God’s Spirit who speaks through the spiritual organ of your heart.
I don’t know about you – but May was NO JOKE! To Any other moms out there who have children in school – can we just say a collective yikes!? The end of the school year coincided with the world opening back up, so it felt like a double whammy. Suddenly activities were happening again and our calendar was filling up and before I even realized it – I found myself sucked into a vortex of busyness.
First, let me say how GRATEFUL I am that busyness can even happen. Busyness means we are able to gather and eat meals together and do yoga in the same room and see teeth when we smile. I’ve so deeply missed connection and togetherness that I found myself re-entering the post-pandemic world as a total “yes woman.” I noticed myself trying to slide back into who I was before lock-down; doing the same things and routines in the same spaces and places but I’ve felt myself resisting. And I think that’s part of the whisper I heard saying…..“stop, listen, be still for just a minute.”
So I tried pulling back and listening. And in the stillness I heard that same whisper of Love say, “you can’t be and do the same, because you have changed. And that’s ok.”
It made me think of the transition into motherhood and the first time I had to do the SIMPLE THING of getting dressed after having my first baby. NO ONE tells you to bring maternity pants to the hospital. No one. From some alternate universe – probably the movies, I came to assume that women have babies and then with glowing and well-rested faces, throw on their favorite pair of jeans from “before times” and walk out of the hospital room just the same as before, except now they’re carrying a baby.
But this is not real life. Those pre-baby jeans were WAY too tight and the lower half of my body resisted in FULL force. I found that my only option was to throw out ALL of my preconceived ideas about motherhood and reach for the stretchiest thing I could find. Somehow I had miraculously packed a maternity skirt, because God loves me, and I gratefully pulled it up over my tender belly and began a very long waddle down to the car. I definitely didn’t feel like myself. If anything this little baby had changed everything – from how I carried my body to what I carried as most important in my mind and heart.
Where there once stood a confident and certain-minded woman, I now found a nervous, new mom who could barely figure out how to buckle the car seat. I remember locking eyes with my husband and thinking, “are they really trusting us to take this baby home!?”
But as I climbed into the back seat (convinced that my proximity would keep my baby safe) I looked down into my son’s son’s face and was overwhelmed by the realization that God had trusted him to me; so I could trust myself to carry and care for him. All God needed was my yes.
In the same way, God is trusting me to carry and care for the new life that was birthed in the dark of this past season. I am not walking out of the pandemic the same and I wonder if that’s true for all of us?
I know I’m carrying some new ways of seeing and being like,
- allowing margin in our calendar so I have space to notice God’s movement
- not believing my lovability comes from how helpful I am
- expanding how and where I listen, so that I can hear the voices of people with stories different than my own
- trying to listen more and fix less
- engaging in intentional connection and remembering that less is more
- spending time in contemplative prayer as a way to connect to God’s peace and walk with it into the world
- making time and finding ways to look into the eyes of my husband and children so I don’t miss the good stuff of our life together
- getting into nature every day to connect to what is sacred and holy
While some of this newness was born and took shape in the dark, other parts were a result of letting go (sometimes forced and sometimes a choice), and I was reminded of the power of surrender and simplicity as connection points to God’s healing grace.
Perhaps like me, you are feeling hesitant and unsure about your re-entry into the post-pandemic world?
Instead of rushing past…or going into autopilot, what if you allow these tugs of emotion to speak? Not that our emotions should steer us, but I do think they have something to say.
What if our emotions are invitations? Invitations to notice and pay attention to how God is speaking through your life, because we have been given a choice.
Grace says we get to choose how we notice ourselves and our lives. Just like when I was a new mom – I could reach for the stretchiness of compassion that offered enough space for me to grow and process at my own pace, or I could try to force myself into something that no longer fit because I was trying to live up to outside judgments and was afraid of the change I knew was happening.
What if, instead of squeezing into what was or who you used to be…
you say yes to the good and new that’s growing in your life. Even if it’s small. Even if you feel unsure. Even if it’s a little scary.
Whatever the newness may be – a beginning, a dream, a relationship, a shift in perspective or you name it….you can trust that God has entrusted you to carry and care for it. What if we give God our yes, together?
If this last year has taught me anything – it’s that we don’t only need connection; it’s how we’ve been designed to survive. Our connectedness is what sustains us when we want to give up, it’s what heals us when someone else says, “I see your shame and I still love you,” it’s what lightens our loads and multiplies our joy and allows us to experience God’s love in a tangible way in the physical world.
How about we share what we’ve learned, what’s new, and who we are becoming at a new Yoga Book Club Series I’m offering that starts July 19th!
YBC is based on Lauren Tremaine’s book: Share your stuff, I’ll go first.
If you aren’t into yoga – you can still join us! I’ll be sharing what I’ve been learning this past season via weekly emails, and want to hear from YOU! Click to subscribe (I promise not to blow up your inbox!;)
Blessings of stretchy compassion and holding our newness tenderly,