Week 29 – The Practice

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    You know that children’s song where Liza sends Henry off to collect a pail of water only for Henry to discover that there is a hole in the bucket? And repeatedly he comes up against roadblocks and challenges to fix it? I’d say I’m having one of those ‘leaky bucket’ weeks myself, however it feels more like the hole encompasses the entire bottom of my bucket and I don’t have straw, a knife or a stone anywhere close by to start fixing it. In fact, I don’t even know where to start looking for supplies let alone specifically what supplies I need. I’m feeling unfocused and unsure on what I should be doing next, I feel discouraged, disinclined and disheartened because I’m so unclear, and I feel like I’m being pulled in more directions than I knew existed which is almost hard to believe because I’ve been lost in the woods many a times and managed to find my way out. And yet I think my biggest challenge this past week is that I’m feeling unmotivated, well empty really, to even think about where to start let alone having the energy and gumption to actually get up and get going. 

    Aside from my full-time gig of running the daily operation of the business, planning for the months ahead, and prepping and teaching classes, I’ve got writer’s block on two key topics that must be included in the Yoga Teacher Training manual in order for it to be an accredited program – and the deadline for submission is fast approaching. Plus there are so many other pieces to be written, uploaded, and promoted on the website, booking software and social media streams so that people are in the know as to what is happening at the studio. In my personal endeavours, I’ve fallen behind on my Ayurvedic Practitioner studies and need to catch up on two lengthy but incredibly insightful lectures and put together my reflections on them. And throw on top of this my homeowner duties and responsibilities of cleaning my house (which I swear every ledge has a pile on it and you could knit a sweater with the dog fur on the floor), grocery shopping and meal prep (which seems easy but isn’t when your child is the pickiest of eaters it is anything but), and of course parenting so that my child isn’t spending copious amounts of time with an iPad stuck in his face. Add in the dog walks, the laundry, the dishes, and as a dear friend so poignantly put it the other day, I’ve got one heck of a shit sandwich I’ve got to get through.

    Oh, and last but not least, somewhere in this mix is my husband, whom for the last ten days has been buried at the bottom of my pile, who has been patiently, and equally dejectedly, wanting and needing a piece of the Michelle pie. 

    Last week, I wrote about dharma, the notion behind living and fulfilling a life’s purpose. I shared in my elemental understanding that dharma is the ability to deliberately, honesty and authentically live and lead by example whatever it is that you set out accomplish. What I failed to include in this definition is the importance of not going it alone and to seek counsel accepting help along the way. I’m not sure where it comes from but the pressure to tackle it all alone feels like an ingrained trait that so many get bogged down with, myself included. Perhaps it comes from a place of perfectionism, a desire to get it right or complete things in a specific way. Maybe the pressure we put on ourselves comes from a drive for excellence that disproves of mistakes and faults. I don’t know, but last night I had some help with my cumbersome attitude and negative vibe.

    As I lay down with my son for our usual bedtime routine, I openly shared my appreciation for his compassion towards my gloominess. I told him how tired and depleted I felt and apologized for the angry and frustrated outbursts he endured while he was just being a kid. And I cried as I explained my fears and anxieties as best as I could to him in a way that he might relate to. Sharing a hug and pausing still cuddled in each others arms, he said, “I understand what you mean mom. Sometimes I feel like that when my soul is out of centre.”

    In his sweet innocence he helped me feel heard even when I didn’t know what I was trying to say. We both agreed that it is 100% alright to feel the way that I was feeling because we all feel like that sometimes. We then talked about how one of the best things we can do for ourselves when we are feeling lost, depleted and in need of repair, is to honestly share what it is that we are feeling and to let others in on the truth of our heartaches and sorrows. As much adult stuff as I keep from him to protect his innocence, I am fortunately and repeatedly reminded of the wisdom in his young years. I’ve always said he was my little guru and with each blessed day I’m realizing that more and more. I think it is important to recognize that no matter what the age, demographic or designation, sometimes the help we need to patch and fill our buckets comes in the smallest of forms. After all, we are not just human beings, but rather beings having a human experience. 

    “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience

    and Infinite love is the only truth; everything else is an illusion.” – Pema Chodron