I’m writing this with hopes of an epiphany by blog’s end because I’ve found myself in a spiritual quandary. Mindfulness, that’s the name of the game… staying in the moment, soaking it up while trying not to think about desires and impending future obligations.
It’s one variety of content. And, it’s a challenge, even on our best day. Staying present with your children or husband when to do lists are accumulating in every corner of your brain, taking a moment to stop stirring your curry that’s on the verge of turning from perfection to burned, to truly see the LEGO creation your son is holding up to your face. This aspect of mindfulness takes commitment and practice.
Then there’s the facet of mindfulness that involves loving yourself for who you are in this very moment, the recognition that you are perfectly imperfect as is, RIGHT NOW. Self-acceptance. That doesn’t come easy either. How to push out the lingering mental post-it notes that you wanna lose five pounds, stop drinking coffee, and oh yeah, be more present with your kids. Running is a time when I feel that I receive guidance… maybe it’s the “zone” I’m in, or maybe it’s a lack of oxygen, but personal revelations tend to show up there. I was having a rough go of things (the control freak that I am) and while sprinting a straight shot down a path, sun beating on my face, a voice clearly said to me “you are enough in this moment.” I felt amazing afterward, zen master status, goosebumps all over, but it sure as shit didn’t make it any easier to pull the whole self- love thing off.
And then there’s self- improvement, striving to be better, to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. For me, among other things, that involves trying things that will put me in a position of being criticized (vulnerability issues much?). Blogging, that’s one example of how I’m pushing against the cozy walls I’ve created for myself. I’m out there, not just on a personal level, but creatively and intellectually. There are people who may feel that my writing skills are no bueno or that my ideas should be saved for a home journal. I’ll never know what everyone's thinking, and that’s extremely unnerving for me. I could quit. God knows I’ve wanted to. But, “they” tell us (whoever “they” are), that outside of our comfort zone is where growth happens, so I press on, reminding myself that others opinions don’t matter (which also feels like a half-truth).
Here’s where the quandary comes in. My big question… how do we stay “in the moment”, accepting ourselves as “perfectly imperfect right now” while still “striving to be better?” Feels like there are some incongruencies there. I’m over here trying to manifest living in Bali for a year while sitting in my living room attempting to appreciate the house I’m in. I’m working on trying to start a lil’ business to make some moola, to help pay for my future Balinese lifestyle, while endeavoring to be purely in the moment with my little girl as we rearrange the furniture in her Peppa Pig dollhouse. I’m finally a stay at home mom, and I’m scheming about things that are going to rob me of the peace that brings, a peace I’ve craved for years... but limitations aren’t supposed to be part of my vocabulary. I’m spending her nap time lifting weights and jumping around the house while trying to love my perfectly imperfect body and still pay homage to my physical temple. I’m closing my eyes to meditate every day in an attempt to get “more mindful” and appreciative, when I could be quietly drinking up views of the mountains from my living room windows, heart swollen with gratitude.
As I write this, in search for answers, I notice the word “self” is a consistent theme. Embracing the “self” in order to detach from “self.” More confusion as the cursor blinks at me, waiting for the words to pour forth, but my self is stuck. Deep breaths… because “they” say the answers are within as long as we quiet the personality and listen.
My intuition is telling me that maybe I’m trying too hard. That all of this “self-help” is turning into self-involvement. This focus on filling each moment with growth isn’t leaving space for true mindfulness, just a distraction from such. Maybe it shouldn’t take this much effort. Me trying to detach from Angi doesn’t allow for proper appreciation and unconditional acceptance of the Angi I’ve been given in this go around at humanity.
So, what does that look like? Do I stop with the forward progression, the endless striving? That doesn’t feel right either.
Bear with me, as I have an internal dialogue that the rest of you now have to be privy to.
Does wanting more have to mean that you don’t love what you’ve got? Maybe loving what I’ve got actually creates the desire for more because it feels so good to have that joy, achievement, or fulfillment.
I’m going to leave us with that because I want to hear from my fellow Mindful Mamas. It’s all I’ve come up with after one meditation and a long, quiet bath.
Maybe I’ll be back with a more inspired explanation next week. A few more baths and meditations might help, or maybe I should just stare at the mountains until then...