Raw Motherhood Lessons—love you today...FREAL!

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Two weeks ago my husband was sick and a lot was just on me. I also had PMS and little sleep. Thus, I wrote the below blog post in the midst of it all. I never got around to posting it, well, because I was doing my best. This past week I am having a flashback to these moments because my son had my husband's illness (I think of version of the influenza) and it has been rough. He also added in the barfs with it intermittently so that has been a not-so-fun curveball! Poor dude. I thought it would resonate with somebody, even just one person, so I decided to share from two weeks ago my Raw Motherhood Lessons.

I know for me there are many moments on this parenting journey that I could be REAL hard on myself, but I know that doing will only harm myself and others. I must surrender those not-so-pretty moments and dig deep. I must accept that I am doing my best, I am enough and I am deserving of loving me today.

I hope the below story inspires you to remember: you are doing your BEST, you are ENOUGH, and you are worthy of LOVE! 

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Sunday, Feb. 12 at 11 p.m. and Monday afternoon, Feb. 13, 2017

I sit on the couch right now (my bed for the third night now) in tears. My hubby is sick and it's been a long weekend. I have felt behind on EVERYTHING. I tried to catch up and take care of my two little people and my hubby: making juice, doing laundry, roasting veggies, shopping, mopping, taking kids to swimming, valentine's boxes, and more. All with an attempt at loving. But during all of that the reality was that I never felt like I was enough: I felt behind, crabby, irritable, selfish, unloving, frustrated and angry. 

I SO want to be adaptable. I SO want to be able to skip sleep and self care and be enough for my family. I SO want to give them the love they give me but I snap, or yell and they quickly remind me, "mom, you are in the amygdala!" For those of you that understand this part of the brain, it is the part of your brain that manages your fight or flight. It is the part in your brain that tells sends the blood to your arms and legs to get you ready to run from the tiger, fast and NOW! Here is a website that I found explains it pretty well: The Amygdala & Emotions. Thanks to SuperStretch and my amazing yogini friend (the creator of SuperStretch) I teach my kids that when we are yelling the amygdala is in control. It might go something like this: "Sweet child, we aren't thinking straight. We must breathe to think through this situation!" Of course those words come out with an intense restraint of yelling (but sometimes raising my voice—eek)! Most often two or three breaths by all parties and the challenge subsides. And that is that. Those are the glorious and amazing parenting moments. The intensity of life happens, we acknowledge and use our tools, and move through it. Obviously that doesn't always happen, but is my ideal. :) When it doesn't happen I do re-do's (just did one this morning) and will share what that means in a blog post soon. It is quite amazing actually.

This weekend was a different story. I felt like I was clenching my body and especially face and throat. I felt so frustrated because I just got off caffeine in an attempt to switch my diet, sleep, and exercise to create a new internal rhythm. I want to feel better and snap a hell of a lot less at my people. It hurts my heart so bad to know that I get so mad and am resisting so much. I honestly feel like sometimes I cannot control it. Other moms (and dads) out there: you know that out-of-body feeling where you know you are being unreasonable but you cannot stop yourself? Please say some of you are nodding with me?? 

Recently I got my copy of the Adrenal and Thyroid Revolution by Dr. Aviva Romm. After reading this book everything seemed clear. As I was a couple chapters in I thought, "Awe shit, there is nothing wrong with me, my hormones are just f'd!" So the intense food cravings and the yelling at the loved ones and flying off the handle is explained. As I continued to read the book I felt my shoulders drop and thought, "So there is a chance I can feel better than this?" 

After drinking 3-5 shots of espressos per day in the past couple weeks (that is the equivalent of 2 or 2'ish cups of coffee) I weaned in a week, and was ready to rock it! I bought some of the hormone-balancing foods and was doing a lot of the flow ("ideal day") of the reset: more sleep, winding down, breathing, yoga, and slow-carb eating (all explained in her book). The bottom line: I haven't nailed it yet, and know that I am obviously free to do anything I want (no rules right)? But at the deep of my heart I want to follow this protocol for 28 days because days like these HURT. They hurt so bad. I pause and I think, what do my kids think and feel in their heart? The one person that is supposed to always be there (MOM) is mad a lot! Do they think it is them? I pray on this one: God no, don't think it is you my sweet ones. Mommy just doesn't feel good and I'm sorry. I will do better tomorrow. I promise. I'm sorry. I love you. 

And so I say forget the list. It is there and it will stay there. What is on the list: sympathy cards that got melted in the snow unbeknownst to me and I have to resend or how about the Christmas present (yes I said Christmas present) for for my hubbies side of the family. It's just sitting there and OMG it's Valentine's Day Tuesday. How does that happen? I have to order brochures for essential oils class that is coming up and supplies for it. How about the invitations for the classes and the b-day invitations, not to mention the Golden b-day presents to go with it. Oh, and how do we make Valentine's day special but do everything we can to not get sick?? I should go sanitize right now right? But in the end, none of it matters. Truly. It. Doesn't. Matter!!! It doesn't matter when I am doing the best I can right? It doesn't matter when I am barely getting basic needs met right? And finally, none of life matters when my attitude is focused on the list or the things NOT going well. That is when the spiral happens and the opposite is true. When we focus on LOVE and when we focus on what IS going right and what we are grateful for, magic happens. I find connection with my kiddos and efficient-chore doing and a letting go of how fast the stuff gets done. 

It will all work out and my heart says breathe. My heart says, go to bed sweet mama. Don't worry. Try again tomorrow and with the power you have use what you know to kick ass tomorrow: gratitude, meditation, the power of intention, laughter, movement, sleep, breath and LOVING ME FIRST!  That means saying nice things to me regardless of my challenges or opportunities. We are all imperfect and to grow stronger and brighter it only serves us to focus on Love. Trust me I know the end result of not giving that to me because I felt that today. 

So I say goodnight Minneapolis. Good night sick husband. Good night angel babies. And good night world. As my daughter wrote in a card to her daddy, "sick man," get better because you are missed and damn you do a lot for our family. And good night sweet little ones. I hope tonight you saw that mama was tired and hormonal and just needs space sometimes to be the best me. I hope you alway remember that no matter what, LOVE wins and it starts with YOU!! Be proud, forgive, love hard and laugh harder! 

What are you saying to you today and in your head? Why are making the choices you make? You deserve to love you ALL the time: thoughts, speech and action. Start today with me won't you? 

Oh, wait you thought I was done. I wrote this last night and started today great. I did my morning prayer and breath and movement. It totaled ten minutes but I was ready, right? And then I couldn't win against the clock this morning and the mess seemed to multiply. I stopped breathing and damn, I was SO. HARD. ON. MYSELF. You can ask my husband. I was a MESS. After the late drop off for the oldest kiddo I went on a walk around the lake and the first half felt heavy. I was feeling sorry for myself and that inner voice was, let's just say, not kind. And then I thought, why am I doing this. "What you resist, persists!" And I kept playing this wisdom reminded to me by my amazing coach Laura Burkey. Oh no...I was doing it again. I was creating a reality that was filled with suffering, anger and a lot of time not breathing. This was felt in my heart and in my little ones. This isn't working. And each step around the lake allowed me to breathe in fresh air. I was able to connect and "chat" with my son. We played the game, "What do you LOVE?" in honor of Valentine's week (also taught to me by Laura Burkey). It was fun and at the end of it I felt uplifted and inspired to show up for me. After the game and stopping my crazy spinning mind, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and choose be nice to me today. Let GO sister! Today is going to be as good as you make it. 

My sweet little man resting

So I challenge you one more time....can you be NICE to you? Can you talk to yourself like you would a good friend? And if that is hard to do that (which it was for me), can you somehow move your body? Can you hide from the family or kids and then make a list or say it aloud of "what you love?" and why? It helps. I promise. And maybe in that little journey of writing or saying it aloud you realize you are truly badass. You have done a lot and you keep showing up. Love isn't about being perfect my friends. Love is getting back up again and trying again. It is reflecting on where you are challenged and looking at that dark inside of you and shining your bright and amazing light at it. You are worth it! I love you and darn it...you should love you!!! And I will do the same....that I can promise. Thank you to those closest to me that remind me of this, I am grateful for you! And thank you for each and everyone of you that continue to teach me on my path!!

Thanks for reading, loving, and living. It truly is what makes the world go round. 

In love, light and gratitude, 

Kristin

A view from my first run last week. The lake is melting and this week has taught me to keep letting go!

A view from my first run last week. The lake is melting and this week has taught me to keep letting go!

P.S. Thanks little bean for this message on Saturday. You were right when you said "Mom, sometimes you
are so overwhelming!" That's right sweetie. I am. And I overwhelm myself. Thanks for the reminder kid. You are a light that shines so bright in our lives! 

P.P.S. I realize It has been QUIET on the blog and website, but again, I have not abandoned anything, I am trying to be strategic and rest when I can. More to come on that later. XOXO

Yoga

My Yoga Path

As I mention on my About Page, I am a yoga teacher and am a lover of yoga! I fell in love with the practice of yoga in 2001 when I took my first series of classes in college. I knew I was hooked because of how I felt after going to class. I also loved the lessons my teacher taught us, with one in particular that resonated with me and still does. He reminded us how a flexible body will keep an open mind. This was a time of my life that I had been blessed with amazing college experiences, including a life-changing study abroad program. I studied in Fremantle, Australia at the University of Notre Dame Australia, in the study abroad program through my college for a semester. It was during this traveling and studying that my eyes were open to a bigger world outside of what I had ever experienced. I learned a lot about myself and my mind was more open then it had ever been. Thus, hearing these words just months after my return made me commit to never stop practicing yoga. I was determined to keep my body and mind open.

After the class series I found myself rolling out my yoga mat and jamming out to Moby on my mat in the privacy of my room. Yes, my teacher played the entire CD during class. It felt good to connect to my mind and body and It felt so good to have learned something I could do in my own space. I am a long-time athlete and lover of moving my body, but this was the first time I experienced something physical that I could do in my bedroom and that connected me to me.

After college and my first experience of yoga, I continued to practice at various studios and on my mat at home through the years. In my early years of practicing, I was lucky to find amazing teachers, especially Kat Carrol and Jessica Rosenberg. I loved it so much I was lucky enough to practice and spend a weekend away taught by Beryl Bender Birch.  I loved learning about the history and philosophy of yoga and loved how it made my body feel. I also practiced it a lot during my eating disorder treatment and found great comfort in the connection, and inner strength it gave me.

When I was laid off in 2013 I decided it was time to listen to the strong desire to help inspire others. Thus, I sought out yoga training and a personal training certification. I knew that if I could teach yoga I could use that knowledge to teach anything. Additionally, I yearned to learn more about yoga and knew that studying to become a teacher would not only help me to become a yoga teacher, but it would also help me to find that beautiful mind-body connection that hooked me in my first yoga class.

I had high expectations of the training and look forward to learning how to be a yoga teacher. However, I got so much more than that. The 9-month training was during a time in my life that was full of changes (moving, starting as a personal trainer, getting pregnant with my second). Each weekend I was in training I felt a deeper connection to myself and learned so much that I could apply to my life. Through the practices I experienced I became dedicated to my daily meditation practice. Pausing and being still in meditation every day became an anchor in my life.  I came out of training filled with more faith and confidence than I had in a long time. My close friends and family could feel something different. And I could to. I attribute a lot of it to my daily meditation practice that was given to me by my amazing teacher, Tanya Boigenzahn. My teacher Jessica Rosenberg had been encouraging me to put my "tush to the cush" every day for a while. Wow was she right. I will be writing more about my yoga and meditation practices/experiences in my future writing. You will quickly learn my passion for a daily meditation practice as I share more.

I had my second baby a few months after my training and encountered some postpartum and eating disorder challenges. Thus, I sought out support and teachings from my teacher again. Through these sessions she led me to some of the practices and exercises in The Four Desires book by Rod Styker. I immediately fell in love with the teachings from this book because it helped me to dig deep into my soul to understand why I experienced pain and what my soul's purpose is. This clarity took a lot of work. In addition to working one-on-one with my teacher I was also blessed with the opportunity to go to Rod's Four Desires training in Minneapolis the spring of 2015. It was a life-changing weekend for me and one that I am still leaning into as I dig out of some of my eating disorder and health-healing stuff.

I am drawn to all teachings (yoga and more) that help us to be our best self, that help us to find ways to find happiness and truly thrive in this crazy world we live in. I am on a determined path of my own to keep digging, learning and growing. This website would likely not be a reality right now had I not done the work laid out in the Four Desires book. Here is a great article, "Yoga and Your Four Soul's Desires" by Yogarupa explaining a little more about yoga tradition and The Four Desires.

As I keep listening and learning I realize that living my practice (sadhana) is critical to having more happy and peace in my life. I thought I would close by sharing a little of what my yoga practice looks like for me right now. This changes as my life changes. For example, after I had a baby, meditating for 10 minutes a day was a huge commitment and practice for me. Now that I have more space and time (when my son actually sleeps) I have added in more. In addition, I have shared some of my favorite things about yoga and my favorite resources.

My Daily Practice of Yoga ( Winter 2016)

  • Daily meditation practice - 15 minutes minimum and sometimes twice a day
  • Being kind, patient, and choosing love in my parenting and daily actions
  • Self care: sleep (I'm trying), nourishing foods (also a challenge), movement, reflection, and as much play/laughter as I can find.
  • Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep): I recently have committed to two practices a week. More rest is a theme needed in my life (as I am writing while the house is sleeping...eek)!
  • Yoga Asana (yoga postures): I recently realized now that I have more time, I am committing to doing yoga asana every day. I strive for 15 minutes minimum, but if I have a tough day I will do just one pose. No rules right? :)

Favorite things about YOGA (asana and meditation)

  • I love the way yoga connects me to my body and breath. I sometimes think that because I teach and practice yoga I must be awesome at breathing. And then I am humbled each time I step on my mat, a constant reminder that it is a process and commitment to keep showing up to give me the gift of the breath.
  • Yoga helps me to find my true self and connect to the part of me that does not need to suffer and that is content right now. The part of me that doesn't need a new outfit or a nice car or even to fit into my clothes.
  • When I am practicing, yoga I am kinder and more patient to myself and others. It helps me to be my best self.
  • Yoga helps me build my faith and self love
  • Connection: to something bigger than me and to amazing people I come in contact with because of the practices and community that surrounds me.
  • I get to wear cute yoga pants (totally kidding here; just making sure you are still reading).
  • Yoga has taught me of the power of intention and how i can quickly change my energy and reaction to a situation.

Favorite Resources

Yoga gratitude

I am so very grateful for the path that I am on and all that I have learned because of my practice of yoga. I am so grateful for my amazing teachers along the way. There are so many who have touched me in various ways of my life and practice and I am forever grateful for you. I will keep practicing and showing up to be my best self. My intention is to live my purpose and do everything I can to thrive and inspire others. I want to be an example to my kids, my family, and all those I come in contact with!

Whether you are a long-time yogi, just starting to practice or never touched a yoga studio or mat in your life I am so grateful to have you here reading! My favorite thing about yoga is to weave it into real life and I hope you enjoy my stories and experiences.

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin