I've been at this parenting thing for almost a decade, yet I'm constantly growing, learning and changing. Today as I focused my drishti and found my balance in my headstand, I realized in my yoga practice I am also growing, learning and changing.
It is often an instinct of a new parent to dive in head first and commit 100% as I did. Because I made the choice not to return to my job in advertising, I very much took parenting as my new career and wanted to be as successful in this role as my previous ones.
Many new yogis also push themselves to a point of pain or injury by going too far too fast. As the student begins to learn their body and limits, slowly a listening happens that comes with a softness.
I've softened tremendously as a parent these past 10 years. My children's rooms are not immaculate, they can be seen wearing too small clothes (it hard to keep up with the growing) and sometimes I allow them to sleep in our bed and use the back of the couch as a balance beam.
Besides those purely trivial fails, just as my lunge and twists have gotten deeper and more challenging so have our relationships and their lives. My kids are learning about the world through school, travel and media and are no longer the perfectly naive babies I protected from light, weather and discomfort. Gone are the days of them depending on me to clean their butts and carry them from room to room. They don't need me as much for the physical care and I must adjust, relax and settle myself into deeper questions, solutions and guidance.
It is humbling to say the least. I can visualize the pinnacle yoga pose or idealistic family and accept that will never be me. Instead I must listen to my body and heart, stop when I think it is enough, yet at the same time push myself and my family to possibly go even an inch further every single day.
As much as I feel an urge to control the people my children become, I realize that they have embarked on their own paths. I can practice beside them and offer examples, directions and adjustments, but their journey is unique to them.
I've been trying to build strength to balance while I twist, backbend and go completely upside down. With that comes compassion, acceptance and peace.
Have you discovered a softening as a parent as your children gain independence?
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