I send out an occasional newsletters to my lovely subscribers list and they often seem to come out of me like a letter to a friend. I thought it’d be nice to share excerpts of these here sometimes. To get the full version at the time I send them, with info about retreats and offerings as well, you’re really welcome sign up via the home page.
I’m finding these days of lockdown / post-lockdown (I’m not entirely sure what this time even is) that how I answer this question depends on the very moment of the day I’m asked it. It changes moment to moment some days. Is it the same for you? If I’m out on a long walk in the sunshine with my boys or watching them play or invent things in the garden or the schoolwork went well it’s one answer. At other times it can be the complete opposite. Like you, I’m just having to roll with it day to day and moment to moment.
Yesterday I was thinking how the constants right now are that I’m tired, time-poor and I don’t get to finish many thoughts. This is motherhood in general, yes? But very much heightened right now. The other constant is that I’m incredibly grateful for our health, the time I’m getting with my loves and the opportunity to slow down and take stock. It’s ‘both’, ‘and’.
The swing between emotions seemingly at different ends of a scale – between frustration and joy, struggle and gratitude, overwhelm and happy moments – can itself be exhausting, giving us that dizzy-making rollercoaster feeling. For me, it presents as a brainfog that somedays I can’t shake. Do you ever have that?
What helps me is to ground myself and check in with my feelings; acknowledge what the heady mix is formed of and separate it all out to make better sense of it.
Some ways that I go about re-grounding are: literally going and standing on the grass in the garden with bare feet and taking a few slow, deep breaths; taking the dog for a walk on my own to just be with my tangle of thoughts; sitting mindfully for a few minutes and letting everything begin to settle – breathing, thoughts, emotions, energy.
My check-ins will sometimes be the unravelling of thoughts and feelings while taking that walk. An extra-long shower sometimes helps (not always possible when you have little ones at the door though, hey). Journalling – writing down how I’m feeling and what I need – has been really helpful recently.
The June date of the Mother Wild retreat has just gone by. The group that would’ve been in the woods together were, of course, all at home without the break they’d been anticipating and we were all sorely missing the magic of the woods and of that that time away. I made them a couple of virtual gifts to help support them to ground, nourish and connect with some elements of the retreat while still at home – one of which were some simple journaling sheets. If you’d find them a helpful way to check in with yourself, watch this space – I’m going to make them available as a free download soon.
These are stretching and confusing times and we’re all experiencing them in the unique way that our own situation presents to us. As Mothers we can have a tendency to expect ourselves to be ‘fine’ when it’s entirely normal in times of change or stress to be not fine. I think the key is to check in with your self (the self-inquiry of: how are am I really?), to allow whatever comes out to come out, to soften towards yourself and lean towards a few simple things that help you feel a little more grounded and able to breathe a little slower.
What are the simple things that don’t take up a huge amount of time, but help ground you and slow your breathing? Could you weave any of that into the next few days perhaps?
Sending solidarity hugs to you x