With every yoga class I take, I learn something about myself. And not only about myself, but mindfulness in general, the power of our thoughts, and the control we have over them. The practice is so important to me, and I am so grateful to be able to attend with more regularity. More on this week’s “on-my-mat aha-moment” below.
On another note, I have a new appreciation and mad respect for working moms. If I thought being an entrepreneur was challenging before, let’s just throw in an extra layer of “most days my brain feels like mush” on top of needing to push a business forward. Stress management is a priority in my self-care tool kit, and I am really having to carve out the time. Otherwise, I would be drowning in others’ agendas and the responsibilities that come with running a business and a household simultaneously.
Ways I am doing this throughout the week:
- Some form of movement every day in addition to stroller walks (barre, yoga, hiking a nearby trail).
- Healthy food.
- Waking up at least an hour before everyone else to read, journal, blog/write.
- Asking for help.
- Turning off email around 6PM and spending quality time with Alex and Mason in the evenings.
For other ways I’m maintaining self-care in motherhood, see the posts on Nutrition, Movement, and Mindfulness.
I recently did an extensive food intolerance test at a local wellness center. I have done a few different ones in the past, but given that my white blood cells were measured against 250 foods, I have more confidence in the accuracy of the results this time around. I’ll explain more about this in a future post, but I showed zero reaction to both gluten and cow’s dairy. These are two foods I have reduced from my diet for almost ten years. My thoughts on eating them again are mixed, but I will say I am loving Siggi’s yogurt in the morning. Coconut yogurt often made me feel too full. Breakfast has been yogurt bowls on repeat with either homemade granola or Gratisfied Granola Clusters and nut butter.
I have been reflecting a lot about my exercise routine lately; I’m trying to find that sweet spot for movement during the day. I only have child care 9am – 12pm Monday through Friday, so I have tried to fit in a workout before Mason wakes up around 8am. This allowed me to then devote those (very short) three hours to work. But this workout schedule wasn’t working for me for many reasons: unpredictability of his wake time, sacrificing on sleep, spiked my cortisol too much in the morning. It was actually stressing me out even more, when movement is supposed to serve the opposite purpose. So I reevaluated and realized that if I spend some time in the morning working, I am able to attend a 9:30 workout class and this puts me in the best headspace for the rest of the day. It makes me a more productive entrepreneur and a happier mom. Last week I alternated between barre and yoga, and feel so grateful we can get back into the studios again!
I had a major “aha moment” in yoga just the other day. It happened when I fell out of crow pose. I remember the first time I mastered the transition from crow pose to chaturanga. This entails a “jump back” that I feared for the longest time. Fear of what exactly, I can’t say – perhaps lacking strength, falling on my face, looking inept in front of the instructor. Those thoughts right there tell me a lot about myself and my conditioning and mental tendencies that were instilled in me in childhood. I’m not alone in this. The traditional schooling system in our society creates “students” who are tethered to external expectations and validation. Without awareness for this, it’s programming that can influence behavior and habits (and thinking) well into adulthood. This way of thinking served me in school, but actually became a barrier (i.e. fear) later in life. It still shows up in various areas, but just wears a different hat. So this experience with crow pose is one experience I noticed it showing up. But doing work on yourself and your way of thinking gives you consciousness, and consciousness gives you confidence. I used this confidence to keep practicing, constantly clearing the thoughts as they came up and practicing some more. Eventually I did it!
Coming back to yoga a year later after pregnancy, I was very out of practice and my strength wasn’t what it once was. When the teacher would cue crow pose, I watched the fear emerge, and comfortably sat in Malasana squat. I refrained from pushing myself, knowing that I would get there again. And I did. In class last week however, I fell out of crow and the voice came whispering back: “failed” is what I heard. If I was younger, I would have attached to this feeling and allowed it to influence my mood. The difference now is that I notice it and let it pass and get back into my body; I disrupt the drift. It is just a thought, and thoughts are so fleeting. Emotions are also fleeting. In fact studies show that emotions only last for about 90 seconds, but it is our attachment to them that gives them a longer life. Knowing this, I practice the noticing and releasing as much as I practice the poses. I carry this practice off of my mat through the rest of my day where I need it the most. These realizations and more is why I’m so grateful to be practicing again!
The workout classes have been complemented with lots of stroller walks. It is my favorite time of the year!
Lunches last week were actually different each day. I randomly had a major craving for a salmon BL(no)T. My husband always gets this when we go to our club, and it has been on my mind to recreate it with Simple Kneads bread.
I also love Wrawps for a healthy alternative to traditional wraps.
On Thursday I took Mason to his four month doctor’s appointment where he had to get more shots. I think those shots are more traumatic for me than him! I needed some chocolate after that one. A handful of Hu Kitchen gems with pecans hit the spot.
Dinners were Green Chef. The Hoisin Salmon was my favorite. I have to give it to Green Chef – they know how to make meals flavorful! I always feel so inspired to recreate the recipes in a less labor-intensive way. Stay tuned!
On Thursday evening (after said traumatic doctor’s appointment), the only thing I could muster was a cheese plate. Good thing that is Happiness List #11!
I finished off the work week teaching barre and a quick trip to Charlottesville. More on that to come!