Well, my epiphanies are probably a dime a dozen, but I've got some more . . . went to yoga yesterday and they were just pouring in!
First, here are two quotes my teacher shared at the beginning of the class:
"If you try really really hard, nothing good or bad will ever happen to you."
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the decision that something else is more important than the fear." (from The Princess Bride, I believe) *I'm gonna use this one when I talk with expectant mothers about natural childbirth!
So he had me thinking about being brave, and throughout the class talked about opening our hearts and letting the thoughts drift away, so by the resting meditation at the end, I was fully primed! As I'm meditating, I see this image of myself -- almost in cartoon -- and it's me with this HUGE head, you can see the enormous brain inside it, and I'm being lead around my this head (this is not a good thing -- please don't think I'm an egomaniac!). And I thought, "I don't want to be lead by my head, I want to be lead by my HEART." So I held this new image of me with a big, beating, cartoon heart leaping out of my chest and leading me down a path. At this point, tears were streaming down my face bc I had such clarity: My whole adult life I have tried to THINK my way. I am a critical, judging, contemplative person (hence my entry into a PhD program) and this is NOT who I really am or who I want to be. I want to FEEL my way and let my heart be my guide -- as a mother, a wife, a daughter, and an individual.
It's kinda funny cuz my next thought was that I have a small little heart (bc I can be so critical and judgemental) but then I realized that in fact I have a big and VERY TENDER heart, which has been bruised, broken, and boarded up over time. All of this thinking I've been doing has been DEFENSIVE -- to protect me from feeling (aka hurting).
And viola! I knew that I must quit grad school immediately -- it was SO clear to me -- and that this will be a very brave thing for me, cause it means leaving the old "thinking me" behind (well, hopefully I'll still think some!
) and tearing down the boards that have been around my heart so I can live by it.
And what does this have to do with our book discussion, Eleanor?!?!
Well, I realized that "MINDfulness" is a bit of a misnomer for me. I need to think of this concept as "heartfulness" bc that's really what they mean, and I'm such a simpleton, I was misinterpreting the word! It's scary as hell to me, but when I live by heart, my heart opens more and it becomes easier to do so. (kinda like the Grinch, huh?!) And I guess without knowing it, I've been trying to THINK my way into mindful parenting.
So that was pretty big for me, and while I know my confidence in this decision will wax and wane (and my big 'ole head will struggle to regain control!), I think as long as I keep meditating, maybe I can hold on to this clarity.
Okay, so if you wanna send me a bill for the therapy session, send it to:
Mama El, formerly the BigHeaded Mother
101 Strugglingtofindher Way
In The Clouds, NC xoxoxo