A few years back our family was featured in a documentary by Dr. Joe Dispenza about the incredible healing power of the mind. In the movie, we talk about the miraculous experience we had shortly after learning to meditate when our daughter’s body spontaneously healed from food allergies she was experiencing at the time.
The foundation of any meditation practice is connection to the breath. Our breath not only nourishes our body through delivering vital oxygen to the blood, but it also acts as a current of energy that has the power to quickly and effectively calm our nervous system. Through slow, rhythmic breathing we can steady our heart rate, lower our blood pressure and soothe our nerves all at once.
But mindful breathing is not just reserved for meditation. It is an incredible tool that can help not only ourselves, but also the kiddos in our lives. Think about how much time children spend in the womb connected to the rhythm of the mother's heart and breath only to emerge into a world that can feel chaotic and discombobulating at times. The steady tide of the breath helps pull them back into the their natural flow and is an incredibly soothing way to re-center and reconnect.
I'm lying in a lounger with tan legs extended and small beads of sweat beginning to wistfully pool along my hairline. The sun is dangling overhead from bluebird skies, and the shimmer of water is reflecting in my sunglasses. With a cold beer in hand, tunes that swoon of summertime dancing from the speaker, and a friend of more than a decade by my side, everything feels right in the world.
Except then it doesn't.
This is a love letter, an anthem.
It began as a gift to myself on this day of my birth. Somewhere along the way it turned into a lullaby to my most precious daughter. And finally it became this collection of sweet nothings for all of us.
So listen, dear one. This is for you...
Your desires are beautiful, and they are right on time. Allow the longings of your heart, and pay attention to them. Dream big.
Tonight I am grateful for first haircuts complete with raspberries and fizzy water in wine glasses.
I am grateful for braid crowns and sweet princess giggles.
I am grateful for lessons in playing pretend and practice building couch forts.
I am grateful for squeaky three-year-old voices and completely nonsensical jokes.
I am grateful for lap cuddles and kiss attacks and tickles that really just hurt.
I am grateful for the mom stuff that some days I forget to notice.
Tonight I am grateful that I noticed.
Even if it took all those tears yesterday to clear my eyes to see today.
I have been a daily meditator for more than half of my daughter's precious 2.5 year life. So it's something she's used to hearing about and seeing in our home quite regularly. She knows that I rise before her in the morning to meditate, and she practices her own minute meditations before bed. We talk about energy and the Oneness, and we use deep breathing as our first line of defense when we get sad or frustrated.
Monday was Brian's 33rd birthday, and in honor of the changes brewing in our life (more on that soon), we decided to climb Enchanted Rock as a family. It felt a bit ambitious with a 2-year-old, but we've both been craving a little adventure. And at just under two hours from our house, it is close enough to feel semi-convenient and far enough to feel like travel.
Tonight I sit with all the Mommas Who are too tired to stand,
Covered in snot and vomit and germs and tears
Leaning their heads back with eyes closed and shoulders slumped.
The Mommas whose time cards were long ago full
And whose weariness curls up in the smile lines on their face.
The number on the scale is starting to rise, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I think it would be one thing if I knew for sure it was just the baby, but I’m not. I have a sneaking suspicion my complete lack of exercise and lifelong obsession with chips and queso may be an important part of the equation. Every day I get up and say, “Today’s the day! Today’s the day I’m going to get back into my pre-pregnancy walking routine.” And then there is inevitably a great reason not to. The weather is one degree too cold. The wind is blowing a little too fast. I’m already clean and there wouldn’t be enough time for me to shower again before ____________. I’m nauseous. I’m tired. I might have to pee and there aren’t any bathrooms on the trail. You know, the normal excuses.
I'm 14 weeks into this whole pregnancy thing and people keep making really well-meaning remarks about how fun it would be to read my pregnancy journal. Except I haven't really kept a pregnancy journal.
So I decided that perhaps it was time to write the story of this little lemon...which is where the baby books say we are size-wise in his/her development. I'm still not sure how I feel about all the fruit references, but in the grand scheme of things I figure I have a few bigger things to worry about. You know, like the actual lemon-sized thing that I'll be caring for in six short months!