Words by Jane Faulkner
When Georgia first approached me to contribute to her blog, I felt a wave of excitement which unfortunately quickly turned to a feeling of fear and overwhelm. My mind went to all of the places where I am still struggling in my life; parenting, marriage, establishing a career and I had doubts about whether Georgia was wise in asking me. I am passionate about growing and learning about myself, the world, relating and parenting. Over the years, I have completed many years of study and devoured books offering all kinds of advice on a number of topics to help support me in my quest to be the best human I can be, in this skin, in this life. That being said all of this thirsting for knowledge and growth has lead me at times to not allow myself any space to be me. As a woman who wants to be happy, healthy and inspired to raise happy, independent, healthy, resilient kids; as well as a happy nourishing marriage and a fulfilling career, there are a LOT of balls to keep in the air. I find in trying to manage all of these things, my needs tend to drop to the back and as I get more depleted, my ability to manage all of the other balls well diminishes.
I lose connection with myself and therefore, my ability to connect well with all of the important relationships in my life. I can become focused on getting things done and forget that really being with and connecting with my loved ones is what ultimately satisfies and nourishes me.
Life is so fast paced with kids, a job, house, husband and friends that I find weeks can fly by and I can feel lost in the whirlwind of life and juggle my commitments. To try to maintain my balance I rely on taking the time to myself in nature – just sitting out in the sun on a winter’s morning or noticing the trees as they change throughout the year. A walk in nature, in the bush or along the beach, it doesn’t need to take a long time. I also find that my yoga practice helps create a space around me so I am able to observe and respond, most of the time, rather than be caught in the middle of everything and just react. This space allows me to regain perspective about what requires my time and energy and what doesn’t. I become clearer about what is a storm in a teacup and what I really need to focus on.
An exercise that really helps ground you back into your body and create space is called 3 steps to the present:
- Step 1 – take 5 slow, full deep breaths
- Step 2 – feel your feet on the ground, wriggle your toes
- Step 3 – do a body scan, feel from your feet all the way up to your head and notice what stands out for you, where are you holding tension, is their pain or numbness anywhere, is it easy to breathe or uncomfortable.
Try not to judge what you find, just become curious about your inner world and what’s going on inside you right now. Becoming aware of your inner experience like this helps you to become aware of your needs in the moment. It also creates a space around you to regain your calm and your perspective. Space provides us a choice in the moment – it gives us the freedom to respond rather than react. In responding, we create the world we want, and we thrive. In reacting we have no space, no choice and we are thrown around by life, merely in survival mode.