The Hours: A 30 day Challenge
The hour before the sun breaks and the dawn, with its orange, pulsating, and radiant glow is a time for rebirth, for the chance to do it all over again. I get up every morning an hour before the rest of my family and I drink a glass of water and wipe the sleep from my eyes. I stretch and I feel my sleepy yet rested body, I feel my bones, my foundation, as they move in ways they haven’t for some time. I breathe deeply and I soak in the quietness of the spaces around me and I am awake. I am awakening to the intentions I had set the night before and I hold them in this sacred space, this sanctuary that only I can create. I sit and I practice yoga, a few gentle poses that remind me to feel myself, to feel what it’s like to be me, only me, alone and guarding the quiet spaces where my family drifts in and out of while they are asleep. I’m standing ahead of them, like a warrior, but inasmuch as I’m defending them I am also defending myself and my place within our life together. I am seeking that which has been quieted by Motherhood; my oneness and unique gifts. Motherhood hasn’t completely depleted me; motherhood has, in fact, been life-giving. Yet in that life-giving essence and in recognizing that my life gives life to the children that have come through me, I have put aside those things that I had identified with. At one time in my life prior to having children, I believed I was once very balanced, a very alive human. I believed that I was deeply connected to the Earth and to my spiritual life. I felt that I had a deep relationship with God as I understood God to be. I feared less and I asked fewer questions. When my children came forth, with each child, those soul parts took a quiet seat in the distance, on my horizon, so that I could flourish into motherhood, to selflessly give and provide in ways that I needed to provide and in ways that my heart yearned for, a yearning I didn’t even know I was craving. Because I chose to let those parts of me fall to the sidelines, I wouldn’t call that a sacrifice. I chose motherhood and I don’t see motherhood as self-sacrificing. I see it as a pause. I see that season of my life as a gentle…pause. The hour in the morning that I give to myself is the time for me to breathe into that expansive place that has been sitting on the horizon waiting for me to return to. It’s an awakening into the knowledge that my children have brought me, a reconnection to the tether that exists in me through them. It’s a reawakening into that spiritual life that I had been deeply connected to once before. This is my warrior dance, to rise with the Sun and greet the day before they do. To establish a sense of peace and calm and connectedness so when my children’s feet hit the floor and when my husband rolls out of bed they see Mom, they see friend, they see partner, with bright eyes, with hope, with potential. They see those things in me and that gives them the fortitude to go on their way in hope, in calm, and feeling that the day before them is full of potential and possibility.
The hours in the evening after I have put my children to bed are a most sacred time to put closure on the day, to sink deep into the rhythmic waters of the nighttime and the boundless universe that expands before me. The light that is present are just those twinkles from the heavens and if I can stare up long enough to get lost into the magic of it all I am reminded that I am not just a robot walking on some dirt, I am a sentient being. I am a part of the life cycle. I am a part of the Earth, of the Universe. I am a creator. I am firmly rooted. In those hours after the children fall asleep I can feel the vibrations of my own self worth. I fall back into the solitude, I light a candle, I chant, I sing, I pray, and I listen to the singing of my heart, and I connect with that. I feel myself full of vitality and I am ready to send that energy into the ethers. Some of my children have seen me slip away into my room. I have heard them come to the curtain and I have felt them peek in to see what their Mother was up to. I don’t turn them away, I let them see me. I let them witness me taking care of myself for the first time in their whole life and I hope that by them seeing me, I am instilling in them a reminder that their life, just as much as my own, has worth. I hope that they carry this little piece of me with them and when they have partners or families of their own and are pulled and spread thin, they are reminded that they too have value and their heart, with the song that it sings, should ring through them like a room full of tuning forks. It should vibrate deeply and aggressively resonate in them. That, yes, there may be a season to put their dreams on pause but there is also the season to begin to unfurl from that, like a fern at springtime. My children are seeing me rise to celebrate me being me, Marcy, not Mom or wife…just me.
My husband has felt an enormous quaking in me. He’s seen what a little bit of commitment can do and that as much as we want to give all of ourselves to each other and our children, it is OK to put aside mere moments and say “just 30 minutes.” 30 minutes to breathe, to feel the power and to be empowered: these are the only gifts one can give themselves.
This simply is my experience and I don’t assume for a second that this would work for everyone else. Let my experience be an example of the possibility that lies before us all. It’s about accepting the challenge to open up to receive the inherent possibility of what we can create. What can you create for yourself in 30 minutes that is just for you? Maybe a bath, alone, while your children are sleeping? Maybe waking up 30 minutes before everyone else does, but instead of getting up you just lie in bed, in the quiet, and just feel your body as you lie there listening to those who surround you breathe in and exhale? Maybe it’s just feeling gratitude that you are here at this moment to absorb the preciousness of life? Maybe it’s sneaking away into your bathroom and closing the door behind you and crying, releasing, so when you come out you feel less burdened and more hopeful? Maybe calling a friend or writing a letter while the children sit for lunch…or you could eat lunch? Or nap? Wrap yourself up in your children and soak in their smells and softness, rest into them.
On this 30 day challenge, The Village is asking for us to see and feel our worth. The Village is asking for us to recognize that our children and our partners need us to be present; they need us to show them that we are not just Mothers but that we are also unique and wildly creative and passionate individuals that have hearts that beat their own beautiful and unique cadence. We each sing a song that is profoundly our own and we need to give ourselves a platform from which to sing that song, to shout it from the rooftops, to send our song as a whisper through the wind so that everyone, no matter how big or small can hear it. That is the power behind being a human BEING. To live and breathe our essence into the world, into the Universe, into this living breathing organism that is our families and our communities. What can you create for yourself? I promise you, if you can commit to creating for yourself for just moments in a day, you will raise your vibration, and your family will see and feel a shift in you. They will see your eyes sparkle and they feel you relaxing into yourself, and in them, and they will see you just as you begin to see yourself.