Resonating Moments: Lessons From the Week
Welcome to "Resonating Moments." Each week I share one lesson from parenting, teaching yoga, practicing on my mat, and simply living life. My intentions for sharing these lessons are twofold: (1) to make a personal effort to record moments that resonate or ring true (Chime) with who I am at my core, and (2) to offer what I have learned in hopes that you can relate and share about your experiences in the comments below.
Here's what I learned this week:
Lessons from parenting and life: This one's a biggie, worthy of combining lesson categories! The other afternoon, after teaching a yoga class, I had a strong urge to hold my girls, to gather them in my arms and feel them close. The class was challenging on several levels and left me feeling unsettled (see below, my lesson from teaching). As the urge to hold my children swelled, I realized that my desire to be with them came from a need be comforted. I questioned my motive: is it appropriate to seek comfort from my children, to turn to them for emotional support? I sat with this question for some time and concluded that, while wanting to hold my children is good and natural, turning to them for comfort is problematic, because over time, as they grow up and become more perceptive, there is a risk they will fall into a pattern of feeling like they have to be take care of me—their mother and parent. I reasoned it is more appropriate to lean on other adults (like my husband). I made a pact with myself to consciously choose not to seek support from my children. Rather, I promise to be an unconditional and true source of comfort and emotional support for them, so that they can trust they will always be taken care of without the pressure to take care of me. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment if you can relate.
Lesson from teaching yoga: I felt extremely intimidated during one of my classes this week. Two excellent teachers were present, and because of it, I felt insecure and doubted my ability to teach a strong class. My heart raced and I worried that I wasn't connecting with the other students because of how distracted I felt. After class, as I struggled to shake off the feeling of not being good enough, I took a deep breath, planted my feet on the ground, and closed my eyes. My self-defeating thoughts were just that—self defeating. I took another breath and decided that I needed to just keep showing up to my yoga classes and teach from heart and passion. That no matter who is in the room, my job is to be me, to share yoga, and trust that I am better than good enough—I am excellent! I am eager to get back in the yoga room and do my thing! Can any teachers out there relate? How do you overcome insecurities when you teach?
Lesson from my mat: I heard an inspiring quote during practice this week on the theme of assertiveness: "Sometimes you have to let go of what's comfortable and safe to make room for something great." These words hit home, as I reflected on how easy it is to stay stuck in a routine or pattern instead of asserting myself to do things differently or make an important change. What do these words mean to you?
Perhaps some or all of these lessons resonated with you as well. If so, I’d enjoy learning how! Please share in the comments below.
Other Tidbits of Inspiration and Information
I heard an excellent interview on WHYY with Robert Brooks of Harvard Medical School on the role resiliency plays in helping children cope with challenges, bounce back from difficult situations and work through their problems. He says it’s about parents and teachers helping children develop self-esteem and confidence. There are several pearls of wisdom for the taking.
On Fear of Failure
Thank you, Leigh Anderson, for exploring the important question: Why Do Girls Have So Much More Trouble With Failure Than Boys? Anderson writes, "Girls might find that the social imperative to be alert to others’ feedback, including praise or criticism, may muddy their sense of what they themselves really want. Boys, who don’t necessarily have to scan their environments constantly for feedback, might be freer to pursue their projects without a little voice of self-criticism butting in." As a woman who has battled perfectionism and a mother of girls, I appreciate Anderson's concern about this issue and hope that it, and literature like it, creates a wave of awareness about the ways in which societal expectations affect our girls and boys.
On Yoga and Body Image
I shared last week that I started reading Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body. A few chapters in, and I have found several inspiring passages. One that particularly resonated is from Linda Sparrowe's chapter, "Coming Home to the Body: Can Yoga Help or Hinder?" Speaking to the notion of linking the physical practice of asana to the mental and emotional realms to cultivate true healing, Sparrowe writes, "Conscious breathing and mindful awareness move the mind away from external judgement and deeper into the body." I love the idea of our minds bypassing "external judgments" to find quiet and calm deep inside, on the other side of thought. This is the power of intentional, focused breathing and movement. What a gift!