It is fast approaching the end of 2016, and so much has changed in my life! I have a beautiful little boy called Thomas who is almost 18 months old already. It’s true – he has been the birth of all the changes and while I do miss my previous life, this new, evolved life is incredible.
Becoming a mother has been the most challenging thing in my life. It requires surrendering the person you think you are before baby, and, in my opinion, choosing to become the person your child wills you to be.
I have struggled. I have really struggled to be patient, to be kind, and to be mindful! As a Mindfulness facilitator and coach, as well as Yoga teacher I feel a huge responsibility to ‘live my practice’. It is so important to me to be kind and patient. So when I find myself lashing out at my (ever supportive and loving) husband Matt; or feeling so full of rage when Thomas is fighting to go to sleep, the guilt sets in.
In Buddhism they speak of the second arrow. That feeling that comes out of a feeling. In mindfulness we use the acronym HIFAWIF to investigate this. How do I Feel About What I’m Feeling. When I ask myself this – GUILT is the answer. And then I repeat using Guilt and the answer is RAGE. And I repeat AGAIN and the answer is GUILT! Stuck in a washing machine.
So to break down my own feelings:
Primary feeling: Anger directed at husband or child
HIFAWIF – Guilt
HIFAWIF – rage
HIFAWIF – guilt
HIFAWIF – more rage!
And as I continue in this way something incredible is revealed. That rage becomes fear, and it’s a fear of failure. It’s a fear of not being good enough. Not doing justice to my family.
The reality is that we cannot be perfect all the time. Some days are better than others. When I found myself having more bad days than good I opted to seek medical help and chose to use anti-depressants for a period. You can read more about this in up-coming posts.
One thing my exploration with Mindfulness has taught me is to remember to be kind to MYSELF. Learning to acknowledge and allow the feelings with which I struggle (rage, guilt, fear) to be felt is, for me, the first step.
And so it is that we begin to evolve in our practice of life – one step a time.