Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Take a deep breath…

If there’s one thing, one little nugget of gold that I’ve picked up in this journey as a yoga teacher-in-training and as a mother, that’s ‘Take a deep breath…or 5’…depending on what’s at hand.

photo credit: Unsplash

A toddler meltdown, complete with ear-piercing shrieks and big tears and an angry red face – take a deep, deep breath. Uncoil that tight knot in your stomach, unclench your jaws, let the breath flow through you. The tantrum doesn’t disappear, but dealing with it is a tad (and I mean just a tad) easier.

It’s the end of the day, and you’re weary and exhausted after a day of taking care of your kids. All you want is to put the children to bed, curl up and read a good book, and then something happens. The child vomits out a volcano / he decides that he doesn’t want to sleep just right now / wants to whine some more / poops in his diaper again. You want to disappear through a crack in the floor. But you take a deep breath or five more, roll up your sleeves and get down to work.

 You sneak out of the bed after putting your child down for a nap – it took 2 hours to get that done. You run to the laptop and whip out a fresh document to write, and just as you’re about to tap out your first sentence, there’s a wail in the other room. Your toddler has sensed that you’re not beside him and wants you back. You take a deep deep breath, tell yourself you’ll get back to the computer later and go back to curl up with him.

You’re waiting for your husband to get back home after a month long tour of duty. It’s been a tough 5 weeks, what with you being on single parenting mode and the gray winters biting at your heels. You prepare his favorite meal and wait for him to come home. And then, you hear that it’s going to be another week before he arrives. You take a long, slow breath and gather up your strength and soldier on.

Situations like this dot the landscape of motherhood and daily life. Taking deep breaths do not turn the situations on their heads. Taking a deep breath doesn’t mean that the toddler will stop having that tantrum or that your husband will magically appear before you or the child will go back to sleep.

A deep breath just makes what’s on your plate at the moment, a little more doable.

It grounds you when you’re ready to scatter. It lets you hold on when you’re about to unravel.

It helps you keep things in perspective, when you really want to unleash the devil in you (c’mon, we all have that in us ;-)).

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