I often find myself scrolling through social media aimlessly. But then again, I often find myself shifting and moving on my yoga mat aimlessly. I can also aimlessly wander through a shopping centre, a park, along the beach. And when this aimless meandering occurs, I tune into it.
It happened this morning on my Instagram feed. Nothing was really grabbing my attention until I read this question from a friend:
“Finishing off 2019 with a simple question: How can I serve?” – it got me, so I read on…
“Before the goal setting, before the visioning, before the planning and before the new year… #ask and #listen “
Straight away I responded saying that it helps to relieve some of the overwhelm. And it did! I often find when I am given permission (which really translates to: when I give myself permission) to simplify, to focus and “put down” the busy-ness for a second, I really do have space for a deep breath.
So – asking and listening. I tried it out straight away. Right there while I was on social media. I continued to wander aimlessly, this time with a question: How can I serve?
Shutdown Insta, open Facey, maybe the answer is there (ha). As I continue to scroll, I have an Ad pop up about conscious parenting. And then Brene Brown comes to mind. I was listening to an interview and she mentioned raising her children with the choice method – they were raised knowing they had a choice. I did a quick search and found a downloadable PDF from her website – here’s the link – and I found an answer to my question: How can I serve?
It felt like an answer because something in me felt resolved. The overwhelm I experienced related to my expectations of the new year – will I be good enough to start something new? To take a leap of faith and put myself out there honestly, teaching yoga from a place of vulnerability, which is, for me, this new role of Mother. I am learning every day to hold myself gently as I move through life. I find it easy to perfect. To stay rigid until I work something out. But this is not the way forward for me.
The line that really sunk in for me in Brene’s parenting manifesto was this:
You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends,
and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.
Watching me make mistakes and make amends. That is just soooo out of my comfort zone, it is not funny. I like perfect. I like knowing what comes next. I like feeling safe. But feeling safe can shift from being perfect to being imperfect. It can shift from feeling rigid to feeling flowing. Like that of a great river – still very strong, and at the same time adaptable, shifting what needs to shift in order to continue to flow.
With Ram Dass’ passing, his energy has been swirling around in the ether in the form of quotes. I love his quote on acceptance:
“You look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it.
And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are”. – Ram Dass
I tried this out on our way back from Melbourne. We were road tripping and stopped in at the Maccas at Yass. There was a sea of people lining up, and for a moment, I brought to mind the grand trees we had been sitting under that morning in Albury, and shifted my perspective in my current environment. What would it be like to appreciate this moment? It’s a work in progress, it was a small shift, but it was a shift none-the-less. I noticed tension release from my body, I noticed my belly relax, I noticed a smile arrive.
In 2017, we did a fire ceremony to release that which no longer served and to welcome in the new energy for 2018. In 2019 a burial feels more fitting. There is enough fire energy in NSW. The heaviness of soil, the soothing balm of water and earth energy is needed now to douse the flames. And so words that I would like to grow within me is what I will bury. Compassion, acceptance, imperfection. These will be my seeds of intention for 2020. How can I serve? Thank you Maddy (@_maddy_gray_) for pulling it altogether for me.