A constant in the midst of change
Before pregnancy, I considered myself a devoted yogini and did my best to regularly take inventory of myself, to consistently consider what I could let go of and embrace more of in my life.
But when I look back now, I see that I let myself get away with so much. I don’t regret or chastise myself for the way I was. I was doing the best I could at that time in my life.
In early pregnancy, I decided that I needed to change a lot about myself if I wanted to get through labor calmly and naturally. I have spent most of my life as the ultimate obsessor, controller, planner, time keeper and worrier. These roles may have served me well in the past, but they likely won’t serve me in labor. And I will not be able to keep up with these roles once I’m a mother. I do not even wish to be that type of person anymore. But how do I shift? How do I let go? As a yoga teacher, I’m ashamed to be asking that question.
I have successfully let go of a lot of things in my life. I’ve even let go of some really hard things. But when it comes to shifting habits I’ve developed over 30 years, patterns so deeply ingrained, do I even know how to surrender?
I only get nine months to figure this one out.
My questions and concerns about the future of my family come up daily. The only way to calm my mind is to get out of my head and into my heart— so back to the yoga mat I go. I can muse for as long as I’d like about what kind of mother I hope to be, but getting on my mat reminds me that I am enough and I will learn as I go, and that’s okay. I’d rather be in the moment over fantasizing about an unknown future. Yoga taught me the value of presence long ago and it’s the one thing I’ve managed to return to through thick and thin.
I don’t know why I held onto this idea that unless I become a completely different person, I can’t handle motherhood. If my mom could do it, I can do it. If millions of women have done it before me, I can totally do it!
Thankfully, I will continue to change as my sense of what feels authentic to me changes. My yoga practice is my constant and a sacred place to accept myself when I am otherwise tangled up in doubt.
Today, after a great physical practice, I feel more at home in my own skin than ever before. I feel more connected to everything and everyone. I am full of love and hope for the future. Everything is changing and all will be well. This is a state of being that I wish for every mother-to-be to experience.