We're well into September and tomorrow marks the Autumn Equinox - the point at which the sun shines directly on the equator and we (in the Northern Hemisphere) mark the start of Fall. It's a time we can feel anticipation - think squirrels hoarding nuts for winter - but also the need for more rest. In traditional Chinese medicine this big shift is explained: energy that previously flowed outward turns inward in preparation for the winter ahead.
I was talking with a dear friend who has a 2 and 4 year old this morning about restorative yoga - she asked, "what's the deal with that? Should I do it?" My question to her was "when was the last time you rested but were not asleep?" And the answer, predictably, was "never."
At the end of last year, we had big dreams for this community. We wanted this to be a place you could go for advice, to feel supported, make connections, and meet up in real life (remember what that was like?).
Because it was already hard enough to be a parent. It was already isolating and lonely. And now this. Our vision for this community (and, lets face it, most of what we wanted to do in 2020) was completely derailed by Covid-19.
But now the need is greater. The isolation deeper. The parenting so much harder. As a friend of mine recently wrote to me, "I've never felt such a convergence of heaviness and turmoil." Me either.
So we're here to figure it out together. Amidst caring for ourselves and our children, trying to maintain relationships, managing risk tolerance, and taking on a completely overwhelming and unreasonable amount of emotional labor.
1. How do I feel right now?
To me, this is the first step in figuring out what I need - checking in with how I'm feeling. We usually notice a feeling when it is REALLY present - like complete exhaustion, pure joy, overwhelming stress, etc. but with practice we can check-in on the more subtle or nuanced feelings - check out this excerpt from Do Less by Kate Northrup on tuning in to ourselves.
Remember, all feelings are valid! This great Brené Brown Podcast with Mark Brackett (author of Permission to Feel) has other great ideas for getting in touch with our feelings.
It can be helpful to write these down. We can only begin from where we are and acknowledging that is the first step. Then, move on to the next question -