Tuesday, February 5

To feel engaged

Recently, while grazing around some of my favorite blogs, I have noticed a theme emerging: women wanting to write truer, deeper posts, more rooted in their real lives. Terms like slow blogging, wholehearted blogging show up. This idea of wanting to write more about the taste and feel and quality of our days, and less about 12 ways to practice self-care using only 3 ingredients 5 days a week. You get my meaning.

This resonates with me. My relationship to this space has been somewhat uneasy of late. I have a deep passion for this world of blogs and podcasts and workshops and e-books. It has enriched my life so very much, and I feel I have a lot to contribute, that this is the work I am meant to be doing right now. But. I struggle with showing up, with using the time I have wisely and consistently.

It's true that our lives are somewhat crowded these days. There is the baby folded in my belly, his delightful kicks saying hello--but his growing within my body makes me oh so tired. There is my mother-in-law who has been living with us since December, and the mystery health issues that have brought her here, and the long process of looking for answers as to what her life will be from now on. There are my parents, recently arrived from the Canadian cold, to snowbird in our early Texas spring for a month. All of these people are loved and lovely, and yet there are a lot of bodies moving around our space. It makes me crave stillness and quiet. It makes it hard for me to write.

There is also the larger issue of what to write. My purpose for this blog is to write about the ways in which mindfulness practices like mediation and yoga can help mamas (this one included) to live their lives with ease, meaning and intention. As a yoga teacher, it's easy for me to write from the teacher's seat, as it were. To write in ways that are more directive, less reflective of who and where I am. Now, I love me a good list post of ways to be more this-and-that, so this isn't a dig on that particular sort of writing. But rather, just an observation that I may have gotten myself tied up in the expectation that I need to be writing such posts, and that this expectation has been limiting, sometimes paralyzing, my writing.

There is a question that started tugging at my sleeve at the end of last year. It came up in conversation with Erin Goodman (I cannot find the blog post--in her newsletter, maybe?), and then exploded big time when I started reading The Fire Starter Sessions. That question is, How do you want to feel?

I began to work with this question a lot. To ask it of myself, of my students. Guided by Danielle Laporte, I distilled my answers to my three core desired feelings. One of these is engaged. Engaged is a quality of relationship: to the people close to me, to my surroundings, to my work. When I think of being engaged with my writing, it has a feeling quality of being deep in the thick and muck and joy of it, of carrying threads of thought with me as I move through my days, of stealing moments here and there to scribble down some of those words before they escape. As though writing were a delicious body of water that I could dip into and out of, again and again. Something I can feel on my skin, that could envelop me whole. Like that.

And so it occurs to me that the only way to really feel engaged with the writing on this here space is to shift to a deeper, truer, grittier, more beautiful place. I have written so little about this pregnancy, how it has felt, what I've been thinking about, planning for, enjoying, eating. There is so much to say about these here days, these precious few remaining as a family of three, as our yard greens over and the birds return with their brand-new, same-old songs, and I want to tell it. All of it. Wholeheartedly.

How do you want to feel?

PS: Karen's beautiful answer from today.

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