After finding my way back home … I’m back!
Yes, I’m back!!
And boy oh boy does it feel good to be back.
What do I mean exactly when I say ‘I’m back?’
Well…after losing my way after my son Zen was born, I can confidently say I’m back.
I’ve found my way back home.
Up until the day Zen was born I had a daily self-care ritual where I would tune into my inner voice – or as I like to call it, my True Self – with a pen and paper.
For seven years I’d used this practice to help me re-centre.
To find peace within.
To clear limiting beliefs.
To heal past traumas.
To overcome life challenges and resolve conflict.
To make sense of my world.
And to help me get super clear on what needed to be said or done for me to experience flow and ease in my business life and close relationships.
Sometimes it would be a quickie: Just 15 minutes.
Most days, however, it would be at least half an hour.
Some days, I’d tune in for an hour or two, especially on those days that life felt a little topsy turvy.
And when I did, life re-aligned again.
Yet when Zen was born things changed.
Time seemed to slip away.
I remember in the first weeks my husband and I looking at the clock and saying ‘It’s 9pm, perhaps we better get dinner started!’
Breastfeeding was no walk in the park.
In fact, in the beginning I found it a real struggle.
It would take my husband and I an hour some feeds, just to work out how to get him latched onto the boob!
Then I’d spend the next hour feeding him in pain.
We’d change a nappy, I’d read him a book, and before I knew it, it was feed time again.
Between helping me get this breast feeding thing happening, my husband was cooking and cleaning and ducking out to buy supplies.
During the first few weeks he was lucky to get a shower, he was so busy supporting his new little family.
I found myself thinking: ‘Who was I to ask my husband for more of his time so I can go do my little tuning in practice?’
Surely everything else was more important, right?
We had a new life to nurture.
And so I put off tuning in so I could be with my son.
Of course, what I was really doing, was putting off tuning in, so I could not be a burden to anyone.
There it was.
A limiting belief I thought I’d cleared, rearing it’s ugly head once again.
I’m a burden.
I’d taken on this belief as a child.
My mum had always complained about how much of a burden it was running me around to all my extra curricular activities; singing lessons, drumming lessons, school plays I was involved in, band practises and so forth.
She’d given away her time for me, and now as a mother, I felt as if I needed to do the same and give my time away.
So much so, that a 15-minute practice each day seemed too selfish.
Too much to ask for.
Suddenly me taking this time, as I had done for the past seven years, would impact other people.
I couldn’t just duck out and do my thang.
One little soul was depending on me, and while my husband was around helping all the time, I needed to take those baby-breaks to eat or sneak in a two-minute shower or book in an appointment with yet another specialist who might be able to help with breast-feeding.
Did I really have time for tuning in?
I started to doubt it.
I started to feel that tuning in was no longer the priority it had been.
This inner conflict on whether to tune in or not was so prominent for me, that after the first month or so of motherhood my husband reflected it right back at me, asking?
‘Why do you need to have a daily practice to stay balanced?
Why can’t you just be balanced?’
More doubt entered my head.
Why did I need it?
Was it a crutch or an addiction?
Maybe I should try going without it.
Up until this point in our seven year relationship my husband had been completely supportive of me taking time to tune in daily.
In fact, if he saw me a little out of sorts or challenged by life, he’d lovingly suggest: ‘Maybe you should go tune in?’
What had changed?
I had changed.
And my husband was simply acting as my mirror, reflecting back my insecurities.
For that’s what relationships are.
There to show us what else we need to heal within ourselves.
So under his own stresses of being a new dad and suddenly feeling like he didn’t have time to get everything done, he said what I as thinking.
He put my thoughts into words.
And those words were so powerful, I took them on.
I decided that maybe it was ok not to tune in each day.
Maybe I needed to find a new way to stay balanced.
Wasn’t it normal for new parents to have to cut back in some areas of their lives?
Yet now was not the time for me to ditch my most powerful practice.
It was the time I needed it the most.
To help me through this massive transition in life.
What followed was months of joy and happiness and a newfound love of motherhood.
Yes I LOVED being a mum (and still do!!).
But at the same time, there was an inner conflict playing out around my daily practice.
I became more and more scared to ask for time-out.
I felt more and more of a burden.
Tuning in became something I tried to do while breast-feeding, al beit, without my pen and paper.
It helped somewhat, but without that solid foundation of a dedicated tune in with pen and paper, it didn’t have the potency I was used to.
Life became increasingly more difficult for me.
On one hand, I was enjoying spending all this time with my new family.
On the other hand, I couldn’t stay emotionally stable for any length of time.
So any joy I felt was short-lived.
It came in bursts.
There was much more conflict with my husband.
At three months in, adding just 10 hours of work (from home) per week into the equation, seemed impossible.
This made me more emotionally unstable in my personal life.
Life wasn’t bad.
It just wasn’t as easy as it had been.
It wasn’t flowing like I was used to.
I couldn’t stay balanced.
And when I lost my balance, it was really hard to come back to centre.
I had no where to go to find my inner peace when times got tough.
After finding my tuning in practice, life hadn’t been like this.
Life had been different.
It’d been much more easy to weather the storms.
An overwhelming sense of guilt set in every time I took time away from my son, to work, to shower, to go to the toilet, to do anything; let alone tune in.
I managed a tune in every few weeks.
A did mini yoga practices a few days a week, but my practices were saturated in guilt.
My time on the mat was delicious, but getting there was a guilt-laden chore.
I would be so fearful of asking my beautiful husband if he could mind Zen while I did my practice.
I had no logical reason to be fearful.
It was self-created fear.
It was my stuff.
I hadn’t abandoned myself completely, but I had lost touch with what it felt like to be fully committed to myself.
I gave complete love to my son.
I could be there for Zen and my clients, only taking on as many clients as I felt I could fully support through their transformations.
I gave them what they needed.
But that’s all I had to give, so my husband missed out.
And so did I.
With no family help to fall back on, the first year of parenthood was difficult, but we got through.
It was also during this year – call us crazy, or call us adventurous – we decided to move to France.
It was something we’d been talking about for the past six years.
It was simply a matter of deciding when.
My Maltese citizenship had come through a month before Zen was born, which meant that we could live in France, as Malta was part of the EU.
We had our in!
Yet while we’d decided to embark on our dream, my emotional stability wasn’t what it used to be.
So after spending three months on the road – where life knocked us for a six in more ways than one – we finally arrived in France.
And being here, wandering around the cobbled streets eating croissants, changed nothing for my mental state.
Of course it didn’t.
When you move countries, you take your gunk with you!
It wasn’t until a month after arriving in France, when we were dealing with emotionally draining French bureaucracy, living in a small, dark Air BnB where I hit my hands on the roof every time I did yoga (I’m not that tall!!!) and my moods were swinging around like a monkey in a tree, that I knew this was the breakdown before the breakthrough.
I came down with a horrible chest infection that made breathing terrifying.
My hips kept going out of alignment – as they had during the whole mothering journey – making it difficult and often painful to carry my son for long stints in his carrier.
This only made me feel more trapped inside our temporary accommodation.
My years of dedicated practice had ensured my life didn’t fall to complete ruin.
My business was going well, Zen was happy… hey I was living in France!!
After a dedicated practice I still had a connection to my True Self, but the longer I failed to commit to my daily practice, the weaker that connection grew.
And the more wobbly I felt personally.
And this was reflecting on my relationship with my husband, and my ability to get things done with ease.
Life was very slowly coming undone at the stitches.
I knew that sooner or later, my emotional wavering would filter out to my business and my son.
My daily practice.
It really was that simple.
So I forced myself to tune in.
I prayed for help.
And the simple message was:
Establish your foundational practice again.
Commit to 15 minutes of yoga followed by 15 minutes of tuning in with a pen and paper every day.
There it was.
Yet I held so much internal resistance against following through on this divine guidance.
I shared my tune in with my husband.
He was on board.
Fully supportive of my 30-minutes per day.
I had no excuses for not following through, except those I created.
Within a week of committing to my daily tuning in practice I felt clearer.
All the paperwork to get into our new home, finally went through, and we were given the keys.
Lots of sunlight, high rooves and a lovely view!
We had a home!
And at the same time, I’d returned home.
I realised how vitally important my practice was.
It was a commitment to self.
And without a commitment to self we cannot survive this crazy world.
It helps get things done.
It helps us stay in the vibration of love, so we can attract in all that we desire in life.
So we can live life with more joy.
Of course our ego will try to convince us we don’t have time for a personal practice, or that we don’t deserve one, or that by taking time-out for self-care we are burdening someone else.
Yet asking my husband to mind my son for half-an-hour was no burden.
He benefited from my practice.
I was nicer to be around.
Our relationship began to be more loving, like when I had my daily practice before Zen was born.
I was finding my way back home to myself, and my whole family was happier for it.
That doozy belief I’d taken on as a child ‘I’m a burden’ was behind me.
That’s the magic about having a practice like mine, is that you can clear the limiting beliefs that create self-sabotage…
…That create struggle.
Most importantly though, I didn’t have guilt around working a few hours a week AND taking time to do yoga and tune in.
Life was as it should be and I had the added bonus that I was now living in France!
I was home in more ways than one 🙂
My big lesson:
Never ever abandon myself (and my practice) like that again.
It’s too important.
When we have a daily practice it sets up your connection to ourself for the day so we can easily hear our inner voice – our inner wisdom – speaking to us throughout our daily activities.
Without that morning practice, the line of communication with our True Self becomes more static.
The radio frequency becomes less and less clear and you start picking up on the voice of your ego as opposed to the voice of your True Self.
You tune out of your True Self, your ego takes your full attention and before you know it life becomes complicated, things take longer to get done and you feel down right bad.
Motherhood challenges us in so many ways.
Yet it is so rewarding and joyful at the same time.
I love motherhood and I so grateful for this journey, and I am so happy to have learnt all the lessons that have led to my re-commitment to self.
Please share your experiences in the comments below on how you lost yourself at various points in your life and what helped you find your way back to yourself.
The more we share, the more we inspire each other.
*If you’re interesting in learning the tuning-in process I have discussed in this blog, I teach this exact method in the Remarkable Relationships 3-month online course.