Image by LifeSupercharger
In my last post, I wrote about my experience of being yoga teacher at Kripalu, which I loved with all my heart. It was easy to feel loved then, because I was connected to what I was supposed to be doing with my life, being useful to others, and I got (mostly) positive feedback about my work. Even though I love my husband and my son and the choir I sing in each week, somehow, that raw, body-sense of sacredness those early Kripalu mornings provided me are very difficult for me to re-create in my current life. Not that I haven’t tried. Sometimes I get up early and light a candle and have a yoga or meditation practice. But my heart isn’t quite connected in the same way it use to be. Somehow, this stage of my life, being a wife and mother (and housekeeper and cook) and full time employee in the work world is different now, even though my longing for the sacred is still very much intact.
So how do I manage this tension? Do I try harder to create early morning sacredness the way I used to know it, do I look for sacredness in other places, or do I live my current life with unresolved longing? (All the while reminding myself that while I was teaching yoga at Kripalu, I often longed to have a partner and children.) I could try harder to re-create what I once had. My Deva Premal CDs are now buried under Kids in Action and Frog and Toad CDs. My CD player (we’re low tech in this house) is somewhere in my son’s room. My living room floor is usually strewn with blocks, magna tiles and dog hair, and any altar I create will be dismantled within 20 seconds by my curious 4 year old.
Even if I took care of these details, however, there is something to be said about not having quite enough energy for creating sacred space the way I used to, after mom/wife/housekeeper/cook/employee duties have kept me hopping from morning till night, and sometimes throughout the night, for the past four years. Then there’s the fact that I might only get 5 or 10 minutes into my yoga practice before my son calls “Mommmmmyyyy!” from an upstairs bedroom, which requires me to leave my sacred space and enter another sacred space. A space where my little boy still wants me to hold him in the early mornings. A space where I can get back under the warm covers and hold him close and kiss his cheeks and the top of his sleepy head and simply breathe in his lovely early-morning smell and appreciate his willingness to snuggle, and have the opportunity to be mindful of the gratitude for this abundant gift of love that wells up in my heart and stings my eyes with tears.
Then I realize there’s far less tension than I thought there was. Yes, there’s the trying to re-create a part of my life that existed once, which I might choose to do on some days. But then here’s the embracing the very real sacredness my life has to offer now, as a wife and mother, which might look and feel different to me than teaching a yoga class, but is really just the same sacredness, after all. And then there’s the grieving I have to do because the time for teaching early morning yoga is over, at least for now, and trying to re-create it is about as fruitless as trying to save the melting snow from slipping into the pond in our backyard. Like trying to hold onto the dandelion seeds as they blow in the wind. Like trying to believe that if I hold my son close enough for one minute longer, I’ll be able to keep him safe forever.