Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I cleaned out my closet (see Closet Memories), and I'm also cleaning out my colon. I know. Maybe it's TMI (too much information), but let me just say that they're connected. It's all connected.

Somehow, slowly, innocuously, we're so used to yielding, nurturing, giving over as the lifeline to our babies, that we become unconscious of it and the long-term effects of it's accumulation.

As I give over my body, my focus, my identity, my stability (and everything else that comes with it), to house this baby and care for its very survival, the very act of the shifting focus, deferring, protecting, stepping aside as it were, becomes habitual. Almost automatic. (Of course you'll drop everything for your child, who wouldn't?)

So when years pass and you start to wonder, hello? Where did I go? Who am I anymore? What have I been doing? What have I done? How do I introduce myself to others? And in that context you find you've been out of the game, stuffing yourself into little boxes, stealing shreds of quiet time as unpredictable and rare as they are, keeping yourself busy, and the rest of the time slowly becoming padded, unconscious, going soft (and wide),
gathering dust, mourning the loss, the disconnection, the split, with the slow drip of deferment. Everyone's needs. Everywhere. Endless. Food becomes a relief. TV, drinks, anything to numb the painful monotony of the day to day stepping over self for family life.

It's a choice I willingly made, but was I so sure of its lasting effect?

Yes it's a joy. Yes it can be terribly exciting. Yes, it’s so fulfilling and gratifying on an enormous level, yes I love and cherish my daughter, but as I survey the handful of moms I know, we're all struggling to get back to ourselves. To find that piece of self-passion, reconnect, reinvent, get stronger and thrive again.


I'm on day 7 of a cleanse. Not too strict. The powder 2x/day, no wheat, no dairy, no sugar. Lots of veggies, fruit and whole grains. Chicken and fish. And water. Spa water w/ sliced cucumbers and oranges.

As my body releases and lightens, I am astounded at just how much I have accumulated in there and how I've been hiding inside myself, bubble-wrapped in this flesh.

I am willing to let it go. I am willing to release the weight, the bloating, the holding on. I am willing to reveal my inner sanctuary, my inner strength.

I dedicated this morning's run to longevity…to stick with it and examine what that means, and how that approach varies from fast and furious, and burnout.

What are the next steps, I ask?

As I'm running along the path, I am reminded of a Chi Gong (or Qigong)
exercise to gather up the chi and with a short and forceful exhale, push down and compact my energy into my body and into the earth. I do this grounding exercise as my feet connect with the dirt.

We spend so much time in the ever-expanding heart chakra and third eye and crown, nurturing, intuiting, we forget to come back down into our bodies. Many of us have neglected them, abandoned them figuratively and literally until we are walking shells which makes us more, not less, vulnerable. Somehow sex is relegated to a chore, a duty, or tied inexplicably to creation--life and death and loss in all its turmoil--that the intensity of this knowing creates a disconnection. We abort sensuality. We are touched out. Fortresses are built. Is this too much life for one body to handle? Or too many other lives for one body to handle?

As I'm grounding my energy into the earth, my heart swells and expands, energy radiating outward full force yet I'm present, connected.

"It's time," I hear.

Thwack, thwack, thwack, as invisible ripcords release from my belly. I take myself back, lovingly, in all my power.

What would it look like if I could live from this place of heart-centered, grounded, intuitive, physically and spiritually-connected all-knowing? How would my life look? Could I do this? I mean, really do it? And do it with a family?

"Do not fear it."

It's the salve I needed to hear. Yes. Do not fear it. Do not fear living with greatness of spirit, connected to the earth, through the body, all parts vibrant, moving forward with knowing and grace, unencumbered, intuitively guided. Live from this place. Live.

I am given a blessing to let her go. She is 5 now, a big girl. I am there for her but she is independent.

"Do not fear it," I say to both of us,
"do not fear it," picturing her sweetness, knowing her willfulness.

I get it now. It's the Mother's Blessing. The mother's gift to her daughter. To let her begin to individuate, as I must too. I can't hold on forever. She must begin her autonomy. This is tied to the separation anxiety in the mornings I am sure, year 2 of heart-wrenching death clings at the door, "no Mommy, stay, staaaaay….noooooo!"

Now it has shifted. I feel it. It is OK to take it back, my life, releasing the psychic cord. I am not leaving you, I am at your side. But I am one now, not two.

Recognizing the depth of this seemingly simple moment, I am overcome with gratitude.
Oh Blessings. Thank you.

Today the drop-off was short. "Hey Sienna, what if we just do what some of the other kids do, you know, like 'Bye! See ya later alligator.' We could try it that way" I pitch, envisioning the long drawn-out hugs and pep talks, the exchanged notes, the series of goodbye rituals we have worked on over the last two years.

"OK. Bye Doodie!" she says, and runs off with her friends laughing.



Jerri said...

"Do not fear it."

Great, great advice in a truly wonderful piece, T.

riversgrace said...

I so hear you and see you and I so get it. How lovely and how refreshing to return to your words (sorry, have given myself over to family!). You have a way of speaking the truth so clearly, no hiding. I love that. It gives me the same permission. You name these aspects of motherhood and womanhood perfectly.

Ok, must know more about the cleanse.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is so beautiful, honest and clear. This post went right to my heart, even thou my girls are older, it is so true and such good advice. I feel that pull all the time! I really loved this post, thanks.

Nancy said...

Beautiful to give yourself the permission for self and a gift to your daughter as well. This is inspiration for all of us struggling to reclaim self.