I have never thought of myself as an anxious person, but after giving birth, it appears that I have entered into a more anxious way of being. That part of me, who feels anxious - well, she has always been there, but welcoming a new being into the world has given her much to think about and dwell upon.
Is my baby getting enough to eat? Am I producing enough milk? Why is my baby waking up more than usual throughout the night? Am I doing this whole motherhood thing “right?” You get the point...
And as of late, it seems like this part of me - the one who overthinks everything and causes me to feel anxious, well -- it feels like she has been dominating my experience.
Today, in my meditation practice, which I have recently returned to - thank God, I realized how humbling this entire experience has been for me.
To be honest, I thought that I had reached a higher state of consciousness than most people - I know, I know. As a life coach and healer, it’s easy to fall into the role that it perceives. Sure, I have been pretty honest about my experiences throughout the years, in regards to depression and anxiety, but what trapped me was caring so much about what others thought of me. Now, as a new mom, I can freely admit that I am experiencing more anxiety than usual, and that I fall into the compare and despair game more than I would like to admit. Motherhood has given me the freedom to see what behaviors and mental patterns trip me up the most. I see it so clearly now, and for that, I am so grateful.
So what am I going to do about this anxiety?
The first step for me is acknowledging that a part of me feels anxious. It is so easy to blame or judge ourselves for how we feel, but as we all know, that gets us nowhere. Instead, I will meet these parts of myself with love and compassion.
Storyline detour: Before getting pregnant, I worked on softening my edges. And what does that mean, you ask? Let me explain...
We all have hard edges that we have built to protect ourselves when life gets scary. For me, these edges look like the following: Comparing myself to others, creating huge expectations for myself that aren’t realistic, so when I don’t meet them, I feel like a massive failure. What else? Oh, you know, just being super hard on myself for not living up to my full potential, which looks like owning my own house, being super rich, and having a successful career. Am I being honest yet?
So now here I am, realizing that Motherhood is kindly asking me to soften into these parts of myself, deeper and deeper.
What does that look like?
Well for me, it’s not a linear practice. Some days I will remember and other days I won’t. Some days I will remember to breathe before I react or practice compassion for myself and my family when presented with challenging moments, and other days, I won’t.
These muscles take time to develop, especially with a newborn, so I will give myself grace (when I remember) and try my damndest to be patient, both with myself and my amazing hubby.
I will remember to have FUN!!! This is so, so important. And practice feeling appreciation and gratitude for my life, because when I take a minute to BE - to really BE, I see and feel how precious and beautiful this life truly is.
So here is to you and to me - to doing our best. Sometimes our best will be our worst, and that’s okay, because we will keep showing up, again and again, because that’s what we do.