I learned just in time that if I don’t stay in touch with “me” – who I am at my core – who I was before I was wife and mom and business owner – that I will spiral into a pit of despair and “poor me” and a dark place of being unfulfilled. And not unfulfilled because my life as a wife and mom are unfulfilling, but because I am not listening to my heart and soul and what I need as a human being. There were years of feeling guilty because I was not 100% fulfilled by being a mother…as though that should have made me feel complete. But it did not. It didn’t because I was not showing my true self to my kids or my husband... or even myself! I didn’t feel confident in who I was because I was not pursuing those things that set my soul on fire. I was just “doing life.” I was just going along complacently. I was fine. But fine is not great. Fine is the equivalent of “meh.” I knew that I was completely in love with my kids and my husband. But I was not in love with myself.
When I started to explore what made me, ME, and what made me feel grounded, or back in my body and mind, I started to feel that spark again. The spark of life and creativity and excitement to attack the day with enthusiasm! Getting grounded can look different for everyone. It takes a little thought, a little self-exploration into what makes you feel like…well, YOU! That’s why I often ask in my yoga classes – what word describes you – besides “mother,” “wife,” “sister,” or a job title or a physical feature. Who ARE you? And, believe me, I realize that that is a mammoth-sized question! But I think it’s one worth pondering. And it can change at any time and maybe even day to day. But in this moment, recognizing WHO you are, can lead to that answer of “what grounds you?” For me, it has changed over the years, but what remains is the movement, art, and connecting. I love to move – whether it is dance, yoga, aerial arts, or pilates - anything that gets me into my body and moving creatively. And I love art – creating anything from sketches, painting, crafting, or scrapbooking… using my hands to create something is very grounding for me. I got it from my grandfather. He was a great artist. And in my adult life, I have discovered how much connecting with people grounds me into my values and who I am! Teaching, talking, or writing all help me feel that connection.
So, for me, this is what my grounding looks like. It’s usually full of color and mess and music and a little chaos! That’s when I feel most live and connected. And when I feel like that, I am present, in the moment, and I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be. When I am really still and quiet, which I realize can be very challenging for parents of younger kids, that’s when I hear that whisper of WHO I am, or maybe more of a reminder of who I am, and then I can see clearly into what grounds me!