(*Disclaimer. The following post was written on almost no sleep and too much coffee. A quick note to parents with little ones...please beware! Your preteens can keep you up more than a newborn!)
So I guess I've been in hiding. Not intentionally...but through two back-to-back illnesses(which is very strange for me) I just found myself knocked right down. You know that feeling when you're sick, and you start to imagine what it would be like if this is the best you ever felt...ever again? I started back-tracking over the past few weeks...how I haven't eaten properly...slept properly...struggling through my yoga practice.(It has been anything but a 'moving meditation'.)I can't even remember the last time I picked up a paintbrush...All of this, in turn, has made me a regular 'Little Suzie Sunshine'.
The very first concept I learned about yoga philosophy was 'ahimsa'...having a sense of love and compassion for all living things...which strangely enough, is supposed to include yourself. This is something that is a constant work in progress for me. So yesterday,as I was really focusing much of my energy on this...and found myself being reminded of a time that seems very far in the distance...
I grew up in a home that was a little unconventional(I know, who didn't?). The best way I guess to describe it, was that things were excessively strict, and ridiculously permissive at the same time. I am the oldest of four children...and I guess I could honestly say, I was born a 'mother'. Due to work and schooling commitments of my parents I grew up very fast. By ten I was cooking dinner, doing laundry, and caring for my three younger siblings on my own quite a bit...all the while being a straight A student. I babysat for my parent's friends quite a bit, and sometimes that money would go to help run the house. I worked very hard at being the perfect daughter...perfect student.Somehow, I would be loved...
This is how it went until I was almost seventeen...when I kind of lost it, and began living two lives. On the surface, nothing was noticed, but it could have been. I followed curfews...and rules...my report cards escaped being checked, so my parents totally missed that my grades went directly in the toilet. I could have given a shit...There were parties...and experimenting...and complete disregard for personal safety...Ya,the exact opposite of 'ahimsa'. But in the blink of one terrified eye one night everything changed...It just hit me that if anyone was going to pull this sliver of a girl onto the right path, it was going to have to be me. Literally overnight, that is what I did. I took that girl's hand and we ran...fast! I retreated from anything unhealthy...I dove headfirst into my studies, and quickly brought my grades back up...I used money from an after school job to put myself through classical guitar (Okay...I honestly suck at this...:-) and classical voice training (Much, much better at this.)I spent my spare time writing, and sketching...practising...singing...studying. I just threw myself headlong into joy with reckless abandon...and then came the best part...tumbling head over heals into the arms of one very, very special person...Someone brave enough to put up with my crap...and so kind that he truly makes my life better everyday...(well...almost everyday...;-)
So, I guess the point of my spouting here, is that I suspect, deep down we do know what is best for ourselves...we do know how to be caring and kind to ourselves...if we just stop and listen. Maybe allowing ourselves to hear it is the hardest part? I know lots of women who don't realize how wonderful they are...So girls, please... feel free to wrap your arms around yourselves...come on...I dare YOU! :)