Today I really needed time for myself. It’s Sunday our weekend day, but my body is screaming give me a fucking break! I feel so heavy, physically and mentally heavy. So here is my big fear, how do I balance being there for my kids and husband and for myself? And the thoughts that came were, ‘I am a bad mom if I don’t spend the entire weekend with my kids. I want to be there with them, we don’t have that much time anyway. I can have another day off’. A year ago I wouldn’t even have considered that I had a choice, I would just be there with my husband and kids. Today, I see that I do have a choice, and it does come along with a fear of being a bad mom, of letting (maybe) my kids and my husband down when choosing myself.
So I asked my husband for a morning off. I asked whether I could just be with myself and he would take the kids. And he said of course (I have to add that he is leaving on Wednesday for a mountain bike trip for a week in Italy, so I guess that here was some wiggle room). However, it wasn’t that simple? While I am having this wonderful morning off where I meditate and write, I also started to wonder why do I need it now? And the answer came quite quickly; I’m just about to start my period. My body and mind want to prepare for this. If you would have told me about this cycles and menstruations thing a couple of years ago I would have laughed. I honestly believed that women used it as an excuse, to be chaotic, weird, or bad tempered. But now, I so believe that our bodies are telling us so much! And we just have to listen and act accordingly. My body told me, ‘I am really done with your active lifestyle, of you running around and taking care of others. I want you to be with me’.
And so I did. I meditated this morning for 30 minutes on a wonderful guided meditation on menstrual cycles, from Nic and Sam via Insight Timer. I am learning so much about my cycles, my moods, behaviours and my body cravings. Right now I am in the sorcerer cycles, pre menstruation, and this one is dark! And yes that’s how I feel! It is also erotic and sensual, also how I feel if I listen to it. Which I didn’t before. I actually really feel like having sex or orgasm. So I guess I have to act accordingly again, and surprise my husband. I took action and listened to my body. I have given my husband quality time with the kids, time for them to connect and to create memories with the three of them. So with every fear comes a gift you give to yourself and others, a gift that you might have never thought of, but one that is surely there for you to be aware of!
Today on this beautiful Saturday morning I feel like crap! Yes these days are quite challenging and being kind to myself is very important but often very hard. Negative thoughts arise and swallow me up more than I want. I observed a fear for being with the kids after the weekend for two full days, thinking I will go crazy. Writing this now makes me feel even more guilty for having these thoughts, but I will write it down because this might help you in some way I hope. Our nanny is on holiday and that means that I will have to look after the kids. And then I hear myself think, ‘I won’t survive this. I won’t be able to work and finish things that I have to finish. Why me? Why not Georg’? Being in a negative mood doesn’t make it easier because I noticed how this fear came back a number of times throughout the day. So I decided to read a quote by Eckhart Tolle saying, ‘When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation or accept it. All else is madness’. And so I decided to accept the situation, that I will spend two days with the kids and all the work and other stuff can wait. Usually this would be somehow enough but today maybe because of the negative mood it wasn’t enough.
So I had to come up with something else. Something that would allow me to look upon the two coming days positively. So I visualised the day with them, focusing mainly on how I would feel sitting on the couch after these two days. And knowing that I would feel exhausted but so happy to have spend these days with them, building our bond and just having good and some bad times together. I also tried to focus on just being in the now, trying to feel my breath, my body by asking myself ‘How am I feeling today…right now’? I tried answering this question by feeling into my body; my feet, legs, stomach, heart, shoulders, back, neck and my face. Feeling how all these areas feel. If my stomach felt tight, I’d relaxed it. My neck feeling tight, I again tried to relax it. I tried to really be in the moment by using my senses. I observed my kids, played with them, put my phone away and tried to just be. It turned into a pretty nice day, with many challenges to stay in the now. I would really like to encourage you to try.
So while I was standing in front of my closet, trying to pick which t-shirt I was going to wear today, I suddenly became aware of a fear! And the fear appeared when I took a t-shirt that might show sweat around my armpits. And my fear was, ‘If you sweat, which most likely you will, you will make a fool out of yourself and people will be grossed out by you. Not sexy at all! AHAH’! Taking a deep breath in, I caught the fear! And then I decided to face that fear by challenging myself to wearing that t-shirt! So I did. Well, the sweaty story continued throughout the day, especially once I felt the cold sweat under my armpits began advancing. And there it was; the fear that people will be grossed out when they will see my sweat popped back into my head. So, I first tried to keep my arms down; a robotic attempt to hide the inevitable. I then became aware that this was again giving into the fear. So what I did was quite impulsive. I said to my colleagues, ‘Wow I am warm! Look at that!’ and I swang my arms up in the air, showing off with my sweaty armpits! The look on their faces was a mix of humour and confusion but we all managed to laughed if not slightly uncomfortably. I soon explained to them why I did this, and we all agreed that it is actually ridiculous to be ashamed of something so natural like sweat. But also to feel limited by the choice of clothing, because let’s face it in many of the clothing you own you will be able to see once in a while sweaty armpits.
I feel that sometimes it’s really nice to involve people in your challenges, so you can release a bit of the pressure you put on yourself. It might even inspire others to be more open about fears and worries. So next time you experience negative thoughts or emotions towards something ask yourself how you could deal with it. Accepting it or maybe changing it by challenging yourself to just do it, to go and face the fear. And don’t forget at the end of the day to celebrate your victory on the fear or any other negative thoughts! You can do this!
Today early in the morning I discovered that I couldn’t find my bag anywhere. The plan of the day was to drop the kids at daycare and after that take the train directly to Amsterdam. Well, I couldn’t do that without a wallet. So the panicky search started. Where is my wallet? Then the fear set in: Mama lost her wallet, kids please help me search. Once I managed to get hold of my thoughts, I noticed what my thoughts were telling me: I will never make it to Amsterdam, I will have to block all my cards as soon as possible because the thief will use them to buy tickets to the Bahama’s without me. I am such a loser, I always lose something. So there I was thinking these panicky thoughts and then suddenly I became aware of them. And then I asked myself, what is my problem right now, at this very moment? And the answer was nothing. Right now I just have to bring the kids to daycare. Worrying and dealing about the bag lies in the future. I told myself that after daycare I will cycle home and start over.
So for 30 minutes I did my best to let go of the fears that came with losing a wallet and I focused on my kids. I focused on making sure that they were ok, and that I could cycle them safely to daycare. So I did and while biking I talked with my elder son about losing a wallet. We spoke about how I was slightly scared that I might have really lost it and that my wallet might be inside the house somewhere. He understood my pain, and said he will look everywhere on the floor, because maybe yesterday I dropped it on the floor. So sweet! So there we were and every minute I felt myself getting calmer. After I dropping them at daycare, I told myself while cycling that I will call all the cafe’s I visited yesterday to see whether they have found a bag, before I start blocking all my cards. The second cafe I called a friendly lady answered the phone with good new: Yes! They had found my wallet! Thank goodness! I was able to coach my startups classes in Amsterdam via Skype and therefore that problem also disappeared. Wow this day just got better and better.
The lesson I learnt from this day was how amazingly powerful it is to be aware of your thoughts. That I am in charge of creating my own drama, comedy, or reality. That if you live in the now, moment by moment, that actually many of the problems we create in our heads disappear, because many fears and worries are all about the future. I was so proud that I could show my kids a good example (if you don’t include losing things almost daily) and that living in the now is hard but so worth a try! So next time you lose something, I would like to challenge you to look in the now, to take a few deep breaths and be aware of your thoughts. What are they telling you, what panic state are they trying to get you in? And try to remember this one thing: I am not my thoughts! I am the one that is aware of my thoughts.