Living in the Moment and Letting Go of Plans
It’s 10:20 am and my yoga bag is packed, mat tucked under my arm as I make my way towards the door. What used to be a daily occurrence, stepping outside of my home to attend a class or meet up with friends, is now a rarity, a change I try to gracefully welcome as I remind myself that I am a mother of three babes, all ages five and under. But this morning was different; I had made a plan days in advance, talking it over with my husband, ensuring that the family could do without me for a few hours while I had some much needed R+R for myself. But, as I cracked the front door open, my 3-year-old daughter latched on to my leg, eyes welling with tears as she begged me to stay.
My husband, seeing the scene, gently tried to coax her to the kitchen, trying all of the standard tricks of cookies and having her help him make something, like a cup of tea, which she usually loves. This morning, however, she was adamant, relentless in her efforts to keep me by her side. My husband shrugged his shoulders and headed back outside to his garden. I let my things fall to the floor as I scooped up her tiny little body and settled in on the sofa.
At first I was outraged. How dare my husband not make this happen! I would have found a way to let him go. Then, as my daughter quickly recovered and scampered down the hallway to play with her brother, I was irritated. Why didn’t I just go? I knew she would be okay. I need to stand up for myself and make shit happen. And then, as I sat on the sofa alone, emotions stirring and my feeling of discontent rising, I went into full-on selfish mode. If I’m upset, I’m going to make everyone else upset. So, I proceeded to storm around the house, picking up toys and starting loads of laundry, annoyed with everyone in my home and making sure they knew it.
This went on for thirty minutes or so before Max, my sweet little 9-month-old, demanded that I pick him up so he could nurse himself to sleep.
The house, now quiet in the wake of the guilt trip I took them all on, started to breathe, and I joined in, taking deep, long breaths as my son closed his eyes and drifted off. In his room, away from the stimulus of my phone and computer, I replayed the morning in my head.
How could I have handled it gracefully, and from a place of love?
This idea of replaying events, hitting rewind and then rewriting the story, is a form of meditation that I’ve been practicing for the last several months. It serves as a way to take yourself and your mind out of deep-seated habits while filling you with the positive emotions of another reality, one that, if you choose, can be yours.
What would have happened had I, instead of getting upset at my daughter’s burst of emotions, gotten down on the floor with her and asked her to tell me how she was feeling?
How would the energy of the morning changed had I not been so attached to going to this class in the first place, recognizing that a morning at home with my family could be just as nourishing and restful as an hour of yoga with friends?
I pictured myself greeting the change in plans with open arms, taking in the moment the same way as I welcome breaths into my body, not trying to control, simply enjoying each one, whether long or short, for what it is. Within minutes, I felt my mind relax. Looking at my son sleeping in my arms, I paused to appreciate the moment. This wouldn’t be happening had I left.
Every day we are given the freedom to choose not just our actions, but also our responses. This freedom can either be our greatest blessing or our biggest curse. When we remember that our happiness is not caused or created by anything outside of ourselves, we begin to set ourselves, and the people we love the most, free. But, in order to do this, we have to commit to being present, to letting go of plans and truly living gracefully from moment to moment, and all of those tiny spaces in between.
About the Author
Julie is a mother of three, a published author, entrepreneur and a dedicated student of yoga and meditation. She is also the founder of Buzzy Blogs and Tailor Mag. She currently lives in desert foothills of New Mexico with her family and dogs.