Thursday, April 21, 2016

Staying Present & Swirling Thoughts

Warning: This post is a bit rambling. So, Friday is the full moon. This photo, which is one of my favorites, was taken during the full moon on my birthday. That night was not only a full moon, but also a lunar eclipse, so we drove out into the dark fields of the Palouse to watch it. Then Theo got fussy and needed to nurse before we drove back home. J snapped this photo through the sun roof. It was so dark out there! We were all blinded by the flash for a few minutes. It was a memorable night.

Leading up to the full moon this week, I decided to prepare a full moon ceremony. Have you ever done one? It's very easy and a great way to let go of old stuff that's holding you back or no longer serving you. First, you write down on a piece of paper all of the things that are making you angry, sad, occupying more of your brain space than they deserve, the things that you're ruminating over without really getting anywhere. Then, you go outside under the full moon and ask for release. Grab a match and burn the paper. Feel the things on it evaporate away into the atmosphere and leave you forever. It sounds totally new-age-y and ridiculous, but it's just another method of setting intention to let go. When we set intentions, magical things tend to happen. And letting go is so crucial. How can you welcome new thoughts and patterns into your life without making space for them?

So I've had this in the back of my mind for a few days now, and I've really been asking what I want to let go. Then, do you know what I did this morning? I got rid of the Facebook app on my phone. I really want to be more present in my everyday life and, honestly, that stupid app has been holding me back in a major way. It is a major MAJOR time sucker. Especially for people like me, living in a place where they feel a bit out of place and not terribly connected; it gives the illusion of being connected. It's been the best way to stay connected to my life in Zurich, but I'm not truly connected. I'm staring into a tiny screen. That is obviously problematic. I was lying down for a nap with Theo today and had this flash of recognition in which I saw J and I in a decade or so, remembering life with little kids and missing it so much. It was one of those jarring thoughts that strike just as you're falling asleep and wake you with such force that it's hopeless to try to go back to sleep again without doing some serious deep breathing. I didn't get my nap.

Let's be real here: We cannot - and will not - ever enjoy every moment with out little children. I get all panicky and anxious every time a well-meaning old woman tells me to cherish every minute, or I read another Huffington Post article about treasuring every last second. I love my kids, but it's impossible to do that! What we can do, though, is be present for every moment we share with our children. Then, when it's all in the past, we can rest easy knowing that we were there, not staring into our iPhone.

Sometimes I think it's hard to be a stay-at-home-mom because you naturally get bored. It's isolating when you're at home; you don't have the buffer of busy-ness and distraction to keep your mind occupied. Consequently, the mind wanders, it questions and examines, and that can be really unpleasant. So, stay-at-home-mom or not, if your mind has been wandering, asking big questions and you're feeling some ennui, the full moon might be the perfect time to let some of it go and make way for time and attention to be present and experience more joy. What do you think? Will you try it?

Also, this Tweet! ;)

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