My mom used to use that phrase: Live in the Leap. It's good advice. It means to live in the moment and to take some risks. I like that it's "leap" instead of "jump." Leap sounds joyful and sort of carefree. So, I strive to live by these words. When my two kids were very young, living in the leap maybe wasn't a good idea for me. I played it safe. I was practical. I stressed - a lot - about sleep schedules, breastfeeding vs. bottle, choosing a daycare and then a preschool.....and a multitude of other things. Always a "worrier," this way of life stuck to me like glue. I kind of liked it. I had my ducks in a row, and I had my lists in order. All seemed well.
Or did it? The kids kept growing, as they do, but I was still stressing. By now, my mom's early onset dementia demanded that I move her to an assisted living community near me so that I could help care for her. That gave me another whole level of stressing and list making. I worried about spreading myself too thin. About not having enough time for my mom, who was floundering with horrible anxiety related to the dementia. I worried that I was dividing myself too thinly and that my kids were suffering. I was looking for reasons to argue with my husband, who was dealing with his own personal issues at the time too. This scenario went on for over six years. Constantly. There was no winning, and I was a ball of knots. My family, friends, co-workers said how strong I was. How good I was at juggling it all and how well I was taking care of my mom while being such a good mom myself. I was a total fraud and a pretender.
The other part of my story is that once upon a time, before we moved and my younger child was born and before my mom got sick, I was a teacher and then a curriculum coordinator. Sadly, I did not love my career. It was ok, but I wanted to feel more passion in my work life. I stopped working full time when my husband's job moved us and all the other stuff listed above happened. I was more than ok with it, but I felt a definite absence of SELF and of PURPOSE. I was told that raising my kids was a full time job and that should be enough by more than one person (shocking in this day and age, right?).
Then what do you think happened? I got so close to the edge that I really thought I was going to lose it. And it scared the hell out of me. I knew I needed to make a drastic change in my life, because I wanted to be the mother that my children deserved, the wife my husband needed, and a person who I actually liked myself. I searched for what could fix me. I breathed, and I tried to learn how to sit still and to be still.
I went back to the mat, where I'd always dabbled, but this was different. This time, it was for my mind instead of for balancing my runner's knee and leg ailments. I started reading about Yoga, it's origins, it's transformations, it's power. I have grown in my practice, but more than that, I've healed as a person. I could almost cry just typing those words.
Finally, I'm in a good place. My family life is happy. I am able to enjoy my children. My children have a mom who is calmer and happy. My mom is in a new home where she is safe and kept more contentedly busy, so that my visit is a bonus rather than a near daily must. I'm substitute teaching and teaching knitting...and I love it...the flexibility and the work itself. I've let go of people who are not good for me. I can even sit in stillness once in awhile.
I feel this incredible freedom to figure out WHAT IS NEXT for me. So, after lots of thought and journalling and discussion with my ever-supportive (and much healed) husband, I think I've finally figured it out. I begin YTT in January. My plan is to train teachers to use yoga in the classroom to aid student learning, relieve student anxiety and stress, and to help lessen behavior problems. I will also offer Yoga for Teachers, as I know firsthand how stressful their job is and how much a calmer teacher can positively influence our children. My hope is that I can build a business around yoga and teaching. I'm excited and nervous to talk about it for fear of jinxing myself. Isn't that silly? To honor my wonderful, loving, and wise mother as she used to be, I must "Live in the Leap" and make this venture REAL by saying it out loud. Thank you to YBC community members for listening. Thank you for this wonderful community, Candace. You have no idea how much you've had to do with my healing. I hope you all follow me on my adventure. I'd like to take a yoga class and then go for a coffee with all of you!
The person who taught me to Live in the Leap