yoga + motherhood · yoga + parenting · yoga blogs

Emptying Nests and Opening Spaces

In August of 2013, I was almost 2 years into an arc of transition. This post from that time spoke to an evolving sense of ‘spaciousness’ that took a long while to feel comfortable inhabiting.

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Lately, I am met most every morning with the sense of my life having very wide, expansive horizons. I am not comfortable with this landscape, not yet. With one son still in the nest and three sons off living their lives, the actions that defined my days for so many years are… well, I hesitate to say useless or outdated, but there are many moments in every week where I find myself standing in the kitchen, or some other room, having finished some chore or another in near record time, with all this SPACE around me. Physical space. Time space. Heart space.

What is a mother to do?

Much like those early days of motherhood, then yogini-hood, it’s all about trial and error, curiosity and dedication, balance, and more. My husband observed and named my current state of transition and loss long before I could, during this particularly challenging time in our family’s lives marked by unexpected travels and long separations. Without babies or boys or my husband or even our cats into which to mold my body or shape my days, I have been experiencing a whole new realm of loss.

This transition, this ‘loss’, was written at my sons’ births. I knew they would eventually grow up, move out and forge paths of their own. Yet even with that knowledge, being in this place is still really hard. Staying present to slow change, I have invited all parts of myself to present themselves at the table. The grieving, the joyous, the confused, the lonely, the unsure; many are here and more are expected.

The familiar contours of my yoga mat helped me stay present to the challenges of active parenting. It would seem I need my practice more than ever, to both guide me through this sense of loss and into places where new possibilities await. It’s a big one, this question of when parenting’s no longer one of my full-time jobs, who am I?

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