I've spent the last 20 years teaching yoga. Ten of those years, I was traveling the world as a teacher's teacher, educating others on how to facilitate deep experiences of the body and mind. This was a path that gave me access to the depth of my own heart, fortified my belief in the healing power of self-care, and taught me that connection---to myself, to others, and to nature--is the foundation of true well-being. It allowed me to live my ultimate dream of service and a sense of personal freedom. For many years, it was a source of true fulfillment and all I could have ever wanted.
Then something changed when I became a mother.
I found myself, for the first time, in a paradigm where I was no longer the center of my own universe. Without question and a full willingness on my part , my young son took my place and I was on the "outside looking in" at my own life. As mothers, there's no real intention in this -- it's bigger than any of us and simply what we do. We only follow the "marching orders", the instinctual messages of our most primal selves to nurture and protect...and that becomes the new normal.
To me, it's been the blessing of a lifetime and shown me a women I love. I wake up every day, grateful to experience myself in this new light, as a selfless giver and an unconditional, forever friend.
Having said that, it's also been the largest balancing act of my life...and it hasn't always been pretty. I've tipped the scales in the wrong direction more than once on this journey and, as many of you know, it does nobody any good when mama's off-kilter. It's been a continual dance of learning how to maintain my own sense of well-being, as well as how to properly take care of my family. And asking questions like, "how do I stay ahead of the "burnout" curve and remain healthy so I can bring my best self to the table for the people I love?" "How do I show up as a fierce mother, but also a sensual women with a thirst for life, a creative spark, and an appreciation for living unleashed?" "Will I ever find a way to honor my refined sensibilities, as well as my wild ways?" "Does balance actually exist for a woman like me, under these particular circumstances?"
It's been a difficult, messy (though often beautiful) road to navigate.
When I listened closely, what I heard was a clear message...
It's time to return to the familiarity of my roots.
To remember my early childhood when I was surrounded by nature and governed by her rhythms.
To get playful like that young country girl with no timeline, who lied in the grass, staring at clouds by day and stars by night.
To acknowledge my desire for spaciousness in all areas of my life.
To get my bare feet on the earth and allow myself to get dirty.
To accept my hands a powerful tools and use them to make and create.
To unapologeticallly carve out space for art and pleasure.
...and to do this with other women.
So I paid attention and I've done EXACTLY that.
Not only has this recovered a sense of wholeness and gifted me with glimpses of a life-quality I've not seen since becoming a mother, but it's shown me that the ways I want to show up in the world have shifted.
Through countless conversations, I've seen that I'm not the only woman navigating this path. (Sisters, I see you.) And that it doesn't much matter if it's a child you're raising, a family member you're care-taking, a relationship you're nurturing, a business your building, or a dream your fighting for...
We're all looking for ways to balance the masculine, yang, energy within us (that produces, thinks, organizes, achieves, and plans) with a feminine, yin, principle (that receives, feels, intuits, loves, dances, connects and creates).
We're all deserving.
My hope is that Barefoot Because serve as a portal, and I as a friend to hold to door open,
to that feminine, creative life force that flows through all of us.
Have fun poking around my world.