Life, over the past couple of months, has been a lot like muddy water settling and, little by little, clearing. It's almost like the moments when there is time to settle and be with the quiet that I get some small insight or understanding. And those little flashes have been so helpful as they are directing me forward when I have felt very stuck.
I think for the first 6 months in Flagstaff, everything felt really hard and overwhelming in every possible way. And because of all the intensity and overwhelm, I was feeling zapped of any inspiration, direction or clarity as to what to do next and how to get the needed things done. This last month, month 7, I have felt a noticeable shift in the intensity. I do feel the intensity easing up in most areas and am relieved. I think as I get little hits of understanding like letting go of expectations, learning to let life here take shape, and trusting that things will shift and feel better in due time, is helping.
As far as teaching goes, I have regulars showing up for class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and for the basics series so that is making teaching better by far. I think people are getting used to me and what I have to offer and this is allowing for a connection to be made. And to me, connection matters when it comes to teaching. I definitely feel that progress is being made and that's a really good thing. In fact, "Progress not perfection" is my new mantra in all areas of my life these days. Remembering that phrase helps me soften and relax into what I am doing. And honestly, if I can remember that learning a little something everyday and trying to do better everyday is enough, than that takes a lot of pressure off and makes life so much more doable and enjoyable.
Life on the home front is most certainly a work in progress and this is one of those areas in my life right now that is requiring more effort, inner work, diligence and patience. I won't go into a lot of detail here but will say that parenting is one serious teacher! The good news is that I am starting to understand my son's emotional outbursts and behavior as more about him needing connection and direction, calmness and love in those moments than anything else. I can see his hurt now when he is angry. I don't think that I could always see beneath that before. I also able to see how I can get triggered in these intense moments and how easy it is to react instead of respond to the real need at hand. I see where both Jason and I need to work on the way we handle Liam and Lila's harder moments, and what a challenge that is when we are tired and worn down. And this, of course, is where the real work of awareness comes in. Can I stay calm, attuned and attentive in the moment when all my triggers are being hit?! Not easy! Not. At. All.
I guess what I am learning about my kids is that they are intense, creative, funny, determined, super sensitive, energetically intuitive, opinionated, often dramatic, dynamic little people. I see kids that are quiet and calm and listen and sit down to eat dinner and I think WOW! that's amazing. My kids are not like that. And I know I am not alone. Don't get me wrong, they have quiet moments, but they are not mellow or still or easily convinced to do much of anything they don't want to do. They are strong spirited kids for sure. And, apparently, they have come here to teach me a whole lot and I to teach them a fair amount too! To be sure, life at home is never dull. And boring is not a word that I would ever use in my house to describe my family, the laundry and housework maybe, but not the people or the pets for that matter (except for maybe the fish).
So even though I am getting a little clarity on life at home and in other areas, there is much work to be done and a lot learning to be had. All I can do is keep reading and digging, observing and learning and trying to find better ways of doing things. Actually, as I am writing this, my most recent vision board comes to mind. On that vision board, I cut out the words: All In Mindful Evolution. That's a pretty apt description of what's going on for me and my family. I think we are in the messy stage of evolution at the moment, but we are working our way forward toward the good stuff one day and choice at a time. And, really that's all we can do.
Until next time...