My 20 month old son is my greatest teacher. What a Buddha he is.
I have resisted his teachings for quite some time, it was a shock really, the effect he had on our life here. Not to say that he was not wanted, he was desperately wanted and his arrival brought with it one challenge after another so that really, when I think back, he had already started his teachings before he physically arrived.
We tried to carry on living as we had done before, and then we realised that that was no longer working so we gradually made changes to accommodate this new life with all his needs and demands.
But I have to say that even though changes were made, there were still many more to make. On some level I knew this, and I believe that was the driving force for me undertaking the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course earlier this year which made me very aware of the parts of my life that were simply not working, or were no longer me or us as a family.
But this didn't necessarily make it easy to make the changes, it is one thing to become aware of them, and quite another to do anything about them because essentially that change has to come from within, a change of mind is necessary then. And changing one's mind is not easy because it likes to cling on to what it knows and letting go can be quite a painful exercise.
Elijah was my driving factor. I realised I had become very used to being busy, I had become Emma=busy, and I did not want that association anymore. It was tiring and exhausting me and really, why on earth did I need to be so busy, What is so challenging about just being? Well of course there are many reasons for this and my fear of being unproductive or lazy or stagnant all feature quite high on the list.
But I knew things had to change. All the rushing around, the working, the tapping on the laptop and far too much time on social media under the pretext I was working (yer right?!) was limiting conscious time spent with my little Buddha. And this meant that I was missing out on all his present moment adventures and that seemed a little bit silly given that I had wanted to be a mother my whole life.
So let go I had to try to do. Phew. No easy process, a part of me was really having a hard time letting go of the need to be busy, of saying no rather than yes, and more phew, the tough one, just letting things be. The ideas keep popping up, the desire to plan to organise and to be busy, and I am trying, always trying just to really let things be, to stop pushing and wait for the right timing (and in this I have learned lots and am still learning lots) and enjoy the moment with Elijah however challenging that may be.
So yes, there are times when I long to practice or to channel Reiki or to go swimming or to plan a workshop or to do any of those things I love to do and instead I find myself reading a book about tractors for the third time. But isn't this exactly the practice, the ability to be present with what you are doing even if you are inherently adverse to it. And you know, the more I sit with it, the discomfort that is, the restlessness then, the more I come to enjoy the experience.
Tractors that is. Yes, if truth be told I am actually getting into the whole tractor malarkey, which is probably just as well as "tractor" and "digger" are two of Elijah's few words and he says them a lot. And there are actually quite a few tractors over here in Guernsey, he spots them before I do, although I am becoming better at doing so!
So life has changed. My mind is changing. It is an ongoing process, I will be honest about that, I don't always get it right and I find I am on the ipad zoning out before I have even realised, its sticky territory and I get stuck. But I am getting better at catching myself, of recognising those sticky times. And I will be honest, I did see an independent counsellor for a few weeks, to talk through my findings and make sense of where my energy needed to be - of course I knew deep down, the angels kept telling me, but it is often so difficult to recognise this in your own being.
So it is all tractors and trains now, and we got some paint so we can embrace that creative urge, and we are getting really good at building rivers and dams on the beach, and we are working on our yoga practice although this is going to take some time because at the moment we are at the 'throwing crystals at Mama and jumping on Mama and let's stop for nuhnuhs (milk)' stage and that is fine, there are other ways to practice on being a better person, and Elijah is teaching me all about that with his ability to stay present and embrace all that life offers to him.
With love and gratitude to my little trouble monkey.