I’m not gonna lie. Lately I’ve been feeling the churn of restlessness… it makes me want to escape, to run up a mountain, or to hop on a plane to anywhere. I crave a break from the barrage of demands that incessantly come at me from three adorable (but demanding) little beings from early morning to, well, all night….
the feeling is OVERWHELM. STUCK. RESTLESSNESS. GOING CRAZY. CRAVING SOLITUDE. CRAVING CHANGE. CRAVING REST. CRAVING TO HEAR A DEEP AND FREE BELLYLAUGH EXPLODE FROM WITHIN.
The feeling is – I want time in the mountains or by an ocean to just explore and climb or paddle and sleep (uninterrupted) in my tent.
But here I am – in a place where I am the primary care-giver of three little munchkins who need LOTS these days. We have 1 car which I don’t have access to during the day – so we are limited to where I can ride them to around town (one sits in a seat on my handlebars and the other two sit in the chariot – this is how we get our groceries done too). We are on a budget – we’ve been living on one pay check for over a year now, and my hubby has been so generous in helping me when I go completely nuts – so our budget has kept us very close to home for the past few years.
Yes – I chose this. I take full responsibility here. I didn’t know I was having twins, (and I’m so glad I did) but I did choose to have at least 2 kids. I chose this lifestyle – and on the deepest level, of course I’m so grateful to be so closely surrounded by my loves.
But let’s be honest. Every now and then, I LOSE MY SCHIZNIT!!!
And when I do, I mentally grope around for a means of egress… but deep down, even this scattered mama knows that any action taken while rooted in this place can never lead to fulfillment. Maybe temporary relief, but not the deep goods.
So, with great humility – and often reluctance, I have to be willing to acknowledge ‘who is driving’. This angst – this restlessness – comes from a somebody who is resisting things in a big way, and who is trying to be ‘in control’ (so trying to impose an overlay of a plan over reality – which only creates struggle and more resistance). Hrumph. Just great. This is, admittedly, a familiar place.
So what do I do to ‘come back’?
I turn all of my attention to what’s right here. To the very moment – and for a moment, I must surrender the story, the angst, the restlessness, and just get truly curious about what IS here. I can’t carry in any expectation of ‘finding’ a point of peace -it is truly a new experiment each time…… And always – and always unexpectedly, there is a spacious nothingness – a big empty vastness – (even though I can feel restlessness loudly trying to entice me back into the story) but if I keep focused on the inner awareness that is always here – then I start to automatically notice the peace of that ‘nothingness’ – void of struggle, strain, or desire to be in any ‘experience’ other than the one that is. If I hang out here for even one full minute – I can easily see the restless identity thrashing around – but I also see so clearly how that isn’t what or who I am. So in this ‘seeing’, the source of juice being fed to that restlessness is cut off- and already, it starts to soften (even just a bit).
From Here, I can ‘come back into the world of function’ (without ‘going’ anywhere, right?) and take care of the restless mama with great love and care if she needs it. Rooted in truth, I can consciously play now. I can make a plan to get some help to get this mama a break, I can give her the experience of eating beautiful food slowly and consciously, I can embrace her restlessness without judgement – give her a space of understanding. I can find more than enough room for the fullness of that restlessness to be here… without falling into thinking that it is what I am – or even what ‘I’m going through’. I can see the entire physical, mental and emotional brightness of the mama that is ‘me’ – I can see her great big heart, her exhaustion and her strength, her attempts to meet all the demands with presence, and the impatience she tries hard to suppress, her overwhelm, her dreams, her frustrations, her playfulness, her free-spiritedness, her deep commitment and love to her family… and I can offer her the palpable presence of the peacefulness that is at the core of it all. So because there is room for everything to fully express itself here without condition, restriction or judgement- something starts to breathe a little easier, a lightness comes in, a spontaneous noticing of beauty….. maybe even a belly-laugh escapes…..
I might still go on a solo overnight somewhere quiet and wild soon – but with fulfillment as the driver, not as the goal.
Deep bow to all your continuous efforts mamas and dadas….and everyone else struggling with that restlessness that can take over. You may not want to hear it (I know I don’t when I’m ‘in it’) but know that that restlessness is a well-marked doorway In.
Sending peace your way – always xx