I awoke at 5am with this blog in my head. I've been wanting to share it for awhile, but lacked the ability to put it into words. But, since the words seem to be flowing and the energy moving, here goes! Fair warning, I have coffee- you may want some too!
When I came back from my blogging hiatus, I alluded to many life changes that happened in the past 6 (now 8) months. The husband and I moved into a new home, we gutted and reno'd most of it (which is still going on) and there were other changes that ranged from job stuff to getting to know a new neighborhood. However, the most significant change came in the form of a little positive sign on a pregnancy test taken shortly after we settled into our new digs.
I have not felt heart pounding anxiety in a very long time, many years in fact, but that moment lead to a wave of anxiety like no other.
I guess all major life changes and shifts, no matter how wonderful, can lead to anxiety. And as someone naturally prone to it, I felt it hardcore. I was plagued by all of the 'normal' first time thoughts-
can i do this?
is this the right time?
maybe we took on too much?
do i have the ability to be maternal?
I've never been mistaken for mary poppins and I've never felt that natural motherly instinct, unless you count my four-legged babies, and then you'd see me melt into a puddle of love at the slightest tail twitch.
So yeah, anxiety- totally figured it would rear its ugly head. The thing is though, that I had not entered this lightly. I have been thinking about it for over 3 years. It is true what they say- no matter how prepared you are, you never really are. So, in order to deal with all of these life shifts and personal changes I took a break from blogging.
More often than not I found myself awake in the middle of the night worrying about everything from SIDS to college applications. Every time someone came into my home they commented on how un-babyfriendly it is which lead me to see it as a death trap for anyone under 30lbs. Books left me stressed out, my body's physical changes sometimes had me in tears and more often than not I felt completely overwhelmed and confused. I began to doubt my ability to handle all of this and started to shut down. Combine that with the fact that I was miserably sick for the first 4 months and you pretty much had someone that barely left bed. As I was riding this roller coaster, I decided to take some time for me to do things I knew would make me feel better. Just making that decision felt like I was taking back control.
I feverishly journaled, meditated, took long baths, practiced pranayama and channeled my worries into bite-sized hurdles that I felt capable of overcoming.
Just like I tell my students and clients, anxiety doesn't go away overnight. It's always there- what changes is our ability to cope with it.
I've said this before... I'm a person that knows my limits and can feel overwhelmed easily. This year has thrown more at me in the past 8 months than I've experienced in the past few years! But as I look around at our home, with our touches, ready to welcome our new little bundle, I know it is always worth it.
This past year has inadvertently been a lesson in letting go and giving in. Giving in to change and accepting whats around me. All of my environments, including my own body, have at some point felt foreign to me these past few months. It took months of dedicated reflection and acceptance to find my happy place again- amongst the chaos and change! I've settled into my new norm, my new home, my new haven. I've surrendered to things I can't control and learned to change what I can.
It's funny how fast that anxiety can come rushing back.
I'm excited to share some of the meditations and journaling practices I've been using. I'm especially thankful for having these tools to help me find my way back home. And, if possible, I think I know myself even better than I had before. I know I can handle more than I think I can. I know my worries are simply that - worries, thoughts, stress. They hold no truth. And most importantly, I know that anxiety, while still scary, doesn't control me anymore.