In yoga this week we were practicing full moon pose - or at least I think it was full moon. I really only practice sporadically in All Level yoga classes that mostly include me and some amazing, strong seniors. The visual the teacher used with the pose spoke to me, as he reminded us that even when we see the full moon, we are really only seeing half. That is, the shadow is hidden from us.
As I wobbled in the pose and opened to “the one in me who I’m not seeing,” the word Imperfect washed through me. It brought a huge sense of relief. I immediately felt my heart expand and my body soften into a kindness toward myself. What had been a meanness, a criticism of myself these past few weeks, became a loving, even lighthearted, message: “It’s okay, you’re imperfect.” Really, we all are.
This opening allowed me to look at some of the areas where I’ve been really hard on myself lately. I’m reminded of the Buddhist phrase, “Right now, it’s like this.” It’s such a resonant term for me, because it simply allows. It has an inherent energy of self-compassion and being in the moment, with whatever is there. In a world where action energy is highly valued - solving the “problem,” powering through, overcoming - this phrase reminds me that it’s perfectly acceptable to just be with the feeling or experience.
Imperfect, critical of myself. Right now, it's like this.
I’m trying new things, learning a lot, and I don’t feel competent. Right now, it’s like this.
I’m exposing my vulnerability, I’m sharing my voice, I feel scared and insecure. Right now, it’s like this.
The experience of in-between, of not knowing, of no one place to belong. Right now, it's like this.
I flipped my lid at my son; that felt horrible. Right now, it’s like this.
Hiding in the bathroom to get 5 frickin'-frackin' minutes to myself. Right now, it's like this.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I totally check out or don’t try to right a wrong. It just means that I allow my feelings without so much judgement or attachment. Because I can be really mean to myself, you guys. Much meaner than I’d ever be to someone else - and that’s a spiritual offense, people. It’s how we end up putting that meanness back out into the world. Plus, when I can’t move past the hard stuff I don’t leave space for all of the beautiful experiences, which are also here.
Being the tickle monster and seeing my boys faces light up. Right now, it's like this.
Morning snuggles on the couch, reading a mountain of books. Right now, it’s like this.
My husband kissing me goodbye every single morning. Right now, it’s like this.
Babies sneaking in the bed at night and their squishy little bodies cuddled in. Right now, it’s like this.
A healthy and happy family, a cozy home, everything we need. Right now, it’s like this.
Friends and family who love and support me. Right now, it’s like this.
I don’t want to allow the challenging times to overshadow the good times, but sometimes I do that and it’s not good for my spirit or for my family. So, part of my practice is to reconnect with myself and to acknowledge all of it, without minimizing or overblowing. Mostly, I’m practicing being kinder to myself. In a time as intense as parenting small kids, I think we can all use more of that. Because right now, it’s like this.