Okaaaay then. Welcome. Let's begin our practice today with a short visualisation. A short journey of the mind to bring us to a new understanding-a new place of peace and calm within. Take a deeeeep breath in. Gooooood. And release through your mouth...slowwwwwly...goo-ood. Now think back for a moment. Think waaaay back to when you were younger. Think back to when you had your own wee children. Your children were maybe 6 months, or 9 months, or 1 or 2...remember for a second how you felt when they were that age. Picture yourself holding your child. It is 5 pm. Your baby has been napping. But, alas you have not. Its been days, weeks, months or even a long year since you've slept. Reeeeeally slept.
Take a moment with this memory. Breathe in here and let that weight of your fatigue find your shoulders. Let them slump forward in the rounded, hunchback pose. Nice. Breathe. Breathe in again and bring your fingertips to your temples. Let the fingers knead the temples now to release some aching pressure. Remember what it feels like to have a constant, dull headache fogging up your brain. Good. Let the stabbing pain in your left hip re-visit the joint. This is where you carry your child every day...you know you should switch hips, but you have a bad habit of choosing the left. You are right-handed after all. Let that pain now slide down your leg and tingle the arches of your feet. You've been on your feet for as long as your child has been alive. Breathe in. And out. Yesssssssss.
Now, remember how it felt to not care about these pangs and twitches. About the lack of sleep. Remember how you were determined to do it anyways, to persevere...to do everything in your power to nurture your baby, at whatever expense to your well being. Let the next breath come in the form of a sigh. Nice. Good. Remember the weight of that baby on your hip, warm and snuggly after his nap. Breathe in the scent of your baby's hair. Be in that moment. Perhaps you are waiting for the street light to change. Perhaps you are in a line up at the grocery store. Perhaps you are at the post office sending gifts to your husbands family because no matter what you are going through nothing you do is ever good enough. *cough. ahem. Sorry. Breathe innnnnnn. That's it.
Stay on your mind's journey, reach out from hunchback pose and lengthen your arms around you in a "personal space" movement. Notice the people around you in your memory. The old lady with whiskers. The old man speaking Italian in a sweater vest. The young man who stinks of BO. The other young mommy with a stroller. If any of these people were to suddenly reach out with a sharpened pencil and stab your eye...would you appreciate it? Even if it took away the aching pain in your brain...would you appreciate it? No? That's innnnnteresting. Breathe in, and on that breath, remember then how you would feel if one of those strangers suddenly spewed unsolicited advice your way. Would you like it?
Breathe out...you now have put yourself in my shoes. Nice. Gooooood. Relax the mind. Remember how awful it felt to be given advice. When you knew you were doing your absolute best. When you knew you were probably not perfect, but you were trying so hard to be. When for just a moment you were enjoying a peaceful and cuddly moment with your baby-one of so few these days...even if it was in a crowded elevator. How much did your skin burn, did your head spin, did your eyes and tongue sting when some stranger presumed to know more about your child than you. And then took their time to patronize you and undermine your entire new life's meaning?
Let these feelings of sadness and anger and frustration peel you back into standing "en-garde" pose. Let yourself remember those feelings next time you want to open your mouth and tell some young mother what she SHOULD be doing...you stupid idiot.