I bought the book “Spilt Milk Yoga” from Cathryn Munro before I went on the teacher training and love it. It is a guided self-inquiry to finding your own wisdom, joy and purpose through Motherhood.
Being a mum of a 6 and 9 year old myself I can only say again and again that my children have been my greatest teachers – EVER! Becoming a mum has transformed me in so many ways. It challenges me every day and it brings me joy every day. I have many moments and days where I think I have been completely incapable as a mother.
I started reading the book when I had 4 hours to wait on the airport and made notes in my journal about what I want to make a priority in my mothering when getting back.
The 1st and most important thing I wrote down is “be more present / aware” – meaning not checking messages on the phone when my children are trying to tell me something, meaning to stop when they smile at me and tell me a very lengthy story while I am trying to cook dinner, wash dishes, negotiate shower time etc., meaning taking more time at bedtime to listen to what they have to say about their day, ask some questions, have the 3rd and 4th hug, even if there is a big pile waiting on my desk etc., switching that mary-go-round in my head off while I am with them in this moment, completely present and being able to observe and watch myself and assess what I am doing and why.
The 2nd thing I wrote down is “be more patient”. This is one of my weaknesses – I am REALLY impatient. And if things don’t move along fast enough I have been known to be unfriendly and hurry things along in no uncertain way. Whats the hurry about? My to do list is unlikely to be dealt to in full any time soon – I really want to relax a bit more and take it one step at the time. I want to be more present in the moments that arise and then while I am present – to be patient with whatever is happening. I am too often hurrying along things and missing out on the pleasure of the moment. Not good for the poor nerveous system. Sitting meditation is like the worse punishment for me- wasting all that time sitting still when I have so much to do – yet this is just the thing I need.
The 3rd thing I wrote down is “acceptance” Accepting what is, not trying to change myself, my husband, my children, my community, the politicians, the world. Accepting that I don’t have to have control over everything, Accepting that I am not a perfect mother and never will be. Accepting that I am good enough as I am, that everybody and everything else is good enough as they are in this moment. Accepting that being a parent is full on and this is a good full on and accepting that we are all learners always, Accepting and letting go…. Ahh that feels good.
Being just recently away for 2 weeks from my family for the first time was a really interesting experience. Having the space to just be me for 2 full weeks and concentrate on just the one action I was doing (teacher-training) felt soo good. Although the schedule was 6 am to 9 pm every day it felt a bit like a holiday and I felt rested, full, relaxed and just really good.. When I came back it felt like a landslide was descending on me with all the things that I do everyday when I am home: cleaning, cooking, washing, folding, grocery shopping, dishes, gardening, work for the business, run an online platform, do charitable work, be a mum & wife, trying to build my own carreer doing something I love that is useful, constantly be present for countless questions and requests, interrupted meals, rushing around to get everything done for everyone.
Quite frankly I think every parent is a superwoman or superman no matter how good or bad we do. After 2 weeks of absence it was really clear to me that every parent is doing bloody marvelous and that parenting is one of the most undervalued jobs that is being done every day in a Million households around the globe. There is no training provided for this journey – you have to fake it until you make it and that’s why I love having good resources like Spilt Milk Yoga to refer to now and then to have a “job review” although its unlikely you get a monetary bonus at the end of the year, the bonus might be more clarity, presence, awareness and a happier you.
The book “Spilt Milk Yoga” uses the 5 Nijamas, the core-actions of yoga to organise the chapters. The chapters are short & practical with worksheets, that make it easy to assess where you are at.
1. Swadhyaya – Self Enquiry
2. Santosha – Contentment
3. Tapas – Self-Discipline
4. Shaucha – Purity of Being
5. Ishvarapranidhana – Acknowledging the spiritial Nature of Being
You can also check out an interview with the author on the Yoga Lunch Box site: http://theyogalunchbox.co.nz/cathryn-munro-on-motherhood-a…/