**Fair Warning: This post gets a bit into the metaphysical aspects of yoga, but the lessons are super pragmatic. So read on my woo-hoo mamas!
Tell me if this sounds somewhat familiar to you?
Its 6:30am on a school day and you wake up, throw on a robe and head down the hall to wake your oldest child. You pick out his school clothes and shove them in his arms as he sleepily mopes to the bathroom to get ready.
In the meantime, you head down to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for said sleep walking child and set it out for him to eat when your done. As he eats, you prepare lunches for all of you children and your spouse. DONE!! RIGHT? Wrong!
After the oldest is gone, it’s time for round two. Time to get the little ones up for elementary school. Pick out their clothes, shuttle them to the bathroom to get ready and prepare breakfast for them and the spouse. Got a minute while their eating, right?
Wrong, now it’s time to tend to business. Sending emails, responding to social media. Serving the community that your very income is based on. By the time you leave the house to drop the kids at school and head to work, you feel the growl of your stomach since you haven’t even stopped to take in nourishment.
This may not be your exact life (it’s my typical morning) but you can probably relate to a lot of it. If you have an infant, you probably forego peeing so that your baby can continue to sleep peacefully on your chest.
If you have a potty training toddler you may forgo that vacation or girl’s night out because you don’t want to mess up the progress your little one has made in toilet training.
As moms we do this kind of thing. Make this kind of sacrifice all the time.
We easily give, give, give to others. We may even take time for self-care. And I know. I’m one of those people who screams from the rooftops every chance I get about how important self-care is for moms.
But it took one crazy situation, of pain that helped me fully realize that SELF-CARE is NOT enough to keep the busy mom on her healthy happy game.
Here’s what happened.
As I was preparing for my book launch of Secrets of an Energized Mama, I was doing an awful lot. Obviously the things I needed to do for the kids, but also a lot of planning and give to serve my yoga mamas crew and my local students.
During this time I notice a subtle but annoying pain in my lower back. I went to a massage therapist after not being able to “yoga” it away for several weeks. And she asked me an interesting question. She said “Keya have you created anything with passion lately?” And I said “Actually I have. I wrote a book.”
What she told me next opened my eyes wide, but also made perfect sense.
HER WOO-HOO EXPLANATION OF MY BACK PAIN
This massage therapist (who is also a well-trained and talented yoga teacher) reminded me that the second chakra is the seat of creative energy. It’s located a few inches below the navel. And that the energy of this chakra can be felt in both the front (lower abdominals) and the back (lower back) of the body.
The front side is all about giving forth your creations. In my case writing a book. The back side is about receiving the outcomes that are a result of your creative efforts. And so, a pain in the lower back could mean that I was blocking the reception of my creativity.
Whaaaatt?? It made so much sense, but the concept hadn’t even dawned on me. So what did I do to correct this?
HOW TO FIX A BACK-END 2ND CHAKRA PROBLEM
Well the 2nd chakra’s color is orange, so I became an orange wearing fool. Orange shirts, pants, jewelry anything I could find to “remind” me to receive. I meditated on the color orange for a couple of days. And I started to wear my sandalwood mala (which is one of the elements of the 2nd chakra) to draw up the receiving energy as well.
Within a week my back pain had gone away completely.
Scientific? Hells no!
But a good lesson for us busy, nurturing mamas to learn nonetheless. Here is what I want you to take away from this mama:
- Receiving is just the flip side of the coin to giving. And contrary to popular cultural beliefs, it really is no more blessed to give than to receive. You need to be really good at BOTH in order to live a happy and balanced life.
- The more you give the more you have to strengthen your capacity to receive. Remember yoga teaches us balance for a reason. Moms that give all they got and never receive just end up being burned out and stressed out.
- How do you practice receiving? One simple way is to ask for help, even when you don’t really “need” it. Sure you are totally capable of changing your baby’s diaper for the 10th time today, but couldn’t you ask your spouse to do it, just so you can finish reading this blog post?
- Practice receiving a little bit at a time, or else you may feel overwhelmed and block even more goodness to come. This is kind of like the “winning the lottery” concept. Most people who when the big money in the lottery are broke two years later. Why? Because they didn’t know what to do with such a large sum of money at once. And therefore they blew it.
Receiving help, praise or attention in our mom life is energetically similar to receiving money. If you’re not accustom to getting positive attention, for instance, you’ll likely sabotage it by pushing your beloved away, or blowing off their compliments!
Or if you’re not use to receiving help from your partner, you’re likely to sabotage it by picking a fight with them (so they don’t help any more) or over working yourself in some other area instead of taking the rest that was offered.
So hear this mama. Giving is great and blessed. Self-care is needed and good. But receiving the good that is due to you is yet one more way that we busy mamas can find balance in our lives.
Here’ to a healthy, happy and RECEPTIVE week!