Fun fact about me. I love to make New Year’s resolutions. I love to set goals and make plans to accomplish those goals.
Simply put, I am a planner. And that is not so uncommon for many women, especially moms. So the end of the year tends to be an exciting time for us planners like me. It’s a time when our minds start to churn round and round about what we’re going to do be and create in the upcoming year.
But the end of 2017 was different for me. As usual I could feel the shift in the energy. Meaning I could feel the energy of the new year coming in and the compelling urge to be, do have anew in 2018. BUT and this is a big BUT mama, I didn’t get the urge to sit down and plan.
What happened instead was….weird. Like that’s the best word I have to explain it. It was weird. Instead of me thinking of all the things I wanted to do in the next 12 months, something, I call it Source or Spirit whispered to me.
It whispered to me in such a clear voice what I needed to do for 2018. And it was so clear when I received it and then it was confirmed.
What did Source say? Well she said live wu wei. Live surrender.
Well if you don’t know what wu wei is, I’ll tell you my understanding of it in just a minute, but first let me take you back a few months so you can fully understand this story and maybe my story will help you find some direction for 2018 as well.
IT ALL STARTED WITH VACATION
You see in August of 2017 I did something that a self-proclaimed workaholic never does. I took a vacation! No I didn’t actually go anywhere. I just stayed home, but I freed myself from any work obligations for a whole week.
The previous year and a half had been super duper crazy pants busy. In addition to my normal life shuttling my three kids here and there and running my normal yoga business teaching classes, giving workshops and public speaking. I also published a book in June 2017 all about how moms can use yoga as a tool to help them juggle their busy lives without burning out. If you’re curious, get the deets on that book at http://nourished-motherhood.com/energizedmama/. I had also created a digital course to help said moms create and maintain a supportive meditation practice for themselves… you know so they wouldn’t burn out and lose their shit. Yelp you can also learn about the mom’s only meditation course at http://nourished-motherhood.thinkific.com/courses/Meditationcourse/.
Wanna hear the irony in all of these creative works I had put out there in 2017?
I WAS BURNT THE FUCK OUT!!
Excuse my strong language, but seriously….it was that intense.
OMG ladies. I hid it well. I still showed up for class. I still showed up in my Facebook group, giving giving giving. But just between you and me I was falling to shit.
And so I decided, almost on a whim to take a week-long time out! During this week, I didn’t do anything too important. My kids were still home for summer break, so I still had to hang with them. I still had to get them to practices and pre-school-starting functions. I still had to cook dinner and be a mom and a wife.
BUT I cancelled my classes. I asked some really lovely ladies to even substitute my social media profiles. It was great not being tied down to my computer. It was great getting up in the morning when I felt like it. It was great just not having to really be anywhere in particular.
I also did some really woo-hoo things to help me find some clarity in my burnt-out mom life situation. I went to one of my favorite places in my town and got an energy/reiki session done. I participated in a day of mindfulness (as described in the book Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabbat-Zin). I got a massage and in general just hung out a lot.
RESTING AND LISTENING WAS THE INTENTION
I was resting, sure, but more importantly to me at the time, I was waiting to hear my next steps. I was waiting to hear, just how I could do all the things I loved, reach my goals AND be calm and at peace while I did it all.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER VACATION CHANGED IT ALL
I can’t tell you just how much I enjoyed my staycation. I enjoyed it so much that I made a conscious decision to live every day like I was kind of on vacation.
Sure I would have to get up at 6:30am to get my 12 year old off to school and make it to class etc, etc. BUT I was committed to doing all these things without any sense of urgency or stress.
September, October, November, December came and went and I was productive as hell. My house was cleaner than it had ever been. My blood pressure was lower than it had ever been. And I was happier and more balanced in all the aspects of my life than I had been for years!
In December I went in for a regular acupuncture appointment and when I described how I was living and how things were going in my life my acupuncturist said “Oh your living the wu wei.” Umm this was interesting. I wanted to know more.
WU WEI AND HOW IT CAN MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR BUSY MOMS
Wu Wei is a traditional Chinese term that means living in flow with nature/spirit/self. Its analogues to the yogic principle of ishvra pranidana. That all so elusive surrender to God. Its all about doing without doing. Accomplishing without striving. And living and acting based on the guidance of the Source within you, instead of your ego planning and leading the way.
When I prayed for more ease in my life in 2017 I thought I would have to do and plan ways to create that ease. Turns out, it showed up when I finally chilled out and let something greater than myself lead the way.
A YEAR OF EXPERIMENTING WITH WU WEI
So back to my New Years “non-resolutions.” For 2018 I am being called to continue to live this way. To put myself in a position where I can “listen” and follow my own inner guidance. Everything from my employment and my home life have lined up to support me in these efforts.
And so for the next 12 months, I’ll keep you posted on this process and how it unfolds. I’ll shoot for posting a blog every week (although if I’m really living wu wei it may be less or more often) about how I’m living my surrender, what it looks like in the context of a real mom’s life and the lessons I’m learning from it.
So stay tuned. Have a wu wei-ish kinda week mama!