If Only Namaste Would Stay
I’ve been regular at yoga lately.
Now, before you jeer or congratulate me for my efforts to be more centered and calm, the point of this story is not yoga.
My favorite part of class is our final mediation, when our instructor tells us “the peace and love within her recognizes the peace and love within us. Namaste.” It’s essentially the definition of “namaste,” I know. But there is something in that phrase that rings so true and poignant that it is worth the previous 59 and a half minutes of shaking muscles, remembering to breathe and marking the outline of my body in sweat on my yoga mat.
It’s the most wonderful way to start my day. I walk out feeling centered and calm and so very accomplished for having worked up a sweat before 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday.
Still riding my namaste high this particular Saturday, I try to run errands too close to lunch and nap time so my children essentially become gremlins. In the space of five minutes at Target, I lose my older daughter to find her sobbing in the racks of junior clothes because she was convinced that I had left her to fend for herself in the world at the young age of six. All while my youngest daughter proceeds to run nothing short of the final leg of a 800 meter dash down the main aisle of Target with a grand finale of humming bags of lettuce at displays.
Since my youngest had not caused enough of a scene with her Olympic tryout, she requests – nay – demands a fedora, purse, watch, umbrella and bracelets. All declined and all met with the same massive threenager meltdown of glass-shattering shrieks and maybe another lap down an aisle filled with breakable glasses and a mini-bull on the loose.
We finally exited Target (much to other shoppers relief) after a five-minute meltdown in the checkout line because she couldn’t have gum, lipstick or wear her older sister’s shoes. I spent those interminable minutes deciding whether I try to correct and rationalize the impoliteness and misconduct of screaming in a store to stop the judgmental stares of other shoppers, or ignoring the tantrum because really any attention is all she wants.
You can take your namaste and shove it.
As I try to regain my rattled nerves and patience on the car ride home, convinced that my children were sent to destroy my inner love and peace I hear my oldest say, “I know you’re upset now B and this isn’t how you normally act, but it’s okay. I know you’re good and you’ll do better next time.”
Maybe I’m reaching, but to my weary, stressed ears that sounded a hell of a lot like namaste. She recognized the peace and love within her sister even when her sister wasn’t showing it.
It was in that moment I realized two things:
1. My children were not sent to destroy my inner peace but to challenge it in the best way possible. Because truly what is love and peace worth if you don’t have to work or fight for them a little bit?
2. As a mom and an adult, I need to recognize the inner love and peace within others (especially my children) not only when it’s easy but when those virtues are difficult to see.
I find so often the world in tears as one tragedy after another seems to fill our headlines. So much darkness. So much pain. However, amongst those same headlines are stories of kindness and compassion of complete strangers helping their fellow man walk through their grief and sadness. I saw others recognizing the inner peace and love that lives within each of us.
I wish namaste was something that could live at the forefront of our lives 24/7. If only namaste would just stay. But I suppose if that were so we wouldn’t appreciate it as much when we do find our inner peace and calm and love in those little moments, or big moments.
Finding a brief moment of quiet and peace while battling the stress and fears of motherhood is one of the hardest parts of parenting for me. Continuing to work on keeping that peace and love within me even when it’s met with irrational tantrums or fear or anger or hate I find is a choice I have to make daily. Some times several times a day. Recognizing it in others can be even harder, but as usual my children continue to challenge me to be the best version of myself, even if it is through a little tough love.