Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do,
to keep in the same place.
If you want to get somewhere else,
you must run at least twice as fast as that!
-Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen,
Through the Looking Glass
It sort of sucks, parenting in the age of the perfect.
Even as we give our kids awards for just showing up, our expectations for ourselves are crazy, off-the-chart, stratospheric. We want to be good parents. Good friends. Good homeroom mothers, good coaches, good citizens.
We want our meals to be Martha-worthy, our homes to look like they just stepped out of a magazine, our kids to be well-behaved. We want to advance in our careers, to become entrepreneurs.
And then there are those of us who blog about it. Meaning we put another level of pressure and scrutiny on our lives- voluntarily!- and are expected to have a sense of humor about it all too.
It’s a lot to juggle, and as you might guess by the lack of posting here lately, I’m dropping balls. (In fact, this post is a dropped ball. I just opened an email reminding me of the due date… yesterday.) My husband clucks with disapproval every time he walks into the house. I have not showered today. A bracket has broken on my braces (AGAIN… I do it clenching my jaw in my sleep) and I keep forgetting to call and make an appointment to get it fixed.
I’m “on” all the time, I’m forever “doing,” but I’m not getting enough done.
And I’m frantic about it.
Sound familiar? Please tell me this sounds familiar.
My advice to others, when they hit this wall, is to go hide in bed. Go to sleep and sleep for as long as you need to. It may seem like that’s the last thing you should do, but you can’t think straight when you’re frantic. Give yourself some time and space and quiet so your brain can calmly sort through all the information you’re been bombarding it with. The priorities will figure themselves out. The words will come.
How do we keep from getting to that point, though? Where we have to shut down to survive?
We need to give our brain that time and space and quiet on a regular basis.
Meditation, as an example. Yoga works for those motivated enough to get to a class every day.
Here’s a DIY option: take a Cerra™ Moment.
Cerra™ products are designed to not only help you grab that white space in your day– the breathing room that gives everything else clarity– but they help you to live with intention, to use that white space as a framework for the rest of your day.
The Intentions are named: Grounded, Creative Energy, Gratitude, Loving Kindness, Courage, Wisdom, Inspiration; and the tools are provided to help you to “be aware of your thoughts and feelings, act with thoughtful intention, and reflect on your experiences.”
As a participant in the “Cerra Be Aware, Act, Reflect™” program with SheSpeaks, I was sent a package with tea (Grounded, Creative Energy & Gratitude varieties), Sensory Oils embodying the Intentions, Dissolving Notes and pen, a sample-sized lotion, Gratitude Keepsake Notes, a journal, and Cerra™ calling cards meant to be shared. (Among the many products available, they also have pebble candles which burn for only 30 minutes, the concept of which I really like.)
The idea is to ritually carve out time to sort out your intentions for your day, your life. To journal what you’re feeling, what you want to remember, what you wish to accomplish. (The act of putting intention to paper is so powerful.) To take note of, face, and accept what you need to release from your life and then watch it dissolve.
My husband dismisses this as so much mumbo-jumbo, but there is much to be said for physical manifestation and overt declaration of intent.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
William Hutchinson Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition
Again, clarity. And with clarity, courage.
And with Cerra™ practices, a wonderfully interactive website and an online community to provide inspiration and support.
Wonderful for frazzled housewives/ soccer moms/ perpetually plugged in social media folk, searching for relaxation and that elusive thing they call balance. Yes.
I can also see this being a real respite for someone who doesn’t know what direction they want to take in life. Someone with questions and challenges they are struggling with. And especially, teens who are struggling to become adults but have not had the freedom of total expression, who are still learning their own minds as they inflict it on their poor unsuspecting parents.