Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The vividly changing colors, the dance of fallen leaves, the crisp cool air evokes a sweet nostalgia and is an invitation to turn inward. A time of transition, a time to build stability, to integrate lessons learned and let the unnecessary things fall away.
Can I get vulnerable with you?
One of they key topics that comes up for me in the fall is the Yoga concept of Aparigraha. Aparigraha, or non-grasping, is one of the Five Yamas (ethical precepts of living). It means having an open handed approach to life. It is a way of letting things come as they come, and go as they go.
The leaves don’t struggle to hold on to the tree.
After the birth of Declan, I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. My life, having undergone so many changes (from the death of my Mom to the birth of a new baby) was no longer recognizable. I found myself grasping for something to hold onto, unable to feel at home, to find steady ground. For so many years, I believed wholeheartedly in the power of Yoga to transform suffering, yet I all of a sudden I found myself unable to “snap out of it”. The general funk that had come over me was something I couldn’t reconcile with my normal upbeat and positive nature. Looking at my new baby with so much love, yet not being able to truly tap into the joy I knew I “should” feel, was beyond disheartening. Life began to feel a little hollow, a little less vibrant, a little less hopeful. The moment came when I knew I needed to do something radical when I found myself thinking it might be better if I wasn’t here.
I want you to know, I’m ok now. More than ok. And this is how…
In the loving arms of my family and friends (Thank You!) I received beautiful support once I was able to be open and vulnerable about what I was experiencing. The practice of self compassion is imperative when you are grieving. Allow yourself to feel what you feel in order to move through it.
Through steadfast Yoga practice I determined to make time for me no matter what. I dedicated one hour to my practice each day. With a new baby, carving out time for something positive and cultivating tapas or discipline helped me heal and restore balance.
Through mindfulness practices I took the seat of the observer. Cultivating the ability to watch the thoughts and emotions and know I didn’t have to be a participant, to know they didn’t define me, to know they didn’t make me a bad person, a bad yogi, or a bad Mom.
Through radical self-care I discovered ways of healing my heart, my body and my mind. Making sure to do small loving things for myself every day became a challenge, an inspiration and a joy.
As I come out on the other side of these “baby blues” so often affecting new Moms, I feel all the more compassion, all the more desire to help, a deeper call to share and to serve.
If you find yourself suffering and feel there is no way out, please get help. The support of family, friends, or even an anonymous stranger 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
You are not alone.
Wishing you all the Love and Peace in the World.