Week 34 | Breathe Peace

Breathe in Peace.  Breath out Love...This week, take a photo or write about that very moment right after you take a few of these breaths.  

-Shawn @ AA/P52

On Friday night, I nearly ran to my spot in the bonus room to light the candles after giving the girls a kiss goodnight.  I rolled out my purple mat, and sat to think about the routine that had become familiar to me in a way that an instructional video was no longer required.   

Aaaaaah, Quiet time. 

Aaaaaah, Me time.

I've taken it a step beyond quiet time and made it dark time as well.  I guess turning the lights down and lighting some candles helps me feel as though things are even quieter…as if my eyes find noise in the light.  

I know we all have our thing, that helps us to wind down.  

These days, I've found Yoga and Writing to be mine.  While a beer or a glass of Merlot can also do the trick sometimes, I tend not to find the same satisfaction upon completion as I do with finishing a blog post, editing a QuotePic or finishing a Yoga routine in Shavasana.  I was about halfway into this blogging venture before it dawned on me that, hey, this writing thing is peaceful for me.  And Yoga is something that I can call exercise, that quiets my mind while giving my body a challenge -- I have come to look forward to it.  I am no Yogi, though: the steadiness of my exercise routine waxes and wanes with, well, life.  It's hard to calm the mind in Downward Facing Dog when snot threatens to drop on the mat; it's nearly impossible to concentrate on Warrior Pose when you're wondering if that little fevering body is able to find a comfortable temperature in which to drift to sleep under her sheets.  

But on Friday night, about twenty minutes into my routine on the mat, a soft voice was heard, "Mommy?".  Deep Breath.  "Yes".  "I'm realllllly thirsty".  I gave her a drink of my water, but that required her to come in and see the candles.  An irreversible interest was sparked and I saw it occur to her that she was missing out on something fun that Mommy was doing…without her.  I sent her back to bed.  

Ten minutes later, "Mommy?".  I didn't even give her a chance to ask the rest of her question.  "Hadley, it is bed time.  This is Mommy's quiet time, you need to go to bed".  

"I don't want to".

"Hadley, you need to go to bed". 

"I don't want to".

"I understand that you don't want to, but this is Mommy time and it is past your bed time".

"I don't want to".

I didn't remember Shawn's exact breathing mantra in this moment.  But I took a deep breath and decided that I was just going to continue my Yoga, and that maybe a more convincing phrase would come to me that would entice my young and friendly daughter to realize how comfortable her bed was.  And so I went back to my routine; but no better idea came to me.  I tried to stay focused while seeing her out of the corner of my eye, mimicking my every move.  I focused on my breathing, and she did too.  In those remaining 15 minutes of my work out, she acted as my silent and diligent yoga student; she never made a peep.  I'd like to think she benefited, like I do, from our shared peaceful, candle-lit practice.  I had convinced myself that maybe she needed that extra time, so she hung with Daddy and I downstairs until it was time for bed.  She slept next to me that night, as is not routine in our home.  

It's Sunday now, and perhaps it's not a big surprise that she's made quite a habit of getting out of bed, and of saying "I don't want to".  Things came to a less-peaceful head today, after {much needed} nap-time didn't happen.  In the heat of it all I'm sure there were moments that I regretted not making her go back to bed that night we did Yoga instead; I now can see that the "I don't want to's" have been building over the past week or so -- perhaps I should have been more aware of their gaining momentum.  

In my five years as a parent, never have I been challenged with so many "I don't want to's" as I did in those two hours when she didn't nap today.  Even after compromising that she could just "rest", an "I don't want to" followed.  Even after playfully giving her appealing new locations upon which to rest her head, even after some of her favorite things were less playfully taken as ransom, and after I yelled into a pillow then wished I hadn't: "I don't want to" followed.  There was even a moment where I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't actually the woman that was in the middle of the street yelling at the top of her lungs toward the sky; she was just me in my imagination.  

Peace was not my strength in those moments.   On the home stretch she was hand delivered to her bed over and over, kicking and screaming until the proposed "{not so} REST {ful}" time had expired along with my fortitude.  Thank you dear sister for being my text-a-calmer-person lifeline. 

In a backward kind of way, her more dramatic defiance to me calmly putting her in her bed let me know I was getting through, whereas my more dramatic attempts at trying to impel her to lay down were met with apathetic-filled-indifference. 

Nonetheless, after the storm passed, my husband sent me a video of Hadley, that she was unaware of him taking.  While I was taking advantage of some recuperating time alone upstairs, she was on my purple mat, downstairs, doing her yoga.  So methodically, so purposefully, with such focus, even timing her breaths with her movements.  And I realized that no matter how hard those heated moments were, no matter how much I had wished I had been calmer, cooler, more peaceful and in control, I should reconsider my regret for that Friday night where we did Yoga together instead.   

While I contemplate what acts of listening to require of her in order to regain possession of her beloved blankie, baby, and Lion King movies, I am choosing to believe that more good than bad was learned that night.  And while we have some work to do--both of us--I think that there is a chance that Yoga has its place in  her childhood practice as well.  


 © Houseman 2013