Now that I have finally come out of the fog that was breast feeding an infant and taking care of a very active toddler I have slowly started reclaiming the parts of myself that I accidentally or purposefully shed when I became a mother.
Case in Point:
I was weeding my front yard and I was all alone, which hardly ever happens, late this afternoon and I was having all of these amazing creative ideas AND feeling the confidence to try and make them happen. I was reflecting about how there are times during my cycle when I'm so energetic and just full to overflowing with ideas, excitement, and general good will. These tend to be the times when I will actually try to go ahead and turn an idea into a reality. At other times during my cycle I feel sad, defeated, overly cautious, all alone, and anything else negative that you can think of. At these times the housework doesn't get done, I'm more prone to hitting the fast food drive-thrus, I withdraw from friends, and to describe my patience with the children as low would be generous. Of course, these dark times serve a purpose. I feel like withdrawing because I need time to acknowledge and address the feelings/issues that come up. And guess what? If I don't address the things that come up during this dark time, they keep coming back again and again until they make me so uncomfortable that I can't ignore them any longer.
I used to take the time to allow myself to be introspective during the dark times and to act on my great ideas during the light times.
Then came motherhood.
After becoming a mother, instead of flowing with my cycle, or actually being remotely aware of where I was in my cycle, or what day of the week or day of the year it was, for that matter, and being accepting of my feelings and inclinations, as I know to do from personal experience, I allowed myself to become riddled with feelings of guilt and perplexity. Instead of remembering to think in terms of , "Now wait a minute, where am I in my cycle?", I just felt guilty because I was short with the kids and the house was a mess and I was trying to pick arguments with my husband.
I want to return to being the woman who honored rather than felt bad about how I was feeling and acting during those dark times of my cycle and took full advantage of those bright, inspired times to help move myself toward who I wanted to be and what kind of life I wanted to live!
When I had more time on my hands, and didn't have 2 toddlers who would mess up my creation, I was in the habit of using different kinds of seashells and small dark river rocks to chart my cycle, in the shape of a spiral, on my bathroom counter. The dark rocks were for the time immediately before and during menstruation, the white shells were for ovulation, and I think I used some brown and white turkey wing sea shells for the week between menstruation and ovulation. I also had a chart of the moon's cycle for every month so that I knew where I was in relation to the dark and bright times of the moon. I had the time then to be very, very aware of what was going on with my body and I was much better at giving myself a break because I always knew where I was in my cycle. It was this secret, special thing that I did just for myself and I loved it!
Then came my children and suddenly I became an expert on the sleep habits, likes/dislikes, and bodily functions of 2 very small human beings and I got completely out of touch with my own body and its cycles. I stopped writing every day, I indulged even more furiously in some pretty bad emotional eating habits, and I dropped out of touch with friends.
I have discovered, through trial and error (mostly error these past 4 years) that no matter what is happening, I need to hold on furiously, protectively, and without apology to the parts of myself that make me feel most like me. New relationships, family struggles, pregnancy, motherhood...all of these are opportunities to hold on to what makes me most me. By doing this, I hope I will experience these parts of my journey feeling more whole and more able to deal with what life throws at me or what I have chose for myself. My sense is that life would have gone a lot more smoothly for me and my family had I chosen to do this a lot sooner. Thankfully, the clarity to make different and better choices for myself has come now, and for that I am grateful.