It’s amazing how drawn we are to fleeting things. We view sunsets and shooting stars, fireworks and a turn of seasons with wonder and reverence, yet often struggle ourselves with all the impermanence built into being human.
On one of our daily walks this week, my girls and I found ourselves pausing under a beautiful tree, full of crimson, orange and yellow shades, watching the leaves quietly let go of their branches. I was struck by the way they quivered, an almost imperceptible shake as though singled out by a mysterious breeze, before falling peacefully to the ground below. It made me feel as though nature itself, in its most pure, perfected cycles, may feel momentarily fearful of change; that perhaps it, too, grieves the loss of one life, as it leads to another.
The concept of grief has come up quite often in my coaching sessions this year. Through my work with clients I have found a new perspective on this energy. Mostly: when someone passes, there is an “acceptable” period for grief. Services and ceremonies act as a way to say, witness this; it’s real, and hard, and hurts. There is an undefined public permission slip to move through complex feelings without shame, or judgement, as it is necessary to affirm a loss in order to begin to move through it, no matter how long that next process takes.
But physical loss in this sense is not the only space where grief yearns to be processed. And I believe we are doing ourselves a disservice, especially now, by not acknowledging this truth.
This year has been, and continues to be, nothing like we imagined. Nothing. My family, for example, had visions of sweet friendship and familial reunions upon moving back to our original home town. We pictured weekly hang outs, kiddo playdates, long weekend trips and local adventures, settling into a rhythm with loved ones we’d longed to live near again. We planned for travel galore with our baby girl. And while we have managed to patch together a bedraggled collection of connections here and there locally, it is nowhere near what we had so deeply looked forward to. My husband misses his family, who do not live closeby. I yearn for our daughter to share her life with all those we love, but have not seen for months.
So this is where I find myself most days: Grieving with dignity over the loss of a life we planned for. Trusting it is safe for me to let go, landing in the space of the unknown, instead. To tremble, even, before releasing my desires of “how I thought it would be…”
Dear one - It is necessary to affirm your losses in order to begin to move through them, no matter how “small” you may fear they are, or how long that process takes. It is OK to grieve this year in its layers of messy. Grieve the stalling of a career trajectory. Grieve a transition to motherhood looking more isolated than any mama should have to bear. Grieve a child’s lack of important social education within a standard classroom environment. Grieve a holiday without festivities or traditions, celebrations or visits with loved ones. Grieve the desire for connection and partnership, while dwelling in necessary solitude. Grieve for the suffering of our collective communities - in health, business, marriage, family, culture.
Grieve. Tremble. We are a part of nature in its most pure, perfected cycles. The loss of this life will ultimately lead to another. Our wheels will make a full turn.
With love and support,
I stumbled upon this recipe via Pinterest two years ago, and it has never disappointed. While pregnant with Saylor, I would essentially whip up a batch every week, keep a few for myself, then send the rest into work with B. Keep in mind my husband worked at the time for a lab studying the ketogenic diet (meaning: low carb/sugar), but his coworkers snatched up these puppies in minutes each time he delivered them. THAT'S how good they are :)
I am excited to share my Fall 2020 Bucket List with you! My beloved friend, Katie, is an incredibly talented artist, so collaborating with her again was a delight. I continue to feel fortunate to benefit from her creative eye and all the generous ways she shares with my family.
I tried to keep things 2020 friendly on this list. Meaning: This is one whacked out freaking year, let's continue to do our part in mask wearing, social distancing, and VOTING in order to take care of this fragile (yet resilient) human family. Accompanying posts are live here on TGL blog, and I'll add a few updates on my own box-checking progress as the days roll by.
I hope some of these items bring you a moment or two of joy, hope, connection or peace. And, if you feel up for sharing some of your own favorite Fall activities (or spirit lifters/pleasure sparks!), please drop me a line. I am always on the hunt for ideas to keep life, especially during difficult times, flush with reminders to be grateful.
Please note that this list is far from extensive, nor is it shared in order of favorites. I don't know why that feels important for me to note, other than it stressed me out to think about properly ranking them and I don't want to influence your order of watching! Just know that other than Practical Magic as #1 (an absolute perfect film; dreamy location, soundtrack, delightful amounts of witchiness, eccentric aunties I emulate regularly, and Nicole Kidman's fabulous bangs, swoon), the rest are pretty much of equal love. Enjoy!
all my love,
Music tends to set the tone for our lives, whether we notice it in the moment or not, doesn't it? We try to have music playing most days in our home, and have found fresh joy in watching what makes Saylor smile, dance, or sway (oh gosh, how sweet the swaying is...). So far sister friend has really great taste! Music is a huge part of our partnership story, too. We continue to be grateful for how it connects, reminds, and soothes us.
Have a listen to my current "Fall" looping tunes below, and please share what is hitting you in your own heart spaces these days, too. I look forward to comparing notes!
I normally like to keep this crock pot recipe all to myself, as it is always such a hit that I prefer to selfishly hoard it and feel like a Food Network star each time it's served....but....we could all use a bit of comfort and cheer these days, and I'm feeling especially generous.
1 (19 0z) can of seasoned black beans
1 (15 oz) can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16oz) can of vegetarian baked beans (this is the secret ingredient -- a touch of sweetness!)
1 (14.5 oz) can of chopped tomatoes with green chilis
1 (15 oz) can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of chili powder or to taste
1 tablespoon of dried parsley
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt + pepper to taste.
Cook for 3 hours on high, + serve with cornbread, cheese, avocado and maybe a bit of plain greek yogurt.
How are you today?
And yes, I mean today. Right now. Because I know how evanescent our inner workings have felt as of late.
I know because the work we do in coaching is always shifting. Just like the rhythm of our lives, each session ebbs and flows with whatever may be uniquely unfolding before us, and within us.
Right now I hear my clients traversing an unknown landscape with layers of new challenges, courtesy of all things Covid-19, on top of their regularly scheduled journeys towards a life of fulfillment. Whether it’s navigating job loss, parenting with great freedom limitations, or fresh, quarantine-induced relationship tensions, we are all hitting a wall in one way or another.
(ahem, no, it’s not just you!)...
I am finding it is as important as ever to continue striving to live in alignment with our values, even if the choices we make to honor them feel small and a tad socially-distanced caged. I get the sense we are all having to dig deep into our reserve wells of patience, trust, vulnerability. The work to keep these flowing has been no joke, to say the least. I am finding we each need safe, sacred space to work through all the ways we can stay afloat, let alone continue swimming onward.
Coaching is a safe space for your whole being. Our calls are designed to be an opening for you to ask all of the heavy, literal and existential questions; Questions we don’t feel we are allowed to ask, because of privilege or blessings or good health, like “why now? why me?”, “what next?”, “how on earth do I survive, let alone thrive, in this mess?”...
These conversations do not solely have to be about discovering the answers to such questions (though brainstorming, movement and accountability practices are always fun to throw in the mix). Much of our time together is about the process of releasing them - fully acknowledging their presence, saying them outloud, to free our hearts and minds from their burdens.
Holding space for the full spectrum of your humanity is a great honor of my life and work.
From now through the month of August, I am holding “safe space” sessions for $50, with $25 from each session being donated to one of the following organizations (your choice!) as an effort to live more in alignment with my own values:
The Loveland Foundation
Touchbase anytime, OK? I'll reach out again soon.
May you find and follow the good path,
This season of life is so layered for us all. Learning to navigate things from what’s been thrown our way, to what’s been taken away, to what’s been gifted, and what is dearly missed...my mantra of “there is no script to life” has never felt more true.
And: to navigate it all as a community, "alone yet together", as they say, invites in space for much perspective shifting and reevaluating.
Marriage is a journey. Pandemics, apparently, can trigger new challenges and questions, tensions, needs, and fears. oh gosh, the fears. Ours is no exception. The smiling images and giggle filled videos shared publicly are very real examples of the private joy that fills our days together. But, they aren’t the whole story. They don’t need to be.
Compassion is in our blood, we are born with it. We bring it to life through play and creating new experiences in the midst of all the repetitions. We share it through connecting with good friends and family in ways we are able, humbled there are modern alternatives where there never used to be. And we strengthen compassion's power in choosing to do things that are helpful, appreciating what we have, creating more than criticizing, contributing more than we consume - be it physically, emotionally or energetically in the spaces around us.
Attention, affection, appreciation. AAA roadside partnership assistance is always there, with no usage limits. Have you used them today?
Happiness takes practice.
(thanks for practicing with me, bubba. I love you.)
Everything I have ever wanted, but didn’t know until it was mine. That's the essence of her.
I have spent much of my life seeking. I am a seeker, to be sure.
I have sought after everything from relationships to friendships, jobs and money, material desires to spiritual fulfillment. I have sought God. I have sought healing. I have sought forgiveness and courage and worth. I have sought these things in many corners of the world using a variety of tools, some which were healthy and some, quite frankly, which were not.
I believed for a long time that if I weren’t seeking…if I were too still…I would miss it. I believed it was all out there, waiting, if only I discovered the right way to look, to sound, to be. I was sold the notion that I needed more, I needed to BE more, I needed to seek more. Then, perhaps, I would have enough, know enough, be enough.
I still seek many things. I am a seeker, to be sure.
But it is all so simple now, as I use curiosity and wonder instead of judgement or fear. I seek more quality, intentional time with my family. I seek patience with self on these journeys of motherhood and marriage. I seek to connect with the breadth of life and the people it brings me. I seek to be outdoors, with mama earth, in any way she will have me; to dig out the rot of an aching soul with my bare hands, just as I'd dig in her soil to foster new life.
And while I'll always seek those things, along with the kind of adventure found on warm summer days at the park or beach or woods with my girls, I know it is safe to be still. I know it is safe to be me, as I am enough. It is safe to trust what I have, as it is enough. This time in particular, as we isolate from many people, places, things we love, has highlighted this truth in unprecedented, unexpected ways. What is true and real and right are not always easy, eh?
We are doing the best we can. And that is OK. That is good enough.
Truthfully, it does not surprise me much that it took growing life to fully understand where to seek and find the most genuine, important things; within.
One year! One year so full of love and lessons, we could burst like a confetti bomb of gratitude so big, it’d coat the entire eastern seaboard in glittery, effervescent magic.
My daughter. My girl with eyes like stormy seas, hazel-grey and sparkly. My cherub cheeked baby who laughs and smiles all day, a tiny joy beam of beauty, truth, curiosity and love.
I remember every detail of your birth. How could I forget?
...The 3am water break, the laughable suggestion from the midwife on call to labor “comfortably” at home for awhile, the relief of the epidural from Joe the anesthesiologist (I’ll never forget you, Joe!!), the two packs of sugar free orange jello I consumed while waiting for you to be fully ready...
...I remember my body began shaking the moment Beth, our midwife, declared it was time: “OK, let’s have a baby!” (which I later learned was “normal” adrenaline surging through before a huge moment).
“It’s ok...Trish...what’s going on?”, Bubba asked, reaching for me.
“I’m a little scared”, I whispered while he held my hand, the nurse and Beth bustling around us, preparing for me to push….
...“Go Trish, go!”, he gently encouraged. Watching him supporting my left leg I felt I got to see a miracle happening through his eyes, as they lit up with every effort I made to bring you earth side. His face was one of delight and wonder and humility, which is really so your dad.
...We both cried, Bubba and I. “It’s OK, I’m here, don’t be scared” I told you as you whimpered and nestled your naked body close to my chest. Kissing the top of your head, inhaling your sweet scent, admiring your slender fingers which I am convinced I could feel tickling me from the inside...
Say, I want to tell you a little story.
Several years ago, right after Bubba and I had reconnected from our high school days but were still in the very (VERY) early time of “who knows where this will lead...” (sidenote: I knew, but that’s a tale for another day), I set off on a coaching structured women’s retreat to Costa Rica.
This retreat had yoga, surfing, hiking and zip-lining for the body, as well as meditation, writing, healing and guidance for the soul. It was a turning point for me, after a few years of self loathing. I had made numerous fear-based decisions that resulted in hurting others. It was quite a long time of armoring up. Hiding. Pretending, and outright lying to the broad majority of people in my life. I felt tiny and raw and stupid and cowardly. I felt fake and ashamed and slightly, manically crazed. I almost wholly hated myself for what had transpired and I deeply needed to find a way to forgive, and begin again.
So I went to Costa Rica, because it’s what my soul required of me.
In one of our group coaching sessions I began quietly explaining this; I tried expressing the depths to which my regrets surrounding this time had been flooding me with guilt on a daily basis. I was swirling, drowning, even, in my usual shame for the selfish choices that had led me to cause pain for others.
I hadn't planned on speaking during this session and only began when prompted in the final moments of the discussion. My shame and disappointment of self were so big that it was still difficult to form the words and allow them to leave me, making them vulnerable to the judgements of others.
As I sat there fumbling over my thoughts, one of the coaches leading the retreat suddenly lit up and interrupted me by saying, completely without context; "I'm sorry...I'm getting a download...I have to ask; do you want to be a mother?"
Without hesitating I choked out through tears, "You know, I never used to. Or maybe, I didn’t think I could. But now...now I desperately want to be a mommy."
Hearing myself say those words shook me to my core--they were so raw and true and unknown to me in many ways. How had I not acknowledged this desire before? And what did this truth need me to know?
She continued: "Yea. I thought so. And you know what? You had to go through all of that for her."
I don’t know if it was her steady voice, or the week's worth of healthy smoothies and sunshine and nature and powerful women seeking to connect...but I believed her.
And now I know.
I know it in my bones.
Everything I have learned, experienced...all of the mistakes and choices (both foolish and wise)...have been for you. My adventures and successes, my relationships and longings: The universe was preparing me, teaching me, to be your mama.
And now, with your joy beam being at the center of my life, you will be my greatest teacher. All of the things I will learn and experience...all of the mistakes and choices (both foolish and wise) I will stumble through in order to begin again...will be from you. The gift of witnessing your own life expand and unfold, the honor of being a safe place for you to land, the treasure of loving you so ferociously without limits or qualifiers or expectations in return: The universe was making me whole again for us.
For you, and from you. This is the harmony of my blessed life.
Bunny love, before our anatomy scan confirming your biological gender as female, people often asked me if I had a hunch as to the results. Even after, folks would wonder if I “guessed” correctly.
I always chuckled and said no, we were completely surprised!
But this isn’t true.
Because when I closed my eyes, and placed my hand on my belly, I could see the swaying palms and smell the sea and feel the salty tears on my cheeks.
For her, they would say.
Happy, Happy Birthday, baby. You are a gift we try to be worthy of each day….
I love you,
I like to wait a few weeks before sending out my Newest Year letter, since most folks I encounter during the month of January seem to be vibing a mix of post holiday exhaustion and frantic, zealous intentions for implementing immediate/permanent life changes. By the time all 62 days of the month have passed (seriously though, why does it feel so long?), I sense that many of us are needing to come up for air.
So, deep breath. We made it.
I have been blessed to begin working with a handful of new clients, after a beautiful maternity leave spent doing what all new mamas should have permission to do: snuggling, reading, walks with our pup, giggling, playing, learning, and just generally being in awe of my love for Saylor, which continues to grow, despite a steady rhythm of less sleep, faster showers, and questionable fashion choices. (Oh, it’s 8pm? Allow me to change from my daytime pajamas into my evening pajamas)....
Her life shows me the way, every day. With her tiny joy beam self at the heart of it all, the word that keeps coming up for me as a 2020 energy intention is permission.
Having Saylor has gifted me with permission to make choices that resonate most with my family, without concern of judgement. Permission to ask for what I, or we, need without guilt. Permission to set even more firm, healthy boundaries. Permission to trust myself. Permission to put myself out there more, to grow my practice and connect with women in a deep, meaningful way. Permission to fail, even, as I never want her to feel afraid to take risks or make mistakes.
Where do you crave permission in your life?
A few things vibing with permission for me...
We Are the Luckiest, by Laura Mckowen: You do NOT have to have any questions around alcohol consumption to love this book. I cannot emphasize that enough. Laura’s honest, gorgeous words will take you on a journey of self reflection, forgiveness, hope in a way that personally moved me to my core. I was gutted by much of her perspective. This is by far my favorite piece of writing I’ve come across in at least a year.
This meditation: From the entrancing voice of poet Sarah Blondin - it is the ultimate guided meditation on permission. Stunning, stirring, beautiful.
Gua Sha Facial Tool: Added this step to my nightly routine and am loving it as an ancient practice of self care. I am giving myself further permission to dive into the “woo-woo” arts that have always called to my soul.
Winter is alive and well (including twelve degree and windy days here in Columbus, woof) which means there is still plenty of time to use the TGL Holiday Bucketlist (see previous post) to help guide you in doing good, being well, and filling your heart.
My family was able to check off a few items prior to heading home for Christmas, but are still working on a couple others. As the spark of the New Year begins to fade into the rhythm of everyday life, I know it can be hard to stay inspired and carry the heart of the holiday season forward. I really hope you'll continue to join me in focusing on all the small ways we can be intentional and generous with our days. Like most other efforts for positive change, a lot of practice is required. In fact, I would argue that keeping a soft, giving, grateful heart is forever practice! There is no check box marking the finality of accomplishing this way of being. Instead, it is a commitment we make to invest our time and energy into for the rest of our lives.
This may sound daunting, but it's actually a freeing permission slip filled with relief -- there is no pressure to get it perfect, ever. Just the invitation to come back again and again to efforts that yield our most meaningful ways of being. To the efforts that live in alignment with our values and our purpose. And truthfully, I think you will find there is a magic ripple effect to these efforts. I think you'll find that the motion in these small gestures will always be more valuable than the stasis of no effort at all, and you will be delighted by how it begins to feel easy, with sweet, unexpected connections to be made at every turn.
10 years ago (TEN!!), I launched a tiny website/blog called The Grateful Life. It was intentioned as a space of positivity, and as I scrolled through some of my oldest posts this morning (cringing at only a few, but maybe you just don't go searching), I’m happy to report that I feel it has stuck to that goal over the years. Whether I was posting regularly or with wide gaps between visits, I see my vulnerability, clarity, heart and grateful spirit grow, even in my more challenging days. As a mother, this made me smile.
In my very first post, I shared a note that had been emailed to me from one of the many spiritual “gurus” I’d been following at the time. It says:
"What if, my darling, loneliness was simply a feeling of impatience, telepathically sent to you by friends you've yet to meet, urging you to go out more, do more, and get involved so that life's serendipities could bring you together...Would you still feel alone?" - the universe.
This season of life has cracked me open like a pinata full of feelings. Y’all...if you thought I was emo before….Lordy. All the feels, all the time, is my constant state of being.
My daughter’s existence reminds me of the need for a gratitude practice daily. We have so very much to give thanks for, and it is important to us to share that good fortune with others, and to model these truths for Saylor. Motherhood requires connection, support, community. It demands so much of self, that it is absolutely paramount we go out, do more, get involved so that this life’s serendipities can bring us what and who we need. More than ever, I see the truth in motion over stasis. Meaning; One step at a time, curiosity led movement is the ultimate antidote to the festering fears + doubts so readily fed by stasis.
Because of this, I wanted to collaborate with a friend to create a mini bucketlist of sorts, to keep me accountable for this very intention over the holidays. I am sharing it here with you in the hopes you will join my family and I during the month of December by checking off each item on this list. Keep coming back to TGL for photos and thoughts on our progress, as well as info on various organizations we support!
Download our beautiful list for printing here or here. HUGE thanks to dear Katie, for doodling my vision to fruition. (You are truly an artist. Never stop creating!)
And finally, I would love to see your bucket lists in action. Please share your experiences on social media with the hashtag #TGLBUCKETLIST (or feel free to tag me @thegratefullifelab)!
With love and gratitude,
Papa was out of town for a few days this month, working on a rental property we own, so it was just us chicks kicking back and running the show at home.
I almost feel guilty typing this, because I know how it could be misconstrued as quite the mom brag, but it really wasn’t a big deal to fly solo in parenting for a bit. Even though you ran a fever after your 4 month shots, vetoed any naps, and sister Ivy puked all over the house from eating goose poo (after she painfully twisted mamas wrist by yanking on the leash to say hi to a neighbor), I’d say we pretty well held it together and managed to look good doing it!
Sweet, smiley Saylor: Truly. You have made this transition into motherhood so...dare I say...easy.
Sure, there have been moments more difficult than others. Some have surprised us (you’re telling me it’s natural for my nipples to feel such immense pain at the start of nursing?) and others are kinda “duh” (living far from family/help is a freaking drag). Motherhood has felt like slowly unpacking a mysterious treasure. My approach thus far has been to remain as humble, present, and grateful as possible. This mentality works for us. You are a breeze, a joy, a gift to care for.
Quite a few well intentioned folks have made off-hand comments when I tell them about your gifted grace, saying things like “Just you wait until her sleep regression!” or “Wait until she is mobile!” or my personal favorite; “That just means your next kid will be a nightmare!”. And I gotta tell ya, these don’t sit well with me. I started letting these words seep into my mind to the extent I actually found myself describing your easy going nature recently by including a disclaimer. Placing a verbal asterisk next to our truth with an awkward “but I know that means our second will be super hard, haha!” - essentially attempting to beat them to the punch or down play our good fortune so as not to offend anyone. I started to accept the projection of hard times ahead in a way that implied we deserve them, versus expressing deep gratitude for the positive rhythm we have now. Worst of all, I started to let myself believe it was necessary to feel anxious about whatever may lie ahead.
Now, the most generous assumption I can make in these instances is that folks are striving for some combination of misplaced connection, a place to vent struggles, a desire to share experiences or “wisdom”.
Sure. I get that. I know there will be tough stuff on our journey. I know we will be excruciatingly tired or stressed or scared. I know this without many months of mamahood under my belt because what I lack in parenting experience, I make up for in having fully lived my own life. And that is part of the trade; to experience this new kind of love that aches and pulsates in my chest, I must also roll the dice on fresh potential for pain.
It’s what I signed up for.
Recently, while volunteering at one of our Young Mom Connection meetings for teen moms, I fell into this pattern of negative future talk in response to a fellow volunteer saying “the first one tricks you into having a second - and then the second is way harder!”
Ms. Connie, the founder of the organization, overheard this. Gently shaking her head, she firmly whispered to us “oh, no. that won’t be true”. I’m not sure what it is about Ms. Connie (other than her absolutely beautiful, generous, soft spoken soul) but her simple words and loving energy behind them set us free. I physically felt a weight lifted, Saylor, as though she had passed me a secret permission slip to not buy into any narrative that didn’t feel true for us.
And so we practice being here and now with you, instead. We shake off any invitation to fear your growth or the path of your life, understanding that worrying in the present won’t help alleviate struggle in the future. Brene Brown (you’ll hear mama quote her A LOT) has a perfect way of speaking on this. To summarize: she teaches us that joy is the most vulnerable emotion we can feel, and 'practicing the hurt' is simply a way of engaging with foreboding joy. It tricks us into thinking we will be more prepared for struggle if we spend time obsessively thinking about it, but it simply isn’t true. Hard times will be hard, no matter how much you future trip on them. Anxiety strips us of the full potential for joy in the moment and therefore negative planning is hardly ever worth the mental bandwidth. Practicing mindfulness each day doesn't have to be perfect for it to be worthwhile, either. Just know it is a choice you can always return to.
How does that silly Bobby McFerrin song go? “In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double"
One of my favorite moments in any yoga class I’ve ever taken comes at the very end, when we bow to one another as a symbol of acknowledging our shared life. Namaste, we croon in unison. Roughly meaning: The light within me sees the light within you. Some folks simply dip their chins at this time, or lean slightly forward, but I’ve always felt compelled to bend all the way over my lap until my forehead just about grazes the floor. There is a humility that washes over me after I practice, not unlike the humility I feel each day with you.
In this space of deep gratitude for the experience of being your mother, I feel compelled to say:
Mamas of sick children - I bow to you.
Mamas parenting solo most, or all, of the time - I bow to you.
Mamas whose babies need extra help learning and growing - I bow to you.
Mamas of multiples - I bow to you.
Mamas who love their babies so much that this love aches and pulsates in their chests, reverberating out into the world with a purity unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced, but who also just need a gosh darn MINUTE every now and again - I bow.
May the present offer you all the goodness you are worth, Saylor. May you trust yourself enough to believe it.
Loving you always, my girl.
Here we are in the final stretch of just me and you. It’s a tight squeeze, yea? But we’re making it work. Other mamas keep telling me I’ll be losing weight at this point, since eating becomes more difficult. Ha! Boy does that make me and your dad laugh. Those sweet mamas just don’t understand our secret dessert compartment which thrives off milkshakes and Girl Scout cookies. So far it’s been +5lbs in two weeks, our fastest gain yet, but nothing our stretch pants cannot handle.
I am trying my best to cherish every final, internal movement you gift me with...even when your butt finds its way under my rib or your foot nails me in whatever sensitive organ is closest.
I grew you within, and the wild, humbling, sacred process of this has been an honor to know.
This week I was scrolling on Instagram, a generally mindless past time your dad and I have vowed to limit once you’ve joined us earthside (for reasons we’ll explain later), when a passing food for thought from a yogi I follow stopped me in my tracks:
Absolutely Everything is On Loan.
The post goes on to list:
Your loved ones.
Your feet on the earth.
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit, baby. I’ve been thinking how this very moment of you and me sharing a body is so temporary. That your presence within is absolutely on loan to me.
That you, sweet soul, are on loan to us.
This food for thought inspires deep gratitude, presence, and the practice of non attachment.
This food for thought reminds me of how temporary it all is; not in a panicky, carpe diem because it’s going to hell in a handbasket kinda way. But rather as a liberating permission slip to feel free, encouraged, to enjoy it...really soak it up...while it’s here, happening, live and in color. It’s an invitation to take care of these things with humility + curiosity. It’s a challenge to loosen any white-knuckle fear grip we have on the fantasy of how it “should” be. A reminder to let go.
Or, perhaps more importantly, to let it be.
Your dad is on loan. Our Ivy is on loan (until they perfect magic dog-life extending drugs which we shall invest all our monies in, of course). The incredible earth we dwell on, full of wondrous creatures, sights, smells, landscapes, is on loan. Even the less-than-desirable bits of being human are on loan. Best case? To teach us, tear us open, give us the chance to grow deeper, higher, with clear intention and purpose.
Bubba and I keep saying “we don’t know what we don’t know”, somewhat as a calming mantra for all the mystery bound to unfold as you enter our lives.
I grew you within, but your being has undoubtedly already grown me, too. When you’re ready to meet your family, we will be ready, too.
Ready to learn.
Ready to love.
Ready to never take this loan for granted.