|serenity through osmosis on the back deck|
While living in Chicago I learned that my stress buffer system needed a lot of support. Without active help I became totally overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle and rushing about to make it in the windy city. Ultimately the help had to come from within, but I needed help from others too, needed to be shown how to help myself. Over time I learned that talking about my days, sharing my meals, practicing yoga, being mindful of my surroundings and movement, and developing good nutrition habits was worth the effort a hundredfold. If I didn't take the time to at least do thirty minutes of yoga three times a week my body's stress buffer became worn thin and my joints vibrated with negative energy build up. Some people call that fibromyalgia and it can become a serious problem if not addressed.
Living in Belfair, naturally presents an entirely different set of stressors than Chicago and just because life is slower around here doesn't mean my stress buffer system is magically stronger. When I was a kid I was often told I was "too sensitive." There weren't the books or understanding, the way there is now, for parents and kids in this crazy fast paced world. Just because I got older, ostensibly grew up, doesn't mean I am any less sensitive. I'm a lot better at coping now than I was then, but not always. As Anne Lamott says in her book on faith Grace (Eventually), "[S]ometimes I act just as juvenile as I ever did, but as I get older, I do it for shorter periods of time. I find my way back to the path sooner".
I read today that babies tend to stop crying so inexplicably when they get to approximately three months of age on average. Of course this is a very loose reassurance because anything you learn about pregnancy, birth, and parenting comes with the giant disclaimer that every child/person is different and you shouldn't be alarmed if your child/experience doesn't fit the stated norm. I'm not sure what culmination has occurred this week, but I have hit a short wall every day wherein I become frustrated. Yesterday I made it over that hurdle by eating ice cream and going for a drive to calm the boy. Today the wall was even easier, and I was able to step over it by talking to myself aloud, narrating my goings on to help myself realized that really, everything was ok.
I fed my soul today, some small bits of really nutritious moments on the back deck as the sun was beginning to set. I watched the light, the trees bending, the reeds waving. I took in the scent of the acreage around us and let the wind carry away my tension while Salamander nursed in my lap. I breathed deep to break up the thoughts of my curving spine and jelly belly. My thoughts revolving around my body's state of existence have been part of what stresses me lately. I'm trying to let go of urgent thoughts of not getting enough (time) and instead do another thing Anne Lamott talks about:
The best way to change the world is to change your mind, which often requires feeding yourself. It makes for biochemical peace. It's almost like a prayer: to be needy, to eat, to taste, to be filled, building up instead of tearing down. You find energy to do something you hadn't expected to do, maybe even one of the holiest things: to go outside and stand under the stars, or to go for a walk in the morning, or in such hard times, both.A walk in the morning (and maybe at night), now that sounds like a fine idea. Me, the baby--wrapped up snug against my body, the dogs trotting, the mist, the birds, and on a clear day, the mountains. Giving little bits of whole food to feed all our sensitive souls.