I have been feeling a lot lately. Quite what I've been feeling I'm not sure. If I could put it into a word, overwhelmed might sum it up. It is as if I have reached this point in my life where once I saw a horizon and now I see fog and it seems I'm not the only soul wandering out here. There seems to be this point for women post kids, pre/during menopause that resembles some kind of emotional and physical wasteland. A place not pinpointable on any map, yet when you speak to other women they've all been there. This last year I've been walking through this wasteland looking for the exit. Treading this path has filled me with uncertainty, unrest but also a strange and welcome sense of freedom.
Society’s 'rules' for women seem clear around youth, pregnancy, work and what it wants/expects/demands of us and it’s up to us whether we buy into that or not. However middle age is the unspoken landscape it appears, where women move from maidens or mothers into...
After a 5am start and 3 hour drive to Lisbon airport on Saturday, dread filled my heart when we were greeted by an enormous queue to get through security.
When I say enormous there is no exaggeration. I've travelled a fair bit and I'd never seen anything like it in my life. It snaked the whole of the check in area from the front door, through, round and under every available space. It was at least three people deep and was totally un policed or instructed by airport staff.
I have two small boys, 4 and 6yrs old. Queuing is never easy for kids but for my youngest near impossible. Panic began to set in. As a mum I tend to read situations ahead of schedule because I think I know my kids well enough to be able to predict behaviour. So in my mind I leapt ahead into the screaming, flaying, chaos that would unfold when my youngest got bored and wanted to run around like any normal 4yr old chap. I felt deep anxiety spread through me and my temperature went up.
I recently returned from a trip visiting family in Luzern in Switzerland. Luzern has an enormous lake, surrounded by many mountains, two of which are pretty spectacular Rigi and Pilatus.
There's something about the mountains. There's something humbling about their size, inspiring in their beauty and steadfastness, and rejuvenating in the air and vista they offer.
On the trip I was continuing to read a book about teaching kids mindfulness. I had in fact already started using some of the practices myself during my 10 minute morning meditation. - 'I breathe in, I feel ___', 'I breathe out, it's OK to feel____' . This simple tool allowed me to connect in the moment with how I was feeling in my body, heart and mind and to allow that and in that allowing to soften the power of that feeling over me.
During the trip I found myself using this technique often throughout the day. I'm not sure if it was the book that inspired me, the mountains, or having only one son with me...