As I write this, my very first blog post for calmmother.com, my laundry room is in a state of chaos. Water is leaking from its very recently (this morning) flooded floors into my downstairs family room. I have two loads of wet laundry sitting in baskets, most of it consists of my children’s clothes. And another pile of filthy, sopping towels covered in wet dryer lint and various other disgustingness that lived under the laundry appliances that haven't been moved in oh... six years. There are large patches of water coming up through the carpet outside the laundry room door - I stare at them. I’m sure they’re related.
Safe to say, I think my washing machine may not be working quite right. Swearing at it doesn’t seem to be changing things.
And of course, it’s Sunday.
Because that is when all major appliance catastrophes always occur.
Meanwhile, the kids think this is the most interesting thing they’ve ever seen. Every time I turn around amidst the insanity, there they are. Witnessing, questioning, frolicking and just generally being totally in the way.
Then I discovered I missed the deadline to register my daughter for soccer. Awesome. Feeling pretty much like I got this s*** under control. Not.
Can you relate? Of course you can. The first and central teaching of motherhood remains consistent no matter where you live or the era you live in - that silly notion that you can control everything, that everything can indeed be perfect and work totally the way ‘they’ said it did in the book.
We have no control over when these moments come and sometimes they come stacked up on top of one another to the point that you just want to go into the bathroom, sit down on the toilet and allow the inner diva to fully release herself. I suck, you suck, they suck, the books suck, the washing machine sucks, Sunday sucks. Right?
One of my yoga teachers taught me that your first response is always free. What that means is that our emotional or mental response to certain situations is largely outside of our control, a combination of many things from genetic predisposition, past experiences and traumas, even our own childhood. For the most part, we can’t help it.
BUT, the second response is all ours to own.
Then, we have a choice.
This is the key, Mindful Mommas.
The first step is to notice the response. I actually have names for mine; the Diva, the Baby, the Brat, etc. The Diva has a collection of set behaviors: dramatic, self-pitying, yelling, crying, etc., as do the others. Generally, these responses will kick back to all the injustices the Diva has ever suffered and start to compound upon one another until it’s not just about the washing machine breaking, it’s about how bad s*** always happens to me, about how I deserve better, about how this wouldn’t be happening if my husband had just gotten the damn thing fixed when I first mentioned it was making noise. And that’s just the Diva storyline.
The point is a lot of what goes on in these moments is just drama. Just our own drama! What actually happened is the washing machine broke. It means nothing. The rest of it is just our own bulls**t story, making it mean something it doesn’t. Making it mean more than just the washing machine breaking is just going to cause us to suffer more. It broke.
It’s no one’s fault, it’s not a reflection of me as a parent, a householder, a wife, a person.
It just broke.
Now I actually do have control.
The first response is free.
The second response is all mine.
I choose to let go of the story.
I choose presence, non-attachment, peace.
Diva, be gone.
Pass me a towel.
Much love and light,
About the author
A former sales and marketing executive, Shauna Nyrose completed her formal yoga study in the Ashtanga and Iyengar inspired teachings of Nicki Doane and Eddie Modestini of Maya Yoga, HI. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Alliance (E-RYT200) teacher and is certified in Yoga Nidra for stress release and deep relaxation. She continues to study with internationally renowned yoga teacher Elena Brower and has nearly 200 hours of additional teacher training in the Kripalu/ Kundalini traditions.
Shauna's classes range from gentle to practical foundations to creative flow and intermediate Ashtanga inspired practice for those seeking a challenge physically and mentally. Her ability to inspire energy and inner peace in others both on and off the mat is second to none.
Shauna is a wife and mom to two amazing kids that give her many opportunities to practice off the mat what she teaches on the mat. Shauna also loves books, red wine and sunshine on her face. To find out more about Shauna or to book a class, visit Shauna Nyrose Yoga. Check out her lifestyle posts.