Today I attended a mini morning retreat for ladies in the parenting group I’m a member of. The theme was “Relax and Reflect”. One of the reflection exercises was designed to force us out of “mommy mode” and reconnect with ourselves removed from being a good mom. We were to pick one characteristic or skill that we are awesome at and write it down.
I couldn’t think of anything.
Well, I could think of some things but they were all “good mom” related. I kind of wanted to cry. Where did I go? How did I get so disconnected from myself? I felt like I was immersed in a hive mindset, so to speak. Solely focused on my family, children, and spouse. Those are all VERY important things, vital to my life and essential to my world BUT having a mommy and wife who is one step away from becoming a Borg isn’t beneficial, either.
So where do I find the balance? Where do I locate ME, yet still maintain my focus on my 2 babies and spouse?
In the past, I’ve tried getting out of the house by myself or just with a young nursing baby (so far, all of my children are boob snobs and refuse a bottle. UGH.). I’ve tried escaping into books, the internet, and talking on the phone. While all of these options are good tools to use in moderation, I was missing a key point. In using these tools, I was trying to escape from the stresses of the day and ignore my reality. Yes, I do recognize the necessity of simply zoning out but if that’s all I do, where’s the recharging of my spirit? Where’s the energy to face the next meltdown or financial discussion?
At the mini morning retreat, I got some great ideas that I hope to implement. One that I hope to start as soon as possible involves art therapy. This morning, I made made my first Mandala. A Mandala is a drawn circle and the user fills it with shapes, colors, and lines. The goal is to draw like no one else is looking, and as if no one else will see it. You aren’t suppose to work towards the end product. The point is the process, not the end result. Then, when you feel like you’re finished, title and date it. At this point, you can throw it away, store it, or burn it. Basically whatever strikes your fancy!
The Mandala I created today was very calming for me. I focused on my immediate feels about this morning and expressed it in colors. By working through my emotions and viewpoints in an abstract manner, I was able to see things in a different light. I felt calm and emotionally centered. At that point, I decided that I needed to make a habit of this. I need to carve out just ten minutes from my day to sort out and process the way my day unfolded.
My goal is to try and do this every evening once I get supplies (that will be next week after we get Aaron’s unemployment check). I hope to get a spiral bound sketch book and some sort of art media. I thought that the oil pastels were pretty cool today but I should probably stick with crayons for the sake of frugality! On the front of each sheet, I’ll create my Mandala with a title and date. On the back of that page, I’ll journal two or three sentences about my creation.
I hope that by doing this, I’ll find a new tool to recharge and refill my emotional bucket. I’m even considering scanning and posting one Mandala a week to keep myself accountable. Is that too weird?
Going back to the inability to think of something that I rock at to write on my rock. Now that I’m home and have processed things more, I’ve come up with an entire list! A few things on the list include: being frugal, knitting, writing, cooking from scratch, and trip planning. It’s rather encouraging to realize I’m not a Borg Mom. Hopefully I can maintain my resistance to the hive mind through a new balance.