"Survival" seems to be the best descriptive term for 2020.
Like so many others, I have spent the past several months with my thoughts focused primarily on all of the negativity this year has brought, to everyone. There is an unspoken, heavy, dark, negative energy that weighs on all of us. It's difficult, if not impossible, not to get swept up by it.
The elderly are suffering. Our children are suffering.
Health care is suffering. The economy is suffering. Our sense of unity is suffering.
Everyone- in some way- has been affected by the course of events of this year.
All sense of "normalcy" in my life abruptly ended in March of 2020, as it did for so many others.
Since then, I have been grasping at any bits of "normalcy" I can, but as we approach the end of 2020, I've yet to figure out what the new "normal" is for me.
And was the "normal" of before really healthy?
It feels as though we are now in a constant state of treading water, waiting for the rescue team to come swooping in to bring us back to shore.
But, there is no rescue team.
So we either need to swim, or we will sink.
We can't tread water forever.
So, I have started to take my own yoga teacher advice, and I have started to shift my perspective.
Would I ever have slowed myself down, if I wasn't forced to?
Would I have ever stopped, if not for this situation?
Like most families these days, we had adapted to leading very busy lives, with very crowded schedules.
It became very normal and acceptable to never have time to "rest."
From work, to karate or dance, sports, girl scouts, and of course school and all that goes along with three children being in three different grades.
Oh, and then on top of "real" work, I was striving to maintain my "hobby"- of running a small business.
To be honest, the holidays of past years have been a blur.
I look at pictures and I wonder how much of it was I even actually present for?
We had become so busy as a family that I was living my life just trying to get through one thing to get to the next thing, but never really enjoying the moment I was in.
If you take classes with me, you will hear me talk about this a lot.
About slowing down, taking time to really be in the moment.
But if I am being honest- I have had to work really, really hard at allowing myself to follow my own advice.
You see, like most, I had lost myself in the busy.
If you stay busy enough, there isn't time to sit with your own thoughts.
Gradually, you start to associate your personal worth and value by how busy or "successful" you are.
At least, I did.
So, the positive aspect of this year, for me, has been in the lesson.
Learning to be present- really, truly present.
Not scrolling on my phone, checking emails, or catching up on work during family movie night.
Not ignoring my kids to finish the work from the day before that constantly spilled into life at home.
Not rushing from one event to the next.
Not trying to be at every birthday party, or every school function.
When we finally slowed down, (albeit by force through an international pandemic), I started to notice that everything that gives me purpose has been right in front of me all along.
I was just too busy to notice before.
I was too busy to notice that my youngest daughter, Sophia, has become quite the artist, and that her vocabulary has become much more expansive than it should be for being only six years old.
I was too busy to see that the personality of my eight year old, Grace, mirrors mine in every single way imaginable, and that her caring, loving soul is such a gift. I see now how she struggles to channel it, and I feel grateful that I didn't completely miss this time with her, because my being present is meaningful for her right now more than ever.
I didn't appreciate that my 12 year old son, Holden, can code and use technology better than I can (he sets everything up for me when I film yoga- I have no idea what I'm doing with any of it!). And that he is so sweet and endearing with his little sisters (when he wants to be).
Often, I was too busy to notice anything at all.
I realized the other night, when we were sitting quietly by the tree, that I never took time for moments like that. I never took the time to actually appreciate the quiet moments.
Because there weren't any.
I was far too busy for quiet moments.
I was too busy to spend any quality time with anyone for any reason, because there was always some other task that my brain thought I should be doing. Even doing things with my kids became task oriented.
Whatever the task, the task always took priority over just living life.
I truly didn't know how to do that.
I didn't know how to just exist in the present moment, and appreciate it.
I didn't know how to just be with myself and my thoughts.
And when I finally was forced to do it- to slow down and to really be with myself- it nearly broke me.
I know I'm not the only one who has felt this way this year.
So, with KatMula Wellness, I try to share this shift in perspective, because I too have been at the very bottom. Only recently have I started to see life on the other side of the darkness.
I want others to realize that not everything is negative, despite the challenges we have been faced with this year. That there is still something so valuable to be gained from this year.
To slow down, and to take the time to notice.
To be present, really present, in the moment- because the moment we are in now is really all we have.
To truly appreciate your family, your true friends, and the blessed life you have.
You are not valued by your job, your income, your busy schedule, or your popularity.
Your worth is not defined by how much you do, or even by what you do.
You are not defined by your address or the car you drive.
You can have all of the wealth in the world, but if you are too busy to truly live your life, then all of that wealth is worthless. There is no second chance at life.
I truly believe this is our second chance, to shift and change.
So take it.
Know that your worth is defined by YOU alone.
How you see yourself, how and where you choose to spend your energy- that is what defines you.
Not your "role" or any expectation set by society.
To see it, to really see your worth, you have to take the time to slow down, and be with your thoughts.
You have to feel ALL the feels.
Even the ugly ones.
It's ok to cry. It's ok to have bad days.
Just don't pack up and live there.
Refocus, change your perspective, and eventually- I promise- you will see it, too.
You will see the lesson.
And you will be better for it.
Here's to 2021.
I'm hoping we all come into the new year with a shift in our perspectives, and a greater appreciation for what truly matters in life.
xoxo, with much love and light,