We recently took Chloé to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet show at South Street Seaport Museum with some friends. Billy and I were so excited for her to experience the show, but we weren’t exactly sure how it would play out. Other than the playground and our daily adventures in the neighborhood, Chloé spends most of the day at home with us. She’s a big, bright light, but I couldn’t help but wonder if she’d shine outside the comfort of her little world.
No sooner had we rolled through the front door than my question was answered. From the moment we unbuckled her from the stroller, she was like, “Byyyye!” It’s safe to say she had a blast. No cocoon for this social butterfly!
While everyone else was engrossed in the show, I watched Chloé. I was captivated by her self-confidence, but also struck by how, every so often, she would run over to give me a hug before taking off again.
I’ve been thinking about those hugs a lot.
It hit me: I’m her first home, the place where she can always return for comfort, security, and unconditional love. And it got me thinking, we ALL need a space where we can feel seen, heard, and loved for exactly who we are.
That space exists inside each of us, even when it’s difficult to access. I don’t have to tell you how challenging it is to return to ourselves when the demands and pressures of life pull us in so many directions. Also, it can feel hard to return if we don’t feel welcome—if we’re greeted at the door inward by a belief that we don’t belong. That’s why it’s so helpful to have a tether—a practice that anchors us in our truest self. For me, that tether is yoga. It’s my touchstone. My practice reminds me that it’s less about trying to *find* myself (hellooo, I’m right here!) and more about returning to my inherent wholeness.
Motherhood is a big part of my practice now. My teacher, Chloé, reminds me how important it is to stay grounded and centered. When I meditate on the unconditional love I feel for her, I realize how much it has to teach me about how to love and care for myself. My goal for 2020 is to welcome myself home with the kind of tenderness I show my child. It feels like a practice that could radically change everything.
I absolutely love this, Chrissy. Sometimes it feels so much easier to love our kids unconditionally than it does to love ourselves in the same way.
And I also love the image of a tether. I feel like too often the “unbound” part of yoga gets emphasized rather than the part that draws us home. Sometimes tethers can be a very good thing.
Thanks, Lauren! I’m glad the idea of a tether resonated with you. Frankly, I’m not sure how “unbound” I really want to be. For me, the practice lies in discerning which tethers bind me to my self-limiting stories, and which ones connect me to the home within. Thanks for sharing your comment. So lovely to see you here.