May 2- Buried

Meditation: Calm, How to Meditate: No Agenda
Length: 10 minutes
Where: Backyard, Michigan
How It Felt: Free

Ok, first thing’s first- I had my facts wrong yesterday! Let’s straighten that out.

I wrote that I started Yoga With Adriene’s May calendar and that the first class was called “Trust.” But guess what?? No it wasn’t! It was called “Anchor in Hope,” which I noticed when I was getting set up for Day 2 yesterday. Why did I think that?

You know, she talked about trusting yourself at some point, and I think my brain just needed to notice that. One of those crazy life examples of seeing what you need to see or hearing what you need to hear at the moment. I do need to learn to trust myself more, I know that.

So, facts fixed, let’s get to the meditation.

I was feeling intentionally grateful yesterday. I was excited to get back to LA (packing up and leaving for the airport shortly after I finish this blog!) and I could tell I was too excited, like I wasn’t being present. I wanted to soak up some of the parts of Michigan I love, things I don’t have in LA right now.

For instance, I took two long walks yesterday, covering over nine miles. Here, everyone is so spread out in these sprawling suburbs that you don’t have to wear a mask. You can just go outside and breathe fresh air. It’s lovely. As happy as I am that California has been strict with COVID protocol, I can also appreciate being somewhere for a little while that I can feel the sunshine and fresh air on my face!

I also spent a long time in the backyard, filling it with bribes for all the animals- birdseed, squirrel food, peanuts, fresh water in the birdbath- so I could feel like Snow White. I can’t wait until we have a backyard in LA! Although I love and appreciate many things about the condo life, this pandemic has made private outdoor spaces more cherished than ever.

I decided to meditate out there among the animals in the evening. Steve took the kids out for some after dinner ice cream and the house was totally peaceful for the first time all weekend. I perched on the stoop and popped in my AirPods, ready to zone out.

Day 2 yoga really was gratitude focused (I’m sure this time!) and I chose to keep that at the top of my mind. We did a “No Agenda” meditation today, another way to kind of “do nothing” in a session, so I really shut my brain down. When I zoomed out, I could hear all those beautiful nature sounds- birds chirping, the breeze blowing through the leaves, squirrels rattling the branches.

When I opened my eyes at the end of the session, I was in the middle of a little menagerie. I quickly counted ten squirrels and over twenty birds in the yard, some only a few feet from me. I was in heaven!

I sat quietly for another twenty minutes or so, just happy, counting my blessings. Feeling wildly peaceful. Soon, the rest of the crew came home, and Steve sat beside me in the quiet for a while before the Sunday night “getting ready for school tomorrow” rituals began.

Perfect moments so often come at the most unexpected times.

As I end this trip and head back home for a few months, I’m taking with me all the lessons I’ve learned about balance, about giving my needs more weight in my brain. I’m leaving behind a lot of pressure I’ve been carrying with me about what my life should look like, about what it means to be a stepparent, a big sister, a wife, a daughter. I’m dropping the burden of trying to run two households perfectly, keeping part of me stuck in the deep, sinking muck of suburban expectations.

I feel like I’m dropping a heavy costume I’ve been insisting on wearing: Girl Who Can Do It All (As Long As She Doesn’t Worry Too Much About Her Goals and Needs).

I have a feeling a lot of women are carrying around their version of that costume.

Perfect Mom Who Has It All Together and Raises a Perfect Family

Wife Who Loves to Cook and Clean Because That’s What Wives Do

Woman That Of Course Wants Kids Because Wouldn’t It Be Weird If She Didn’t

Executive Who Doesn’t Need a Partner and Isn’t Lonely At All

Leaving mine behind, buried somewhere in the backyard, under the feet of the squirrels and Blue Jays and opossum and wandering dogs, somewhere close enough to remind me why I left it there, but deep enough I never get tempted to put it back on again.

Feeling free AF.