I’m getting HUGE! Yup, I’m 32 weeks and definitely starting to feel it and show it.
Third trimester took no prisoners and hit me like a brick wall.
I went from feeling motivated, energized, and inspired to feeling exhausted and giving less and less shits about just about everything…except for napping.
I LOVE napping! Especially with all my pets in bed with me.
As I was thinking about what to write this morning I was feeling so grateful for all the amazing support in my life and how lucky I am.
People ask me about 50 times a day, “how are you feeling?” If I’m honest I tell them that I’m good, aside from pregnancy being uncomfortable and inconvenient.
Yes, it is also amazing and a miracle and I’m CREATING a life in my body, but most days it’s uncomfortable and just plain inconvenient.
Life doesn’t stop for pregnancy just like it doesn’t stop for any of the discomforts of life.
I still (just like most women) have all the same responsibilities and full life of pre-pregnancy (and yes I know once baby comes it’s only going to get busier!) and it’s getting harder and harder to maintain.
I read a quote to my Soul Sisters (from the Soul Strategy Sessions) last week from Jack Kornfields book Soul Food:
“It’s not easy for us to accept that there is no cure for living.”
So how do we face the uncomfortable and inconvenient times of our life? Or the ones that are just plain hard and challenging? The times when you just want to go back to bed and hope to wake up to a different reality?
It is possible to face uncertainty and challenges with grace and compassion.
These are the practices I use to keep me grounded and steady when everything else seems to be falling apart:
1) Focus on right now.
Often when we are faced with uncertainty and challenge, we try to control the situation by trying to think of all the possibilities and make a plan. This is also known as worrying, yes? When worrying and anxiety set in thoughts can spin out of control. The best way to work with moments of overwhelm and invasive thoughts is to focus on the task at hand, or the next step. Most of us try to see not just the whole picture, but ALL of the pictures and it’s not helpful. You don’t need to see the whole path to take a step. Focus on right now, and trust that the next best move will be available to you when the time arrives. You will feel calmer, and way more in control.
2) Maintain perspective.
All of our situations are temporary. The only certainty about life is that it is in constant change. The most challenging times of our lives will shift, just like the most joyful. Learning to see things as temporary allows space for challenges without resistance and anxiety, as well as being grateful for the beautiful times when they are here because they too are bound to change.
3) Ask for help, and accept it.
One of the greatest gifts we can give to each other is to ask for help and accept it with grace. It is a brave and bold move, and makes both parties feel good. It’s often hard to ask for help. We worry that we’ll be a burden, be judged, or be seen as less capable than we want to be seen. But the truth is that it is a privilege to be asked for help. I am always so grateful when my friends ask for support, advice, or a hand. I could not be happier than to be “their person” who they trust enough to be vulnerable and feel safe asking for what they need from me. We all need each other and there is nothing more sacred than the relationship of giving and receiving with open honest hearts.
4) Move your body, change a feeling.
My husband is a superstar. He can see when I’m not myself these days and always has a fun idea to get me out of the house, whether it’s to look at new cars or even just to walk through Costco. My back has been giving me a lot of grief and moving makes it better, and it absolutely makes my mind better. I’ve been diligent about walking our dog hard every morning hard and it not only keeps my pain levels down, but keeps my mind more focused and lifts my mood and energy up. When I feel off, moving changes it faster than anything else.
5) Give yourself a break.
Sometimes less is more. I’m a fire sign in everything: I’m an Aries in Astrology, a fire horse in Chinese Astrology, and a Pitta-Vatta in Ayurvedic Dosha’s (or constitutions). Everything about me knows how to move ahead, burn hard, and stay focused. I couldn’t even avoid it if I tried. One of the things I’ve had to learn how to do is to become sensitive to know when it’s time to take a break and balance my fire with ease. It was hard for me to give myself breaks, take naps, relax with a book (other than before bed), or even make time to do nothing. It has become a part of my mindfulness practice to pay attention to when it’s time for me to slow down, relax, and offer the kindness to myself that I would gladly offer anyone else. I’m certain this is why I’ve felt so good throughout my pregnancy and continue with my full life, all because I am present for what I need and am willing to give that to myself.
It always comes down to gratitude, doesn’t it? When times are challenging, it’s easy to get hyper focused on what’s not going “right.” Gratitude broadens our perspective and shifts the focus to all the millions of things that are going in our favor at any given moment. I am so grateful for my amazing husband who has been the most supportive, loving, kind, and understanding man I could ever ask for. He has made delicious meals for me 3 days in a row, rubs my back every time I ask, and seems to anticipate my needs while making me laugh all the time. I’m so grateful for the beautiful loving women in my life who have talked me down from the ledge, listened to my tears, and have made me feel so loved, held, and supported. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve so many amazing people in my life, and when I’m having a hard day, it’s certainly not hard to be grateful. My life has a never ending list of wonderful, beautiful, and amazing things in it all the time, and it never fails to change my mood from what’s not right to how almost EVERYTHING is right.
This is the game changer for everything in life. Compassion for each other, and compassion for ourselves. As the Dalai Lama says:
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Compassion is the reminder that life is hard for everyone. Remember what I said earlier? There is no cure for living. Practicing compassion allows us to see each other, and ourselves, as the humans that we are, who are all doing the best that we can with what we have in the moment. Seeing through the eyes of compassion allows us to be kinder, gentler, and to give each other and ourselves, a break. As I often say:
Life’s hard, and shit’s real.
Compassion is what binds us together, and reminds us that we are not alone.
All of us are on this uncertain, scary, joyous, and beautiful ride together.
My deepest hope for you is that your life is on an upswing, that it feels easy, joyous, and free. And if it’s not, my hope is that these practices can be of some support and comfort to you.
You are not alone, my friend, we are all walking each other home.
If you liked this post, I’d love for you to share it with your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to anyone who might need to read this right now.
We are all lighting the way for each other.