Back to the Basics

There has been a theme coming up this entire month- in my current Mindful Living and Stress Management group program, in my ongoing Mindful Parenthood Journey membership group, with my one-on-one clients, and even in my friend circles.

This lingering, heavy sense of guilt for not doing enough, not doing things fast enough, not accomplishing enough, not being enough. And in all of these conversations parents, moms, and dads are sharing this sense that they feel like they should be constantly on the go- producing, doing, achieving- whether it's as a parent, managing a household, at work, or with friends and family. This sense that they are never doing enough, good enough.

And to pull back and provide a little context, it's not completely surprising that many of us feel this way. To have such a strong underlying (programmed, even) urge to go, do, produce. And the accompanying nagging sense of guilt or "laziness" when we aren't. Most of us have been brought up at the height (and perhaps invisible death;) of expansion capitalism at its max. In Chinese medicine capitalism, as an economic system, would be characterized as super Yang - expansion, activity, movement, fire, consumption. We as people and as a society, forget that it is important and necessary to have both sides of the coin to sustain, maintain and thrive.

We forget that we have permission (and a survival need!) to rest, to contract, to go inward, to rejuvenate and replenish. We forget that it is okay and necessary to have seasons for both. Which has me thinking a lot about the importance of seasons and the different types of "seasons" or rhythms that may be helpful for us to tune into and nurture. We have them on every level! Daily circadian rhythms fueled by daylight and our internal neurotransmitters and hormones (cortisol, specifically). As women, we have monthly cycles with estrogen fueling the active, expansion half of the month and progesterone facilitating the slower, sleepier half. Seasons of the year, of course, when historically we'd be snuggling in with community around a warm hearth with lots of rest time in the winter and fueled by longer days and sunlight in the summer. And there are also seasons of life. Some where you are energized and ready to take on the world (hello, all nighters in my 20's). And some where you are moved to hunker down and focus your energy and attention in a few specific areas of your life.