When I was in the throws of raising two kids under 3, I read something from a spiritual teacher that changed my life. It went something like this: “Whether you’re meditating in an ashram or you’re raising your family, it’s the same work. That’s your yoga.”
Before I had kids I threw myself into my spiritual practice. I was seeking truth and freedom. I travelled the world. I dove intensely into relationships. I went on silent meditation retreats. I practiced hours of yoga. I studied Ayurveda. I thought, “THIS is the deep work.” I believed living in the material world and my spiritual evolution were inherently at odds with each other.
Then I had kids and moved from San Francisco to the suburbs of Massachusetts. In those early years of deep sleep deprivation and exhaustion, when every minute of childrearing can feel like infinity, I would cry for the life and the work I thought I had lost.
Then I read that quote. It blew my heart and mind open to the wisdom that “the work” is in every moment. That my babies were my little gurus. That all of those practices were preparing me for this phase of life that seemed so mundane on the surface, but behind the scenes I was letting go of what no longer served me so I could evolve into my deeper purpose. My purpose as a mother, but also my dharma as a teacher, healer and leader. By living my Ayurvedic habits in whatever small way I could and by working to be present in these moments, I was giving myself the space to sit with, breathe through and digest my experiences, emotions and past traumas. That evolution was happening at warp speed as I washed the dishes, hugged my babies, crawled through the exhaustion, meditated in the two minutes I had to myself, and did the deep work to be present.
The work is now. It’s in each choice you make in each moment to be present, to orient towards gratitude, to honor the abundance and to take full responsibility for how you live each day. It’s not in perfect silence or somewhere with greener grass. It’s within the chaos that we have the choice to align our actions to who we need to become. And in these small, everyday, behind-the-scenes, conscious choices, we evolve into our deeper purpose. We change.
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