To be perfectly honest, I don’t love Easter. I don’t really love any obligatory holiday. I am a bit of a rebel and so anything that I am told I “have” to do, I tend to not want to do just on principle. Unfortunately, life being what it is, I can’t always have my way. And so we spent this last weekend preparing for and hosting my in-laws for Easter dinner.
Not being excited or enthusiastic about this prospect, but knowing how I want to feel, I made some choices about how I was going move through this weekend to help cultivate those feelings. Ease, freedom, abundance, and strength.
I rose early each day, settled into my morning practice, and then made lists of the things that needed to be done. I love lists. Making them helps me feel in control. Checking things off of them makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. And, almost invariably, none of the items on my list take as long as I think they are going to . I know this because when I noticed that my mind was telling me bullshit stories about how long everything was going to take, I started putting time estimates by each item, timing each one and checking the actual time against my estimated time. It was almost always lower. Seeing this always makes me chuckle at the drama queen in my head.
My kids are always enlisted to help, but here’s a hard truth. My oldest doesn’t help easily. It is in his nature to resist everything that he is asked to do, and dealing with this takes lots of energy, and is not fun in any way.
My husband works weekends, and so our holiday dinners are always on Monday. So, yesterday, I set about doing the last things on my weekend long holiday prep list. My son, predictably, was resistant, argumentative, and difficult. He doesn’t try to be, he just is. I adore him, I see how he struggles. It can’t be easy to live in his skin, but living with him in his skin is no easy task. After arguing about at least a dozen tasks in a row, we were finally ready, the table was laid, the kids were showered, and our guests were to arrive within 45 minutes.
I looked at my husband and told him that for the next fifteen minutes I would be sitting on the couch, my headphones in, unavailable for anything, least of all anyone’s shit.
I folded my legs under me, popped my headphones in, put on my favourite mediation track, jacked the volume, and closed my eyes. I extended my tailbone down, and rooted into the earth, gently engaged my lower belly, lifted my chest slightly, and tucked my chin, lifting my crown to the universe.
As the breath and the mantra began to flow, I felt my shoulders begin to melt, my clenched jaw relax, my breath deepen and my body come back into balance. Fifteen minutes. No one’s shit, no one’s expectations, no one’s needs but my own. It was a small bubble of time, and it was enough. I had a sense of things happening around me, beyond my closed eyes, but I knew they were taken care of. My husband had seen in my face my need for a moment of time to centre myself before our guests arrived, and everything went into motion to bring the event to fruition. He knew, and he handled it.
This is love. Love for myself, which allows me to love others better. My husbands love for me which has spanned twenty years bearing the knowledge that his gift of this moment to me would make me better able to be all here with the best of myself as a hostess. The love is always there, and when I take the time to sit, it allows me to peel away all the layers of tension and ego and bullshit that are covering it up.
I don’t love fighting, and I don’t love being obligated to do anything. I don’t love chaos, and I don’t love tradition. I do, however, love. I love myself, I love my children, I love my family, my husband, and the wonderful food he cooks. I love good conversation and seeing how the children grow with each passing year. And I love my practice.
And you, dear reader, I love you.
Welcome to Spring.