So you may know of my most current vision quest. I flippantly announced to my friends a couple of weeks ago that I was going into the cave! But inside, I will admit I was more than a little anxious.
As Day Five of my fast dawns, I affirm that this thing — this process is — in fact, transformational. Being so, it is incredible! But transformation is never a walk in the park. I wouldn’t recommend it without support… whether that comes for you in the form of cheerleaders, a partner, the right space and time… whatever. Part of the miracle of the journey however, is that once you set your sights on the Path, your provisions will be provided.
All of the above were sent to me, as Jen Lemen calls them, “little snacks from the Universe:” — five days in a row when my kids are being cared for by dad, people who believed in me… not only that I was capable of doing this but that it was the right time for it. And most of all, someone to do the fast with me… my sister.
A gift from The Universe — my sign from God that I am not alone. A hugely significant message because the purpose of this cave is facing all your demons… and inviting them to sit with you around the fire. But more on that in a later post. This one is about Carmen.
I’m not even sure that she really wanted to do this fast, but she did!
And she did it gracefully. Really. There’s video evidence… (Carmen on Day 4)
I say to everyone, my sister is visiting. But that’s not it. Visiting is an afternoon. Or, a long weekend. Visiting means that every minute or hour is an event: what restaurant can we go to? What St. Louis attraction can we see? That’s visiting.
But by the Grace of God, Carmen is here for six weeks.
Six means you settle into a routine. Six weeks means you don’t fill every minute with chatter. You’re done catching up with all the “news” you’ve missed and are free to just be. Sharing space, being in each other’s presence, soaking up this person: the way she shuffles in her boots… the way she plays with my daughter’s hair… the way she laughs — sometimes like me, sometimes like mom.
Six weeks means spending a whole day going over old pictures and flooding our Facebook streams with memories for our families, friends, and acquaintances… who don’t care!
Six weeks means reconciling my image of who my sister IS with who she used to be.
My baby sister has a career. She pays her bills. She owns a car. My baby sister can navigate public transportation in foreign cities! She’s unflappable, so comfortable in her skin — whether it’s meeting all my friends or hanging out with strangers at my kids’ endless soccer practices, games, and parties. And when I took her to tango and I ask her if she’s nervous she says, “It’s just dancing.”
I look at this beautiful woman. She takes my breath. I can hardly believe that I have anything to do with her. Yup, I carried her home from the hospital in my arms. And I wanted her crib in my room. I dressed her and fed her. And when she was two, I left her.
Why is she here for me? … when there have been so many times I was not there for her.
How to Get Real
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Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?