The other day after yoga class, a student of mine named Joe said to me, " I really love seeing the look on your face at the end of class. It is an expression of pure joy. You look the way you make us feel."
Tears came to my eyes instantly. Joe and I were both surprised by my reaction. He immediately apologized for making me cry. I told Joe that I was moved to tears by his comment because his well timed words answered the question that I had been asking myself a lot lately. That question was, "Am I doing enough?"
For the past 25 years, my main job has been to raise my four amazing children. Thanks to my very hard working and generous husband, I have been blessed with the ability to work because I want to, not because I have to. Having this choice is something that I am always grateful for. Sometimes however, having this choice leaves me confused and wondering if being a stay at home mom and part time yoga teacher is enough.
As my kids grow up, they need me less and less. Although I I still have a twelve year old daughter at home and my college aged boys are around in the summer, I can see my "full time mom job" coming to an end.
The prospect of having no kids at home to take care of leaves me sad, scared, and wondering what I will be when my full time mom job is over. In other words, how will I define myself when I can no longer call myself somebody's mom?
My fearful mind starts to spin out of control when I think of my future and my new full time job as a part time yoga instructor. I start to scold myself, "I should be doing something that makes more money. I should go back to school and become a physical therapist. I should get a real job, and do something important with my life."
What I am really saying is, "I have no value if I don't make money. If I went back to school and became something, I would feel really good about myself. Is teaching yoga a "real job?"
When I stop to think about my emotional reaction to my observant student's comment, I realize that the question that I had been asking myself a lot lately wasn't really, "Am I doing enough?". What I have really been wondering when faced with the second half of my life is, "Am I enough?". In other words... Am I enough when I can no longer hide behind my identity as a mom of four kids.
Joe's observation affirmed to me what I already know deep inside. I am already enough. Not because I can define myself as a yoga teacher, or a mother, or a physical therapist. I am enough because I am a human being with the ability to give love, joy, and kindness to others. That is all I need to do.
If I decide to go back to school or get a "real" job after my kids grow up, it won't be to define myself, it will be because I want to continue to learn and grow.
For now, there is nothing that is more important and beautiful to me than the joy that I give AND receive from being a full time mother and a part time yoga teacher.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras