My pack was heavy and I didn’t think I was ready.
Before we planned the trip, my dear friend Angelique talked about how much she loved disconnecting and letting go. I told her I was down and ready for it…as long as I could contact my kids, at least in some way. She assured me I could. Or at least she thought I could. At no fault to her, I found out about a day before we left that I wouldn’t be able to get ahold of them…and even worse, they wouldn’t be able to get ahold of me. For 48 hours if something happened, they would be on their own. Obviously not completely alone since they would have their babysitter and other friends that had been so generous to watch them and help me, but what if something happened that needed me to make a decision…for care or comfort or a plan or a tough decision? Of course this made my mind go crazy and spiral into psychosis as I thought of all the things that could happen with NO WAY TO COMMUNICATE. I called the ranger station and they said, “Well maam, if they need to call you that badly, I think it would be wise for them to call 911 instead.”
…insert eye-roll! Well no shit dude!
That was the last thing I needed to hear. I almost canceled. A day before. It wasn’t worth it. I was their mother. It was my duty. My job. My soul calling to care for them. Sure I needed to escape and release and adventure, but at what price? I didn’t think a backpacking trip to clear my head would leave me with so much guilt.
Until I really thought it through…I can do this. I need to do this. Not just for me, but for my kids.
I hold onto them so tightly that I don’t think I allow them to cultivate, mold, shape, and grow their own power.
Sure, they are only 8,6, and 2 BUT when is it too late to find some independence and power?
I worry EVERY SINGLE DAY about them. I worry I will ruin them. I worry what I am doing isn’t enough. I worry that I am doing it wrong. I overcompensate and then I fail and then I overcompensate again.
I have no idea what I am doing.
What is right? How do I parent them? How do I teach them independence and balance and security and freedom all at the same time?
It seemed trivial to worry about a couple days and I was annoyed that so many emotions came up during this decision. Just go on the trip…it’s only 3 days. But the pain that showed up within this decision really made me think long and hard about the struggle I was facing.
What was really going on here?
Could it be that I was trying to heal something within me but also working so hard to show up for my children?
Of course I was.
I think we all do this because we don’t know any other way.
We look at how we were raised and we pick out the things we loved and the things we hated and we do things in our own way.
And then we parent our child in our own way…
But there is more to the story. There’s YOUR story. Your childhood and upbringing.
Just because the conscious mind decides to parent one way doesn’t mean you aren’t still subconsciously effected by your upbringing therefore manifesting some of that into your parenting. Whether it be positive or negative.
I do this a lot.
I do this because my parents traveled a lot and I used to be really bitter about it and I didn’t want my children to be bitter at me.
But. Here’s what it came down to for me.
I am not my parents. My children are not me. We are not in the same environment or situation or time or place as my upbringing.
I am not the parent I was 3 years ago. My children are not the children they were 3 years ago. We are not in the same environment or situation or time or place we were 3 years ago.
Nothing is the same. Nothing will ever be like it was yesterday and nothing will be like it is tomorrow.
But this is where fear gets in and tries to take charge.
It tells us that the past will repeat itself. It lies to our face and tells us that this will happen or that will happen as a result of what we do.
This trip for me was a way of giving fear that big fat middle finger.
Guess what fear.
I am a good mom.
My kids are loved.
They are learning growth, independence, and peace every day and every single day is different.
I made the right decision to go on that trip.
I had things organized and in place.
I know everything would go exactly how it should. I repeated that affirmation over and over.
As I lost service and said goodbye to the world for 2 days I found something I didn’t know I had lost.
True. real. presence.
No agenda. no schedule. No “I need to go here or here or do this or that.”
I sat on rocks. I let the wind hit my face. I left my phone nestled in my sleeping bag all day. I cried. I cried a lot. I saw the rocks and the colors and the blue skies and the ridges and the curves.
I was exactly what it needed and it was exactly what I needed.
Freakin’ life, man! If only we trusted it more.
Trusted that intuition within us.
If only we leaned in and allowed ourselves to trust these experiences that comes up and trust that we are doing okay. Okay enough to let go for a little bit.
Anxiety stems from resistance, and I pray I can learn to lean in instead of resisting before it’s too late.
Because I think that’s the real answer. To lean into motherhood even with worries and struggles.
If we lean in, we will listen to our intuition which is drowned out when we allow fear to speak louder.
Although the fears continued to evolve as the trip got closer once I decided to lean in, resistance faded.
I was able to hike with 35 pounds on my back…no problem.
I pooped in a bag. I ate dry food meals and left my kids without any communication for 48 hours and guess what happened…NOTHING.
I knew deep down that it was going to be fine and so were my kids. My intuition told me. It knew I needed that presence and peace.
Don’t let the voice of fear drown out the voice of your intuition.
Resistance comes when we don’t listen to our intuition. Anxiety stems from that resistance. And anxiety creates fear.
What do my kids need?
They need me to stop resisting.
They need me to lean in.
To motherhood. To my passions. To my husband. To love. To my life.
To my intuition.
They want me to lean into experiences with or without them.
Thank you Canyonlands for letting me LEAN IN and soak in your beauty.
It helped me soak in life just a little bit deeper.
Light and love,