And I’m adding another quote today to go with the one above:
“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” – Rumi
We are back home from a weekend away with family. It was loud and boisterous and we spent almost every moment outside by the pool. We all stayed up late catching up – my kids with their cousins and me with mine – and there was less time for me to sit in stillness and solitude. This probably would have bothered me more in past months and years, affecting my rituals in this way, but now I understand that there is a time for everything. Spending an extended period of time with family doesn’t happen often so I accepted and enjoyed every minute spent re-connecting.
In past years, family events could drain me. Sometimes it would be the high energy. Sometimes it would be the drama. Sometimes past events coloured my experience. Sometimes the number of people around me just made me tired. But now it’s different. Now, I sit back and listen. I open my heart without expectation. I connect to who is in front of me. I take the moment in. I pay attention to what people look like, what’s bothering them, and who needs my compassion and my empathy.
I can see the beauty of my family – my grandfather’s few and far between moments of clarity, the multiple generations interacting in the pool, the kids connecting with their cousins, aunts, uncles, lolas, and lolos (grandparents), the sense of humour we all inherited that keeps us laughing at each other and with each other.
So when will I begin that long journey into myself?
A few days ago, I wrote about my commitment to self-reflection as a means to prepare for planning my upcoming homeschool year. When I wrote that post, I imagined this self-reflection happening when I was alone or at one of my sunrises or even now, back home, sidelined by a thunderstorm.
Going inward can be an arduous journey full of surprises and detours. But I never expected it to start in a familiar place surrounded by a ton of people I have known all my life. My extended family, with our shared past and genetics, teaches me more about myself every time we are together. I see myself through their eyes. I see them through different lenses as my perspective changes due to different life experiences. I recognize parts of me in them that I hadn’t noticed before.
I look at this weekend’s events and conversations and I am grateful. I accept everyone as they are right now, understanding that we are all striving and are doing the best we can, travelling down our own path. I am now more conscious of when to listen, when to back down, and when to just enjoy being with them.
This is the unexpected place that I begin on my journey into myself where only I can go, where only I can sum up these experiences and feelings and interpret them.
My journey continues with questions to sleep on.
Here are some questions that I am asking myself tonight:
What is integral to my well-being?
What do I struggle with as a human, a woman, a mom, a wife, and a teacher?
What will make me excited about teaching?
What do I want my homeschooling day to look like?
Where and when did I fall short and where and when did I rise up and rock it out?
What do I LOVE to teach? What don’t I love to teach?
What do I love about homeschooling?
What do I still need to learn?
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.