“Let everything go. Allow your worries, your thoughts, your anxieties to float away and for a few moments, just be here in this moment.” How many times do we hear this yoga jargon in classes, especially the opening and while lying in Savasana? I remember listening to similar cues in a class about a month ago and thinking, “I have a baby growing inside of me. I am a mother now and no longer have the luxury of completely releasing because this little person is a part of me and my actions impact another now.
Long ago my mother started to teach me about how my actions had consequences that impacted other people, but growing a human inside and realizing -this body is not just attached on the outside of me with skin around it that attaches us, but truly growing in the center of my being- did my perspective take a huge shift in what parenting will entail.
As I began to think more and more about this idea that what I do can have significant impacts on another is certainly not a new concept, but it just brought up this idea with greater magnitude.
A few examples:
The substances I put in my body (food, drinks, and if I were to choose, other substances…you know, like gum) impacts my energy level, my moods, clarity of thought, lifespan, self-image and even health. This can impact my productivity, relationships with others, and availability to work or engage. How often do we think about these things as the fork covered with salad or the wonderful smelling donut is going in?
As you get dressed and prepped for your day, how often do you look in the mirror and ask: what do I want my appearance to say about the type of person I am and does this appearance communicate who I really am: be it confident, professional, warm and gentle, a lover of the earth, etc?
Do you set plans or goals for years, months, weeks, or each day that help you spend time being and becoming ever more who you really want to be in the grand scheme: whether this includes the types of relationships you invest in, service, professional, physical or educational pursuits? Are you living in a way that truly makes you happy?
For this little window of pregnancy, I have the opportunity to be pulled into a vacuum of reminders that if I don’t eat frequently enough (or the right foods), it makes a more significant impact than I realized – i.e. nausea, waking up in the middle of the night, random impulses to cry, etc. This is preparation for remembering the importance of regularly feeding the little person who is about to come out and be a very significant part of my world for the rest of my life.
We don’t always have such blunt reminders in front of us that say: “Your actions directly and indirectly impact others!” But they do. The words we speak and how we express them can be a pivot point in another’s day- and how many others can a grumpy or very cheerful person impact: from how they drive, to glances, to words they share with the people around them?
Do you sit down to watch a tv show (that will inevitably suck you into at least 2 more) after work tonight or walk your dog who is already harassing you to get outside? Do you tell your kids to go play so you can catch up on emails after dinner or spend a few minutes reading and maybe singing with them before the bedtime routine begins? Do you check another gossip column online or call an old friend who has been on your mind lately?
We have so many choices every day and while we can’t see most of the consequences, we can remind ourselves that each choice makes a difference. So even if your most recent decision wasn’t one of your best, you always have the next one to make more of the impact you want to share with the world.