When people ask me what drew me to yoga, I often say that in my very first class, the instructor told me to respect the limitations of my hamstrings in a forward fold. She also said that every day our poses look different, and we need to respect where our bodies are today.
And today’s forward fold will look different from tomorrow’s forward fold.
This whole waiting-for-a-baby-to-pop-out-and-change-my-world thing feels different every day too. Kind of annoying.
So then I use the meditative technique of the Witness—the part of me that steps back and watches my thoughts flit around in my mind like a lifeguard watching kids play in a pool. I step back and watch my emotions wait for a baby, flipping daily (hourly?) between being patient and impatient, proud of myself for waiting so well, sad that she keeps teasing me with mild contractions, lonely in the writing, excited for the upcoming change, thankful for friends and games to distract us — and super proud of my husband, the cooking-and-shoveling hero-man.
Every night I go to sleep thinking that the contractions will either turn into something or she’ll let us get another full night of sleep. Every morning I wake up and set little goals for my day that I expect will be interrupted.
One of these days, this baby will come, and the Witness will see many other emotions… and one of those emotions will be wishing for these days, when the hours stretch out in front of me with whatever kind of productivity (or nonproductivity) I wish them to have. And that will be an okay, good, healthy emotion too – right up there with all of the rest of the emotions.
Yesterday, Kylie said that perhaps it’s like waiting for Jesus to return – the Bible says that Jesus will come “like a thief in the night,” that we don’t know the day or the hour. Same for the baby. I don’t really wait for Jesus to come as urgently or fervently as I wait for this baby, though – maybe I should. The parallel isn’t really resonating with me, though…
A Biblical parallel that does resonate with me is what Jesus said about not worrying about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. It’s also about not worrying about today, or about when this baby will come. She will come when she’s good and ready to come…
In this light, I am responsible for what I do with the emotions of waiting for today. One of my favorite yoga instructors asks us to pay attention to our emotions and then to ask: “How is this emotion serving me? Is it serving me well? Do I want to keep it? Or would it be better to let it go?”
Today I’m choosing to pay attention to the Witness and watch.
In our child birthing class, the nurse said that contractions feel different for every woman. For me, right now it feels like the baby is curling up into a bowling ball that presses against the inside of my pelvis. It’s actually not as uncomfortable as it sounds (for now). It’s more like being anchored to this chair, this moment, this time.
Her bowling ball movements anchor me in the waiting – that’s what waiting feels like today.