My family and I recently moved across town, well, exactly three miles away, but it might as well be an hour away. This is total Austin-speak because the traffic is HORRIBLE here, which is one of the many reasons we moved. Spending endless hours in the car shuffling children around gets old pretty quickly. So, with that, we moved from central Austin to just west of the Colorado River just under a month ago. Our new home sits on one of the large rolling hills in this part of Austin allowing for an unobstructed view of the western sky and daily sunsets. Enjoying and taking in the beauty of the sunsets has quickly become my favorite thing about this home.
With any move, details, logistics, timing, and mental stability all weigh in, some tipping the scale more than others at any given point in time. To be fully transparent, at the time of the move, my mental stability would be more appropriately labeled as ‘instability’. On top of the move itself, I left for a yoga retreat in Costa Rica scheduled (pre-booked trip obviously) the day after the moving trucks pulled out of my driveway. Allow me to add a side note: before I leave on any trip, I am sweeping floors, finishing laundry and tidying up to make sure my reentry is as smooth as possible. So, basically, I was set up for complete disaster upon return.
But, something else happened upon my return. Completely unexpected but incredibly welcomed, I felt overwhelmingly content. Furthermore, my cup felt overflowing with gratitude and love. Yes, the house was upside down but I as I stood outside our new home watching the sun go down, I felt connected. Connected to the earth and my surroundings.
I recently learned the term, Ubuntu from my two third graders. No joke!! Ubuntu is a term that holds the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all of humanity. Or, as mine say, “I am because we are. We are because I am”. This was my revelation. If there is an opposite word for Ubuntu, that has been me this winter season. I don’t know how I got there but I was knee deep in a mental fog. Maybe it’s the daily demands that have us running all over the place. We carry so many labels in life: mother, daughter, wife, sister, caretaker, etc. and this becomes who we are. I lost my connectivity to who I am without the other labels.
I am four weeks out from the mental clarity I experienced on my balcony that evening. I have to say it is a daily practice to remain in this head space. A fellow yogi recently shared some very useful advice: ask yourself the question, “What is standing between you and contentment?” Contentment, much like meditation, is a practice; not just a word. Like anything you want to adopt or excel in, practice is needed. I am who I choose to become. And this is my practice. – x Julie
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