Guest post by Camille Faye
My journey right now is through the landscape of motherhood. As I keep one foot firmly planted on the path of being the matriarch for my family, my other foot is on the path of being a writer. Navigating both paths in the past several years has been very tricky at times, but while working to find that balance between the people I love and the work that I love, I've noticed some spiritual growth lessons along the way.
Before I quit teaching in order to stay home, my life felt like a mess. Trying to be a teacher, mom, wife, and writer had me going in so many directions that it was impossible to be present. I was always running, running, running, without a break. Quitting my job gave me some room to breathe. Then I could focus on a task and be a better mommy, wife, and writer.
Remember when you were a kid and you would absolutely bubble over with joy? My son is so excited to see his cousins over the holidays and I know he'll have a hard time sleeping because of all that fizzy excitement.
When I made the decision to leave my job, it was heart-wrenching because I felt like I was giving up a piece of my identity. Heck, in a world where there are all these super-moms, I felt like I was just plain giving up. Over the last several years, I've made decisions about the way that I choose to feel in my daily life. The two states of being that make me feel the best are joy and peace.
One of my favorite bloggers is Carol Tuttle and one of the things she speaks about is the importance of nurturing your inner child. There was some serious dysfunction in my extended family that I never really dealt with until I had my own children. So I decided that since I was cognizant of those shortfalls in my own childhood, I would raise my children to feel joy, peace, and love. But more than that, I would commit to raising my own inner child to overcome that negative energy that surrounded my childhood. As an adult, I get to experience joy through my children when we dance, laugh, play, cuddle, and sing.
As a woman who has suffered through tough bouts of depression in my teen years and then postpartum depression when I had my children, I wanted to notice negative patterns in my thinking and eliminate or redirect those so that I could stay in a positive space. I have done yoga since 2000 and love how it helps me relax and reconnect with my body. Many times, I notice that I get sick, feel low, or have intense neck pain when I've ignored some mental stress that's been wearing on me. If I stay in touch with how my body is feeling and manage my negative thoughts, then I don't tend to feel so bad.
Yoga helps you gain flexibility, balance, strength, and peace in mind, body, and spirit. It doesn't have to last an hour or more, either, and you can do it in the comfort of your own home. Some of my favorite yoga channels on YouTube include Ekhart Yoga (with Esther) and The Yoga Solution (with Tara Stiles).
The Lit Ladies, share our individual writing and life goals for the year. At our summer writing retreat, we touch base on how we're doing for the year and we make vision boards. On last year's vision board (made in July), I wanted my novel, Voodoo Butterfly, to be "award-winning." Then in October of last year, it was a finalist in the Lone Star contest and one of the judges, a publisher out of New York state, offered me a publishing contract.
I believe that magic can happen in your life when you focus on your desires and prepare yourself so that they can occur when the time's right. Writing goals down or making a vision board gives you something to look at and reflect on throughout the year. These tools reminded me of the smaller, incremental steps I needed to take in order to make the big goal, of publishing my book, a reality.
In the midst of raising young children, my parenting path is more traveled than my writer path simply because I have to dedicate more time and energy to the mommy part of me. At least for now. But later, all of the love and spiritual knowledge I've gained as a result of dedicating my life to motherhood, will bubble up into my writing. Until then I give myself a small chunk of time in the day to write. And throughout the day I remind myself to feel peace and joy while navigating my two life paths at once.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Camille & VOODOO BUTTERFLY in her interview with the Blog Ring of Power.