What if what we perceive as missing from our lives is not actually missing at all...
We all have something we feel is missing from our lives; something we desire that we do not have. For some people, it’s a life partner. For other people, it’s wealth, or a job or promotion. It can be any number of things we dream about having so we may feel whole and complete. For me, it was a baby.
In my journey to motherhood, I tried acupuncture, Chinese herbs, meditation, Yoga for Fertility, hypnosis, homeopathy, reflexology, infra-red saunas, colonics, tapping, liver cleanses, craniosacral therapy, EFT, counselling, and all the pre-natal supplements I could get my hands on. My husband and I also attended several doctors’ appointments to make sure we each had all the right bits in their right working order.
It was the emotional rollercoaster of hope, then disappointment, cycle after cycle — year after year — which asked me to reach beyond what I was feeling, to find peace with whatever may come to be.
I started journalling. I meditated. A lot. Yoga Nidra, Śamatha, Vipassana. I drew on emotional intelligence techniques to balance my thinking. For example, I made a long list of the benefits of not having my own children. I needed over 200 items on my list before I even felt a flicker in my heart that a life without my own children might be okay. Mostly though, I felt like not having my own children was equivalent to dying a slow death. I had a long way to go before peace would come.
I kept writing. I kept meditating. I kept processing all of my experiences as they happened (for some I waited until after the tears had dried). I sat myself down, pen in hand, and thought for a long time about what motherhood was to me — what were the exact traits of being a mother, in my own definition? I came up with three things: Inspiring, mentoring, nurturing. And then I looked for where I was demonstrating these traits in my life already. I wrote more lists. They were all there. All of my traits were being fulfilled in my life. I realised that, as I wrote in my journal, what we perceive to be missing will appear in another form that we’re not yet acknowledging or consciously recognising. I was mothering already. I just hadn't recognised it as mothering.
After bringing this truth to my conscious awareness, I started noticing more areas where I was mothering, more people I was mothering, how I was mothering. It was my way of life. I could see it now. I not only found peace with my reality but found a distinct perfection in the way life unfolds. I came to realise that we are never off path. I genuinely feel that I needed to be challenged in this way. I needed to transition through all the emotions I have so richly experienced to arrive at this realisation of who I am.
My journalling continued all the way through this challenge, through the challenge of my brother’s sickness, and through the death of a friend. I kept writing my way through every meditation and every emotional intelligence technique that I brought myself through to find my sense of ground again. I kept writing until it became a book. This book, called ‘On Path’, speaks to the gratitude we can uncover for all experiences in our life, appreciating that they are “on the way, not in the way”. We are never off path.
In a large sense, On Path is a part of my mothering. This raw, open and honest yogini memoir is me sitting on the bed with my babe, saying, “I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes. What I can do is share what I went through. I can tell you what I did about it and maybe it will give you ideas about how you might move through your challenge.” It’s my way of mothering.
Nothing is ever missing. At first glance, we may perceive it as missing. Yet if we can sit ourselves down and look for how else it may be appearing in our life, I promise that you will find it is all there. This is the truth about our universe that I came to understand.