It doesn’t seem right that I only write when I’m feeling good. So, here I am. Day three of headache-ville. And a deep sense of lull.

I’m grateful to be home with the six kiddos. We had a beautiful weekend, all the homework is done — including a model of an atom (remember those?), and I’m getting back in the groove preparing for two yoga classes tomorrow. So what’s wrong with me?

Memorial Day lunch with kiddos at the Lake George Club

Halfway through the sodium atom project

Without getting caught up in analysis, I think it’s a bit of losing my mindfulness, my sense of appreciation for right here, right now. My head is spinning with the excitement of our recent trip, worries/plans for the future, and the good/bad of day-to-day parenting, leaving me with an inexplicable feeling of unease.

missing the view from the pool at the Sunset Tower Hotel?

So, I’ve turned to my old haunts: cleaning (the kitchen sink, literally, has never shined so) and eating sweets…compulsive behavior. The more it rains, the more the pressure is on (or I put it on myself), back I go to the quick fixes of energy that never satisfy past the first few bites or halfway organized organized closets. And the pounds creep on, self-esteem lowers, and the vicious cycle goes ’round and ’round.

Theory and practice

dark and stormy: the view from my desk this afternoon

To rein things in, I turn to my books: the past few days Baron Baptiste‘s Journey Into Power and Jon Kabat-Zinn‘s Coming to Our Senses.

There is so much to appreciate in Baptiste’s Journey, but I especially enjoy principle 7: We Are the Sum Total of Our Reactions. A pertinent excerpt:

We react thousands of times every day, usually without our conscious awareness. As if by reflex, we get annoyed when the train is delayed, or discouraged when our boss reprimands us, or angry when our kids misbehave. We instinctively launch into anger and fear, but these reactions keep us trapped in unconscious behavior. When we start to open our eyes to our patterns of reaction in our yoga practice, however, it helps us to learn to recognize and slow the reactiveness cycles in our everyday lives. Working your edge teaches you to rise above the stress you feel and move into equanimity. When you do that, you are operating from your center, from cause rather than effect. You don’t have less stress from doing yoga; you just have the tools to rise above it.

Kabat-Zinn’s reminders also spoke to me:

I am speaking of accessing the timeless in this very moment—because it is always right under our noses, so to speak—and in so doing, to gain access to those dimensions of possibility that are presently hidden from us because we refuse to be present, because we are seduced, entrained, mesmerized, or frightened into the future and the past, carried along in the stream of events and the weather patterns of our own reactions and numbness, attending to, if not obsessing about what we often unthinkingly dub “urgent” while losing touch at the same time with what is actually important, supremely important, in fact vital for our own well-being, for our sanity, and for our very survival.

And then, like magic, the three little munchkins walked in to say goodnight. Time for a pre-bedtime happy dance. I put on my new motivation tune, the song I don’t think I’ll ever tire of, Electric Guest’s “This Head I Hold.” And we danced.

Tonight I found my present, wonderful moment dancing on the purple yoga mat with Brooke, Owen, and little peach Blair.

Play the song. It’s fantastic.