I don't know what day or what was even going on that day, but I distinctly remember thinking to myself, how did I get here? Let me clarify. Yes, I got married, had children, and have a career. I have also participated in enduring relationships with friends and co-workers.
The real question is, how did these things happen, and over time, I feel less and less myself? Where did that fearless, optimistic person go? I know she is in here somewhere under all of the protective layers of “experience.”
The experience of a mother, wife, child of an aging parent, a go-to person at work, taxi, cook, team mom, video vixen, pillar of the community, business owner, social media influencer, etc. Each of our existence is layered with the responsibility of the roles each of us assumes daily. But she is still there. You are still there. Maybe you forgot as I did, and perhaps she is waiting in the background for you to remember. Remember how to see, hear and feel her inside of you. There are several things we can attempt to try to find her. Here are a few simple tips that may help you on your path back to you.
1. Create a playlist
Take a walk down memory lane of the time you remember feeling like you the most, whether it’s a particular album like the Miseducation of Lauren Hill or a decade of hits. As you listen to each song, take a moment to reminisce about your favorite outfit and how you wore your hair. Pay close attention to how you felt. What was important to you? What did you find scary? What did you hope to accomplish with your life? Who were your friends?
2. Find an activity from the past
On Sunday night, the place that I wanted to be the most was the skating rink. Are you kidding me? I couldn’t wait! I became an angel at home all week long in hopes to get the nod from my mom to ride with an inexperienced driver who charged gas money, by the way, to get to spend a few hours with my future ex-boyfriend. All the young men I met then were future ex-boyfriends. Going skating many years later gave me warm feelings of how much I have grown and reminded me of how much I believe in the purest forms of joy. If skating was not your thing, choose something else like going to an arcade or a drive-in movie. Any of these activities can be a link back to your core.
Using pregnant pictures of yourself, reflect on who you were. What hopes and dreams did you have as part of motherhood. If your kids are old enough, let them see how young you look when you care for them and share what you were thinking and feeling before you met them. Look at your eyes and your smile to see how scared you were. Remember when you had those thoughts like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” Look at you now.
4. Mirror Meditation
Take some time during meditation and hold up or stand in front of a mirror. As you look at your body, take in all the imperfections. Understand that every mark, dimple, and scar is a map of your glorious journey through life. Your meditation may begin with what’s wrong with your body; however, let’s challenge each other to recognize that you are BEAUTIFUL. Each wrinkle represents a battle you won, a story you can tell, or a joke you heard. Mirror meditation is a time to appreciate everything that you have endured. Appreciation for the journey that has shaped you into who you are standing in front of the mirror.
5. Walk down Memory Lane
For this step, you will need help from your girlfriends. Plan a date with your best girls to reconnect. You will be surprised how dinner or a trip with you girls will connect you to your core. Your friends will help you relive the best moments of your story. Thankfully your friends can see past all the layers of responsibilities you wear. During this time, you catch your breath. This time will rejuvenate you. You will create new memories to continue to share.
As you read through these tips, I hope these activities become part of your self-care routine. These suggestions should help reactivate some of the missing pieces that you may have forgotten. Being a mother is part of who you are. You are still there. Take some time to reconnect. You are pretty dope.