Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Journey to the center of Me... - Part 2

Welcome back! I hope you liked my last post and are ready to continue my journey with me. Today we are embarking on Day 2 of my "golf-assisted" healing journey...

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In the fourth chapter of the book, titled "Shadow-casting", the golfer learns the art of fly fishing from the farmer. The whole scene of his first fly fishing experience is played out in great detail for the reader. There is a drama that unfolds between him and the prey and in the end, the fish is exhausted and gives up the battle. His downfall? A totally emotional response made him vulnerable to the trap. Fly fishing is a sport that requires great patience, which is not easy to come by for someone who has always been driven by emotion himself. On this day, the golfer learns that he has played out this kind of battle far too often on the golf course, but usually he was in the role of the fish! Once hooked by emotion, he would battle on to the point of frustration. He had always been driven by the need to deliver a spectacular shot, in front of the spectators and other players, in order to prove that he belonged, but he had a tendency to be impatient and didn't pick his spots well. Fly fishing, however, is all about rhythm, balance and patience and it requires a calm mindset that is focused on the feel of the motion rather than the outcome. For the golfer, a profound transition from "trying" to "letting" takes place in this chapter. He still feels an overwhelming sense of trying to make his first cast perfect, hoping to prove to the farmer that he is a good student, but he realizes that too much "trying" will make you fail. He learns, that in the game of fly fishing "emotion loses" and that he can only win if he stays calm. Though he takes a couple more dives into the river and struggles with the fish for quite some time, he eventually emerges victoriously and ends the day with an experience of a lifetime stored in his heart!

Oh, dear diary! How much of this is true for motherhood! Or at least the way I have experienced it in the past!

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How many times have I been "baited" and driven by emotion, more often than not, I lost my cool. Then, just like the fish, though usually after an apology, I bolted for cover into my reading chair, licking my wounds, but a little wiser from the battle. Emotions have always made me vulnerable to traps and only too often I have played the role of a fish, when a much better role would have been available to me - the one of the fisherman, patiently waiting to catch the fish. In the first few years of motherhood, much like the golfer, I often found myself driven by the need to deliver a "spectacular shot", proving to other moms or spectators that I was coping, that I was doing ok. But motherhood isn't about scoring, it is all about rhythm, balance and patience and it is an art to keep the balance. It is never about what you achieve as a mom, but always about how you achieve it. I used to be totally outcome based. Is the house tidy, the homework done and dinner cooked? I could only relax when everything on my checklist had been achieved. The way I felt, while I was doing all this was always secondary to me. But that was so wrong! I know that now.

Thanks to this book and my many quiet times, I have now made the transition from "trying" to "letting" and I can feel a profound change in my life. I still have to resist the need to make things perfect, just to prove that I am a worthy mom and of course there are plenty of moments that test my new "skills". Moments that reveal whether I am a fisherman or a fish. There are days where I seem to spend every ounce of my energy on being a good fisherman or mom and then some kind of "explosion" takes me by surprise. In the book the fish suddenly jumped out of the water in a desperate attempt to flee and threw the golfer off balance and into the water. That happens to me too. Usually when I get an unexpected and negative comment by someone very close to me. For example, when my teen decides to have one of those "moods" or when my husband comes home from a very trying day at work and unintentionally just "barks" at me. That kind of unexpected, negative emotion can still throw me off balance and land me in a fairly deep "puddle" of self-pity.

That's when I hear that new gentle voice inside of me whispering: "You dropped your guard, you have to be ready." In life, but especially in motherhood, surprise can give way to emotion and emotion will make you lose your game! Rhythm, balance and patience demand to be practiced continually.

Following my new voice, I have finally learnt that "staying calm" can be done and I have no doubt in my mind that, despite my early battles in motherhood, I will emerge victoriously and with the experience of a lifetime stored in my heart...

If anything I write speaks to you in some way, then join me in a couple of weeks for Day 3...on this course...on the journey to the center of "Me"!

I wish you a fabulous week!

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