The Disney movie songs are on such high rotation in our household that I fall asleep singing about a snowman wanting to see summer… and wake up singing about a snowman wanting to see summer!
So perhaps it’s the soundtrack running through my mind this weekend that has lead me to tonight’s reflections. A subconscious mantra that I’ve been repeating over and over.
Let it go.
(I apologise to all the new Mamas reading this that don’t have older children obsessed with this latest Disney offering. I promise that will be the last reference to a song you don’t know. Well, almost.)
Here’s the thing: it’s a really great mantra. Especially for us Mamas.
How much of our lives are caught up in expectations at the moment? How much is stuck on what we think our babies should be doing, our children should be doing, even our husbands should be doing!
We read the book, we set the plan, we decide we want our lives to look a certain way… and we hold onto that vision, come what may.
But the tighter you grip, the more you suffocate.
Whether it’s your expectations, a routine, or an outcome – the harder you hold on, the harder it becomes.
Think about labour – the more your body holds onto fear, the more painful and slower the progress of childbirth. A body holding onto expectations and outcomes is more rigid, harder to move with the flow, closed.
But, when you just breathe, release your body and mind to the wonders of mother nature, and be open to whatever comes your way, childbirth progresses like nature intended.
It’s the same with our minds. The more we hang on tightly to the idea of how our children should be behaving or how we should be feeling, the more we block the flow of the good stuff.
The more we are closed.
When I get stuck in the controlling mindset, I can feel it in my throat. As I try to set a plan for my week, or focus on anything that’s rigid, my neck begins to tighten. My jaw sets, my tongue pushes against my teeth.
Tightness. Closed. Hanging onto outcomes again.
I particularly notice this with my older girls – when I’m getting frustrated with how slow they are moving, or their lack of table manners, or …. whatever! My body physically tightens.
And what happens when something is too rigid? It breaks instead of bends.
It doesn’t flow with the knocks and demands of motherhood; it cracks at every little turn.
So here’s the thing: we have to start letting go of the plans. Relax our attachment to milestones our babies should be reaching. Release expectations of how our bodies should be looking. We don’t need to have everything figured out. Like childbirth – as long as we have a healthy mama and baby in the end, all is good.
It’s the same now.
Whenever I notice myself getting hung up on controlling things in my life or around me, I start with the physical – relax my jaw, lower my shoulders, breathe out.
Then, I remind myself to just let it go. The tighter I hold, the more it will break.
Just let it go.
And yes, it usually then launches into the soundtrack again.