Saturday 9 March 2019

My intention for the week: Bearing witness

I teach yoga each week and start the beginning of each class with the same sentence, "What I've been thinking about this week is...". After talking to a friend and my sister about this, I wanted to weave the intention I discuss in yoga each week into my real world and what I'm thinking about today is holding space for others, but possibly more importantly, being a witness. And just so you're warned, this week it's a heavy topic.

I often think about my grandparents, al of whom I lost over the past couple of years, and wonder about what it must be like to loose your life partner either through some kind of separation or the deep folds of death. I image, that some of that emptiness of loosing a life partner is not only in the loss of them but in the loss of your life witness. If no one was with you to share your life experiences, did it really happen?

I've been deeply ruminating this theme, as Damien (my delightful husband) and I are spending much time apart, days, even weeks, due to his job. While he builds his career, I'm left at home working on my life goals and career without him. Together yet separated.

It has been challenging over the past couple of months to strike any kind of balance as we tumbled into this new way of living. I, in particular, the one "left behind", have found it to be a deep struggle not to have someone to come home to, to share the load with, as well as sharing looking after our energetic ball of fluff.

To begin I filled my lonely hours, my lonely heart, with mindless hours of noise, podcasts, radio shows, and Star Trek (of course). And to be clear, and don't get me wrong, I am very happy to have alone time, just not all the time. I watched TV, listened to podcasts, cleaned all while trying to keep myself busy and worn out so as not to have to listen to the deep sorrow and loneliness encasing me.

Recently, I've come to feel more comfortable with the quiet space in our home. I can take my baths in silence now, I can read in the evenings again, I can even make dinner and eat alone without needing noise to fill the space.

All this to say, this time has deeply taught me the importance of deeply loving someone and holding space for them. To have the privilege of sharing my life with another human is no small blessing, but sometimes I neglect the privilege, the opportunity. I don't listen, I play with my phone when he's talking to me, I absently mindedly scroll through IG while in bed next to him.

And while I notice these pesky habits more and more, with more awareness comes a change in behaviour. This time apart has taught me much about what I need to deeply appreciate and pay attention to.

With my friends and at work, I am actively trying to dedicate myself to being present. I put my phone or laptop down when speaking to someone. I plant my feet on the floor. I make eye contact. What I'm cultivating, I hope, is that really warm feeling you get when you interact with someone and you really know they're listening and getting you. That's the kind of person I want to be.

With love,
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