As a life coach, I help women find the unconscious patterns in their life that are painful, and I partner with them to evolve and transform these issues.
So you would think I'm good at this stuff myself, wouldn't you?
There's nothing like a vacation with all its expectations to point out where improvement in one's personal development is needed. Ahem.
We are in Maui, where we all have cycled through a bad flu topped off with a nasty stomach bug. Steve and I as well as our three kids all had it, feeling grumpy, tired, sick and bad, so they've bickered more than usual.
Combined with a few days of pretty severe winds and cloudy skies, our vacation got off on a rough start.
Last week, one day was the breaking point for me. The Air B and B apartment we had rented had matresses made of rocks, so I didn't get much sleep. Steve, who can sleep on top of a moving camel if he has to, snored peacefully while I tossed and turned all night.
The kids found a huge black spider in the bathroom.
We headed for a hike and got soaked in a violent downpour. I took these pictures seconds before the rain hit.
Back at the apartment, I stepped on a cockroach.
When we headed to the beach 30 minutes away, we got a message from the Air B and B hosts telling us we have to check out because another guest was waiting to check in. There had been a misunderstanding with the amount of nights we booked.
So we drove the whole way back just before getting to the beach, packed up frantically and tried to find another place to stay at, short notice, on Maui.
It wasn't a pretty moment.
I lost my temper with the kids, hated Steve and his infuriating equanimity in the face of all this adversity, and entertained many self-loathing thoughts about myself, other people, and the injustices of life.
I was seething, ready to throw a fit and lash out at my family. Then I noticed how bad all this made my body feel.
Right there, I knew I had a choice: be a mean bitch, or turn my attention to the little six year old girl inside of me who needed my adult self to turn towards her, give her love and attention, and hold space for her.
So I did. I allowed myself to feel all the feelings, explained to myself that no, I'm not a terrible mother and wife, I'm just stressed because of various reasons.
After getting perspective and space around my feelings, my anger dissipated. I felt the sun on my face, felt grateful for a husband who is Buddha incarnate, and admired a rainbow.
I'm glad I have so much practice applying what I teach other women, because my old self would have created hell for myself and my family on this vacation. Breaking old, ingrained patterns takes practice, commitment and support. It's worth it, and not as hard as it may seem.
Things worked out for us after all. We found another place to stay, discovered more beaches and rainbows, scored some treats for the kids, and were kind to each other.
If Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.
As always, my kids are my greatest teachers. They teach me to be patient. They show me how to be in the present moment - unapologetically, without agenda. They demonstrate unbridled joy, and if they ain't feelin' it, they remind me to do yoga.
Luke practiced some yoga at sunset the other night. It was so fun to watch him, and then see Eva join him in a spontaneous dance.
Let me leave you with images of our excursion to Haleakala Crater, elevation 10,000 feet. It's supposed to be absolutely spectacular, but it was so lost in the clouds, and we were feeling so badly that day, it wasn't that mind-blowing view-wise.
One closeup view was amazing: the silver sword only grows near the summit of this particular crater.
PS: If you want to get on the phone with me for a free discovery session to look at your painful patterns and to explore how I can help you, let me know!