Dear Homegrown Yogis,
If you’ve taken a class with me at the studio, you’ve undoubtedly met my mom. She’s the little blonde with the amazing practice who always comes up to me after class and says, “that was such a wonderful class, Rachel. Seriously so so good!” (She’s the best cheerleader ever!) But even if you haven’t met my mom in the studio, you’ve met her if you’ve met me. She is in the sound of my voice and in the way I love on and raise Freida. She’s in how I teach my yoga classes, run the studios and get my haircut. She’s truly the best parts of me.
Last week, my mom sold her home in Macon and will be moving in August to start her lake-side retirement life. I knew this move was coming but it didn’t feel real until the house sold; now, there is a big part of me that is resisting this inevitable shift in my life and my relationship with my mom.
I’ve lived away from my mom before. After high school, I went to college in Maine and remember that transition vividly. I called my mom every single day at first asking her everything from what to do since I didn’t get into the class I wanted, to what kind of laundry detergent she uses so my clothes could still smell like home. I didn’t want to let go of having her hold my hand and take care of me. And then I remember one day waking up feeling miserable, walking to my college’s health clinic, finding out I had strep throat, going to the pharmacy to fill my prescription, making myself some soup and getting into bed. All without calling my mom. Although I didn’t recognize it at the time, it was the moment I realized I could handle these little adult challenges on my own. I ended up staying in the Northeast for 11 more years, going to graduate school in Boston, moving to Connecticut for a real grown-up job and living in a grown-up apartment of my own. Looking back now I see that if I had held onto my old relationship with my mom (as amazing as it was), I would have missed that transformational time where I learned to stand on my own two feet as an adult woman.
Over the last nearly 8 years, my mom has been more than just a grandmother (or as we call her Bubie) to Freida. She has been a daily presence in Freida’s life and my own. When Freida doesn’t feel good or I don’t know what to do because a kid hurt her feelings, I immediately reach for my mom. And she has always been 5 minutes away from me to reach back. I can’t imagine a better way for me to have stepped into the role of a mother than by having my amazing mom with me each and every day. Now, things are about to change.
One of the central tenants of yoga is non-clinging or aparigraha in Sanskrit. It says that we must fully let go of each moment, each stage of life, each past version of ourselves so that we can fully embrace and step into the next moment, stage and version. Whether we want it at the time or not, change happens and the yogic path says that we can fight it and suffer, or embrace it and grow. Just as I had done when I was 18 in college, I had to let go of being my mom’s little girl so that I could step into the next version of myself.
So here I grow again – resisting a bit (or a lot on some days) but understanding that to step into what’s next for both myself and my mom – I have to let go of the beautiful thing that has been our relationship to embrace what will undoubtedly be the next perfect version of our lives. But in the meantime if you take a class with me over the next few weeks, please tell me it was SO SO good and give me a little mama hug =) I’m going to need it!