Practicing Stillness

After our January IVF failed, my dad told me my body just needed more time to become a mother. I had just finished my first ultra-marathon not four weeks before starting stims (I did have the race of a lifetime!!), and while I told myself this wouldn’t impact my IVF cycle, sometimes I wonder if it did. My dad’s not a doctor, but he questioned my body’s ability to move from marathoner to mother in such a short time. So, I changed my training plan and moved into yoga with the hopes of helping my body move into mother mode. And it was in what has become one of my favorite classes (Yin Yoga) that I was reminded how important it is to practice stillness.

For me, stillness comes when my husband and I sit down to eat dinner. This might sound wacky, but it is at the table that we find silence and a moment of togetherness unlike the rest of our day: we read the newspaper. Sure some people see this act as an act of avoidance — no need to talk to each other when you can read the newspaper — but in fact it’s one of the moments when we share more than ever. “Listen to this …” or “Can ¬†you believe …” are the common phrases of the meal as we share what we read. Of course those moments are punctuated with silences. But those silences are not uncomfortable or awkward; rather, they’re the welcome moments of respite from a hectic day.

I am constantly thinking about finding that moment or two of quiet, that moment when all thought fades away, and I am just left to be. That is what I loved about running. The clarity. The silence of my mind. The clean sweat not just from my pores but the sweat from the clutter of my day. In finding a new and less physically stressful way of moving into that stillness I’m hoping to be better prepared for the mother part of my life. The marathoner will return, she is my best self, but for now I will embrace stillness in the yoga studio and in the small corners of my day. I will practice it daily and give into it with grace. From stillness I know I can only grow stronger.