My pregnancy has taught me many things, one of which is to slow down, especially during the first trimester but more so in the third.
My body has been growing a healthy human life for nearly 36 weeks and it’s feeling a little tired and as though I am in slow motion.
Being a person extremely connected to my body, I listen to the subtle whispers that urge me to take a moment to rest rather than wait for the screams of injury or pain, which are impossible to ignore. When I honor those whispers, I find balance and free myself from stress. Though this lesson comes to me time and time again, some days, I struggle with the urge to multi-task or check something else off the list while I “rest.”
I’m a believer in moving forward in life and being productive. I’m also a believer in finding the balance in life. There are appropriate and important times for action, just as there are for non-action.
This morning, yet again, was a lesson in listening to my body’s needs and uncovering that balance.
Coming home from my brisk morning walk, I felt energized for the day. As I stepped into the shower, a wave of weariness washed over me. Moving slowly and honoring this feeling of fatigue, I strived to get through my morning routine so I could sit down. Luckily, I have also learned during this pregnancy that it’s imperative to give myself enough time in the morning to get ready so I don’t need to rush before my first client arrives for their one-on-one yoga session.
Ready for a break, I grabbed a nectarine and thought about reading while I ate. As I mindlessly washed the fruit, my mind wandered about what book to read and tried to calculate how much time I had. I knew I needed to get off my feet soon as I swiped a paper towel to wipe the fruit dry. I took a bite and walked over to my rocking chair.
I gazed at a stack of books I had on the table and picked up “Spiritual Midwifery” by Ina May Gaskin. I took a bite of the fruit in my right hand and uncomfortably held the book with my left as I fumbled to the page I was on. I took another bite and began to read. It was as though I rushed from sentence to sentence, checking the clock, not really reading or tasting the sweet nectarine.
Noticing that I was somewhere else, I took a deep breath and put the book down. I decided that it was more important to me to be present than trying to rush to the next thing or cram in a little more reading.
While I enjoy sneaking in moments here and there to read, I also know how important it is to be present for life. I decided that I wanted to slow down and find ease. Eating that nectarine became my priority and it was my sole purpose in that moment.
Mindfully, I gazed at the partially-eaten fruit and noticed the color, texture, shape, smell and feel of it in my hand. I noticed what it sounded like to take a bite and then to chew. I closed my eyes and chewed slowly, tasting and observing; feeling it on my teeth and tongue.
I thought about where the fruit came from, envisioning the tree growing up from a seed. I imagined how many people over the years cared for that tree, watered it and nurtured it. I thought of the bees, the rain and the sun. I imagined the day it got picked and tossed into a basket. I dreamed up its trip from my local farm to the grocery store. I felt so thankful that I had access to buy fruit from local farmers.
Eating one mindful bite at a time, I witnessed the transformation of the nectarine and felt so grateful that my purpose was to simply eat and savor a delicious piece of fruit, before the “busy-ness” of my day began. Being mindful with my snack also grounded me before my daily meditation, and was a meditation in itself. There was no other place I had to be or task I had to complete. I connected to being and my breath while nurturing my body and baby with nutrients and mindfulness.
My life in that moment was so simple and pure. I tasted and surrendered the need to do more.
I let it be okay that I was exactly there, enjoying the simplicity. Everything was perfect, soft and timeless. Slowing down was a powerful lesson and I intended to practice it more.
With another bite, I found solace and joy, uncluttered by thought or urgency. A deep peace came over me. I was able to witness my life unfolding one sweet bite at a time, feeling so grateful, and enjoying that fleeting, unique moment in time and space, and in my pregnancy, which will never exist again.