Earlier this week, I was trying to sign my kids up for a summer camp that always sells out right away (yup, this happens in January.) For the past four years, we’ve missed the registration window.
I happened to be online at 11:25am and noticed that registration opened at 10am that day. (pure luck, I never set an alarm for these things…hence the four years of no camp attendance.)
“Oh yay, I’ll be on the ball for once!”
Full of hope, I logged onto this archaic system that is apparently designed to cause parents excruciating pain (wait – you’re telling me I have to scroll through seventeen pages to check availability and match my kids in the same week?!). As I scrolled through page after page, most sessions said “Waitlist.”
Waitlist. Waitlist. Waitlist.
It was already full.
This is for August! And we’re in the middle of a pandemic! Who knows if this silly summer camp will even happen!
I was annoyed at being annoyed that I didn’t register sooner. I don’t care that much about this camp and yet I was getting all worked up. Ugh.
To top it off, as I was putting in my credit card for the one remaining slot (which was, of course, the most inconvenient week of the summer), my son kept pestering me; “Mommy, can I have chocolate? Mommy, can I have a piece of candy? Mommy, come play with my aircraft carrier.”
Finally, frazzled and annoyed at being annoyed, I lost my temper and screamed; “STOP!” at my son at the top of my lungs. His whole face collapsed. He turned red and started screaming as he ran out of the room. My husband happened to be on a work call with his CEO, two board members and several investors as our son wailed outside the office door.
It was not my finest moment.
I felt shame for screaming at my son. The shame grew when my husband told me his very important call had been interrupted.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had several not so very fine moments since the pandemic started. Daily, hourly, multiple times in a single minute sometimes.
At times like these, it’s tempting to beat myself up…which I did for a bit. Then I get curious. What’s really going on here?!
These outsize reactions come out of nowhere and make me recognize that perhaps I am under more general duress than I realized.
Perhaps you are too.
Often, when I’m overtaken by an emotion, I believe that my behavior or difficult feeling is me. And then I make up stories about it.
I am a terrible mother who is never organized enough to sign my kids up for summer camp, oh, and I am pissed at the patriarchy for setting up this whole system whereby mostly the moms are the ones doing these damn sign ups in the first place. #emotionalandinvisiblelabor
But I am not this story.
I am not anger. I am feeling anger. That’s an important distinction.
We are not our feelings.
When a tough mood passes through, it’s hard to remember that the bad mood or angry outburst is simply a grey cloud.
You are not the cloud. You are the sky.
When you say; “I am sad,” you become fused with sadness. It is now your identity. You are the grey cloud of sadness, and that is all that exists.
When you say; “I notice that I’m feeling sadness,” now you are more the observer. You are the sky. The grey cloud of sadness is simply passing through.
One of the best tools I know to help me remember that I am the sky is meditation.
When I start my day with mindfulness, I’m more centered and grounded as I respond to whatever life throws my way.
Start your day with inner wellbeing, the rest will follow.
Exciting news – We have a new 30 Day Meditation Challenge starting on January 28th!
This 30 Day Challenge will help you observe and release your emotions as you connect with the vastness of the sky that you are.
Bonus: it’ll also help you experience more joy, calm, gratitude and love. Yippee!
It’s FREE and only takes 5 minutes a day.
Here’s what past participants had to say:
“I’m pausing in the moment, instead of rushing through life. I feel more calm and grounded. And I feel more peace and inner strength. Thank you Vanessa!”
“This boost of self-confidence is exactly what I needed today to start a very challenging project.”
“Thanks to your Meditation Challenge, I make more time for me to feel happy. My outlook is better and I let go of what I can’t control.”
“Thank you Vanessa. Your meditations are the best that I’ve ever done.”
– Linda L.
As Wavy Gravy said; “We’re all just Bozos on the bus.”
We’re all human beings with our silly, lovely human frailties. Doing the best we can.
Paradoxically, we’re also all so much more than that.
It’s time to remember who you really are – you are the sky.
Join me in remembering. I hope to see you January 28th,
P.S. If you’ve already registered, get fired up…the challenge starts two weeks from today!
If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t worry. Unlike summer camp, there is no waitlist…you’re guaranteed a spot no matter what. 😉
Thank you Vanessa!
I needed that message today. I’ve been there too many times with my kids and my reactions during this pandemic.
I look forward to the 30-day challenge.
Thank you for your note saying this blog resonated. It’s nice to know I’m not alone with my reactions to my kids and life in general during this pandemic! And it brings a smile to my heart to know that the words that soothed me also offered some comfort to you. This is not an easy time, and it’s easier to get through when we can lean on each other and be honest about our struggles!!
You are amazing & I sent this to my daughters to remind them that they are the sky too! Love & new years’ blessings to you!
I love your personal stories. They are so sincere, and they really resonate. Thanks for sharing.
Just thank you – the perfect message in my inbox this morning. I appreciate your sharing so openly the thoughts that we often think / the way we tend to react. I am going to save this one for a bit!