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Can you notice a moment of being OK?

March 6, 2017

{Written on Friday March 3}…At this very moment, I’m gazing at a lazy river in Central Florida- and it truly is the laziest river I’ve ever seen.  What a brilliant idea to have a moms retreat in Florida in the off season.  It’s warm and quiet, and I’m in my bathing suit, preparing to speak to a group of moms who have landed in Orlando from all over the country.

i-am-ok

I’m been given the privilege of being one of people who kicks off the weekend for the moms at the Beyond Trauma and Attachment (BeTA) Moms Retreat, and I’m going to take a stab at talking about how they can begin rediscover who they are.  I don’t know these beautiful ladies but I know a whole lot of moms who walk a similar path of parenting a child impacted by trauma.  I know how ups and downs of that journey, and I know how easy it is for moms to lose sight of themselves…to become virtually unrecognizable to themselves.

If I can connect to the hearts of just a few of them, I’ll have done my job to the best of my ability.

Really, we’ve got the concept of self-care all wrong.  Or at least I always have.  And most people I know, too.  I also know that most moms in the trenches scoff and roll their eyes when anyone mentions self-care.  As if there is time for that.

So if self-care isn’t working for the moms who need it most, it’s high time to redefine what self-care even is.

I’m going to encourage these moms to get present in the here and now.  That should be relatively easy this weekend, when they are cared for, when there is no chaos, when no one needs them for anything.  It will be a great place to start.  The thing about living in chaos is that we stop living in the moment because the moment is too hard.  I’m going to challenge these moms to consider- is it?  Is it too hard to be present?  Or could being present make hard things seem less hard??

My journey to Orlando has been relatively short but I’ve been closely watching myself, seeing if I can really walk my talk.

I’m technically at work- but I’m in a beautiful, quiet resort.  It’s 75 degrees, barely, and the sky is gorgeous.  I rode on an airplane- by myself.  So many opportunities for relishing in the goodness of life.

So I started soaking it all in when I was still at the airport.  I purposefully and intentionally enjoyed my morning coffee.  Someone else made it and it was delightful.  I enjoyed the quiet peace of the 2.5 hour flight.  I calmly reviewed my notes for today, noticing that I’m prepared.  Sigh of relief as I take that in.  These amazing ladies gifted me a massage.  I stayed present, yet relaxed, enjoying every moment of being cared for.  I’ve walked the grounds, enjoying the most perfect day imaginable- 75 degrees and blue skies?  Are you kidding?  And now I’m working.  In my bathing suit.  At a quiet, lovely pool.  Enjoying the shrieks of children having a blast, while also noticing that this resort must only be at 15% capacity.  It’s so peaceful.  A sweet lady just walked by and said “Wow, nice way to work.”  Yes ma’am, yes it sure is.

I mindfully and intentionally enjoy these moments and imagine them nourishing my mind and body.  This…THIS is self-care.  Taking this time to rest into the ease of life.

I’m lucky, I’m experiencing a whole lot of ease today.  A lot of quiet.  I know that might seem impossible for you.  I challenge you to look for what’s hidden right in plain sight- are there moments of ease you are overlooking?  It’s probably not a quiet pool in central Florida, but maybe it’s a quiet walk to the mailbox?  Or five minutes alone in a shower that is the perfect temperature.

Get present.  Notice those moments.  Over time, these small moments really do add up.

~

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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenn Wakelin permalink
    March 7, 2017 11:19 pm

    Robyn,

    Thank you again for sharing your wisdom and your passion with us BeTA Moms. I took away so much from your presentation and, in fact, was just talking about the topic of this post today, with my husband. One of our Littles, (8 years old, adopted at 4 and has lots of PTSD, anxiety, and a plethora of other diagnosis), has been struggling the past couple of weeks. Her meltdowns trigger our 4 year old, (adopted at 1, out of neglect), and the whole family spirals into chaos. I keep reminding myself about the importance of finding these moments of “self-care”. I remind myself that self-care doesn’t have to be a spa day or a night out. It can be a moment. A moment that is, at the very least, better than the other moments in the day. When I told my husband this, he seemed to think, ‘well what good is a moment doing?’ I thought about it and explained it like this: If your phone is on 1% and you have the chance to plug it in, you’re going to. Even if you can only get it to 2% and then you have to unplug it, it’s still an extra 1% that you didn’t have before. And let’s face it… Sometimes we can only “charge” long enough to maintain that 1% and not even increase where we stand, but at least we are not shutting off. This made sense to him and he and I have both been trying to practice mindfulness more often to find those moments to charge.
    So maybe that’s what it is. Not so much self-care as “self-charging”. Giving ourselves enough juice from those OK moments, to make it through the day on whatever percentage we can get to.
    I know that after this past weekend, my battery as close to 100% as I have been since my Littles moved in, all thanks to the love and support of my amazing fellow BeTA Trauma Mammas, and to you and your inspiring words. So thank you, and I hope to learn more from you soon!

  2. Jolene Laugerman permalink
    March 8, 2017 10:16 am

    Thank you for your post. Staying in the present really helps even when it is hard. It’s the time I try to the next thing and not run ahead.

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