Beginning the challenges: Self Evidence + Authenticity and 21.5.800

Wow. Wow. Day 1 of Bindu Wiles’ 21.5.800 challenge and I already feel like I’m failing. It’s 10:50pm, I’m exhausted and I’ve done neither my Savasana nor my 800 words for the day. My cat is digging his nails in to my arm and leg, yowling for attention, my husband is going to bed, my stomach is turning from my pregnancy hunger binge and I can’t decide if I want to cry or scream.

So I breathe. And I turn to Compassion. A topic for  Authentic Realities’ Self Evidence + Authenticiy challenge that I agreed to sometime last week – perhaps the first of the month – and have yet to write a word for. I’ve done lots of writing in my head over the past few days. I’ve started some wonderful, thoughtful blog posts as I made my daughter lunch, painted rocks and her daddy’s birthday presents with her, watched Sesame Street playlists and chased her down the street with our dog. But none of those posts, not a sentence, not a word, has gotten past my thoughts.

I did manage to read a couple of other 21.5.800 challenge entries today in stolen moments (before my 21st century daughter wanted to trade my laptop for hers – the one that takes 5 minutes to load a page because it’s so old). I’ve also read several of the posts that have been written for Dian’s challenge. I find myself feeling jealous of the time people have to write. Jealous of the ability to sit down, uninterrupted first thing in the morning, or in the middle of the afternoon, or even right after dinner. I know everyone is busy. People have careers, families, friends, pets. I’m certainly not the only stay-at-home/work-from-home mom who is aching for a little time and space for me, to get my voice warmed up and my words onto the page. The loudspeaker in my head blares an ear-splitting “FAILURE!”. If I really wanted to, I’d make the time. If I really wanted to…

I DO really want to. Right now, I don’t know HOW to. I’ve made the choice to be the most involved parent I can be. My daughter doesn’t go to daycare and isn’t going to preschool because it’s the right choice for her, for us. She’s starting to do more things on her own (her little voice echoed down the hall today as she giggled and played after sending me out of the room with a “Leave me alone mama”) but at not-quite-three, I get maybe 5 minutes at a time.  Not enough for 800 words, never mind Savasana. I’d do yoga with her if my stomach didn’t heave at the thought of downward facing dog.

In the midst of my feelings, my struggle, my jealousy, I somehow remember to turn to Compassion. I find it easy to feel compassionately toward others, even those who commit horrific acts of ignorance and violence. I imagine the incredible pain they must be in, in order to do such things and there, standing just behind anger, shock and sadness is compassion. When it comes to myself, I am the queen of self-inflicted wounds and hurtful comparisons. Why can’t I just pull it together? Why can’t I find more time in the day – I’m sure I waste more than enough of it? Why can’t I get more sleep? Take better care of myself? Write every day? Get up at 5am and get my meditation in before daughter wakes at 5:45 or 6? Why am I not some fabulously well-known and accomplished author/dancer/psychologist/anything yet? Compassion reminds me…

Because I’ve made many choices that have taken me away from a career path and into myself.

Because I believe that being present for my daughter as much as possible in her early life will set the stage for a healthy adult.

Because I’m pregnant and exhausted and “efficiency” has never been one of my strongest qualities.

Because everything is perfect and I am exactly where I need to be to learn the lessons I need to learn.

Because every person’s journey has it’s own path and this is mine.

Because I’ve never been driven by money and only now am coming fully into contact with the passions that I lost somewhere in childhood.


Because I am embracing my ordinariness so I can begin to celebrate my uniqueness.

Because I see parenting as a journey toward wholeness not just something to be done before and after work.

Because in a few years time, my life will look completely different than it does now.

Because, as my calendar says, “imperfection is an illusion”.


Breathe in deeply. Breathe out. Repeat.

I’m just a few words shy of 800, and in honor of treating myself compassionately, that’s okay. Now off to Savasana and sleep.


~ by Alana on June 8, 2010.

9 Responses to “Beginning the challenges: Self Evidence + Authenticity and 21.5.800”

  1. what truth in this beautiful post, alana. i can so relate to a lot of this…sans pregnancy + child distractions…but the compassion for self…yes, i relate well to this. even if “efficiency” isn’t one of your strongest qualities, you certainly showed your prowess here…knocking out two challenges in one fell swoop =)

    love & light to you, my dear friend xoxo

    • Dian – thank you for offering this opportunity to look more deeply into myself. Thank you for being your beautiful, authentic you.

  2. I’m directly beside you, if not a little behind you, on all these sentiments, my friend! Embrace your words, they are beautiful.

  3. Wow. This is such a beautiful post. My mom stayed at home with my brother and I and has expressed some of the same feelings you just did to me about her time with my brother and I. Feelings of not doing anything “worthwhile” and never having enough time for herself. However, as the child who (I think/hope) turned out relatively healthy largely as a result of her staying home with me, I can tell you that what you are doing is the most worthwhile thing you can do for your daughter. You are giving her your love and you are giving her your compassion…Because you WANT to. Seriously have tears in my eyes are I type this thinking of your my own mom’s sacrifice of self. XOXO

    • Jenn – My mom too stayed home until we were in high school. It was a huge gift. She also has regrets that I don’t want to have. I want to do/have it ALL – although maybe not all at the same time. Figuring it out…
      Thank you for the words of love and support. And yay to your mom – it’s not always an easy path.

  4. oh. this. one. too. beauty-full truth.

  5. […] well actually, Shedventure. I participated in Bindu’s 21.5.800 challenge on my blog wholeselfcoach earlier this year. I think she’s fabulous and she has a knack for using her own growth to […]

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