Friday, March 18, 2011


"As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." 

A few months ago my husband discovered hot yoga. He picked it up again recently and decided he wanted to go EVERY DAY. So he did. 

This was fine until one day he went to a class late in the day and did not come home for dinner, did not call and did not remember that he was supposed to take one of the boys to an activity that night. 

By the time he got home dinner was cold, our son was late, and I was FURIOUS. 

Now there were lots of reasons I was mad about this:

1) I had run an errand earlier in the day that I just barely had time for, thinking that if worse came to worse, I could ask him to pick up the kids from school at the last minute. Had I known he was not available, I would not have done that;

2) Less than a few weeks earlier I had not gotten dinner on the table in a timely manner and our son was late for the very same activity because of me. At that time I got a lecture about how if we were going to do this particular evening activity, I needed to make sure that the boys were ready to go when it was time;

3) Communication has been an ongoing issue with us. As a male primate my husband needs a certain amount of freedom to come and go as he pleases or he starts to feel caged in. While I understand this, I contest that once you have made a family with someone you owe them a certain amount of communication, especially if you are going to go AWOL for more than a couple of hours. Not asking permission mind you, just LETTING THEM KNOW. It's just common courtesy in my opinion. 

So, needless to say we had quite the "discussion" when my husband got home, covering all of the above and much, much more. 

But when it came right down to it, I had to admit that none of the above was really the issue for me. The truth was: I was jealous. And tired. 

Somehow his going to yoga every day just felt unfair to me. And it felt like the whole weight of the family had been placed on my shoulders, to bear all alone. 

Even though I would not want to go every day (I am just not an "every day" person. Every other day, maybe; a couple of times a week, sure, but there are just very few physical things I want to do EVERY DAY.), I was upset that he was ABLE to. 

He and I have had this discussion a million times before and we always end up at the same place. As the mother in a family there are just certain things you give up that the father in the family will never understand (and I know the same is true in reverse). "Every day" is one of those things for me. 

Even if I wanted to and made a Herculean effort, I am certain that I would not be able to do yoga every day for more than a few days. Inevitably someone would be sick, or have an activity, or a need that pre-empted my "every day" yoga plan. That's just that way it is. 

He doesn't understand this. His opinion is that if I REALLY WANTED IT I could make it happen - with his help, with babysitters - somehow I could make it work. 

I guess I have to concede that this is true, if I were willing to put whatever I was doing ahead of the family, which I just am not. And, aye, there's the rub. 

Whenever my husband starts to do something "every day" I feel like he is putting that thing ahead of us and I start to worry that if he had to choose between that thing and us, he would chose that thing and where would that leave us?

And I start to panic and worry and feel like it's ALL ON ME; and then it's a full-blown fear attack. 

Which is pretty much where I ended up on the night of this fight. So we talked and we fought and we came up with a plan which was that I would go to yoga the next morning and he would stay home with the kids until I got back. 

It didn't really solve the primary issue, but it was a start. 

And, lo and behold, what a start!

Hot yoga is amazing! So hard you think you are going to die, but afterward you feel so....AMAZING. There is no other word for it, you positively GLOW!

As I got up off of my mat to go home and take over for my husband, I felt a surge of love for him so great I could hardly bear it. I wanted to go home and force him to do yoga every day for the rest of his life because I wanted him to feel just like I felt at that moment. 

As I walked out of the yoga studio I saw this Nelson Mandela quote hanging on the wall and I froze. I had just been liberated from my own fear of lack and limitation and I was ready to liberate the world, starting with my husband. 

If you are interested in trying hot yoga, there is a great new studio in Seattle called Yoga to the People. Check it out!

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