Integration is on my mind. Especially this summer, I observe myself moving between radically different life experiences from day to day; I find myself feeling choppy, transitioning roughly from milieu to milieu. Mom one day, yoga teacher the next, romantic the next, triathlon trainee the next. I've found it hard to create a seamless transition from place to place.
Coming home last week from a two-day camping trip, Lucia (5 years old) went from monster meltdown to perfect princess to monster again in a period of 86 minutes. In response to her, while doing laundry, dishes, emails, dinner prep, I went through the same range of emotions. I thought summer was supposed to be relaxing, regenerating, but I am finding that it is just the opposite. I long for the expected, the known, the rigor that is school and work and exercise, a structure that is abandoned during the summer.
I need to find a way to feel integrated in my life. I wear too many hats (and scarves, and boots, and skirts.....) There is no way that there will ever be actual cross-over with all of the pieces of my life, but it must be possible to feel less like a glued-together humpty-dumpty.
Lately I've been talking a lot about integration when I teach Yoga. Savasana is where our bodies and minds integrate the information that emerges through our practice. Sometimes I tell students that the breath is the natural bridge between the body and the mind. Focus on your breath and you'll find the connection, the joining, the integration. Amazingly, giving up the effort to make something happen is where it all happens in Savasana. The hard part is just being still and trusting that the integration will happen. Today while teaching, I had a moment. Maybe I am trying too hard to find the bridge, to tighten up the seams between the seemingly disparate parts of my life. Maybe what is making me feel dis-integrated is not the multifarious nature of my life, but my focus on it.
There is no part of my life that I am willing to give up. I can't imagine a life without my daughter, my work, my health, romance, dinner parties. These pieces don't need to be integrated. These pieces are who I am. The only ingredient I need to extract from the mix is the attention I give to how many or how different the parts of my life are. If I am quiet and let all the parts co-exist, let them be what they are, I think I'll find that there is room for all of it.