May 23, 2013

Single Mom Seeking Stillness. ~ Nichole Gould

Be careful what you wish for.

Has anyone ever said this to you? That sometimes what you think you want may be delivered but probably not in the way that you imagine?

Some say that we receive what we wish for only to the extent at which we are clear about what we really want. In the movies, What the Bleep Do We Know and The Secret,  as well as in literature based on quantum physics and the laws of attraction, one is told that, “We create our lives, with every thought every minute of every day.” We are told to pay attention to our thoughts because everything is “heard” by the universe. We are told that we can have whatever we desire by changing our negative thought patterns and habits and by simply getting very clear on what we want while being very specific about what we are asking for. We are told that the end result will produce itself even if the journey to the destination is not what we expected it would be. We are told to be patient and resilient with the process because the universe always provides. We are told to have faith that it all works out.

I have experienced the law of attraction in a most unexpected way. The journey towards awakening took quite an unorthodox path.

My life had become overwhelmingly busy. There was a lot of propelling quickly  forward as I prepared for the grand opening of my yoga business. It was New Years Eve and I was excited but also feeling a bit ambivalent due to the unforeseen amount of time and energy  put into planning,  which was interfering with the precious time I spend with my daughter. I was second guessing myself and secretly wishing I could press a “pause” button so I could soak up the simplicity of my life before becoming a yoga teacher. However, teaching is my passion and dream so I did not want to give up on it just because it was difficult.

The event went off with success but that night things took a turn for the worse. I ended up losing my driving privileges for 90 days. As a  busy single mother living in rural New Hampshire this was probably just about the worst thing that could have happened.

I know, I know, you want the dirt. How did I get myself into this predicament?

Let’s just say that drinking wine after practicing 108 sun salutations then acting sassy with the baffled police officers (I may have told them that they could not do 108 if they tried)  leads to resisting arrest and the loss of driving privileges. Trust me, I know what I could have done differently.

Rather than allow myself to wallow in self pity and to ride the spiral downward I decided to take things into my own hands. After all, the only thing I could control were my own feelings and reactions (or non-reaction) to this mess. After a few days of crying and hopelessness, allowing myself to process, I went into what I call “single mom survival mode”. I decided to do things a little differently.

I began reaching out for help to figure out how to have as little impact on my daughters life as possible. She was taken care of but I was still feeling overwhelmed with how I was going to survive my work schedule without falling apart and losing jobs and the momentum with my business that I had worked so hard for.

So, I came up with My Meditation and Winter Cleanse Challenge, which I have shared here on elephant journal. I dove into creating a solid platform for healthy choices.

What started off as the most awful experience has ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Because I could not drive I was forced to slow down. I had to surrender the super mom role (I can do it all myself!) and as a result I was offered a winter of stillness. With that came introspection and what was born was a new perspective. Stillness was dropped right into my lap whether I liked it or not.

“When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”~  Ekhart Tolle

I had been so caught up in my busy life with such a focus on moving forward I had gained tunnel vision and lost my clarity. Life had punched me in the face and woke me up.

What ensued was moment after moment of hidden blessings.

I was reminded to pay attention to the little things in life. I discovered a community of people that are supportive, understanding and willing to help. I had tons of extra downtime with my daughter which I cherished every moment of. I made new connections and reconnected with others. I was brought to tears by the love and support of not only friends and acquaintances but from complete strangers as well.  I had time to write without feeling rushed. I discovered new ways of eating and cooking that helped me feel lighter and healthier. My meditation practice changed and after a rough start I am now proud to say that I sit daily (Even if only for two minutes. It all counts!). My yoga practice became more consistent. I discovered that I would rather be at home doing the things that heal and nurture me rather than being a social butterfly and spreading myself too thin.

In short, I slowed down everything. I slowed down my breathing, my thoughts, my constant doing and became more aware and mindful. I began to exist with more mindfulness and awareness. I became more acquainted with my authentic self because I was able to harness the monkey brain (in fits and spurts, I am not perfect). I learned patience and tolerance. I cultivated a deep sense of gratitude for all that I have. I became friends with myself and learned that I can change any challenge into an opportunity. I discovered that when I take a moment to process, rather than react, life has a way of rewarding us for out thoughtfulness.

“There are seasons when to be still demands immeasurably higher strength than to act.”
~ Margaret Bottome

I found my stillness and I can tell you with confidence that is within us at all times. It does not come from an outside source. Even through the “business” of daily life, stillness is always there. All one has to do is take a moment to slow down, breathe and notice that it was right there all along.


Nichole Gould is the founder of Barefoot Warrior Yoga in The White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a Student of life, yogini, yoga teacher, landscape gardener, single mother, organic pizza waitress and lover of all board sports, she considers herself a jack of much and a master of none. She can also be found dabbling with guitar playing, singing off key, reading from her many stacks of books or writing poetry. Feel feel to peruse her Facebook page or contact her via her website for more insight into her ever curious mind.




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Ed: Kate Bartolotta


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