One Breath at a Time

Alison Lee essays

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Palms on your mat, push your heels down. Ground yourself.

A few months ago, I was on a path of searching. Not so much soul, just self. I was feeling slightly panicked, like I had waded too far into the ocean, and had nothing to hold on to, thinking I was going to get pulled in and float away, helpless. Trying to keep my head above water, paddling, looking for something to pull me back.

I was struggling with a case of writer's block, and a deep sense of insecurity about myself as a parent. Things were challenging on all fronts, and I was flailing, desperate without my familiar anchor of writing it out.

Deep breaths. Allow your body and mind to fall in with your breathing.

Writing is akin to breathing for me. I live for it, I love it, I can't do without it, I just must. So I took a few deep breaths and just wrote. Stories that I dare not tell anyone in real life, tales that I can't really see head or tail of yet, snippets of life, scattered thoughts. I wrote them all down. It was a release. Even if it was just to write a few sentences that were building up, waiting to be drawn out. Even if it was not very good, or made little sense.

Stay with your pose. Focus on your breath. Just be.

I held still as I write. Not physically (of course not). Mentally. I simply could not allow myself to be lured away by the sparkly lights of Facebook, or the enticing voice of Pinterest. I allowed the words to flow, frantically drawing the picture in my mind, before it faded away.

Hands in prayer pose, to your heart. Feel your energy, center it.

And I kept going. I wrote. I moved more naturally now. The words took shape, moulding themselves into sentences. I felt alive. Not surprisingly, this centered energy spilled over into real life. I was more present for my children. I felt cheerier, brighter, somehow more me.

Going back to yoga after more than three years, allowing myself to take the time to look after me physically, opened up my mind to doing what I love—writing. In turn, with an open mind and open heart, I became a better version of myself. As mothers, too often, we put ourselves last—looking after everyone, leaving nothing for ourselves.

I was all tapped out. My yoga practice taught me to give a little back to myself, one breath at a time.

Keep reading more from Alison here!

About the Author

Alison Lee

Alison Lee is the co-editor of , a , and publisher. A former PR and marketing professional, Alison’s writing has been featured in Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, BonBon Break and Club Mid. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends (Fall, 2014), and has an essay in another, So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real About Motherhood (Summer, 2016). She is also an editor at BonBon Break. Alison lives in Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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