DevaTree Blog

Walking Forward with Shaky Legs

Posted By Carolyn on Apr 25, 2017

My eldest daughter seemed to morph into a teenager overnight and I just about lost my mind.

I thought I was ready. I’d supported countless women and teens through this same transition and always thought of it as an exciting time of life, full of potential—which it is.

But I wasn’t ready for the waves of emotion that came up.

After years of this parenting thing under my belt, I thought I was pretty good at being present for change and transition. I’ve moved twice in the past 8 years, left more than one job, and ended unhealthy relationships.

But watching my daughter morph, suddenly my own teenage years came rushing back. Talking to a friend one day, I cried so long I couldn’t believe my body could possibly generate any more fluid.

I didn’t realize I had to look the end of this cycle in the face in order to move through it. I needed to purge the old feelings in order to join my daughter on the journey to something entirely new.

That emotional purge taught me so much about hidden thoughts flitting through my awareness, like:

  • Part of me is sad when I look into my daughter’s eyes because I’m no longer looking at a child.
  • Sometimes I’m afraid I won’t be ready for this next stage—will I be a good enough Mom?
  • Watching boys turn their heads to look at my daughter in “that way” is startling and hard—when did that happen?
  • How did I survive my own teenage confusion and make it safely through to adulthood?
  • Sometimes I’m afraid time is slipping away.

If you’re thinking “Carolyn, you’re a great Mom” or “this is a beautiful part of life” or “it will all work out,” I know these things—most days. I also know and trust in the value of being in the uneasy feelings when they come up—which is why I’m sharing mine with you today.

The paradox is, now that I’ve started to cleanse my tears and fears, I feel more ready for the changes in my family, myself, and this big wide world too.

Letting go and facing the end of a cycle isn’t always easy. New life will come but not if we can’t first acknowledge what needs to be released.

So I’m walking forward with shaky legs.

If you have a big transition going on in your life, I’m with you. You can walk forward into new territory without always being brave and strong. Never mind the wobble—it needs to be there.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear what’s got your legs shaking! What are you stepping into that feels right, but sometimes a little unsteady? We’re all in this together.

So much love,

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20 Comment(s)

Helen Valks on April 25, 2017
Wow! I can so relate!! When my children where young I knew how to protect them I knew what was bubbling up for them in their lives, where they were going.I had more control to influence decisions and choices but as they are adults now, I have to let go and trust!! Not always easy. And as children age so do I!! Who is that in the mirror anyway? Stopping and realizing where you are in your life journey is hard and scary. Staying aware of where you are on the path helps to reset some priorities and reset sails for a different horizon. I used to say I'm not afraid of anything but I embrace today how true that is not!
Carolyn Jyoti on April 25, 2017
Helen~Asha, your insights, truth and clarity are so profound. Thank you for sharing so openly about your own journey. I love the idea of resetting the sails for a new horizon. You inspire me.
Laura on April 25, 2017
Hi Carolyn, this touched me today because I am preparing to go to be with family. My father is in hospital and may need to be in a care facility. Your words about transition are like a balm to my soul today. Thank you. Much love always,Laura
Carolyn Jyoti on April 25, 2017
Laura, I am sending so much love to you and your family during this time of transition. xo
Kaitlin on April 25, 2017
Aah thanks for sharing Carolyn. I really cannot believe she is a teenager now. Sometimes it's so bitter sweet watching them grow. It's overwhelming how fast time goes. I get moments full of emotion when I think how big my kids are already. But you're right you have to fully feel it in order to accept it and move forward. Hugs! Xoxo
Carolyn Jyoti on April 25, 2017
Kaitlin ~ it's amazing how fast time is moving and how our kids and all of us keep shifting and growing. I am feeling into it all along side you! xo
Kristi Bhava Corlett on April 25, 2017
Great mountains of Gratitude, Jyoti-Ma! Your message of release resonates greatly with me in my current growth work. For years I have been giving energy to still trying to problem solve for a former friendship that ended on a negative note... and recently, I made a promise to myself that I would not give this toxic cycle any more energy. I have had to ask one of those really uncomfortable questions of myself: what is it in ME that is feeding off the worry, the circular thought processes, and the fears? My discoveries are still in process, but truly realizing that I hold the key to my own cage, and acting on it by placing my energy in more joyful and peaceful pursuits is truly liberating! Jai jai ma!
Carolyn Jyoti on April 25, 2017
KBhava~your growth work is incredible to witness and oh such a good reminder to us all to keep asking those uncomfortable question of ourselves. Much love xo
Sarah on April 25, 2017
While I'm not there quite yet (teenage years), I do get those feelings of worry and inadequecy...Where is the time going? What happened to my sweet little boys? Am I raising them to be kind, respectful, and productive members of society? Etc. I think another question t ask is this: When are the swim chicks getting together for an evening of love and support? :)
Carolyn Jyoti on April 25, 2017
Sarah ~ Sending love and support this moment until we can meet in person. xo
Kathryn on April 25, 2017
Carolyn, your sharing has yet again come at the perfect time. Im about to embark on a new adventure that will involve a move to a new location that is a healthier environment for me, fresh air, surrounded by lakes and trees, rural and about 5 hours away from my two "children", 19 and 20.Both are involved in their post secondary schooling, friendships, and lives .Even though I know this is a great decision and there are so many perks to it, my legs are shaky and have been since the idea of this move first came up....shaky to the point of deep panic. Having worked with children and youth most of my life, I too, know and appreciate the beauty of these life transitions and Ive been a part of watching many children and families go through transitions and and launchings. So, to be so caught off guard and knocked flat on my butt by the unexpected emotioanal waves that have come with this decision have been overwhelming and shocking to me. I have tried all of the logical "self talk" such as "they are young adults now and dont need me in the same capacity", and "I wont be that far away we can text, facetime, and visit often". Yet still, I feel the fear. The one that comes with transitions and big changes. Im trying to get in touch with what the fears are all about...and in the meantime Im going to keep putting one shaky foot in front of the other and ask that we all "hold hands" in understanding, strength, and support and step by step head out into this slippery life together. Thank you all. Your shared stories, wisdom and bravery inspire me.
Carolyn Jyoti on April 26, 2017
Kathryn ~ You are so brave facing your fears and this big transition. I vow to hold hands step by shaky step with you and all the others who are moving forward into unknown territory. You truly are courageous. Thank you for sharing here with all of us. xo
Stacey Monk on April 25, 2017
Life is constant change and I think the hardest changes are the ones we cannot avoid, like guiding your daughter through her transition. There is no way you can walk away from this one, however being so open with yourself and reaching out to others like you have done in this blog will undoubtedly help you through. Sending you positive vibes for this transition time. My own change involves you! After years of contemplating doing a training with Devatree I have marked my calendar for 2017 to be the year I just go for it. However I still have fears. Your blogs and openness push me closer and closer to face those fears :-)
Carolyn Jyoti on April 26, 2017
Stacey ~ Thank you for your positive vibes and support. Congratulations on facing your fears and taking the leap to deepen your yoga journey - it is so inspiring. Can't wait to see you in November! Jyoti xo
Stephanie on April 26, 2017
Carolyn, I can't put into words eloquently enough for others to read right now but I feel the need to respond immediately. Reading your post today was like a warm, comforting hug that I so need. I keep telling myself I have no reason to feel sad but the changes happening in both my kids and myself are happening so quickly I almost feel like I am mourning a loss. Why I'm not sure because they are entering into another stage and the relationship with them will be awesome (eventually ha ha). I am comforted in knowing that someone who I always views as being grounded and taking things in stride is feeling uneasy about this whole "growing up" thing. Thank you so much!
Carolyn Jyoti on April 26, 2017
Stephanie ~ Thank you for sharing. One skaky step at a time - we are in this together! xo
Marti on April 26, 2017
I woke up last week to suddenly realize I was no longer an idealistic law student, or even a baby lawyer, but a full-fledged mid-career professional with a whole different host of personal and professional concerns than anyone had ever told me how to deal with. Interestingly, I vividly recall having the same lost, confused, wistful thoughts after my dad died when I was young and again when I crashed headfirst into those awkward, awful, awesome teenage years! I don't think we recognize the momentous shifts in our life until they're already well upon us, and the turbulence affects us as well as those around us. It's wonderful that your amazing young woman has an amazing woman to help her navigate the fast-changing world! And I'm glad to know what an amazing base of support you have to ground yourself so that you can better support her too. Sending you metta.
Carolyn Jyoti on April 26, 2017
Marti ~ this is so poignant. You so beautifully describe these momentous and surprising shifts in your own life and it truly gives me pause and great comfort. Knowing what a stellar human being you are, I know it will all be okay and these turbulence are meant to be here. So much love xo
Brenda on April 26, 2017
thank you so much for sharing your insights and adventures! I'm transitioning into a new relationship with my mom which I'm finding quite challenging at times - fear, anger, sadness and gratitude. It helps me to hear that it's okay to be 'shaky' - & I am!
Carolyn Jyoti on April 27, 2017
Brenda ~ Shaky and in this together - all of us! You are also so brave to face all that is coming up with this big shift in your relationship. Love to you xo

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