Hello and Happy Monday,
 
It’s Christmas Eve! It’s the last week of 2018! It’s the final week of Asteya!
 
I’m in week 2 of my time off and I am loving it. I underestimated how much this time was really needed. It has allowed me to slow down and take things in. I was able to go to both Michael and Melissa’s classroom holiday parties and their holiday program without that feeling of having to run off to teach. Which brings me to Asteya – another way to define it would be to dominate a conversation, or take away an experience from another person. 
 
Last week I wrote about being in our heads when someone is talking and this analogy goes hand in hand. This is when someone is telling a wonderful story about their experience and we steal the spotlight – “Oh, yea, I’ve been there before…”it was amazing”, “it was awful”, you get the idea. We have all been in those situations when someone steals away the conversation and puts the kibosh on our excitement. This also happens when someone we know may be grieving and we, usually out of discomfort end the conversation. Saying things like, “everything happens for a reason”. Sadly, sometimes we are guilty of this too. 
 
In Melissa’s 2nd grade classroom holiday party, us pareents were able to help the kids make crafts. Then there was a STEM (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics) competition of who could build the strongest structure with toothpicks and mini-marshmallows. The children teamed up and worked together, following the instructions given by their teacher. Melissa asked me for help and as much as I wanted to help her, I knew I couldn’t. It was amazing watching some of the parents quickly swoop in and create the structure with their kids, taking over. While I didn’t help Melissa, I have taken over many other times; with my kids, with Joe, with friends. I take over where I think I could do the best job. I pride myself on being efficient and finding the best, easiest, effective, fastest, way to do things. This, of course, can take its toll – it’s exhausting.

I’ve let a lot of this go, but old habits are hard to release. As my piano teacher used to say, “practice makes permanence” and it’s true. Having children has allowed me to let go of some of that, as some people might call it, “controlling behavior”. And allow others to express themselves fully. Say what they want to say, do what they want to do, be how they want to be, and I get to observe and listen. It’s silly to think I struggle with this, as it seems like quite the easy approach to life. 
 
So, for this week, the last week of the year, let’s practice listening and allowing others to say what they are going to say, without adding our 2 cents. 
 
Wishing you all a very happy holiday season.
I hear you, I love you,
 
Jess

P.S. – Melissa’s team won for most steady structure!! She was so proud of her team! Michael’s classroom made colonial crafts and we made butter! 

P.P.S. – If you are looking for growth, change, and a deeper understanding of your self, please sign up for my 4 week program, Homecoming: A Journey Through Embodiment with Aurora Hutchinson.
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