Women; we’re doers. Bottom line. We do it all, or at least we try. By nature we’re the jugglers with sharp multi-tasking skills, the tight rope walkers with great balance and the lion tamers with great problem solving abilities in the circus of life. Most of us choose to take life into our own hands, and the stronger and gentler those hands become, the more lasting effect we have on those around us.
A few days ago I was on my hands and knees in the garden waging war against some deep-rooted weeds that were threatening my sweet pea plants (oh the joys of organic gardening). Sometimes I like to garden without gloves and get the dirt between my fingers and under my nails. Yes, it makes for a longer clean up, but I love the texture of the earth and the feel of the soil that grows my family’s food. My 2-year-old son, Turner was busy in the next planter over happily digging in the dirt and looking for earthworms. In just an instance, as often is the case with toddlers, he went from happily jibber jabbering to himself to full on tears and crying as he had poked his little hand on a snapped root. As he hastily made his way over to me, I could see that my dirt covered, achy hands were needed for their most important job – nurturer.
In the quickest moment, as I took my little boy’s dirt covered hands in my own dirt covered hands, my hands went from fierce garden warriors to tender blankets of comfort and assurance. And just as quick as Turner’s tears came, they were subsided and gone under the touch of my hands. As I sat there on my knees and watched Turner return to his garden play, I happened to glance down at my hands as they lay on my lap; chapped, red, swollen, cold, but still capable of giving so much comfort, warmth and love. I laughed at myself as I thought, Well now, is it possible to learn a metaphorical life lesson from my own hands?
The answer is an unequivocal, yes! Women, not just mothers, juggle a myriad of tasks, responsibilities and emotions, leaving their hands literally and figuratively full – full of choices, desires, obstacles and a deep seeded ability and want to complete and accomplish our visions. We see what we have to do, and we do it – it’s done! The vision can become so clear that we strategize the path and we go, with hands and hearts full.
I know that it may sound a bit silly, but our strength and grace is literally demonstrated to us daily through our hands. Hands that clean, hands that cook, hands that brush across a cheek, hands that hold, hands that pick up, hands that put together, hands that play – they are us! In our hands holds the lovely person that we are, yet they also hold the growth we hope to achieve.
Chances are your hands are already holding that growth; whether it be hands that are holding a new book to learn from, hands that are planting their first tomato plant, or hands that are busily preparing a new, healthy recipe to share with loved ones. If our hearts are the creator of dreams and desires and our minds are the strategists of visions, then our hands are the physical gatekeepers of achievement; grasping, touching, holding, opening and giving with the strength and softness that defines a woman with clarity, assertion and grace. It’s in our own hands.
Leah Stewart is the co-founder and owner of LiveLife Productions, a production company dedicated to creating high quality, educational and fun Pilates DVDs and natural living programming for women. In 2011, Leah released her first postnatal Pilates DVD, Pilates for New Mothers and her second DVD, Pilates for Everyday Busy Mothers, is currently in production and will be released early 2013. Leah shares free videos through a weekly email which includes raw food recipes, Pilates exercise breakdowns and Q & A videos on Pilates and natural living. Leah resides in Costa Mesa, Calfornia with her husband, Jason, 2-year-old son, Turner and Miniature Schnauzer, Diesel. As a family, they enjoy hiking, spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals and tending to their vegetable garden. To watch Leah’s videos and to learn more about natural living through her blog or to just say hi, please visit www.leahstewart.net.