New Shoes


So, my mum gave me a pair of shoes for christmas. A pair of Birkenstocks. A size too big.It happened last year. I had asked for a pair of Birkies. White. Toe wrap. Size 8. I received a pair of birkies. White. Thong. Size 9.

“It’s OK.”

But every time I wore them for that first few weeks of 2013, I saw an awkward foot trying to fit into a size it simply is not.

And every time my foot slide out, I felt a little less loved. A little less heard. A little less seen and a very long way from my mum. But eventually after a month or so, this wore off and they just became another pair of shoes.

So this year when my mum asked me what I might like for christmas –


So when I opened a box of Birkies, toe wrap, brown (as I clearly already have a white pair), size 9; my heart hurt a little again.

And I thought of Neil Young.
Only love can break your heart.

“They’re not my size.”

What kind of mother doesn’t know the size of their child’s foot? The hurt of a year ago filled me again as I saw another year of slipping out of my shoes and moving a little further away from the woman who moulded my soul into shape and form.

I am my mum’s eldest daughter. I’ve lived with her for just over half my life. In a time where everything I owned fit inside a green Mazda 323. Things were easier. We knew each other intimately. Or at least, she knew me.

And while Neil Young was crooning in my head, I stepped back from myself. And I realised that I too am now a mother. And that sometimes my expectations myself and my own mum are to be so much more than just that. I’m yet to hurt like her. I’m yet to grieve like her. I’m yet to love like her.

Because of my protection by her.

She is the net of my life’s trampoline.

You can make your relationships your yoga but it is the hardest yoga you will ever do.

The inner child is to honoured. She is as sacred and true as any asana practice. And in the honouring of this child comes the honouring of where she has come from, who she is becoming and the journey she walks to allow for her unfolding. Sometimes she will walk in shoes a little too big. And sometimes her mum will sense the sadness in her soul and make it right.

My mum took the Birkies back. I didn’t ask her to. I didn’t have too. She just bounced me back to where I am.

Think backbends, twists and mindfulness meditation.

In 2014, my relationships will be my yoga practice. In loving my family as fiercely as any mum can will ultimately connect me back into not only my own mother, but the eternal mother. And as I let my loved ones jump, I can softly bounce them back to centre. To who they can be.

Who I can be.

I have no idea what size my own children wear on their feet. But it doesn’t make me a bad mum.

Because you don’t need shoes on a trampoline.

Happy new year.


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