The Downside of Letting Go. ~ Michelle Marchildon

Via Michelle Marchildon
on Aug 24, 2013
get elephant's newsletter


For the first time in 15 years, I am not on the soccer fields this weekend.

It is the kick-off weekend for our fall season, and the début for both my boys on their high school varsity team. And I am not there.


Instead, I am doing something for myself, and the people of Canada who are fighting the good fight against cancer. I am the headliner for the Yoga4Hope festival in Windsor, so I am doing a good thing.

Yet, I am pretty sure a lightning bolt is going to strike me down.

How did I get here? It’s a long journey to letting go of the ones you love, but sometimes it is necessary if they are to take flight on their own. It’s also a long journey to “no.”

You see, everyone knows I am easy. Do you need someone to organize a fundraiser? Sure, no problem. Do you need to create packages of booster club spirit products? I can do that too. Bake cookies for a sale? On it.

But this year was different. First, I got a little sick—nothing uber-serious it turned out—but it was enough of a scare to get my priorities straight and put myself first.

Then, I was invited to teach the Canadian festival. I said no last year because I couldn’t miss the opening day of soccer! But this year I said, “Opportunity has just knocked twice. What are the odds it will come around again?”

For parents everywhere, September is a time of sign-up sheets and PTO meetings. We are often judged by how much time we can spend at the fundraisers and in our children’s schools. It can feel like the parent Olympics.

But this year I said “No!”

Please don’t think that I am skipping off to the mall with all my spare time. I am doing something much more important. After 15 years of staying home with my children, I am finally paying a little attention to—wait for it—me!

Here is the thing: When a caretaker takes 15 years off from her career to raise children, the world doesn’t wait. It went on without me, and I want back in.

Finally, I am able to begin again, to write and travel for work and find my way. Although I don’t regret the time I spent in the home, it’s freaking hard to start over. Not to mention the salary it cost me.

But I’m not going to lie. I’m about to teach the biggest class of my life and I’m thrilled. I hope I can make a difference in other people’s lives who suffer with cancer.

Yet, there is a part of me on those soccer fields that I left behind.

I know my boys will be fine. They will have their début on Varsity which they earned with years of hard work. Each had broken bones and torn ligaments. One threw up at try-outs.

This is their moment, not mine.

But the 500 miles a week I put on the family car driving them to practices and games, the years I spent on the field, the hours I spent laughing and crying at their ups and downs, this earned me a place on the sidelines today.

Yet, I have let go so my boys can fly, and I can stumble along as we find our way in the world.



Like elephant family on Facebook.

Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at And you can take her classes on


4 Responses to “The Downside of Letting Go. ~ Michelle Marchildon”

  1. Absolutely beautiful. As another yoga teacher and writer turned stay-at-home mom, this is something that I can relate to, but, more than that, your insights and balance are profound. Thanks for this.

  2. Dianne Bondy says:

    Spectacular article. Loved your insights. We loved having you at Yoga 4 Hope. I am blessed to know you

  3. Great piece Michelle. Keep on flyin’!

  4. dar says:

    You fly a great course! Yoga4Hope Windsor Thanks you and WE mean it!