I choose to be a mother who works. I choose to be a worker who mothers. It makes me feel whole and deeply purposeful to offer my talents to others, to help other people feel good in their bodies and hearts and minds. The exorbitant cost of childcare that we are able to afford is worth that to me, but the difficulties and the “either/or” scenario that this world gives me and other women like me is not fair or ok. It should not be this difficult for a mother, for a woman, for anyone, to mother and WORK.. so that she can build the HOME she so wishes for her familyRead More
New Year's has come and gone... and while I (and some others I have spoken to) have some pretty exciting things in store for 2018, it is no secret that 2017 was a really tough year on a lot of levels. Like many of you who have Instagram, I saw all the "top nines" rolling through as the year closed. At one point, I ventured over to make my own, but I never ended up sharing, as it didn't necessarily speak to anything "top" in my own world... but then I caught the blog post of an IDP sangha friend, Robin Anderson, with the same title, and it woke me up to reflect on the amazing things I did get to experience last year. Robin was inspired by the post of a writer she follows, and I am similarly inspired by her. Maybe someone else will follow suit in their own way from this post.
Flecked like stars in the night, here are nine life-changing, soul-touching experiences that shaped me in 2017.Read More
I lie down on a nearly-daily basis and feel my midline with my hands. The space around my belly button seems at times possibly wider and other times narrows to nearly nothing. I have followed its ebbs and flows quietly and with a deep sense of care; perhaps more care than I have ever offered myself in this life. And while I check the width routinely, the residue of this ritual leaves my mind resting not in the space between, but in the quality of attention itself. I am not what one would call a religious person, and I often tend toward the dependabilities of mathematics and science, but through this process I have encountered what feels to be the soft slipperiness of prayer.Read More
It's been a long while since I wrote.
I never, in a million years, could imagine the kind of consumption of time and energy and attention that goes into being a parent. It is absolutely the best kind but it is all-consuming. I have been busy in my life before. I have been so busy that I didn't see friends for weeks and I lived and ate and breathed my work. Still, I have never felt the kind of intensity that being a mom has presented to me. I have also never loved anyone or anything this much, not even close. It has been the sweetest, deepest sense of overwhelm I have ever known. And it has required that I let go of a lot, and often.
I now see that my desire to write in this blog on a weekly basis after my daughter was born was definitely too ambitious for this time of my life. As hard as it is for me to acknowledge that I cannot do it all, I definitely can NOT. My continued aspiration is to keep this going as best I can for now. That is all I can do. One way I have tried to share my work and passions is through instagram and some documentation of the therapy work I have been traversing as of late. If it interests you, please check in with me there.
For now, I at least wanted to write to acknowledge that this time is also incredibly intense and difficult in our world. A lot of people I know are struggling to understand and navigate the huge shift that has happened most recently in the U.S. but that also reflects a larger trend around the globe. Many I know who have been around longer than me say they have never witnessed such division between ideologies and world-views. I surely have not in my lifetime.
With that acknowledgement, I also acknowledge that I have had to make space within the overwhelming barrage of news and online feeds to take a step back and let go of some of the ways that I was feeling connected to my communities, particularly my people in NYC. Facebook no longer has a place on my handheld devices. I recognized that my desire to be on the ground and in the resistance with so many people I love and care about just does not resonate with where I am in my life and how overwhelmed I already am at times with being a mama. It also underlined, for me, the dark underbelly of living too much of one's life online. I have a few close family members and friends who spend an exorbitant amount of their time and reality on their devices and in the feeds of Facebook, and it is painful to bear witness. I felt myself being tugged in those same addicting currents of information and I realized it was time to step back.
I am reconfiguring how I interact with my world, mostly because I have a beautiful daughter but also because the world is changing and I must also change with it or risk becoming willfully ignorant. I am dedicated to a path of waking up and for me right now the most important thing I can wake up to be is a present and loving mother to my babe, a present and loving wife to my man, and a present and compassionate teacher for my students and clients. From there, I feel I can continue to walk the path of awakening in the best way I know how for all the people in my life.
So in this intensity... if you are feeling overwhelmed at all, perhaps ask yourself where you can let go. Where can you make space for yourself in the whirlwinds of information? Where can there be some breathing room?
May we all have some space to breathe. May we all work toward the benefit of all.
All any of us can do is stay true to our convictions and pair those convictions with a willingness to stay curious and open hearted. Certainly there are times when we need to shift directions or accept defeat or decide that another way is a better way, but there are many other times when we must continue to face our fears and challenges and disappointments head-on. In those moments we must remind ourselves of our highest aspirations, lest disheartenment get the best of us and the world sadly miss out on our greatest gifts.Read More
At that basic level, we are incredibly tender. We are completely vulnerable. And while we are not depressed at the notions of life and death, there is a deeply moving quality to reality.Read More
I think about this in the midst of yet another public scandal of a teacher's abuse of power, this time out of Jivamukti in NYC. I think about it in the midst of the heights of "yogalebrity"-dom, and the very real truth that this is something many new teachers are aspiring to be. I think about all the ways that teachers are human and that very fine line that can occur between walking the talk and taking the liberty to skip a few or a WHOLE LOT of steps along the way. I think about how detrimental this is to our students in tiny or massive ways.Read More
So thank you Yoga Journal! Thanks for highlighting what I am not. I do appreciate the press, but what you depict (especially in the online version) has nothing to do with this work. BUT! it does make me feel like working even harder to share what is in my heart and help people find freedom in their bodies and minds. Thank you!Read More
It's true, I'm pregnant, due in about six weeks. I made a special effort not to post anything about my pregnancy on my FB page for nearly the entire term. I made a few hints a month or so ago and then decided to just come out and say the words "maternity leave" fairly inconspicuously in a recent post and another little mention of "after the baby" in another. It's interesting what sparks people's interests and what makes them comment out loud. I knew that an announcement of pregnancy would get a ton of likes, but I also knew I didn't really want that for myself, my baby or my growing family. And yet, this is a huge part of my life. It affects my work (which I do post about regularly) and more importantly my personal life (which I tend to not post about as much). I haven't wanted to make an ordeal, but I also realize that this reality needs to be communicated in some way. So here I am.
Someone asked on instagram the other day about my experiences in pregnancy with practice. I may write more on this at some point, but for now let me say that the most important thing for me has been to have a lot of space. Space to feel, space to connect with my husband and my baby, space to practice in a way that has soothed both me and the growing life inside of me. I have had zero interest in making a production of my process, but I suppose I understand why some other women may.
For now I will say that pregnancy has changed me like nothing else. It has humbled me and amazed me and I have had moments where I felt more scared and more exhausted than ever in my life before (I know this is just the beginning). I also feel more connected to my physical body, the sacredness of life, and to the ways in which practice should subtly and gently underline that sacredness... not ignore, or worse, glamourize it. And for the first time since I can remember, my work does not dominate my life any longer. I had a full page feature in Yoga Journal this month, which is an amazing accomplishment for a teacher, especially one without an agent. But I have to say I feel fairly ambivalent about it (and not just because I'm pregnant, this goes back to all of my frustrations about the perceived flashy trendy quality of Breakti and how I feel totally pigeon-holed by this perception) and it just doesn't matter on the same level that it did four or five years ago the first time my name made it to YJ. This has been eye-opening for me because my career has been priority one for so very long... so. very. long... and I feel that priority diminishing and YET!!! (and YET!!) my work feels more fulfilling and more interesting than ever, especially as I figure out how to connect the dots and teach good work to my students in a new body with new limitations and less ability to practice what I teach.
Finally, I feel connected to women. Everywhere. I feel strongly drawn to support and offer and share with them. My discoveries in pregnancy have pointed again and again to the wisdom of my own body over the direction or advice of any book or "professional". I feel inspired to help and support women and their fertility and pregnancy. Perhaps I will write a lot more one day about this and perhaps my work will shift in that direction. I simply don't know.
But for now... I prefer the space. I have a lot of it, and it sometimes feels a bit lonely but mostly it feels amazing to have the opportunity to connect to myself and my baby so deeply. I feel that we are on this journey together, and all of the practices and knowledge I have acquired as a mover, a teacher, and someone who has investigated healing on so many levels - all of this comes together right now and supports me in this very. sacred. space.
I only have a few weeks to go before I step out of the studio and have a baby. We don't know what it is, it's a surprise. We are so very excited! It is beyond words! It has been awesome being a teacher and practitioner through this process and I am confident it will be awesome on a whole new level once baby arrives.
I am going to be a mom... and as I enter these last moments before the final "push" I return again to space. To sacred space. I can't believe it took me this long to figure out how to give myself that deep and open space. I guess I have someone to thank once I meet him or her.
Through patience and love, through familiarizing ourselves with our rough or irregular edges, perhaps we can learn to carve our own puzzle piece; one that fits perfectly with each of our perceived imperfections. Perhaps we can learn to be so malleable as to make room for witnessing and opening to the irregularities of others: our loved ones, our circles of friends and acquaintances, and ultimately those that seem to have other worldviews or opinions or experiences. I truly believe this is where we begin dialogue. From the innermost self to the outermost world, let us embrace the rough edges with great care. Let us be patient and kind enough to allow space for many experiences to be possible.Read More