Sunday, March 6, 2011
The song is a true gem and I will recount the exact verbiage below. But I think the reason it has stayed with me this many years later is because of the ad noseum practices we were forced to undergo! I ask you: how 'uncute' can singing 2nd graders be that many, many practices were required? But my Dad has a knack for bringing out the best in kids (he's an educator after all). And I can recall Him reminding us to SMILE! Have fun! Sing it like you mean it! These are all good life lessons no matter the situation; and equally true for our small evening church performance.
Tonight, my husband and I were discussing middle school memories. The angst, the dread, the torture. How does anyone avoid those horrible years? And now as parents, I'm about eleven years early in tensing my muscles to prepare and fight against any middle school ails that may beset my daughter. So, I'm brought back to the lyrics of this song I performed. What an excellent reminder for me, my daughter and us all. We have Someone to turn to no matter the problem. Someone who loves us ALL the time. Thank you Lord for your blessings, and unconditional love! And now, here are the lyrics to our second grade extravaganza:
Isn't it just like Him
to want to walk with us.
Just the kind of friend He is
to want to laugh and talk with us.
Listening to the things we say
and joining in the games we play.
Caring. Sharing. That's His way!
Just like a Father understand His own.
Knows what it's like to be afraid or lost or all alone.
He is up above to watch and heal and help and love you,
that's Him. That's Him.
You can be short, fat, red-haired or freckle-faced;
dressed in a shirt with big holes & your shoes unlaced;
Tall, thin with red, black or yellow skin;
still He loves you. That's just Him.
He likes blue jeans, jelly beans, hot dogs and bubble gum.
He doesn't care what your name is or where you're from.
He is up above to watch and heal and help and love you.
That's Him. That's Him.
He is up above to watch and heal and help and love you,
That's Him. THAT'S HIM!
It's unamazing to me anymore when my mother is proven correct. That's commonplace. But it is still a unique experience to recall past moments growing up when she or my Dad would be mid-discipline, quoting the Bible: train up a child in the way she should go and when she is old, she will not depart from it. Same scene 25 years ago: me full of rage and resentment declaring my hatred via scowl of all they represented. Yet now, I am the unabashed supporter of teaching by repitition.
I can't exempt my daughter from the 'mean girls' of her future, or acne issues or insecurities of any kind. But I can instill in her from the earliest of ages, the deep rooted fact that the Creator of the Universe crafted her JUST SO, special for a purpose, unique among the masses. And truly, I have always suscribed to the WHY BE NORMAL philsophy! This makes sense on so many levels.
So thanks Mom and Dad. Thank you for the songs and the four times a week church services and to a limited extent, the groundings. It helped. I'm molded. And I remember...so that I can teach our daughter (in our own perhaps more strict in some areas - less strict in most, ways) about her heavenly Father who will love her always.
In the meantime, I will continue to pray for wisdom and also ask:
(I am unable to locate the mp3 or author of this song. If anyone has any clues, I would love to be able to purchase a copy and play it for our girl!)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Perhaps my first blog posting post-facto should be about her? Well, this is and this isn't. It's my first soiree back into writing in months, and I'm hoping to reflect on this past year. To do so, I'm following this website's prompts for pontification. I'm sure her presence will be apparent throughout, thus juicing two veggies with one blender (or other nonviolent take on a cliched idiom).
December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
In late 2009, I wrote that the upcoming new year would be "Zen in 2010". In a way, I did achieve Zen, but it was not as I expected. My pregnancy brought a new level of awareness and appreciation for what my body is capable of, and an understanding that sometimes, there are things I just can't do. New physical limitations caused me to accept more with less, and ironically those limiting factors culminated in a magnificent display of physicality when Geeb was born. "Acceptance" was my Zen. And it shall be my One Word as well. Within that acceptance is also immense GRATITUDE for my blessings; however, I feel "acceptance" more accurately describes the totality of the year.
For 2011 - I'd like my word to be "Awareness". Be Here Now. Mindful. Conscious. Fully Present. These notions seem deceptively simple, yet I've a long way to go to attain. Daily actions with awareness = adventure where you least expect it. I'm ready to experience the now with gusto, and the Geeb helps me to do this each day.
I downloaded a small chime program on my laptop that randomly emits a gong during the day. It's purpose? To bring me back to the moment. When I hear the chime, I stop and consider where I am right then. Geeb also emits a
loud lovely 'chiming' tone of her own randomly throughout day, and I am forced to consider where we both are at that moment, what her needs could be and how I can best address them. She's got a built-in awareness program! She's a five week old GENIUS!
Great googley moogley. Much of what I do doesn't contribute to it, but I can't eliminate much at this point. I'm glad to get in a shower and brush my teeth (and all this time I thought new parents were exaggerating! My sincere apologies to you all). But I can scribble down ideas as I have them and refer back once Geeb is in daycare and I'm back to work. In honesty, going back to work will actually open up pockets of free time I don't currently have: the commute, waiting for clients to arrive at appointments. I carry my journal with me and plan to take advantage of these brilliant moments of freetime to scribble freely.
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
Holding my daughter for the first time. I won't be overtly vivid here, but I will offer up a series of adjectives: overwhelming, slippery, joyous, purple, loud, open, monumentous, united, thankful, infinite, purposeful, grounding...
I'll also add a non-Geeb moment: teaching my first yoga class. A personal triumph!
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)
Attempting child birth naturally. This cultiavate an immediate sense of wonder at how anyone could actually do this! I spent the last two years immersing myself in a very au natural community and thought that perhaps I would be able to push (pun intended) my way through this process without the aid of drugs. Perhaps a more complete birth story is forthcoming for this blog, but let's suffice to say that I was and am confident that my decision to have an epidural after several hours on a pitocin drip was a wise one indeed.
It did generate an entirely new amazement and sense of wonder at those awesome women who forge ahead without the aid of chemistry. To quote myself on this topic, I share a homework assignment from my prenatal yoga certification with Janice Clarfield. We were asked to write one take-away we'd received from the classes. Here's my submission. I love that the theme of awareness is present!
"As a first time mom-to-be, this course has enlightened me as to: questions to ask my midwife, considerations for my own yoga practice and assurance in trusting my own Instincts. Most profound thus far though, is the notion that there need be no guilt in the decisions we make about our birth choices. It is our responsibility to act mindfully; with awareness. But if I or any woman choices a certain path for my birth plan, there need be no judgment.
I’ve been so concerned that if I decide in the heat of labor to get an epidural, that I will somehow be offering my child a “lesser than” entry into this world, that I will be a “lesser than” mom for not being able to withstand the pain on my own. I feel much more equipped with tools to bear the pain and face the fear now. And I am thrilled to take the notion of a GUILT FREE BIRTH EXPERIENCE as my own and to share this with other pregnant women. Guilt is a heavy burden to bear, and not in line with producing optimum conditions. I’m sure the baby feels it. I need not own any guilt for proceeding with a birth plan as best I can; nor should anyone else!"
Amen, sister. Preach it! I hope that I am able to share this with the Geeb. Guilt free experiences made possible from thought-out, aware-filled choices. She came into this world through a series of them, so we're off to a good start.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Quick refresher details: Adam and Eve are created as perfect beings in the image of God, and placed in the lush Garden of Eden. Everything is theirs for the enjoying save one item. They are instructed by God Himself not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So our frolicking first friends bliss out in the Garden for a time. Eventually, as humans tend to do, their focus shifted from the countless blessings they had, to the one thing they could not have. Enter the serpent.
The snake slithers over to Eve and slyly suggests she help herself to the fruit of the Tree. When Eve states it is forbidden, the serpent counters with a rationale. Note: the snake doesn't say the Tree's apples are not off limits. Rather, it justifies the taking by a blame game stating God knows if they eat of the Tree, they will have God-like knowledge. Now I ask you, what woman has not been in a position to crave some additional knowledge?
So Eve eats. The first sin is committed. Then Adam eats, and they too play the blame game, pointing out the fault in both Eve and the serpent. The results are excommunication from the idyllic Garden, hard work and toil to make the Earth provide and excruciating labor pains for women. It's this latter consequences that has me all aquiver. I'm not looking forward to the excruciating part.
Meanwhile, these two graphics have recently crossed my path and I thought would share.
I really only like one. I find the apologetic take on Eve's "uh-oh" moment hilarious. My Bad, indeed. Because in all honesty, if it hadn't been her to royally flub up for mankind, or any of the billions of women preceeding me, I guarantee I would be the one to create dire consequences. Who among us can point a finger?
But I can't agree that the serpent was the best thing to ever happen to Eve. Give me a break. Some overly-chatty, legless male beast convinces our heroine that she should do the very thing she knows she should not?! Isn't this just a version of the same story so many women have acted out in their lives? We don't call certain kinds of men snakes for nothing. And which of us in following the sly words of a toothless, footless, slithering wonder has ever been overjoyed with the results? Not many women I've befriended have happy endings from their tales of trusting the untrustworthy. Hmmm...food for thought; and not the rotten apple kind of food.
In summary, I'm about to embark on a wonderful journey of parenthood. It's going to start with some painful pushing and end with our blessed baby! She's no doubt going to encounter some snakes in her time. I hope I can help her, talk to her about her options, her strength and character providing what she'll truly need to obtain knowledge; not the smooth talking of some snake. Apples are quite tasty, but only when picked from a quality tree.
Let's choose our trees and fruit with care. But if and when we do choose without wisdom, let's not write it off as some great event that's happen to us, as victims; let's own our shit, move on with a lesson learned and eventually laugh. "My Bad!"
Sunday, September 19, 2010
- Nouns with an "i" plural and using them in sentences. Catcus multiplies to cacti; we've all heard that one. How about foci, carci, octopi, sarcophagi, PLATYPI? Even typing that last one gives me pause to grin. Now to figure out a way of offhandedly dropping platypi into conversation. uh-huh.
- My favorite colors orange & purple used together in nature, decor or food.
- Pet names with meaning. I've no hard feeling towards the Fluffies or Snowballs of the globe. But I adore an animal (& their owner) who has applied a more layered approach to the naming convention. I took this so seriously that both our ten-year-old felines have 2 literary-ish meanings relevant to their names (which are Parker & Ezra. Parker for Dorothy Parker the poet, and Parker Posey the actress; Ezra for Ezra Pound the poet and Ezra the Biblical prophet). Perhaps that's overkill in the precious department, but what can I say? It gives me joy and that's the point!
- Maple Nut Goodies.
- Hearing a song you've not heard in decades, and somehow your memory recalls most lyrics! Even a crappy song, recalled in full, can have this redeeming quality. Now if I could just recall an old song with platypi used, I'd be happy as a pig in poop....which brings me to my final one for now:
- Similes. Love 'em. I love 'em like I love a pumpkin spice soy latte.
What aspects of life bring you idiosyncratic joy?
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Her response: "What time and where?"
Her response: "Let's do tomorrow. I've got stuff to do."
*Why did it take a blatant disregard/respect for my family's safety to spur me to close a door that should have been shut years ago?
Originally Redacted Post from 2/9/09
Some other features about her include saying whatever pops into her head at the exact time it pops. GirlICan'tBelieveYa has no real filter on her. She is also scarily thin, yet I've seen her consume 3-4 overflowing plates of food in one meal. People often ask me if she is anorexic, and she is an exercise addict, but GirlICan'tBelieveYa eats... a lot. I always answer "No." I've never seen her purge once; never seen any evidence that she is bulimic. Yet there has always been this vast gap left unexplained as to how she can consume so much food and literally be a size 0, even 00. I admit to having jealous pangs about GirlICan'tBelieveYa's gift for eating without consequence. I am now a Weight Watchers member as I seem to carry my consequences on my gut, butt and thighs. But this has never been an impediment to our friendship. She's lucky in food, and I can accept that.
I was also DETERMINED to workout, even if just for a half hour. But one hour before they were supposed to show up, I was just getting to a stopping point with the food/cleaning prep. I ran upstairs, changed into my workout clothes thinking "I'll just do 20 minutes." As I walked down our stairs I doubled back. I realized I wouldn't be able to shower, get ready and start the actual cooking all in time for their arrival. So I gave up my workout and was bummed. (I do realize I could've gotten up earlier on a Saturday to fit in this workout and still get everything else done, so I take responsiblity there.)
She's had two babies and life has changed for us both for the better. It seems though, that our friendship has not grown with the rest of our life changes. Now that we don't have the go-out-with-a-purpose scene in common, I find we have very little in common at all. For my other friends, my life changes have not created a gap in our friendship. We've ridden the tide and our friendship remains strong and has grown. I don't feel the same here. This very fact has plagued me. Why not? And why does this relationship continually make me feel so bad?
Friday, July 30, 2010
Dearest daughter and all who may someday read this, let's band together us gals, shall we? Let's dive into the deep end of our fears, confront possible failure and enjoy the learnings and friendships along the way. Courage is not the lack of fear, but proceeding ahead in its presence. Maybe I should rephrase my vision statement to "Live Courageous!" Either way, be willing to suck! The only thing we have to lose is a few shallow lunges and our ignorance.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Three issues that affect me deeply are:
*social justice - International Justice Mission is an amazing Christian non-profit human rights based org, that literally rescues victims of human rights abuse across the globe.
*clean water - Blood: Water Mission in part builds wells in sub-Saharan African communities where water is multi-mile per day walk. Did you know that $1.00 can provide one African with clean water for a YEAR!
*animal rights - I'm a BIG fan of animal sanctuaries and I la la love Farm Sanctuary, as well as the our local Poplar Springs (where we celebrated our first vegan Thanksgiving in 2008). Today, I received an email from PETA, of whom I confess I'd let my support lapse.
They shared information on circus elephants being abused and my heart broke all over again. I've known that circuses, theme parks and others using animals for entertainment tend to mistreat their 'employees'. One need only consider the recent Sea World killer whale attack or famous the Sigfried and Roy mauling to see that wild animals forced into unnatural habitats are not going to gently respond.
Sign Here to Stop Circus Cruelty
Seeing the video and photos of these elephants spurred me to act as a conscientious consumer as best I could. I'm once again a PETA supporter. I invite you to reflect upon issues that are dear to your heart, and seek out like-minded organizations with whom you can partner. So many of us are blessed with freedom, easy access to food and clean water, some spare time to share with those in need. Where can we make a difference?
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Did you know that bona fide is a Latin phrase meaning “in good faith"? I know it's most often used to mean “genuine” today, but I like the strict definition of origin. As I teach yoga, I am doing so in good faith that this practice is ripe with benefits of the physical, mental and spiritual kind. I'm eager to share those benefits with those eager to learn. What an amazing gift to partake of and now to pass on. I'm "genuinely" honored.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Today, a beautiful sunny Sunday by any standards, I am giving myself a wee pat on the back. Since completing my 200 hour yoga teacher training (TT) on 12/28/09, I’ve been looking at opportunities to teach in the DC metro area. Most recent TT graduates are unable to find employ at a yoga studio, as many studios require both a 200 hour certificate, and 1-2 years teaching experience. So where is a nubile yoga teacher to gain said experience? Why, yee local gym, of course.
This week I’ve had three auditions; two at gyms, and today’s at a new yoga studio. For the studio opening, I found an ad on Craigs List posting for yoga teacher auditions, and decided to inquire. Last weekend, I attended an informal “so you wanna teach at our studio” meeting. I was the sole teacher not currently teaching, nor with previous yoga teacher experience. I left extremely impressed with the studio management and space, yet less than enthused about my ability in this situation. Who am I to compete with these other, more experienced yogis?
Friends, I ask myself and encourage you to inquire the same within: WHO AM I NOT TO?
With more than a little encouragement from family and friends, I confirmed my audition time and prepared to give this opportunity my all. When I arrived at the studio, I learned that these free classes had been pulling 50-80+ people per class. I about dooked my slacks. I’m familiar with practicing, not teaching, in studios with max capacity of 50. Teaching experience (in the yoga realms) has been limited to much, much, much smaller numbers. Another phrase I like to use in times of potential pant soilage: FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT!
And so I did, but yet not. I guided these wonderful yoga students through an asana practice with everything I had, and found ½ way through that I had to fake no longer. I was having fun, I was sharing the gift that is yoga; and that is why I decided to attempt teaching in the first place. Third choice tidbit of the post: IF YOU CAN’T HAVE FUN, WHY BOTHER?
I won’t know for a while whether or not the audition was a success in the students’ or studio’s eyes. But for me, it was a great success. I overcame fears; big fears. I grabbed at a wonderful opportunity to strengthen my voice as it speaks the God-inspired yoga language. As a newbie TT, I can already say I’ve led large classes through Vinyasa practice. My proudest reflection though, is that I stood fast to my mantra, even when I wasn’t sure it’s what I was capable of doing:
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Tonight, day 4 of snowfall (well it was when I wrote this), snow shoveling, snowed-in and all other ways snowfilled living, the husband and I sat down to watch. I will not share many details in case you too, dear reader, are drawn to watch this film (written in French, but complete with English dubbing and/or subtitles). But I will share that it starts out with a man who is a recent paraplegic. The audience is privy to his thoughts, though he is unable to speak.
Thinking back over his well blessed and lucrative life, pictures of glaciers, hundreds of thousands of years old melt and drop like so many world trade center towers into the ocean. The viewer hears his thoughts:
"Today, my life feels like a string of near-misses. Women I was unable to love, opportunities I was unable to seize, moments of happiness I let drift away. A race whose result I knew before-hand but failed to bet on the winner. Had I been blind and deaf, or did it take the harsh light of disaster to help me find my true nature?"
I can relate to these words. These past few days of being locked away due to snow, I have been writhing in disconnection and isolation from the outside world. Tucked away in a warm nest with my husband, at times I’m sure we’ve both felt like lashing out at the other if only because we’ve been on top of ourselves with little to do for too long.
But even as recently as this morning, I was reflecting on how many situations present themselves to me, and I meet them with a seeming built-in sense of dismay, dis-ease, disthymia actually. When all is on top, I still feel as though I’m pulling myself up by my boot-straps. This movie, with the protagonist lying in his hospital bed, brought me back to the days of my mother lying in her hospital bed, halo attached and she in pain.
When I tried to imagine myself in her place, I recoiled. I think I am claustrophobic now just due to snow, yet I have 1600 square feet of space in which to frolic. What of me locked inside a metal cage in which I am literally attached? She was an amazing testament to the ability of mind over matter, spirit conquering self, Self saving soul. I do not want to experience a tragedy to be able to look on current days and revel. I pray for an opening of senses that I may not bury myself in lost opportunity.
How do I do this? This movie is certainly not the first time I've felt I am losing time without appreciation. I was drawn to yoga in large part to help myself be in the moment, to enjoy the now. And while I am constantly reminding myself of the need for this skill, I feel it is ever elusive.
Mine is certainly not an unexamined journey, but I wouldn’t mind a few determinations as a result of all the analyzing. That may just be the very thing that keeps me from the appreciation I seek. Craving an outcome, when the process is the fundamental goal. Perhaps I’d best imbibe a glass of champagne and let the effervescence lift me up. Or, maybe I could just stop thinking so much and start just being more. Yes…just.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
To ensure a successful day indoors, the husband and I bundled up for a trek to Main Street, otherwise known as Mt. Vernon Avenue, for supplies. What does one need for an evening snowed-in? Well wine and cheese of course! Fortunately, Planet Wine is a mere 15 minute walk away. We picked a berrilicious Pinot from South Australia and a smoky gouda wedge to pair. I'm no pro, so perhaps berries and smoke don't play well together; but there's none of either left today so it mustn't have been too terrible.
Then, we headed across the street to Artfully Chocolate. Confessions: this was my first visit to this incredible edible. I'm afraid it would be better named Sinfully Chocolate. We spilt a gourmet hot chocolate for the walk back, and oh my nibs. How delicious! The "Lucy" is a dark chocolate drink with cinnamin and chipolte. The perfect treat of spice and decadence for our snow day. The evening culminated with a fire, dinner of wine, cheese and chocolate and Angelina Jolie...by way of Gone In 60 Seconds on tv.
The Redbox video option at the 7-11 wasn't working. I think the gears froze in the storm; so we were stuck with tv movies. Not even the pitiful acting of this film could damper a beautiful snow day in Del Ray. Did I mention I practiced yoga with Brian Kest earlier on? A flashback to the early 90's when I'd copied his Power Yoga 2 on VHS. All things old shall be new again. And for yesterday, all things snow shall be whoo-hoo'd again. It was a pretty darn good afternoon.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
16. What do you wish you’d done more of? Jivamukti yoga! I love it!