Monday, November 22, 2010


I'm not grounded.  I am in the throws of seasonal change, hormones, internal life struggles, what I am supposed to be doing questions...anything else?  That covers it, mostly.  I feel extremely ungrounded, flighty, unfocused, scattered.  I can't think of any other descriptors, but you get the gist of it, no?
It's funny. I have been carrying some stuff around for awhile, some struggles, issues, unhealthy behaviors.  I've been aware of them, moderately aware, I would say, but I seemed to want to continue carrying the load, until recently.  The right person asked the right question and out came the genie, sharing things I had not articulated even to myself, not even in the privacy of my dear little journal who is almost always the first to hear.  I started to verbally cleanse myself of all this stuff I have been carrying around, and oddly enough, that has been completely ungrounding for me.  I think all that was weighing me down was keeping me grounded and now that I have opened the can of worms, so to speak, I feel a little out of control and uncertain about what to do other than sit right where I am at.
Among other things, my work funding is on the rocks for next year and I verbally committed myself to raising $20,000 so the work can continue next fiscal year.  I know that if that is what I want to do, I can raise the money.  Fear has crept in, on the other hand, what if people say no when I ask them for money, what if it's hard, what if I fail...etc.  So I say to myself, just start asking, who cares.  You can't predict the outcome.  But, it has also forced me to ask the question of myself, is this what you want to be doing with your time?  I think so, yes, it's important work and I do believe it makes a difference.  In the midst of my scatteredness, though, I think, wouldn't it be nice to have something more stable, more consistent.  Yes, but I wouldn't trade that consistency for the flexibility and time I get with my kids, ever. 
I've been doing this month of gratitude on facebook, posting something daily (or at least most days) that I am grateful for.  I find myself struggling some days to think of something and then I pinch myself, like duh, you have SO much to be grateful for.  Why is this hard for you at the moment?  I think I need to extend myself a little grace.  It's okay to be ungrounded, to feel uncertain, fearful, and maybe what I'm thankful for today is that I don't feel like that every day. 
That's all for now....I'm stuck.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spiritual Hunger

I feel hungry.  I have for a couple of weeks, maybe a month, and I think I am just now finding my way to articulate it.  This feeling has come and gone throughout my adult life.  If you ever experience that longing for a deep spiritual connection, you know what I am talking about.  If you haven't, I'm not sure I know how to explain it.  I feel restless.  I find myself spending time on the computer, mindlessly looking for something, what I don't know.  I wake up in the midst of it and think, I am totally wasting my time.  I am not going to find what I am looking for in somebody else's facebook post, or email or whatever.  This hunger is spiritual.  It's a need to feel connected to something greater than myself. 
I have passed up two recent opportunities to participate in something that might have fed me a bit.  I'm not sure why.  I won't say I regret not doing these things, but I do find myself wondering why I opted not to, knowing that I feel this discontent.  There have been times in my life when I feel like I know exactly what I am supposed to be doing, and I'm doing it.  There are times like right now when I am not entirely sure what I am supposed to be doing.  I keep doing what I do, sharing and giving when and where I can, but it doesn't feel like enough.  Not in a I'm not good enough kind of way, but in a way that feels like I am being called to something more....I just don't know what that more is.
I continue to teach yoga, which is usually a place that feels connected for me, but right now that isn't doing the trick.  I'm not sad, depressed, unhappy, nothing like that.  I just feel like I need my soul to be shifted a bit.  I shared this with a friend on Monday and she replied, "Sometimes it is hard to be a woman who feels things deeply and longs for connectedness.  I will pray that you have peace in your soul and insight into what you need."  Heck, that is my prayer to.
In the mean time, I will try to allow myself to just feel what I do.  To sit with this uneasiness, knowing that it will not stay as it is.  I know that everything changes, that is one constant in all of our lives, and so what I feel will evolve and shift and move into something different.  I think I am beginning to feel like I might be able to create a little space in my life for something that would nourish me, I'm just not sure what that is.  Elsie is less dependent on me physically, I feel like I am getting much better about asking for help, about not feeling guilty for taking care of my own needs, I just am not entirely sure how to tend to this particular need right now. So I sit, spiritually hungry, praying for some awakening, some a-ha, something to happen next.  It always does.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


My show is on tonight, Parenthood, but that isn't the parenthood I'm going to write about.  My dear husband is out of town tonight, I'm flyin' solo and I'm tired, I'll be lucky to stay up for it tonight. I should be cleaning up the dinner dishes, following up on some work stuff, baking cookies to do something with all that leftover Halloween candy (my newest idea is Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies - as in Crunch bar).  I haven't made Ruby's lunch for tomorrow yet and I have a kink in my neck that is literally a real pain in the neck, but I've been itching to blog, so screw the work, I'm taking a moment here.
I was having a conversation with my friend today about how hard it is to be a parent.  Actually, I was telling her about how tiring it was to crack down on Willis this week and she said, "I always tell myself when I'm doing some thing that is exhausting me as a parent, being a good parent is hard work."  It is so true.  No one tells you before you become one that if you are going to succeed at this, or at least offer your child the best possible springboard to jump from, you are going to work your ass off.  You have to be extremely consistent, dedicated, disciplined, motivated, patient...the list goes on.
Last week was conferences for Ruby's school.  They had half days, out at noon every day.  Willis always gets out at noon and we usually have this leisurely lunch together, he, Elsie and I.  Then I put Elsie down, or not, and Willis takes a rest.  It's usually a pretty uneventful lunch hour, he's tired from school and ready to chill out, he rarely protests about his nap and goes down easy.  Last week, it was another story.  He often had several time outs before nap time, protested or practiced his best stall tactics and by the end of the week he was a bit of a bear.  I have to attribute it to the change in the routine, but who knows, he could have just been having one of those weeks where you are more irritable, edgy, aggressive.  He is a Gemini, maybe the twin was hanging out with us last week, who knows? 
Friday night Sean and I were sitting on the couch after the kids had gone to bed and we ended up watching Super Nanny.  That woman knows her stuff and you can watch how effective it is when people practice what she preaches.  It works.  You just have to set clear boundaries, stay calm, and be consistent.  I was gone all day Saturday and Sunday morning I could tell Papa Bear was in desperate need of a break from the kids.  I saw it as a great opportunity to put into practice what I already know works, from watching Super Nanny and from doing it sometimes, and I just focused on what needs a little shaping up in my parenting.  For starters, I am not always consistent and  I don't always follow through.  I will tell the kids to do the same thing multiple times with no response and so then I get ticked off and raise my voice and then they do it.  Why don't I just tell them once and let them know what the consequences will be if they don't do what I ask the first time?  duh.  Instead of getting royally p'd off at Willis when he gets rough with his sisters or does something naughty, I get down to his level, tell him what he's done wrong and what the consequences are.  He then willingly takes his punishment, and I don't end up dragging him to his time out.  It's great. 
It seems so obvious when I parent well, why the whole thing works.  Why do I get lazy and start slacking on the job?  Probably like most things in life, it takes a lot of self discipline to do what is right.  For whatever reason, our tendency is often to do otherwise.  Even with Sean gone tonight, and having an extra kid in the mix for an hour, I had a very smooth evening.  I did not raise my voice once today with the kids.  I don't think we had any major melt downs.  I felt happy and satisfied putting them to bed and didn't crumple on to the couch with a big sigh, thinking finally, they are in bed.  I actually feel like I still have some energy. 
I'm going to try to stick with the program.  I know it is easier on my kids and its definitely easier on me.  Now, if I could only get the dog to get with the program.....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Getting Hot in Here

I currently have two kids napping, one in the backyard doing her homework on the kids picnic table, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.  I've been a blog slacker for the last two weeks and if I am lucky, I'll get this entry out before the timer goes off or the kids go off, so to speak.
Yesterday, my yogi friend and I travelled to Seattle for the day to do yoga.  We went to take a couple of yoga classes, in lieu of going on an annual yoga retreat.  We decided on a morning anusara class and an afternoon hot yoga class. 
The morning anusara class was fantastic, great teacher, beautiful studio.  (If you aren't familiar with anusara, it is all about expanding your heart and your mind, but I didn't notice it to be dramatically different than other kinds of yoga I practice.) The teacher was encouraging, gentle, honest, authentic, all the things I love about a good teacher.  She talked about fall being this season of mulching, about surrounding yourself with support and stuff to mulch with.  I looked up the definition of mulch, because I thought I knew what it meant, but wasn't entirely sure...mulch is "a protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination".  It's obvious isn't it, in these drier, colder months, we tend to go more inward, just like nature (leaves returning to the earth, apples falling from the trees, etc).  And as we do this, it is important we surround ourselves with people who keep us warm emotionally, eat foods that nourish us - lots of soup, warm and wet, and create time or space in our lives to reflect and study ourselves, as a way to suppress weed growth (root causes of suffering) and to germinate seeds (all the goodness and grace, light we can create for ourselves). 
It was a dark and wet day in Seattle and the yoga class felt right for the day.  We had a yummy lunch at a Japanese noodle restaurant in U-Village, wandered around in and out of shops and it felt good to me to have the freedom of the day, to be away from my routine, to be in good company.  We headed off to Bellevue in the rain, to find the hot yoga studio.  They required newcomers to be 25 minutes early.  We arrived early, on time, and filled out the proper paperwork.  The proper paperwork entails agreeing to stay in the class even if you feel like running out, bring a towel and wipe up the pool of sweat you leave behind, sounds enticing, doesn't it?  We still had 15 minutes or so to spare and sat in the lobby waiting to go in to the class. 
I had never done hot yoga before, nor had I been to a hot yoga studio before.  Sitting in the lobby, I felt much more like I was sitting in a gym or athletic club type lobby.  It smelled a bit like a tanning salon and there were men in shorts with no shirts and women in sports bras, tube tops and shorty shorts.  It was fascinating to watch.  There was a teacher training in session and I could hear the instructor "yelling" at the students "I said breathe through your mouth." My friend and I giggled as we waited, wondering just what we were in for. 
Eventually, it was time for class.  I was blasted by heat when I walked in.  The studio is 105 degrees, yes 105 degrees.  I am still amazed that people don't fall over from heat stroke or faint on a regular basis.  It is hot.  The floor has radiant heat and there are heaters hanging from the ceiling, so you are getting it from both directions.  No where to run to, baby, no where to hide.  I was thankful my friend had suggested I bring short pants or my skimpiest yoga clothes for the class.  I had thrown in an old pair of climbing shorts at the last minute and thank goodness, I might have fainted had I had any more clothes on.  The instructor marches in when it is time for class to start.  She begins ordering us into poses.  The feel of this was like night and day from the morning class.  The morning class was all about trying something if you always really push yourself, see what it feels like to back off a little.  The hot yoga was all about, don't give up, go deeper, push harder, sweat more.  I was praying about 20 minutes into the class that this was a 65 minute class and not 75 minutes.  It felt a bit like torture.  Not only did my clothes feel like I had jumped in a swimming pool they were so wet, my head felt like it was going to explode every time I bent over.  I do have to say that for the first 15 minutes or so, it felt good, and after that it was all down hill for me.  I had a strange experience at some point, where I felt like a knife was being pierced through my scar from the strep infection I had over the summer.  I'm not sure if it was scar tissue doing something, or if there was something left from the infection that decided to cut loose in my leg.  It was fierce, whatever it was.  It was more challenging mentally than physically.  The instructor said at some point that our bodies are made to do this.  I'm not so sure I believe that.  Mine definitely is not.  I think there is some detoxing that goes on when you sweat like that and that is good for you.  It's good to rid the body of the junk we don't need.  Unfortunately, my body gets really dehydrated in that environment, despite having tried to prepare for it.  I felt like throwing up the whole way home and had a headache that I began to wonder if it was a migraine (I've never had one.) 
I woke up today thankful to be home, thankful to not be feeling as disgusting as I felt when I went to bed, and pretty certain I will not try hot yoga again, ever!