8/30/09

A battle with weight loss.....I say give me back my life!

Just as I thought, It's happening....slowly but surely, I am losing weight!!

I knew deep inside that the change would come if only I stopped making losing weight such an intense need in my life. You see, I am a stress-eater. I eat when I get stressed, or have nothing to do....Yet, I knew that the minute I realized that life was more than reaching this goal, I would lose the weight.

Instead of all this fretting, I began just "being there" for everything, 110%. I walk everywhere with my children in a stroller and not necessarily focused on getting to my destination fast or faster. Instead, I just focus on having fun with my kids....loving their little voices, minding their moods without getting frazzled, and simply allowing myself to feel right in my own body, no matter how "not-skinny" I felt. If I ran into anyone, I would enjoy their words and truly listen to their stories and not get caught on the destructive thoughts that haunt all people who have struggled with their body as I have.

8/29/09

Being Yourself, The most valuable lesson of all

As I see my son attend his first few days of school, I think about the life lessons I really want him to take with him to the future. For my husband and I the most important lesson we would want our kids to learn is simply being themselves. Right off the bat you might think, "It's so cliche", yet it's the state of being hardest to achieve.

You might think there surely must be other things you'd want for him? My answer is positively not....that is all. Let me illustrate. If you look at people around you who are truly happy and radiate tranquility and peace in their eyes, their actions, interactions and their demeanor, they are the ones who are simply themselves. They love themselves, flaws and all. No matter their economic situation, job status...etc, they are truly happy in their own skin. Now! Everyone else you meet....like the repeatedly rude people, the people who for whatever reason do not greet you in the mornings, the ones who muster out fake compliments or unnecessary comments, the ones who abuse their power, all those people are struggling.....no matter their economic situation....they are struggling and suffering minute by minute.

In being a mom I try hard not to put on the proverbial "mom hat" in which all things mommy-like are expected of me.....all those layers of expectations can get your mind muddied real fast, pull one in all directions and cause all sorts of suffering. When we cling hard to the hard and fast learned roles of "mother", "friend", "daughter", etc, invisible strings of expectations start to build.
A good example of this is my new job. For the first time in my twelve-year teaching career I find myself a mom of a child at a school and a teacher within the same walls. At first, I felt a sense of panic and thought I needed to play two very separate roles in order to keep those 2 worlds from getting messy. I worried that when I talked to other parents I needed to decide which role I would play. Yet, meditating and in trusting that all great solutions are simple and common sense, I came to realize that I need only be who I am.....that is the continuity; the common thread.

I aim daily to just be me and in being me I wish to allow others to just be themselves too.

Have a blessed day.....





8/20/09

The US Rebellion Against Intellectualism and REASON

It's so sad....the public option in healthcare is dead. How each side could come to the table so sure of their position and not able to come to some real compromise is so sad. Now each American HAS to pay for healthcare, and the health companies get richer.

The exchange below shows how reasoning and intellectualism have been tossed out the window. Why are FACTS not the main topic of conversation? If we stick to the facts and people searched for the FACTS there might be some real change....but no one really cares about the facts....I see people right and left complaining about their health care yet they do not want to discuss this issue.....they hardly see their essential role in this.....

This is a huge win for the insurance companies.....companies control America and profits matter more than people....such a sad day.....

end of rant....back to life.

8/19/09

Does Higher Standardized Scores Mean Happier Grown Ups

One of the things my husband and I have come to learn and believe is that higher standardized scores do not necessarily transfer to a happier or a more successful grown up. This national obsession with numbers and results has led to school situations that are far from natural.

My husband and I are fairly nontraditional in our child-rearing beliefs. We don't believe in baby sleeping in a baby rooms, or racing to get our kids to read. We don't believe in formally planning to socialize our kids before they are ready or in forcing them to go to bed at ridiculously early hours. In seeking within and witnessing our kids grow, we have come to believe that they learn best when concepts are taught within a natural environment and within context, outdoors, or engaged in activities that carry no stress or overexcessive amounts of irrelevant information.

As I prepare to teach yet another year, and this time with my own son within a public school system, I have made to pact to always remind myself and my son that his worth should never be connected to his grades. I aim and trust that no matter what his academic path looks like in these coming years, my main goal in raising him is for him to enjoy his childhood, learn all he can about the things he loves, like rocks, volcanoes and The North Pole (this week). I will do my best to make these years as magical as can be and always focus on the sacred in him always.

8/10/09

Don't Throw Away, Give It Away

I am having a great time getting free furniture from Craigslist.org. Not only is it ecologically sound, but it also saves you hundreds of dollars....but most importantly, it's FUN! Tonight I am picking up an 18-month-old queen frame and box spring and yesterday I picked up a solid oak coffee table with matching side tables . I had toured IKEA just yesterday and was more than willing to spend a mint to get what I wanted yet was turned dizzy trying to figure out their "way" of doing things. What a maze! How someone could enjoy their one-way corridor baffles me. I soon realized I could get the same, better for either free or through buying used furniture from craigslist. Below are some items I found free on craigslist, just so you can get a sampling of what you can find....and that it's not all trash.

SAMPLE OF ITEMS FOUND FREE ON CRAIGSLIST JUST TODAY IN THE DC AREA:
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LARGE WOOL RUG.
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LOVE SEAT
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IKEA TV UNIT

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TV STAND

Going Home.....

The topic of home and what we all consider home has been on my mind a lot lately.
Yesterday my daughter Nora started crying as we were walking back to our apartment, "Home" she cried in the frustrating 100-degree DC heat. As she sees that we are approaching our new apartment building she whines, "No, Home!" I realized then that she meant our old home where we used to live with Lela and Lelo and it broke my heart to know of her little 2-year old self yearning for something she could not have. It was going to be a request I could not fulfill....
The concept of home does not necessarily have to mean a space. I then began thinking of the concept of people who symbolize "home". Close friends and family whose love envelops you with warmth, acceptance and provide total safety and radiate love in all they do. My mom is one of those people to me. Her love, as the love of all mothers, is so pure and unconditional, you can't help but to feel so blessed in the presence of such showers of acceptance.
In the 850 sq. foot apartment we have been creating a home for ourselves. This space would allow a place for movement, dancing, playing, lounging, sleeping, eating, creating, etc...these spaces are the foundations of our new home. Figuring out our priorities was the first step. We wanted the kids close by, we wanted a space for guests to be able to come stay, I wanted a space to create and a large open space for the kids to have access to their blocks and animals. It resulted in the kids' toys taking up half the living room, we are in the process of setting up the extra bedroom for guests and kids have their beds in our bedroom, one on each side of our giant family bed. Although we would prefer a house with a backyard, this would have to do for a year or two. We will make it as much of a home as we could despite the lack of nature which we prefer.

Next, the concept of being at home in my own body. I have been working out my body hard lately. The apartment has a free gym....or should I say, "gem". Now I have no excuse for not working out. How I have allowed myself to become so overweight is a mystery and one that I am working hard to correct. Yet, aside from my own frustration with my body, I do love it and appreciate all it does. I recall Katie Byron asking of one of her workshop participants, "what is right about your body?" and claiming that "no one else could carry that body..only you". I have a very strong body. When laboring with Nora for over a literally week I was able to withstand a enormous amount of laboring and non-sleep. My husband, who works out daily and is super healthy, was having a hard time keeping up...he needed his sleep and simply could not function without it. I am blessed to have all my parts and all my parts working. For that alone is reason to rejoice.
As a person I aim to make people feel at home with me. I aim to disarm whatever preconceptions and insecurities they feel when in my presence. I have learned that the only way to accomplish this is through accepting yourself fully and in every way being at home with yourself. That way you do not bring any of your own baggage to the table. I use to be incredibly reactive to people's moods and energies. I would as much as sense a person in an off mood and soak it up and personalize it as if the entire world had to be about me. It was horrible. I went around claiming to be "sensitive" and warning the world of my spongy quality. Through hard work, I have observed that all, not even some....all people's moods have nothing to do with me..NOTHING. I now no longer absorb these negative energies. I simply see them for what they are.....personal to them. In this way I aim to take "home" wherever I am. In the spirit of Gandhi, I will be the "home" I wish to see in this world.

8/4/09

Sadness on a Sunny Day

See full size imageStill waiting to shake this feeling
Things feel wrong even on a beautiful sunny day
I ask the Universe when will this oddness fade
and so far, the separation from my family is still so fresh as if we just drove away in our truck an hour ago.
I see the clock and think, "They must be eating now....without the kids"
"They must be waking up...without help from the kids", "She must be shopping now...and walking past all the kids' favorite treats..."
The most difficult thing I've ever done in my 36 years was drive away with all our things and the kids....
My mom waiving at her "babies"; as she calls them. Tears flowing.
Today, I hold my baby girl and smell her neck and watch her be a "picara" and know they are missing all this....
I will have to move forward, but right now I am stuck in a tangle of sad and guilty thoughts.
How do I move forward from here....any ideas?