“….This morning, on the verge of my son graduating from high school (he’s an only child) and sitting in the terror of what my life is going to look like on the other side of this new and enormous transition, a ball-gown and a friend reminded me of what I already know…”Read More
I woke at 3:45am today, my mind flying with ideas and to-do's for a big project I am working on. By 4:30am, I gave up trying to breathe myself back to sleep (like I tell my kids yoga classes works "every" time) and I got up and answered and sent emails, wrote, planned, to-doed. By 7:30am, with nothing completed or finished, I did the dishes from last night (yes, there were dishes in my sink!) and went for a very long walk. My walk produced this thought: "IF I HAD A STAFF, I COULD CONQUER THE WORLD. INSTEAD, I CONQUERED THE DISHES."
At first it was depressing and frustrating and then it became totally untrue. I chose instead to be aware of this: nothing is ever truly finished. Like the dishes. Or laundry. Or yoga class. Or parenting. It just gets to a point where its enough, I let go, and move to the next thing. As a recovering perfectionist this is a practice for me. I want everything done perfectly and done yesterday and on my timeline. HA! That has yet to happen with anything. Getting the dishes done is a win. Every time. Moving forward with a few emails, jotted to-do's, and thoughts recorded is a win, too. Taking a walk is a win. Smiling. Breathing. Getting up unwittingly and see the sunrise -- win! So yes, someday maybe I will have a staff and maybe we will accomplish a lot of fun stuff. And I am pretty sure the world will go unconquered forever for one reason: there will always be dishes.
(Yes, photo is of MY sink this morning...and I had to unload the dishwasher, too. And okay, its not really ALL the dirty dishes :)
Any one who knows me knows this: I talk to strangers, all the time. And here’s an example of why I do it.
I was walking through the South End this morning to teach my toddler yoga class. A Boston Police Officer was at a detail along the way. As is my habit, I smiled and said hello. He was friendly and asked what I was doing (I was carrying my usual load of mats, props, and toys, both arms full so it was a good question!) I told him I was on my way to teach a toddler yoga class. He did not know where the studio was so he walked with me to see it. On the way, I said, “Has anyone thanked you today for being a police officer and for all you do to keep us safe? Because I really appreciate it.”
As we reached the studio he smiled and said, “I appreciate what you said to me, thank you. And I am going to give it right back to you. Because of what you do – teaching kids to be calmer and think about each other, be better people – you are giving me less to do. And you help other adults who work with kids too—like school teachers. It’s a circle. A big circle. We all help each other. And what you do helps me. So I appreciate you.”
Well, anyone who knows me knows this: I had tears in my eyes. I have never had a complete stranger tell me that I was helping them do their work through my work with children they don’t even know. I was overwhelmed by his kindness and the power of his sincerity. I thanked him and he tipped his hat and went back to his detail.
My intention when teaching kids yoga is to give kids tools to calm and regulate their bodies, to consider others feelings along with their own, to connect to themselves and to the world around them, and to pause and breathe before they take action. I didn’t know I could love my work so much and yet there are many days when I wonder if this small thing that I do matters beyond the four walls I teach in. I often tell myself that no matter how class unfolds (or falls apart on occasion) that the kids know I care about them. And I let that be enough—but I often can’t help wondering if I am making any kind of change or difference in the world.
Today, as I am headed toward my back-to-school teaching schedule, the Universe stepped in with a big reminder: What I do each day, what every one of us does each day, makes a difference. We may never know it directly, hear about it, or get an award for it, but its true. We touch the lives of others like that ripple in the water—for real.
So thank you Police Officer Serge, for reminding me that we all matter. That no one’s work is small or purposeless. And that the effect we have in the world happens in ways mostly unseen by our eyes and without fanfare or a trophy. We simply have to have faith in our intentions and enjoy our efforts and the connections we make each day.
This powerful exchange happened today because I said hello to a fellow human being that I didn't know. And that friends, is why I talk to strangers.
It is 2017. I have decided on a theme for the year: CONNECTION. Now what? As I was thinking about that, I remembered something that happened to me a few years ago. That something is STEP 1 for 2017: TAKE YOUR LIFE OFF AUTOMATIC
It was about five years ago when my son was ten years old. Although my now x-husband had a driver's license, he refused to drive. I had spent those tens years driving everywhere and all the time: every vacation, every grocery trip, doctor appointment, school event, and drop-off and pick-up at the private school 15 miles from home; every sport practice, game, party, airport run, and even date-night. When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere.Read More
Throughout my life journey, I have received the most profound guidance from the most unexpected places -- like my Christmas tree. It just happened again. Here is my share:
A few years ago in December, I was close to filing for a divorce and was deeply sad. It was the middle of the night and I got up to sit alone in the quiet of the Christmas tree lights while everyone else slept. This is a ritual I have had since my childhood - a kind of meditation to connect with the peace of the season and pieces of my self.Read More
In silence of morning, I rise and breathe snow. White, clear, soft, covering the remains of the year, of the journey thus far in cold, quiet. Freezing what has been to make space for what is now. Opening a white vast page for what is possible. I walk. Snow floats in tiny crystals covering, hovering, floating, then dancing. Dancing over what has been frozen, thawing my tears to mingle and crystalize in snow-drops on my cheeks. I breathe snow. I breathe. I notice:Read More
That when I don’t know what I want, sipping a cup of hot water clears my mind, calms my body, and opens me up to the answer.
That when I am hurting I can heal by connecting to the hurt. If I ignore it or try to push it away if grows bigger. Like a child with a skinned knee, hurt just wants to be hugged, bandaged with love, and checked on as it heals. Love your hurt like a child. It heals so much faster.Read More
This phrase never rang truer than it did when I become a mom.
And then I became a yoga teacher.
And then, a kids’ yoga teacher. Now there is no turning back.
Anyone who has any experience at all with kids knows this: Kids’ will call you out on everything. There is no hiding, pretending, or acting. Kids’ see the truth (how beautiful is that) and they won’t let you get away with anything less. If they sense you are not being honest or real you’ll know it: they will act out, act up, speak up, or bounce off the walls. That lack of being real creates chaos for them. Authenticity, honesty, and genuine love keeps them interested, grounded, and allows them to fly.Read More
I am having a mom moment. This morning on the way to school with my almost 15 year-old son (our ten minutes of magic every day – there is a lot to be said for trapping a teenager in your car without any electronics attached to his appendages) we were listening to a radio show and a caller announced that she was going to run the Boston Marathon with her dad...Read More