I Take My Hat Off

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Taking my hat off
and bowing low
to the single parents out there
who keep it together
day after day.
How do they do it?
How do they get their own needs met?

Today was an exceptional day–
I wasn’t able to find childcare
so that I could teach my evening yoga class
and was longingly thinking of my students
when 6pm rolled around and it was time
to concoct some kind of reasonably healthy meal for the kids.

In addition to not getting my normal time out
for teaching
(and interacting with adults)
my husband had plans to meet a friend
after work…
So not only did I not get to leave the house,
but my back up was not going to arrive in the normal time frame.

Eight hours, just me and the kids.
I watched myself grow more tired as the day wore on
My fuse was shorter
I even felt some resentment creeping in.
I caught myself snapping at my kids
and immediately apologized.

And then I wondered about the single parents.
How do they do it?
How do they keep their cool
and raise healthy, well-adjusted children?

I take off my hat and bow low to you,
and acknowledge that finding balance
in your busy life is no small feat.

After eight hours of tasting single parenthood,
I’m in awe of those whose love
shines more clearly
than the stress, the fatigue, the isolation.

Single parents,
I take my hat off to you.
And I thank you for all that you do.

The Purple Pen

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I’m just going to admit it,
because that is a big part of this project–
to admit to myself when I have acted
obsessively, or out of anxiety,
or resistance, or anger,
or peacefully, or joyfully–
just to be aware of the many facets of myself.

Tonight I delved into my obsessive nature
by becoming fixated on a purple pen.
You see, I am a bit of a stylophile.
Actually, that is inaccurate…
I have had a life-long obsession with pens.
Especially fine pointed, colorful pens,
and especially if they come in a set.
It has been this way my whole life as a writing being,
from childhood on up.
I just love pens.
That is how it is.

Tonight I discovered that the purple pen was missing!
One of my favorite colors out of a set of pens
with ultra fine points–.25 mm–dear God, how beautiful!
It could’ve been the light blue one that has never worked quite right,
or the pink one because, well, pink is okay, but–
DEAR GOD NOT THE PURPLE ONE!

So do you know what I did?
Instead of just shrugging it off,
reassuring myself that it will either turn up
or I can buy myself another,
I LOOKED FOR THE GODDAMNED PEN.
And not just for a few minutes, no…
I was searching in nooks and crannies
where a pen just wouldn’t ever be,
hoping to catch a glimpse of the thing.

Backtracking in my mind,
I tried to pinpoint the exact location
where I saw it last,
as if I had lost a camera,
or a diamond ring,
or a set of car keys,
or my journal.

At any rate, I couldn’t remember when I saw it last,
and I continued to look for it.

I finally caught myself doing this
after searching for it for the
umpty-umpth time…
I slowly sat down, opened my journal,
wrote about the obsessive behavior
and the time wasted as I was enmeshed with it.
I also wrote about all of the things I’m grateful for,
and spent a moment savoring the knowing
that all of my needs are met…in this moment.

And then I wrote,
Breathing in,
I am aware that I am breathing in.
Breathing out,
I am aware that I am breathing out.

I took a deep breath,
and another.
I brought my mind back to this moment,
smiled at myself.
And remembered that this, too, is yoga.

Listening

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A rainy day in Baltimore city
An airplane flying overhead
Wind rustling the changing leaves
Drops of rain ending their descent
on asphalt, concrete, metal, glass, garbage
but also on earth, grass, flowers, trees,
and puppies scampering by with umbrella-ed owners
A neighbor sings as she walks down the street
The latest pop tune?
I don’t know,
I’m disconnected from that scene
I prefer to listen to the inner music,
the music that no one else can hear,
but maybe they can see
when they look at me
what a mixture of unconscious dissonance and
deliberate harmony can produce
in this human life
of sounds and silence.

Restoring Balance

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As I take moments
to goof around with my kids,
just to sit, and smile, and laugh,
I realize how caught up
I had been in my work
the past month and a half.

They are growing up so quickly,
I see this now more than ever before.
After a month of frantically working
to prove to myself that I was ready
to stretch my wings,
I’m coming back home to myself,
my peaceful self,
my real self
and I see two precious children
who have grown up a little more.

Now I’m working on restoring balance,
and wondering how to maintain it
the next time I chose to stretch my wings
a little further.

Arriving Home

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It’s over.
The planning, the organizing,
the mulling, the agonizing—

It’s over.
The projecting, the waiting
the nervousness, anticipating—

It’s over.
The workshop is taught,
and I can get back to my normal routine again.

Inhaling….arriving,
Exhaling…home.

 

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So tired, so so tired, so I won’t prolong this…but I wanted to bask a moment longer in the fact that it doesn’t matter how nervous I was going in to the workshop–the moment I saw my beautiful students’ faces, something shifted in me.  These were regular students of mine who have been coming to my yoga class for years, students who are open and willing to explore. When I saw those radiant faces, immediately my mind was put at ease.

I love how life always works out in the end.

I DID IT!

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Whew! That’s the sound of me breathing a sigh of relief.  I feel like I have my life back.  There was so much anxiety in the moments leading up to the workshop, but once I saw my students arriving, I was really happy and therefore distracted from the anxiety .  And I’m so glad it’s over; so excited that I can get back to sewing and being more of a presence for my husband and kids.  And so glad I’ll be able to sleep tonight!

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All of this searching,
and we finally discover
that the treasure is always right where we are.

Breathing in, this is enough.
Breathing out, creating more space.

Arriving ….home.

My Post for Saturday

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In twelve hours I will be getting the room ready for my workshop.
It is already tomorrow, the day of my workshop,
but I’m writing this for Saturday,
which passed in the blink of an eye.

It’s funny to think about time,
how silly it all is actually,
how wrapped up in it I become,
and how this moment,
just as it is,
is all there is.