If I am strong, brave, resourceful,
If I know how to laugh with my whole heart,
if I know how to smile at a stranger
and speak to them until they are a friend,
If I know how to work hard in my home
and move with integrity in my world,
If I can speak my truth clearly and fearlessly,
If I can comfort those in need
and discover the solution
where others perceive problems,
If I can see the deeper meaning of all things
and love the essence of this universe,
it is because of you, Mom,
and everything that you taught me.
Thank you, a million times,
It feels so good to be all used up by this day,
falling into bed with a tired body,
settling toward my rest
with a mind ready to loosen its hold and
dive into the ocean of my dreams.
Without a drop of energy left,
I look back, satisfied at what I was able to do,
moving from task to task
and moment to moment
without a story.
When it was time to cook, I cooked.
When it was time to sweep, I swept.
When it was time to mother, I mothered…
and countless other moments
of keeping my being in the doing,
the lightness, the ease,
and the freedom of this,
living my simple life
awake, with gratitude.
Those mothers who manage
to write, sing, paint, dance,
practice yoga, cook, garden,
etc. etc. etc.
with their children around–
how do they do it?
Am I an oddball for wanting silence
when I write
or when I’m trying to learn new music?
Am I strange for wanting to be alone
when I roll out my mat to practice asana
(so that no one will be crawling all over me)?
When it’s 5pm and I have no idea what to make for dinner
and my kids are relentless in their lists of needs
am I a failure because I lose my temper?
No, I think I’m pretty normal.
But how do they do it,
those mothers who manage to create
with their living creations
making all that racket?
How do they do it?
Friends, I must confess, my son no longer wears diapers–hasn’t worn them in months–so I had to change my blog’s tagline to feel that I was in complete integrity with myself and my readers. Yoga still happens every day, but now instead of dirty diapers, we have pee pants. Glad to have come clean with all of you about that. Ah. Now I feel better!
I have been toying with the idea of completely changing the look and feel of this blog, because for some time my writing hasn’t been focused even a tiny bit on the rigors of motherhood and maintaining a yoga practice in the midst of all of it–which was my original vision for the blog and why I chose the name Yoga Mom in the first place. I do maintain my practice, meditating every morning and trying as best as I can to maintain a yogic mind state throughout the day. My children continue to challenge me to search for what is real beyond the illusion and push me to my limits every single day, God bless them. But I haven’t been writing about these experiences, which makes me think that my blog name is misleading. Have mothers and others come here hoping for humor and encouragement, only to see me spouting off poems about the path toward enlightenment?
Writing the poems does feel like a yoga practice to me though–it is time I consecrate every day to going inwards and searching for the words that will best convey what I think it is most important to share at that moment–and that inward journey is a meditation of sorts, a time of reflection, of concentration, of quiet. The poetry evolved out of the need to write quick, short posts. After the loss of my meditation room I found myself with no consecrated space for writing and sitting, and have learned to catch as catch can. Whereas before I could hole myself up in my tiny room for hours and write in agonizing detail about my day to day, now I have no such luxury. At any given moment I could have many interruptions arise and no door to shut to keep them at bay. This has given me a sense of urgency in my writing, the need to get it done quickly, and I have seen the virtue in more concise wording, posts that require a much smaller time commitment from readers. Therefore, poems.
Is a name change in order? Can I have my poetry and my yoga mom blog too? Is there a way to write about my mothering experiences without it taking hours at a stretch? If I were to return to posts about motherhood and the yogic path, would I need a separate space for my poetry? What would I call a poetry blog, given that I have been Yoga Mom for some time? Hmmmmmm. I think I have some mulling to do. I will go and mull now. Namaste, and toodleloo!
(And if you have any thoughts or ideas about all of this, I’d love to hear from you. I know that some of you are seasoned writers and could probably tell me a thing or two. Any pearls of wisdom or popcorn kernels of wit or even nuggets of nonsense will be much appreciated.)
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt tells us to try a dialogue poem. Alrighty then.
A Dialogue Between My Neurotic Mind and My Breath
Oh my god,
I’m going to be FIVE MINUTES LATE
to my daughter’s preschool for pick up time
that makes me a terrible mother,
and the director and my daughter’s teacher
are going to resent me for being late
for the umpteenth time.
Now I’m rushing,
and teaching my son terrible habits
as I drag him out into the rain
and drive too fast to the school.
Poor little guy,
I don’t pay enough attention to him,
and he’s growing bigger every day.
Why didn’t I savor his babyhood more?
And now it’s all gone.
I’m such a poor time manager.
Why do I do this to myself?
Will I never learn?
What is wrong with me?
Now I’m speeding, and it’s dangerous.
Hopefully I don’t get pulled over.
I shouldn’t be rushing like this.
Better late than dead.
They’re going to hate me for my lateness.
Oh good. I’m only three minutes late.
No other moment but this one.
More space than you can imagine,
All is well.
After a busy day
of running around,
completing errands with the kids,
lots of getting them in and out
of their carseats–
should be a viable event at the Olympics,
and the jugglers should all be canonized.
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.