Mother- Enuffness

March 3, 2016

Being big-bellied makes me sensitive.
or perhaps the word is (hyper) aware.

Whoa. Lately.

How I feel the subtle nuisanced ways that folk try to convince women that if we can’t do it all, we aren’t valuable. And that we should want to do it ALL. And we should want to have it ALL.
ALL being defined by some intangible, yet evident mob like force that has a clever PR person, maybe has written books, hosts a popular podcast or blog
Or sits like a poorly selected jury- just waiting- to convict us of not trying enough or being enough of a woman if we:
Can have children or not
Choose to have kids or not

If we do then the propagators of ALL begin to furiously gather evidence to determine our
“ MOTHER ENUFF-ness” based off whether or not we:
Work and hustle until the very minute our birthing time comes
Take time off or scale back on work before our birthing day
Admit to having aches and pains, new ones daily or not
Get big anywhere other than our bellies
Gain less than 25 pounds
Gain more than 40 pounds
Voice how powerful we feel in our “growing a human state”
Voice how vulnerable we feel in our “growing a human state”
The answer to any question is “I don’t know”
Show up like… we know it all
Trust the process/ doubt the process
Have “natural” birth/ Schedule a C-section for emergent or personal reasons
Take our big-bellied selves out and dance like no one is watching/ Become homebodies because we feel like everyone is watching
Answer the phone/ don’t answer the phone

Breast-feed/Don’t breast-feed
Want/ need to stay at home after baby comes
Want to/ or need to go back to work immediately after baby comes
Don’t return to a “snatched” up waist and face and hair… like yesterday
Look “too good” to have just popped one out like… today.
Cosleep/ don’t cosleep
Don’t ask for help/ do ask for help
Hire help/ can’t afford to hire help
Use pampers/ Use clothe diapers
Eat frozen foods for weeks on end
Conjure up gourmet meals (somehow) daily
Work out before the 6-week “wait” period is up
Don’t work out…or even consider it for …um…16 months post birth
Don’t turn on the “out of office” messenger
Forget to return the email while we are on “leave”

From what I am gathering what defines ALL-ness “out there” goes on and on and is quite contradicting. Womenfolk, this “jury” ain’t our peers anyway. (if they are, they’ve internalized some madness)

In here and today I “middle finger mudra” ALL in the name of bowing to some.
I will clean some. I will make some messes.
I will laugh some. I will cry some.
I will respond to some emails.
I will decide to let go of some work.
I will hold on to some work.
I will rest some.
I will disappoint someone
I will inspire someone.

Slow down.

February 20, 2016

Two nights ago I was driving along in silence.
I heard a voice “day clear” say “Deer. Two. Ahead. Slow Down.”

I acknowledged it. Slowed down. Kept driving.

10 minutes later what do I see.
Deer.
Two.

One shoots out into the road and just stops.
She stared. The other stayed out of the street and watched until I stopped. I sat there, shoulders soft, face relaxed and marveled at the beauty of the deer as they passed along.

Since I’d both heard AND heeded the message to “slow down” there was plenty of space to just stop. The pause was easier than it would have been if I’d been speeding along.

My rational mind is all like “well you live in Georgia… there are deer you know that. No big deal. It’s a sensible thought to have to slow down at night in case you encounter deer.”

Yet I know this was something beyond rationality speaking to me that night.

I wonder if my mind would have been all crowded and jumbled up, if I would have been able t hear such a clear message? Even if would have been able to hear through the noise, would I have trusted the simple wisdom to slow down?

If I had been “so busy and rushing” would that deer and I have met a different fate?
Instead of pausing and seeing each other, then merely passing through, would we have collided? Or at the least, would I have tensed up and been shaken at their sight versus taking in their beauty and waiting for them to pass?

That’s the thing.
So much rushing around leads to inner and outer collisions. And missing some awfully simple and beautiful moments.

Ever wonder what we miss because we can’t hear the quiet wise voice saying, “Slow down.”

Or we hear it. Don’t trust or value it. And decide to override it.

Are we too busy to slow down?
But not to busy to crash?

change is constant

February 15, 2016

Could just be me, but in my yoga practices both as a student and teacher, seems like just when I start to settle in, find a groove
Here comes- change.

I remember the first time I stopped feeling resonance with one of my favorite teachers
When I started to feel misplaced at one of my favorite studios.
I’ll call it grace that I didn’t think it was “them”; I realized that something within me was changing.

This shift has happened for me a few times, as I learn, grow, study, practice, teach, reflect, and integrate new understandings, access old wisdom, and gain clarity around my purpose— As I engage in the process of both being and becoming

Each time it’s been quite frightening. The change.
Each time I’ve gripped tightly and initially resisted. The change.

I started out as a power+ hot vinyasa student and teacher (exclusively… like that is all I practiced and taught for years)

As I’ve shifted and changed. As I’ve been shifted and changed, I’ve fretted that I appear inconsistent.

What has stayed consistent is that I believe yoga is a powerful tool for cultivating awareness, mindfulness, and accessing our real.

My current public teaching schedule reflects that and honors where both my teaching and practice are now.

I’ll be teaching this schedule through mid/late March:

Monday- 6:30pm Warm Flow and 8:30pm Yin at Atlanta Hot Yoga
Tuesday- 5:45pm (Nonhot) Flow and 7:15pm Restorative at Evolation Yoga
Wednesday- 6:30pm Warm Flow and 8:30pm Yin at Atlanta Hot Yoga
Friday- 4:45pm (nonhot) Slow Flow and 6:00pm Yin at Evolation
Saturday- 2:00pm Yin at Atlanta Hot and 4:30pm Restorative at Evolation

and from there-
my loves…
(and this is hard for a planner of planners like me)

“I don’t know where I’m going. But I promise it won’t be boring. “-David Bowie

love yo’self

February 15, 2016

remembering the moment I owned that I ain’t got to beg for love. or lie for love. or pretend for love. or lighten my eyes or skin for love. smooth out my hair for love. flatten my belly for love. get a Phat-er booty for love. stop choppin’ the ends off words for love.
Remembering the last night I ever waited for Love to call or come through, cause then I realized Love didn’t need me to hold my tongue, hide my Womanist/ Crunk Feminist ways, say yes all the time, act docile, or even to get dressed and go “out” looking for…it.

remembering that moment, where I felt split from the inside and torn.
yet the raw openness there is where “i found god in myself & i loved her/ i loved her fiercely”- (N. Shange)

black.mama.yogi.

January 18, 2016

The day I found out that I am having a baby boy, I cried.

I turned away from the ultrasound screen and a solid streams of tears flowed.
The tech said, “Sweetie, you don’t want to see?”
I couldn’t speak. It wasn’t that. I absolutely did want to see.
But I turned my back to the image on the screen and wondered when.

When would my Black baby stop being a baby to the world?
When would my Black boy child stop being a child in the face of institutions?
When did Tamir stop being a child to the officer who killed him?
When did Trayvon stop being a youth to the brute who killed him?
When did their lives stop mattering to folk?

I cried because we live in a world where Black men are filmed being shot in the back and choked to death by folk who are supposed to “serve and protect” and my time line and real life lines of conscious yogis and liberals remains silent.

I cried because I’ve been a public and private school teacher and seen how office referrals for little Black boys read like criminal reports even when it’s behavior that for other boys gets deemed “he’s just being a kid.”

I cried because I’m sick of the propaganda stations called “news” that just can’t get enough of “documenting” “black on black” crime when we know “white collar crime is destroying our world…. and often just considered business as usual.
Does any one else not see the connection between the images we are “fed” about groups of people and how it shapes and forms our ideas about who we assume people are… but I digress?

I wondered when will someone follow him through a store, hug their purse closer to them when he walks by, skip the elevator he is on, or call a cop because he “looks suspicious”. (Note, these are every day experiences for my husband)

I cried because I don’t know the answer. I cried because I know someone will “misread” this; convinced that because this experience I speak of doesn’t mirror theirs… it can’t possibly be true.

Then I exhaled and smiled. Because even in all of that crying and wondering
I felt an overwhelming sense of protection for and from my boy, like I do in his daddy’s arms and presence.

My baby boy will be Black and wild haired like Jemar and me.
He will probably always be a little bit taller for his age.
Cause I’m a Georgia woman, he’ll probably say “ye, ma’am” and hold doors for ladies. He will be seen and held with lots of love in our family. He will be a baby, a child, grow in to a man. He will be a Black man and human. He will be country and probably citified like his Boston folk.

He will be raised to challenge your perception of who he is and ought to be. He will be raised to walk through the world and see from all sides at all times just like his daddy tells me he learned to do by the time he was four in order to protect his Black body.

With each day and this growing belly I am profoundly aware of the charge and path in front us:
To raise a child who knows that Dr. King wasn’t simply an “I have a dreamer”, but a radical and ACTivist. Despite how we are taught to remember him in a way that makes the masses comfortable, Dr.King was a WOKE revolutionary and dissident.

I turned my gaze back to where my baby boy was wiggling and stretching and I promised him that I would raise him to see true compassion as King did. As
“ More than flinging a coin to a beggar; (but) to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

To not be lulled into a status quo slumber, but to understand as King did that “The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power.”

And this. If he must measure himself against anything. to let it be this wisdom by Dr. King: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Walking by Faith

May 28, 2015

Today marks two years since I left my 10-year career and stepped out of that beautiful and safe, yet often suffocating space.

It is true, it took incredible courage for me to make the first step. What is also true is that it has taken more than courage to take the second… and the 1,0000000000th step.

It has taken radical trust to keep walking as my path narrows.
to sit down when I am tired.
to change course after the 1,000000000th step.

In the last two years, there have been a few days where it all has been crystal clear.

Truth is though, most days and moments I am literally “walking by faith, not by sight.”
I am on a faith walk.

To be and stay on this course is to be both battered and kissed by wind, worn and cleansed by rain, burned and warmed by sun light. To trip and fall down over smooth trails.

It is to be picked up and carried over the roughest of terrain.

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