Monday, January 25, 2010

your moment(s) of zen.

i have been known to be somewhat of a controlling parent. not in a dream crushing, soul stifling way, but in that i once gave the duke a piece of bread and told him it was a cookie kinda way.

in my defense, a lot of what i did, am doing, is because of personal conviction and a WHOLE LOT of research, reading, and thinking about the kind of parent i want to be. when to introduce different foods as babies and toddlers, when to allow certain kinds of media influences to kids as they get older, and everything in between.

and a lot of it has been and is simply because i'm a control freak. it's just what i do.


that being said, i am aware of it and it's something i am constantly working on. recognizing where i can make improvements, being okay with some behaviors because they fit the way i choose to parent, letting go. sometimes. even though it's really really REALLY hard.

a balance if you will. or, a *valid effort towards* balance.

and as my children get older i am really really REALLY trying to learn how to just take one step back and keep my hands by my sides and out of their business. meaning, not jump right in and do it for them. lest they *gasp!* get hurt, or OH!NO! mess up, or god forbid just get to do something on their own without me butting in and showing them the 'right way' to do it.

and whether your kids are two or twenty or somewhere in between or beyond, i think this is such a valuable parenting tool to keep in your kit. the stay out of their way and let them figure it out for themselves tool.

because when you step back they get to step forward. under their own steam.

and, isn't that really what this is all about? this whole parenting thing? the shepherding them into the future? (well, that and all the snuggling. snuggling's my favorite.)

it is in this spirit that i bring you this week's moment(s) of zen. it's really quite something and i encourage you to watch the whole thing. whether or not you have kids i promise it's worth the few minutes. and if you do have kids, by all means gather them up and have them watch.


Friday, January 15, 2010

why i won't tell 2009 to kiss my ass.

i've been thinking a lot about 2009. i know it's all done and gone, but it's taken these first few weeks of 2010 to put it in perspective.

see, initially, like the rest of the world, i just wanted to pan it. to tell it how much it sucked, how glad i was it was over, that i was over it. don't let the door hit it on its ass on the way out.

but i knew that wasn't what was really there. wasn't all of what was there. because deep down there's gratitude. i am grateful for 2009 because i learned one of the most valuable lessons to date.

2009 taught me how to get on my knees.

okay, gutter brains, i'll give you a minute to work that image out.

there. all better?

the thing is 2009 did suck. majorly. it was hard. it was depressing. but it wasn't all bad. and in fact, 2009 was the year that made me the most grateful for this one beautiful life i have.

and as much as there was fear and loss and all that, the gifts of renewed friendship, generosity of friends and family, and emotional support was so immeasurable i cannot imagine that there is a luckier girl out there than yours truly. it's almost as if i got that rarefied glimpse of what might happen at my funeral. you know, see how people truly felt about me. and as morbid as that image is, it was, is, so amazing to see.

now, back to the lesson.

in all that sucking there were times i was just leveled. could not take one more step, one more minute of standing strong in the face of adversity. and so i sunk. all the way down. on my knees. and once down there what else is there to do. i spent a lot of time talking to who i believe is up there listening. saying the things i could not bear to say aloud. could not bear to think about. some times just crying because it's all i could do.

and in all that sucking there were times i was just lifted. such love and generosity surrounded me last year that there were times all i could do was sink. all the way down. and give thanks to who i believe is up there listening for all the fabulous people in my life. thanks for how did i get so damned lucky. thanks for reminding me what life really is about. not about money or houses or things. but about the relationships we are lucky enough to have with our fellow silly mortals. the enduring ones the brief ones the renewed ones the undefinable ones. i wouldn't trade any of them for the world.

there are times in our lives we are so in the thick of it we can't imagine how we are even going to take the next step. and i got that last year. and that's how i learned to just stop and not even try to take the next step. if even for a moment. take a load off. give it up to someone else for a little while. and that is a big ass sky above us. filled with whatever you want it to be filled with. with whoever or whatever you believe in. it's there. and it can take it. for a lifetime, or even just a moment.

and when you are on your knees whether it be in pain or prayer or thanksgiving, there isn't anywhere else to go but up. right? once you sink all the way down you have only just set the stage for your rising.

this is a crazy mixed up world. anything can happen. and some days it does. no one is ever prepared for the pain and the heartache. and whether the disaster is mother nature or man made when it hits you've got to figure out how to just make it through. and then make it forward.

while it's going to take another miracle to dig out of what 2009 brought, i wouldn't have traded any of it for the world. on paper it's a mess and totally fucked up. but here in my heart, i couldn't imagine feeling any fuller than i do with the real riches of life; family, friends, faith.

it's your one beautiful life. what are you thankful for?


on another note, please donate as generously as you can to the people of haiti. if you're looking for somewhere to send your precious dollars (i know they are all precious, but they are even more precious to the haitians) please consider visiting the Partners In Health website and checking them out. they are already there and have been for decades. i have donated to them for years and couldn't be more impressed with their organization. it's not just charity it's a whole holistic community approach they promote. thanks!