I am not even sure exactly how I feel about this yet…I am putting this down in a post so I make sure to come back to this and remember this moment. I work in a Title I inner city school and wore this shirt to work. I have worn it before. However, today, a colleague told me to go home and change my shirt. They said it “should say all lives matter in schools.” I was surprised given the location and situation that we are in everyday, that someone I work with would even question or pause on this movement. At first I thought they were trying to joke with me. I let the comment hang out there and let them see that I believe in this movement. This is not a message of Black Lives Matter more than anyone else…but they matter just as much as everyone else and you CANNOT work where I work and possibly think that things are equal. I know I have much more to say on this but need to get back to work. Wow. (not to mention the ONLY person who can tell me to go home and change my shirt is…ME.)
April 29 – I was convinced last night that I would be up before the sun and ready to approach the day. I had been waking so early recently that I figured it would be like all the others. However, I slept right up to my alarm and even then was not enthusiastic to peel myself off the sheets. I stumbled my way to work and parked my car. Sitting there I was reminded that in order to embrace this life and steer myself in a direction toward my goals and dreams, I would need to break habits of self doubt and negative energy.
I got out of my car and before I grabbed my bags or did anything else, I breathed. Several enormous gulps of fresh Spring air entered my body. I was then inspired to give the day some Sun Breaths right there in the parking lot. I said Yes to the day and brought myself into the light.
I remembered a recent commitment I made that involves a daily gesture of self care, self love, and a moment to deepen my practice. I put all my bags and work aside. Went to a locker and unrolled a yoga mat. In the new sun of this new day I greeted it with some gentle yoga. I spent some time examining my balance and where I am placing weight through my feet on the mat. It was liberating to reclaim work space as a place of love, healing, and spiritual practice.
May 8 – We only had 20 minutes to discover our stillness and find the light within ourselves. We began from a standing spiraling energy and gently took each breath to settle and go inside. We took care of our bodies. We took care of our hearts. I am so blessed to have this opportunity and doing my best to take it every time.
Tadasana and Utkatasana brought us swiftly into concentrated power. I am so proud to look out at the room full of young people taking the journey to be healthier and more mindful. It is in these moments of sustaining postures that I am no longer agitated by discomfort. I am finding ways to allow it to be there while also being appreciative that I can experience this. I enjoy reminding my students that they have control over their experience and can adjust accordingly. It is liberating.
Cobra today was transformative. We focused more on our alignment and less on how high we lifted and it became a new experience. I am hoping to show them that pushing through sometimes leaves you empty. That in yoga it is important to explore the stretch and sensation in the small movements and adjustments. My students took the time to allow their bodies to gradually rise and stayed present to what slight shifts could reveal.
When is came time for our closing mediation I encouraged my students to focus on recognizing their inner strength and power. With every inhale we invited thoughts of what we most want to become. We inhaled the strength and power we wish to possess. With every exhale we expanded and rejoiced that we are already what we wish to become. We celebrate the path and continue the cycle. I saw the light beam out from every face in front of me. These kids shine. Be the light.
April 17 – This week I wanted my yoga students to not only make strides in their personal practice of focus, stretch, strength, and balance; but I wanted them to know that anything was possible because they possess all the tools they need to be successful. I wanted them to believe that they hold their power. Our mediation was centered on the quote:
Everything you need, your courage, strength, compassion and love; everything you need is already within you.
I began class with that phrase and ended with it. I also told them:
There are only two mistakes someone can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. -Buddha
I could feel them melt as they released into these ideas. When I said it at the beginning of class, it was something to think about and roll around in their brains. When I said it again at the end of class, I could feel the kids grow and get more powerful. It is the most amazing feeling in the world to feel that inner strength from someone radiate into the room. I am so thankful for this opportunity.
Then it flooded me like a fiery bubbling wave. I needed to hear this and say this. I needed to remind myself that I do not need to search anywhere but in my own self for all the courage, strength, compassion, and love I need. I have it. I have had it all along. So much of my upbringing has reinforced the American scheme of being dependent on commercialism, self doubt, and self deprecation in order to survive. I am reteaching myself to look within and like what is there. I am learning to be faithful in myself and capabilities.
I am so tired. I am drained. However, I sit here in a sea of paperwork and to-do lists ready to soldier on. This is what I do. I am trying to put my focus in other places, places that serve my soul. I am giving attention to the to-do lists that fill my heart. Even though I have not had a good night’s rest and I am hungry, I am moving forward with energy. I am finding energy for the things and the people I love. I am finding energy for myself.
I am having my lunch and reflecting on Tuesday’s exciting and emotional event. Kindergarten Screening…I was calling it Orientation but I found out yesterday that I get to go to another visit/orientation in August. This was a chance for some of the teachers and psychologists at the school to meet & greet the families. They also separate the kids from the parents to check on some skills before placing them in classes.
This did not go as well as I hoped.
I am staying positive and open to learning more about my child and our journey together. She is magical. When she was born 4.5 years ago, I knew I was on a journey of empowerment, discovery and humble love. J has always pushed y understanding of self and a women’s role in this world. Because I want to provide a healthy happy life for her, it is causing me to examine the way we treat women, girls and children.
This is all material for some other blog posts, but what I can say now is that her time at Kindergarten Screening was emotional, enlightening and a little difficult. When we arrived we were instructed to wait in the vestibule with other families. We did not have to wait long and the staff at her new school are very kind. However, immediately after being escorted into a busy hallway, we were told we were being split apart from our kiddos. They would go one way, parents another. Juliana was trepidatious about this and didn’t want to go. Understandable so as it was her first time in the building with a lot of people she doesn’t know. I had to accompany her at the start. She was shy and nervous. They jumped right in to reading a story. A story she knows by heart but she clamped down and would not respond. She is reluctant to share herself with strangers…again I do NOT see this as a detriment. However, since my little girl came into this universe, other people have made us feel that this is not normal or not ok. (Again, I will write about this again another time) We worked through a couple of sad, teary and tough moments. I was able to pull myself away and go find the other parents.
Her school is lovely. I was sure to watch the interactions between the teachers and Principal. I wanted to see if I could sense any clues as to how things really are when families are not watching. We had a great visit from the PTA rep and we were encouraged to make little cards that will be given to our children on their first day of school. It was fun. I had this little voice or tug inside that kept me connected to her. I was sending out my energy throughout that building letting her know she is loved.
They conducted some “testing” with her. I did not get to see what they did or how she responded. Chances are, if the teacher did not take time to let her get warmed up or comfortable, she may have done nothing. It is a little sad to think J will look as if she can’t do certain skills that are actually easy for her. When I was still in that room with her she was refusing to write her name. Meanwhile, she can spell and write her first, middle, and last name.
Oh well, we have to let go, right? My husband and I are realising that she will come across to others a certain way in the beginning. But on her terms, in her time, she will let the world bask in her light. She will shine.