Last night I received an unexpected message from my oldest son. Earlier in the evening, he had attended an autism film festival benefit event. As he comes into his own life and deals with the loss of his dad, I see him struggling to make sense of his path, his life, his choices, and the people who have been part of his journey. And then in the unexpected, his heart opens and he sees. Like a sunrise, I see that he is coming into a newness of clarity and hope.
You are unbelievable. They had one called 4 fathers. 4 dads that were so damn amazing for their autistic kids. So great to see them. I Cried/couldn’t look the whole time. Made me realize how fucked it up it was. The dejection/rejection and actions of forgetting on his part. But then also the amazing, beautiful job you did. Of taking on two superhero capes. Make that 6. You had to be completely different parents for all of us. And be both parents at the same time. Just wow. Every man can say they love their mom, but not many can say Youre a gift to the world mom.
The circle of affirmation. As parents we selflessly give to our children with no expectations. It is a rare and beautiful gift when they mirror back to you the sacrifices and love that was given. It is then that the circle comes together.
The soil within is thawing
I toil it with care and love
The seeds are ready to be sown
Plump and alive they wait
Seeds as thoughts, thoughts as action
The blossoming is yet to come
Be ready world
Years and years I have been torn about completing my 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification. I have taught hundreds of classes with just my simple ‘yoga instructor ‘ certification that I obtained in a weekend, although I have studied under a master teacher since I first unrolled my mat 9 years ago.
I have hidden behind the shame of not having the “official” 200 hours. And yet, I know that a piece of paper will not change how I teach from my heart. Instead, this piece of paper and extensive training will enhance me personally. It will help me to affirm the worthiness of me. It will allow me to allow others to help me, so that I can commit time to the training and the involved work in self-study. It will slowly peel away the baggage of shame that I have carried on my shoulders since I first became a yoga instructor.
My intention is to grow as a person and as a teacher. My intention is to love each moment and to be challenged by the content. I know that this will be an accomplishment that I have longed for and I will feel great contentment when I am complete. I can finally, finally put the fear aside and the shame aside.
I know for absolute sure that it will only bring more to my heart-felt teaching. Piece of paper or not, this is finally something I can cross off my list of hopes for my personal growth.
My companion. My best-friend. My walking partner. My source of unconditional love. The way that he looks at her and how he loves her. There is a trust beyond words and a love deeper than imaginable. He is the treasure.
And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.
My natural state of being. Among the trees and sky….in nature. Complete.
Last night I spoke to about 40 people who have been affected by a brain injury. There were family members, as well as the individual who is discovering a new life with new skills. We created a large circle of inclusion and I shared the practice with them. The ages ranged from a 10-year-old son there with his wounded warrior dad to the retired farmer in overalls. Dynamic people. The hospital media specialist was busy snapping of photos of me in the center of this circle while I encouraged the postures and breath. As the class concludes, I shook each of their hands and thanked them. It was just an honor to share space and offer them something that they may have thought was impossible for them.
As I was packing up my things, I see a text message from my youngest son, Evan: So proud of who you are as a person mom. You are such a beautiful woman inside and out for doing what you do. Most people would feel sickened by the idea of having to teach yoga to mentally and physically impaired people. You on the other hand sign up to do it willingly with minimal pay. Makes me so proud to be your son. Crazy how you spoke tonight in front of so many people about it. That’s insane how far you’ve come. Small actions to you may mean the world to someone else. They changed the people in your classes lives and those around you including me. I love you mom.
This stopped me. He is 17 years old and he sees the truth in others.
When I got home I hugged him and thanked him. I watched as he seemed to look at me through a different lens. Although he has known of my work–even gone with me to some classes–tonight I sensed he saw me.
As an infant she screamed and wiggled her way out of my arms, preferring to be alone in her crib or swinging madly in the (thankfully) battery operated swing. As a toddler, the after-bath-time-towel was as close as I could get. She always found ways to distance herself from any close contact; sliding herself into the corners of the booth at a restaurant, choosing the backseat even when the car is empty of others, opting to sit on the floor versus the couch with me. It just became the normal.
I noticed she started to hug her dad a few years back. I often wondered why she would do that. In my hurt heart I thought why would she give him what I yearned for? Why would she hug him, who she rarely saw and who never, ever, ever did the amazing things that I did for her. Why?? I still do not know, but I rationalize it that she had no other way to connect with him and saw other people hugging loved ones and just felt that was her only way to be in his world. I also rationalized that she saw no reason to go through that false display with me when she knew in her heart that it was unnecessary to speak those unspoken words, or gestures.
Time goes on.
I reach to hug her often and she recoils and says “Mommmmmmmm, you know I don’t hug”. Yet I have seen her hug other people. People who have never shed a tear for her. People who have not sat at the big round table advocating with all their heart. People who have not paved the way for her to begin to know success. People who have not been there day after day after day. I am baffled at this.
And then out of completely nowhere. In a random moment. She said, “Mom, can I have hug?” Like slow motion in my mind I heard those words. The words I have longed for. Words that I accepted as a set of syllables that I would just never hear.
It does not matter why. If it never happens again, that is okay too. It was worth it.