Today I sent out a really touching video about strangers touching each other and experiencing that vital touch of humanity. It was beautiful. I wanted to share a moment with my friends and family so we all could take a moment to detach from the negativity of the media. Well, imagine my surprise when I received as many responses as posts I sent out. Only one person caught what I was doing.
Holy moley on whole wheat toast!
I’ve been on a yogi journey for 13 months and counting. What started as doing yoga for a 30 day program turned into yoga every day. I have been practicing yoga for years, but the yoga-every-damn-day movement took hold of me in 2017, and I haven’t looked back. Yoga helps me to stay centered. It feeds my soul in a way no religion has ever done. What to many looks like acrobatics and stunts, yoga is much more than a fancy handstand or a twisted pose with a Hindi name. Yoga is knowing yourself and your place in life. It’s about staying true to who you are and where you are going. I can get myself riled up with world politics all day long, but as soon as I get on my mat…I can breath. And as I breath love in and love out, I know being present on that mat is the most important thing for me.
Today I finished my annual 30 day program with one of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors, Adriene. The culminating practice has always moved me. In 2016, I was in tears on my mat because what started out as Yoga Camp became so much more for me. In 2017, I got a little choked up, but my connection to my practice was so that I wanted to keep that feel good feeling going everyday. Thus, I began my year+ journey. Today, I completed the class with half my mind on my practice and the other half on all of the things I had to do off my mat. Having the husband walk through my “space” while I floated into a standing splits sort of broke the intimate spell I had initially cast onto my practice. I mopped up my sweat, did a solemn “Namaste” to my screen, and got to the business of the mundane.
Well, as I went through my day, I felt like something was missing. I was anxious. I felt the need to do something, but I couldn’t think of what I had left undone. It wasn’t until I was watching my son’s basketball game that it hit me. It was 2016 all over again in a different expression. I was not in tears. I didn’t need the tears to express how I felt. I felt sad that my 30 day time with Yoga with Adriene was over, but I felt reborn in my body, mind, and soul. I felt a special kind of confirmation that made me want to cry tears of joy.
So as February slides into place being led by a Full Blood Super Moon, I feel genuine peace.
Della was that bold
Like Harriet Tubman
Didn’t take no stuff
As Eloise Greenfield
Expressed long ago.
I watched her in movies
I saw her on television
I listened to her music
And she made me feel
Like my great auntie
Was on that screen
And through those speakers
Making me proud
Knowing a black woman
Being strong and sure
Was there for me
To watch and learn.
I never knew her politics
I don’t know her story
But her presence made
All the difference in the world.
“Oh, you homeschool? How does it work? Does your teenager have to go to high school? What do you do? What do you teach?”
If I had a nickel for every time I had to endure this questioning, I would be a rich woman. Initially, I felt the need to explain. I felt compelled to have to explain myself. Sometimes I felt I was soothing their fears for my children. A quick resumé of my education, my degrees, my teaching experience, and my philosophy seem to quell the fear in some while sounding like bragging to others. Any hesitation in explaining my plans for my children’s future seems to appear I don’t have a clue of what I’m doing while in reality I have a half of dozen ideas rambling around my mind at any given time because what people don’t understand is that homeschooling is a fluid way of life.
I don’t school at home. I homeschool. There is a difference. The difference in the two make traditionalists clutch their pearls with anxiety. If some governmental agency isn’t dictating what I do on any given day, then I must be leading my children to ruin. If some religious institution isn’t sanctioning my curriculum, then I must be doing something wrong. If someone who is perceived as an authority figure is not issuing my books or checking my children’s work, then I must not be giving my children a quality education.
Homeschooling is as old as civilization. The brick and mortar method of schooling where children are divided by age and expected to think, learn, and succeed at the same time and pace as everyone else while responding to a set of bells is fairly new in human history. My children have a 2 to 1 relationship with their teacher. They have a teacher who would go to any length to make sure they succeed. She doesn’t waste time on busy work and worksheets. She teaches lessons and shows how these lessons apply to real life. She also teaches lessons that she explains are important to know to succeed in higher education.
Sometimes I believe people are afraid to live outside the box. I’m not talking about living in mayhem and hoping for the best. I’m talking about walking down another road to get to the same destination.
So I bear the questions while quietly swallowing my annoyance.
These are the 5 places I will patronize if there were no other choices available.
- Carl’s Jr.
- Burger King
The three songs that resonated with me today on my radio.
Faith by George Michael
No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley
Young Turks by Rod Stewart
Watching the breath move in and out
Soothing the organs
Caressing the spirit.
Life fueling breath.
Soul soothing breath.
Serving this mortal coil
Until the sun sets
One last time.
This is a buzz phrase that drives me nuts. Eating clean has a different meaning depending on the source. If you follow a raw diet, there is an expert who will call that clean eating because your food has not been altered by cooking, pasturization, or perservatives. Having a paleo diet is considered clean eating. Being a vegan is looked upon as eating clean. Staying away from processed and frozen foods has also been categorized as clean eating.
So this year I have made a vow to continue eating clean. I will continue to wash my fruits and vegetables before I give them to my family to consume. I will cook my meats and fish at a high temperature to burn away all harmful bacteria so their food will be clean. If I drop something onto the floor, I will not pick it up and kiss it to God and scream, “Five second rule!” I will make sure my decades long habit of washing my hands before I eat will stay in place. And for eating out, I will make sure the restaurant has a clean bill of health from the health department. That’s my definition of clean eating.
Wet and sticky
Dry and scratchy
Dancing through browned, curled leaves.
Floating like drowned feathers
Onto blue lips.