Share your calm not your crazy!

We all hope to pass down the best parts of ourselves. I hope that King develops my love for reading. Although I don’t have much time for it these days. I hope that he has an appreciation for the arts and is creative in some way. We never intend to pass down our challenges or bad habits. I have had some challenges with depression and anxiety. Now my child is exhibiting signs of anxiety. You can’t out smart genetics and energy.

Up until now my son has been a very gregarious child. So much so, that sometimes it made me uncomfortable. My child is cute and likes to talk to strangers. Which in turn requires me to be social. I have learned to just smile and nod and then push King forward so we can continue doing whatever we were doing before he decided to make a new friend.

He is not that way anymore. This year I changed my child’s preschool because I didn’t feel like they were preparing him for kindergarten. At his new school there are fewer students. As an educator I know that the ratio for teacher to student should be low so that children can get more individualized instruction. Also his teachers look like him which I think is important in the formative years. I think I change my mind, more on that later.

King is being pushed academically. This is something he isn’t used to. King also inherited his father’s competitiveness. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but when it is paired with his mother’s perfectionism things can get tricky. He has homework every night except on the weekends, his teachers are as stern as Catholic nuns and he has only one other male student his age to connect with. The other night while doing homework King asked, “is this perfect?”

WTF? Danger! Danger!

After I freaked out in my head, I calmly responded “It doesn’t have to be perfect son, just do your best.”

I was looking into a mirror, with the light shining brightly on my shadow self. Instead of learning my child, I was dictating who I wanted him to be. Unintentionally, I may have triggered the anxiety. I’m sorry King, mommy is doing the best she can.

To help him cope I started putting Rescue Remedy in his water bottle. Every morning he asks me a million times who is going to pick him up as if the certainty of this helps him get through the day easier. Sometimes he says he doesn’t want to go to school- this shreds my heart. And he asks what time is he being picked up. He can’t even tell time. Poor baby.

I can’t front, the academic gains he is making are impressive. But at what cost? But, I also want to raise a resilient child. I don’t what to rescue him every time things get hard. But, he is only four. Oy vey!

We also do yoga together. I introduced yoga by using this book. We practice breathing exercising as a way to manage when he is feeling nervous or scared.

I took pics of all the brown children in the book because that matters to me.

I also give him lots hugs and kisses. I tell him I love him all the time. I want him to know he doesn’t have to earn my love. It is here for him just because. I also want him to enjoy academic rigor-I know that sounds crazy as I talk about Pre-K, but that is a pitfall of being an educator. The husband and I are discussing moving him, again. (judge yourself)
I want him to reach a few more bench marks before we do but his happiness trumps all of everything. I will fill in any academic gaps and King can get back to being himself.

Meanwhile, I’m doing my best to share my calm and not my crazy. Namaste.

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But are you having fun though? 7 ways to add more fun into your life.

Hey Party People,

I am officially on summer break. Thank ya! The good Lawd ended the school year right before I passed out from exhaustion. I don’t appreciate being dragged to the edge like this! This school year we buried a principal and a student. I spent so much time taking care of others meanwhile I was being held together with cheap scotch tape. Ole church people teach you not to question God but that has never made any sense to me. I got questions, lot’s of them! Why lawd?

In an effort to fill the holes that were poked in my spirit I am being deliberate about having fun. Everyday this summer I am waking up with the desire to find more joy. You know I’m a social scientist and I love being my own guinea pig. You know I am a social scientist and I love being my own guinea pig. Click To Tweet Here are seven ways that I plan on having fun this summer, on purpose.

  1. Taking dance classes. Dance reminds me of my childhood. Growing up I took classes and performed. Dance allows me to be free and creative. It is also a beautiful place to channel my fire. Raqs shaqui aka belly dance, is a style of dance that I discovered as an adult. I have practiced off and on for years. This dance allows me to celebrate myself. In belly dance class I smile at myself in the mirror moving in the most natural feminine ways and having the best time!
  2. Yoga in nature. The emphasis is on my own personal practice. I know that placing my feet in grass is very grounding for me. The vitamin D is the best medicine for my depression. Early morning yoga in the park is a great way to start the day.
  3. Going to the pool more with the short person. I love spending time with the short person. At the pool King can practice what he is learning at his swim classes. I can stare at him in awe as his makes friends quickly and easily with other short people and adults. It is fun to play with your kids.
  4. Family field trips. We are going to the beach. The guys can build sand castles and I can sip adult beverages while catching up on my reading. Big fun!
  5. Grown up time with the hubby. Gets your mind out of the gutter, but you can leave your body there. Ha! I don’t necessarily mean doing the grownup although that is always a bonus, I simply mean dating. I want to go out with my husband and have a good time, doing things that we like to do without the short person. Sorry King, you can’t go!
  6. Playing in makeup. My look is flawless natural. This look requires makeup. Never mind the contradiction. I have been having a ball finding which concealer, foundation and lipsticks look best on me. I am learning what my facial assets are and where I need to embellish. This summer I am going to try different highlighters. When the sun  hits my face I want to shimmer and catch your eye. Make you look again! LOL, such foolishness, but that’s the point!
  7. I’m going to create more content! Blogging is fun for me. Yes, it’s a tool to journal my healing and a place to offer tried and true resources to help mothers stay sane while working fulltime. But it is also a place where I get to try new things, take chances and improve. That’s fun for me.

Shakira, my belly dancer sister sums it up best:  “If I can contribute to people having fun, I would feel very fulfilled as an artist.”

Start watching at 2:23 for the hot dance sequence. This video is dated and the old technology may annoy you. The the choreography will last a lifetime.

I love you and want the best for you. Namaste!

~Thembi

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So you want to read more but don’t have the time?

As a working mother I live by my schedule. I’m a full time counselor, a part-time yoga instructor and full time mom and wife. I also have to fit in exercise which is no longer for vanity but for optimal health. And let us not forget that the short person and my husband want to eat. I like to say that I don’t watch much TV but the truth is I have no time during the week and the weekends are for family. Even though I teach folks to stay present, I often feel nostalgia for the times when I could finish reading a book in a day without interruption.

I know myself well enough to know that reading is important to me. Even though I feel like I have less time to do the things I enjoy, I have to figure out a way to make it happen. Prioritize joy! Click To Tweet Here are some ways I was able to fit more reading time into my life.

Read during your lunch break.

Sometimes I sit in the break room and fraternize with my colleagues but at least 2 times out of the week I go to my car to read my book and eat my lunch. The silence is blissful. I am currently reading You Are A Badass. I highly recommend it.

Keep books in the bathroom. 

My son has been known to follow me into the bathroom but he is quiet as long as he is near me. There are also times when I lock him out because sometimes you just want to shit in peace. Depending on how your colon is set up you can get 30-45 minutes of reading in. And for you super regular people who BM in 10 minutes; stay on the pot nobody knows what you are doing.

Take the train instead of flying.

This is a twofer. You save money by taking the train and you gain time to read because it will take you longer to get to your destination. This is a perfect way to get more reading time in when traveling for work. Train rides are my favorite way to cuddle up with a book. Click To Tweet 

Read during your pedicure.

I get regular pedicures. I spend a lot of time barefoot as a yoga instructor and I want something pretty to look at. I use this time to relax and read. I purposely leave my cellphone in the car. Gasp! So that I am not tempted to get on my device. This time is specifically for reading. I have also had to tell the lovely lady removing dry skin and ingrown nails to stop talking to me. I know she is being chatty because she wants a nice tip. Ma’am its unnecessary, shut your pie hole. Your tip is the same no matter what.

Try audio books.

This is kind of cheating but moms have to create short cuts all the time for our sanity. I have a nice commute to and from work. Big Magic is kind of thick and I need something inspirational playing in the background as I navigate traffic. There is also a better chance that I will finish it as an audible book. There are at least four unfinished books sitting on my nightstand. Summer break is coming, so maybe I’ll be able to finish a book or two.

Working moms, how do you prioritize reading?

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3 ways to tap into your intuition

Becoming a mother requires that you activate your superpowers. The ability to tap into your intuition is one of them. The ability to make decisions based solely on your gut, holy spirit, intuition or whatever you’d like to call it; and the ability to be confident that you have made the right decision requires practice.

Shut The F*&K Up!

The first thing you need to do is shut up.  You cannot hear your intuition if you are always flapping your gums or thinking (which is mentally flapping your gums). You must learn to be still and listen. Find a quiet a spot, I always recommend sitting on the floor for grounding purposes, acknowledge your intuition and ask it to help you make a decision. Start with a small specific question and then work up to the larger more critical decisions. It will take time to differentiate between your own voice and your intuition. Here is a tip, your intuition will only vibrate at the level of love, it is you God consciousness. Any answer that does not have love at the center is not your intuition leading you. Your intuition will never tell you to do harm but it will protect you from harm.

Listen To Your Gut.

Secondly, learn your body. That uneasy feeling you get in your stomach when a sketchy person walks in the room or when the hair on your arms or the back of your neck stand up. What was going on the last time you got goose bumps? These are physical signs of your intuition talking to you. Your body is responding involuntarily and the responses are information. Listen to your body. Click To Tweet

Get Free Writing.

Lastly, free write. One of my favorite books, The Artist’s Way  explains free writing and provides exercises, I highly recommend reading it.  Free write for five minutes, brain dump everything without thinking about or evaluating it. Do not worry about punctuation, grammar or spelling. Simply get the words on the paper. Set a timer. When the timer goes off get a clean sheet of paper. Ask your intuition a specific question, a superficial one. Try the free writing for 90 days before asking it about the tough stuff.  After you have asked your intuition to guide you, allow the answer to come through you onto the paper without thinking too hard or judging what is is being written. I recommend having a journal specifically for free writes and another for answers from your intuition. Let me know if these tips helped you and share with me if you have a different way of tapping into your intuition. I’d love to read about it in the comments.

 

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7 Unusual Facts about a Fat Black Yogi

Even though I call myself a yogi I don’t really know what that means. I’m really not a Zen kind of person but I am always seeking enlightenment. Suppression of my rage is a daily fight. Rage is depression in Shango clothing. I’m on a life long journey to tame my crazy. Here’s the tea: only when you surrender to your rage, allowing yourself to feel it completely, will you find ways to calm it. Rage requires patience and diplomacy. Here are some unusual facts about me as I learn to manage mine:

    1. In yoga teacher training during our lesson about the Yamas and Niyamas, I was battling gnats. While learning the life principle Ahimsa/nonviolence, I was smacking the sh*t out of gnats. I am not a nature girl. I appreciate nature’s beauty and wonder but I prefer to appreciate it from the window of my air conditioned home. I want to challenge myself this coming year. I’ve considered hiking. I will let you know how that goes. If I’m lucky, a side effect will be a change in my body; which brings me to the second unusual fact….

      look at my cute cute & color!
      look at my cute cut & color!
    2. I gained the thirty pounds back that I lost after giving birth to the short person. On this side of the emotional pendulum I have less discipline. I’m not practicing Tapas. I let my sweet tooth run wild. Instead of doing more yoga, I do none- unless I’m teaching. And now here I am as the fat belly Buddha. I know clients feel anxiety and consider getting a refund when they see that a chunky black lady with a pot belly will be leading their practice. And my ego -(another thing I am  working on) is pleased when clients end up panting, surprised and satisfied by the time savasana finally rolls around.

      follow me on snap chat @akingsma
      follow me on snap chat @akingsma
    3. I may curse while leading you through your practice. I have a potty mouth and I am really not working on that. Om shanti.
    4. My biggie yoga pants are my favorite. Clients can predict what type of class we are going to have when I’m rocking them. biggie-revised
    5. I’m a seafood junkie and I wear fur. If I’m not eating meat it’s because of my waistline not compassion for farm animals.”Tell peta my mink is dragging on the floor.”
    6. Ever since the election my personal yoga practice has suffered. Winter time plus my disappointment in America has heightened my seasonal affect disorder. I am no longer feeling innovative or experimental.  To fill up my bag of tricks, I find unique poses on instagram and try them out in yoga class. Sometimes the clients and I are practicing an asana for the first time together in class.

      My petty white woman game is strong!
    7. I belong to the mommy gang that is too hard on ourselves because we are comparing ourselves to an instagram highlight reel. I see you with all your imperfections. You see me with all of mine. But we are perfect in our children’s eyes and we must remember this! At least until they get into middle school and start judging us. Be present for every moment, even the times that are painful.

Namaste,

Thembi

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