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?

Continue Reading

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.

 

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

The Importance of a Safe Space for mother and child

Last week I went to a meet and greet for Ms. Wright’s Way. Ashley Wright is a breast-feeding, baby wearing, bed sharing and using common sense advocate. I follow her on all her social media except for Facebook. I am on a timeout from Facebook until further notice. You can still catch me on twitter and Instagram. My favorite right now is snap chat. The best stories are told there.

ashley-wright

It is not often that I can get out to do things alone. If I’m going somewhere then the short person has to go too. Everything ain’t for everybody so often times I opt out of things because it’s not child friendly. Wright offered a space that children could come and for FREE. The opportunity to fellowship with liked minded people is a blessing. Having your kid invited is your blessing pressed down and running over. We met at the Madison House in DC. It’s a home turned boutique and a mental health safe space. I bought two cute amethyst crystals from there.

amethyst

I heard a new part of Wright’s story during the meet and greet which is her’s to tell. I will just say bad-asses are made by the circumstance of their lives and I salute them.

The short person had plenty of other children to play with. The roar of the children often got louder than Wright. But she didn’t miss a beat, she kept talking and engaging with us as if she weren’t in a volume battle with banshee.

The energy in the place was sweet; accurately defining Wright’s following as “the village”. I introduced myself to Ashley Wright since I had driven 45 minutes from my Virginia suburban home. My “hey Ashley”, was met with a look of familiarity and a warm embrace. Pause for the super sweet sister moment.

village

I hope more entrepreneurs learn that there is a market for events that are child friendly. I pay an exorbitant amount of money in gym fees because it includes daycare. Dear yoga studios, please get hip to this.

I am taking notes and learning from every event I attend trying to turn my side joint into my main joint. If I ever invite you to something or ask you to pay to come see me; best believe the kid(s) can come too.

Be better.
Do better.
Namaste.

Continue Reading

3 reasons Capoeira is the perfect martial art for brown boys!

If you are anything like me you desire to wear your child out. We want guaranteed naps and nights where the short person stays in their room all night from pure exhaustion. Soccer, dance class, piano lessons are supposed to help with social/emotional and brain development. But let’s be honest mommies, we are just trying to have them take at least an hour nap and/or sleep through the night.

Why is capoeira the martial art of my choosing?

It’s African-duh?!

  • Capoeira is a fighting style derived from slaves captured by the Portuguese and taken to Brazil. These slaves were from Angola and used their martial arts in rebellion against their slave owners. The movements include lots of kicks because many slaves fought with their hands bound. There are angles and twist that resemble dance moves because these ancient people fought with large collars around their necks. What looks like dance moves is a strategy to disguise capoeira as a martial art. Slave owners thought their slaves were just “playing” when they were really training. Also, I want my son to know that Asians have not cornered the market on martial arts.


Capoeira teaches that your opponent can also be your friend.

  • You must shake your opponent’s hand before sparing (also called playing). Intelligence is high on the list of traits I want my son to have but above that is compassion. It is important to me that my son connects to humanity in a positive way; looking for the light before the darkness. But rest assured if the darkness should reveal itself King will be able to kicks its ass thanks to Capoeira.

Capoeira teaches discipline and strategy.

  • I think the two go hand-in-hand. A person has to find their opponent’s rhythm. This fighting style has a heart beat. The instruments guide you, the singing channels the chi/prana. A person has to anticipate their opponent’s next move. There are fake me outs and unexpected tricks sprinkled throughout this martial art form. Mostly though, it feels like home.

King is a natural. I’m excited to watch his journey. Check out this family if you’re in the DMV area and want lessons. Namaste.

 

Continue Reading