Friday, September 5, 2014

A Letter To My Son On His 19th Birthday

Nineteen years You're now the age I was when I had you. I thought I was so grown up then. Truth is, I knew nothing about maturity until you came along. Over the years, as I've continued to learn and grow, I've gained some knowledge I would like to share with you on your birthday. Listen up:

-Get yourself a best friend. You don't need a bunch; one will do just fine. Someone who will be there for you, create inside jokes with you and hold your deepest secrets. Be good to that person and never take them for granted. They know where the bodies are buried.

-At least once a day, laugh until you tear up. It's not that hard if you don't take life too seriously; which reminds me....

-Don't take life too seriously. We are here to be joyful. Find your joy and spread it to everyone you meet. Part of the reason everyone loves your grandfather, aside from his brilliant one liners, is his lightheartedness. He's a great man; follow his lead.

-See the world. Don't confine yourself to this tiny section of the planet. There is so much life out there to explore. Go

-Be fearless...your fears will determine your limits. Learn how to shake them off and embrace all that life has to offer

-Don't be reckless with these three important things: Money, your health, someone else's heart. All three are gifts and must be respected. 

-Be kind. You know better than most the battles people face behind closed doors. Life hasn't been easy for you and it's not easy for many others, too. Always remember that and have empathy.

-Live a life of passion. It made not be the means by which you earn a living but have something in your life that feeds your soul.

-Be chivalrous. Hold doors, hail cabs and always remember 'ladies first'. Be the kind of polite that makes old ladies swoon.

-Lastly, and most importantly, know you are loved in a crazy, all consuming kind of way. It's the kind of love that makes a mother stand quietly outside her 19 year old son's room just to watch him sleep while she fights back tears and floods of memories. It's the urge to pull the blankets under his chin, just in case he gets chilly during the night. That kind of love that makes a mother smile when she hears her son laughing halfway across the house. The kind that makes her know there is nothing she wouldn't do, no battle she wouldn't face in order to spend as much time as she can surrounded by that love. Let it be your safety net in life. 

Thank you for helping me to grow, teaching me how to love unconditionally and for being my reason to live. From the moment you were born, you have been my greatest joy. Happy birthday, baby.

Forever and always


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Clarity On the Mat

This morning, while meditating, I felt the urge to scream
Not very zen, I thought
Or maybe it is the epitome of zen
Something that serves the soul and, after you're done, a state of calm
Anyway, as I began to prepare myself for a long 'Om' I felt a tightness in my chest
As if my body were rejecting this notion of peace
As if it knew exactly what it needed
And it needed to scream
A primal, guttural moan
That seemed to echo like the crystal singing bowl I had before me
I screamed for the 17-year old girl who cowered every time her boyfriend hit her
For the 19-year old who was left 6 months pregnant and alone
For the 20-something year old who always came so close to achieving her dreams,
Only to watch them slip away each time
For the 35-year old woman who was told she had 18 months to live
I screamed for all that I am and who I thought I would be
The heaviness in my chest began to wane
I closed my eyes and allowed the bright, white sunlight to engulf me; to heal what was broken inside
I was not taught to feel
Sensitivity dismissed as weakness
Get over it
Stop crying
But I never did get over it
I pushed it down until it became impacted in me
A mass of fear and anger and self loathing
Growing inside of me like the cancer
I sat there on my mat today
With the sun and my meditation bowl
I thought of all the parts that make me whole
The sensitive girl, the victim, the single mother, the dreamer, the cancer patient
I thought of all that we have been through
I screamed to send the pain into the ether
Or wherever it is that pain goes
"I got you," I told them
And then, collectively,
We let it go