I shared my thoughts as part of her post “Are Tiger Moms Happy Moms?”, and she graced me with a link on her pegboard to my post. Thanks Meagan – Moms everywhere thank you!
Inspirations that come from anywhere that cause us to listen with our hearts… unlocking them in the process.
“Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness.
It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart.
You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world.
You are willing to share your heart with others.”
Chogyam Trungpa Tibetan Buddhist, Scholar and Artist
In a moment our relationship changed.
I chose to be real with him. I told him why I was crying and his big, beautiful, sensitive heart opened right up to me.
My usual MO is to get angry. To take it out on them, my loved ones. This time, rather than try to hide my tears or make him wrong for wanting me to watch a video about dirtbikes, while Ben was making SO MUCH noise and it had been such a long day of trying to keep it all together, much like any day, and I JUST WANTED TO FINISH THIS ONE….DAMN…..PARAGRAPH that I was reading, I owned it.
I found the source of my discomfort and I spilled it out. I gave him an honest picture of what was happening with me, right then, rather than covering it in all the ways that I’m so good at. And I broke down. I wept and kept weeping for a couple of minutes and he asked what was wrong at least twice. As I finally caught my breath I said,”Sometimes I would like to work on some artwork, or reading or just be creative – and there are so many demands and distractions that I hardly every allow myself to do it”
He really heard me.
Later that night I went to veg out in front of the TV with him. He grabbed two pieces of blank paper, two pencils, and two big sturdy books and sat down by me on the couch. He invited me to draw with him. He drew, I started writing this. We talked about how sometimes watching TV helped drown out the mental background noise and helped him draw better. I told him I used music for this. We talked about how girls at school were being “all dramatic about boys and love and stuff”. I suggested he ignore the drama as best he could.
I also thanked him to being so kind to me, for understanding about how my heart needs art and expression. He must know this because He has it inside of himself too. I am so blessed.
MANDALA OF THE FEARLESS BUDDHA
“The mystic and the schizophrenic
find themselves in the same ocean,
but whereas the mystic swims,
the schizophrenic drowns.” – R.D.Laing
“Now I’m aware that I alone am in the vast
of the sea
And cause the sea to be the sea
Go on with your story.
Dainin Katagiri Roshi – from” “Long Quiet Highway – Waking up in America” by Natalie Goldberg
So, to go on with my story……
I have always been afraid of being in water. And, I have always known my grandmother’s house – the one house that has been there my entire life. One night recently I dreamed that I was in my grandmothers house. The entire house was filled with water. There was nowhere to go but through it.
In my dream, I felt myself relax, and for the first time in my life, waking or otherwise, I enjoyed being in the water. I woke up with a smile on my face and then cried because I wished I could walk to the ocean, right then, and jump in.
Water is a symbol of humanity’s unconscious, and of our emotional worlds, and other things. I have been allowing so much of my deeper self to “float up” lately that it’s not really a surprise that I had this dream. The surprise for me was the complete 180 degree turnaround my CONSCIOUS self experienced afterward. I wanted to be in the ocean, in the rivers, the lakes. I wanted to feel the caress that only water can give. I wanted to swim literally and figuratively, mythologically and concretely. The fear was gone.
I have always had a burning desire to delve into the uncommon. To root around in the dark mass, just below the surface of waking life. To find my origin and destination. To try to communicate back to others what I find. This is no small task. Turns out, there are many others attempting the same thing through whatever means they find necessary. I feel blessed to know some of you personally, and am thrilled by the thoughts of meeting others out there.
As a matter of fact, that thought, that there are many of us “shaman-in-training”, learning to swim through our own personal oceans, that has been almost constantly in my mind lately. I am quieted inside when I realize that these people are my tribe. I am quieted when I realize that so many of us are working on bringing awareness into being – into our beings.
“Real power is the ability to be resonant with
the Tao in such a way as to get in sync with
the power that already exists”
From: The Power Path
I know I’m supposed to Chop Wood and Carry Water
Do laundry, meticulously
be in the now
sweep my fucking dusty floors
I just don’t feel like it makes for a real “powerful” day.
Feeding, cleaning, cleaning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, resting – where is the power in that? Where can I let my soul sing through that?
I want bright colors, bold words, interesting thoughts, funny happenings
drudgery gets in the way
my ego wants more excitement
I am isolated here in this house while others “work” – what am I doing, if not working?
I am working on keeping house
which is what this blog is ostensibly about
I am holding on
“Believing that you have all the answers is delusional. Motherhood teaches this well.”
I love Maezen’s take on this whole ‘Tiger Mother’ buzz in the world right now. Essentially she says, “Comparing our kids to one another is the most juvenile thing we grown ups can do.”
I have a huge amount of doubt (as many parents do) that the way I parent is adequate. But adequate for what? and for whom?
I feed, clothe, and water my kids. I feed their curiosity as much as I can. I attempt to instill good habits, kind thinking, and creative hearts. These are generalities, I know, but the details seem to work themselves out each day. For me, parenting happens in the moment.
How will I know if I’ve parented adequately? That is where I stumble into doubt. Do I really need to wait till one of my sons, in his 30’s, comes home from a counseling session and calls me up to tell me I; a) did something horribly wrong, or b) something great? Or can I trust my feeling in the moment that what I’m doing and how I’m being with them is ok? I don’t expect perfection from them, so why do I try to hold myself to that impossibility?
Here is an excerpt from Time Magazine about the Tiger Mother:
Though Chua was born and raised in the U.S., her invocation of what she describes as traditional “Chinese parenting” has hit hard at a national sore spot: our fears about losing ground to China and other rising powers and about adequately preparing our children to survive in the global economy. Her stories of never accepting a grade lower than an A, of insisting on hours of math and spelling drills and piano and violin practice each day (weekends and vacations included), of not allowing playdates or sleepovers or television or computer games or even school plays, for goodness’ sake, have left many readers outraged but also defensive. The tiger mother’s cubs are being raised to rule the world, the book clearly implies, while the offspring of “weak-willed,” “indulgent” Westerners are growing up ill equipped to compete in a fierce global marketplace.
Competing in a Global Marketplace. While I know that is a part of human reality right now, I do believe, where a person is, at any moment, is more important than a global anything. I want my children to compete in the moment of where they are, to have tools available to them that will allow their heart and heads to think and feel clearly and to make decisions based on love, creativity and frankly, spunk….you know, that spark of curiosity that fuels inventors, musicians, artists, and the like. To foster that spark even in the face of an impending takeover by China, is where I want to parent from. Love triumphs always, this I know. So I say, love your kids. Make sure you show your kids you love them.
From the book The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie:
“Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in-between”
I don’t generally do well with In Between, because I feel like I need to always be “going SOMEWHERE”. The grass over there is green, and my grass is covered in dog poop. I know, it makes me sound ungrateful, but I’m not. Just over-ambitious.
I don’t know why I doubt the universe when it tells me that I need to wait – to be patient. (patience is NOT one of my virtues, which of course means I need to work on it all the fucking time!) I mean, has the universe ever let me down? no. Then, listen to Ms. Beattie’s words:
Today, I will accept where I am as the ideal place for me to be. If I am in-between, I will strive for the faith that this place is not without purpose, that it is moving me toward something good.
First tidbit from my Mondo Beyondo Dream Lab excursion. This quote came from a fellow “lab” partner. I was dubious about doing this e-course, having never done one before. As with all of life, it’s what you make it, and I am excited to make it the catalyst that I need.
“…transformations in the heart and mind (in Buddhism the two are not separate) are not a matter of progressing from point to point. They have to do with stopping, with daring to be still and attentive in the present moment. I began to understand how moments of being present can grow by dedicated practice into moments of presence—moments of realizing that who we are in reality is not an isolated individual on an isolated journey but a being who is an inextricable part of a greater whole. And I learned that the more we are able to open to the present moment, the less we are able to rule out, to judge as unspiritual or unbeautiful.”