Wednesday, December 1, 2010

over and over again

I like new, i like change, i generally do not like to repeat things. My body and mind find comfort in doing an activity again and again but there is a part of me that resists the familiar. After i do an intense yoga class or go for a long walk or do an at home exercise routine, i think "well, that's done." and a part of me thinks i should be good to go for some. i dont like the fact that i am supposed to do it again and again and again for it to really do me any good. I want my body to suddenly transform and my mind to feel that sweet peaceful surrender.

But, unfortunately, things dont work this way in the real world and in order for me to find that comfort in a "familiar" somthing i need to get familiar with it i.e. do it again and again!

I can blame this tendency on my upbringing....being allowed to dabble in piano, violin, ballet, horse-back riding, drawing, soccer while also being permitted to quit the moment i got hurt, bored or distracted. I can also point the finger at my sun sign as a pisces being easliy influenced by others or my temperment being sanguine keeping me fluttering about on a million things but never holding my interest for long. Oh, or i can blame it on the fact that i like to stay invisible and not be noticed for anything great or tendency to blend into the walls and observe the world from a quiet sitting posture.

But, whatever the reason(s), it is a trait that i have noticed for some time now and i am playing with it wondering if i can budge, staying curious but secretly hoping that i can ground myself long enough to create habits.

So, since my full -time -plus -overtime job is mama and home maker i am trying to take baby steps and teach myself as well as be an example to my children the value of doing things twice, three times, four times, every week, every season..... it's a beautiful thing but a momentous task.

I know that repetition brings security, confidence and builds a life-long appreciation for doing stuff so i am really trying to instill some of this in our daily lives. Even the smallest things...we're not talking marathon training, picasso classes and language tutors. I don't mean for me or my children to be amazing at's more about just sticking to things and doing them for the sake of exploration, or for the sake of doing anything for so long that it brings joy and comfort.

Here's to painting, drawing, pretend music classes, dance parties, tea parties, baking, riding, planting, loving, laughing, stories, puppet shows........all the things that should be done again and again!

Wow, my life is GOOD!

Monday, November 22, 2010


i have this natural tendency to shush a screaming screaming baby and to silence or distract a tantrumming toddler. the shrills get under my skin and my ears ring and my eyes widen and my instincts tell me to make it stop. It's annoying and unsettling. I dont like it.

i like peace, beauty, laughter, smiles, the smell of lillies and of fresh bread; i like sweet children who say please and thank you and who snuggle into your arms and whisper "i love you mama"...and i like it when my 3 year old (as she did tonight at dinner) tells me how proud of me she is. You see, i like all these things, they make me smile and i like to smile.

What i don't like is the overwhelm that creeps over me when there is too much noise, when there is crying, hitting, conflict... I've never been into arguments and meanies. I guess i never really knew (and am just learning) how to handle and be ok with other emotions besides the soft, happy ones.

We are beautiful human beings who have the capacity to experience a myriad of feelings that rush through all parts of our bodies and release their own concoctions of hormones. It's really amazing! I tell myself that there is beauty in all of it and it is only recently that i have started to truly believe that for myself.

In a moment the other day when i woke feeling a bit depressed i had the urge to just feel that way and to not come up with a dozen things that might get me out of that feeling. ways that would make me feel "good" and know, the way we are "supposed" to feel. I just stewed in melancholy. And with that permission, it actually felt comfortable. I felt slow and sensitive. I breathed deeply and slowly and did not expect or wish that moment to be any different.

And then something awesome happened.




space for me, space for tantrums, space for all and anything that arose.

Aiyana was upset and time and space slowed and i had breath and i watched her emotion, her anger and mirrored it for her and sat with her and we watched it pass then we hugged.

i want my girls to witness and feel the full spectrum of emotion and love themselves through it and know that we are forever changing and that it can all be ok. and i see so poignantly how inner work is crucial as a conscious parent. its the only way.

it seems like when there is between it's like we are caressing each moment, each sensation with just a little bit of peace....or love....and only then is there room for all of us in all our moments.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Panama Tour: Playa Blanca and Gorgona

Oh the beach.....

My favorite part about living here in Panama is the beach. Unfortunately, the beach right outside of our apartment is not swimmable. No beach less than an hour away from the city is suitable to touch because of the "poopy water", as aiyana calls it.

But, not too far away there are great beaches. They are not comparable to the Mexican Riviera but they do satiate a deep desire to be held by the water and to play in the sand. It really makes me feel unbelievably lucky and happy each and every time we go! I'm a beach girl...always have been. When we first moved here we went to a beach every weekend and then we got lazy and go once or twice per month. It takes alot to get this family out the door. Our baggage for 2 days resembles all my belongings that i packed my car with when i left home at 17. It' pretty ridiculous. (I'll snap a shot of the piles next time)

We went to the Playa Blanca Resort for a night. We're not really resort-type folks but we gladly accepted the free invite Abel received for the grand opening of their ginormous salt water pool!

this is a portion of the pool (1/3) with filtered ocean water! it is truly incredible!

the water is cleaner than the ocean and no little critters

and they even surrounded it with sand!

for the remainder of the weekend we rented our usual casita in Gorgona. It's perfect...and on the ground floor with a door that opens up to the outdoors!!!

and a pool that the girls love to play in!

the sand is peppered and the tide is often high but we lucked out and were able to play for hours in the sand

and even do a little yoga

wide, open beach...the girls can be loud, run, far, and get mesmerized by the sounds of the heaven

the care-takers' kids...there are 6 of them...these are the youngest

oh, how i miss Whole Foods! these mini supers are so depressing. i can hardly find a single thing suitable for consumption. seriously, that front case is nothing but hot dogs and the shelves are stocked with dusty bags of chips, bimbo bread, and ramen noodles. but, alas, no health food store in sight! Wahhhhhhh. we usually make do with fruit from local stands and stuff we bring from home.

aiyana is so gentle with her satya. it is a blessing to watch their relationship deepen

you know how people always say to cherish this time with your children...they are only little for such a short time.....hold them close cuz they won't let you when they are older.....blah, blah, blah.
well, i do. i REALLY do AND they still get older day by day and time still races. and i find it a tad painful.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Celebrating holidays with little ones is sooo much fun! I am much more inspired, now that i have children, to put in the effort to make a holiday festive. I love fall with the colors, the squash, the roasted seeds, the hot tea and all the yummy baking. However, halloween was never really one of my favorite celebrations. Probably because my mom always avoided it like the plague. Spooky, scary costumes, spiders, and candy are not my mom's idea of a good time. She is and has always been into natural foods and the idea of even passing out sugar anything to innocent children is absolutely out of the question. So, in order to avoid my mom passing out pencils or raisins we all hid in one room with the lights out while the trick or treaters passed us by. I think in high school my friends made me go to one house and say trick or treat as some kind of rite of passage.

There were a few years in elementary schoolwhen we lived in our spiritual community in California that the parents and teachers created a magical journey full of beautiful costumes, tents, riddles, lake crossings, homemade sweets and prizes. This really set the standard for halloween and nothing has been able to match it. Although, i hear that many waldorf schools pull off a magical experience for their communities which i am excited to be a part of by next halloween with my littles!

Nonetheless, we had a wonderful celebration here in Panama. With trick or treating and all! And we made it through without a lick of candy!

my three angels...i adore them! (why can't they just smile for the pic?)

Satya trying out her magic wand on Oso. she said "poof"

Aiyana loved to say "trick or treat" really loudly!

she thought this was way cool!

the trick or treaters!

satya's thoughts on the evening

it started raining so we ran back to the party for a little drumming

fortunately, we got home just in time to light our jack 'o lantern candle (sin pumpkin as it got moldy and grew green hair a few days before) and leave all the candy out for the halloween fairies....because they trade candy for a gift for those kids who don't eat candy.....

and in just a little while the candy was gone a new train and some tracks were left! thank you jack o lantern fairy!!!!

testing out the new tracks!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

feeling the love, feeling grateful

"oh my beloved,
kindness of the heart,
breath of life
i bow to you
again and again"

i am flooded with grace. time with these angels is my fairy tale come true.

joy is available in every moment...even when i don't choose it

in the moments that i can drop all "shoulds" i steep in the magic of chilhood

water, bubbles, sand, mud, flour, rice....the simplest things

they are like little mirrors... i see so clearly that when there is chaos, i am disconnected from my center. i feel strongly the great responsibility as a mother to hold the emotional balance for my family. i know that it is human to lose it and to be overwhelmed, stressed and tired but how i choose to react to those feelings i model for the family and that choice has an affect. i am growing up with my children. i am consciously choosing in more moments than before how to "handle" myself.

they are my teachers

my loves

(the building in the middle is where we live, 8th floor and the ocean is to her left)

tears well when i see these little ones love each other like i love them

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

mama madness

From a few weeks ago....

My eyes are puffy slits this morning. The bag of frozen peas didnt do much. I had a good cry last night and my eyes do not let me get away with it the next day. It was a good sob session. One where you feel like a little child, huffing between sobs while your chest palpitates and your nose gets all stuffed up and you have to breathe thru your mouth.... you know that kind? oh, it feels good. such a release.
i have been feeling so much pressure lately, so much judgement, i cracked. mostly its an inner critic and then bits from the outside world. this inner voice has been slamming me nonstop for months now.
she's an old hag, a perfectionist, a know-it-all who narrates EVERYTHING i do. she's worn me down and brought me to sobbing tears. When i am drinking my coffee or tea in the morning she pushes me to "get going, the kids need structure, get them outside, they're bored to tears" and then when we go on our morning walk she picks "you should have an idea, an intention for the walk, you didnt bring baskets, you could be gathering treasures, you cant just meander thru the day without meaning. what are you teaching the girls about life?" And then when we are carving our jack o lantern she wonders why i dont know any halloween songs or jack o lantern stories to go along with the project, why didnt i prepare for this? it's so like me to just jump into things half-assed and unprepared"
Leave me alone you f****ing hag! AHHHHHHH, she goes on and on every day. and i know they are just little things but because this work is my job and i take it very seriously and i try to give my whole heart to my days with these precious souls....this witch's banters pierce me and wear on me. Plus, as i wrote yesterday, i feel alone in it all. No co-workers, few's bound to drive me mad. i feel like i am taking crazy pills!
A part of me thinks i should be running this household like a preschool, I guess. Is that what i am supposed to do? Is that what stay-at-home mamas do? Sometimes i think I focus too much on the girls...i think i am supposed to do things for myself as well but it is so hard to get into projects with little ones around. i always think that maybe when satya is a bit older, it will be easier to get my paints out, write my novels :)....right now i get interrupted every 5 minutes.
some days are very smooth. there is a nice in and out rhythm to the day... a bit of outside time, projects, snuggles, stories, swimming...maybe i got a bit of yoga in. and then other days i stare at my children and wonder what the hell i am supposed to do for the next 12 hours!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

there aint nothing like it

I need my women clan. I really need my sweet, sensual, powerful, raw girlfriends. I miss the intimacy, the holding, the talks, the laughs and the cries. I miss eating and drinking and cooking together, and basking in that sweet, comfort that is friendship. I cannot live without it nor do i want to. Life is so precious and way too short to live without the people that bring me such balance to the craziness of the world.

We cannot survive, let alone thrive without that bond that we create with our women. There is nothing like it and nothing can replace it. It is a life sustaining bond that allows us to carry on in our darkest moments. The words, the touch, the thoughts of a dear friend are nothing less than a miracle, a gift of breath that will sustain you to the next.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Home is where the heart is......

Oh, I ache. My heart physically hurts and the tears are surfacing. I have been feeling like I want to go home lately. I didnt know i had a "home" or where that might be as i have moved so frequently in my life and my family is spread out over the globe. But now that i am here in Panama i think about Boulder as my home. It is the place i find myself yearning to return to. After we visited a few months past I returned here so detached to the people and the town of bloulder. It was a strange feeling. At the beginning of my visit i was scheming to stay for good and then by the end i was wanting to go home to Panama. It was a strange sensation but i was glad to not be wanting so badly what i couldnt have. I think i expected that all my empty parts would be filled by those that i had been missing so deeply. And i was disappointed. We all get busy with the days, with our lives and we don't have time to nourish the village in a way that i crave. So, i detached and pretended that those things no longer held the same weight in my heart when in fact they do.

And now? I want to go again. It didnt last long. I think mainly i just miss being around people that i know and who know me where we can do the small talk or we can ask deep questions or we can just enjoy the moment so freely without much judgement. I want to create the village that i hold in my heart. I want my children to be around men and women who hold similar truths and who strive to be authentic. I want to be supported by others who live in a way that i do and who can help me to deepen my spiritual practice and bring vision to child rearing and education. Here, i feel that i am doing it solo and am having to defend my views from the "norm" which leaves me weakened and doubtful.

I feel like i am waiting to return. Waiting to be a part...and i dont like to live like that. It is a constant reminder to stay present and to fully take each moment, each day while i am here and live to its greatest potential. And maybe some moments have the greatest potential for buckets of tears or raw, pillow-punching, tiger-growling tantrums!!!!

my gorgeous niece Bella pushing Aiyana on a tire swing at her new house in the mountains...i miss that fresh air without exhaust, cars honking, trash everywhere...pure, raw, silent nature

Back of the Trident, my favorite coffee house! where they have a sandbox for the babes, soymilk options, organic teas, friendly passers-by, english books galore, oh and a Chipotle across the way!!!....its the little things

Love from Auntie Lia, irreplaceable...we need it daily! can i keep them apart?

dinners with friends and family made with fresh, organic produce straight from the garden...oh, i neeeeed this!

And the wide, traffic-less community walking areas....ahhhhh. i'm telling you, it's strange the things we miss....its home