Hello, wow I’m so tired today.  Last night I taught a detox twist yoga class and there were only a few students in the class who were more advanced so I was able to make it a more challenging class.  It was super fun but I was drained.  My ex-husband and Tristan, a dear friend, came over for dinner with the kids and we made dinner and hung out on the lanai while the kids played with their toys.  Right before bedtime, my 3 year old son, River crawls all over me.  He wants to wrestle.  I turn my hand into a claw and open and close my fingers and pretend to attack him.  He holds my hand away and giggles with sheer joy.  He lets go and I tickle him while he squeals laughter shaking his head side to side while he pushes my hand away for relief.  We play this game for awhile and my little girl Pepper 6 years old, wants to get in on the giggles.  She says mommy, let me see the claw.  I now have two babies in my arms and two hand claws attacking them with tickles while they scream and laugh and say “no, no, no” and as soon as my hand is away they say “again”.  Their laughter is infectious.  I see their daddy smiling, Tristen laughing and I am giggling non-stop saying “I like you and I dip down to kiss their soft plump cheeks”.  They are the sweetest kids, my heart is full.  They like to wrestle every night and get lots of hugs and tickles every night.  River gets so excited he starts screaming a little too loud.  I say bedtime.  He whimpers but we go anyway, brush our teeth and go to bed.  River still needs a diaper at night.  We cuddle in bed and they can’t keep their hands to themselves.  They touch my nose, my hair my eyes, River sits on me.  “Please go to sleep, I say”.  Now I’m really tired.  I finally say last hug and kiss and slither out of the room.  My kids daddy and Tristan leave and I get to sleep.  Hooray!  I love sleep and I really want it.  I have the best bed!

The next morning I over sleep and I have to get the kids to school, ahahahahaha!  I have to turn my phone to do not disturb when I teach class so the music plays without interruption but I forgot to turn do not disturb off.  I run around like a crazy woman getting them ready, brushing my teeth, making Pepper’s lunch and getting dressed.  My ex-husband comes over to take the sleeping babies to school and I have to run to work to teach a hot yoga class.  The kids were difficult because they like to wake up slowly and don’t like to rush in the morning.  I teach a class and then take a hot yoga class and then race back to pick up River since he is in school only 1/2 days.  I come home make lunch and sneak outside while River watches Transformers.  I’m glad he’s tired too because it give me a chance to sit on the back lanai for 30 minutes of quiet time.

I turn on the alarm, and breath in one more view of the trees while I listen to the leaves rustling in the wind and close my eyes.  I’m so tired that I really struggle to stay awake.  I sway side to side.  I cross my legs and sit of tall.  About 5 minutes into my meditation I forgot that I have the hose on to fill the pool!  Ahhhh!  I remember because I hear someone in the pool.  I open my eyes and see the pool service man cleaning my pool.  I think of pratyahara, sense deprivation, and think don’t let anything disturb your meditation.  Then I think of my pool overflowing and I stop the timer, get up and introduce myself to the pool man and ask about the water.  He says it’s fine and can run a little longer.  Ok, I go back up and meditate.  

My mind wanders to the farmer’s market the day before.  I think of the people I met up with there, our conversations, the introductions, new friends and the beautiful day.  I introduced my ex-husband to a friend of mine, my friend introduces me to his friends.  I think of the projects that we will work on, an assisted thai yoga workshop coming up and some possible film projects.  I get excited about the work.

Next my mind jumps to the Amsterdam Cruise ship on Holland America.  About 3 years ago, my mother took me and my 2 kids on a cruise around the world.  She was trying to help me and could see my unhappiness in my marriage and with being a new mother.  She believed showing me the world was a better education instead of financially helping.  Plus she wanted to spend the time with me and the kids and this was something she wanted to do.  She goes on world cruises every year.  I appreciate all that she has done for me but honestly, I shouldn’t have gone on that cruise.  She wanted me to get divorced because she thought I deserved better.  She took me on the cruise to separate me from my husband so that I could see another life.  The cruise was beautiful but it was elegant and not a place for young kids.  It was mostly older people on the ship and they did not like little kids.  Actually, some of them were down right viciously mean.  It only made me feel more lonely.  It caused stress on my parents.  River was only 1 and the cruise kids care wouldn’t take him in the day care.  We often set up his train set by the pool that he wasn’t allowed to use because he was still in diapers and chased this cute little 1 year old all over the ship.  It was exhausting to be honest.  When we traveled at ports, it was also difficult because I had to push the stroller everywhere.  Some cities had tons of stairs, unpaved roads, difficulty getting the stroller in and out of cabs, kids crying in the cars etc.  My mother and I often got into fights and one time I was feeling so low, I went off to travel alone in Hoi An Vietnam.  I went to Marble Mountain with the stroller and went up and down all the stairs to see it.  I loved Hoi An.  Next I went to the town and got lunch, lots of tropical fruits and strolled up and down the most adorable town filled with textile shops.  I stopped in one shop and frantically tried on dresses as fast as I could while the kids slept.  Finally I race back to where the bus takes you to the ship except it was gone.  The taxi takes me straight to the port.  I see the ship is about to leave and full out sprint with the two kids in the stroller weaving in and out of the shipping buildings and containers to get to the ship.  They were about to pull up the ramp and leave and they see us.  Everyone cheers “hooray” and I wave like I’m some kind of movie star.  I’m so relieved to make it to the ship.  As I push the stroller up the ramp to the boat, my mother charged after me like she was going to hit me and was screaming at me in front of everyone.  It was humiliating.  I messed up the times to return because someone told me the wrong time.  I should have checked it anyway.  I remember feeling so sad to be traveling alone with the kids and all the fighting with my mother and issues with my marriage and the difficulty of being a new mother that I lost sight of my self worth.  My father picked up my daughter and simply hugged her.  He was worried too but didn’t yell, he was just happy to see us and glad we were ok.  After my mother left, patrons came up to me and told me that no-one ever has the right to treat me that way, no matter what.  I made an excuse for my mother saying she was worried.  I don’t know why she had to make a show of correcting me in front of everyone other than she was embarrassed and wanted other people to know she was doing what she could to discipline her 40 year old daughter.  I felt guilty because I knew I was so privileged to even be on the ship with her but I was miserable and I couldn’t wait to get off.  There were formal dinners and I had a 1 year old and a 3 year old who could barely sit down for dinner let alone last a full hour.  It was difficult for me because I was doing it alone and I could feel my mother’s embarrassment of me struggling with the kids.  I often ate in the cafeteria or in my room.  I cruised with my parents for four months.  I remember my father wasn’t always around either.  I thought he didn’t want to be around me and the kids and took it personally.  He was busy doing word searches, trying to reverse his Alzheimer’s.  He was completely frightened of death.  He stopped hanging out with everyone, not just me.  He stopped doing his favorite activities, the cruise lectures on the history of every port.  Talks with his friends Della & Jack amongst many other people.  When we traveled at port, he often with alone with the Catholic priest and many times it was only me and my mother with the 2 kids.  I didn’t realize it at the time how sick he was.  3 years later, I see how rapidly his disease was taking him over.  I used to be mad as him, now I just feel compassion.  He was just afraid and I had so many of my own struggles that it was hard for me to be there for him.  I was on duty full time on that ship with barely a breath to break.

Now my mind jumps to back in Clermont, FL right after I had kids.  Looking back on it all, I was so sure of myself being a mother and I was going to video myself and teach other mother’s “how to do it right”.  Well, I realized that I was a hot mess being a new mom.  I was not prepared for the lack of support, the complete loss of myself with no more free time, the changes in my body and not being structured enough to create any kind of balance in my life with getting kids to sleep or anything.  Right after I had my second child, River, I went into post-pardon depression.  I felt fat.  I didn’t have time to get ready, so I stopped caring.  I wanted to nurse my kids until they weaned themself which I did but I didn’t go out as much because of it.  I did nurse openly in public but we moved to Clermont, didn’t know anyone anyway.  My ex-husband was sick with Lyme Disease and he was unhappy too.  The two of us together alone in a new town, across country with little help raising a new family and having to start new careers took a toll on our marriage.  When I was on the cruise I got back in excellent shape.  My mother was kind enough to watch River for 2 hours for me every morning so I could exercise 1 hour and take a 1 hour water painting class while Pepper was in the kids care.  My exercise and painting was my biggest break being a mother and it did help me.  I am grateful for my mother trying to help.  I only wish we could have gotten alone better.   

When I got off the ship and came home, my ex-husband & I decided to have an open marriage with hopes of that co-parenting and outside experiences could helping things.  I mostly realized how angry I was and how much I was ignoring it.  When we opened our marriage, anger came bursting out of me and I couldn’t stop.  Perhaps I was mostly angry with myself but I didn’t know that at the time.  Lots of changes needed to happen and they were very painful.  My biggest challenge was that I had to find myself again.  Somehow I lost myself into being the good wife, supporting my husbands business and raising the two kids.  I was working all the time but for everyone else and never myself.  What did I want to do in case this open marriage didn’t work?  I didn’t know.  I had to re-invent myself and figure out a new life.  Starting over was scary but also a time for my biggest growth.  I went kicking and screaming into finding myself and recovering my soul over the next 2 to 3 years.  

The timer dings, my time is up.  I open my eyes.  I feel like I was in a dream.  I am blessed and I am willing to do whatever I need to do to come into the fullest expression of myself.  What else do I need to do?  What else needs to heal for me to move forward?  I’m working on it.  I’m opening my heart and soul to the world in hopes that maybe it helps someone who also felt the same way that I did at one time realize that they are not alone.  We are all on a ride, a journey to heal ourselves and discover our soul.  I am not perfect.  I don’t know everything but I know I’m on the right path for the first time in my life.  In the past I was always driven by fear.  Now I’m running into my fear, overcoming it and healing past wounds one memory at a time.  I recently sent my mother a text as she is on another cruise and I told her that I love her and I know things are messed up between us and I wanted to apologize for my part in it.  I want to forgive.  I want to love.  I want alignment with my purpose on this earth.  If this touches you then I encourage you to start a meditation yourself.  Don’t judge your thoughts, simply be aware of them like a witness.  What are they telling you?  Peace Peace Peace, love love love.