crossroads

Crossroads

I got in my car after teaching lessons at King Elementary on Tuesday, still a bit flabbergasted (but much calmer than when I arrived) and checked my phone. There was a text from my friend, Maureen.

“Hi, Katie, I’m kicking myself for not telling you to take a photo of her license plate. Anyway, I got a pocket dial from you after you left and wanted to try you back.”

Ha! Pocket dial, that’s hilarious. Who says POCKET dial?

But, um no, that wasn’t a pocket dial, Maureen, I had actually called you, and then I had actually forgotten that I had called you, not remembering that I had called you until I heard a prompt asking if I was satisfied with my message. Shit! No, I’m not satisfied with my message, but I’m clearly not in the right mind to leave a message. I’ll hang up now and try again when I’m more composed.

Composed. To be composed I must breathe. I know this. I can certainly breathe, for that is what I’m heading to do in my car with a missing tail light: teach children to find their breath.

God damn it! How embarrassing. I am ashamed that pulling out of the parking lot heading to teach mindfulness I mindlessly backed up into someone. I am ashamed, and I am embarrassed that two people I know (and another I had just met) were sitting on the patio, witness to my blunder.

Damn it, damn it, damn it. I will breathe and I will feel my shame. I will feel my embarrassment.

Because I have a choice.

I can let this be a minor finder bender, or I can make this be BIG, HUGE. I can rip myself up and down. I can tear myself apart.

I am at a crossroads, and I have a choice.

I feel liberation peaking out behind the abating shame.

River Street Cafe

I’m home

I’ve returned from Barcelona to piles of mail, oodles of laundry and a yard full of toys left out in the rain. Ted’s piano books are by the front door, unpracticed since last Tuesday’s lesson, and Gus’s night-write journal is still opened to the page he wrote the eve of my departure. My bedroom comforter is stained, and my beautiful African basket is mildewed from a pot of coffee spilled in it last Sunday. The patio flowers are shriveled from the Midwest heat, and the basement is full of granola bar wrappers. Continue reading I’m home

parc-guell

Transforming boundaries

I write tonight from a quaint apartment in Barcelona. The neighborhood in which it sits is at the edge of trendy and touristy and gritty and “for real”.  I sit at a large round table at the back of the flat with my dear friend Candace, who is also writing. The terrace doors are open to the plant-covered community rooftop space. There is a slight breeze pulling from the open terrace doors at the front of the flat. With it come the sounds of the busy metropolitan street below. The incense we found and lit is subtle yet enrapturing. Beethoven plays on Spotify. It’s 9:00 p.m., though I’ve only been awake for six hours and only enjoyed one, deeply satisfying Spanish meal. Continue reading Transforming boundaries

writing

To hold or to let go?

Last fall when the season of change was settling itself upon me I purchased the domain name mindfulmama.com. I didn’t known exactly what I would do with it, only that I was hoping it would be an impetus for me to both write and focus more intentionally and publicly on my quest to be a more mindful person. The power of accountability is undeniable. I mean, come on, if I’m writing on a website I paid way too much for with the beautifully alliterated title Mindful Mama, I surely would be less likely to scream at my kids, shame them into behavior or fight dirty with my husband. Right? Continue reading To hold or to let go?

IMG_6198

Café time

After having spent three days with the kids up near Valentine, NE with no other adult and no electronics of any sort, I felt comfortable enough (guilt-free enough) to leave them Saturday morning to attend a yoga class and sit alone in a café for an hour, which hands-down is my favorite thing to do. It is also something I have not done one single time since school got out. Continue reading Café time

two girls dancing

Two girls dancing

I remember sitting in a café in Berkeley days before my 25th birthday contemplating this significant milestone. I had purchased a beautiful new journal with two goddess-like figures on it, dancing in the air with their wings outstretched, hands embracing in a big circle. On page one I wrote,

The two almost identical-looking women on the cover of my nth journal are me and myself. They beg me to unite, to complete and to express. To live. Continue reading Two girls dancing

soccer ball

Super soccer mom

Last night TJ and I had dinner with Eric and Paula, a couple that I was meeting for the first time, and in the course of our conversation I mentioned that I’d been teaching mindfulness classes at the kids’ school. This started us down the Mindfulness discussion highway, and I realized that though I LOVE talking Mindfulness, I really don’t have my elevator pitch down yet. Creating one, or even talking about what I’m doing is really tough for me because sometimes I feel like a fraud. Though I’ve taken a few courses, sit daily, listen to many a Mindfulness podcast, started attending group sits and devour books written by the gurus, I still yell at my kids, get overwhelmed and experience bouts of forgetfulness. All this stuff still happens, so I sometimes hesitate to promote what I’m doing. But the truth is my Mindfulness practice is changing the way I relate to all these daily life experiences. Continue reading Super soccer mom

grey-color-11

Seeing gray

I first became aware of my black or white thinking in college. I was a sophomore and suffering my first real bout of insomnia. All my peers were picking majors and the mere thought of deciding what I wanted to do for the rest of my life squeezed the very breath out of me. I was fine being busy throughout the day, but the second my sweet, young head hit the pillow, ¡pow! the adrenaline kicked in at full force. What if I picked the wrong degree?! Attempting to let my roommate sleep, I’d pace the dorm hallways until I ended up in the computer lab where I’d often e-mail my dad at the wee hours of the morning, the reason for which he sent me my first self-help book. I don’t remember the name or the title of the yellow paperback, but I do remember being intrigued by the author’s ability to describe so well the inner workings of my mind. This = good. That = bad. Don’t mess it up or shit will go bad. Continue reading Seeing gray