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.

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

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

To hold or to let go?

Last fall when the season of change was settling itself upon me I purchased the domain name 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?