Kids are at school 7 or 8 hours a day. That’s a full working day, and why should they have to take work home? -Etta Kralovec, an associate professor of teacher education at the University of Arizona South
So we moved over the summer. Not because we wanted to, but circumstances required it. Despite our sadness at leaving a house and neighborhood we loved, we do really like our new living situation. Here’s the view from our kitchen table…
Unfortunately, we don’t really like our new schooling situation. We were really pleased with our former school. The kids were doing really well, their teachers were great, the principal was great, they had plenty of time after school to relax and play and do chores. Now they are attending a new school, and it has become a significant source of stress in my life. <—That’s a diplomatic way of saying they are seriously pissing me off.
Back in 2010 I wrote a post with some of my hopes for the upcoming birth of my 4th baby. It turned out that many of the things I wanted to experience with her birth didn’t work out. I did get to experience a near-painless birth, but it wasn’t anything like what I had envisioned. So here’s what I’m hoping for with birth #5…
1) Mother Blessing Celebration
With my last births, my co-authors gave me a “virtual mother blessing” and sent me a bonsai tree and beads for a birthing necklace along with lovely messages and prayers for me. It was wonderful. But this time I want a real-life mother blessing celebration with all my hippy/birthy friends (who can make it) physically present. I want henna on my belly, and flowers in my hair, and candles and the whole nine yards. Getting this child here has been a long and agonizing process, and I know I will need a lot of love and support to complete this journey and bring this child earth-side.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
Where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
I’ve now completed four full weekends of Kundalini Yoga Teacher training and all forty days of my assigned 40-day sadhana. Yippee! Last weekend for yoga teacher training we had an “Ashram-style” retreat in the mountains two hours northeast of Phoenix. It was such a beautiful place to be.
I’ve now completed two full weekends of Kundalini Yoga Teacher training and twenty-three days of my assigned 40-day sadhana. There is so much I could say, but I think for the sake of time I will just share snip-its of my class notes in bullet-point form.
See “Yoga Teacher Training Diary, 1st Edition” HERE.
February 28, 2015 (with Gurumeher Singh)
- Purpose of yoga= to become one with the infinite.
- yoga= union, yoke
- Purpose of yoga= to control the thought waves of the mind.
- When not in a state of yoga, we identify with our thoughts, reactions, and habitual patterns: “I am angry.”
- Yoga is potty training your mind
- need a place to “dump”
- once a day go to your dumping station (yoga/meditation)
About six months ago I wrote a post called “Becoming Whole Again” where I gave an update about my recovery from anxiety and depression. Yesterday I received a comment from Nicole on that post:
I am really interested in the new “prescription” to replace the drugs. What are the variety of spiritual and physical things you were encouraged to make habits in order to protect yourself from darkness and fear?
I’ve been thinking about sharing that prescription for awhile. So Nicole’s comment was the nudge I needed. I wrote this list in my journal on March 16, 2013. I feel it was a joint-effort between God and me, that we made the list together. At the time I wasn’t doing any of the things consistently and some not at all.
1) Go to bed by 10:00 p.m. and wake up early.
3) Read my scriptures.
5) Sing and play the piano.
6) Hold each child in my arms.
7) Have sex at least once a week.
Back in July I started meditating (kundalini yoga meditation) and singing every day. I haven’t missed a day since. I’m approaching 80 days. After I started this daily meditation practice, I felt so amazing that I cut my medication dose in half again. So now I’m down to 1/4 of my prescribed dose every other day. There were a few discouraging days while my body adjusted, but now that I’ve stabilized, the bad days are few and far between.
Before my most recent birth, I made a list of “Hopes for next time.” I outlined the ways I hoped to make my fourth birth even better than the previous three. (Most of the items on my list didn’t happen. Oh well.) My first pregnancy was the beginning of my childbirth obsession, but I had no idea back then just how deep the things-to-learn-about-birthing “rabbit hole” was going to go. Now ten years down the road, it goes deeper still.
If I were to write another “Hopes for next time” post, I have another item I’d now be putting at the top of my list: singing.
I’ve been fluctuating between severely-sleep-deprived and mildly-sleep-deprived for most of my life. Before having children, I had my own night-owl tendencies to blame. After having children, I wished I could go back in time and yell at my former self, “Sleep while you can!!!!!” I was utterly unprepared for the whiplash of new-parent sleep-loss. Honestly, I think last year’s craziness was partially just nine years of chronic sleep-deprivation pushing me to my breaking point. Sleep is so important, but its usually in short supply when you’re a mom, especially if you’ve chosen “night-time parenting” as your side-job.
I want you to get more sleep. I want your babies (small and large) to get more sleep. Here are some things you might want to try, if that’s what you want as well.
I’ve been really interested in sound lately. I’m reading a book called Healing at the Speed of Sound: How What We Hear Transforms Our Brains and Lives. I love these words from the preface, “When we speak of being of ‘sound mind and body,’ we seldom realize that sound itself is the root of being. That sound itself is the route to acquire those things we want so much, a sound mind and body.” And these words from the introduction, “We may choose organic good at the supermarket and avoid inhaling others’ cigarette smoke, yet we rarely pay attention to the equally positive or negative health impacts of sound, the other thing we put in our bodies.” I am loving thinking about the concept of “sound nutrition.” Great stuff.
For weeks whenever anyone has asked me, “Are you so ready for this baby to come?” my immediate response has been an adamant, “No! I wish I had two more months! I’m not ready!” I’ve been nesting for quite awhile and crossing things off my before-the-baby-comes to-do list every day (only to think of more things to add and then cross off), but, beyond the physical preparations for the birth and postpartum period, I haven’t felt an ounce of readiness. Each night as I have gone to bed, wondering whether a birth would be waking me soon, I have felt an overwhelming lack of surety… a feeling that not everything was in place… a yearning for something to bolster me and give me the foundation I need to give birth in peace in confidence. Today it came.
Earlier this evening I was playing the piano while my family sang songs. I noticed after I had been playing for a few minutes that the little babe in my belly starting moving around. And I remembered that last week’s pregnancy update email from Baby Center, informed me that (at 23 weeks) my baby was more and more aware of the sounds in my environment. So as I played the piano tonight, I got wondering what my little wombling thought of that piano music… and it got me thinking about the effects of prenatal music exposure.
Yesterday I learned that “playing Mozart through headphones to the pregnant belly won’t increase intelligence, and could even be harmful. A fetus isn’t expecting music to be blasted into the womb, and it may be so loud it causes damage” (interview with Annie Murphy Paul, author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives). But what about the music a fetus is exposed to organically, simply through a pregnant mother’s actions and environment? Certainly I’m not harming my fetus by playing the piano, listening to my car stereo, or singing, but do those musical experiences have any benefits?
When I was looking for music to include in my first home birthing playlist, I had a hard time finding suggestions via Google. So, after creating my own list (with help and suggestions from my blog readers), I wanted to share it for other birth music seekers. The following was the soundtrack for my fastest, easiest birth:
1) Storm – Powerful, Exhilarating Thunderstorm Sounds (Calmsound, Nature Sounds)
This is a long track of a thunderstorm. It starts with a huge crash of thunder (a little jarring), but there’s something about the power of it that soothes and energizes me at the same time. I love the sound of rain.