Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Busy Mom Attempts to Meditate & Be Mindful for 10 Minutes: Crash & Burn!


I lay down

Relax

Empty my mind

Think about my breathing

Start with my toes.  Up I go next…. to the soles of my feet.

Nice.

Then to my heels.

Heels….. Shoes….

I wonder if I remembered to pack my daughter’s shoes in her bag today. Her indoor soccer sneaks. The one with the neon laces. And her water bottle. Did I forget that too? Who is picking her up again?

Breeeeeeathe. Come back. Center…… Focus……………..

Backs of legs.

Backs of knees.

Feel them against the pillow.

Feel them.

Hey! Look! There’s a Chickadee on the neighbor’s tree outside! Oh my god.

Look how CUTE it is with it’s little, black mask and tinkering, little flutters as it hops from branch to branch………. Birds. I wonder if I remembered to defrost the bird, the chicken for dinner tonight. And, whoa, I never figured out where we would go out to dinner tomorrow night. Mexican? Italian? Pizza?  Yes, I think pizza. We should do pizza….

Uh, re-center. Re-center………………………………………...

Re-center. 

(Re-centering!)

Buttocks. My buttocks are feeling the weight of my breath.

Deeeeeep in breath…. Feeeel the weight of the breath inside of me. Deeeeeeeep out breath……………

Deep in….

Deep out………….

Oh, crap, I really should write that down quickly so I don’t forget. Where’s my phone.

California Pizza Kitchen.  6pm.

That’s where should go tomorrow night. They have that great, big, chop salad and…........ Oh, geez, salad. Yeah, I really should stop by Whole Foods on the way home from rehearsal tonight and pick up some fresh greens. The kids have been living on defrosted stuff for days now…............. And, fresh. Isn’t it called scurvy when kids don’t eat enough fresh veggies. I think I remember that from back in high school, was it freshman year bio? Or maybe sophomore year? The year where we learned all about fruit flies and petri dishes and then we had to pee in that beaker and we all stank for days…......... I better Google it.

Uh.

What was I doing?..................


THE END

Namaste & Mindful Baby Steps to you! –OM

ps. this is based on a TRUE STORY ;)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Extreme Sports Moms & Dads Thankful That Kids Bounce (When We Shatter): Aspen XGames

UPDATE: January 31, 2012 --- Horrible, horrible news just came in that Caleb Moore, snowmobiler, has died from his crash during his Snowmobile Freestyle run at the Aspen XGames 2013. As a reader commented, they don't always bounce. And it's tragic when this happens. Awful and tragic. Our hearts go out to Caleb's family right now. Be safe.


Have you spent any time watching the XGames? 

Any of the sports? 

But, especially, right now, the winter sports like snowboarding and skiing and flipping-all-over-the-place-100-feet-in-the-air-with-a-450pound-snowmobile-flying-over-your-head that are going on right now in Aspen?

Holy breath holding.

Especially for a parent.

Because that adrenaline infused exuberant bravado that these “kids” have --- defying gravity, flying in various directions at the same time, contorting their bodies, and landing, at times, flat on their heads, rag-dolling themselves all over the snow….. it’s enough to send my own brain to the ER for stress relief.

But, amazingly, many of these young athletes seem as though they are made of Stretch-Armstrong (note: not Lance Armstrong) like material, as they merely BOUNCE along the snow in cataclysmic looking crashes. And then they lay there as we count the seconds….

Is he going to get up? Is she moving? Is he going to MAKE IT???? And then, with a shake of the head, arm, leg, they get up, face the cameras and SMILE.  Duuuuuuuuuude!

The revelation? They BOUNCE. These kids bounce.

And I am reminded. As our own kids get stronger and begin to also defy gravity at a superior level, I am reminded of the countless hours at the playground and even at home when a startling, heart-stopping crash has happened, and before we have the chance to screech or dash-over or dial 911, wait-for-it, wait-for-it, our toddler stands up, dusts herself off, and heads back up to the tippy top of the pointy part of the dangerous place on the slide from whence he had just fallen.

Amen, little guy.

So, it seems our kids are born with incredible resilience to hard ground. (And we not-kids are now learning that we are, ahem, less bouncy.)

So clip on those ski boots and rev up those engines. It’s going to be a fun ride, no matter how hard they fall.

Namaste & Three Cheers! -OM

p.s. Here's a clip of a not-crash, snowmobile, you've-got-to-be-kidding-me run from the Aspen XGames a few days ago, featuring Gold Medal winner Levi Lavallee.


UPDATE: January 31, 2012 --- Horrible, horrible news just came in that Caleb Moore, snowmobiler, has died from his crash during his Snowmobile Freestyle run at the Aspen XGames 2013. As a reader commented, they don't always bounce. And it's tragic when this happens. Awful and tragic. Our hearts go out to Caleb's family right now. Be safe.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Go Away January!!!!! Surviving January With a Little Help from Pema Chodron


My Thoughtful Little Buddha

Except for the birthdays of the people I love this month, I have decided to declare January --- OVER.

Go Away, January.

The little Buddha who sits on my kitchen table next to our pepper grinder and Kleenex box might think me rash.

Be in January.
It just is January.
There is no January.

But I wish, no longer, to have January in my life.

This thought is irrational and, clearly, unstable. As if getting rid of Januarys would rid my life of uncomfortable things like the flu or the stomach bug or deaths or too many diagnoses of cancer of loved ones.

And then, I find this quote from the wise and fuzzy-headed Pema Chodron:

"To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path."

And I think, revenge on January? Is that what I’m doing?

Deep, dark January. I guess you can stay. As the discomfort you cause, I suppose, is in no way your fault and brings us all to another level of growth.

But be gentle next time. Walk gently onto my path. Because I am merely human and the awakening is coming, but still oceans away.

Namaste – OM


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Mommy: Do As I Say, Not As I Do. A Humbling Parenting Moment.


My son was in my belly that year at Pac Bell Park when San Francisco Giants baseball fever was at extraordinary pitch and the revered, the loved, the phenomenal Barry Bonds, the beefy-baseball-god, walked up to the plate and smashed baseball records and smashed the crud out of the mosquito of a ball. And sent it flying, flying over our heads into the bleachers and water…again and again. Eventually for home run number 73 that stands today as the most home runs in a single season.

No doubt my now 11 year old son can STILL feel the shaking of the crowd as we all erupted with joy and fireworks and absolute euphoria that our hero had DONE IT. He’d done it for us! And for the first few years of our son’s life while smacking t-balls in our backyard, the Shrine to Barry was powerful. “Hit it like, Barry Bonds!” “Barry Bonds Slugger!” “Who’s your favorite player: Barry Bonds!!!” Posters lined his walls. Bobble heads. Tshirts. The worship was real.

Now, it’s Lance’s turn. Lance Armstrong, the most famous cyclist in the world. Decorated. Cancer defeater. Tour de France conqueror. Yellow bracelets worn by millions of kids and adults alike in solidarity to Live Strong and beat those odds. You can do it!

And then there’s me. Mom. Mommy. Maker of breakfasts and do-er of laundry. Nurturer. Boo-boo healer. Big, giant hugger. The sun sort of rises and sets on a mommy’s role in our kids’ lives. We don’t hear a crowd, but we know our importance.

So what do we say to our kids when their Barry Bonds gets busted for doping. And denies it. And what do we say to our kids when the walk-on-water Lance gets cornered for cheating. And apparently will soon fess-up to it after years of vehement denial and attacks on the truth. And what do I say to my kids when I let loose a string of horrific, illegal-in-this-house profanities when I whack and possibly dislocate my pinky-toe against the back, left foot of the $#%$!#% couch.

All egregious acts of hero-treason. All self-absorbed speaking out of one side of your mouth: Don’t you ever do it. I would never do it! I don’t do it. I didn’t do it.  Meanwhile, the other side of your mouth is doing the exact, naughty opposite.

As my 7 year old said to me with her wide, big-blue eyes after she (unfortunately) witnessed, hence busted my foul-language, thesaurus-like, mangled pinky-toe tirade: “Why do adults SAY not to do bad things. But then they DO them?” 

And then get away with them.

Good question my sweet little-buddha. For the Do As I Say, Not As I Do mantra is quite funny, but also quite real in this day and age. As a Parent like me or as a World Wide Hero like Barry and Lance.

It’s a humbling moment for us all.

Namaste & Three Cheers -OM


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Need A New Winter Hobby? How About Creating Magical, Giant Snowflakes from Snowfields Like Awesome, Crazy Brit Simon Beck


Magical Fields of Snow Made by Jack Frost?
Or a Brit Named Simon


Well, it sounds like the skiing up in Tahoe was AWESOME over the Christmas break. All reports are in and the cold weather held the snow from before the holidays and there were even still fresh tracks to be found in the trees! Wooo!!!

Friends in Colorado reported cold weather, too, and snow snow snow this year for a change. Last year all of us “skiiers” were wearing shorts and getting out our high altitude golf clubs and mountain bikes when Santa was coming down the chimney. So it’s nice to hear of more appropriate Winter Snowy Weather this year.

One guy who has had WAY too much fun in the snow so far this year is a very cool and somewhat looney dude named: Simon Beck. Simon looks like a survivor from an avalanche disaster. Which is cool enough in itself. But what is freakin’ unbelievable is what he does once he straps on his snowshoes.

He stomps, tromps and clomps out miles and miles of breathtaking artwork in the snow using a pristine, snowy field as his canvas and his snowshoes as his paintbrush. 
Simon the Snowshoe Artist

His FB page only makes you want more as he describes the experience of making his art.... and draws his ardent fans even closer:

“Last night was quite a psychadelic experience on the lake ….For the first time I got the migraine 'dazzles' (multicoloured zigzags) while working on a snow art. It was rather like having a keleidoscope projected on the snow in front of me as I plodded out the pattern by the light of my head torch. An inspiration for a future design perhaps?”

and

“Thanks to those who commented on the state of my toe…could it be broken, could it be frostbite, a burst blood vessel somewhere inside? Not a pretty sight for sure” (He had posted then removed a pic of said gross toe.)

Snow Art at a Ski Resort in France
Fascinating.

Exotic.

Strange.

Wonderful.

Like a page out of Narnia or some Winter’s Tale where the bundled kids come over the ridge with sled in hand and discover the twinkling other-world of a magical field designed by Jack Frost.

I love it....... 

Rock on, Simon. Plod on, Simon!

Namaste & Three Cheers to you all in this New Year! –OM

*and big thanks to KG for sending this my way

Find out more at: Snow Art Facebook  and Snow Art Demilked

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wow! Over 5,000 Page Views and More Rockin’ Outdoorsy Parental Disaster-ly Stories Ahead for 2013!



2013 Is Going to Rock!!! 
So Get Your Hiking Shoes On!
Well lookie here!

See what happens when you go on Christmas Vacation and forget the power cord for your laptop?

Ta-da!

Now over 5,000 page views from loyal, happy, silly, (bored?), fascinated, expecting-hilarity page viewers like YOU! (And maybe a few chilly Russians looking for a slice of typical American life…Stinky Keens!!!)

I am deeply honored.

And having FUN.

Which is the point.

Now..... onto a big HAPPY NEW YEAR! to everyone involved. And to ski season and snow stories and Northern California “winter” stories (ie. sledding on mud) and more bungling-parenting stories galore!

Yippee!

Thanks everyone and stay tuned….

Namaste & Three Cheers! –OM