Oh my goodness!; it's almost back to school time in Tahoe. Many families have returned to school already. For me, it's my favorite time of the year. I love the structure, the routine, the new start, but most of all, the re-commitment to learning/growth. For Tessa, this time is about back-to-school shopping and creating a freshness in her living space. We have been remodeling her room. First, she started to declutter-which is really the Yoga Sutra practice of Saucha- often translated as cleanliness, but also thought of as clarity. Tessa does not have attachment issues, she was happy to give away almost everything and when I whimpered about something I loved that she wanted to get rid of, she responded, "I am not a hoarder, Mom." (Aparigraha- the practice of non-hoarding or giving abundantly). After cleaning came painting with one of her best friends. We were quite the painting trio, and it was a process- with it's highs, lows and a whole lot of paint on us and, eventually, some on the walls. I still see little flecks of white paint in Tessa's hair. To cover her old vibrant blue walls and green ceiling took five or six coats of Tessa's chosen color- white. It took a lot of sweat and some tears, (Tapas- often translated as zeal or the practice of fiery discipline). Somehow we all survived, and Tessa is really happy with how it all turned out, even with all the imperfections. She expresses her gratitude for my help and encouragement every night when I put her to bed. (Santosa- the practice of contentment).
It was interesting to watch the process; we saw our perfectionism come up, and our wanting to quit come up. I saw my fear of messes come to the surface when Tessa and her friend began painting each other and that was more fun than painting the walls. Of course, the dogs wanted to be included in our play! (Svadhyaya- the practice of self-study). Our lives are a spiritual practice when we tune in. Connect to the life that is wanting to move thru you right now... I have been resisting Tessa's requests to remodel her room for probably three years and I finally surrendered, (Ishvara Pranidhana- the art of surrender). And, I am so grateful I did.
This past weekend Tessa and I loaded up in, Betty the Sportsmobile, and we headed to the Sweetside- basically thought of as anywhere from Bridgeport to Lone Pine. I drove and we talked, cooked, ate, listened to music, hiked, read, rode some horses (actually I rode a mule named Pearl), ate ice cream cones, watched sunsets and slept in the same bed (I bet that changes soon). It was beautiful weekend of connection with my almost 7th grader, one of the main reasons I got the van. I told her everything I could remember from 7th and 8th grade. Especially highlighting all the awkwardness I felt and I shared some of my best high school stories too. We sat on top of Betty one night watching the sunset, my arms wrapped around her. I know she is a little self-conscious about how short she is, but I love that she still fits in my lap. She said "Mom, I want you to know that I love you even when I am nasty, ya know, when I am being a teenager." Then I responded, "Tessa, I want you to know that I love you even when I am being nasty, ya know, being a perio-menopausal/menopausal woman." It was a beautiful and hilarious, sweet moment I will always remember...
Sometimes, as parents of middle schoolers and high schoolers, I believe we think our kids don't want to hang out with us, so we kind of give up. Tessa put up some resistance to going on the trip this weekend, but I have learned that when I recognize the resistance and persist anyway, we end up connecting big time. When I think of my parents, my most beloved memories are of having one-on-one time with them; which often didn't feel long enough, or often enough. I still crave one-on-one time with them. Without them admitting it, I think our kids do too.
I believe that part of my purpose in this world is to foster more intimacy and connection; whether it be in relationships, within oneself, or with nature. Connection and intimacy is the recipe I served at the Wanderlust Festival this year. In fact, one of the Wanderlust hikes I led, "Connecting with Mama", was so rewarding for me, that when I participated in, and taught yoga at the Women's Mountain Bike Clinics at Tahoe XC this past month, I was thinking I want to do a "Connect with Mama" bike clinic. I learned so much from the clinic instructors, Kristen Martin Del Campo, Courtney Henderson and Quincy Young. They really are phenomenal bike coaches and individuals too. It always cracks me up that I learned to run by running, swim by swimming, bike by biking, ski by skiing, climb by climbing, but when I have actually invested in some instruction (not enough), it's amazing how it changes the sport for me. Yes, I am guilty of taking myself and my kid out on mountain bike rides without really knowing how to change a flat, or knowing proper bike etiquette, let alone how to brake, corner, ride over rocks, climb, etc.
So, we did it; Kristen, Quincy and I have put together a "Connecting with Mama" bike experience. Bring your kid(s) and share this amazing sport and opportunity with us. It's going to be special and, yes, there will be a little co-listening, yoga and meditation too. (Dads, don't get jealous, we are planning something for you in the Spring...) We are also teaming up for some co-ed Mountain Bike Clinics at the end of this month as well. Scroll down for more info on upcoming offerings, such as Yoga on the Deck and Yoga and Meditation for Men.
Most of all I hope you all had lots of connection time this summer with your kids, parents, partners, friends, pets and yourselves. And here's to a beautiful connective FALL!
Love to you all!
Connecting with Mama
with Kristen Martin Del Campo, Quincy Young and Shari Beard
Tahoe Cross Country
Saturday, Sept. 14
Cost $100 for each mom, $25 per son/daughter
More info at www.tahoexc.org
**A Mountain Bike/Yoga Clinic for Mom's and their Kids. That is including adult kids! The relationship between mother's and their children is powerful. Often it feels like in our busy lives we don't make the time to nurture these relationships especially when our kids get older starting middle school all the way up into adulthood. Let's make this special time by carving out a morning to learn a little together, ride a little together, stretch a little together, share and connect a whole lot. Your relationship with each other will be better for it.
Yoga on the Deck and Under the Trees
with Shari Beard
Tahoe Cross Country
Sept. 11 and 18th 4:00-5:15
Cost $15, Kids Free
*Practice will lend well to pre/post ride or run.
Tahoe Cross Country Mountain Bike Clinics
Saturday, Sept.28th and Oct.5th
For more details: www.tahoexc.org
Satsang at the Wanderlust Studio in Squaw
Sept. 16th 5:30-7:00
*My soul sister Meg McCracken has been facilitating Satsang on the 3rd Monday of every Month. I feel so honored to take her seat in September. Satsang is an opportunity to drop in with each other and let our hearts and voices be heard. The theme for September will be "Commitment".
Yoga and Meditation for Men
A 6 Week Series
*Exploring Commitment, Boundaries, Anger, Shame/Guilt,
Acceptance and Self Care.
Wednesday Evenings 7:15-8:45
Oct.2 - Nov.6
**More info coming.