Eight years of pausing,
sitting still, closing my eyes
and going within.
I remember well the day
eight years ago, when,
pregnant, feeling sick,
overwhelmed by my responsibilities
as wife and mother,
I called out to the void
I’m going crazy! I’m losing it!
Help me! What should I do?
And the Voice said
You must meditate.
And I thought,
I had a regular practice
before I met my husband,
but (and maybe you can relate)
self-care always fell to the bottom of the list
when I was in a relationship with someone else.
The Voice said
and I remembered that this was an option,
and I sat.
I started small, just five minutes a session,
but I quickly worked my way up
to thirty minutes a day.
Eight years and I haven’t missed a day.
Eight years…I have shown up for myself.
My ex said
You meditate too much
when he gave me the list of reasons
he was leaving our marriage.
That was two years ago,
and he’s gone now,
but I’m still meditating.
Eight years I’ve said to myself
I matter. This matters.
I’m going to keep showing up.
And I will, for eight more years,
and eight more and eight more after that.
I’ll show up every single day,
rain or shine,
in sickness or in health,
for richer or for poorer,
until death closes my body’s eyes
and opens the eyes of my soul.
Then, there will be no surprises,
because in meditation I have seen it all.
I’m feeling entertained.
What was meant as an insult
has provided endless laughter.
This means progress.
I was told that the body part upon which I sit
I was told to get off this particularly entitled body part
and get a job.
I have two things to say:
1. I have a job. Actually two jobs. Actually three.
I have been mothering for 9 years
and teaching yoga for 14
and it is a full time job being me,
it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it
and I’m the most qualified for it—
AND I AM DAMN GOOD AT WHAT I DO,
AND I WILL KEEP DOING IT, THANK YOU.
2. Yes, I am entitled,
and not just the body part on which I sit.
All of me is entitled.
All of me is entitled to:
(among other things, but the list is getting too long, so I’ll stop there. For now).
I am entitled to these things,
because this is what I give out.
Oh wait, there is a third thing I have to say:
3. YOU CAN’T HURT ME ANYMORE.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns,
just talk to the aforementioned entitled body part on which I sit.
I’m sure it will make itself very clear,
in one way or another.
I taught all my yoga classes
(seven in three days)
and I am exhausted.
I had dinner in Westminster
with my cousin and her family,
gave my father a card and a hug.
Back home the loneliness sets in.
My kids are with their dad and his girlfriend,
and I keep seeing
families playing together,
wondering how my life got to this,
where I’m working myself to exhaustion
just to make ends meet,
homeless in less than a month,
angry at the injustice,
lonely without my kids.
I want this to change.
I am willing to change.
But I need help to see beyond my pain.
A friend came and visited.
We sipped our mugs of tea
and filled each other in
on the comings and
goings of our lives.
He’s three months into
a fulfilling relationship
with a vibrantly beautiful
and talented woman.
I’m happy for him.
I shared about my sadness,
loneliness and isolation.
I told him how I wanted to be
before dipping my toes
back into the waters
of love and relationships.
It’s been two years since
I’ve been with a man,
and my body feels the urge
to be held, to connect…
but I don’t trust myself
to attract a healthy man
into my life,
and I’m still reeling
from the pain of my divorce.
So I’m waiting.
He told me I have too many rules,
that if I stop myself from desiring
I stop myself from moving forward.
Now my head is spinning.
Is it true?
Do I have too many rules?
Before he dropped the bomb
I had a regular, consistent gratitude practce.
I recorded five things every night
for which I was grateful.
I had been doing this for years,
and had already filled multiple books
with my nightly gratitudes.
After he dropped the bomb,
I expanded my practice.
When my mind was telling me my life was over
and that I’d never be happy again,
I recorded twenty things every night
for which I was grateful.
I began to count the smallest things
the way the sun rose,
the way my child’s voice sounds,
the taste of soup,
the temperature of the wind.
I realized that those “little” things
are enormous in their beauty
and their presence.
I realized I could be more grateful.
I started to realize that happiness
is a choice I make every day.
I’m into my healing process.
I can thank him for dropping the bomb
and blowing my old life to bits
so that I could create a new life.
I’m still working on forgiveness,
but that is another poem.
Sometimes I wonder
how you could go from
I love you
to It’s over.
But that’s exactly what happened,
from one month to the next…
nearly two years later,
I’m still wondering.
I’ve read another book,
The Way of the Superior Man,* by David Deida.
(You told me I read too many books,
but then I think you watch way too much TV.)
I flagged each sentence
that shed light on what went wrong
in our marriage.
I’ll go back and reread what I’ve flagged,
memorize the passages,
so that never again
will I share my heart
with a weak man,
a man who blames his woman
for his shortcomings,
a man who defends his mediocrity
by rescinding his responsibility.
I’ll read every book I can get my hands on
about cultivating a healthy relationship with myself
and healthy relationships with others.
I’m becoming quite an educated woman.
The beauty of my aloneness
is that I get to dream of being
with someone who deserves me,
and I get to cultivate the deep sense of worthiness
that will draw him to me.
I’m still healing from the wounds you inflicted
when you left our marriage in such a cowardly way.
when I’m with a beautiful, strong man
who loves and appreciates my deeply feminine core,
I’ll thank you for giving up,
because I know I was worth so much more.
*I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It resonated so deeply and clarified so much. I’ve never felt so vindicated, seen, heard and understood. Ladies, every one of you, please read this book. Gentlemen, every one of you, please read this book.
I found out our divorce had been finalized
because a friend sent me a screenshot of your photo:
Veuve Clicquot on your dining room table
and your caption
Divorce never tasted so good.
And I thought to myself,
Ah, but it has.
My divorce tastes better.
It tastes like FREEDOM.
The fanciest champagne in the world
cannot compare with the
sweet, clear taste of freedom.
And the richest man in the world
cannot buy this freedom;
it must be felt
deep inside a mind
at home with itself
in this one moment.