Honesty: I was super hesitant to send Audrey to more "traditional" school. For a long time after she was born, I researched and looked up all different kinds of alternative schooling. Homeschooling, unschooling, Montessori, Waldorf, Forest. You name it, I have probably seen it and read about it. I am a huge fan of Sir Ken Robinson and a lot of his work. And believe me, I still see and recognize all of the merits of each of the options listed above. Truly. And there may come a day when we decide still to take that route. I do not love the ideas of standardization, nor do I love the Common Core.
That being said, we decided to go ahead this year and take the option of New York City’s UPK program. In NYC you have to list the school’s you prefer in order of preference because there are so many options. This is both awesome and overwhelming. I naturally went on a hunt for the most progressive programs and put them at the top of my list. However we also listed a couple of schools close by, because we do have some great options, though they are deemed as “more traditional”. One of them being right across the street from us. Wouldn’t you know, that’s where she got in. I was admittedly hesitant, however I was excited for the very brief commute and the time it would save us each day. Because the reality is, every morning her school begins at 8:15 and we leave at 8:10. And every day we waste no time getting back home so we can head right to the park on nice days, or have play dates immediately afterwards.
Looking back now in these past 4 months here are some major realizations I have had:
This post simply started as a fond reflection of how much I have loved this first half of Audrey’s “traditional” Pre-K experience. Her teachers are incredible, her friends and their parents...we are lucky and oh so grateful. But also the education and wisdom it has offered me as her mom and a citizen of this world, has been so strong. And this is simply, my personal experience. I know many others have very different thoughts, opinions and experiences. Please know, I am in no way shaming or condemning the other options. I mean it when I say, there may come a time they are more right for us as well and I truly see and understand the merits. I remain open. But as of late I feel immensely grounded in the understanding that life doesn’t have to be an OR, it can be an AND. AND our experience of doing the exact opposite of what I ever thought we would do, has given me so much. So I thought I would share.
Today I stood in my favorite spot, in my favorite park and cried. They weren't tears of sadness or anger or hurt. In fact, the circumstances around which they flowed are quite wonderful really. But they were tears of overwhelm and emotional tension that definitely needed to be released.
The truth is, this past week our family has been going at full speed with a lot of things juggling in the air. All of it wonderful and in the name of abundance, truly, I am grateful. But the reality is that even when things that we are happy about happen, overwhelm can still exist. This is not meant to sound like a loss of perspective, but simply an honest and open share that life sometimes, even when full and exciting, can feel big and heavy.
For the past 26 days I have been sharing a personal challenge of mine with 32 other people. We have committed to moving our bodies in some way for 30 minutes, for 30 days. Many of you are on this email list. My moment of release came after a brisk walk through the park while listening to one of my favorite meditations. I realized on the walk home that those two tools: that of movement and meditation are what allowed me to find the ability to release my overwhelm through wonderful, beautiful, salty tears. Cultivating such tools has been instrumental for me these last few years. Many days I repeat the same ones: Oils, Meditation, Journaling, Breathing, Movement. Some days it's one that takes the lead, some days it is many of them multiple times throughout the day. Each one in their own way helps me to navigate my own emotional waters with intelligence and a kind of care that helps me move through whatever the experience is rather than feel the need to numb or avoid.
It really does seem simple enough, even as I type this. But the reality is that learning to turn to these tools has been some of the hardest work I have ever done. And I don't think I am alone in this. Having made the decision to take this very personal work and now create a career around it, I now see every day, how incredibly challenging it is for all of us to choose ourselves in this way. Or how it can be easy one time and maybe a second time, but to consistently choose this work over and over again is indeed hard. And that's ok. And also, it doesn't mean we don't keep trying.
I speak a lot about forgiveness with my clients. How it is utterly important to consistently forgive yourself for not choosing yourself in a moment or when we "fall off the wagon" so to speak. Because it's through the act of forgiveness that we teach ourselves that being an imperfect human being is ok. That it is ok to feel overwhelmed and in need of a release or a break, when things feel great and when they don't. And then after we forgive, we once again pick up our tools to help move us along.
I am writing all of this to you because I believe so passionately in how the discovery and consistency of my own tools has changed my life. There was once a time when I would have turned to the numbing and avoiding and the overwhelm would compound and my happiness and love for life would have suffered. No longer. And I am incredibly passionate about guiding others through their own work of this discovery. This is what Let's GLOW 2020 will mostly focus on. The consistent implementation and discovery of our tools for not only self-care, but for loving yourself back into your life, after all kinds of circumstances arise. We will use oils, movement, meditation, journaling and support our bodies with incredible supplements.
I want you to join me. I genuinely want your next year to be filled to the brim with the deepest, strongest most potent love this life has to offer. That of yourself and your willingness to care for yourself consistently.
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.