My Most Complicated Relationship is with My Body


I pulled on the bikini I’d purchased two years ago, a mere month or two before learning I was pregnant. This was to be my first time finally wearing it. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror and I grabbed at my sides and I tilted my head as if that would change what I was seeing and finally I walked into Michael’s home office.

“Does this look okay, or have I gained too much weight to pull it off?” (Note: I had only gained a handful of pounds; the real issue was that my weight had shifted.)

“You look fine,” said Michael.

In my mind, “fine” was not a ringing endorsement. I assumed that what “fine” really meant was “not completely horrific / I don’t think anyone’s eyes will melt and run down their faces when they see you.” I pushed him more. “I’m serious, Michael. Be honest with me. Should I wear a one-piece instead?”

I did not want to wear a one-piece instead. It had taken me 10 minutes to get into the bikini top successfully.

“No. What you’re wearing is fine,” he re-asserted (and there was that word again). I squeezed my belly button area between my fingers. I pretended it was a hungry mouth and I made it talk.

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How To Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem

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I’m a writer, so of course I watched the hell out of Dead Poets Society as a teenager. And of course I covet this Yawp T-shirt from Brooklyn Poets and of course I listened, rapt, when Robin Williams said “Carpe… carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

For years, though, I thought that in order to carpe my diem, I had to change who I was. I thought I had to throw myself into experiences that made me uncomfortable and and live wildly and throw caution to the wind.

And while there is value to pressing against the boundaries of what scares you (I was thoroughly charmed by Noelle Hancock’s My Year With Eleanorif you’re interested in reading more about that kind of thing), I very recently realized it was okay to embrace the things that got me excited, even though other people might look at those things and think they were boring.

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Why I’m Not Good At Pressing Pause


It was Wednesday of last week, and I felt as if work was imploding around me. Tasks I had hoped to get done by then were starting to look as if they’d never get done. Projects with lots of moving parts were not coming together. People I had been relying on to get things done were unresponsive. I was freaking out.

I was supposed to leave for Newport, RI the very next day to take part in the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop‘s writing and yoga retreat. I had plans to disconnect from work. From Twitter. From Tumblr. From the responsibilities of home and motherhood. I was going to use the time to revive the book manuscript I’d pushed aside for the past year.

I would only be gone for four days.

But was it asking too much? [Read more…]

All the Things Emily Puts in Her Mouth Instead of Her Puffs



Today, for the first time ever, Emily successfully picked up a Puff, placed it in her mouth, chewed on it for a bit, and swallowed. I promptly lost my shit and Gchatted Michael in all caps OH MY GOD SHE JUST DID IT SUCCESSFULLY WITHOUT MY HELP SHE PICKED UP A PUFF AND BROUGHT IT TO HER MOUTH AND CHEWED ON IT AND THEN SWALLOWED IT because this is what counts as excitement in my life now.

But when I triumphantly placed a second Puff on the tray of her high chair, she furrowed her brow and flicked it away.

I guess she’s not convinced.

I feel as if Puffs are maybe the healthy baby version of Cheetos, so I think she’s nuts. After all, I’m the type of person to bake two dozen cupcakes and eat them all singlehandedly over the course of three days. That and there are so many other things she willingly places in her mouth on a day-to-day basis:

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Yoga as a Path to Healing

3574333889_b485c46795_oIt amazes me all the ways there are for yoga to heal us.

My practice has shown me this again and again, from the time I first came to it, grappling with both infertility and a rough spot in my marriage, and on through the years as it taught me lessons in positive body image and gratitude and balance.

It came through for me again this past weekend, as I worked my way through grief at the death of my uncle. [Read more…]

Peeling Back the Layers

303892944_32f95ff922_oThis past weekend, I taught the first class in a three-week restorative yoga series. Our focus for week one? Meditation techniques.

So we gazed into the sri yantra. We played singing bowls and Tibetan hand cymbals. We created a sea of oms that lasted for five minutes. I talked them through a loving-kindness meditation and through some breathing exercises. We even stood in a circle and walked around and around and around for a few minutes, in slow motion, so they could get a taste of walking meditation.

But before we did all that, we talked about the WHY of meditation. [Read more…]

Life Doesn’t Have To Be All or Nothing


Several months ago, I wrote about having to spend money to make money teaching yoga. The piece revealed nearly as much about my uncontrollable materialism as it did about the necessary costs involved in becoming a yoga teacher, but I was still intrigued when I saw a later piece pop up on the site: “Spiritually Bankrupt: How I Went Broke Trying To Teach Yoga.”

After reading it, though, I just wanted to grab the writer’s shoulders and shake her and shout You’re doing it all wrong!

Then the piece ran again today on Yoga Dork, and it made me think back to the time when I was coaching beginning freelance writers who were terrified of not being able to make enough money to survive. It made me think back to a time when I myself was terrified of the same thing. When I was still trying to find the balance that worked for me. [Read more…]

Childcare Dilemma: Does My Daughter Deserve More Than I Have To Give?


For the past six months, I have struggled with the question of whether or not to pay for childcare.

I was dead set against it at first, not wanting to spend money I felt I didn’t have. For the past seven years, I had worked my ass off to get to a place in my freelance career at which I felt financially stable. I had finally reached that place a month before discovering I was pregnant, and I didn’t want to go back to that time when, heart in my throat, I was living paycheck to paycheck.

After all, as everyone knows, there’s no such thing as affordable childcare.

Also, I felt it would be a sign of weakness to ask for help. I had built a career that allowed me to be home with my child. Wouldn’t it be ridiculous for me to hire someone to watch Em when I was already there? I wanted her to be raised by me, not by someone else.

Finally, I watch too many crime procedurals. What if the babysitter ended up kidnapping my baby? Or selling my baby to an infertile couple and then disappearing? Or killing my baby because of a longstanding vendetta against me I wasn’t even aware of because–surprise!–I had broken her long-lost-stepbrother’s heart 18 years ago and he had turned to drugs and eventually overdosed?

(Or hell, what if harm accidentally came to my baby while in her care? At the beginning, I didn’t even trust myself to know what the hell I was doing, let alone some fly-by-night stranger.)

Over time, though, I’ve begun to worry that I am harming my child more by not hiring someone to care for her as I work. [Read more…]

Why I Embrace the Type B Yogi Inside of Me

justbreatheThose of you who know my yoga practice know that my two favorite poses out of all the yoga poses that exist in the world are pigeon pose and legs up the wall. I am also partial to supported bridge pose (out of all the backbends one can choose from) and anything else that can be done while lying on my back.

Sure, I can rock out a pretty phenomenal crescent lunge and, if I’m feeling peppy, one or two arm balances. But I’m not the type of person who will engage in chaturanga push-ups just for funsies and, if my teacher asks for special requests, I will not ask him or her to focus on the abs. What am I? A monster!?

So I embrace the slower side of yoga. The aspects I can relax into. Melt into.

And not just because I’m lazy.

Though I am. Lazy, that is.

Rather, I embrace the breathing and the quiet and the slow stretching because these things have done more to make me healthy than anything else I’ve done my entire life. They have gotten me off my SSRIs. They have brought me inner peace (in spurts… let’s not go crazy). And they have taught me how to respond to life in a healthier way.

So hells yes. Call me Type B. I don’t mind it. In fact, I think maybe you should embrace the Type B side of yourself, too.

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How To Know When To Shut Your Damn Mouth

54204320I feel as if I opened a Pandora’s Box with my recent post about not wanting a second child. When it pubbed, it kicked off a flurry of discussion on Facebook. An old friend texted me to say him and his wife felt the same way. And after class at my local yoga studio, my friend Kim said to me: “I liked your recent post where you tell people to just shut the fuck up.”

I had to laugh. Because I suppose it was about that.

It even seemed to hit a nerve with my non-mom friends. On Facebook, my sister-in-law wrote, “I hate how other people make you feel guilty for being content in the stage of life you are currently in. For example, if you are single, they ask why you don’t have a boyfriend; when in a relationship, why aren’t you married; when you are married, why don’t you have kids; and in your situation when you have a kid, when are you having your next…” [Read more…]