Tag Archives: living

Jar of Marbles

28 Nov

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One day I began placing a few of the most beautiful glass marbles into a jar. One by one, day by day, month by month, vibrantly colored marbles were carefully placed into this glass jar. The jar sat firmly in its place of stature. It took nearly 13 years to fill that glass jar, and there were moments when a few marbles were removed from the jar only to be put back in later. One day – just like that, the glass jar nearly filled to the brim with the most brilliantly colored marbles, slipped through my fingers and shattered to the ground before my eyes. Nothing I could have done would’ve prevented the jar from falling at that moment, it was predestined. The glass lay in shards around me, while the marbles became dust that scattered into infinity. Trust was now let go to the universe. And just like that, I knew I had to accept my fate. I could not turn my head any longer. I could not ignore how broken it was. There it was – all my fears, shame, and guilt lay naked before me in a billion pieces. Exposed. Completely Vulnerable.

I will always remember that day like it was yesterday. I tried so hard to hold on to that glass jar, and its remnants. Only to learn that with every firm grip, I was enabling more pain and self-inflicting more suffering. I resisted the basic idea of letting go. Everything we are taught teaches us that it is our duty to hold on, no matter how destructive something may be. That no matter what, we stick it out, we endure misery, and we accept another’s pain as though it is our own. And just like that, one day I broke the cardinal rule and in doing so liberated myself. It was the hardest moment of my life. I finally accepted that the figments of glass that once formed a jar were beyond repair. I could not even attempt to piece the jar back together, let alone  collect the marble dust. The only thing I could do was start a new day, a new life. What I do today, defines tomorrow. And today I write.

I write this on the final hours of a long overdue “vacation”. I’ve wanted to write all week but never had the right space for it, so here I am at just a few strokes before midnight. I am finally at a point where I can go back to that day, and that snapshot in time, without it bringing forward rumination. I look back and no longer see it as an end in time. Rather I see it as the beginning of something beautiful, something extraordinary. I’ve focused on shinning as much light as possible into one of the darkest experiences of my life. Because light is love and it is more powerful than darkness, always.

For the past 8 months, I’ve been rediscovering and rebuilding my spirit, as though a part of my spirit was somehow contained in the glass jar that shattered. I hadn’t realized how much I’d lost touch with myself over the years, how little time I took to adequately connect with myself. I was so wrapped-up in work, motherhood and mom guilt, and in the myriad of daily actions. The past is what it is. What matters is what we do today. It’s about finding peace amidst adversity. Because adversity is relentless throughout life. Finding strength and grace you didn’t know you were capable of. Discovering happiness through some of life’s greatest challenges. It’s about living your authentic life, whatever flavor it may take.

What proved the most challenging is that through this I’ve had to stay in the Arena the entire time, I’ve continued to chase that ball down the field and contend with offenders. I haven’t even had a moment to take a water break until this past week. I’ve kept going at an unrelenting pace because it’s my life and I’m not going to stop living it without the exuberance it deserves. It’s been about regaining ownership over my life. Finding the courage to keep going, and continue growing. Learning to trust myself and others, even when completely vulnerable. And accepting fate and destiny with serenity.

As the tradition of Thanks-giving comes to an end, I’d be remiss not to express my gratitude for all the growth that this year has provided. It may seem counter intuitive to celebrate tragedy, but I’m an optimist at my core. I can find a silver lining on the darkest clouds. I am so deeply grateful for my life – and I can genuine say that I am grateful for the challenges that I’ve faced. Each day I am a better person – and a better mother. I wouldn’t change a thing of the past. I will build an even better life, one that I enjoy living. One that is even more resilient to future adversity.

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Conundrums of a Modern Woman

8 Sep

I could not be happier – at so many levels and in so many aspects of my life.  Does it mean that my life is easy?  Absolutely not.  Just the opposite in fact.  But in reality the challenge of my everyday life is something I find deeply fulfilling.  I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am today – actually, where we are are today – and where we will be 1, 3, 5 years from now.  The answer is that I just don’t know.

We are very happy in our urban DC life.  It’s a rat race of sorts with a career tangled-up in posturing, politics, and power – in no particular order.  But a career, a mission, that I am very passionate about.  Did I mention that I am passionate about my career?  Oh yes I am passionate about my career.  I am very grateful for my career, and it also something I have worked incredibly hard for.  Throwing my entire self – heart, head, and soul – for a good part of the time.  I guess you could say, I’ve been “leaning in” for the past 10 years.  I’m afraid to write down the list of “things I’ve done”  in the past ten years because it is far more than I ever dreamed.  I’ve broken down stereotypes and broken through the taboos and glass ceiling of women in leadership. Most importantly, I know that what I do every day helps to make life better for millions of people.  Being a part of that kind of positive change is what makes me tick.

I think back on the stories that my grandmother shared with me about how she attempted to work outside of the home after her children were all in school.  Her work was a “secret” kept from the family, since it was unheard of and considered unacceptable.  A married woman with children, having a few hours of independence at a job.  I just can’t imagine.  When my grandfather found out, that was the end of that job.  Though he did offer for her to work with him in his business.  Not quite the same, but still considered acceptable.  Now for the record, I am not negative towards my grandfather regarding this in any way.  He was a very loving and involved father and husband, and he and my grandmother lived a great life together.   But in the 1950s and 1960s, it simply was not status quo for a wife and mother from the upper middle class to work outside the home.  I must say, I am forever grateful for my mother, grandmother, and all the generations of women that came before me.  They paved the way for modern women.  From voting rights to equal pay to women in leadership and politics.  We have come a long way, and we still have a much farther to go!

Here I am in 2013 – a passionately loving mother and wife – and a passionate and successful professional woman. And I am torn.  After 10 years of building a successful and satisfying career in the epicenter of World Politics I am questioning how much longer I want to continue down this road.  Six months ago I started writing the next (of many) chapters in our life with Kai, and this has brought forth in my mind so many other things I’d like to do in my life with Kai and Keylor.  But most importantly I’ve come to realize I am passionate about being a mom.  Oh yes I am very passionate about being a mom.  While I am so very grateful that I have the opportunity to do both – be a mom and pursue my career – I’ve come to realize that I really want to spend more time being a mom and less time in my professional career.  It’s a hard reality, especially when you are satisfied in the present moment.  But I dream about all of the other aspects of life – as a mom – that I have yet to fully uncover my passions for…

  • Living Closer to the Earth
    I love gardening and farming.  And for me part of being a mom is also about living close to the earth.  Guiding my children in seeing nature through the birds, bees, worms, and spiders.  Harvesting squash and fresh herbs – and with my children in the kitchen transforming them into dinner’s delight.  Living closer to the earth is at the core of my being – and in my being a mom.
  • Singing & Laughing More
    I spend more time singing now than I have in my whole life.  I sign nursery rhymes and make-up new songs everyday.  But I still need to sing and laugh more.  One thing I learned at Moon Garden that has stayed with me is about the importance of daily rhythms and singing to your babies.  Babies (and children) benefit greatly from the establishment of daily rhythms and through living gentle household rhythms.  Rhythms should not be confused with a schedule.  And further, by passing through those rhythms with song.  I yearn to establish more gentle rhythms and create more song.
  • Nurturing Life
    Our home is filled with life.  Between three cats, 1 dog, and a beautiful baby Kai – there is so much life and love to go around.  And we take in others when the stars align as so.  We are passionate about nurturing life.  And I want to dedicate more hours in my day to nurturing my child(ren) and every aspect of our life together.  This is not new for me and this one comes back to #1 – Living Closer to the Earth.  For me nurturing life also means growing healthy organic vegetables on the farm, raising egg laying ducks, and milk producing goats.  For me it is about teaching our child(ren) how to nurture life by living closer to the earth.
  • Strengthening a Community
    We’ve built a strong sense of community here in the DC area.  I love our friends here and they are like family.  Still I yearn for our child(ren) to grow up in a more tight knit community, one that they feel a sense of responsibility and that the community feels equally responsible for them.  The type of community where young people are empowered to be a part of leadership, where traditional culture coexists with modern, and where everyone is a part of making each others lives fuller.

There you have it, my dream list of some of the “things I still want to do” as a mom to sweet Kai. So much more in life has yet to come. I don’t know exactly when or exactly where this journey will take us but I can tell that it’s likely to take us on a new adventure sometime in the foreseeable future.  And with that – Goodnight.

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