Monthly Archives: June 2013

Needed a Little Yoga

Recently I’ve had so much going on in my head. With craziness at work and home and lists of things to do everywhere to prepare for many changes, I found myself getting restless and overwhelmed. At this stage of my pregnancy I need to remain calm and allow myself to embrace nothing but the goodness around me. Now as a working mother/wife/sister/daughter/friend…(you know a womanπŸ˜‰) I also have to keep things moving and just learn how to take a break when my mind and body are demanding one.

So this morning when I woke up at 4:19am (a powerful number in my world) I decided to take that as a sign. Instead of lounging in bed or tossing and turning as I usually would do, I decided to get up and do a bit a prenatal yoga. That was SSSOOO needed. I was able to release a bit of tension that was in my lower back, improve my blood circulation and simply CATCH…MY…BREATH. After only 15 minutes, while the house was still sleep, I felt a lot better. I was able to create a prioritized to-do list that is actually manageable for today, get a few things done around the house and take a shower ALONE without any interruptions.

I may need to make this part of my weekly routine. I would love to do yoga daily but I don’t think I am able to do that yet. But I’m setting a goal! I’d like to yoga 3 times a week, in the morning, while the house is still sleep. Maybe this will help me be more centered and keep my mind in the right place as I work on making a connection between myself, the spirit world and our physical world. I’ll come up with a schedule of some sort and hopefully stick with it. With so many transitions and new beginnings and goals, I’m sure this will be helpful. Here’s to a day of productivity and positive energy.

What do you do to recollect when needed?

Nameste

I finally looked up the meaning today

I finally looked up the meaning today

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How on earth can a teen learn in this mess?!?!

I have been visiting a school in my area on a weekly basis for about 2 months now. I meet with a group of remarkable teen moms during their lunch period and share information about resources that are available in the community and to answer questions about parenting and career choices.

I must say these last few weeks have been EXTREMELY eye opening for me. I know our inner city children deal with A LOT but I don’t think I could have ever been prepared for what came my way. The girls were loaded with enthusiasm about life and improving things for their children, HOWEVER the amount of fear that has been created by their environment was pretty alarming. With children being shot ON SCHOOL GROUNDS (not massacre style), the feeling that teachers just don’t seem to understand, familial issues, and add childcare responsibilities on top off that, how can we expect our children to have the mental capacity to sit in a class and absorb as much as possible.

During my last day at the school student after student entered our room, which has been a pretty positive space for the last few weeks, with loads of negative energy. WHOA!! What’s going on?!?! What we found out was that basically it’s fighting season. WHAT?!?! Anyone who has be beefin since September is fighting around this time of the year. “But it finales” is what I say. “So!” Was the response. As we dig a bit deeper 2 of our girls decided to walk away from a fight. YESS!! (At least that was my initial feeling). Until one gets called out to leave with a family member only to call another girl in the room to tell her to leave because its been FaceBooked that a group will be coming to the school to jump her so she needs to leave. GASP!! This is very real in so many urban neighborhoods that it is beyond SCARY. To know that only one girl was sent home and that the other was left in the school made me wonder about mediation in school. Next thing I know the school is on LOCKDOWN!! Lights out and move to one side of the room. During finals!! Now lockdown drills are supposed to occur on a monthly basis but have now become a way to clear the halls in the middle of chaos. HUH?!?! In the event of a horrible situation I can only imagine how serious a lockdown will be taken. To my surprise we received a bunch of knocks from students who left their location during the lockdown and ran back to our space.

Back to mediation apparently mediation means, bring your parents to school, sit in a room together with the police and get threatened to be arrested if you fight! Are you kidding me?! As we talk about mediation and problem doling without violence I realize that our young people don’t see that as an option. People hold on to grudges on top of everything else and are unable to maintain street credit (which is often their protection) without standing their ground even if few people even remember what the beef is about. If you ask me it goes a lot deeper than a beef with another person. It seems as if our young people no longer love themselves enough. I know this can change!!

One of my friends continues to say “violence is a public health issue.” At first I didn’t really understand what she meant but I completely understand what she’s talking about now. Twice we’ve had girls just breakdown hysterically because they saw an RIP shirt of another young person who was killed. Countless times their conversations have mentioned things related to not being able to focus in class because of what just happened in their neighborhoods last night. They’ve also mentioned not being able to talk to anyone at home or school to help them sort out the the pain, trauma, abuse, anxiety, hunger…they feel on an ongoing basis. It is EXTREMELY difficult for one to get through the 12 years of public school if these are the problems they are dealing with daily. And never learning how to deal with this just leads to cycle after cycle of mental and emotional overload!! And we all know what happens when this is the case. So I would have to agree VIOLENCE IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE!!

Perhaps switching the focus from standardized tests (that studies show don’t do much of anything other than cause more stress for both teachers and students) to self-love, mediation, violence prevention, communication and other topics that are needed to perform as a responsible member of society. Don’t get me wrong, of course time is needed for the other topics BUT if our children are dealing with so many other issues, I believe addressing the distractions may lead to much better scholastic outcomes.

I think of all this as I work with young people in my community AND prepare to enroll my children in some type of learning program. And I must say it gets pretty scary and overwhelming when I hear about what’s happening in so many institutions in our country ESPECIALLY in urban areas. So I ask myself what types of sacrifices do I need to make to homeschool my children and if I choose to do that, how can I continue to advocate for others in my community? AAAHHHH!!

I guess I’ll end my release here. Please share your thoughts on all of this and any experiences you may have had. Oh and let me end on a positive note. As I explained my frustrations with one of my aunts, she reminds me how important it is to celebrate any person who has gotten through a public school system and continues to excel IN SPITE of all the mess they’ve had to endure.

Thanks a bunch for reading my outburst of frustration (excuse the typos because I’m not proofread if this timeπŸ˜‰). And please find a way to be a changemaker and putting a smile on someone’s face, even if it just means saying hello. πŸ˜„

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Bean’s First Race πŸ˜€

20130604-021347.jpg

On Sunday Bean and I, along with AunT participated in The Randy Foye Foundation‘s 3rd Annual Regina’s Run in Branchbrook Park in Newark, NJ. This was my 2nd year participating and we had a BLAST! I pushed Bean through the 5K race and he cheered people on as we passed them. I even had enough energy to run across the finish line, belly…stroller..and all. I must say it felt great to be with runners again (our last race was in April).

After the 5K, Bean ran his first race! LOL, at least most of it. In the kids fun run, he was ready at the starting line, stretched with all the other kids and as the smallest one there, he took off with the group. I picked him up and cut across the grass so he could run across the finish line and boy were his little legs going!! He received his first medal for completing a race from NBA player Randy Foye (great guy btw, very personable snapping pics/chatting with a bit of everyone and showing so much love to his 2 beautiful little girls throughout the event). I wrapped him on my back so we could do a little line dancing before we left. Needless to say Bean had a full morning and he was knocked out before we could drive to the end of the block. πŸ˜‰

If you’re ever in the area around the end of June, check out the race and contribute to a good cause. Here’s a brief description of the race:

Regina’s Run – Helping Families in Need – is a partnership of two organizations that seek to improve the quality of life in Newark, NJ on a daily basis. The race is named in honor of Randy Foye’s late mother, Regina. Foye is a Newark native and 7th year NBA guard for the Utah Jazz. Proceeds from Regina’s Run benefit the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center fundraising goals as well as the continued outreach of the Randy Foye Foundation.

20130604-021405.jpgBean receiving his medal with pride!

20130604-021420.jpg Refueling with the best! A nice ride with mama and then he was out.

Hope to see you next year!!

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