It’s funny how much yoga has changed my life in ways I could’ve never expected. Yoga taught me to become more aware... to start noticing and paying attention to my breath, and the inner workings of my body- which isn’t a surprise I guess. But what I didn’t expect, was how much it would deepen my awareness off of the mat too.
I started paying attention to relationships, situations, environment, food and nutrition in a way that I had never done before. It truly made me appreciate life with a new pair of eyes... and I started feeling deep gratitude for mundane things- from a sip of water, to the breathtaking magnificence of a hill country sunrise.
I shit you not- when I first entered this “baby” phase as a new yogi, I would set my alarm super early just so I could watch the sunrise from our balcony upstairs. I would be actually be excited to wake up- and those of you who know me well, know that I am NOT a morning person.
Maybe it sounds lame... but I loved having that zest for life once again.
Unfortunately that level of deeper appreciation and excitement didn’t last for too long, as all new things fade overtime... but I still often experience a hit of awe and wonder, as something ordinary but miraculously beautiful takes my breath away. Perhaps the artists and photographers can relate... It’s a feeling that comes just from paying attention.
Which brings me to my main point: Halloween.
As long as I can remember, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I loved the scary stories and movies, the costumes, the parties, and most of all… The candy.
I loved going trick or treating to as many houses as possible, and filling up my pumpkin with as much candy as I could. I lived for the KitKat, Reese’s, Snickers and Almond Joy. I had no concept of how awful it was for my health. As far as I knew, the only bad thing about eating candy and sugar was that it might make us gain weight- and that was the least of my concerns as a kid.
Back then, we worried about quantity, not quality. Thank goodness that now we know better. I work hard to teach my kids about mindfulness and moderation, good quality nutrition, reading food labels, keeping our daily sugar intake under 25 grams (as recommended by the World Health Organization), staying away from artificial colors and ingredients, getting daily exercise, etc... (and btw, I’m so happy to see that AISD is also getting on board).
Then, the holidays come around.
They go trick or treating and come home with their pumpkins full of poison (for lack of a better term), and we give them a few pieces and donate the rest to school so they can give it to our veterans.
*Warning: I’m about to Rant*
Don’t our veterans deserve better? Don’t our kids deserve better?
Mindfulness can be a blessing, but I swear, sometimes it can feel like a curse. My kids think I’m the meanest mom in the world.
Now I know how my mom felt... I gave her hell for not letting me participate in sleepovers.
(Sorry mom! And also, thank you).
I don’t allow my 4th grader to play Fortnite, because I don’t want to condone any form of violence or killing and stealing- even if they do cutesy dances in between. I don’t want my kids to excessively binge on junk, or even keep it in our house. I do these things because I want them to understand the dangers and consequences of going through life unaware. Yes, as cliche as it sounds- moderation is key.
I'm not saying that my way is the only right way, and I don't mean to judge anyone. Parenting is hard. But I truly believe that it is our duty and responsibility to be aware of the consequences of our actions- especially when it comes to our kids.
Everyone wonders why kids these days seem so entitled and disrespectful. It's as if we care more about our kids liking us and being happy now, without realizing what instant gratification leads to down the road. We wonder why obesity, diabetes, cancer and disease is so prevalent. We wonder why violence is so rampant in America. We wonder why we have the MOST prisoners than any other country in the world, or why our ranking in health and education keeps falling and poverty keeps rising.
We wonder why no one is talking about the school shooting that happened this past Monday, and the students went back to classes a few hours later like it was no big deal.
It becomes so common, that eventually we stop wondering... and then all that’s left, is suffering.
So that's why when my kids call me a mean mom, I will just smile and say - "you're welcome".