Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Surrender



Soft and surrendered
Having ceased the fight

Huntress of her own 
Dark Night...Knight

Seeking Ground
                                                                                                                                                                                 

Yearning Flight



Alchemy of Left with Right
Her Darkest Depth
Her Highest Light


Paused in Breath
...At the Door...
 
LIFE...Calling
... Her...
...AWAY from known shore...

She Stands

In the space 
Between
Life and Death

Door...Open

POETRY and PHOTOGRAPHY by VASHTI

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finding the Balance



  Published October, 2013
The Bubble

   I fulfill many roles. I am a woman and a mother and a wife. I am a teacher, entrepreneur, and writer. I do the grocery shopping, wash the dishes and put the boo boo balm on my injured children’s knees. Many a day I have bucked at these seemingly conflicting roles. I have experienced moments of frustration and bitterness at having to polish so many aspects of myself. I saw a conflict between caring for my family and cultivating my own self and livelihood. Over the years, I have observed that the more I divided and separated the parts of myself, the more scattered I became. I am understanding more and more the beauty in blending and allowing the merge of fragmented parts. There exists a certain harmony and peace in the flow of one to the other. A friend, Lisa Hill, once described her zen like time with her young children as her time to ‘steep in the waters of her life.’ There would come a time when this very steeping process would be her fuel for action in the world. Often I have come back to that statement. When I allow myself to enjoy the slow steeping process, I have more to give to the other important elements of my life. One feeds the other.



Photo by Karina Duffy
  

     We live in a time when, as women, we have so many choices and the personal power to choose for ourselves. The footsteps of the women before us created this path. In gratitude, we honor these women who struggled to gain a sense of balance in the world. In my own search for balance, I have been both a stay-at-home mother as well as a full-time working professional out of the home. In truth, these choices were like a great chasm in myself. Whichever side of the chasm I was on, the other vital part of my life was suffering. When my days revolved around my family and my home, my own cup ran dry quickly. I felt undeserving, as I was not ‘working.’ This led to limited self care and personal cultivation. With time and understanding, I can see now how everything stems from the self and moves out into the circles of your life: self, family, friends, community, world. With the reverse experience of giving most of my energy to my own livelihood, my family and home had no grounding. We ate out most of the time, we had no family dinners, we ran from one experience to the next. Everything was a struggle, from cramming in homework to piled up heaps of weekend laundry. While I saw my own work taking shape, the constant tugging at my heartstrings would not let me rest. I missed being in the hum of my home. The pace was too fast. I was too busy to be in the experience of my life. I remember the moment when I heard Maria Shriver recounting wise words passed on to her from her aunt, Jacquelyn Kennedy Onassis. To paraphrase, she communicated that no matter what a woman accomplishes in her life, she would not feel at peace if she ‘botched’ mothering. Nothing would ever feel complete and whole within herself. I cried. It was important to me to make bread with my children, make the time to really listen to them, and have the space to be in their rhythm.

Photo by Whitney Hartmann Photography
  

     Women, with all of our choice and freedom, have been pitted against ourselves and against each other. “Working mother”... “Stay-at-home-mother”… These labels divide and harm the wholeness we all seek. The very word ‘work’ is really about value in our society. What do we value? What do you value? It is universal and embedded into our very nature to care for the young and nourish their growth. It is also our nature to answer the call of our own hearts and to grow ourselves. Growing ourselves provides the model for our children to do the same in their lives. I have no formula for how this should look.

Photo by Vashti - 'Wings'


     We are unique individuals, with different life stories and support systems. We have different family dynamics which allow for our own definition of personal and family balance. But balance we must have. We are in the throes of evolutionary changes. Shifting and reshifting continue to help us define what is vital in our unique lives. What changes can you make to allow a greater flow and a pace that allows the pulse of life to be felt? Finding the balance, a mantra in my mothering and perhaps yours too.