Feeling All The Mama Feels

Can I go Here and come back whole? I ask myself as I put my fingers to the keyboard this morning. It’s so easy to become lost in thought. Especially for a girl who hides from emotion. Or a girl who hid from emotion. A girl who doesn’t hide from feelings anymore… yet doesn’t particularly care for excessive feeling either. Still.

Perhaps, after months of write-free sabatical, and an exploration into integrative wellness from the other side of the table (as a coach-in-training), I can be Here and return into my sweet little world whole.

Let’s give it a try.

Today, I want to talk to you about these emotions I’ve been burying for years and years (and years). Today, I want to be brave enough to tell you that you are not alone if you have had big, scary emotions begin to rise up – and then you completely freaked the freak out (with or without knowing it). Today, I want to be brave enough to share this space with you. Because maybe, just maybe, if we share this space it will be easier to tell you about Jamie. And maybe it will be easier to tell you about growing into an emotional being, too.

Jamie was the first mother that I chose a relationship with shortly after becoming a mother myself. My peers didn’t have kids, especially sick ones, and I was crawling out of my skin most days pretending to be someone I wasn’t… yet. But in those conversations with Jamie – a friend and employee at my day job – I wasn’t pretending. I could tell her about the sleepless nights and the worry. She held a space for me. And in return, I held one for her. Our sons were only two weeks apart in age, and we could connect on so many different experiences. Including this one: Jamie lived with a physical dysfunction that was wreaking havoc on her life. That dysfunction took her from our beautiful world five years ago today.

That experience that we connected on has absolutely wreaked havoc on my life too. And five years ago, I had just recovered from an autoimmune crash and back injury. I was teaching yoga, contemplating leaving my job in veterinary medicine, and feeling nothing (still). My son was 20 months old, and I was completely disconnected. But on the day that Jamie passed away, I felt something for the first time since becoming a mom. I felt something real and raw and vulnerable. And it wasn’t fear – quite possibly the only thing that I had been feeling for quite some time. What I felt was one of the deepest sadnesses that I have ever known. And, home alone with my little boy when I received the news, I felt one of the deepest loves that I have ever known too. My mild child sat upon my lap as I crumbled that day. He sat upon my lap and he wiped away each and every tear that fell.

The little boy that I didn’t know how to love, loved me. I can’t put this experience into any more words than this. At least not today.

Flash forward through the next year, and slowly but surely more emotions bubbled up to the surface. And of course, one by one, I pushed them back down. When I became pregnant with our second baby, I decided immediately it should be a boy again. I was raised to believe that boys were less emotional. Which would obviously make life much easier for me!

feelings
This little boy might be the most emotional being I’ve ever met. He breaks down gender stereotypes daily. And I love it.

But alas, God’s hand placed me on a healing path – and that second miracle child ended up being a sweet (and wild) little girl. Not only did I begin to learn emotion through her, but I learned that all people have emotion through having her. Emotion isn’t just a girl or woman thing. It’s a people thing. (And it is safe to have them.) I’ve seen the emotion of a little boy learning to grow into a relationship with a lost mama bear; and then watched his emotions expand and contract as he learns to grow into relationship with a special needs sister. I’ve seen the emotion of a man who almost lost his father. I’ve seen the emotion of a child lost in her world. I’ve seen my emotions twist and turn and churn and bubble up through it all.

And while I don’t love the idea of being so hugely vulnerable as to feel all the feels all the time, I do feel a lot of feels a lot of the time now. Feels that don’t pull me down into a deep dark hole, but inspire me to lift someone else out of theirs.

How do you live in your emotional body? Does it feel good and safe to you? I would love to know.

To Jamie – thank you for being on my heart daily. You remind me always that being present means being grateful for all of the gifts that Papa has given me.

xox

Mama J.

 

Take it to the Mat: Let Love Lead

You’ll see it on my facebook page. On my website too. You’ll even hear me repeating these exact words. But this week and the next 30 days, I’ll also be living it. It being the mantra of the moment. The present moment, that is. “Let love lead.” Mindless, limitless, unconditional love.

There is almost no need to go any further with this post. Why? Because actions are louder than words. When LOVE replaces FEAR everything else falls into place… relationships, health, finances… everything.

sharing

Now love won’t paint over the many new arrivals of emotion that manifest within your body, mind, and soul. There won’t be glorious tones of pink concealing experience. And to believe so is to surely cause yourself suffering. Instead, visualize love as the greeter of the guests. Let love lead you on an interconnected journey between truth and bliss. Truth in this case being the honest interpretation of what you feel. Bliss being the perfect happiness found in approaching each guest with unconditional love and acceptance. Be in your body, not out of your body as you let love lead.

THE GUEST HOUSE

by Rumi 

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight. 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in. 

Be grateful for whatever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

 

Peace & Love,

Jennifer Mamoga Wellness Signature

co-founder Mamoga & Mindful Mama Yogi

blisten Coach

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inspire another mother

www.bekindandunwind.com

Inspire Another Mother

It’s been over a year since Jamie left our world. Yet, her departure continues to serve as inspiration – just as so many of life’s events tend to do.

When I created Mamoga, my business and my middle child (yes, at times her wants seems to get “ignored” because of the high needs of my sweet monkey toddler and precious new miracle), I knew it had a rock hard foundation. I almost lost that sweet monkey when he was 11 weeks old. And my pregnancy with him? Calling those two experiences caustic puts it lightly. The experiences bore a hole into my soul. And where that hole sat, a seed was planted.

As a woman who never wanted to be looked at as such (I preferred to be one of the boys for many years, until a wonderful friend taught me how fabulous it could be to be me), I often lived a reclusive life full of dreams. Aspiration with limited inspiration. Then I had Ryker. Then I got sick. Then Jamie passed. From each dance with life my reason for being – for letting, loving, and leading – grew. The seed germinated.

Then I had Teagan. A first bloom appeared. A perfect birth. A healthy baby. And so, the journey continues. The journey of mothering babies and business. The journey of giving and receiving. Of serving others, by serving self. Motherhood has served as my inspiration. My experience of it, the experiences shared with me, and the experiences cut too short.

Life is short. We are here for a reason. What if the only reason is to inspire? To support another mother, nurturer, or woman along her path? In the words of Maya Angelou, “we are more alike than unalike”.

What serves to inspire you? Who has impacted your journey? How do you share this inspiration with the world?

Join our mission to inspire another mother.

Think less.
Be more.
Grow bliss.
Be bliss.
 
 
Shanti

What If This Is It?

This week, I’m pondering the notion that we all could live better – if not best – should we decided to live as though

If this is it, I know that I want to feel my best – inside and out – every day. I know that I want to spend moments in silliness and silence without judgement of what should be or could be or will be. I want to be absolutely, effortlessly joyful. I want to dance and sing. I want to hop, skip, jump, roll, and crawl all over a floor strewn with toys and non-childproof nick-knacks that should have never even been put on the floor or within a tots reach to begin with. I want to wear a beautiful outfit to work, only to find I sat in play-doh at breakfast. And then I want to laugh. Not cry. Unless I’m laughing so hard that I begin to find tears rolling down my cheeks. I want to open my arms wide and know that I have someone to wrap those arms around. I want to smile when I get lost in a happy thought, and not worry for one single moment that someone saw my goofy grin. I want them to see it. And smile too.

Yes, I have many wants. But beyond the want is the will. The will to live like this truly is it. I have it. Do you?

Reflection: How can you best live as though this is it? I invite you to perform your own little experiment. Go back to basics. When we are born, we have but two emotions: love and fear. When we are secure in our environment, all we experience is love. Become secure in your environment. If any action you consider, make or take provokes feelings of non-love, ask yourself, What would I do if this was it? If this was it – not your last moment, but the moment that you might live in forever  – wouldn’t you want to feel good body, mind, breath, and soul and in every other possible way?? I know that I would. And with less effort and more love, just maybe,  I will.

Wishing you love, light, and laughter.

Sat Nam.

Bottoms Down

This one’s definitely for the meditation garden.

When the going gets tough, the tough sit down.

Do sit. Why? We all need a break. And we all thrive best when we take the time to ground ourselves. Connecting our sitbones into our mat, the dirt or grass, we come down from the whirling and twirling. We find that our bellies are able to fill more fully with vital air and we nourish our entire being. We find that our minds empty and we become more childlike. Wonder, awe and excitement course through our veins. We remember that we are alive, whole and happy.

Don’t overthink it. We tend to beat ourselves up over taking a break. But it is the break that allows us to bend. Think of it this way: Many of our parents told us that we were “grounded” at some point in our youth. What would have happened had they asked us to “ground ourselves” instead – in the sense of taking our bodies to the earth, connecting with the present moment, reflecting, being and breathing? The outcome most likely would have been more substantial. Maybe a bit less anger or frustration and a lot more love. For others and ourselves.

What you haven’t learned as a child, you can as an adult.

What you haven’t learned as a child, you can share as an adult.

Hmm… yogic food for thought.

Wishing you love, light, and laughter.

Sat Nam.

Our Inspiration: Happy Birthday, Baby

While I will ALWAYS say that my inspiration for what Mamoga shares is YOU, mothers and others – women who nurture and their families, there is another part to the picture. If you’ve read previous blogs, you’ve seen that I have posted about my sweet baby boy. You’ve read that he is the co-founder of Mamoga. He made me a Mama Yogi. And for this I am forever thankful. He is center stage when it comes to every class and program we offer. For in knowing him, I am forever changed.

And today, he turns two.

In giving thanks for my little guy, I share a picture of our greatest joy enjoying post-yoga bliss with his bestest friend.

This happens to be my favorite picture for this half of the year.

Wishing you love, light, and laughter.

Sat Nam.

Hop Along Little Yogi

Hop along. How awesome to be able to hop along.

It’s been a while since I’ve hopped along without reminiscing about the hop that changed it all. And it’s also been a bit since I’ve run a race. About four years and four months since my feet hit the pavement without a weariness or worry. During this time, I’ve moved twice – once across state lines. I’ve gotten married, adopted a pup, changed jobs, worked hard, changed careers, had a baby, went back for a second degree, had my baby get sick, helped him get better, trained in yoga, got sick, opened my own business, and got better… both mind and body. (Please note, I take no responsibility for any exact order of the preceding, with the exception of getting better coming last and most recently.)  In between each hurdle, I barely caught my breath. Now, I breathe. Freely. (How awesome does this feel? Yum.) And finally being on what seems to be more stable ground, I hop and I run. Yes, this weekend I did run. A race, at that.
One year, less four days, from a day that reshaped our world. Two years, less seven days, from the day we went to three. Three years, less three days, from the day I made the big leap from me to we. July has always been a time of busyness. Though, of a different kind this year. Yes, this summer a new chapter begins.
In every joy and bright smile that enter my being as I stretch into this new space, I have not a doubt that yoga created this. The open places within my body to move and within my mind to wiggle and giggle beyond all fears. There is no greater fear that I have experienced than the ones that crept into every cell last summer, blocking the fluidity of living. But that was then. And this is now. I love now. A freedom in me unlike any other. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it, I’ve lived it. It is over. There is no game plan moving forward. And there is nothing to hold me back.
Nothing. Saturday, I ran. I for Jamie. I ran for me. I ran for mothers who have left this beautiful earth and those who are still here. I ran for life and breath, in pure gratitude. I ran between the lines of what has been written and into crisp, blank and brilliant pages of what will be. I ran with my happy, healthy baby sitting in his stroller as his mama’s happy, healthy feet hit the dirt.
There is no better feeling than that of living in resilience and grace. Each step we take is an opportunity to hop along or hesitate. Today, I offer up an open invitation to hop.
Sat Nam.

Pain & Honesty

The following is a repost from July of last year. Our little family experienced quite a wild ride, much of it beyond all words, in 2011. Because of this, life forever changed. And, I am glad it did. I hope that you will enjoy this – as it is only the tip of the iceburg of where we’ve been. Going back, it is a gentle reminder of how strong and resilient we all are – mothers and all others. It is a matter of choice.

It was a Monday like every other. At least the ones that are not a national holiday, that is. After eight hours of school, studying, and an additional two spent constructing a project on neonatal immunology, it was time to play. As Ryker and I rolled the Mickey Mouse ball back and forth, I sighed. Thursday would be his first birthday. And he looked great! An animated and jubilant baby, there were no signs that we had ever wondered whether or not he would make it.

After months of his health troubles, I had taken him out of daycare. My health had also begun to suffer, with autoimmune difficulties resurfacing. So, I also chose to step down from my role running the front office of a veterinary practice, and to intertwine my passions of health, education, and motherhood. I returned to school for a second degree. Obviously, healthcare was my first choice. We had been actively involved in my son’s recovery; I needed to know more and to do more than I was able to as I stood on the sidelines.

So, as I basked in the glow of motherhood, sharing my time and my heart with my child, I assumed that this was how we would continue to live. I would have my intellectual stimulation, and my emotional connection to life and our beautiful little family. I would not miss out on anything. But, I did. Though fortunately only a short chunk of an eternity. Only hours later I was supine on a backboard, excruciating pain radiating through my lower back and into my thighs, I cried. I cried because the pain that I felt was unlike any other, and I cried knowing that I would spend my first night without my baby. And he would spend his first night without his mama.

It took them quite a bit of time to get the pain under control. And, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t breathe. At least not in the yogic sense of using breath control to manage the emotional and physical states. The fear of the unknown had set in. The weakness and numbness in my legs alternated with stabbing sensations. With no feeling in my left leg for over a day, I entered a brief time of mourning over a life forever changed. When my baby – my reason for living (beyond my phenomenal husband, the co-author of our family’s story) – finally came to visit, I wiped away my sadness and breathed into the idea of hope… the idea of faith, or more so the reality of hope and faith.

I can’t say that I am recovered, or even that we have answers. But I can say that I have much peace. God has given me that. When I’m at my weakest, He always does. Love unconditional. My path seems to have been altered in a way that may forever change how I live, but not my ability to live. Transient or permanent, the myriad of worries seem trivial. It’s not that I am not concerned about finding an answer and potential resolutions. It is that I am more concerned with enjoying the beauty that surrounds me.

Speaking of which, I’m going to go meditate for a while. I’ve learned so much this week. And I feel like I’ve aged a million years – in a good way. There is no soul-fire that can be sparked quite like the one that comes from facing adversity. Before, there was too much getting in the way. Now, there will be less; the hurriedness that has consumed me is an impossibility. I believe that to be a good thing.

My Message Is Love

It’s a brand new week. And so, I offer some yogic food for thought. What message are you sharing with your life choices? Are you present? Are you peaceful?

Stand tall, breathing in and out of your nose. Close your eyes, just for a moment. Now, imagine all the energy of what you do free-flowing out of your fingertips. Are you nourishing yourself and those around you? Are you bringing forth more beauty and bliss? Our paths all cross. One smile can truly be sent around the world.

I invite you to share your joy. Let love be your message.

 

 

 

The Life Is Good Chapter

So, changes are a-brewing on the home front. And of course, being a morning-thinker, I woke up  with questions lingering overhead: 1) have I done enough to share the yogic-bliss this week and 2) I am so starting a new job Monday – does this mean I’m giving up o my calling?

I sat there for a few minutes in silence, all snuggled up with my baby boy. Sigh. Life is good.  It’s been said by some that it’s better to forget the questions for now. Live everything. And one day, you will live your way into the answers.

But, being me… I have to answer the two self-imposed questions! I’ll keep it brief; I won’t assume to know the full answers. Yet. First, YES. I have done enough to share the joy this week. Why do we doubt ourselves? I won’t waste my time. Thought in, thought out. I got to see beautiful families on the mat, off the mat, and I shared amazing moments with my chip-counting, blueberry-gobbling, giggly monkey baby! My sweet little sister also spent her week with us, and we really couldn’t have asked for more.

And onto question number two. Umm, NO. I’m not giving up anything! Instead, I am creating stability for my family and extending my love into an organization dedicated to providing for mothers and babies. So, in all reality, I’ve found a role where I can find constant inspiration for my work on (and off) the mat.

Yes, life is good. And I finally feel as though I am living everything again.

Here’s to another chapter. Another place and space to grow into – with my amazing little family and my growing business. Life is good.

Breathe. Bend. Be.