Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blame Game

I ( very  enthusiastically ) enrolled my dear daughter(will be referred to as DD here after) for the dance class. She started going without much complaining.  I had to go with her  of course and sit there for an hour and watch the class , keeping my younger one's activities and noise level down while the class was in session.  In just a couple of weeks my enthusiasm level was considerably low.  Its just pain to take the kids to different activities and sometimes push them to do all those things.  I had to nag my DD to get ready in time for the class, nag some more to practice dance at home. She did not even practice once. Pretty soon I started dreading Thursdays. Then I thought of giving up the dance class. I asked my DD if she would like to continue and she did not show any interest. I made up my mind and called the teacher and pulled her out of the class.

One of my close friends got extremely upset at my decision. She is of the opinion that I should just push her a little and continue with the class. She also said that I am pulling her out just because I hate to drive every week to the class. I agree in part that I really do not like that chore. But at the same time I also know that had my DD shown even slight amount of interest and enthusiasm then I would have taken her to the class every week.

DD is happy about not going to the class anymore even though her 2 close friends are going(YEY she is not giving into the peer pressure, might be a nice thing in teens). For her the best part of the class was taking the "ghoongroos" off! I still do not feel at peace with my own decision. Should I really push her a little more and make her go? I don’t know what I am worried about. I certainly not the fact that my friends may judge me based on this.  I have been giving it some thought. It took me to my childhood in Pune.

Me and my sister used to go for "bharatnatyam" dance class. We may have gone for a few months before calling it quits. My sister said that she did not like to do the steps that teacher taught and wanted to do her own steps.(That's EXACTLY what my DD told me, talk  about history repeating itself).  A few years ago, I was talking to my mother about our childhood and hobbies etc.  I do not have a single recreational activity or talent like singing, dancing, playing any instrument or any other arts or crafts thing. During our conversation I blamed my mother about it and told her that she should have pushed us a little harder and made us go to the class even against our will back then. That way, today I would know some art form. My mother did not defend herself and just took the blame.

That brings me to the conclusion that I must be afraid of my DD growing up and blaming me for not knowing "kathak" dance.

I have  come a full circle  indeed!

But where do I go from here? May be I can enroll her again after a couple of years if she shows any interest again. For now, I just enrolled her for swimming lessons. That should take the guilt away for a while I guess!

And most importantly, I have to say this out loud, "I am so sorry Aai(mom) for blaming you".

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Enjoying Food

Wishing all mothers a very happy mother’s day, like a friend says, that means mothers  of babies, toddlers,  teens, adults, cats, dogs, squirrels,  and any other domestic animals you can think of. Hope you all enjoyed the special treatment and attention showered by your kids and their fathers incase kids are very young.

I was promised a breakfast in bed for which I waited patiently in bed until 9 this morning but there was no sign whatsoever of any one waking up to make that happen. So, I made my own tea and enjoyed it in complete peace and quiet.

Last couple of months my yogasana practice was very little. But, I think I am back on track now.  I attended a class led by Ricky this afternoon. He always asks for special requests. A lady suggested to include poses which help in detoxifying, as many people must have had heavy mother’s day lunches/brunches.  It was great class with sun salutations along with many twisting postures and backbends on popular demand.  We all practiced a couple of pranayam breathing techniques as well.

I kept on thinking about that ladies request for specific poses and all such requests in the past during holiday season.  We all celebrate festivals and special occasions by enjoying delicacies and indulging in our favorite foods. But why do most of us not just enjoy it without feeling guilty. Why do we feel the need to work it off the next day?  When we enjoy our food with all our senses I feel that we get satisfied by eating even a little amount. You look at the way your favorite dish is served, how nicely it is presented. Smell the aroma of food. Touch your food with your fingers(don’t the little kids look blissful while playing with their food and making a big mess. In India we eat our food with hands; I believe it must have some such reason behind it). Savor the taste, chew slowly enjoying every bite. If we eat with complete attention and by involving all 5 senses then we are unlikely to overindulge. Our bodies will let us know when to stop. We all work hard, take up multiple jobs basically to satisfy the basic need for food. But we have forgotten to enjoy it.

We need to work out to keep our bodies fit and healthy. No arguments there, but it should be done for that reason alone, not to work off extra calories. When we practice yogasanas our focus should not be burning calories but staying with the breath.  When we eat, our focus should be on enjoying food and nourishing our bodies and not thinking about whether to include pushups during sun salutation to lose the extra pounds. It just brings us back to being in the moment and witnessing. As we become observers more and more the extreme behavior fades and we slowly reach the golden median.

I am not there yet but I plan to stay on the path. I have taken another step in the right direction. I cooked a nice dinner of rajma(red kidney beans), paneer makhani(cottage cheese cooked in creamy sauce and spices) to celebrate mother’s day. Enjoyed each and every bite to the fullest, absolutely guilt free.