Friday, May 29, 2009

First, get centered

In Mojo Mom I have a chapter on Centering, Silence, and Reclaiming Your Mind Space, and this week it feels like all I have to do is take my own advice. It's easier said than done!

It is finally sinking in that I need to get centered before I can anything else. Even though I might imagine "centering" as a luxurious break, in reality my mind would just as soon charge straight ahead. But as I grapple with post-publication burnout (a common experience, but one authors rarely talk about), I have to slow down, to take things off my to-do list, to let other people down and even let myself down--I am bummed that I still don't have all my Mojo Mom chapter summaries posted yet as I had planned!

This Monday, when we had a day of family time for Memorial Day, my husband, daughter and I went to an artist friend's house for a pottery lesson. I loved getting my hands dirty, playing with the clay, and seeing what emerged. Pinch pots and coil pots took form. Then Sasha gave us a lesson on the pottery wheel. You literally cannot do anything until the clay is centered, because off-center clay is just a wobbly blob of goo that pushes you around! Centering the clay is an art all in itself, but with Sasha's help to get us going, we could each experience the wheel for ourselves. When the clay is centered, you have the fun of shaping it, growing a project up and out. The clay still feels like it is in charge to some extent (especially as a newbie) but it was really cool to coax it into a new, elegant form. Sort of like life, wouldn't you agree?

Check out our friend Sasha's ceramic gallery to see what an inspired artist can create.

So as Zen teacher Cheri Huber reminds us, "If you're too busy to mediate, you're too busy." This summer you may see me blogging a bit less--when the spirit moves me, but not every day. Not that I always manage to post every day now, but this summer I am giving myself permission to spend time on some of the restorative work I need to do in my own life.

I might be meditating, playing tennis, or watching my daughter swim, but I am just as likely to be doing the dishes. I need to clear out my mind, my schedule, and my garage so that I can make space to invite in the next phase of my life.

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Blogger Kimberly Simmons said...

Amy, You are so brave to put this true experience out in words. My older daughter is about the same age as your girl, and I think there are a lot of shifts, new concerns about mothering, new dimensions to my maternal identity, new judgements, etc. but while at least I knew having a baby was going to slam my sense of self, something about this prodding and the intersections around aging (mine and hers) are more nuanced, poignant, and silenced. I hope that after you rest, and recharge, you're able to offer some clarity and insight to those of us moving forward in our parenting journey. We'll be lucky to have you as a witness and a guide!

And, that said, it seems mean to even say this last bit, but I have been wondering what has happened to Judith of the Mothers Movement Online ( , and wondering if you or a group of you/us might be up for taking it on if she's done? It was such a great resource, so connected to the ideas you bring to light.

8:17 PM  

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