December 29, 2010

I Bet Frida Would Understand

I am sitting outside the internet cafe of my hotel. I am hiding from passers-by that I am crying... again. I say again because I cry a lot. I have ideas about my prolific crying which are conflicting.

On one hand I love the fact that I cry. I allow my emotions to flow and take advantage of natures method of dumping chemicals produced during intense experience, this keeps me healthy. I feel much better after a good cry.

On the other hand when I am at my most vulnerable, tears dripping, snot bubbling, I judge that I let my emotions rule me.

Why am I crying this time? I am frustrated, angry and sad. I am noticing a pattern re-emerging in my family that I haven’t had to deal with for quite some time. This pattern had pretty much disappeared because I disappeared. I took a year off last year, or maybe it would be more accurate to say I worked part time. I had become so frustrated with how the dynamic saw me either dissolve into a puddle of tears and/or pounce with fangs dripping that I just opted out. I was still there in my home, raising my children and being a wife, but I found ways to always ‘have an out’ so that this dynamic couldn’t rule me.

Well now there is no way out, we are together all the time. We are usually doing things which require planning, organizing and follow through. My frustration comes not because as mother planning and organizing generally fall to me, but that once the organization and planning are in place it is often not respected. Not to mention that the follow through sucks! Worse yet there is rarely any acknowledgement of the effort put in. When I end up in either in tears or with bared claws I am met with looks of stunned silence which seem to say,“What is mom’s problem?!” What is most maddening is that the activities are organized around what everyone says they want! It is not as though I am draggin them along to do only the things I want to do... ARGH!

I can imagine at this point mothers everywhere are nodding their heads in sympathy and aggravation, my story is not a rare one.

I won’t bore you with the gritty details except to say that after trying to rationally and calmly explain a number of times that I was frustrated, I decided to catch a cab back to the hotel by myself.

I wanted to cry in the cab, but the drunk driver who kept asking me if I had a husband likely would have been thrown. Given his state I thought it prudent to not distract him. I would have got out to seek a sober driver but I was miles from my hotel and only had enough for his fare. I considered refusing to pay but that seemed more dangerous than staying the course. I prayed a lot instead.

When I arrived at the hotel I had a bath hoping to bring on tears of release, but I was still too angry. Just as they began to bubble up I heard my family laughing and running down the hallway. They tumbled over each other rushing into the room to get their swimsuits, they seemed to have forgotten about what happened and were now focused on soaking in the hot tub. They wouldn’t make eye contact and got away from me as quickly as they could which many a mother will tell you is par for the course when we get upset. Tell me, am I the only one who feel so hurt when this happens?

In order to restrain myself from tearing their heads off, I decided to go down to an internet cafe in town. I walked out of hotel and was met by an armed soldier so I reconsidered. It is not as scary as it sounds. I learned later there was a government official staying at our hotel, it is customary for the military to accompany him. It is meant to instil a sense of safety. Funny, a man in camo with a big gun doesn’t bring me a warm fuzzy feeling of safety, a cultural difference to be sure.

I then went into the internet cafe at the hotel, only to be told I can not use my own computer there. I swear the universe was working really hard to push me into a Kali moment!


I finally found a place to sit and use my computer. I was too shaken to write so I watched the following video by Chameli Ardagh called The Fierce Face of the Feminine. The tear finally began to flow.

She speaks of Kali becoming intoxicated with anger, how not even Shiva could stop her rage with force. It was only when he showed his belly, lay before her vulnerable and in complete love, accepted her anger as Divinity, that she stopped. It was the understanding of how she come to a place of rage from not feeling heard, when enough was enough and nothing else would stop the injustice, when he gave THIS his presence she was able to regain her own.

I would really like my anger, frustration, and sadness to be met with presence. Better yet I don’t want to get to the Kali place to conjure presence. I don’t want things to get ugly before I am listened to. When it happens this way as a dynamic, as an ongoing pattern we all have to suffer first. There is an easier way.

For now I will just go find somewhere with no family, no drunk taxi drivers, no armed guards, no internet lounge attendants and continue to let my tears flow... I will find presence within myself for right now and trust that it will come from my loved ones soon. I trust that we will find a way to face this dynamic so it can dissolve. That my Kali will rest more often, laying side by side with Shiva cuddling rather than going at his neck with a machete.

I came up with so many question for this entry, but settled on. “What helps you regain presence when you are angry?”

This post is dedicated to my friend Deirdre who cheered me up while I was writing this entry trying.

“I write about myself because when I am alone I hear the voice of God and because I am the subject I know best”
~ Bernice Raabis

(a rip off on the Frida Kahlo quote and my friend Deirdre’s facebook status)

"I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."
~ Frida Kahlo


  1. I am glad that my head is still attached to my neck and shoulders. Thank you for all that you do. Really. Sometimes we don't, I don't, show my appreciation. I am working on that. Gracias.

  2. I like Werner Erhard's quote "So what?". If that doesn't work I go to Erhart Tolle. I like this one for instance: "Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are cause by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence" -

  3. It helps me to stop for even a second and look at my thoughts, to see what they are serving, and if its no one then, not everytime but sometimes that this could all go a different way if I choose to not get angry, and even though its so hard to do cuz we have been programed with all these patterns of immediate response that it takes a whole lotta effort to stop and change the pattern or dynamic that I have learned and practiced before. I don't think anyone who loves us really wants to make us angry, just seems like we think that way...again a programed you B

  4. Many times I handle things calmly, do just as Anon. suggested and things dissolve. And this time I may have been able to do this too, but I didn't. Maybe because there wasn't really a second to be had in this particular situation, maybe because I was hurting over something else which I didn't realize was causing me pain, and transferred my frustration to the present occurances, maybe... there are a bunch of maybes'. The dynamic I am speaking of here is a common one for mothers. I remember asking someone once if the mother pig is "wrong" when she kicked at her piglets when she had finally had enough of them nursing? Children rely on their mothers, and little by little they each let go, but this slow letting go does not always happen on the same timetable for mother and child. Mothers are often pushed, I see it in my life and in my friends lives. I wonder how this would have effect Ekhart's POV and subsequent teachings had he experienced being a mother? He is not "wrong", he is quite amazing, but he is also a he. He can never know what it is like to be a womyn. Is the mother pig who decides she has had enough too in the past, too in her fears, and this is why she kicks? Is she sad and bitter from thinking about litters gone past and how they made her teats all long and stretched out and this is why she kicks? or is there a need for a strong voice in the now when boundaries are crossing. Presence can sometimes come in the form of "I have had enough". I do not believe my loved ones want to "make me angry", I do know that part of my job as a mother (and wife) are to let my family know when I am uncomfortable with how much they are needing from me, and I bet many mothers and fathers will agree that just because it is spoken, just because a boundary is established this doesn't mean it is understood or respected... so what do we do then? With children the answer is not so cut and dry... just ask the mama pig.

    Oh and whoever you are anonymous... I love you too <3

  5. Maybe you can hand the planning over to your kids for a day ... and do your best to not intervene and really let them follow their own plan, no matter how much it falls apart ... it is amazing how kids function sometimes ... they tend to let things go more easily than we do ... so even when things aren't working out according to plan it isn't really a problem for them ... they just adjust the plan. I watch the kids I teach do this, it's amazing :)

    Also ... give yourself a 30 minute time out every day, whether you feel you need it or not, so you feel like you are being taken care of.

    Rhythmic Dancer :)

  6. Oh, to answer your question ... being angry is not "loosing your presence" ... loosing your presence is loosing your presence ... be present with the anger, it is you stepping out ... the anger is not making you do it :)

    Rhythmic Dancer

  7. My point exactly RD!!... I can be angry and not be present, I can also be 100% present and angry as hell! Expressing anger does not automatically mean one is not present... and I for one am tired of this being used as a new agey accusation, smoke and mirrors of veiled blame, blaming others for blaming. It is so confusing it makes the mind spin.. and I suspect that this is the point because it is a crafty (usually unconscious) method of not accepting responsibility for ones actions. Anger, especially in the Feminine has been suppressed for way too long. Womyn are not suppose to get angry and men are not suppose to cry... these two unconscious beliefs are causing so much conflict and grief<3

  8. The pig kicks, the piglet moves. End of story. Action and reaction. We do something and we have the luxury of relating it to others in our life, the world, the stars in the sky and everything, and give it meaning. But things just happen and it's probably best to choose the meaning that works best for everyone, especially oneself. Feelings come and go but they are only guides to locating ourselves in the world of people. Love is more consistent.

  9. Cool Anthony... next time my kids are buggin me... I will kick em :oP

    Hope you are staying warm <3

  10. Cry Easily

    Keep your intelligence white-hot
    and your grief glistening
    so your life will stay fresh.
    Cry easily like a little baby.


    Better out than in ;)

  11. Yes Heather better out than in... I love the Rumi <3 Thank you.

    A friend of mine, someone I love very very much recently wrote a blog entry about crying too... he is finally letting tear flow after years of suppressing them. I didn't comment on his blog but I wanted to, I wanted to say.... HOORAY!! Let em flow my love... create a river!! It is time!!

  12. Kick them with love!