Monday, May 17, 2010

Silencing the Voice

The village of wizards and princesses, built by Nico and his Mama

I've been in my mental cocoon lately. A time of absorbing the wisdom of others. Reading, listening and observing. A friend had passed along this article that discusses how as mothers, we often get caught up in the "busyness" of our work instead of relishing the joy of just being with our kids. That truly opened my eyes, as I had forgotten the supreme privilege I have in being able to stay at home full-time as a mother. So I started a journey this month of mindfulness. I've been learning to silence the voice in my head that tells me that the dishes are dirty, closets are cluttered and the laundry unfolded. I'm learning to gently remind it that I am busy building a castle with Nico or watching Matteo paint, or inviting to it to silence so we can hear our little Luca Bean sing as he plays with his toys....and it is a beautiful thing. I've learned that when I am listening to that voice, that's when I feel the most frustrated at not being able to do it ALL. That's when I am quick to anger for the mischief that little boys do and I realize that my little boys voices are much more important than the one chastising me for a messy house.

This has a been a wondrous and difficult time. I mean, this voice has been with me for quite some time. It doesn't just stop at telling me I need to be a better homemaker, it's the one which tells me I'll feel better if I just buy that vintage Ostheimer piece (that I can't afford and definitely don't need) or that eating that pint of Karmel Sutra will take away whatever hurt/frustration/anger/sadness that I don't want to feel. The voice originates from my history, my experiences... it comes from me, so there is a gentleness and respect I also need to afford it . I realized that I let myself go on autopilot letting the voice guide me rather than letting myself feel what is going on right now. So I've been very silent, immersing myself into every moment, trying to infuse my actions with a mindfulness guided by my heart.

So you can see, this is a pretty big journey that I am on. The voice seems to have a say in so many aspects of my life. I hope you don't mind as I share this journey with you. I'd love to know if you have a similar voice that resides with you ... or am I just a crazy person hearing voices :}? How do you silence it? How do you go about living your life fully and awake?

As Always With Love,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Day At the Museum

When Matteo was just an infant, I used to take him to San Francisco for the free days at the various museums. Wearing him in a carrier, it was sweet to walk around looking at the exhibits and art. I'd chat with him about what we were looking at and oftentimes find myself lost in paintings while swaying him back and forth in the dance that baby wearing mamas know all too well. After Nico was born, I found it harder to navigate public transportation and 2 small children so my museum visits came to an end. It was a really sweet and wonderful homecoming of sorts to take the boys to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this past weekend for Family Day.

There was a special workshop entitled "The Joy of Junk" where the kids were able to make musical instruments out of everyday household items.

The boys chose to make guitars out of boxes, cardboard tubes and rubber bands

The museum staff recorded the kids playing their instruments to compile them all into an audio exhibit for the future

Before our trip, I had made art journals for the boys out of plain paper and colored construction paper. We brought colored pencils so they could draw what they saw. Matteo had the best time looking at paintings and drawing his version of them. He giggled at Magritte's "Personal Values"... he called it "the comb was sleeping on the bed picture".

I was happily surprised that Matteo wanted to walk through all 5 floors of exhibits looking at all the pictures! Nico got a little restless (as a 3 year old is well entitled to be) so Ivan took him across the street to the Yerba Buena Gardens where he had a blast playing at the Martin Luther King Memorial Waterfall and dear Luca was the baby I wore napping on my chest this time.

It was exciting to see Matteo have such a great time at SFMOMA. It was like a return to full circle to have the little baby I used to carry through there, now interested in the art on his own. I think we're going to do an "art date" on our own sometime soon. I have to say that I absolutely can't wait :)