Monday, August 22, 2011


Someday I'm going to do a study to test a theory of mine:  It's impossible to be in a bad mood while you're shaking your butt.  I will examine the precise mechanism of this phenomena of brain, spine, sacrum, and endorphins, and my study will lead millions to toss their Zoloft and pump up the jams instead.

But I don't have time for any of that right now. 

Instead, real quick, I need to tell all the Austin mamas who read my blog about a gathering called Mamadance!  It takes place every other Wednesday evening, from 8-9 pm, at Empower Yoga, 1611 W. 5th St., 78703.  There is a $12 charge.  Leave your kids at home.  Or somewhere.  Don't bring your kids.

You need to come and dance with us.  Why?

1.  Because it's fun.

2.  Because it's just for you.

3.  Because something about moving, and not talking, and not fetching glasses of milk or juice for people, puts you in touch with yourself.  You will find yourself moving through your "stuff" and emerging as a nicer and lighter human being.

4.  Because at Mamadance, no one will tell you what to do.  Do you want to waltz?  Or polka?  Fine.  Want to do Sun Salutations for an hour?  Okeydokey!  Do you want to experiment with mixing Zumba with making rock 'n roll faces like Steve Tyler of Aerosmith?  Great.  Do you want to just lay on the floor without any small people climbing on you, and have the rare experience of finishing a thought?  Good for you!  Are you an arrhythmic, uncoordinated, or "bad" dancer?  Have two (or more) left feet?  Bring it on.  No one will care, judge, or mess with you.

5.  Because you don't get to experience this kind of freedom in your day-to-day life as a mother.  Or even just as a person.  I promise.

6. Once you get hooked, you can take a turn making the play list.  It starts slow and builds.  You might include "Sing! Sing! Sing!," followed by the theme from "Brian's Song."  Or whatever. You never know.

Mamadance happens this Wednesday, 8/24.  In September, it will be on the 7th and the 21st.  Every other Wednesday.  Please come.  Bring a friend.  Shake your thang.  Thank me later.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Humanly Possible

I am pleased to be able to share with you a recent life achievement.  Through great conscious practice, over several years, I have let go of Perfectionism.  Completely tossed her to the curb.  I feel freer and happier than ever before.

OK, not  I still have moments when Perfectionism beckons me, inviting herself back into my life and psyche.  Generally, that happens when I haven't been getting enough rest.  But truly, most of the time, I can report that I no longer give a hoot about Perfection, whoever she is, was, or will be.

When I was a younger mom, in particular, when I had one child, I had somewhat of a handle on things.  I did a decent job, a good amount of the time.  It wasn't until I had two that havoc ensued, when I got to really experience the agony and frustration of not being enough, not being able to do enough, not having enough arms, knowledge, patience, or energy.  That was a tough awakening.  I grieved so many instances of inadequacy, of well-laid plans going down the drain, of bizarre eruptions of chaos, disappointment, meltdowns, messes, sudden competitions over random objects and food products, and freakish, completely unforeseeable accidents (even though I scurried around trying to create safety).  At first it was seriously disconcerting.  After awhile, it became comical.  And awhile after that, I decided to just let go and do the best I could--and really be okay with it.

I used to want to be so perfect for my kids.  But now I see that we give our kids the most amazing gift when we choose to just be human.  To accept our limits.  To mess up.  To say "Not today," or even just "No."  To just make the dinner and let everyone groan and grouse.  To just forge ahead anyway, knowing we'll get to listen to all the reasons why we didn't do it the right way.  To just sigh and get to our destinations a few minutes late.  Where I used to be aghast when things went wrong, now I just say, "Not ideal!" and move on.  Now, I am thrilled and a bit surprised whenever things go smoothly.

Even if you can be perfect--in all the the myriad ways that modern parents and Attachment parents and Helicopter parents attempt to be--you can't be as real and as present.  And you can't really prepare your kids for life.  Everyone's kids are human, and there's a whole body of knowledge we deprive them of if we try to make ourselves and life be something else.  Things like these:
  • What do you do when your expectations don't match reality?
  • How do you balance the expectations of others with your own experience?
  • When do you get to give yourself some slack?
  • Whose standards matter?
  • How can we periodically check in with ourselves, to ensure that our own values are guiding our standards for performance?

The one thing I do know about myself as a parent is that I don't want my kids to spend/waste time beating up on themselves.  I want them to be resilient, to take a crack at things, to treasure their successes, to not be undone by their failures.  Most of all, I want them to know what's important to them.

The funny thing?  Since Perfection and I got our divorce, I believe I've begun to do my best work ever.  I trust myself to give any given situation my best shot, and most of the time, that's good enough.  I'm definitely enjoying myself more.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Love Austin Music? Support Austin Music People!

Momo's Club proprietor Paul Oveisi is a high quality guy.  Not only has he successfully run a music club on Austin's 6th Steet for 10 years--no small feat-- he also teaches, serves on Austin's Live Music Task Force, and is a guy who cares about and supports music and musicians.

So when I heard that Paul was involved in launching a new non-profit called Austin Music People, I wanted to know more.

The AMP website has a lot of good info about the organization's vision and mission.  Basically, AMP wants to be the organization that represents the interests of the music industry with City leaders.  Even though City officials drafted a 1991 resolution to proclaim Austin the "Live Music Capital of the World," there is neither a business plan nor a central organization to develop this vibrant sector of Austin's economy.

Issues come up all the time--from whether to charge for parking downtown to ordinances governing decibel levels of live shows--where having a central voice for stakeholders would make for better and more efficient decisions.

Paul Oveisi views our live music scene as Austin's professional sports franchise.  The number of dollars and visitors that come to town to experience our music each year--for events such as South by Southwest, the ACL Festival, and many, many more--is mind-boggling.  Austin Music People wants to be the organization that "protects and grows Austin's music culture and our reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World."

If you love music and/or musicians, if you care about music, please support AMP.  They are having their launch party tonight, starting at 6 pm at ACL Live at the Moody Theater, featuring bands like

Ghostland Observatory
Blue October
Court Yard Hounds
Alejandro Escovedo
Bavu Blakes
The Coveters
Bright Light Social Hour