The Darkness Can Stay but the Light Will Come Again

I’ll start this blog with a disclosure. For the first time in a long time I feel like I am slowly coming unhinged; in both beautiful and terrifying ways. This is written in present time with a ton of heartache & grief and that is reflected in my words. However I am grounded enough to realize this isn’t the end and know the light will come back eventually.

Today however, my heart hurts. It’s been a long few years. I have been cheated on by three men in five years. And here’s the thing, I have heard every excuse in the book and no longer have time for excuses.

I am coming undone at the seams if we are being honest. If you look at me the wrong way; I’ll cry. If we could hug I would fall apart. If the wind blows too intensely, I am liable to shatter. I am not okay.

Trusting in God, the universe, timing…it’s all too much right now. I have faith. It’s somewhere hidden deep within me. I’ll be the one in the front pew at church as I search for it every Sunday and in meditation every morning as I reach to the heavens. But it isn’t easy.

In an apology letter I received this: “Know that your hurt has purpose and that your love showed me the clearest mirror I have ever looked at.” And while the healer part of my heart is grateful to have made a difference; my actual heart is shattered and broken to the point of dust. Trust felt real. Trust and true love was in my grasp. It felt as though I held my bunny too tightly and apparently strangled him to death with my love because he strayed from my heart and our path in a way that cut me to my core.

This is a reminder.

When you’re on the cutting room floor.

When you’re at the bottom of the barrel.

When you’re searching for idioms in the back of your heart and your mind to find some kind of way to express the deep chasm that’s been created.

The light will come back. Even if you don’t want it to today. Even if you’re content in the darkness and the weighted blankets. Even if you dread feeling hope once more.

It will come.

She will come back to you when you least expect it. In the moments you’re on the phone for a cousin chat. When you see your sons face as he hugs his best friend. When you finally hold your person. When you have an unexpected moment of laughter in a book that you’re reading in order to escape your own feelings.

Hope will come back. The light will come back. The moon and the sun and the stars will come streaming into your life when you least expect it.

And yes, even love will waltz home too.

But for tonight my love, know I love you and I’m hurting too. Know we will survive as we always do. And someday in the future, we will look back at all the pain on this path and say thank you for the trials that paved a jagged path to the love I hold in my heart right now.


The only thing constant is change

The only thing constant is change. Over the years I have had plenty of it; divorce, toxic relationships, co-dependency in friendships, intimate relationships + family, moving 8 times in 7 years, losing my brick and mortar business during a global pandemic as a solo parent and so much more. My life has been in constant motion.

BUT it has been incredible, and a few key things have stayed the same.

The love for my son is constant and will never change (no matter how many times he clogs the toilet). My love for the practice that has saved me over and over again will never diminish, though it may change in modalities over the years.

Alas, change is beautiful and necessary.

When I first left my ex-husband, I kept the family name. It felt important to me to keep it in order to have the same name as our child and because I had branded my entire decade long career under that name. Plus, I was terrified. In my mind, changing my name was the last thread connecting me to the life I had when I was married. When the day came, I was ready. I knew deep in my bones it was time to change my name. When I did so, I wasn’t sure if I would change my business or not, but I knew it felt right to transition as I felt healed and ready to shift into this new sense of self.

Fast forward to 2020, the worlds favorite year, and I found myself with a new opportunity. My stable brick and mortar business had closed and I was on the precipice of a new venture; creating online and in person yoga teacher trainings around the world. With this new venture, another change was in the air. Again, I knew I would feel the moment I needed to be pulled into creating and crafting this new website.

Here we are at the beginning of a new year and this butterfly is finally emerging from the cocoon I was inside of for much of last year. I am proud to introduce my new website and logo; alongside ALL my old blog posts (I promise they haven’t gone anywhere, they’re right here with us).

Thank you for reading, for coming to classes and for supporting me by spreading this website to all you can! I am overjoyed with hope for the future and wishing each of you the happiest new year.



Bubble Wrap : Hold Your Babies Close

As parents we want to wrap our children in bubble wrap in order to create the safest environment possible; holding them in vulnerability while also protecting innocence and giving love. We will stop at nothing in order to help our children be happy, healthy and safe.

But what happens when the danger is the other parent? What happens if the danger is the sneaky monster of emotional abuse? Abuse is tricky. It can be slow and manipulative. It is often hidden within dis-ease. But it is still present.

My heart hurts today. I have heard things in the last four years that cut deep into my soul; things I should have never been lead to believe about myself. If you had asked me a few years ago, the worst sentence I ever heard was : “I love you more than him. We can always make another baby, why is it so bad that I don’t love him?”

Until last month. It got worse. Much worse. Words I never want my child to hear. Words I never in a million years can fathom thinking let alone saying.

I did everything I could to get us wrapped up in bubble wrap and protected. Marching into the courthouse I asked for every right we had and demanded a safety net be cast around us. But no matter what I do; the words cannot be unsaid.

As I watch Zyan sleeping, with his perfect little body slowly rising and falling, I want nothing more than to shelter him from this forever. My heart doesn’t hurt for the court battles I put up with today; my heart hurts for the pain he may eventually feel in the future.

One day he will feel the weight of these words I shield him from and I will be there to hold his hand. He’s resilient now and always will be. I will remind him he’s loved, wanted, held and important. Daily I will tell my son he’s perfect inside and out (even on the days he begs for popsicles before school or tries to stay up late). I will hold his hand and heart and do my best to support him no matter how resilient he is.

Tonight hold your babies close. Wrap them in your mama/papa bear protective energy. Keep them happy, healthy and safe. And then remind yourself that they are resilient. You’ll be there to hold their hand when things get messy.

Tonight hold them close. No matter how old they may be. A phone call. Making them dinner. Dropping off flowers. Refilling their coffee supply.

I’m so grateful to my own mom who holds me, always. I don’t allow myself to fall apart often because I need to protect Zyan, but on the days when I need to rest she makes sure we have a pillow of love to land on. And plenty of coffee and pull ups.

Hold your people close. Tell them you love them. Wrap them in emotional bubble wrap. And know that when it’s pierced, you’ve loved them so deeply that they have the resilience to protect themselves.

Pausing to Celebrate

A few weeks ago I was interviewing an incredible life coach. Someone I hope to work with someday (though ultimately I was honoring myself in knowing now isn’t the time to add stuff on to my ever increasing schedule). During our discussion she was asking me about my life and I briefly mentioned I had sole, legal custody of my son. She asked me when I obtained that and I mentioned it was May of 2019. Her gut reaction was, “did you pause to celebrate? you have so much on your plate, did you really take the time to honor this incredible accomplishment? did you pause to reflect on how challenging that was and everything you overcame? did you truly, really, celebrate?”

Ummmm. No. No I did not.

I kept going, put one foot in front of the other and dealt with yet another fire here or there. I did not pause to celebrate. Who the fuck has time to do that anyway?

My only celebration included a {delicious} cheeseburger with my mother in Harvard Square. I then picked my son up from school and snuggled the night away. Celebration done. Work and other things up next.

But the life coach had me thinking: what would happen if I were to slow down enough to acknowledge all the incredible things I have accomplished in the last few years?

I have sole, legal custody of my child.
I built a 501c3 non-profit that is growing in so many beautiful ways.
I have built a BEAUTIFUL community of yogis and been open as a studio for close to six years.
I live on my own in the ‘perfect for us home’ by the ocean.
I am working on a book with the Yoga Service Council on Yoga + Addiction.
I met Nikki Myers, one of my personal heroes.
I hosted TWO annual Galas.
I trained close to 50 people to become yoga teachers.
I trained 13 people to become volunteer teachers for Yoga for Families of Addiction.
I obtained my Trauma Restorative Teacher Training Certification.

Those are just the highlights. I’ve written articles, poems, blog posts, been on podcasts and connected to more people than I can remember. In the past few years there have been countless weddings, births and more joy than I care to imagine. There has also been heartache, devastation and loss. The last few years flipped my entire world upside down and I needed to navigate who I was going to become in order to show up as the best possible mother, boss and person I could be. I accomplished a hell of a lot from that moment and I’m only just now realizing I forgot to take a moment to pause and celebrate.

As I took my time feeling into what celebration would look like, I began to ask myself: what feels like home? what feels like joy? what feels as though it would help you emerge?

A few things came up. Dinner with friends, family and cousin time. Time spent alone. Yoga. And I’ve always wanted to attend a cacao ceremony. This is a space where you are fully open in your heart and able to open, connect and just allow for whatever happens to come into the space. I have been fascinated with them and wanted to try one. In the spring, I hired someone to create a ceremony at the Shala and thought that was going to be my opportunity.

But life changes. And I found myself on a Saturday evening, sick as a dog, after having slept 4 hours and saw there was a ceremony down the street. I called the studio owner who is a friend of mine and she slid me in from the waitlist, imploring me to go and just breathe, celebrate and BE in the space.

So tonight I attended a cacao ceremony. The description said it would be 2 hours: 6-8pm. I showed up 15 minutes early and we didn’t begin until 6:22pm, nor did we end until 9:22pm! When the ceremony began, I started to weep immediately. Tears of sadness for the grief and loss in my heart, tears of joy for all I’ve accomplished and all that’s yet to come and tears of pure light for the world at large. Then we danced. And danced and danced. We had trust falls and reiki, crying, hugs and so damn much support.

As I was held in space by my beautiful colleague in the field Ali, and hugged by two virtual strangers as I wept, I knew it was time to feel into celebration. To be grateful for all I have had, even the heartaches and the ones who left a giant whole in my heart. To be grateful that my baby boy is mine, forever and ever amen, sharing my last name, my heart, my home and all that legally binds us. I found gratitude; even for the tears.

Tonight I will celebrate. No matter how much my heart may ache or I may shift and grow at various times in my life, I will celebrate the goodness I have found, the lessons I have learned and the love I have shared.

In gratitude, as I try to find joy in this new year.



P.s. The image above is my mama and I the day I left the courthouse with sole custody!

A Whole New Me

Recently my son and I got our name change paperwork in the mail. It was a moment I can’t quite describe. I could begin with excited, honored, a touch sad and truly looking forward to our future {whatever it may hold}. Our future is so damn beautiful and as I shift from codependency recovery to feeling fully healthy and recovered, I am honored to emerge as a whole new me; a whole new us.
When I first got divorced I didn’t change my name for a number of reasons. Professionally it feels good to be Jenny Ravikumar and I will potentially stay as such. It’s who I am as a business owner, and the person I’ve grown into. The changing of my name helped me to throw my shoulders back and step into a roll of leadership I would’ve been to nervous to walk into if I didn’t have a new name, a new identity.
I was nervous to change back to my “maiden” name for a number of reasons.
  1. I am no longer a “maiden” and think it should be referred to as family name of origin.
  2. The power I had created in my mind with this name was powerful and I wasn’t sure I would be able to hold onto it when I shifted to my name of origin.
  3. I always want to be connected to my son; energetically, legally and also in name.
  4. Most importantly, I am not who I used to be. In the last few years I have grown and emerged into someone I could’ve never imagined I would become. I’m strong and wise. God put me on an imaginary episode of Law + Order I never signed up for and the last few years I have learned more about myself as a person, a mother and a business owner than I ever believed possible.
With all that said, I know how important names are. They give the world a snapshot of who you are. They connect you to others.
Names are powerful. Some people can carry a name that is simply one word. Prince. Beyonce. Madonna. Some names are simple yet beautiful; Jane Smith. Other names are gorgeous and take a moment to pronounce perfectly; Nazahaah Amin. Some names are old {Betty} and some are brand new {Cash}.
Every name has a story – no matter if it was your parents “liking it” or a family name passed down through the years. Perhaps your name has a deeply intentional meaning or maybe your parents watched their favorite TV show while they were pregnant with you. Add in marriage, divorce, gender transitions, growing out of your name, general life changes and you find all kinds of stories embedded within a name.
A name introduces you to the world and yet it’s just a single piece of who you are.

“Whats in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet” – Shakespeare

I am still me. No matter what my license says.
I will always hold a piece of Jenny Ravikumar with me in my heart. She taught me about motherhood, business ownership, leadership, love, trauma and codependency recovery. She embraced her writing and began sharing her words with the world. Jenny Ravikumar learned that on the other side of divorce, there isn’t death – but rather a life of joy that I work towards daily. She reminded me to smile daily, even while navigating the courthouse through restraining orders, custody hearings and tax fraud. And most importantly, she showed me I had a backbone that I wasn’t ever sure I knew existed.
I will always hold a piece of the (original) Jenny Lane. She who trusted without any fear, loved deeply and once made a fondant cake in August just to help add joy to someones day. Jenny Lane learned how to give, how to create with love and how to laugh (really loudly). She is and forever will be working on her “indoor voice” and will always be the loudest one in the room; though to be fair, she has a tiny 33 pound competitor she created.
Today I am ready to embrace this new version of Jenny Lane. I’m ready to feel fully healed, to love deeper and to step into this new decade with my shoulders back and my heart continuously open. It’s my time to step into a role of leadership; to continue expanding my brick and mortar yoga studio alongside building a foundation for my non-profit. I am going to continue showing my son that you can do anything you put your mind to. I’m ready to step into the fear, joy and deep dive of love and what that holds in our future; celebrating new beginnings and creating a life we are proud to live every day. Walking toward this new decade with a beautiful foundation in business, and my incredibly smart, handsome and kind son, it’s time for me to emerge.

My job is to guide others through my teaching and writing. As I step into the newest version of my name, I plan to continue this journey as authentically and honestly as I can. The days aren’t always easy, but I promise to always shine light for you (and I) wherever I can.

As much as I am doing this as an individual, I am honored to be doing this alongside my divine beam of light. Having my son share my name makes me feel humble joy in every way possible. I will be forever connected to my favorite little man in every way imaginable.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I can tell you I am not “going back” to being Jenny Lane {nor the jokes about Forest Gump, Penny or Lois}. As I transition, I am embracing this new version of who she is. Joyful, excited and light up are just a handful of words I can find in this moment as I write to you from the local RMV.

This new decade is going to be beautiful.

In the comments below, share your desire for this coming decade. Are you excited, joyful, full of love? Are you manifesting new love, a new job or a major life shift? Is it time for you embrace who you are?
I cannot wait to hear what you’re up to.
Love, light + beautiful joy

Santosha + Spanda: The Art of Joy

Spanda – The sacred tremor within; art of being alive, the moments we shake, quake and take a sharp inhale; fully living as opposed to existing.

The year my ‘word’ or theme has been spanda. I truly wanted to dig into the things that brought me joy; wanted to learn, to dig deeper into becoming a student again, to play and explore, to invite dinner parties and a lot of friends + coffee into my home. Passion and music and joy were what I was craving.

My God have I gotten my deepest desires. I dug deep and found the joy of being a student; I dug deeper and found the joy of having my own space for friends to gather and family to be near. I dug even deeper still and found L.O.V.E. It has been quite a ride and it’s only mid way through 2019.

This article was almost titled “The Elusive Other Side” because that’s how life has felt lately. I feel joy in my bones, love in my heart and a sense of security I haven’t felt in a long, long time. Most of the moments in my life right now are nothing short of miraculous and I am grateful for every inch of this joy. More than that, I’m grateful for the santosha + spanda that have co-mingled into existence.

One of my students came to me last week and told me her boyfriend had been verbally abusive. She was teary eyed, showing me some of her evidence and wanting to know if she did the right thing. Her next words struck me so deep I sucked in breath I had no idea I was holding. “I wanted to ask you, because you’ve been through it and now you’re so happy and on the other side.”

When she said I was on the other side, I actually gasped. I wasn’t sure if I should be laughing, crying or rocking my inner child to comfort her. I had no idea what to think, other than this: SHE was strong. And she felt the same way in that moment I have felt countless times over the last few years. Shock, anger, pain, sadness, trauma, overwhelm, and loss of identity, confidence and love. It’s a strange mixture you can only truly experience in the moment you step out of the abuse. An awakening. You’re so proud of yourself. You feel strong. You feel weak. You’re confused. You’re exhausted. And yet somehow you’re putting one foot in front of the other.

It took me years to get to where I am now. Healing. Yoga. Crystals. Oils. More yoga. Meditation. Crying into shoulders. Being reminded of my own strength with every challenge God gave me. Family. Yoga. Friends. More yoga. Coffee. More and more yoga.

Santosha – Contentment, a lack of desiring what others have (JOMO), love, full acceptance and subtle joy in each moment.

Santosha (contentment) + Spanda (alive-ness) are my current keys to joy. I could outline my years of trauma recovery, building Yoga for Families of Addiction, solo parenting, keeping Barefoot Yoga Shala the beautiful, alive community it remains and fully living while healing.

Instead I’m going to say this : the other side is elusive. I’m in it; I’m living my joy. My good days far outweigh the bad. In my world I have my beautiful son, incredible partner (and his beautiful children), family galore, friend at every turn. I have a few businesses I LOVE and I live near the ocean.

But I still have moments of trauma crop up. I have moments of anxiety when I can’t think or see straight. I have times when I need to be reminded to breathe (yes, the yoga teacher sometimes needs a reminder as well).

This week was hard. Anxiety and trauma hit home. The wind was knocked out of my sails. I felt drained.

I took a deep breath, looked deep into the eyes of the ones I loved (including the ones staring back in the mirror) and saw/felt/heard : “YOU HAVE GOT THIS. YOU’RE STRONG.”

I took that deeper breath, pulled my shoulders back and exhaled. I drew my student into the worlds biggest hug and held her for a moment while she found her own footing and breath. Someday she will be on the elusive other side with me. Standing side by side, remembering that all it takes is one step at a time. And when you “arrive” remember we knew you were strong enough to get here all along.

You’ve got this. You’re strong. You’re powerful. You are love.

With love from the elusive other side

Crystals, Oils & E-Books Oh My!

I frequently find myself saying “my job is weird.” Because it is. I am a crystal healer, yoga teacher, reiki master, oil lover, business owner of multiple businesses and much more. Often times, I hear people complain and talk about their dislike for their job, while I sit quietly in the corner thinking of how happy I am to have the autonomy I do and the joy I have in my heart from day to day within the realm of the career I love so deeply.

Still, my job is a bit strange.

Describing what I do to people who want deeper insight into my career can be tricky. I tend to receive similar questions every day: “How do crystals work? What is reiki? Can an essential oil really help calm me down? Is yoga good for my lower back pain? I want to get into crystals, but don’t know where to start, can you help?”

In an attempt to answer questions, I have been writing on my blog for years. Giving insight, answering questions I’ve heard in the community and giving whatever advice I could. I love writing and explaining my job and its day to day operations.

This year in particular, I kept hearing the same two questions over and over:


What crystals do I start with?

How do I learn more about essential oils?


After years of research, working in the industry and learning on myself and my clients, I decided it was time to release my knowledge into the world. I have created two ebooks (with more to come soon my friends, promise).

My ebooks are chock full of the top questions I receive DAILY as a crystal healer, reiki master & oil lover.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to release them and this knowledge into the world!

Each book is $5 a piece and can be purchased and downloaded in my shop here.

Vibrational medicine is one of my favorite topics and I am ecstatic to have these books online for you to purchase! Let’s go forth and high vibe this world together.

Love, light & joy,
Namaste xx

Happy 5th Anniversary: How Community Saves Lives

This week I had the opportunity to take my staff out for pedicures and then we went to dinner to celebrate our 5th anniversary at Barefoot Yoga Shala! It was surreal being surrounded by some of my favorite women who have been with me for some or all of this journey in entrepreneurship via my brick and mortar yoga studio. In truth, I’ve been working for myself for almost eight years on and off. It has been the most incredibly challenging & beautiful time and I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.

For the last few weeks in class, I have been announcing our upcoming round robin anniversary class. It’s free and an annual offering we give every year as a gift to our students. ALL my teachers and I lead a flow and we end class with cake! When I announce class I waver between joy and tears streaming down my face.

Many of you know me well and know that the last five years have been full of the highest highs and the deepest lows one could ever fathom. When I opened my studio, I was 28 years old and married to the love of my life. As we approach our fifth anniversary, I am now 33 and a single mom to the world’s best little boy. I am no longer married and in fact, that same person is no longer in either myself or my son’s life. I have fought like hell to keep us safe, to keep my business afloat and to continue pursuing this work and career that light me up from the inside out.

I couldn’t have done it without you.

Without the students who attend classes daily.

Without friends and family reading and sharing my facebook & instagram posts.

Without strangers sharing my poems on the internet.

Without a world behind me that believes in this mission.

I started my yoga studio with one intention: build a community.

I have seen that come to fruition over and over again.

Community Saves Lives + Brings Joy

The time Joyce Landry sprained her ankle on our yoga retreat when I was 7 months pregnant and Kendra Raymond, Sam Bishop, ALL the Smiths & Matt Wengratis carried her out of the woods like a wheelbarrow.

The first reiki circle held by Jacalynn and I where we could feel the power of everyone’s breath and collective love. Every new moon circle, solstice or equinox when we share our dreams and intentions.

The day Hannah called to remind me of how worthy I am and then hired herself to be my manager because she couldn’t imagine me ever failing.

Mary’s first class when I forced her to audition and then officially start the day prior when I was out of substitute options.

Carolyn saying YES to being by my side as I opened my doors, mere months before her 200 hour YTT graduation and a minute before she walked down the aisle with her high school sweetheart, both whom I’ve known for years.

Painting the studio. Every time. The first time with my cousins, friends & a bottle of wine. The time I got divorced and decided to celebrate by painting our lobby turquoise blue to match my newfound “Vissudha” voice alongside Amy, Libby & a bottle of something to keep us awake while we danced to music and colored outside the lines. The moments of stencils with our new intern, Melissa, Mary & an incredible funky flow playlist, while Bob Murphy dropped off waters to keep us hydrated.

Watching you dance in Funky Flow beside Mary or I.

Watching you cry. Ever. Always.

The moment Liz fell apart and Faby ran to her side to hold her. Afterwards, Liz looked at me and said “who was that wonderful soul who caught me?” She didn’t even know her name.

Julie Macneil walking in to make cookies and say hello to everyone. Karen Nathanson as our constant greeter. The Smith family who we love and miss deeply.

Cheryl, Sheryl, Steve & Sue who are the most loyal students in the world and whom I couldn’t have opened my studio to begin with. Mary Jane (who we also miss deeply) and Diana who may be my mama’s friends, but they are also mine.

Bridget and Becky believing in my writing again.

Graduating teacher trainees, creating Yoga for Families of Addiction, crying in savasana, watching couples hold hands.

Anyone who ever walked through our front door and said hello.

Gratitude isn’t a big enough word to encompass how I feel today.

I can’t speak these words out loud because I will cry. But you helped me build my dreams. You made everything I have ever wished for come true: a place where people feel loved and supported. A place where people can come to BE.

Growing up I lived in a world where I never felt “enough.” Not good enough to play sports or dance. Not good enough to be a journalist. Not good enough to fit into a particular model I wanted so deeply to belong in.

In the middle of my college years, I had no friends. (Save for one). A rumor had spread and I was alone. I had no one to hold me. No one to make sure I was okay. No one to save me from the voices inside my head reminding me that because I had no friends, I really WAS NOT good enough.

And then I started to meet them: Leisl, Richie, Ashley. Without these friends, without this tribe, I wouldn’t have remembered I mattered. When I did remember, I made it my mission to ensure I never forgot and to NEVER let anyone feel the way I did those years I was alone.

Barefoot is my home, my sanctuary, my place of refuge. Barefoot is a place you can come to practice, to rest, to dream, to soar, to learn, to play, to connect, to meet others, to find your tribe.

Barefoot is community.

This has easily been the fastest, hardest, slowest, most incredible five years of my life. I wouldn’t be here without the friends and family I have behind the scenes who support and push me daily. I wouldn’t be here without my students and readers reminding me it’s okay to believe in myself.

And for that, I am beyond grateful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Namaste, x

P.s. After writing this article, I saw the most incredible display of kindness and love in our studio as we surrounded Barbara Shea with loving light during an injury. I couldn’t love this community more and am so blessed you’re a part of our lives.

Solo Parenting: Raising a Good Young Man

The addict I used to love, my ex husband, is no longer in our lives. And yet he’s alive. In fact, this week he is gleefully taking me to court from behind bars to reduce his child support even though I haven’t been paid a dime in 15 months. He affects my world daily; popping up unexpectedly and at inopportune times. His spiral reaches not only my world, but my sons and many people around us. Addiction is so tricky to navigate because oftentimes the addict has no control over their actions and the ripple effect can be devastating. Addiction lead me directly to being a solo parent.

I hold it together for myself and my son as best I can. Day by day we make it work as a team. Mama pulling the reigns and carrying 16 bags like the bag lady and Zyan reluctantly putting on his winter boots and carrying one water bottle. We pull it off smashingly and even have plenty of time left at the end of every day to snuggle and play.

Most days I am joy filled. I am raising a little boy during a heightened political time where there is all kinds of dissonance around us. I have the incredible responsibility of raising him to be a strong, capable young man who can advocate for others and understand that every action has a consequence. It isn’t easy. There are days when I’m crying alone in the bathroom because I have to be the loving and patient parent wrapped inside the one who punishes.

My parents had a system: mom was the lover and dad was the hammer. She made the day to day decisions. She would handle all our punishments and the behavioral aspect of our day to day lives. She would take us to the doctors office, run errands, make dinner and create a safe space for us to play and be loved. My dad played, parented & worked hard. He wasn’t always physically present because of his job, but when he was home he was fully present. He didn’t once say he was too tried to play even if he had worked 72 hours in a row. He was there fully.

At the end of the day, however, we both knew if we heard “I’m telling your father,” there was a weight carried. He wouldn’t punish any differently, just the idea that he knew was often scary enough. He was the hammer. The weight.

In my solo parenting home, there is just me. I am the lover and the punisher all wrapped into one. Sometimes I feel a bit bipolar; wanting to run and hug him moments after a time out. I stay strong and do everything I need to in order to raise a strong man by myself, but there are days when the pain of doing it alone really hammers into me.

Just this week, my little man and his best friend didn’t receive any stickers and had a trying day at school. We had told them that they could have a playground and pizza date if they got stickers for being good young men and they didn’t follow through on their end. The play date was revoked.

My pre-schooler cried for a full hour on the way home. He cried in Trader Joe’s. He cried in the car. He cried when he remembered at home. He cried in the tub. He cried before bed.

He kept saying, “I’m sorry mama, I’ll try harder. Can we get the pizza now?”

Oh my heart. Alone for hours hearing how sorry he was for not doing a good enough job.

The lesson needed to be taught: actions have consequences.

Consequences are one the most difficult things to learn and be taught. But I’ll be damned if my little man believes he can walk on water and ignore his teachers, elders and people who aid him in the community.

He learned a hard lesson this week. I strengthened my backbone and didn’t back down once. Yet I also strengthened my heart and stretched it to be as big as I could manage in order to help him navigate his feelings and remind him that he is so deeply loved.

Parenting isn’t easy. Solo parenting just plain sucks at times (in fact : does anyone want to help me open a stuck humidifier or help fold the laundry this weekend while I play trucks and Spider-Man with Ziggy?). It’s not meant to be easy. Parenting is full of lessons and love. I pray I’m doing it right every single day.

To all you mamas and papas, doing this solo or with a partner or a tribe : I see you. You’ve got this. We all do. Let us continue to raise incredible young men and women who can lead this world with love, kindness and a touch of joy.

Namaste, xx


What to Do When you Feel You’re Not Enough

My triggers come in waves. Odd moments when they pop up and I can hear his voice in the back of my head; the same voice that latched on to my prior insecurities and the one that dove deep into my weaknesses. This weekend all I could hear on repeat was: “you’re not enough.”

You are not enough. You will never be enough. You are going to be alone forever. You can pretend you’re fine with being single and tell the whole world you’re enjoying this time alone, but you know you’re miserable and destined to be alone forever. Who would want someone like you: you are damaged goods.

You are not enough. You’ll never be enough. You are going to be stuck in this same financial bracket forever. You can pretend you’re fine with owning a small business and tell the world this is the beauty of community (you mean that part). But deep down you have further you want to go and you’ll never make it. You think you’ll write and publish a book? Ya. Right.

You are not enough. You’ll never be enough. You are going to be the mom at preschool who is undone by a 2 foot tall three year old girl who points at our family picture on day three and asks: “where is his daddy?” as I stumble through an awkward answer and say “well, I’m here.”

It was on repeat. From the moment I woke up on Saturday morning until now and it’s still there.

Here’s the thing: I’m human.

As a teacher in the community, it’s hard for me to feel my feelings beyond gratitude and joy. I experience a full range of emotions beyond that and know it’s perfectly normal to feel anger and sadness. In the last two years alone, I have felt those two feelings very deeply in many different ways. But to say out loud (especially as a teacher of empowerment), “today I doubt myself” can be very tricky. I know the tools. I’m practicing them. But I am also honoring where I am today, in this moment.

When you feel the doubt creep into your heart, I want you to do these three things.

Stop. Drop. Listen. Listen to your heartbeat. Listen to the wind. Listen to your feelings and emotions. Actually listen to what’s happening inside.

Feel your feelings. All of them. Cry. Rage. Scream. Go boxing. Swim. Workout. Dance. Cry until you’re laughing from how ridiculous you look and feel. Let. It. Go.

Breathe. You won’t necessarily feel better right away. In fact you might feel a little bit worse knowing the feelings are out there and acknowledging how you feel. But in time, you’ll get better. With yoga, EFT, reiki, crystals, love, swimming, boxing, walking, water (water, water) or whatever other tools make you feel whole. For this moment, breathe.

And then even if it’s just a spark of hope, I want you to latch onto it. I want you to say: I believe in love over fear, I believe I am supported.

Because you are. And so am I.

And I promise we are all more than enough.

xx, namaste