Sunday the 21st is the summer Solstice, the time of year when the sun has reached its zenith along the horizon; the days are longest and brightest and the nights are shortest. Last year’s Summer’s Solstice was the brightest day of my life as I married the love of my life. What an incredible day! We were surrounded by family and friends and celebrated a sacred union of deep, abiding love. My dear, dear friend Nan, officiated our wedding and began the ceremony with this poem from Hafiz:
And truly in this union of marriage I have learned about what it means to be connected to another person, body, mind and spirit.
Yoga literally means union. I feel like the union we practice, personally, of body, mind, and spirit is the first step toward our grander expansion of identifying with that enormous union between two people, then a family, a community, and finally, the world. All to truly see that we are each integral parts of some larger organism. What a practice it has been in the fierce heat of such a beautiful marriage and relationship! One of my most profound teachers said, “All my gurus share my last name,” teaching me that perhaps the most profound teaching I will receive in this lifetime will be from the experience of having a family.
This Solstice, my wife Seneca and I have planned to welcome in more brightness into our lives, but spelled SON rather than SUN. Yes, Seneca is expecting and our little guy is due on July 1 which means he could come at any time. I’m trying to keep it cool, trying the see the big picture, but really inside, I’m really freaking out. I’ve started to keep my phone on me 24/7, checking it regularly to make sure I don’t accidentally miss the moment when Seneca starts to usher in our wonderful little ray of light into this world. I had planned a yoga retreat to Spain with Kim Dastrup to commence on the Solstice but then found out that Seneca was pregnant and decided to stay home wait for another year to do Spain.
You know, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever have kids in my life. Then I met the right partner and having kids all made sense. I’ve never done this (dad-ness) before and I feel very comfortable saying that this new endeavor both thrills me and simultaneously scares the hell out of me. Previously, whenever I’d watch a birth video or hear people talk about their experience, it always felt a little awkward to me, as if they were offering a little too gratuitously such personal information. And in my mind I’m thinking, “That’s nice . . . and kind of gross.” Now, as we have been attending birthing classes, I’ll watch a birth video or and at that magical moment when baby and mama meet for the first time (on the outside), I’m surprised to feel my throat clench tight and my heart swell and my eyes start to get dewy and in my mind I’m thinking, “That’s F*@#-ing beautiful!”
I know you can’t ever be fully ready for being a parent and yet I don’t want my little guy to come into this world without any preparations. Hell, Senececa has carried this kid for almost 9 months. Lately, I’ve been busying myself knowing that the least I can do is make sure that the crib is assembled, the house is decluttered, and that there is something in the fridge to eat. While assembling a crib, a project that should have been really straight forward, I found myself cursing under my breath at the difficult installation design and thought that maybe this is the hazing process for new dads. My next thought was that I hope he doesn’t pick up my fluent sailor vernacular.
The truth is that I really, really want to be a good dad. I want to love on him and teach him all the good things of this beautiful world, like what really good chocolate is, the magic of John Coltrane, and the value of a good pen. I can’t wait to throw the ball and hike and trail run with him. I wonder if he will be interested in music, or trucks, or maybe dance or art. A friend asked sort of jokingly, “What gender is he going to be . . . at least to start with?” I thought, “Right! I gotta accept this person exactly how they come.” I want to teach him by example how to love and respect the world. I want to teach him to not be afraid of asking for what you want in this world and simultaneously improvise with what this crazy blue marble throws at us. I want to allow him to teach me what he loves in the world and see that he’s not just a product of me and Sen but that we are also a product of him. I want to love what he loves and I want to show him what a loving marriage looks like and how to respect women and people.
Talk about a deep yoga practice. Those of you who have had kids can attest to the struggles, joys, and wisdom of having children. Truly the yoga of being connected—body, mind, and spirit—could not be more prevalent as when you are in direct relationship to a family. This baby literally came from our cells. He is us and we are him, individual members of a larger organism, a family. Just like the way we all belong to the Family of Being, right? Damn! It all feels so important and real!
So here we go! Seneca has been an amazing baby-mama, so healthy and good to our little guy inside of her by eating well, doing gentle exercise, as well as regular meditation. I love her incredibly. Seneca is ready to have this kid as soon as possible. I feel both scared and thrilled at the prospect of having a kid. It feels like the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Seneca, I bow to your strength and courage and calm peace about this whole thing.
Because Kim is gone to Spain, I’m teaching a bunch of her classes until she comes back about when the baby is due. Check out the schedule at Centered City Yoga to see all of the extra classes I’m teaching.
We’ll let you know when our little guy comes! And I hope your Solstice is half as bright as mine.
My CCY Schedule while Kim is away
Mon 6 am Rise and Shine
Mon 8:40 am Power 1
Mon 10 am Restore
Mon. 5:45 Power 1
Tues 10:15 am Restore (note this class will be suspended from July-August)
Tues 6 pm Power 1-2
Thurs 10:15 am (note this class will be suspended from July-August)
Thurs 6 pm Power 1-2
Friday 6 am Rise and Shine
Friday 5:45 pm Power 1
Saturday 10:30 am Restore
Sunday 8:40 am Deep Power
Sunday 10:15 am Restore
Here’s a perfect poem that speaks perfectly to belonging to the family of being
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Have a wonderful week . I hope you'll come to my class sometime this week.