The Gift of Mothering

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Sunday was Mother’s Day and…I did a lot of mothering. It just turned out that way. Some things went down (no trouble, just life) and presence is what was required. ⁣

⁣A lot of what I do as a mother is that I am present. I am available. I listen…as best I can. Turns out I’m so easily distractible! I use the other’s face and sound of voice as dristi/focus points and keep coming back. Compassion is a helpful motivator. ⁣

When I have thoughts or perspective I try to offer them in a respectful way that is translatable. At the right time. To help navigate. Sometimes I do this better than others. Yet more than anything I am just here. ⁣

Parenting in a pandemic is hard. There is a lot to face and continuous hard choices to make. Kids and young adults want to be with their friends and from what we have been told so far they are likely not at high risk. ⁣

Yet their lives that are just beginning are being seemingly derailed to keep safe the elders, many of whom have already lived long lives, and the immune compromised…like myself.

There are conflicting motivations for sure, and most of what we are going on is speculation at this point. It’s hard to make choices in this climate and then have to live with whatever that brings. Once again, always true. Yet accentuated. ⁣

Late high school and college age kids are deciding if they want to sign up for major debt while trying to plan their future when nothing seems clear. We just paid for likely the highest priced online schooling so far in history while having the highly anticipated freshman year experience cut off with no warning after moving cross country together to make it happen! Each of us has our own unique story…⁣

These kids have worked so hard doing what they have been told they have to do only to have the rules change at the last moment. I suppose we are all experiencing this but it is really accentuated for the upcoming generations about to step into the world as adults on their own. ⁣

Although there is this…they have experienced the old way and yet are not already as ingrained in their life path. Perhaps they can more easily adapt to life as it presents going forward. Without the same preconceptions of how things are supposed to or have to be. They can help evolve the old to meet the new. ⁣

This is what I will encourage. ⁣

In myself, my child and whoever else I encounter. Whether the new way is full of roadblocks, newfound possibilities, or both. We may not be able to recreate the future in the image of the past, we will have to adapt. Yet the more seamlessly we can do this with fresh, open eyes the more likely we are to succeed in the new environment. ⁣

Perhaps this is post covid parenting. Expectation, entitlement and arrogance will only get in the way. We have to keep adapting as quickly as the world around us. Once again, this is not new, but even more so. ⁣

It seems…people want accolades and congratulatory pampering about their parenting. It is helpful to support the caregivers, yet remember, mother’s day was at least in part developed as a consumer holiday with a political agenda. Every day can be appreciation day! Yet that’s not why I parent.⁣

While I sure could use a massage or a delicious meal I didn’t make myself sometimes, the real gift I receive is the parenting itself…learning how to adapt and meet my child and a situation right where they are. Not in the way I think I want things to be. As they are. And respond to that.

When I stop fighting or forcing I can better see what we have to work with. I see my child as a being with needs that are trying to express…and I can help or hinder that.⁣

For being a mother…is really about mothering. It is something you give. The potential-yet-not-guaranteed reward is the connection, and your child. You give without knowing what, if anything, you’re going to get. In my case, I have given a lot. And been given back so so very much. Not always what I thought or expected, and sometimes so far beyond what I could have imagined.

It’s not for everyone, parenting, and at times seems not for me! Yet once you’re in it there is no easy out. We adapt or we suffer. And we pass that on.

Once again, this is not new. But accentuated. ⁣

We are all presented with this opportunity right now – evolve together or get stuck trying to force things to be some preconceived way. In parenting and in this post covid world. Same thing, accentuated.⁣

I…am going to keep trying to meet things with fresh, open eyes, and continuously, consciously adapt to the situation as it presents itself. I don’t already know better, I am learning as I go.⁣

In life and parenting.⁣

This is my precious Mother’s Day gift.⁣

♥️

Quarantine Awakening

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There is something so electric about the sunrise. The way the light slowly increases to illuminate the landscape, revealing all that was shrouded in mystery. I feel more capable, wise, like I understand things a bit more clearly.

We made it through the night again to face another day. ⁣⁣
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I slept on the couch last night so I could awake with the sunrise on this snow capped hill across from my window. I feel like I’m finally waking up, I’ve been so tired for such a long time. ⁣⁣
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That’s what I’ve been doing during this time of isolation, I’ve been resting. At first I could hardly get off the couch. I figured I was stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, afraid and triggered from ptsd for a variety of reasons in this situation.

While all that was valid, I then recognized I was exhausted from the move and the last year of getting Philip settled into college, then before that from 20 years of parenting. Then I thought, wow, I’ve been running since I graduated high school! Then I realized I have been going since way before that. As long as I can remember I’ve been running. And I was starting to falter in it too. I really needed some rest. ⁣⁣
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So I have been. Resting. When else have I ever been given the time and space to finally, fully rest? In the beginning of this I spent time purposefully allowing myself to be as slow as I wanted. I am always being rushed in life; I could finally go at my own pace. Maybe nothing has ever felt this good.

I stayed in bed as long as I wanted. I took naps anywhere and anytime. I didn’t make myself leave the house if I didn’t want to. I let go of any pressure to get anything done. I let myself be. So much underlying static rose up and was processed or released, or both.⁣⁣
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I have been spending a lot of time in a liminal meditative space between wake and sleep where I allow a free flow of thought while retaining consciousness. My tolerance to retaining presence in any state is increasing and a sense of adaptability and underlying peace is stabilizing.

Much insight into things that have plagued me is arising while I am also coming to terms with what I can’t know and don’t have the power to fully control. In doing this I start to see what choices I do have and where I can have an affect.

I am not doing all this but just being and allowing it to rise and process.⁣

I’ve gone from perhaps the most afraid and triggered I’ve ever been (as it was the culmination of a lifetime) to feeling that the perspective of this lifetime is the most integrated it has ever been. Because I finally have the space to let myself be. ⁣

I know this isn’t everyone’s experience. Many are working harder than ever before, many are in unsafe conditions without enough resources. Many appear to be struggling with being alone and not being able to get out or be entertained while others are suffering from being with the people with whom they are isolating. Some have been terribly sick or losing loved ones. There are usually many sides to each experience.

I may have been sick too, maybe with a physical illness, certainly soul sick and exhausted from a lifetime of trying to keep up. All I know is the mist is clearing. We are all going through something right now. ⁣

We are all in this together, sure, but we are not all in the same situation. Each have our own life tragedies born from this and otherwise and each will learn what we learn. ⁣

I could tell you my tragedies but you already have your own. Instead today I chose to share some of the beauty that I am experiencing. ⁣

Waking up inside the parable of my life and learning to let myself be. Slow and steady like the sunrise, until suddenly, when everything is illuminated.⁣

No matter your story, perhaps you will experience some of this too.⁣

We made it through the night again to face another day.
♥️

Framing

Thoughts upon awakening:

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I do not want to allow challenges from the past to negatively define how I envision my potential moving forward. I want to utilize the perspective and wisdom I learn through all my experiences to inspire me to be adaptive and resilient, to inform me of ways I can continue to grow with discernment, empathy and grace.

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How we perceive things is greatly dependent upon the frame we see it through.

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Every experience relevant, a springboard for the alchemy of transformation.

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Planting seeds, observing how they grow, refining as I go.

Stillness in Motion: Guided Freeform Dance Meditation

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led by Denise Porter Kemp, accompanied with music and sound by Kalidasa Joseph Getter

This workshop utilizes guided mindfulness movement and spontaneous freeform dance meditation as experiential metaphor for resetting unconscious yet familiar patterns; in the way we approach our movement practice, in the way we move when we dance and in how we relate to the unique circumstances of our lives.

I will offer meditative orientations to both help us notice how the forces of momentum, conditioned habits, preconceptions, our own will, each other, the environment around us and even the music direct our movement and experiment with consciously unhooking ourselves from following this momentum.

In the space of the pause we can potentially tap into the experiencing witness state, pure awareness underlying all other states of consciousness – the silence ever-present behind the sound, the spaciousness inside our form and the stillness of each moment within the movement – and allow fresh insight and creative possibilities to arise.

Instead of repeating pattern or even identifying as the “dancer” and moving by our own will alone, the dance takes form through us. Informed yet not defined, limited or controlled by everything we have experienced so far in our lives.

All levels welcome, no prior experience necessary. I will offer variations to suit every body.

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Denise Porter Kemp makes stillness, movement and yoga meditation practices accessible to the uniqueness of every body while expressing the underlying psychology and teachings through the experiential practice of the physical form.

Currently based in the forests of New Hampshire, she brings her traveling school to private homes, offices at lunchtime, ski mountains, addiction recovery centers, yoga studios and music festivals all along the east coast.

Certified at the 500 hour level in the Shakti Flow Vinyasa style of yoga by Asa Dustin of At OM Yoga, Level 1 in Thai Yoga by Shai Plonski of Still Light Center and initiated into the Kaula lineage of Kashmir Shaivism by Parvathi Nanda Nath Saraswati, Denise has studied with many teachers and learns from everyone who comes her way. She has been teaching yoga since 2005 and offering Thai Yoga since 2011.

~  body geometry, pure awareness  ~

Guided Meditation – Processing Experience and Sensation like Water

I thought I would share this as maybe it will help you clear your mind and body before you sleep. It is not really a video but a guided meditation, but so far with what I know a video is easier to share than audio. It is raw, not perfected or polished. I blow my nose, I have a cold, I sit up in a wonky way. It is taken from the end of a online Zoom yoga session with a private client. I have been wanting to share some guided meditations, when I teach it is pretty much all guided movement and stillness meditation. I don’t have a plan or use a script. I tried recording some with a script I wrote, and while I like what I said, it sounded like I was reading from a script. In this what I say is not exactly right, yet it sounds, at least to me, more authentic, albeit a little slow and with a stuffy nosed voice. I like it better than the script though. In 14 years of teaching it is the first time I have recorded myself and listened to the recording as a meditation for myself…I tend to be more ephemeral than documenting. I think it will help me get better at this to do this, record myself in real time rather than scripted and then experience myself as a student. It is fascinating. I am different on the outside than I am inside of me, it seems so far, and as I watch myself I have extreme compassion for this little woman that I am, in the same way I have compassion for you when I see you in real life. I will likely record a similar guided meditation and at that point perhaps delete this. Yet in the interim I am sharing what I have available and maybe it will be of interest to you.

Formless Infinite in Finite Form

I have been experiencing that one of the functions of postural practice in the system of yoga is as counterbalance, anchoring into an embodied awareness of a relative sense of space and time to help orient and function in those realms while simultaneously opening into a connection with the formless infinite beyond these finite boundaries of form.

~ for group or individual movement meditation, yoga and Thai yoga sessions check out my services or send me a message. Gift certificates make great presents of appreciation for your loved ones or yourselves. If you are interested in holiday discounts, make me an offer ~

Advanced Sun Salutation 1

Postural meditation is part of how I remind myself of my strength in the face of adversity, part of how I attune to grace and agility in the midst of whatever else life is giving. I am grateful for the ability and the continued perseverance that allows me to do this. This was some of my practice today.
Essentially I am pretty private, and I like to present postural meditation practices in a way that makes them accessible to everyone. As a result I don’t tend to share posts like this. While gymnastic movement meditation practices can be intimidating, they can also be inspiring. It is in this vein that I share this sun salutation possibility, for those it may inspire.
I don’t often have the opportunity to teach people this kind of practice, but I would like to more. I tend to offer puzzle pieces of movement in simpler postures and then as ability allows put the pieces together into more complex possibilities so that by the time we get to the challenging posture you are already oriented to the parts that will make up the whole. If doing this kind of movement comes easy to you, I tend to break it down into pieces to bring in precision of alignment and body awareness into what you are already doing.
I do lead group classes yet find one-on-one instruction is a particular strength, especially for others who generally practice on their own rather than in a group led setting. If you are interested, be in touch. I’ll put a link the comments to my website for more information.
I apologize for the cropping, I am a bit limited in the technology department… I am working with what I currently have and learning as I go.