I’ve been a regular student of Barre3since I tried it last May 13. A friend’s Facebook status introduced me to it and I found the idea interesting. I was a student of ballet in my youth and spent a good part of my adolescent and teenage years in a dance studio. I was always working out as an adult, in the gym then in Pilates studios, but my workout life screeched to a halt as I dealt with major energy dips in my forties.
I don’t know why these images are so teeny-tiny, but just click on them to see. Congratulations to Rustan’s for helping to mainstream organic and earth-friendly products. I prefer to use local when I can, but that these products are available here is already cause for celebration. It’s proof that products that keep our families and the earth healthy, are no longer just for treehuggers! Hooray! There are other products available in the line so visit when you can.
Yes, it looks like a simple mini trampoline, the kind you can purchase off Toby’s, but this is not a toy. You bounce on the toys and you’ll feel what I mean–and not in a good way. The Cellerciser is pricey if you think of it as just a mini trampoline, but when you consider what it does for your cells and then compare it to your gym fees, it begins to feel like a great deal.
Every woman struggles with this. As a mother you’re always caught between giving your children freedom and boundaries. When do you give in, when do you hold back? How do you balance all the aspects of your womanhood: wife, mother, lover, warrior, daughter, sister, co-worker, individual…? It is a daily challenge, especially when you want to live consciously. For mothers like me, whose children have to meet with a totally different lifestyle when they are with their father, there is the added challenge of letting go and accepting that there are aspects of their life you don’t see and cannot control. I find the phrase “good enough mother” very moving and comforting because it recognizes the inner struggle of every mother to be her very best and the inevitable feeling of failure that comes with it. When you bring children into the world, you want only the best for them. It is your responsibility. It is your goal. It is your every breath. But life happens along the way and you mostly have to make do. Achieving balance is a colossal struggle because so many people need you but to be able to serve them well, someone has to look after you. And we all know that for every woman, that person is no one but herself. I went to see a doctor a few weeks ago to discuss some therapies for my children who can’t seem to get over their asthma. Their doctor prescribed therapies that I was feeling so totally overwhelmed about because I am just one, they are two, and I’m already doing everything I can for them in terms of medicines and therapies, rhythm, diet–you name it. The doctor looked at me and said I was the one that needed caring for and strengthening because I was clearly exhausted and what strength could my children get from me when I am running on empty? I could have kissed the ground she walked on. As women, we always pedal to the back of the line for others, when we have to learn that we can serve better when we are strong, healthy and cared for. Every husband and father ought to see that if the mother of their children are healthy and secure, so will their children be. Instead, the full weight of the world is on mothers today. No wonder our kids suffer, too. Balance. Every woman ought to fight for it and claim it. It’s easier said than done, I know, when we are so programmed to think of others and never of ourselves. I’m trying my best to make that part of my agenda this year and every day after. Of course I had to choose the year where I’m in the midst of building a house and rectifying the horrors that come with it, but it’s precisely what pushed me to realize that I have to take care of myself more because I am totally useless to the people I love when I am unwell. Balance. May every woman achieve it.
See those two little boys? They’re my boys. This is a photo I took from the balcony of the rental I just moved out of. I took it a year ago. The lake was just a hop and a skip away from our house then. We moved from congested Quezon City to Silang, Cavite because my boys were always sick in our former house and I felt that I had given them all the help I could in terms of therapies and nutrition. Somehow I sensed we needed to be supported by our environment, too. I was right (hay salamat minsan nakakatama din!). My boys have blossomed since. Though they still have asthma attacks (I was hoping that would disappear), they are both stronger and fuller. I was just showing my older boy’s photo to his teacher and we couldn’t believe how thin and gaunt he was before we left the city. Here, we are surrounded by trees, crickets, frogs, all kinds of insects, clean air and life, life life!!! It takes them no more than 20 minutes of traffic-free travel to get to school. Now my Santiago has gained weight, is happier, less introverted and is always leaving his shoes behind! He loves to walk on grass, soil and stones. Just the other day, my boys planned to have a picnic under the shade of a tree they just discovered they could climb. Each brought an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie baked by their Tita Joy. These are the simple joys of childhood that mean so much. They don’t need toys, TV or computers. A home made cookie each, under a tree. That’s what made their day. I really think that our children need to live away from the city. I’m still in a village, not exactly in the middle of nowhere, so it’s not even as perfect as growing up on a farm, but already the change has made such an impact on the health and well-being of my children. I am so grateful for the chance to move away, start anew and restore their health. Nature is such a perfect healer and I know that just by growing up in the midst of it, my children will be great protectors of her gifts.
This is my hallway. I moved to my (hopefully) forever house last Monday and am neck, no, brain deep in boxes and belongings and furniture and dust and memories and hopes and frustrations and disappointments and forced self-assurances. Today I am deciding to sit and write so that I can breathe. It has been non-stop chaos and craziness all week. I’m gaining weight (gasp!)from the stress and inability to cook my meals (too much fixing up to do, gas tank not yet connected and incredible junk from the past cluttering my little kitchen), so I am eating out a lot which means I am not eating the healthiest food. Hay buhay talaga. How to maintain equanimity? The spontaneous and gut-truthful answer right now is: EWAN. Everyday I struggle to be the change with contractors, suppliers, etc., who seem to want me to be unpleasant before they do the work they are supposed to do anyway. But everyday it is a struggle. It’s difficult for an organized person to be in the midst of constant, unrelenting disorganized energy. I’m not picking up calls because I know that my anger will most likely flare up in ways I will regret, so I simply text back that I need to breathe and manufacture calmness. I struggle with my simple meditation exercises because most days, the seething wins. It’s difficult to build a home when no one else feels the urgency with you–to get things right and get them done. Building and moving into a new home is like shedding your skin and growing a new sheath. If you don’t have the tools to energize the process, you mostly feel like your dangling by a fraying sliver of thread with the full weight of the world teetering on your fractured shoulder. If only architects, contractors and anyone involved in building homes could put that into the equation, perhaps they would treat the process with a lot more care, concern and consistency. There should be no room for casual and unprofessional behavior. This life-changing event is already too painful as it is.