My Name is Rhasha, and I’m a Yogi

In April of 2015 I had the opportunity to participate in a patient hospitalization program. What’s that you ask? Opportunity? Yes it was a strenuous program that ran Monday- Friday from 8am to 4pm. I learned about mood disorders, coping skills and medicine management. I also learned a new word self- care. I had never learned the idea that to eat right, exercise, and work out was a way of caring for my own wellness. I knew how to take care of my children and had done it for eighteen years.

I had a self -care class with a lady named Carla. She was a psychiatric nurse who had survived many traumatic situations as a child and young adult. She showed me the importance of yoga. At first I laughed, “ Yoga is for chicks who go to Starbuck’s daily and put little dogs in their purses.” How the heck could that help me?  

Carla started with easy poses and got us used to the practice. She turned the lights off and started us with mediation. I began to look forward to the quiet time. All of my life I struggled with quieting my spirit and mind; Yoga was a way to calm my mind and to tone my body. I started watching yoga videos at home and making it a way of life. 

In late 2015 we moved to Dallas and left our youngest daughter in Columbus. It was a time of major transition and yoga was something I could count on. At this time I began to meditate and pray to God the Father while I did the poses. I joined a yoga class at the local yogurt shop.  

Now yoga is a part of my daily self- care. I am advanced in the poses and know which regimen to use for tired days, stress, sleep and mornings. I use this as my time of thanksgiving and praise. I go to a gym that offers yoga Tuesday through Thursday. I also teach a yoga class a few times a month at my local mental health organization.  

As a yogi for 2 ½ years I have lost weight, gained muscle in my legs, I am able to root out depression and mania. Yoga has helped me with my singing and jogging. Whenever I am feeling unbalanced I use yoga as a way to stop, gain clarity and meditate while engaging my body. What use to be a joke to me is now something that sustains me and quiets my soul. Namaste & God be with you.  



Roots & Wings 

Mother’s Day weekend marked my 23rd year being a mother. It’s not always been easy but it was worth it. The early years I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I remember the first night with my oldest I thought there was a cat in the house. I kept hearing a weird noise in a high pitched voice. It was my newborn. I couldn’t put my middle son down at night or he would wail and turn red. I held him all night and no daycare could watch him because he was spoiled. Raising my youngest I needed so much help my grandmother and uncle watched her for the first 6 months. She would come home and look at me like lady who are you?

In their elementary school years, I started to get it right and kept them grounded in church and the values I was taught as a child by my mom. They learned to share, recited scripture, and I started discipline methods. The girls didn’t have to be told to often to shape up but that boy tested me…often. I stressed how important education was by telling them by own story of struggle. I showed them how important their sibling hood was and they promised to always have each other’s back.

In the last five years they have gone off to college, my oldest has graduated college and began working as a teacher; they are all in different chapters of their lives. They don’t need me to do the day to day parenting anymore. I don’t have to make sure I come to their aid with every tear. I can’t hold them throughout the night. Many times they go to each other with their questions and concerns and I don’t hear about the issue until months later. I am content in knowing that they have each other for advice and encouragement just as I taught them.

My youngest is staying in Columbus for the summer and working an internship instead of coming home. As much as I want her here to snuggle at night and make her favorite meals; she needs to start getting into her field and making moves. My son is headed to Morocco a place I don’t know much about but I’m learning. I could tell him that I don’t want him to leave the country right now and to please stay in Cincy this fall but then he couldn’t use his language skills and prepare for the next phase of his life.

My oldest daughter is in Houston and has one of the hardest jobs in the world. I was frightened when she started teaching. I was worried, but she has been teaching all of her life. She is my oldest child. She has been helping me with her siblings and she has always said she wanted to teach. So she has her own beautiful place and is thriving.

As Mothers we want to have our children right there with us forever. We often want to soften the blows of life. I think we are here for two reasons, to give them roots and wings. I have done that, now I am reaping the benefits of watching them soar.

My Girls; True Friends.

imageI spent Cinco De Mayo weekend with my daughters Brittany and Ana. My oldest daughter Brittany celebrated her 23rd birthday. The girls had not seen each other since the holidays. Whenever they are together it’s just fun watching them. We were just sitting around the house and Brit walked in like she came back from grabbing milk. “What’s up y’all?” Ana was so happy and ran up to her big sis. My heart was so warm and full of love. My girls have always been close even if it was shunning their middle brother that brought them together. I remember him driving them crazy and them telling him to get lost when they were young.

As they were growing up they had their normal ups and downs. They got on each other’s nerves just like normal siblings, but they never fought. They never cussed each other out or had any of the drama I saw from sisters on tv. As they grew up Brittany took care of Ana like a little mother. She was there for her emotionally, spiritually,and physically. Often when Ana couldn’t come to me with different issues I knew that Brit would provide sound advice.

Even though Ana is 3 years younger than Brit she also is a listening ear when she’s needed. Brittany was the more patient, kind and tolerable sister and can be taken advantage of. Ana is much more suspicious of people, stands her ground more and is introverted. The older they get, I notice they are interchangeable. Often Brit is outspoken and impatient with mess and Ana tells me how many friends she has made during different events.

During the weekend I could hear them talk for hours in their room until late in the night. Ana would bust out laughing and then Brit would laugh in her high pitched voice. I love the relationship they share, the sisterhood. I hope that one day my relationship with my sis will be just as strong.

My Hoosier Home 

It’s been twelve years since I lived in Indianapolis. In 2005 I moved to Columbus, OH and stayed for ten years. I’ve lived in The Dallas/Ft.Worth area for a little over a year. Last month I turned 40 and I’m not sure if it was the stress from moving and buying a home, growing pains between my husband and I or the kids moving and having an empty nest; but I needed to be at home. I needed familiar people, places and things.  
So there I was at baggage claim #4 and my luggage was the first to shoot down the hatch. Mom and her little blue Honda was right there. “You know where I wanna go, right?” WhiteCastle. We pulled up and I ran in and grabbed our sliders. Same old White Castle, same red pop, same slow service. When I got to Mom’s I realize how exhausted I was. Sometimes you are tired, other times you are completely exhausted. Over the past few months I had been anxious, up and down and walking on egg shells a lot at home. I didn’t feel comfortable or even like my home was home. 

Over the next three days I slept. I ate like maybe three times, but I mostly slept, and thought. I prayed and waited. Then after I was quiet for those three days I got up. It was Mom’s birthday so I took her to dinner and tried out a new Caribbean restaurant. The food was pretty good. I was starting to feel more like myself. I ventured out the next day and walked around the local college area. The weather had finally started to get better and spring was making some noise. I ended up jumping on a city bus, my absolute favorite pastime. 

The fares on the city bus had increased. There were no more transfers, only passes. Much like Dallas you can use your phone to navigate the site and to purchase tickets. I grabbed a pass and headed to The Circle Center Mall. It still had that mall smell even though many of the stores I remembered were gone and replaced by hipster spots. I went to the spa and had my brows done and ventured to find a place to eat. Since 1996 when the mall opened Johnny Rocket burger joint was my go to eatery. I loved it so much back in the day, I started working there in 1997 after my youngest was born. But it had closed and was left by an empty shell.  

I found a pizza spot on Illinois St and filled up on cherry coke and a Stromboli. The sun was blinding and made for a perfect backdrop of downtown Indy. I walked the circle and hung out on the war memorial until the spring break crowd came. I sat down on a bench and just thought. I thought about my life, my beginning, middle and end. I made a mental list of my struggles, my successes, things I could and couldn’t change. After a few hours I felt a peace come over me; I was content with being home. 

The next day I ventured back out by bus to the north side Glendale area. There actually used to be a mall there. So I head up the escalators in Macy’s looking for the way out onto the mall area. An employee looked at me and informed me that it was only the furniture department of Macy’s and that there was no mall. I laughed out loud, literally. I visited Target and sat in the window of Starbuck’s watching rain clouds roll in. I got back on the bus and watched the rain slide down the windows of the bus. This is home. This day reminds me of so many days coming home from work on when the kids were small and we would ride the bus home from school. I would listen to their day and plan what I was going to cook. On the ride home I thought again about change. Life changes; things can’t always go the way we want them to go. Yesterday my favorite restaurant was no longer there. The Glendale Mall is no longer a mall but two stores. The people of Indy have adapted. I need to learn to adapt. I need to learn how to deal with transition and not be negative to it and fight tooth and nail.  

That evening I met with my son and his girlfriend. Our birthdays are in the same week. We are Aries Bulls through and through. We are sensitive, multi-talented, headstrong, passionate and loyal to a fault. We also can be egotistical, vindictive and hold grudges while appearing to be over it. We had a ball eating pizza and talking about their live as 20 somethings and mine as a brand new 40 year old. I can always feel love oozing out whenever I’m around my Aries brethren.  

The next three days were a whirlwind of visits with family members. I spent time with my Aunt, Uncle and baby cousins. I was happy because my aunt was not feeling well so I cheered her up and had her laughing all afternoon. I got to see my brother and sister- in- love and my niece and nephews who are playing sports and getting so big and beautiful. I stayed the night with Nana which was my favorite part of the visit.( check out my Easter with Nana blog)  

The best part was my birthday dinner which all of my close girlfriends came out for. They came out on a Monday night and listened to my struggles with transitions. They gave their honest loving opinions. They entertained my new I’m 40 mantras. They made me feel loved, appreciated, and it was an honor to have them with me . As I flew back to Dallas Forth Worth I felt relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated.  

I had some decisions to make and I was heading back to do so. Being in my childhood home was a good thing. I needed that time and those places. My mind is now clear and I am focused on the next steps of my life. I know what I have to do and I am prepared to start doing it. Often we have to reconnect with my  past in order to fully see my future.