Archive for February, 2014

Marital Mondays: The Goal

Seven days with a bedtime earlier than 12:30am? Check. I actually ended up going to sleep prior to 11:30pm each night, so the goal I set during the sister circle at the Black Marriage retreat was definitely met. I feel somewhat well rested, but there’s much more work crammed into the daytime, and now I feel like the kids are neglected. I don’t like having much screen time in front of them.

When I’m waiting for them to finish an extracurricular class, a little social media on my phone in the lobby doesn’t hurt. Fanning them away to complete a website design in the middle of the day, however, is a bit dismissive in my opinion. The bedtime isn’t the only thing to blame. I’ve ramped up my work to prepare for changes in our household and to compensate for the loss of income we suffered when Hannibal lost his job a few weeks ago.

We have exciting plans, so it doesn’t feel stressful, but there is still a lot of work. Household maintenance, including dinner prep, has once again taken a seat on the proverbial back burner. At least the laundry is getting done. Our outlook has been super positive. The morning walks, meditations, family rules recitation, cuddle time, boardgames, and other family traditions really keep us connected and joyful.

It’s times like this that I’m grateful for our connection and commitment to good communication. Given the circumstances, I should literally be ripping my hair out. As bills start to stack up like the end of a Tetris game, I’m just preparing my thumb to hit start on the next level and play with new strategy, intensity, and joy.

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Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Homeschool Today

  • A conversation with Mooch about true forgiveness, trust, and grudges
  • Gymnastics for Fuss
  • A piano lesson for Mooch
  • Our weekly trip to the Culver City Farmer’s Market
  • An overview of seasonal fruits
  • A study of the digestive process for Fuss, replete with a story, worksheet and episode of Magic School Bus
  • Circle Time in English and Spanish
  • An episode of Word Girl
  • Making pizza with Fuss

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Marital Mondays: Shakti and Shiva

I had a sexual partner once, who just didn’t get me at all. He wasn’t able to slow down, couldn’t be present in the moment, and wasn’t willing to make touch a main gateway to our sexual experiences. I even tried to guide him at one point — asking him to use a specific part of his hand gently around my entire breast and working his way inward in this circular pattern to prolong the time between initial contact and nipple interaction. He did it for a moment, but then asked, “Can I just suck it now?” We were clearly poorly matched, and that was probably the last time I ever dated anyone my own exact age.

Physical touch has been my love language for my entire life. The way guys placed their hands on a my waist to squeeze by me in a crowded or tight space, the salutatory hugs that became common in middle and high school, and even a guy playing in my hair during P.E. could all get me going in more ways than one. It was warm, it felt nurturing, and each instance was a miniature moment of bliss for me. I felt appreciated.

It wasn’t until I took a sexual literacy course with Dr. Bernard McGrane at Chapman University during freshman year, that I knew I wasn’t completely bat crap crazy (not for this reason, at least). We watched such movies as Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate and Bliss, and all of the techniques that I had instructed past lovers on were in my books and on the screen! His meditation class and the sexual literacy course were my first exposure to “tantric meditation.”

When many think of tantra, lengthy sexually experiences and lots of sexual positions come to mind. That’s cute, and those aspects are part of it, but limiting it to that negates all of its depth and power. Each of the diverse threads of our existence are part of the whole tapestry of life. The balance and necessity of feminine and masculine, hot and cold, hard and soft become very tangible when practicing tantric meditation — even if they were mentally apparent before the experience.

Since tantra is a spiritual path and not a religion, one who practices it doesn’t encounter the same dogma, celibacy requirements, and sexual shame associated with most religions. In fact, the energy produced from the root chakra (sexual organs) is as important (just as powerful) as the love from the heart chakra and the spirit from the crown chakra. All three have a ripple effect into the universe. That’s why when you’re being sexually satisfied, you tend to attract more potential mates when you go out. People are drawn to that energy.

This weekend, at the marriage retreat, Hannibal and I had a tantric meditation workshop led by Meloney Hudson. It was our first directed tantric experience together, and I think it went well. Hannibal became dizzy in the middle of it, but returned shortly to complete all of the exercises. The most profound moment for me was not the rubbing or mantras or poses or dancing (though I enjoyed those things thoroughly), but the gazing into Hannibal’s left eye with my palm resting on his heart. A single tear actually trickled down my own left check. I saw someone, who, frankly, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before. When you’ve been married for five years, you kinda think you’ve exhausted most of your “firsts.”

Each exercise created such intensity and built upon the last. As Meloney guided us, the men were called “Shiva” (consciousness/masculine) and the women were “Shakti” (the activating power and energy/feminine). We each represent different poles. That polarity is crucial to the success and intensity of the relationship. It actually helps if couples spend time apart to regenerate and rebuild their own poles.

The marriage retreat was truly an experience. I really liked the openness and honesty in our sister circle, the knowledge imparted in the finance workshop, and the outcomes proposed. We are starting an investment club! That is super exciting for all of us, because it’s not something that is common in our community. I truly believe that each couple left the retreat a little stronger, closer, and more hopeful.

Here are some tips on rebuilding polarity that I learned from the retreat:

Be prepared and considerate in the company of your partner. Prepare yourself for your meetings and do not show yourself in a non-beautiful way.

Take a break. Use the time apart to regenerate and build your own pole, increasing femininity or masculinity. Go kick it with your homegirls, meditate, dance. Do something you like to do.

Be romantic. Do something, big or small, that your partner will really like EVERY WEEK.

Increase intimacy and focus on continuous transformation. Use time together to delve deeper in your connection with each other. Invoke the energy of the beginning by remembering all the beautiful moments you had in the beginning of the relationship.

MY FAVORITE: Make love like each time is both the first time and the last time.

P.S. I had a conversation with my dad when I was about twenty. He said, “Now don’t let these guys pound on your vagina. They should be gentle.” I remember thinking, “But Daddy, I like that part.” I didn’t tell him that at the time (even though I would felt comfortable saying it), but that fact still remains true. I like both! Soft, gentle, slow sex and fast, pounding, fire-breath sex each have a place in my life. That’s okay. Tantra says I can say yes to both. Balance is good. Polarity. Get it.

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Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Looking Back Briefly [Video/Photos]

This past week in photos (Oh, and one video) …

Playing in the yard

My Saturday night with Mooch

Learning to sing from Uncle Mike

Mooch makes dinner two nights per week and breakfast every morning.

Friday night treat - heated chocolate almond milk with vegan marshmallows and an Uncle Eddie's vegan chocolate chip cookie

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Marital Mondays: The Walk – Setting Intentions

Last year, our family started reciting our rules each morning and setting intentions for the day. This year, we decided to take it to the next level. He and I go on a morning walk, which I hope will turn into a combination of sprinting and walking. It was really fun to be able to leave the kids, and just bond with him this morning. I waited to write the blog, so I could reflect on it.

We’re working together to build something separate from our marriage, and it requires a different level of team building. We had a nice planning meeting while the girls were gone yesterday, and I suggested meditation. We’ll be doing that together a few nights per week and separately everyday. I said he should add working out to improve his heart condition, and he offered walking. So, we’ll walk, and we’ll meditate.

I’m excited about our marriage retreat this weekend, and I’m even more thrilled to see how the rest of the year unfolds. We’re jumping with no net. I’ve never been skydiving, but if it feels like this, I think I like it.

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