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star trek

Guest Posts, No Bullshit Motherhood, parenting

Airplanes

August 20, 2017
plane

By Billie Hinton

1961

I’m being held in the arms of someone while my mother and father board a plane. We’re on the tarmac and they walk away and up the steep steel stairway into what appears to be a black hole. I push away from the chest I’m held up against, straining to follow the two people I know best in this world. The stairs roll away and the black hole closes and the plane moves away, slow and then fast. The black hole opens up inside of me; everything I know slips into the distance with that plane. I stop pushing and cave in to the chest, allow myself to be held, hot tears soaking into fabric that does not smell like anything familiar.

1985

In his small office my therapist sits too close for comfort, my knees and his a few inches apart. I find solace in the large window that looks out to trees and flowering shrubs. The wash of light through blinds is an escape hatch. He asks for my earliest memory. I tell about watching my parents leave in an airplane. He asks if I felt comfort with the person I was left with and I tell him I don’t know who that person was. It seems unfathomable that my parents left me with a stranger. How did you calm yourself? he asks and I tell him, I didn’t. I still don’t.

1988

In the office of my therapist, I write the final check for the final therapy session. His office feels larger now. The check number is 2001 and he comments that it has been an odyssey. I am moving to Texas to attend graduate school in clinical social work, inconsolable at saying goodbye to a man who has sat across from me several times each week for several years, knees inches away, wearing Birkenstocks which at one point I mocked, but have come now to love. After I leave I meet friends for lunch, still bereft at the loss of my thrice-weekly sessions, tears sliding down my cheeks at random between bites of food. One gives me his wristwatch to wear while we sit in the sun with take-out containers and iced tea in plastic cups. Comfort. Continue Reading…

Daily Manifestation Challenge

WWKD? The DMC is Back!

March 18, 2012

Daily Manifestation Challenge: WWKD?

Not to be confused with WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? 

(Although I recently was told that my “slightly Jewish, yogic mini sermons in yoga church were quite enjoyable.”)

WWKD: What Would Kindness Do?

That’s right, Kindness.

(Although apparently Jesus was very kind, so, I suppose interchangeable. I will not go into religious debate here but suffice to say, this Jew has faith in all. And above all, kindness.)

The  theme of classes this week is Kindness. In fact, this week is dubbed: ‘Project Kindness’. 

The mantra this week, when the hands come to prayer is: I am Kind.

And in parentheses (especially to myself.)

And if you have seen the movie The Help you will be reminded of this scene indeed:

(“I is Kind. I is Smart. I is Important.” Yup.)

During Project Kindness Week I have asked my tribe these questions:

1) What can you do to be kinder ‘out there’?

2) What can you do to be kinder in here, as in, to yourself?

Turns out, when I asked them, it was tougher to be kind to themselves.

Oye.

I get it.

I still struggle with it at times. It’s like an old demon I have to keep at bay. I keep a bat by my bed. (Well, really my husband keeps a golf club by his side but I took poetic license.)

“You’ve gained weight, Jen.” 

“You’re lazy Jen.”

Those are just two examples of the old broken tapes that tempt to play in my mind even though I have upgraded to an mp3 player and they are like old cassettes or 8 tracks. They are old and unkind words that I know well and used to feel as comfortable as breath on glass.

Not so much anymore, but I won’t lie to you. Not here. They hover at the edges of my kind self and threaten to pounce when I am tired or overworked or my friend has just died.

OMG! That describes my last week. 

Well, look at that.

So I decided to take the bull by the horns and show him what kindness looks like. Eye to eye. I decided to man-up.

Or woman.

Whatever.

Kindness is not very discerning.

It goes where needed and wanted.

So I asked my students, and now you, my readers: What Would Kindness Do?

Before every breath you take. Before every pose you attempt in class. Before you speak.  Before you cut someone off in traffic. Before you post on Facebook. Before you do or be.

Pause and ask yourself this: WWKD?

I would love to hear below what you can do to be a kinder person? To yourself? In the world? To a stranger?

I dared my students to buy a coffee for the person in line behind them at the coffee shop. Will you take that dare?

I have never done this but I think it would make you feel good and the person you are buying it for. And, the barista and the cashier and the person at the end of the line and the wife of the guy you bought the latte for because when he tells her the story she will be reminded that “yes, yes there are kind people still out there” even though she may have just gotten laid off.

You see how it works? Let’s do this.

Let’s create a domino effect.

How can you be better than you were before?

I cannot control if you are kind or not but I will be damned if I am not the kindest person I know. That’s the thing I can control.

I will start by adding my own comment and you can follow suit.

What would kindness do? Kindness would send a gift card to the woman I know through mutual friends whose little boy was killed last week by a car (at age 3) and she was left with 3 other kids, one with special needs. Kindess would send her a gift card for a grocery store.

Kindness would say a silent prayer for the guy I saw standing at the entrance to the freeway with a sign that said “Smile”.

Kindess, as my friend Frank said, would hang out with other kind people.

Kindness would be ok with the fact that I have been in my pajamas most of day doing absolutely nothing.

Kindess would listen more.

Kindess would tell all that I love that I indeed love them.

I love you.

And then there’s always Star Trek……

WWKD

What would Kirk do?

Reference to the infamous Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the starship Enterprise on the television series Star Trek and his creative solutions to seemingly impossible situations, problems, and interpersonal impasses.

WWKD suggests the solution to a problem lies in the question of “what would Captain Kirk do in my situation?”

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Jennifer Pastiloff will be teaching at the Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets. Enter the code Pastiloff for a $50 discount! (Please note that discount codes expire April 1.)

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