May 8, 2011

What’s a Good Yogi Mom to Do? I Can’t Live His Life for Him. ~ Camella Nair

I swear, I will never forget the anguish in that girls eyes as long as this body lives, and I expect, even beyond that.

Not even ‘my’ (asmita) daughter, but the girlfriend of my 17 year old teenage son, who to all intents and purposes should be graduating in a few weeks. That is if he can step outside of the karma and do that which needs to be done to fulfill his obligation as a High School student.

As far back as months ago and even as recently as this morning I would have said that it was a no-brainer!

“Complete the Health you were supposed to have done ages  ago and all the missing and incomplete assignments if you want to graduate…get the allowance, the car, go to college  etc..! ”

Now I find that I have been dealt an unexpected curve ball that has deeply touched my soul  as the karmic drama extends  beyond our family unit. His girlfriend through his non-compliance and my last ditch attempt at instilling consequences, is faced with, what is for her a very real terror! Not going to senior prom with her boyfriend.

What happened?

Well, let me first put the cards on the table and say that I am a person who is still trucking on the long road of self-discovery.  I used to say “I am a yogi”, but feel that even that definition confines the real wise me (ahamkara), almost as much as the label ’mother ‘does , and so I am searching for, and living my own truth in the playground called Life.

This means accepting that the fruit of my creation has his own karma! How can I have expectations of what he perceives as his truth? He may not always have the necessary emotional capacity to understand how to navigate intimate relationships without having a few knocks or experiences for him- self.   Heck I can hardly get my head above water in my closest relationship.

Amazingly my students look to me for council and guidance as the drama of their lives unfold, and yet my own flesh and blood seems to have been the bringer of this beautiful girl’s very real “pain and suffering.”

But he is not alone in that responsibility.  I am his birth mother and need to do all that I can to help him soften his karma by the way that I chose to respond to her, his and my frustrations.

So what happened?

A week ago this same boy had a wonderful and creative thought. To ask her to the prom by getting her favorite cheesy bread shaped into a question “PROM?” and deliver it personally to her door. I felt tears of parent pride well up in my eyes as he carefully placed the unstable cardboard ‘plate’ with the ‘proposal’ in the hatchback of his dad’s car, and could easily imagine how happy she must have felt  with this gesture. What we women want is spontaneity and romance after all right?

So what’s the problem?

Well, the ‘kapha prakruti’ constitution continued to procrastinate, miss classes, hang out with friends until the last day to buy prom tickets arrived, and things got very interesting.

Follow through or lack of!!!! A typical Ayurvedic kapha trait of my No.1 son! (why do anything when it is so easy to procrastinate?)

Something that a mother trying to raise a conscious child can only model and offer advice on, yet it is for him alone to correct! As much as I want him to complete his assignments necessary to graduate…on time for this year, I am not him!

He is smart. His 20/10 SAT scores proved it, yet the inconsistent school work would tell another tale. It was foretold. I saw it in his chart. The headstrong child that wanted freedom and friends at all costs, even to the detriment of his own personal academic accomplishments.

Bunking school and hanging out with friends has brought him to the brink of the very real prospect of not graduating with his peers along with frustrating his parents who want to conform to the linear order of academia , and the self- invested interest of being the parent of a socially intelligent ‘by-product’ of our society.

Prom events are not done on a shoestring! There is the event ticket for sure, the tux, the shoes, the corsage for the date, the dinner and  enough chemically enhanced scented products to make even the strongest  ‘nose’  fall backwards. I don’t even want to think about the cost on the girls’ side!

I was raised by parents who know the value of a penny, and yet have failed miserably at instilling this virtue in my son. Why should the car, the allowance and the senior prom be anticipated without ‘earning’ them? Where the heck does that come from?

That’s another karmic debate!

The short of it is that she pleadingly looks at me a few minutes before the school office closes for the sale of prom tickets, and I feel the very real frustrations of another  woman staring me in the face and  realize that graduating in a few weeks or months should not be the main concern here. Rather the way in which my son and I respond to the situation.

Can he step up to the plate and dedicate this weekend to completing the many things that need to be done so that he does not break this poor girl’s heart? Or is it more important that he follows through with his ‘cheesy bread proposal’ that potentially has more karmic implications to it than attaining a timely diploma?

In spite of some harsh astrological aspects he will learn from his foolishness as we all have to. In time! He does have, as we all do, some softer aspects that reveals a tender, sweet and sensitive side to his character as well that is a magnet for younger kids especially and not just girls.

“He is sooo sweet and gentle. He really will be ok long term.” She said.

Hey, that was supposed to be my line!

If only I could get the parent in me to step aside and see the bigger relationship. Teaching someone how to pass an exam or complete an assignment on time, as difficult as that seems to be in this case, is really so much easier to do than teaching someone to soften their hardened heart and open up in a vulnerable and authentic intimate relationship.

Maybe things will turn out ok after all. They always do in the end.  Just not always as quickly as we want them to!

So humbled again, I take time to reflect upon the foolish and the wise aspects of my being and wonder who will gain supremacy overall and just how much longer that will take.

Camella Nair (Swami Nibhrtananda)

Yoga has been Camella’s passion for over 25 years. As a certified instructor for the past six, she has traveled, studied, and taught in India, England, and throughout the United States. She offers classes in every aspect of yoga, including vinyasa yoga, aqua yoga, pre-natal yoga, ayurvedic yoga, and meditation. She is the author of Prenatal Kriya Yoga: Mystical Wisdom in Pregnancy and Motherhood.

A direct disciple in the Kriya lineage, Camella’s roots in yoga began with her Guru, Enoch Dasa Giri, and Parmahansa Yogananda. She is ordained a Swami (i.e. “she who knows the Self“) by the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago.

Camella enjoys volunteering her services at a local hospice and has a natural love of chanting and kirtan. She teaches courses for every level, from beginner’s yoga to yoga teacher training. Her success as a teacher can be credited in part to her irrepressible sense of humor and to her keen sensitivity to the needs of each of her students.

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