Sometimes I burst out in tears when I think about my mom, and I’m occasionally surprised at how close I feel to the sadness, but I don’t question it, as grief is what it is. This usually happens when I am doing the dishes or sweeping the floor or some other mundane task, but not always; sometimes it happens when I am out in public and I find creative ways to work the tears into whatever it is I am doing. I get a pang in my heart and find the most comforting thing to do is to put my forearm over my eyes and let it all hang out, even if in silence. It is usually short-lived, but bellows from deep down.
Last night I threw a ribeye on the hot iron skillet and it hit me just as the sizzle splashed up; the sorrow of my mother’s death. The sorrow of her unlived life; dreams never seen, love never felt. It is not that I wish she were here, because we did not spend much time together and when we did it was strained — or something. I cry for her sadness and how our entire lives together were summarized in those few short days or minutes before she could not speak anymore. I cry for not having a daughter; who will hold my hand when I die? But still, my mom and I made our peace. She loved me. She was sorry. I was sorry. I loved her.
I often see it as my mother slipping into a black, fiery hole, on a board that is angled at a fairly steep 45-degree angle, leading into the black, murky hole. It is a big hole and I am kneeling on one knee on the edge, with my arm extended towards her, leaning farther in as I am physically begging her to grab my hand. There are angels standing along the edge of the hole, probably about ten of them — I just counted them for the first time in my mind, because I have not paid much attention to them. My mom is slipping feet first into this hole and she is looking back up at me, reaching towards me and trying to say something to me as if its the first time she is speaking to me and obviously, it is the last time. Always in this scene, I am reaching towards her with my right arm as I have my left forearm over my eyes, as I hang my head low in deep sorrow. She is leaving me for the final time. The sadness goes deep.
“Don’t be scared, Mom”, as she slips in deeper.
What do I know? Nothing. It’s hard to know what to say when someone is dying.
I miss her. I think she’s okay. What do I know?
When I am hit with this moving picture show in my mind, and once I compose myself, I think about how much my life has changed since my mom’s death. In many ways, maybe I too was sliding into a big black hole, because I certainly didn’t feel all that alive 18 months ago. I was trapped in my own fears, imprisoned by my own thoughts and completely out of touch with my heart. I had accepted that I was getting old and that there would be no more real moments of joy nor carefree silliness in life; only perhaps drunken silliness, and this is not really all that silly, except that it is pretty silly.
I clutched my heart a lot after my mom’s death; I thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn’t breathe and I was terrified. I reached for the walls when I walked in case I fell down. I was so afraid I was dying. Nooooooo, please not like this. I found a doctor, made an appointment. Then fell asleep for two weeks.
After I changed everything in my life, I actually started to have real fun again. My spirit came back after I left Chicago and moved to my mom’s empty place in Woodstock, where I began to pursue the things that mattered most to me. People fell out of my life, good ones and bad, as did a number of jobs — money too; oh the money went tumbling out. I started taking long walks around Lake Geneva, because I simply had to move about outside, as well as doing lots of yoga. I quit drinking and drank kale juice every morning and soon felt amazingly strong and ready for new adventures. I was breaking free of the shackles of my life, which in hindsight felt a lot like walking through a long dark hallway while being striped of every thread I wore. It was beautiful and terrifying time, and the fears of the future were loud, but my faith grew louder each day as I awoke to a new ability to see and feel…. energy. Twirling Figure 8’s are what I see, everywhere. They make me hopeful.
I am certain I will spend the rest of my life learning about energy, even though I hear those sarcastic Irish voices in my head that say, “you do WHAT Meag??! You see Figure 8’s???? Should you be driving? Are you in the paint again Meag???” I boot those needling leprechauns aside and forge ahead — they cannot stop me now because they are all dead and I am alive and roam the earth with my trusty energy balls.
I initially thought I would be an energy healer in my next career, but as I dig deeper, I am not so sure. To work with people’s energy is to associate with them on such an intimate level, which presents all sorts of ethical issues that I’m not interested in, quite frankly. I have always been a bit of a loner, so I looked to other ways of working it. Which is why I am super-glad I have jumped into the arena by returning to my first love, DANCING.
I am now a Nia Technique teacher, although for years I studied and taught Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythm’s. I loved my time in the 5 Rhythms but my life fits so much better with Nia now. However, no one is coming to my classes just yet, but gosh it’s great practice! I suspect this dance may be a bit too progressive for Dripping Springs. Change is in the air here and people are moving here in droves, but the majority of people here are young, church-going families, who I suspect are not looking to take a dance class that combines the best of modern dance, martial arts and the healing arts. I keep my heart and my eyes open for new horizons, as usual, as I look outside of Texas.
What is Nia dance, you ask? When founders Debbie and Carlos Rosas created NIA in the early 80’s as an alternative to the high-impact aerobics craze, they called it “non-impact aerobics”. Over time they determined the acronym was negative, so research took them in a new direction. It was then renamed “Neuromuscular Integrated Action”, but how lame is that? About 15 years ago, a truth revealed itself: in Swahili, Nia means ‘purpose;’ in Hebrew, it means ‘to create subtle movements.’ Ah, the metaphysical truth.
In Nia, we use nine classic movement forms: three from the martial arts (t’ai chi, aikido, tae kwon do), three from the dance arts (jazz, modern, Duncan), and three from the healing arts (yoga, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais). There are also 52 fundamental steps and patterns. When the custom choreographed music starts up, I move the moves by adding my own personality and style of dance, so that it becomes my dance — and I encourage you to discover your dance. This is why I really love Nia, it honors the skill level and development of the individual spirit with these age-old practices. There is no wrong way to do Nia, unless you are hurting yourself; you move in your body’s way. I learn something new each time I dance the dance and I anticipate future learning pangs.
I incorporate tools to improve my body’s energy during my class that I have learned over the past several months, and I also share them on Instagram, called #newenergyin15 . I’ve learned these tips from Lee Holden, Sonia Choquette, Lydia Wong, Donna Eden at Eden Energy Medicine ( I LOVE Donna’s energy!) and from my own inspiration, so it really is becoming my style and maybe someday I will have students!
When the tears for my mom appear, I let them hang out, because they keep me grateful and in tune with why I pursue the things I pursue. My mom’s dreams were cut short many years ago while she sat around waiting to die and then she fought like hell in the final hours. I’m attempting to mow down my regrets before they have a chance to fester; having sat with three people as they laid dying revealed some crushing views on life and I am thanking my stars above that I have an opportunity to turn my life around. Once again. 😀
My mission statement: “I want the rest of my life to be the best of my life.”
My quest to understand energy has only just begun, so do you care to dance with me?