MamaBlogger365 – I Was Fine ‘Til I Started To Sweat, By Joy Rose

 

PURE Yoga At Mamapalooza, Manhattan

I sit at my desk way too much.

 

Since the kidney transplant that saved my life in 2000, I’ve been on fire to do whatever I can, in whatever time I have left, to empower and celebrate women. This of course is all based on my own dis-empowering experiences as a child and then as a married mother of four. But, when I’m not traveling or creating events, I’m sitting at my desk and the only kind of sweat I break, is stress related.

This year I’m trying something new.

I’m not sure it’s possible to work harder and sweat less, but I’m trying.  But, it’s funny how ‘ironic’ and paradoxical life is.  Just when I make a vow to stop ‘trying’ so hard, and just go with the flow (of abundance), I discover ‘hot yoga’ classes. For those who don’t know what ‘Hot’ yoga, or Bickram yoga is, it’s a form of yoga that takes place in an over-heated, over humidified space. It’s like exercising in a steamy sauna.

So, in fact, I’m sweating more – and loving it. My achy body (LUPUS was the reason I lost renal function) absolutely adores moving, sitting, stretching and sometimes, well, just sweating in that special stinky place.

One of the beauties of yoga, which means ‘to join’, and to ‘be with the practice of being in the moment’, is that thoughts often flood the mind during rest periods. Ironic, since ‘being in the moment’ often means watching your mind bounce off the walls like an unruly child.

During a recent sweat, I found myself getting ‘hot’. Not just overheated, but kind of irritated, bordering on angry. I’m not an angry person, so this irony too wasn’t wasted on the fact that I was in ‘Om’ mode.

I was thinking about a recent Facebook exchange between Lynn Kuechle (Mom Scholar) who’d pointed out comments a college coach made to a women’s basketball team, telling them, “this game was going to remain in {your} memory when you “have children, get married…”

She went on to ask, “No matter what, {it seems} women are defined by their biology – so limiting and sexist.”

One manly response discoursed on the ‘choices Lynn thought women didn’t have.’ He went on to say, “I know many woman who choose family over career, just as I’ve known women whose husbands take on the primary care giver role while she pursues her career. I thought sexism meant one doesn’t have a choice? No one is forcing women to have children, but if they do and unless their spouse stays home, it’s impossible to keep up with those who are working for upward mobility. You can’t have both. Long hours, and dependability are required.”

Lynn’s responses included comments that no one ever asks her husband who’s taking care of the kids when he’s on the road for business, and, “The same number of men will become fathers. Being blind to this because it doesn’t affect you negatively (check the research men do better financially after they have children) doesn’t mean these issues don’t exist.”

Hypersensitivity to theses issues is exactly what needs to happen if conversations like this exchange are going to flourish. Open discourse around Feminist issues – Yes, the F-word (I consider myself a late-blooming feminist), are paramount to long and lasting social change. I’ve noticed some up and coming daddy bloggers, which is awesome but also some websites that are invested in perpetuating a myth that somehow feminism or empowerment equals man-bashing.

It does not.

Feminism is about having a playing field where both men and women can make choices and not be punished for them, economically, socially, etc.  It’s about supporting the equality of both sexes in all aspects of public and private life, and learning how our language, laws and choice of words often limit and affect us. For today’s feminists, it’s about raising awareness and engaging in meaningful dialogue as much as anything else. In the thick of the ‘Motherhood Movement‘, this discourse is especially meaningful, as it relates to feminism, offering ways for us to expand our individual and parenting perspectives and opening pathways to more just and empowered choices.

Thank you. Someone pass me a towel.

BIO: Joy Rose is President and Founder of Mamapalooza Inc. a company by women, promoting (m)others for social, cultural and economic benefit. She is also acting Executive Director for

Joy Rose

The Motherhood Foundation working towards the Museum Of Motherhood.  Joy was appointed the Susan B. Anthony Award from NOW-NYC in recognition of her grassroots activism and dedication to advancing equality and improving the lives of women and girls in 2009.

 

Committed a lasting legacy of empowerment and support, while redefining what it means to be a modern mother, Joy has successfully pioneered a new culture of mom-branded art and performance. She’s also the founder and lead singer of the rock band, ‘Housewives On Prozac‘. Inspired by her experiences as a feminist mother in the arts, she works tirelessly with women, and volunteers around the country co-creating events and programming, changing the way women’s voices are heard in the media, education and performing arts, impacting the culture of modern mothers and their families. She writes the first day of every month for MamaBlogger365, raising awareness for the Museum Of Motherhood, throughMamazina Magazine and JoinMama sites. Join her each Wed. at 7pm (EST) on MingleMediaTV for music, commentary & mom culture.

*Find out more about Kidney Transplantation here.

*Yoga Photo credit l Joy Rose Photo By Peter Freed

 

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