Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers and those who give motherly love to others.
While many of you have met my charming and intelligent Dad in the neighborhood, lots of you don’t know the story of my mother.
My mother, one of the most supportive, caring and silly personalities in Brooklyn (by way of Guyana, South America) is one the the main inspirations for this Yoga studio. My parents worked very hard to send us to schools that seemed to be closed to the elite and wealthy of NYC; foreseeing unlimited possibilities with the right amount of exposure. While our hometown of Brooklyn (in the 80′s and 90′s when I was growing up) was raw, rustic.. sometimes prone to violence, drugs and depression, Everyday I emerged out of the 86th street subway into a different world of Manhattan. Compared to Brooklyn, the sidewalks seemed to be paved in platinum, so clean that everything about this tiny grande island seemed right and rich. I grew up in two different worlds. And while I saw a great extension of wealth, still I was grounded in the reality of living life. Movement, friendships, discipline and service were the 4 point principles of my upbringing. Love weaved through all of these creating the foundation for my life. My mother saw that I found joy in all of these. Through teamwork and individual athletic and dance pursuits, I learned how to connect with friends to practice and reach higher goals. Spoiled by love and friendships in a small school community I was encouraged to give back. Coming from a middle class family, I wondered how much I could possibly give, and if so, who on earth would possibly want my outgrown clothes and shoes?! As I transitioned from child to young adult, and my mother transitioned to study Buddhism, the timing seemed right to give up disposable birthday and christmas gifts to take trips to the Bedford Avenue Armory to give out birthday cakes and clean socks & underwear. (My education was the greatest, most lavish gift I could ever receive) Before I could work a paying job, my mother had me volunteer at my old pre-school (Montessori of Mill Basin R.I.P!) Most important of all was the presence she had in my life. Every game, concert and public speaking event was a chance for her to show she would always be there.
For the short 15 years that I could call on my mother as my best friend, I can look back now and be grateful beyond words for the nurturing, love and life lessons she has taught me. All of the lessons she has given me through action, movement and relationships and most important through service and purpose are the pillars of how I try to live today. I look forward to the lessons and blessings as they reveal themselves though my meditation and karmic actions. So on this Mother’s Day, I will continue to be inspired by her presence as I am surrounded by the fruits of her labour and sacrifice.
Thank You, Joy (Mom) and give thanks to all of my friend’s mothers who embraced me as their own.