Obviously, my name here on this oft neglected blog is "Zen Mommy."
It is also Zen Mommy on one of my FaceBook pages.
"The Zen Mother" is the name of one of my websites and email addresses.
Judging from those things alone, one might assume that I am into this whole Zen thing...
Well, I am...
According to Wikipedia, "Zen," is "...a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán (禪), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state".
I'm not a Buddhist, and I'm not all that great at meditation, either.
So, why do I call myself Zen Mommy?
I have, probably rather ignorantly, used the term "Zen" to mean calm, peaceful and enlightened. Maybe that's not what it means in its entirety, but that's what it means to me.
I have NEVER wanted to be one of those moms who sneaks off to pop a Valium while one screaming baby paws at my spit-up covered shirt and another one is stuck on the potty chair.
Instead, I have always aspired to be a mommy who remains completely cool-headed while one screaming baby paws at my spit-up covered shirt and another one is stuck on the potty chair.
That is why I am Zen Mommy.
My exercise habits are also a good example of how I incorporate my version of Zen in my life.
I am, very much, into health and fitness. My body-building hubby is currently studying for the most respected and most difficult to obtain Personal Training certification, and I am a Pole Dancing for Fitness instructor who is also currently studying for a respected Aerobics Trainer certification. In our house, the gym, protein shakes and a healthy diet are a way of life.
Our scale is in our dining room.
Right next to the body fat analyzer.
Our three year old will only eat "organic" and enjoys a protein bar after her ballet class.
We ALL love our work-outs.
That said, I get a little...weird, about mine.
I have instructed various fitness and dance classes in the past, but, ironically, I am not really "into" fitness-type classes, myself.
I like to go inside my mind and my body, where it is quiet and peaceful, when I work out.
I like to challenge myself. No coach or instructor will ever get through to me, the way that I get through to myself.
I know that a lot of people need that outward push, and that is just fine. There have even been times when I have needed that push, as well.
I will let you all know when I do, thank you very much...
But as a rule, I am my own best motivation and support system, and I always have been.
I never really participated in team sports, while growing up. Don't get me wrong, I was a part of various teams--Dance Team, Cheerleading Team (my senior year, and I still have the uniform-woo hoo!) and Debate Team, to name a few.
But my biggest successes came from things I participated in and trained for on my own, where I had to learn to encourage and inspire myself.
Participating in pageants really helped me learn how to do this.
It was only me out there, when I was in pageants...just me alone, on that stage. I couldn't just blend in with the rest of the crew if I made a mistake or got nervous. I was completely on my own.
That is a very vulnerable and humbling feeling. But it made me strong. And it showed me that I didn't need others to push and motivate me. I learned very early on that I responded best to pushing myself.
Some might see this mindset as (somewhat) unhealthy, and I, too, think it could be if interaction with other people is completely non-existent.
(And of course, I do believe in getting instruction and expertise from those who know more than I do!)
But I had--and still have--PLENTY of interaction with others. I LOVE others, actually! I am a very social person. And I love to learn new things from others, as well!
But my motivation does not come from these other people.
It comes from ME.
This is all part of what I mean when I use the word "Zen." And again, that might be misuse of the word, but I still use it, anyway.
Even through sweat and maybe even tears, I will go inside, and be that calm woman, holding it all together, encouraging myself, while chaos ensues outside.
I am Zen throughout pain...and Zen throughout pleasure.
I am Zen when I am sad, and Zen when I am happy.
I am the Zen Pole Dancer, the Zen Cheerleader.
I AM Zen Mommy.
Chevelle Noir & Mommy, Shell Beach, CA - 2010