“He is able who thinks he is able.”
“He is able who thinks he is able.”
The Land Before Time?
When Philippe and I got married, I didn’t want an engagement ring. I actually didn’t want to wear a ring at all. It’s complicated…let me see if I can explain succinctly.
When I married my first love at age 24 (whom I met at age 17), he was very into the ring and jewelry thang, and I went along with it—even though my spirit didn’t feel quite right with the whole focus on material things.
It meant a lot to him and he meant a lot to me so I didn’t speak my truth—at the time.
That would change, with time and lots of yoga.
So back in the day, I had an engagement ring and a wedding ring, and then Andy continued to buy me beautiful “jewels” throughout our ten-year marriage.
It was his thang, like it was his father’s thang before him.
But they never quite fit.
I felt oddly confined by them—claustrophobic. A harbinger of things to come….
They were given from love, though; so I was grateful, and let it go.
When I married Philippe, he wore a ring from day one of our Spiritual Union, and loved it.
I, on the other hand, felt that I didn’t want to be “branded” and feel like I “had” to wear this loaded symbol that said this or that about me and stood for so many different things to so many people.
I also wanted to support the many single people out there who feel triggered by rings and such (I have Super friends who tell me about this), and it just felt right for me to be ring-less.
Philippe was down with this, and that’s how it went.
In comes Kelly, our beloved photographer/student/dear friend, who tells me all about the diamond mines and what they’re really about. About the child slavery. About the bad stuff that goes down in the name of these “gemstones” that we’ve all been brainwashed are “the real deal.” (Google it if you’re interested, and make sure it’s not right before bedtime because it’s very upsetting.)
It occurred to me that this is part of the reason diamonds always felt uncomfortable to me—my spirit felt this energy.
I read up on the whole diamond industry debacle and was very sad for what has happened and is happening, and vowed to boycott diamonds (for myself—I don’t feel offended if other people wear them, and chances are they don’t know about the whole situation or they wouldn’t be).
This all fit rather nicely with my “no ring policy.” (LOL).
Then one crisp autumn day we were strolling down Saint Marks Street in the East Village of Manhattan after teaching at our PRANA POWER YOGA NYC studio, and I came upon the sparkliest, most beautiful thing EVER.
(Now, I never said I didn’t like SPARKLES. In fact, it’s all about sparkles and glitter for this Supermom, and her kids.)
It was a big ‘ole cubic zirconia “engagement” ring (some sort of “cut” that is classic, although I’m not well-versed in that nomenclature so couldn’t tell you which one), with a matching “wedding” band to boot. Girl, these things were so sparkly that they drew me right in.
I exclaimed to Philippe, “I love these!”
“Get em!” he said with a smile.
So $32 dollars later, I was wearing the most sparkly and happy rings EVER.
And LOVING THEM.
Now these felt right.
These felt fun.
These felt sparkly.
And oh-so-ironically, I felt (and still do) that these rings are prettier/more sparkly than any diamond I’ve ever seen.
I was at peace with these rings—even on my “ring finger!”
Flash forward a week later; back in the state of Massachusetts….now for THIS I was unprepared.
Donning me new sparkly gems, my students were taken aback. They would be talking to me, and then their eyes would wander to my rings and they’d literally stop talking and lose their train of thought.
Only a few had the courage to say “OMG! What are those?!”
(Girl, I told you these rings were big and sparkly.)
I was at a loss for words (unusual for Supermom).
There was so much history—so much to say/to explain. Did I start way back at age 24? At the discovery of the diamond child slave situation? At my feminist views on ring wearing that had changed oh-so-abruptly that fall day on St. Marks Place?
It was so surprising (and bizarre) to me how differently people treated me while I was wearing this rings.
I guess they thought I was wearing a 50k diamond (if it were a diamond, it would be at least 50k—this ring is BIG! LOL), and somehow this “changed” me?
I became confused, at best.
I began thinking about how big diamond companies have truly brainwashed a whole country. I mean, I do actually like how CZ’s look better than diamonds; yet, a CZ is considered “fake.”
Fake compared to what?
Who decided that diamonds are “precious?” Are they precious because so many children’s/people’s lives are ruined while mining them? Are they precious because they made a few big diamond companies very, very wealthy? (Not that there’s anything wrong with abundance) Is that what makes a stone “precious” and “of high value?”
I’ve always had my different ways of looking at the world, so it’s no surprise that herein lays another way that I beg to differ.
As I wear my rings now (when I feel like it), I am proud to know that I wear them for my own reasons, and not because a big huge company spent a lot of money brainwashing a country that one thing was prettier than another, at the cost of treating both children and adults inhumanely at best. I wear them because they are sparkly and remind me of the light of the Universe, the light that shines within each one of us. I wear them because they remind me of that chilly Autumn day in the East Village of Manhattan, when my beloved spiritual partner said without hesitation “Get em!” because he saw the sparkle in my eye, reflected in my new purchase on my ring finger. I wear them because they are fun.
Also, I would personally rather put 32 dollars toward my sparkly rings and put the 50k toward opening another PRANA CAFÉ or PRANA POWER YOGA. Not that there’s anything wrong with 50k rings, you Super people out there who don ‘em. The key is that it needs to feel RIGHT and GREAT for you. For me, it never quite did.
And on a similar note, for all of you diamond wearers out there (OMG, I can just see the emails and comments now), rock on! Girl, I was wearing a diamond back in the day (before I knew how it had been mined by child slaves) and I do not judge anyone or anything. Period. That’s my yoga.
If you love it and it makes you happy, that’s what matters.
I’m sharing my story because Sister, the comments that I hear through the grapevine about my rings—told to others, never straight to my face (“Did you SEE Taylor’s rings?! What’s happening to her?! They’re so not her!”), made me feel it was time to speak my truth about how/why/when they came about and more importantly, spread the word about something very bad going down in diamond mines at this very moment– many miles away.
And as with any experience, I asked myself “what’s the lesson here? What do I have to learn? What do I have to do differently?”
To which my spirit replied quickly, clearly, and succinctly: do, write, wear, eat, have, and be what you love and don’t worry or even think about “the peanut gallery.” When you are following your heart, you are always on the right path. Always. No matter what you do/say/are, you can’t please everyone, so listen to your heart and watch everything fall right into place easily, as it should.
“Every day is a great day, some days are better than others” my uncle said to me last week. Becoming a mother was one of those exceptionally “great” days. Iris’s first night I could hardly sleep. My body buzzed with adrenaline. This joy carried me through the first few weeks. I was surprised at my resilience, running on no sleep and little food. I was like the energizer bunny; I just kept going and going, fueled by love for my sweet, soft, cuddly newborn.
Fast-forward 7 months and although the novelty of having a newborn has slightly dulled (we are very much into a routine at this point), I still find myself continuously amazed. So, here we are on a Sunday night in January. Iris has been sleeping since 7pm. At around 10:00, I hear her stirring and crying. When I enter her room I hear gurgling, sniffling and coughing. It occurs to me that Iris might have her first cold (her father has had a cold for a week at this point and it seemed inevitable that she caught it). I nurse her and rock her but she is still upset, which is rare (she is normally a very happy baby). So, I decide to bring her downstairs. We snuggle on the couch and I rock her back and forth on my knees for an hour or so. When I bring her back to bed, she falls right to sleep, yes!
The next morning, as I wipe dried snot from her face (chisel it off more like). I have a feeling the next few days will be challenging, especially since I am sick as well! Monday night did not disappoint. At 3:00 in the morning I found myself in the rocking chair (for the fifth time that night), rocking, nursing, soothing, rocking, nursing, soothing, repeat, my eyes half open with a pounding headache. I thought to myself “this is what makes mothers so special”. Because even with no sleep, feeling like I’d been trampled by elephants, I still had the capacity to care for and nurture Iris. In my rocking chair meditation, I could appreciate that mothers are very special people (fathers are too but this is about mom), because as soon as you become a mother (however that may be), there is a transcendence that takes place. The person who immerges is the best version of you. You are a person with boundless energy, exploding love, you are “mommy” and everyone knows there is no substitute for “mommy”.