Zen & the Art of Women’s Basketball

uptown thief meditation cropThis week on The Debutante Ball, we’re looking back at our New Year’s Resolutions. I have made many resolutions in my life. They are mostly concerned with accomplishment: reaching goals, developing good habits, doing more exercise. This year, however, I resolved–on this very blog–to have more inner peace to go along with my external accomplishments. As part of being grounded, I also resolved to stop eating sugar. What good does it do to have my dreams come true if I’m not emotionally able to be present for the experience?

Here’s how it’s been going.


So I had resolved to be more peaceful. Overall, I’m doing great. I’ve been getting full nights sleep over 50% of the time, which is a record for me since becoming a mom. I don’t yell at my kid, and when I get uptight, I try to take a deep breath and be more compassionate and flexible (with varying degrees of success). I try to tell myself, hey lady, your dreams are coming true, let this little stuff go.

New Resolution to Exercise

yoga UT redSince then, I’ve also resolved to exercise. I got on a roll a few weeks ago, when I was freaking out and procrastinating from taking care of promotion tasks for the book. They say it only takes 21 days to develop a habit. Perfect. My freak out lasted about three weeks. Guess what? I’m still in the groove. I’ve been walking with friends (mostly other writers) and rebounding on the trampoline while watching episodes of UNreal.


My life is so much more healthy, balanced and peaceful without sugar. If you like it, please enjoy. But I’ll pass. Of course, weekend before last, when I was exactly a month away from my book launch, I had a mini meltdown and slipped up. I didn’t intend to eat sugar, but I had some accidentally…and then…why not have a bunch more? Sugar does taste REALLY good, by the way. But it still doesn’t work well in my body. I had another slip up last week after a rough parenting day, but I’m back on the wagon. I would really love to savor the sweetness of having my book come out.


UT fun momAnd the final resolution has been to have relaxed fun with my kid. Lately, that has included WNBA games. Some nights I’m really fried from intense book promo, but I want to do something meaningful and mindless at the same time. Turns out women’s basketball is the perfect thing we can watch together, snuggled up on the couch–except when she leaps off to re-enact some of the great plays. It’s a way to reinforce female power, without expending much energy. It’s been awesome.

So now that I’m out of the freeze, the freak out, and the sugar meltdown, I’m feeling peaceful and optimistic. At least, for today.

Author: Aya de Leon

Aya de Leon directs the Poetry for the People program in the African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley. Her work has appeared in Essence Magazine, xojane, Ebony, Guernica, Writers Digest, Mutha Magazine, Movement Strategy Center, My Brown Baby, KQED Pop, Bitch Magazine, Racialicious, Fusion, and she has been a guest on HuffPostLive. She is the author of the children's picture book PUFFY: PEOPLE WHOSE HAIR DEFIES GRAVITY. Kensington Books will be publishing her debut feminist heist novel, UPTOWN THIEF, in 2016. For more info, go to ayadeleon.wordpress.com.