My He(ART)-Full Life



Saturday, July 19, 2014

something like...grace

 “I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” - Anne Lamott
 
This past week has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions. Tim had major surgery this week and even though we have known about it for months and had been preparing ourselves in every possible way...the flood of emotions that overtook us all came as a surprise. Honestly...It was the whole bag!! Fear, gratitude, exhaustion, love...and something like...grace. Within the span of a few days, I felt layers and layers just peel off of me. I grew up in a family that was very secretive about illnesses. There was am airtight seal of denial, pretense and a whole lot of shame that always accompanied any sort of illness. As a child I couldn't make any sense of it ...it was really quite bizarre and very unhealthy. There was an unspoken rule about not being allowed to be vulnerable...not being able to ask for and seek help. In reality...not being allowed to be human. In this past week...all of that came crumbling down for me. I was ever so grateful for community and truth-telling...for being able to lean on someone and cry. For being able to ask for what I needed and...actually receive it! For allowing myself to feel all of my emotions and release them, for being weak when I was and strong when I was. The layers all just peeled off. It allowed me to be present for Tim and Tara...as well as myself. Grateful, grateful + grateful. This entire experience taught me to lean into my strengths, give voice to my vulnerabilities and be in the now. Gifts...all.

And what really showed up was a truer version of mySELF...a closer version to the person I want to be. It has all been something like...grace.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

feeding my soul

 A few things that I am crushing out on lately...some things that have been feeding my soul as I am on this path of healing mySELF, deconstructing and reconstructing mySELF and realigning to the truest of trues. I have been leaning into faith + surrender in a huge way. Something that would have been completely impossible for me a few short years ago but now...I am becoming more comfortable with it  (most times!). There's simply so much in life that is beyond our control...so I am choosing to view these as life lessons and be very grateful for the ways in which I am transforming. For the ways in which I am expanding the possibilities of who I am...and of who I can be...of who I want to be. For the fears and insecurities  that come, ugly and uninvited, that have lessons to teach me also. For the joys and abundance I am receiving that are teaching me invaluable lessons also... I am worthy,  I am enough (as is, right now). I am grateful.

 *every single morning I am starting the day with kindness. And it all begins right here...with me. Looking at mySELF with infinite compassion, love and non-judgement. So easy to say...so difficult to do. But when I spend 5-10 mins practicing this simple act...it aligns me to all that is good inside of me and my day goes more smoothly. It reminds me to make higher choices (large + small) throughout the day to treat mySELF with love. And it all starts with me.
 
*Photowalks!! I took the Be Your Own Beloved class last year with Miss Vivienne and I have carried this practice with me since then. Whenever I'm stressed, out of sorts, caught in the depths of despair...I go for a quick photowalk and can I tell you how it soothes my soul? Sometimes I go alone...in the evenings or Tara and I go together. Whatever the magic of this act is...it binds me to all that is beautiful in the world. It takes me outside of myself and releases my negative self talk, my fears and gremlins into the air. And what takes it's place is a simple quiet...a peace...a sense of joy and well being that I am grateful for.

*I first came across Caroline Myss about 15 + years ago...and honestly...at that time I seriously had no idea what she was talking about!!! I listened to her many times but nothing made any sense to me at all and ...I thought she was a bit delusional. Fast forward to now and her work absolutely resonates with me on a deep and soulful level. Her work on archetypes has me clinging onto every bit of truth and wisdom...aha moments galore!! Okay...now it all makes sense!!! She talks about our Sacred Contracts, Energetic Anatomy and how we lose our power. At the heart of her teaching is this simple truth...be here now. In the present moment is where we can feel the most fully alive, authentic and powerful.

*loved reading this article on making time for creativity. It was chock full of truths and made me laugh out loud. Anne Lamott rocks...big time! And her Twitter and FB accounts are full of wisdom nuggets, humor and wit. Love this lady! 
* I started reading this book and I couldn't be more grateful. Dr.  Tsabari has written a (parenting) book that is truly revolutionary and it has entered my life at just the perfect time. Can you say grateful??
*picked up this book again... I had read it years ago but it's calling me now in an entirely different way. Love that!!
*journaling, morning pages, therapy...whatever you want to call it...I've been doing it every day and it has been cathartic, insightful and healing. There's something about the act of writing things down that accesses our deepest memories, emotions and thoughts and gives it voice + validation. So much is coming to light and with each sentence...with each page I feel myself getting stronger, more whole...more mySELF. It's a time I can carve out to sit and be present to all that emerges on the page. So very grateful for this practice.

And of course...when I fall and fail and become untethered...that is an opportunity as well. The path is not smooth or easy or straight and when I have "one of those days" (which I frequently do)...this quote reminds me that...I can get some rest and try again tomorrow.The reminder that courage isn't always some huge grand act but often...it's the quiet resolve of putting one foot in front of another.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

around here lately: unintended journeys + opening pathways

The thing I love most about unintended journeys is that they are exactly what we need ...when we need it!! The journey I'm talking about is the inner one...the one that is sometimes (but not always) facilitated by outer ones. I think when we travel in the physical world...we get out of our routines, regular lives, the hum drum of it all and see things with new eyes + ideas. I feel so much freer to deconstruct and reconstruct mySELF...every day or every moment. Trying on different things as they suit me. The thing is...for the past couple of months or so...I've been feeling extremely lost, anxious, insecure, untethered in so many ways and ...in large part because Tara starts full time Kinder. There is a huge sense of loss with my baby going out into the world. There is a huge sense of "what am I going to do with my days" because the last 5+ years have been entirely taken up with being a full time mommy. And while I know that her going off into the world is exactly the way it should be...exactly what she needs ...it had left me very much unbalanced. But strangely enough...on our recent trip to the East Coast...I saw the faint lights of  opening pathways. There are going to be some big changes around here...I can feel it!
The first part of our trip was all about the beach...waking up with the sun and walking down to the ocean outside our doorstep. Oh!!! Bliss. There was a whole lot of watching the waves, squealing and walks and building sand castles. Tara is a complete ocean girl BTW...just like her daddy. Tim is a military trained deep sea diver (fearless) and I, on the other hand, having grown up in S. Africa (home of great whites that you can see from the shore!!) am petrified of deep ocean water. Tara is an absolute water baby, though, and I love seeing her adventurous spirit.
I've been re-reading Dr. Angelou's classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I read it so many years ago in my first years of college and (with her recent passing) felt called to read it again with my 45 year old self rather than my 18 year old perspective. I felt deeply honored and in awe of her truthtelling. Of the way she pulled me into her world with such ease and grace. Another funny thing that happened is that on my trip...I must have seen about 10 other people randomly reading the very same book...a person at the airport, another while we were eating lunch etc. It was a bit startling but synchronicity at work...a note from the Universe (I deeply believe) telling me I'm on the right path.
*P.S. I made this collage inspired by Susannah Conway's recent collage making goodness. I got out all of these old mags, a pair of scissors and glue and Tara and I had so much fun doing our own thing while chatting and laughing. Fun, fun + fun!!  Totally going to do more of this!

The second part of our journey was much more fast paced...a few heavily touristed sites, up to Baltimore (one of my very fave places!!) and we spent 2 full days at the Smithsonian. We had only planned for one day there but Tara was so enamored at the Museum of Natural History that she insisted we go back there a second time!!!She loved all the larger than life animal exhibitions, the dinosaurs were a fabulous hit and of course...she loved leading and teaching us all about...well, everything. I adore that Tara is so brilliantly curious and excited about learning. It  makes me happy. One of the most important takeaways from being in D.C. though is that while we thought we may want to move back there...we decided that the traffic was unbearable!!! I guess if you live there you simply grow accustomed to it?? Also the cost of living is through the roof crazy. We lived in that area over 6 years ago (before Tara was born) and either we have become used to the minimal traffic in Colorado or...it has become that much worst over the past few years. While I would love to live in that part of the country with all of the opportunities it presents for my family...sigh...back to the drawing board.  


And I must say that even though I absolutely love travel...it makes me so happy to be back home. I love waking up in the quiet of the morning with the sunshine streaming through the windows...my morning coffee and journaling. And what I am realizing is that, as I get older...I love and need my routines as much as I do stepping out of them!!! Ying and yang...both are equally important, don't you think??

And I serendipitously came across this quote flipping through old mags during my collage making. It totally resonates with me at this time in my life. I have been doing a lot of healing, journaling, soul-mending work and while it is entirely necessary...it has also been extremely difficult.I have had to make an extra effort to be kind and nurturing to mySELF . To make a safe place where I can witness and experience the many emotions this work is bringing to the surface. Emotions and memories I have shut away and not allowed mySELF to feel since ...forever. And truthfully...it's been ...pretty messy and muddled and painful and exhausting . It's brought up so many feelings of deep rage + shame + fears + deep sadness...all of those very messy feelings I would so much rather not deal with. But now is the time. And I have to continually remind myself that ...it's not meant to be easy. Deep breath. So to find this quote was nothing short of a tiny miracle. Now I can turn my heart toward hope...and even though I am far from where I would like to be...I am heading that way...one tiny breath at a time. With each tiny intention and choice...I am marching toward hope. With faith and surrender...I am heading that way. 

With this opening path...I feel so many many changes coming along. I am thinking about transitioning to a vegan diet. Not sure if this is practical for me but...toying with the idea. In my early twenties (ahem...while dating a beautifully spirited Rastaman) I was vegan for a year but it became a bit tedious and impractical for me after a while. I was also a vegetarian for some years but that didn't work for me either...too heavy on the carbs with my tastes for all things pasta. Stepping out of my comfort zone ...I am changing and growing and becoming. Maybe it's a midlife awakening. More than ever ...I am truly grateful for the journey.  And this pic from yesterday...can you tell...we are glad to be back home. xxx

Monday, June 9, 2014

remember our sacred heart

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.
Lately I have been filling up my well and returning to what I know to be true...simplicity...nature, outdoors, love, homemade goodness, reading...sitting in the sun and ...breathing.  I realize that this past year has been all too difficult for our family and we haven't given ourSELVES the time + space to cocoon, regenerate and rest. Day after day was filled with all too much hustle + bustle. Also...I have been doing a lot of deep journaling work that has been healing...but also exhausting and depleting. So...every single day now I am carving out the time, space + intention of remembering our sacred hearts.
*we've been spending a ton of time sitting in the sun whenever she cares to show herself! The past week has been rainy and gloomy but this morning...we were bathed in glorious golden rays and took full advantage of it.
*I am (slowly...slowly) finding my way back to meditation. I used to practice it many years ago but...it's always been such a struggle for me. But now, more than ever, trying to watch my thoughts...tame monkey mind and...simply be present. It's carrying over through my day...reminding me to fully embrace the w(holy) now.
*And Tara has been cooking + baking up a storm. She really wants her independence and has started making her own (very delicious) pancake creations. Her last one was...blueberry, chocolate chip, coconut goodness. She is so proud of her talents in the kitchen...it makes mamma just beam with happiness to see her bask in her own sweet self.

*And this 5 ingredient homemade ice-cream was deeeeeee-licious!!! Raspberries, blackberries, chocolate, fresh cream and sugar...


*spending lots of time outdoors...feeling the sun against our skin 

*feeding the ducks at dusk...watching sunsets ...

Been reading Dr. Angelou's poems...silently + out loud...listening to her rich and glorious voice with Tara...here's to the phenomenal women herself...Dr. Maya Angelou...you fill up my sacred heart...you do.

Friday, May 30, 2014

journey to wholeness

 Ever since I turned 45 at the start of the year, I could feel a restlessness, a shift, a yearning. I couldn't quite name it but I started listening deeply to this inner voice and a wonderfully magical thing started to happen; the more I paid attention...the louder + stronger it grew!! It began with extremely small things (that I would normally ignore) but with each choice I made...my inner voice grew more confident and I saw a shift in my consciousness. I started actively working toward wholeness and this is what happened. I invited synchronicity into my life. And wonder. And health. And. And. And.
 I've been wanting to write this post for some time but it all had to come together in my heart where I could lean into the heart of mySELF and share this story from a place of vulnerability that didn't involve shame. From a place of wholeness.

  ON CREATING: For quite some time now I have been struggling with my art. No time. No inspiration. Frustration. Where do I go from here? What do I want to say?? So many questions but no answers. I had to learn to sit with the questions themselves...just sit and be present. So impossibly difficult for the control freak in me!! But in this quiet space of not knowing...I am starting to hear the voices of my creative calling. In the emptiness of beginners mind I am learning to trust my inner voice of creating from an authentic place. It's not a linear path and there are still tons of going backwards toward what is safe and familiar rather than toward the unknown. But...here's the secret!!! Now that I'm conscious of it...I can work myself out of the rut. Difficult. But not impossible. I still have no idea where my art journey is going to lead. But now...I don't have to.


  ON HEALTH:Last summer I could feel my body changing. I mean..hello!!.I could actually feel it!! It wasn't that I was doing anything differently...but I needed to!! Here again...I had to make the (very) conscious decision to overhaul my lifestyle...everything from my diet, workouts, lifestyle, mental attitude...everything. Truth: When I was younger, being fit was mostly about vanity but now that I'm older...it's all about my health, the quality of life I have and being here for my loved ones. I don't want to look younger than I am but most certainly...I don't want to look or feel older than my 45 years either. But I would be lying if I said I didn't want the energy of my 25 year old self:). I had this epiphany...the choices I make today are going to determine how I age a year from now, 5 years from now etc. And so...it all started with a mental shift toward wholeness. I started waking up at 5 a.m. and going downstairs to the gym. *We have a full gym in our basement so I really had no excuse!! At first...it sucked!!! I mean...I would much rather sleep in my warm cozy bed with my bad knees and all, you know??? But ...I stuck with it. My first inspiration was Tim because his discipline and work ethic is unparalleled...no matter what...he's down there first thing in the morning. And then, around the first of the year when I started reading Mandela's autobiography...I learned that throughout his imprisonment on Robben Island...he awoke at 4 a.m. every single morning and worked out in his sardine can jail cell for an hour!!! I mean...running in place, push-ups, sit-ups...I had no excuse then, right???? But it all began with the conscious decision that I am worthy of self care and I began to make mySELF a priority. At the heart of it all...I want to be healthy and run and jump and play with my daughter...I want to be there for my family (healthy) and I want to be an example for Tara to practice self care.


 ON THERAPY: And of course health is a holistic concept that includes mental/spiritual/emotional well being so...my journey to wholeness also led me to seek help and I made a commitment to therapy. I realized that there was so much that was unresolved inside of me but was still sitting there like a pile of crap rearing their ugly heads. Pain? Check. Insecurities? Check. Anger? Check. On and on and on. I accepted the fact that I am a survivor of a horribly abusive childhood. My feelings were a liability and being vulnerable(which I most definitely was) did not serve me. In order to survive I had to shut them off... those skills that helped me get through that time are not needed anymore; I have to learn entirely new ways of being and doing and walking in this world. Can you say...terrified???? I have to learn to process my feelings and to accept the entirety of who I am. I had to learn to name things as they are, to validate my experiences, to share my stories, to feel my feelings (rather than excuse them or shove them down)...most of all, I learned to say I'm worthy of being whole. So that each experience of conflict or shame or anger then becomes a portal to healing, an opportunity to make different choices than what I have always done but hasn't worked very well for me. There has been a whole lot of journaling, crying, anger...and again...no linear path here!! But slow slow + slow (did I mention slow???) progress...moving toward the light.  I'm so ready for this. 

ON SETTING BOUNDARIES: Years and years (and years!) ago I heard this saying (Not quite sure where it came from): "everyone is just doing the best they can...in any given moment or situation". Well...it became my holy grail so to speak and I believed it so deeply that I excused all sorts of toxic and unhealthy behavior and people. I made excuses for people saying to myself "Well...she's just doing the best she can. I have no idea what's going on in her/his life, She's going through a divorce, he had a bad childhood" etc etc etc. I didn't hold people accountable for their actions and then I became angry and resentful for allowing myself to be a doormat. I would regret not addressing the person or situation in the moment. I had no idea how to set boundaries and worst...much, much worst...I didn't think myself worthy of setting boundaries. I felt that people would abandon me altogether if I had the audacity to speak my mind, stand up for myself and share how I truly felt.Furthermore...it became a way for me to excuse my own toxic behavior; a crutch. So it was lose/lose all around.  And then...a while back, I heard Dr. Estes (in one of her audio books ...I can't remember which one exactly) say this "Sometimes...people are not doing their best. And they like it that way." Okay...major Aha!!! moment, huge paradigm shift...huge lifting of guilt when I stand up for myself and speak my truth. I realized that Dr. Estes is absolutely right...looking at my own life experiences...some people are not doing their best and they prefer it that way because it absolves them of any responsibility for their words + actions. And of course, the most difficult part about setting boundaries??? Is also doing it with our loved ones! So now I  practice saying no to Tim and Tara and coming from a place of truth + vulnerability with my feelings. Tara has been a teacher to me because apparently..she has no problems setting her boundaries...very clearly and firmly, thank you very much:)
P.S. have I ever mentioned how much I adore Dr. Estes????

ON FEEDING MY SOUL: And I asked mySELF this...what feeds me? Such a personal question and unique question for each of us. It led me to these things right here...hugs + kisses, feeling the sun on my skin, tea, creating + painting + art-making, reading + writing...photography...sitting by streams and rivers, Great conversations. Listening to Dr. Estes. Working out. Hiking. Mindfulness.  Listening to birds chirping. Dancing with my hubby. Seeing my girl's smile. Music. Dancing. Rain. So many many things. Let me go do them.

ON MINIMALISM: A few months ago when I walked into my wardrobe one morning and figured out I had absolutely nothing to wear even though I had a closet full of clothing...I had no idea where that particular realization was going to lead. But again...each tiny choice lead me to another, and then another larger and larger gem of truth. Here goes. I had all these clothes from 10, 15 ...even 20 years ago!!!! Yikes!! I mean...there was so much stuff in there I didn't even know what I had. I was clinging to my youth (an ugly thing!) and not accepting the fact that I am, in fact, a middle-aged woman. Not accepting my changing body and ...uh...reality.  Once I started going through things I began reading about capsule wardrobes and worked toward that. I made the decision to get rid of about 80% of my closet. At first I resisted and hung onto things for dear life. What??? I can't get rid of that blouse...it's been with me through through x, y and z. Never mind that I hate the color and it doesn't fit me anymore:) But once I got past that stage of fearful clinging I mercilessly got rid of stuff. Now I had a bare closet and I could breathe. But then my natural impulse was to go and buy new stuff to fill up my closet again! Yikes!! That led me to reading up on minimalism which is not about bare bones austerity (I make no apologies for loving beautiful things, for wanting to look good and feel good) but about not clinging; it's about changing the focus from outwards to within.It was about asking myself what made me feel beautiful...doing my hair and make-up? Check. Kissing Tim? Check. Being my most authentic self? Check. Laying on the grass with Tara? Check. Reading? Check.   Huge shift here!  I came across this blog and decided to take her challenge. I only kept stuff I love. Brilliant!! At first I resisted because...I mean ...who am I without all my stuff? Now I am consciously deciding to focus on experiences and time rather than stuff. And I realize that I am light + love + heart + spirit. I mean...to truly know this without all the distractions of...stuff. A priceless bit of truth, a gift, really I can give to mySELF and my family. Actually...I learned so much from this experience I really need to write a separate blog post about it!

ON MARRIAGE: Partnership is a journey onto itself, isn't it?? A journey towards wholeness, healing, love + light. I'm not going to wax poetic and say everything is easy + perfect and charming all the time...it's not!!! I mean...sometimes my husband irritates the crap out of me..I ask you....are men from another planet??? But..I digress:) Most of the time I simply can't believe my luck at being with the man I married. I said this at our engagement...that I am so proud and honored to walk by his side and now...7+ years later, it couldn't be more true.At the heart of this man lies my best friend. He's funny + loyal and a true partner (have I ever mentioned that I never have to do the dishes or iron because he does????) . And he inspires me daily to reach for the very best in mySELF. Tim is intrinsically kind and loving and caring whereas I have to work at it. Love this man! 

ON MOTHERHOOD: This little girl birthed me! It was her shining bright spirit that ushered me on this journey toward wholeness to begin with. She demanded that I walk toward the light...no matter how difficult or unworthy I felt. She is sassy + curious + brilliant + strong willed and loving...and all the mistakes have been mine. She came into this world whole and abundant and I (with my struggling + broken pieces) have tried my very best to mother her. And it's been a journey. One where I constantly make mistakes, bump my head against the wall, fall down...try to figure out what to do next, move along clumsily and then...try, try, try again. Meanwhile...there she has always been...this beautiful sweet girl...dancing in her graceful way. Strong and secure in the knowledge of who she is. Radiating in her inner wisdom and natural ease with the world. It is her shining bright light that leads me in my darkness. She has been so forgiving of my lacking. I love this girl so much I can break apart with the sweetness + power of it. Our children....they are the greatest gifts.  

ON BEING PRESENT: Be Here Now. The greatest gift I can give to mySELF and my loved ones is ...presence. So much of my life was spend either looking backward or forward + being oblivious to the gifts of the present moment. Our children are masters at this too...and I learn from Tara daily. And in the struggle (and it's a struggle for me) of practicing mindfullness...I am learning one of life's secrets...it's all here, right now. This is life. A simple + powerful truth. Medicine for the soul.


ON BUSYNESS: Sometime during the past 6 months or so I came to the realization that being too busy was toxic and antithetical to being present. I was hurry scurrying around like a rat and dragging Tara along with me when all she wanted to do was...simply be. Last summer was filled with classes and activities and going from here to there to here again. It all makes me tired just thinking about it. I realize that all that busyness was really a distraction from me dealing with so many things I needed to. I mean...if I keep scurrying around and collapse into bed exhausted each night then I don't have time to deal with the truly important things I needed to deal with. Things like pain and feelings and health and anxieties etc etc.I can busy myself into not tending to my broken-ness and pretend that I am , in fact, whole and therefore not work toward healing. But the pain + broken pieces where there...not getting tended to and reflecting back to me in the most painful of ways. And it doesn't help that being busy is culturally sanctioned. As if our entire self worth comes from being busy! Crazy no?? I mean...if someone asked me what we did all day and I said "why, nothing. nothing at all." ...they sort of look at you strangely. But that's exactly what we are inviting into our lives now. A whole lot of sitting in the sun and listening to the wind...eating Popsicles and laughing. Being present to our lives. To the love + joy + pain + laughter. To all of it. 

ON LETTING GO:  For most of my life I always envisioned letting go as a painful process; hands holding on for dear life kind of thing. But now I am shifting towards the idea of openness. Open hands to accept the gifts I have. Open heart to love. Open eyes to see and accept reality. Open mind to accept possibility. Open spirit to accept presence + mindfulness. And this new way of thinking has led me to all sorts of letting go. Now I am free to let go of untrue stories about me; the ones I have been told and (more importantly) the ones I have told mySELF. Now I am free to determine who I want to be, how I want to think and feel, whom I allow into my life. Letting go has been so freeing... a place of emptiness where I can grow and thrive and be present to all of me. A place where my voice can be made strong  so I can share my stories from a place of clarity. It's all part of the journey.


ON THE JOURNEY: And so this journey is mine and mine alone. As it is for each of us. And in the darkest and loneliest of moments...when the predators of jealousy, envy, insecurities and inadequacy come to feed on my wounds...I am making choices to shine that bright light on mySELF and work toward wholeness. And it's not pretty or easy or a walk in the park. But it's not meant to be (I have to keep reminding myself). It's hard work!!! And I have to remind myself as tears and angers and insecurities and the like show up...breathe. Be gentle with myself. Be kind. Be present. Just be.  Because that is what my journey requires. And I am accepting that the journey itself is the gift, not the destination or end point; I am never going to get to a point where I say "Oh! Now I am completely conscious + whole + healed". My journey is like a mosaic. A kaleidoscope where...when one tiny part shifts...the whole changes. At the heart of it all...my journey (like all of us, I truly believe) is a story. Rich with layers and sufferings and great triumphs. A story we can write. A story we can claim. A story we can share. And in the claiming and the telling and the sharing lie the seeds of connection + healing and wholeness. Sheer grace. And I am grateful.xxx

Saturday, May 24, 2014

transitions, tribulations + transformations

Things have been so hectic here lately...I haven't been able to write a blog post for the past 3 weeks (??). Not because I don't have a ton to write about...it's simply because I haven't had the time to sit still and gather all of my thoughts coherently. Tara graduated from Pre-K and it was exciting, exhilarating and emotional all at once. This past school year has been terribly difficult for our family but we got through the end of it braver, more resilient and (hopefully)...a little more wiser. Tara is absolutely ready for full day kindergarten and while I thought I was...I absolutely am not!!! For the past 5+ years my entire life has centered around this little girl...and now that she is ready to go out into the wider world, I am going to allow her to lead me to this new place of being where I am going to have to redefine my time, my days...mySELF. And it's scary!! But embracing my 2 words of the year...surrender + faith...I am going to take the wide leap over the abyss of my fears into this unknown territory.
Along with all of these changes, transitions, trepidations + transformations...I have come across a few life-changing (and I am not using that word lightly!!)...but truly brilliant people, ideas, concepts.


* After I totally cleaned out my closet and began building a capsule wardrobe...I came across Project 33. A blog that is all about minimalism and focusing on what is truly important in life rather than...stuff! it's about living with less. Post after post resonated with me on a deep level and before I knew it...I started de-cluttering the entire house. I obsessively started getting rid of things we don't use or need...I mean...why do I need so many sets of dishes??? I brought out stored away things for everyday use (Tara has her very own bone china cup and saucer and if it breaks...oh well). I decided to take the Project 33 3 month challenge of not purchasing anything for 3 months. No clothing, household items, stuff for Tara etc. I can do this!!! From June to August...I am emptying out my desires for stuff. I am going to invest in time + experiences rather than buying things. Maybe I'm even going to write about my experiences...maybe I'm even going to enjoy this:)


* Just this last week I watched Super Soul Sunday and saw this brilliant lady talk about parenting. I couldn't pull myself away from her....everything she said called me in ways deeper than I can explain. She combines Eastern philosophies of mindfulness with Western psychology and ...she simply makes sense!!  I watched her TED talk, googled and read everything I could about her and ordered her two books (here + here). She speaks of how our past wounds affect our parenting, what it means to be a conscious parent and the greatest gifts we can give our children is to simply allow them to be who they are without our projections and agendas. She talks about changing the entire parenting paradigm that says that parents/adults are on the higher end of the hierarchy and children on the bottom. She invites us to view our children as our greatest teachers and to fix ourSELVES rather than focus on their behavior. Our children are mirrors of who we are. So I am working toward being more conscious of my behavior, of my thoughts + actions...of being more mindful + present. As a parent... a truly humbling experience is for me to have beginners mind...seeking + accepting help when I need it and acknowledging...I am learning how to be a parent...with every choice...in every moment. "Our children are here to usher our growth"...Dr. Tsabary says. Truly revolutionary discoveries. 

xxx

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Late Bloomer

 "It is that holy poetry and singing we are after. We want powerful words and songs that can be heard Underwater and over land. It is the wild singing we are after, our chance to use the wild language we are learning by heart under the sea. {...} To live this way is a cycle in itself, one meant to go on, go on, go on."  - Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
 As if I needed another reason to love, adore and be completely smitten with Dr. Estes. I have been listening to The Late Bloomer audio series this past month...I have it playing every single chance I get and the wealth of stories, healing and connection she offers is breathtaking. Life changing...truly.I can't even begin to go into the layer upon layer of psychic magic she works...where would I start?? 
For so much of my early life I thought that if you hadn't come into blossom + bloom by the time you were of a certain age...then all was lost. So many people around me had figured out (or so it seemed) what they wanted to do in life while I floundered around lost and searching...sometime drowning + gasping...very very broken. What I didn't know at the time was that all of this breaking open had deep meaning; it was soul medicine. In the losing of mySELF was the finding of mySELF. And sure...my path was definitely not linear...more of a zigzag kind of thing; one step forward, two steps back. But deep within all of this healing lay the seeds of strength, tenacity and beauty; the makings of an invincible heart.


"To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves." - Dr.  Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  In this series one of the things  Dr. Estes talks about is how, when we "lie in a bed not of our own making" ie. live our lives according to the proscriptions of others (society, culture, whatever else) ...we simply cannot thrive. It is only when we look deep within our hearts and define, for ourSELVES, how we want to live our lives...that is what leads to blooming. Taking the power away from the "overculture" (as Dr. Estes puts it) and placing it where it belongs; within our deepest selves is the key to doing our life's work. Work that is not always easy, approved of or successful but work that has deep meaning and feeds our soul.

"La Loba sings over the bones she has gathered. To sing means to use the soul-voice. It means to say on the breath the truth of one's power and one's need, to breathe soul over the thing that is ailing or in need of restoration. This is done by descending into the deepest mood of great love and feeling, till one's desire for relationship with the wildish Self overflows, then to speak one's soul from that frame of mind. That is singing over the bones."
                                                                                                  -Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes