Saturday, July 19, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
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.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
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.
Monday, June 9, 2014
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.
*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
Friday, May 30, 2014
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 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
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.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
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.
-Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes