Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dear Workaholistic-Thinking,

How many of you grew up with a workaholic for a parent?  How many of you were shown over and over and over again that your stuff, or even family stuff was secondary to the need to excel at work?

It just dawned on me how deeply embedded that belief is in me.  Here I've been thinking that because I don't work at a traditional job, and because I don't work at my non traditional work all the time that I couldn't possibly be mistaken for a workaholic...certainly no one would ever label me with that word.

Like everything else, though, being a workaholic starts in the mind.  Perfectionism, ambition, drive, passion, dedication...those are all words I've used that kept me from understanding how the early lesson of "work hard, because play is for failures" has shaped the way I think about my purpose, my calling, my family, and how I live my day to day life.

I learned that rest = laziness, unless you've worked yourself to the bone, and now cannot get out of bed for 24 hours.

I learned that letting work go until tomorrow was equivalent to saying no to God's blessings.

I learned that if you have a calling, it should take precedence over every other thing in your life, or even if it's not your comes first.

Work came before school plays, concerts, birthdays, holidays, and family meals.  It came before schoolwork, play, downtime, and it certainly was a higher priority than personal health.

This, among other things, bred an environment of manic stress.  It was almost constant.

It also bred a bunch of "hard little workers."

I left my home of origin with a lot to sort out.  This work issue, it wasn't so urgent.

I struggled with work, though.  I struggled to stay in one job, opting to hop from place to place.  Just as they were about to promote me, I'd quit, tell myself I was bored and find something else.  Honestly, I was just afraid of getting trapped in what felt like the food/retail management hole.  I wanted something different.  I wanted to hitch my wagon to a star, but I couldn't reach the stars.  I knew I must not be working hard enough.

So I went to work on myself.

The idea that life could flow easily never occurred to me.  The idea that the right star would float my way just as soon as I allowed Life to flow through me wasn't even on the register.  The idea that all of the pain and trouble would wash its own way out if I were to trust seemed like some quack's flaky "solution" to life's problems.  Yeah.  Right.

Proactive.  That was what I needed to be.

And maybe I did.

Maybe I had to take life by the horns so I could get to a place where I could believe the guiding voice inside without analysis or angst.

Mostly, I think I was just exploring what it feels like to be in control.  All the healing, though, happened when I wasn't looking, and in ways I never expected.

As I was healing, my intuition began to take over.  Do this, it would say, and when I didn't, I could feel the impact, and when I did....bliss.  I began to let go here and there.  I began to trust when Life said, "You don't have to be perfect.  Take the kids through the drive-thru.  It's okay to make yourself comfortable.  Don't strain your mind," as much as I trusted directions like, "This woman will guide you through this.  You can handle this now.  Feed your soul.  Go to the woods.  Reach out to this person.  Start that book.  Let go of your old life, leaving everything and everyone that cannot or will not support your new way of being." 

Ever so slowly, I have learned to listen, trust, and act in line with my intuition.  It never, ever leads me astray.
It is the star I've hitched my wagon to.

Today, it is teaching me, that no matter how important I feel the work is that I'm working on, about a bazillion things are more important than it is.  My well-being, tickle time, sunshine, inner peace, my family and home of creation, learning, making space for goes on and on.  I love the work that was laid out before me.  It's intense, and it is mine, but it is not all encompassing, and it will happen in its good time.

The real "work" is me, and it is not the work of my childhood.  It is not grave, demanding, or worth starving for.

It's the work of nourishment.  It is flow and allowance.  It's the tending of the Joy Garden.  It's the stirring of the Hearth.  It's the love of Mama Resource.  It's the building of our potential, and it is allowed to be both passive and active.  It is Intention and Trust.  

It's an ear to listen and a heart to follow.  

The rest is not worth being urgent about, because the rest will happen naturally.  Your calling, or your Life's work flows naturally from you when you are kindling the Hearth with loving compassion for yourself.

 All of those old beliefs seem so flimsy next to these new truths.  I'm laying them to rest with profound gratitude...I've come this far with them after all.  It's just that, I've found a way that is better for the life I'm creating right now.  So, workaholistic-thinking, thank you, and...dissolve in peace.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Rolls and Rumbles

Sometimes the only thing that seems appropriate is a thunderstorm.  We are experiencing just such a thing right now up here in our hilly region of Michigan.

We used to live in Ohio...the flat part of Ohio that is.  The first storm we experienced up here was more than a little unsettling.  The thunder doesn't clap and boom and explode the way it does when you live on flat land.  It rolls.  Rolling thunder.  It starts in as a low growl and slowly rolls up and over itself until the undertow draws it back to the steady drone that tends to make itself our soundtrack for entire nights once it shows up.

I woke to its menacing vibration a month or so after we moved here.  I'd never heard rolling thunder before.  I woke Oliver up.

"What is that noise?" I asked him.

He jolts awake and grabs the bat assuming his "do not fuck with my family" persona.  I always feel safe when Oliver is around.

We stay silent and listen to the rumble.  We wonder: Tornado?

No, it's not a tornado.  We listen to the rise and fall, the auditory sister of the lake's waves only miles away.

As we slowly began to accept that this was thunder here, our new thunder, Oliver drifted off to sleep.  I lay awake, not sleeping well for the rest of the night.  I kept waiting for the thunder to spend itself with a soul wrenching crash.  I kept waiting for the storm to wage its fury on us, but instead it rolled on and on and on; not gentle by any means, but never giving over to the rage to which I was accustomed.

All that night I lay feeling dissatisfied, smolderingly angry, really.  Eventually the thunder dissolved away as the storms here seem to do.  It lacked closure, like the storm hadn't confronted itself or the cycle it was a part of.  It just sort of kept pace.  I wouldn't accept it.  It was a calculated, tip-toeing storm, and I did not want to be near it.  Just rage and get it over with, I thought.


Tonight, I didn't notice that the thunder was rolling until I started writing about it.  This rolling thunder has woven it's way into my fabric of being.  It has taught me that, in fact, it is not disingenuously calculated, rather it is steady, it does not tip-toe, it simply has mastered the art of allowing.

The ebb and flow is an aspect of living.  There is no getting around it, and floating amongst the waves is not weak.  There can be a time for rage, for crashing and banging and great big releasing, but there is no shame in allowing a slow steady, anchored release.  They are equally valid methods of weathering those periods when different aspects of ourselves are charged in opposing ways creating a storm within.  One is quick, fierce, striking, and frightening; the other is slow, measured, and utterly painful to bear--like childbirth.   We need both.  Or at least I do.

For the last year, I have spent intimate time with the rolling thunder that threatened to shake me right off  of my foundation.  The steady rumble lasted so long that, in fact, the house of cards other people built for me came crashing down bringing me right with it.  Fortunately, I've been doing my own building these past years.  Just as soon as I stopped trying to save the old, useless dollhouse, I leaned into trusting that there was something real for me already in place and allowed the cards to fall, and then....well, it was like magic.  Painful magic.

Every card has a face, a memory, or an object stamped on it.  Some have been excruciating to send to the compost heap, and that's not drama talking.  With every card that fell, especially those big, difficult ones, I could see more clearly what I'd been building for myself.  Four months ago, I thought I was walking on the edge of losing everything I've worked for, i.e. my sanity.  Now I know that I simply needed to take time to let go of everything else.  I was not prepared to rage last year at this time, or even four months ago.  I needed the steady shaking apart of the shelter house that had been stunting my growth and blocking my vision, all while charming me with the empty promise of safety from all the things that frighten me.

For the last three weeks, though, I have raged against the ugliest, most difficult parts of that card house.

Think primal roar.  And devastating grief.  Finally, the bare bones of emotion that I've been wrestling with for a long while.  Cycle those two endlessly, and that has been my month of April.

The perfect recipe for a rip-roaring storm.


And you know what happened after I wrote this last night?  A big bang crashing Ohio style thunder storm, and a whole lot of release.

Who would have thought?

Anyone else getting shaken up out there?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poets Gifts

 "Something we were withholding made us weak
   Until we found that it was ourselves
   We were withholding from our land of living
   And forthwith found salvation in surrender."
                              -Robert Frost, The Gift Outright


                               >>to the place I inhabit right now<<

It's a good place. 

I got here.  I'll get there, too.   


whispered announcements are juicier

I thought about not actually posting this, but I wanted to at least keep the ladies who have shared themselves with this project posted on what I've been doing with their stories.  They were so brave in putting themselves out there for others.  I can follow their lead and be brave in letting people know what my plans are. 

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, and magic in it. Begin it now." ~ Goethe
It's one of my favorite quotes.  Beginning things isn't usually difficult for me, but sharing what I'm doing is.  I'm a fox.  A natural blender inner.  I know how to go in cognito with what's really going on for me, but I need to dip my toe in the pool of being more transparant with my work.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You're Invited

So about those support calls!  Let's start next Tuesday evening at 8 pm Eastern time.  For this first conversation, I'd like to talk abuse and domestic violence.  Our histories of experiencing or witnessing it, and what we've done to heal from those experiences.  Everyone is welcome.

Where:  Wherever you're comfortable with phone in hand.
When: Tueday, May 1; 8:00 pm Eastern time
What:  Support call and discussion of experiencing and healing from abuse and domestic violence

Be sure to bring lots of loving-compassion and tolerance for those who's experience may have led them to different ideas and beliefs than those you hold dear!

If you are interested in joining the conversation, please contact me either through email (on my profile page) or here, on Facebook.  Little Hearth has a brand new little page over there.  I'll pm or email you the number to access the call. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Climbing the Stairs

Two days ago, I hit a low. I had a winter low, too, a couple of months ago. That low was inspired by the realization of the big dark fear I'd been carrying around with me all my life. This low was inspired by the realization that I was still participating in an abusive relationship.

Part of the project I'm working on involves me writing about my personally history with abuse. I've always considered myself a witness of abuse rather than an abused person. As far as I was concerned, my personal experience of direct abuse amounted to a handful of occurences where things had gotten out of control, or I had butted my nose into other people's business, then shared the burden of being abused for the evening.

As I began to write my story, I saw the accumulated events together in one place for the first time. Oliver would read through it and say, "What about this time, or that thing that happened?" I would cringe and say, yes, that needs to be included, too.

It got to the point that, even though I'd been working steadily for months on this project, taking care to nurture myself through the difficult material I was immersing myself in, I'd sit down to work and feel immediately ill. My muscles would cramp, my stomach would knot, and my mind would not allow me transmute my memories through my fingers and onto the page. My whole self was in resistance mode.

For three weeks this went on. I'd squeeze out a few paragraphs and then collapse in a heap of exhaustion unable to cry, unable to think. Then Easter happened. It was like the time that my high school sweetheart finally slammed me up against the wall shouting in my face. It took an amount of violence at the time for me to see that I was in a terrible relationship. While there was no physical violence over this past weekend, there was undeniable evidence--which still took me a few days to acknowledge--that this relationship that I didn't know how to live without was indeed directly abusive, and always had been.

That realization catapulted me into about 24 hours of depression, which I am no stranger to. I feel so deep and so suddenly that I could not even remember my usual tools to wake back up to my life. I actually had to ask Oliver to remind me how I best heal during this moments.

I could sense that it wouldn't last long if I just surrendered to the grief, because that's what it was. Just grief. Grief for the relationship that had to end, just like that, once I finally allowed myself to see the true nature of it. Grief for the last little bit of innocence that I carried around in reference to that relationship. Grief for myself and all the shit I've trudged through all this time, while trying to salvage what hope there was left for a semblance of normalcy and real love.

This morning I looked in the mirror and told myself that I don't have to worry anymore, because I won't let anyone hurt me that way again, and that I really and truly am at long last safe and secure, both within myself and in my surroundings.

Since Wednesday's plummet to the dark, damp basement of my psyche, I've been methodically climbing the stairs back up to ground level, and with each step I climb I see myself a little more clearly. I see what I'm worthy of, and capable of. I grow more firm in my resolve to keep going with this work, and I grow more sure of the truth that I'll figure it all out. Everything I'm not sure of right now...I'll figure it out.

I am releasing my need for perfection. I am redefining humility. I am acknowledging the rage that is splitting me at the seams.

Mostly right now, this moment, I am grateful for the presence of the stairs. They were not always there, and they did not magically appear. They are strong, sturdy wooden stairs, built by me during the last ten years of trying to get a grip. Once upon a time, the stairs were not there, and I stayed in the deep darkness for a long, long time until I pooled my resources, picked up a hammer, and got to work, building my way out.

Even as recently as last month I was beating myself up for my lack of productivity over the past decade. All I'd done was produce two human beings and heal myself from a childhood of abuse. I didn't see anything worthwhile that had come from that.

Until I fell face first into that deep dark space, and clammered around until I grasped my salvation. Sturdy stairs of wood and nails built to last a life time, right there where I left them.

Thank you, younger me, for having the presence of mind to start building your way out. It was very well done.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The In-Between

My old way died today. I'd been resisting it, though I knew it was coming. Of course it would happen right after Easter.

I've been working slowly, but dilligently on what I forsaw as the the most difficult of portion of my project, hitting walls every time I sat down to write.

Last night I uncovered the why behind the walls during a long, teary conversation with Oliver.

My project involves domestic violence awareness.

I had not acknowledged the ongoing verbal abuse I've been expreiencing these last ten years, and even into last weekend.

Before then, I acknowledged it,but last weekend? Am I not trying to show people the way out? The way of prevention?

I did not even see it in my own life. How discouraging.

Today, I wrote about the ongoing struggle I have with my relationship with abuse. It is difficult to acknowledge that I have a relationship with abuse. One that I avail myself to. I am one decision away from cutting that portion of my life off forever, and I find myself questioning if I can do that--if it is right.

Let me repeat that. I am questioning if I am capable of removing myself from abuse, and if it is the right thing to do. I pity my abuser. He is weak, sad, and sick. I am angry with myself.

I recognized my own behavior parralleling the behavior of a victim of abuse before I recognized his behavior as abusive. In fact, I needed Oliver's timely insight to help unlock my ability to even see that this man was verbally assaulting me. It is a constant attack on the spirit.

And I continue to lay the blame on myself.

This is the behavior of a victim of abuse.

But I don't want to be a victim. I see that I made myself available for too long. There is only one thing left to do.

About a month ago, I was talking with a collaborator on the project about how the public minimizes the impact the abuser has on the abused, and just how difficult it is for abused peoples to get away from there abusers, to stay away, and then to not be victimized again.

Entering into this project has led me down into the belly of my discomfort. It has asked me to light a fire there, and do what I've avoided all these years. Cut out the cancer.

Why is that so hard?

It's not in my nature to kill things. Even ugly, corrupting, destructive things. It's dirty business. I'll confront and be dramatic and basically do anything to make the situation livable without actually killing the source of the problem. I've expended an incredible amount of energy trying to keep the situation livable. Why? Fear...of what comes next, of hurting others....and guilt.

It's not sustainable, though, and today I ran out of fuel.

I don't know what comes next, all I know is that the old way has to be over now. I'm in the in-between, and that feels dark, scary, like death. I've been here before. Each time just before a new breakthrough, each bringing me a little closer to liberation, but this time is different, and I don't know how long it will last.

I know that my desire to embrace what is on the other side of this: allowing the parts of my identity that I've been afraid of to surface, and to retire the old way of thought and function is stronger now than my fear or laying old connection to rest.

Right now I'm in a space of acknowledging what's dying. It's a tunnel to walk through. I've walked it before. I am between cycles, still terrified of the repercussions of going ahead with what lies ahead of me.

This needs to end today, though. Any doubt I may have about my ability to see this through comes from what he taught me about myself which has nothing to do with the reality of my capabilities and strength. It will never be any different.

How did it take me ten years to get here?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Self Soothing for the Ego-Maniac--meaning all of us

My mind has been on the ego a lot these days. It keeps us attatched to being human and the world that we're living in. It sometimes blocks our vision of the inner light and muffles the sound of the Still Small Voice. And, seriously, we are crazy defensive of it, because we often confuse it with our identity. "Umm...did that lady just knock my outfit? My hair style? My kid? My home? et cetera ad nauseum." So we spend our time building up and defending the ego with all of the stuff/activities that identify who we are without even realizing it. We think our egos are so amazing that we even defend them against our nearest and dearest.

So many of us use up a lot of our energy trying to change the people we love, even when we don't realize it. We think they hurt us, and they sometimes do things that we find hurtful. We think they should change the behavior that gives us pain, and it does make sense to the ego. "My world looks like this. It has been carefully constructed for my highest comfort. Now you've sauntered in without respect for my past experiences, and you've behaved in a way that feels threatening to me. How dare you? Don't you respect my experience(err...ego)?"

Now would be an excellent time to hop over here and experience the offering of this alternative perspective.

The trouble with a defensive response is that we're punishing our current partner for the actions that created the original wound in the first place--the one we've not healed yet. The more we punish, the more they feel threatened, the more walls go up, and eventually, the relationship is going to crumble.

Now, I don't want to harp on the ego here. The ego isn't bad. It is through the ego that we get to experience life. Without ego, we wouldn't remember the value of living on this earth, of the thrill of stepping into an ocean wave, or of eating an enchilada (I am so craving good Mexican food right now).

What I take from Fred Luskin's lecture is that we need to learn to self sooth in order to have a well-working ego. One that serves us rather than us serving it. When we heal from our experiences, we clear the junk out of the way, so that we can experience the bliss of...experience. I'm talking about healing here, not coping. Coping can involve things like controlling or subduing ourselves, our emotions, or trying to live as best we can within the dysfunction. Healing involves taking a good look at the situation that has brought you pain, and sitting with it until you know you don't have to carry it any more. Then we step into the joy that is experiencing life with our whole selves, and that is good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I've been quite busy for the last couple of weeks getting the ball rolling on a big project I'm working on behind the scenes, and all I am going to say now is....Wow. There are so many courageous women out there, and if you are suffering, you are not alone.

Now that I'm getting a steady footing with that project, I thought it was high time I come back here and work on building community through Little Hearth. The truth is that I could use a community. I've got a lot of grounding to do in the midst of these new tasks I get to be a part of, and what a blessing it would be to hear your encouraging voices on the line.

The thing is, that so many of us seem to feel alone. We're surrounded by so many people, but we feel deeply and terribly alone. I'm beginning to wrap my heart around the idea that we (I) may isolate ourselves (myself) for protection. It's the work of the ego to prove to us that what it interacts with is the real stuff of life. Our bodies and what they alone can experience/observe, our thoughts, our feelings, the way we see the world. It clings to the way we feel about OUR surroundings, OUR opinion, OUR sense of the world we live in. Meaningful interaction with others requires us to at least temporarily make a crack in the wall of our ego so that we can experience the other. It requires that we consider the other. It chips away at our ego's strong grip on what we perceive to be true about our lives, because the other has another opinion and world view proving that our way cannot be the only way. Everything we think we know is subjective to our experience, and sitting with that can be uncomfortable...until it's not anymore.

I wanted to reopen the invitation to chat on a weekly basis on a conference line. Check out the previous post for more details, then pass along to anyone you think may be interested! You can contact me anytime, just click on my profile for contact information.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Hey everyone! So, my kickoff idea here at Little Hearth is to begin a conversation. A real live conversation via conference calls at a designated time for us to get together and chat about different topics that may be on our minds.

I seem to have an intimate relationship with isolation. Most people that I get onto the topic with tell me that they, too, are no strangers to loneliness. The idea for this gathering just sort of flew into my lap one day, after which I began to see the need for connection in a more specific light. I also began to see it as a completely solvable problem. While I wondered why it seems to be a challenge to find a place to connect, I noticed that so many gathering spots come with a price tag. When they don't they seem to be inconsistent, or are tailored to a specific group of individuals. After allowing all the ideas to gel in my mind, I came to the conclusion that Conversation should be free, convenient, consistent, and inclusive.

This isn't an exclusive gathering. Anyone who feels they would benefit from the giving and receiving of support, information, and inspiration is welcome to join in. Also, if you would just like to listen in, you are welcome to do so.

Maybe someone will have a pressing need to address, or maybe we'll start with a prompt. I'd like to get some feedback on this, to see who would be interested in what type of conversation, what your needs are, and what times are convenient to everyone throughout the week(knowing your timezone would be helpful as well).

I know I can often be found with spiral eyes staring at the computer screen attempting to quench my thirst for more connection to the people I care about, and the people I'm inspired by. But words are so black and white, and more often than not we're sharing about the recent success or illness of our children. I am grateful to have a space to share and receive notes of encouragement when I'm struggling with illness in the house or elated over the arrival of a milestone, but nothing beats the sound of another human voice that is there to love and support you.

I would be so grateful if you would share this with your friends and get the word out. Everyone is welcome. A diverse group will lend itself, I hope, to a greater understanding of the diverse world we live in, and of how we get to be in it as our individual selves.

Once I get some feedback, I'll set a time for our first call and post instructions for joining the conversation. Let's chat!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Hearth

"As I understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway."

~Anne Hutchinson, Puritan visionary and mother of the understanding that God speaks in the hearts of us all, and not just in the hearts of leaders and ministers. She was banished for this idea that Protestants now accept as common sense.

When I was very small we had a wood burning stove. I remember it being cast iron--my older siblings may correct me here--but it was black for sure. It sat on a raised brick floor, and I would migrate there after a bath to let my hair dry. Mostly my memories in that room revolve around watching pro wrestling with the family, which was a pastime that died off before I even went to school. One of my fondest early memories involves my dad's slipper catching fire. He had a habit of resting his feet up on the ledge of the stove. I remember him slapping his slipper against the brick, and then looking at me with a stunned expression before crumpling into a heap of laughter on the floor. Most of my early memories don't involve his laughter, so this is one that cherish.

After the attic fire during my Kindergarten year, the stove was removed from the house. I have never forgotten its warmth, and even after my parents built a new edition onto the house complete with a fire place, that little hearth was never buried too deeply in my memories. It was always fresh, like it never really went away.

A couple of years ago, I began to hear little snippets of...direction, I'll call it. I would write it down, and then wait. During the first year, I would monthly receive more clarity. It would show up without fail just as I began to doubt the whole ordeal. During one of the early months the name Little Hearth was all I received, and so I've carried it with me since, not knowing exactly what it would entail or what it meant. I went back to school, and received more direction through the experience (I remembered my confidence there). Then, the entire year of 2011 was consumed by preparing for, and then executing a major family shift, and another, and another. The shifts kept coming and the direction fell silent. Everything fell silent. I felt completely awash without direction. I lost faith all over again in the idea of conscious living, and instead floated where the waves took me. It was exactly what I needed to do. I see that now.

As the year began to close, though, I felt an urgency that I noticed others were feeling as well. Things were about to change, and so I needed to in order to be ready for the new year would bring. I trusted, and I began to move. I followed my intuition to my bookshelf and pulled down a long shelved book. I dove in all over again new that this was the culmination of the growth that began the first time I picked it up years ago. I began to meditate daily. I came to terms with a long held notion that was clearly holding me back, and then I released it at solstice. On Christmas day, I knew for sure it was gone.

With the new year came new and specific direction, which I followed. It led me to one of the most intense periods of personal discovery I've ever experienced, and I hope it never ends. I know now that my first job here as a human being is to tend to my Little Hearth, my inner light, every single day, every single moment. The tending is what keeps me connected to God(Source, call it what you will), and without it I am lost--looking for answers outside of myself and forgetting to check my inner compass for signs of truth. Nothing confuses my sense of direction more than that.
I can still see the little hearth smoldering in our living room. I can still hear Dad's laughter after he put the fire out on his foot. I can smell the scent of burning wood, and I know that wherever I am, I am home. When I am at home with myself I honor God's amazing ability to never screw up when creating new people, and I unlock the door to the vast potention that lies within us all. When you see it in yourself you see it in others and you know you have to let it shine.

Give and Receive

For the last few weeks I've been spending a lot of time wading through a lot of crap I thought I was done wading through, but in an entirely new way. Early this month I approached my husband with the nagging feeling I'd been having. I simply was in need of help, mostly, I thought, to tie up the lose ends of a "sorting out" process I've been moving through for the past 7 years. I set up a consultation with Tara Wagner from the Organic Sister which catalyzed an intense and quick snowball down the mountain affect of internal manure shoveling. Yes, I just mentioned manure....I grew up on a farm. Most importantly, though, within a week of our first session, I had finally put my finger on the deep dark flesh eating parasite that was fueling so many of the inconsistencies I was manifesting in my life. It was SCARY. Like nightmare scary. And it was so worth it.

The decision I made to accept help rather than be the giver all the time...and to, yes, pay for the very specific support that I knew without a doubt that I needed was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Harnessing my bravery and sitting in that scary place, which is something I may not have been able to do for years (if ever), uncovered something that took me a while to get over. A while for me about a week (and another session). But acknowledging my needs, and responding to them, despite the frightful nature of the request I was making of myself, opened a door that has been boarded, glued, cemented, completely sealed, and it has me saying, "Hello world." "Nice to hear your voice clearly, intuition." "What's that you're telling me to do that has been so muffled even though you were screaming at me through the door? Yeah, I can do that. It doesn't seem so scary anymore."

And it has cleared my vision. Vision. I have it. Vision that makes sense for the present instead of some maybe day in the future. It's not exactly what I thought. It's not what I would have just randomly chosen, or what I had prepared for. It is mine, however, and I have direction, the first of which involves not dropping the ball on my own self care and development--ever.

I'll be more present here now, and I have an idea that I hope a lot of ladies, especially will be interested in which I'll be posting about soon. Hope you're having a lovely day!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Parenthood--a realization

Parenthood is really about ourselves.

That's my realization. We think, and we're taught, and we're funneled into this idea that once you become a parent, it's all about them. It's all about them. It's all about them. Today, I challenge that idea.


1) Because when it's all about them, we take too much responsibility for our kid's stuff.

2) Because when it's all about them, we don't have to take responsibility for our own stuff. We call it parenting stress instead.

What I really mean:

1) Every parent who has ever parented has at some point KNOWN with absolute certainty for some fleeting second that there isn't a thing you can do to determine who your kid will grow up to be. What they'll want. Who they'll marry--oh you can force, coerce, bully and ridicule to create an automaton of a being, but if you're the kind of person who's not interested in producing robots, you realize at some point, that your child may do drugs, have abusive partners, >>insert your biggest fear here<<. It could happen someday, and when it all boils down, there is little you can do about it.

Even now, I can't control when my two year old is going to stick her tongue out at someone, or when my 5 year old will roll her eyes at me. I can teach them about respect and all that nice stuff, but ultimately it's their choice to embrace any attribute they choose be it self-respect, independence, work ethic....whatever.

When it comes to teaching our children, our words should serve as reminders. There is no need to feel mortified when my child acts like a maniac in public, or seems immature for her age, or behaves from a place of aggression or fear. It is not a reflection on our parenting (now let me say here, that many children have garbage for parents, and I'm not letting belittling, abusive parents off the hook--I'm speaking to the parents out there who are trying to get it right), it's a reflection of where they are at. Rather than be emotionally invested in my children's behavior through embarrassment OR (and this is the big one for me) through stress and fatigue rooted frustration, we can take simply take note....remind ourselves of where they are at, so we can, at the right time, remind them of where they are at and give them some direction on how to get to the next spot in the journey of being human. For example: our two year old is in the "No, it's mine, I'll hit you" spot of this human journey. My job as a parent is to OVER AND OVER remind her that, "Sweetheart, there is a better way to do this, and this is how.....see, now everyone is so much happier." Job done. You know, like, 45 times every single day until she moves through this place. Every kid does it. Every kid develops at different times. That's her stuff. As a parent(and a human being) I have the option to detach my feelings of worth and well being from the behavior that I am a witness to. I'm the mother. I mother her through it.

The mothering is my stuff.

So about that:

2) Oh my...I hope I'm right about this and it's not just another stupid theory. This better be a breakthrough, and that's all I have to say before I say more on the subject...:).

My stuff...This parenting thing has been riding hard on me lately. I've been feeling bitter about it. About all I am required to give because I'm a mom. About how my children want SOOO MUCH of ME. ME!! All the time. I am growing quiet with them. I am shutting down, particularly around the eldest. I feel I have no more to give and it is all. their. fault. How ridiculous. I've been sitting with this for weeks. WEEKS! Just now I'm kicking myself for not realizing. Of course my stress, fatigue, and frustration are not their little responsibilities! Goodness No! What have I been thinking?

What I have been thinking is this: It is my fault that Jules colors on the wall, throws fits, whines, and sometimes behaves like a little brat. It is my fault that Amelia is struggling in school, that she experiences big emotions and doesn't know what to do with them, so she just melts down into a big soggy mess, and that her developmental leaps are now so very, very challenging for her.

I have been thinking that it is their fault that I am so tired, so worn down, so without my own space and life, so frustrated, etc.

Slow down the horse, Miz Anna.

As a parent, I believe that it is my responsibility to make my kids into what they should be. I never think about it that way, but my behavior clearly shows that I do. This translates into me struggling to keep all the rafts afloat, which is doing nothing but making waves that make everyone sea sick.

What I now choose to not only base my parenting style on, but my core belief about parenting is this: My children are capable of regulating their own behavior, sorting out their difficult growing pains, taking responsibility for themselves, their things, their feelings, and their actions. As Mother, I have earned the role of Resource.

A stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function...
Provide (a person or organization) with materials, money, staff, and other assets necessary for effective operation.

My kids are little. 2 and 5. They aren't yet ready to go it alone, and for this, I'm just...full heart. As Mama Resource: I am fully stocked and supplied with the things they need, little and big. Mama's got band aids for scraped knees and broken hearts. Mama's got a pantry full of good food and the knowledge and experience required to mix and blend flavors that satisfy little hearts and tummies, too. Mama is stocked with ideas for how to get from here to there, and how to move most gently through the world.

The thing is, is that as Mother, I don't always need to expect that they will come to me, and I don't always have to expect myself to go to them. I don't have to fix it all. I don't have to do it all. They've got their own paths to walk, and if I try to take responsibility for them, it's like barging onto their path and saying, "You don't have this, you need help." That is not the message I want to send to my daughters. Embodying Mama Resource means saying, "You've got this, and I'm right over here if you need me. Don't worry about falling, because I'm a certified soul physician. I can help you, and I will not stand in your way."

Parenthood is about the Parent. It's about being a good and effective Resource.

Childhood is about the child. It's about growing from seed to seedling.

Each is valid. Each is demanding and rewarding. Each has it's place.

It's okay to separate the two. It's okay for me to leave their futures to them. I will not always get to mother them in this way. I will not always have to pour so much energy into Mama Resource's pantry. Right now I do.

I own my fatigue, my frustration, my need for autonomy. I am first and foremost, responsible for myself.

I am a wonderful, complete, capable Resource for my children.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Last night while I was having a heart to heart with my husband (I love that I have a husband with whom I can have heart to hearts every single day), there arose this issue I tend to have with following. I have these ideas that to follow, or do like another does immediately makes me a poser. And, really, who likes a copycat? I went all frigid when Ollie said it out loud, "You need to not be afraid to be a follower, so what if you're not the one leading the charge." Well that's paraphrased, but that's the basic idea. Staying perfectly honest, I writhe at the idea of following anyone for any extended amount of time. What I carried away from the conversation, and what I'm simmering in the soup today is the knowledge that my insistence on forging a path that's *all mine*, sometimes with the militant idea that it's not okay to join in or belong, masks my habit of resistance to reaching out for the teaching of others; a resistance to seeking out help, to availing myself to my community. This, naturally, leads me to believe that I'm alone, that no one gets it, that if I'm going to do anything, by god, I'll have to do it alone. Of course, that's all nuts.

My words for this year are "Dynamic, Bold, Colorful, and Brilliant." As I begin to embrace what they really mean, what it really is that I'm being called to, a lot of so long accepted habits of thought and behavior are creeping up and revealing their true face. As I step more fully into myself, I am coming face to face with some long accepted shame, and everything that goes along with it. I'm finding out why it is that I've been diluting the version of myself that I present to most of the world, but most of all to myself.

I recently made some contact with some seriously dynamic women online. It was so great that I decided to invest more of my online time in being open to that "out there somewhere community" that flows nicely into my home via the internet. Even in the few short days since then, I am being taught that when I open my heart to what is around me, I have every single thing I need, and that if I exercise my ability to live boldly, my part in the play will arrive at my doorstep at just the right time, too.

I've gone back and forth about blogging again. My style tends to put a lot of my inner inquiring out there on the page, and I generally feel that people get the wrong idea about how my life looks in reality. However, there is a specific role I get to play in this Life, and I'm pretty sure all this thinking and sorting out has a lot to do with what it is I have to bring to the world at large. Everything else
is for my family right now. My energy, my work, even my craftiness is all being spent on my family. Like every other person in the world who is devoting all their energy to the cleaning, the cooking, the holding, the planning, the making, the care, I have mixed feelings about it. I sometimes...okay every single day....yearn for something more. I am getting the very real sense, though that if I bring my Self, boldly and brilliantly to surface, and let my colors shine, something dynamic will happen. I don't know if blogging will be a part of that. My intention is to use it as a personal tool, and exercise in using my voice, sometimes literally through videos. I don't intend to include pictures with the family, or very few, at least. This space is about my musings, and what it is to be human. My goal is to put my thoughts out there raw, unedited, and imperfect. I won't be dolling up for the videos, or polishing these sentences into perfect formation. I am more concerned about perfect and complete expression right now. I hope you'll find this space to be a place where you can express yourself without shame as well. All are welcome to comment, muse, disagree, whatever. Let's have a conversation.