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Friday, September 09, 2016

Living Selfishly: Circling the Self

A friend and mentor just pointed out to me today that selfish means: circling the self.

Why is it so hard to give myself (ourselves) what I/we need?

The body aches, or is hungry or tired, or the brain hurts, and we are just plain exhausted, yet we keep on keeping on. We are built for struggle, it seems, not ease. Feel uncomfortable giving ourselves comfort. It feels selfish!


I can only speak for myself. This has been a year of struggle between my Hermit Self and my Productive self. Lately, in my collages and art, I see a weary circling, a need for rest, and a strong determination to continue, both at the same time.  I am determined to make my Voice matter. I am weary of marketing, promoting, and pushing myself "out there", wherever that is. That "self" wants to stand up and be counted, but she's tired of figuring out ways to do it and longs for Solitude to muse in.

I feel the urge to communicate, to have deep conversations about what really matters, to connect soul to soul with creative, conscious others and I feel the call to rest and meditate and do yoga. That sense of connection will be renewed soon, with my women's circle which has been on hiatus all summer,  starting up again next week, yeah!

It is always about me circling the Self, wanting to nourish it, give it some real food. And it's about your circling your Self. It is me sending out feelings, emotions, information to others around me, and me also receiving information, emotions and feelings back. Choosing to hit cancel, delete, or Save and savour.

Right now, I'm offering an online class, but no local in-person classes. After ten years of facilitating workshops and retreats, maybe something is shifting. I'm paying more attention to my own needs, and SoulCollage(R) has helped reveal the parts of self that need nourishing. that Hermit self will not be ignored! (Using a creative process like SoulCollage(R) has been a revelation to me).

This year that I've dedicated to vision questing with mythos journey and Cat Caracelo, this year of living selfishly, is starting to affect my conscious choices. The needs start as a little whimper of complaint, or a burble of joy, or a simmering of hushed energy that I can't name yet. Then I put pen to paper, or pastel to art journal or glue to image, and voila, something flows creatively from Source and names itself.


So circling the Self, I am learning about this human life, this humanity, its gold mornings and darkish nights. Its greedy off-kilter face-stuffing addictive behaviors, its child-like wonder, its magical and musical delights.  I am all these. I am none of these. I am enjoying my many creative circles where I can share with other like-minded women on-line.

Mid-life is a time of transition and learning about sacred selfishness. I am working on an e-book by that title in fact, some tips for soulful self-care for body and soul. Something I want to give away to anyone who reads this blog, signs up for the newsletter or takes a class with me. I'll let you know when it's ready!

Just a little bit of giveaway to help you be more selfish! In a good way, of course.

xxxx
jenn
www.jenniferboire.com
Her Journey: The Heroine's Quest at Mid-Life begins on-line, and with a weekly conference call, Wed Oct 12. See my website for more details and description.



Living Selfishly: Circling the Self

A friend and mentor just pointed out to me today that selfish means: circling the self.

Why is it so hard to give myself (ourselves) what I/we need?

The body aches, or is hungry or tired, or the brain hurts, and we are just plain exhausted, yet we keep on keeping on. We are built for struggle, it seems, not ease. Feel uncomfortable giving ourselves comfort.


I can only speak for myself. This has been a year of struggle between my Hermit Self and my Productive self. Lately, in my collages and art, I see a weary circling, a need for rest, and a strong determination to continue, both at the same time.  I am determined to make my Voice matter. I am weary of marketing, promoting, and pushing myself "out there", wherever that is. That "self" wants to stand up and be counted, but she's tired of figuring out ways to do it and longs for Solitude to muse in.

I feel the urge to communicate, to have deep conversations about what really matters, to connect soul to soul with creative, conscious others and I feel the call to rest and meditate and do yoga. That sense of connection will be renewed soon, with my women's circle which has been on hiatus all summer,  starting up again next week, yeah!

It is always about me circling the Self, wanting to nourish it, give it some real food. And it's about your circling your Self. It is me sending out feelings, emotions, information to others around me, and me also receiving information, emotions and feelings back. Choosing to hit cancel, delete, or Save and savour.

Right now, I'm offering an online class, but no local in-person classes. After ten years of facilitating workshops and retreats, maybe something is shifting. I'm paying more attention to my own needs, and SoulCollage(R) has helped reveal the parts of self that need nourishing. that Hermit self will not be ignored! (Using a creative process like SoulCollage(R) has been a revelation to me).

This year that I've dedicated to vision questing with mythos journey and Cat Caracelo, this year of living selfishly, is starting to affect my conscious choices. The needs start as a little whimper of complaint, or a burble of joy, or a simmering of hushed energy that I can't name yet. Then I put pen to paper, or pastel to art journal or glue to image, and voila, something flows creatively from Source and names itself.


So circling the Self, I am learning about this human life, this humanity, its gold mornings and darkish nights. Its greedy off-kilter face-stuffing addictive behaviors, its child-like wonder, its magical and musical delights.  I am all these. I am none of these. I am enjoying my many creative circles where I can share with other like-minded women on-line.

Mid-life is a time of transition and learning about sacred selfishness. I am working on an e-book by that title in fact, some tips for soulful self-care for body and soul. Something I want to give away to anyone who reads this blog, signs up for the newsletter or takes a class with me. I'll let you know when it's ready!

Just a little bit of giveaway to help you be more selfish! In a good way, of course.

xxxx
jenn
www.jenniferboire.com
Her Journey: The Heroine's Quest at Mid-Life begins on-line, and with a weekly conference call, Wed Oct 12. See my website for more details and description.



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mid-Life Mothering and the Heroine's Quest

In some parts of the world, it's back to school week. In others, it's after Labour Day weekend, in a few more days. This year, I have only one child headed off to university out of town, for her last year. My son has flown back to the coop (almost, not living at home),  living in the same city. It always makes me wonder about my mothering role - when they are not at home anymore, and don't need me as much, but are still tethered to me by phone messages and texts.

What does it mean to have children later in life? I was talking to my hairdresser today, who has done a lot of weddings this summer, about the age women are getting married. She says most of them are in their 30's, but some as young as 24 (my daughter's age). Fifty years ago, this was probably the norm - my mother got married at age 21, and was done having kids by age 31 (eight in ten years, wow!)


My story was different, and I determined to be a different kind of mother. As I told my hairdresser, I got married at age 29, and wanted to have kids right away. But two miscarriages and seven years later, we had our first when I was 36, and my second child at age 38. I felt young, I looked young, but when you flash forward 12-13 years later, I was 46 and hitting menopause or pre-menopause as my kids were hitting puberty.  Not a pretty sight, lots of hormones flying in the air, lots of attitude, pouting, and mood swings hitting the fan!

It's not something we plan for - so many women getting married and having children in their 30's do not even think about menopause yet, they are focused on finishing school and getting in some working years before having children. But I wish I could tell them, from the vantage point of my wise old 61 years, remember that Mid-Life is only a decade away - and your priorities shift again. Mid-life has actually been the richest period of my life, and my 50's have been the most satisfying and creative years. But as I was leaving my forties, it didn't feel that way. There was a period of descent into overwhelm, confusion and lost wondering, where I was not sure of the way anymore, or of who I was, after so many years of intense mothering full-time (and writing part-time). The only way I got through it was with journaling, blogging and writing a book, The Tao of Turning Fifty about my rollercoaster ride through menopause.

The Heroine's Quest at MidLife 
Now in my early 60's, I have a much stronger handle on what the mid-life transition is about. It's about transition! It's about change. It's about redefining our sense of self (yet again). It's about finding mean and purpose and understanding our own story.

New Yorker Cartoon

'm preparing an on-line course in October for the first time, and am very excited to offer mid-life women (whether in their 40's, 50's or 60's) a chance to look at the story arc of their lives, and be their own Heroines. By that I mean, be the main protagonist in your own story - not necessarily Superwoman or Wonder Woman, but an ordinary woman going through the ups, downs, sideways moves, two steps forward, four steps backwards that constitutes a woman's cyclical life. The story we tell ourselves adds to our sense of the meaning and purpose of our life.

We may not be facing dragons and slaying monsters, on the outside at least, but we are facing challenges every day. Choices we make, juggling a home life and work life and children's lives, and still trying to find a sense of Self somewhere in there. The older we get, the more obstacles we've faced, the more achievements we have accumulated, the richer the stories that we will look back on and say, Wow! I did that, I went there, I can see the story unfolding (but often, only in hindsight).

"Our personal myth-or story- provides a way for us to understand our origins, who we are, where we belong, and whether our life has meaning. If we can be aware of our own story as it unfolds, we have a better chance of understanding and making friends with our lives. Mythic patterns provide guidelines or maps." The Heroine's Journey Workbook, Maureen Murdock.

If you are in the middle of a mid-life transition, or are curious about how to reclaim your story, or name what are living right now, I hope you'll check out this on-line offering -

Her Journey: the Heroine's Quest at Mid-Life, an 8 week class to help you reframe your midlife journey as a sacred task.

More details and Registration on my website: www.jenniferboire.com

Jennifer
xxxx

The Tao of Turning Fifty, https://www.facebook.com/TheTaoOfTurningFifty
and Creative Soulful Woman  www.facebook.com/creativesoulful 


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Falling apart at mid-life





I remember weeping in the bathtub

I remember muscles soft like mush, a broken knee, walking with crutches

I remember healing in the sun-filled solarium in winter, listening to Yo Yo Ma

I remember falling apart

I remember  getting a frozen shoulder a few years later, after bursitis, and walking 2 large dogs every day; the acupuncturist said, can’t anybody else walk the dogs?

I remember tears, and playing lullabies to soothe myself to sleep

I remember daily naps, in the afternoon

I remember asking my daughter to tuck me in at 8:30 cause I couldn’t stay awake

I remember sleeping with a heating pad under my shoulders, intense pain

I remember backing out of many volunteer jobs because I could not handle the stress; And then my shoulders got better

I remember being disappointed in myself

I also remember how hard I tried to be good,  to be counted on, and reliable and how I felt ashamed of not seeing things through.

But my brain was mush, my legs were mush and I was in a fog, lying in pieces on the floor

I wrote poems about this, but nobody wanted to hear them

I could not hide my failing apartness, nor my wicked mood swings

I needed solitary confinement or a straitjacket, not to harm my children with all the yelling.

I yelled a lot, for no reason

As I said, the walls were not holding

It was a time of falling down

And ceasing to pick myself up.

It did not last forever. 

t just felt like it.

Jennifer Boire



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Self-Love: a Book with Useful Tools for Growth

I admit I am a bit of a self-help book junkie. There is always a new book on my night table, one that I am convinced will heal my wounds, change my life, advance me past my fears into a great fulfilling life of my dreams. That's what they all promise, right?

But sometimes you come across a book that really does have tools you can use and feel the effects of immediately. Sometimes, one of your mentors (this time, Dr. Christiane Northrup, an author I admire) points you in a direction that feels like an important next step, and I'm very grateful I stumbled on the link in her newsletter.

The book she recommended is The MindBody Code, by Dr. Mario Martinez. The subtitle says it all: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit your Health, Longevity and Success. That may sound like a tall order, but I promise you, it's not another 12 week course in journaling, chakra realignment or magical thinking.

I found a really good interview and synopsis of the book online (below), so I won't write my own review here. Check it out:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miriam-ava/gratitude-speaks-dr-mario_b_7302106.html

Suffice it to say, this week I've been reading the book, and writing in my journal as I do some of the simple exercises. I had put the book aside for several months, then some members of my family came to visit, which usually triggers some old wounds and past emotional snaggles. So it almost jumped off the bookshelf for me this week, and I opened it randomly to the chapter on Forgiviness as Liberation from self-entrapment.

I have read a lot of books lately on self-care, self-love, lovingkindness, and while they offer worthy affirmations, thoughts and exercises, somehow I always get tripped up by not being able to put them into practice. Dr Martinez says that's because underneath our good intentions to love ourselves, are our feelings of not being worthy and deserving.  He uses simple tools to bring to mind memories of wounds, then bringing to mind memories of corresponding "healing fields". "What heals is the mindful recognition that you are the owner of these empowering deeds", he says.

There is much more to this, and of course, I'm still reading and rereading the book, so I'll let you check it out for yourself, and learn how to rescue your empowerment and feel gratitude and self-love increase in your life.

Enjoy!
Jennifer




Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Energy


I am learning something powerful and useful in my 61st year. I'm starting to become more aware of what feeds my energy and what drains my energy, and where my cycles flow up or down.

For instance, this winter I laid low., very low, lots of resting and napping to get me through the cold winter and lack of light. On sunny days, I sometimes laid on the rug with the cat and dog, soaking up the light. I made a lot of art, collages and SoulCollage(R), but no lesson plans.

My coach had suggested to look at my calendar and schedule a year in advance, and notice in which parts I felt most inspired and energetic, and when I usually felt low energy. Up until now, I used to begin teaching classes every January and April following the school year. But this winter, I realized I'd be tired after the holidays and put it off.

And put it off, and put it off.

I spent the months of January til March recuperating, as well as dancing and singing in a Broadway show, but I didn't teach any classes. (I did lead my first long distance retreat, in Costa Rica, which was fun & challenging). But I kept thinking my energy would come back, and it finally did - once the play was over, end of March!

In some ways, this has been a Year of Living Selfishly, by which I mean, soulfully listening in to my Self to see what need comes up first  - what my body, heart and soul need.  (and since my kids are studying out of town, it's mostly  'me time' anyway). It's taken a lot of patience, (and I am not by nature very patient) but I'm learning to listen in.  Actually, I keep thinking I've found the "next thing", the next project, the ideas on the back burner come forward, and then go right back to simmer mode. It's been hard to not dig up the roots and stir the earth around the little shoots to pull them up out of the ground.

I did, however, come up with a Seasonal Retreat plan. Instead of deciding last minute, I've actually got a women's spring retreat http://jenniferboire.com/event/sacred-self-care-retreat/booked for April 30 and one for August 6 (Summer Retreat). The Fall and Winter retreats will be end of October and end of January. 4 Seasons, 4 Retreats.

What have I learned about myself in this process? that there's no point pushing things - I'm a Type A person who likes to organize and plan ahead - but this is not a full-time job for me, there is no where to punch in. I am my own boss and I can adjust my schedule. What I do need, at this venerable age of 61, is to envision my work as a cycle that feeds me as well as feeding other women - all the Creative Circle classes and retreats I've lead in the last 8-10 years, have been very fulfilling. But as a teacher and facilitator, sometimes I'm on the "leading" side of things and not receiving as much as I need to.

I'm just musing here, but it is slowly become clearer. I journal every morning, and that helps me see patterns. I practice collage in my Art Journal and SoulCollage(R). I make myself mini-retreats to check in on a weekly basis and ask for guidance.  Having a creative life is not a linear thing, and surprisingly, I'm just learning that.  The spiral of life, and of life energy, moves in and out, around and back. The cycle of the year, of the months and the moon, is connected to my energy cycles and even sleep cycles.

So it begins with listening in. It begins with circling my self, with keen awareness. Sitting down and paying attention, hearing the still small voice that guides me so subtly. Making a friend, yes, befriending that soul energy that is flowing underneath my list of 'to do's and my activities. Changing gears at the last minute, if it feels right to.

Mapping and making art with Cat Caracelo has been very nurturing and nourishing. thanks to this artful process, I'm gaining new insights.

Spring Energy is definitely here!



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Where is Beauty, A Poem for April, National Poetry Month

WHERE IS BEAUTY?

in the eye
or somewhere inside
the body

HUMMING

on its wheel

Bask

in sunlight

Study the humility
of grass

the steadfast
trees

Hold on to this breath-thread

reins
to calm my
restless

heart



Jennifer Boire


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sacred Self-Care Retreat

L’ERMITAGE STE CROIX
SATURDAY APRIL 30/SAMEDI LE 30 AVRIL
9:30 TO 4:30 PM
Restorative yoga & guided meditation with Debra Leibovitch
Creative Play/SoulCollage(R) with Jennifer Boire

Spring is here: It is time for some sacred self-care, some down time, some tranquil restorative movement. It is your time now, to receive tender nurturance and find Creative Flow. Let this day long retreat in a natural beautiful landscape soothe your soul and help you restore your energy.

As we open our eyes and our hearts to the always, already present holding environment which is our true nature, we behold the drop of grace which pours through the eyes of everyone we meet, including that unknown precious one that we see when we look in the mirror. And then all that could possibly remain is an unshakeable faith in love’s perfection.  - The Mystery of Holding

COME JOIN US $90 INCLUDES LUNCH
REGISTER AT: www.jenniferboire.com


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