Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dreaming a vision of what I want to be

I feel good about myself.

I feel good about expressing myself creatively.

I am safe.

I am fulfilled in all that I do.

My potential is unlimited.

My thinking creates my experience. I use this key in every area.

I am a clear thinker.

I express myself with ease.

My unique gifts are appreciated by those around me.

It begins now.

I accept perfect health now.

to change negative thoughts:

That is an old thought. I no longer choose to think that way.

Replace it with a positive thought.

My thoughts are like a magnet, they attract what i want in my life.

I deserve the best.

I am ok. I have everything I need.

Everything is working out for my highest good.

I am worthy of my own love.

I stand on my own two feet.

I accept and use my power.

I willingly release any need for struggle or suffering.

I deserve all that is good.

I am neither too little or too much.

Today no person place or thing can irritate or annoy me. I choose

to be at peace.

I am a radiant being enjoying life to the fullest!

thanks to Louise Hay and her little book, I Can do it, for the affirmations.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Power of the Cycle - the power of doing nothing

How do you get in touch with the power of the cycle?

(Power in the sense of taking charge of one's life and asserting oneself)

Getting in touch with the power of menstruation mainly comes from what you don't do, according to Alexandra Pope, author of The Wild Genie.

We are used to struggling, setting goals, being heroines, but in this case, we must face into what we experience and embody it. "If you are willing to court the rhythmical life of your body you are given access to something Other than happens naturally. And the very act of courting the inner life of your body itself builds an inner sweetness, surety and dignity - a spirit of sovereign authority that is priceless." From The Woman's Quest, Alexandra Pope.

Sounds good, you say, how do I do that? It's mostly about slowing down, practicing surrender, and paying attention to your cycle by keeping track of it in a journal.

It's much easier to pop a painkiller, but menstruation is not supposed to hurt! I have heard this from many sources, and yesterday my homeopath said the same thing. If it hurts, it's a signal you need to pay attention to.

Pope uses 13 allies in her Quest workbook to help women get in touch with their reality around the cycle. Remember, this is technique-less, so there is nothing to 'do', just alot to be learned by observation and stillness, staying close to your center.

When I had aching menstrual cycles, the best advice I ever received was to go into the pain, feel my way into the belly, not try and escape it or deny it. For me, the best place on the first day was in my bed, with a hot water bottle, or warm comforter, and sleep. And feeling my way, meant I exited on the other side, feeling less achey, less fearful and tense.

"A deep process of awareness, the first task is to get to know your cycle." This is also useful for contraception purposes - you need to know when you ovulate and when you menstruate, and believe it or not, the first calendars were invented by women for this very purpose.

It feels empowering to know where you are in your cycle, and if you look up at the moon, you will discover how close you are to a pattern of fullness, waning and waxing in the universe. you will begin to recognize the shifts of mood and feeling, see the patterns in your dream life, and also, by charting your cycle, says Pope, you build self-acceptance and an intimacy with yourself over time.

Women have ignored, denied, and bullied their way through the menstrual time for hundreds, if not thousands of years, due to the denigration and fear of female processes by men. It is more than time that we reclaim this power, this unique connecton to our inner healing and physical healing.

"Allow yourself a dose of the thirteen allies - silence, solitude, stillness, surrender, simplicity, slowness, softness, self-interest, serenity, sanctuary, sacred, support and sleep however small, as you come into and during menstruation." And if you want to learn more, check out for more information on this workbook.

top of the morning to you,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Synchronicities and Trusting the Present

This is my new mantra: I am OK. I have everything I need.

First I read it in a little book of affirmations by Louise Hay, I Can Do It. The same clairvoyant my friend saw had told me to look up Hay's books.

The next time I heard the message was at a Woman's Circle meeting with Andrea Pinto, who teaches yoga near here. She gave a talk about higher consciousness, meditation, and then did a visualisation exercise. As I closed my eyes and followed her instructions, I came down a spiral staircase to a wooden door. Inside the room, was a telephone table and inside the drawer was a message for me: I am OK, I have everything I need.

A few weeks went by with me remembering occasionally to repeat this mantra to myself; in the spirit of the Secret, and the Law of Attraction, I am moving out of negative thinking patterns and into an attitude of gratitude. Last weekend, I attended a workshop at Kripalu, in Massachusetts, with some wonderful facilitators helping us to create transformative workshops of our own. One of the information sheets was called, The Practice of Being, and gave instructions on how to breathe into the moment, bring all your attention to the body sensations, feelings and just be a witness, observing with compassion and acceptance as energy moves through us.

It's perhaps all about trust. A new way of being for me. To allow insights and knowing to come into being on their own instead of figuring things out. Got a chance to practice that the next day, at a local high school, as I lead a poetry workshop with 2 classes of Grade 10 students, ("too cool for school" is how the teacher put it). Hmmm, could we start with just being? with breathing in and out to wake up our feeling senses? it worked wonderfully. I am OK, in spite of being nervous, I have everything I need.

In an art class this last week, our teacher and guide, Kate, urged us to use our intuition, not to think too much, just put pastel crayon to paper and let go. Let the fun of colouring come back in, just like it used to when we were little and open to our imaginations. Before we learned the anxiety of pleasing others and comparing ourself to everyone else. We were all nervous, giggling and convinced our 'artwork' was no good. We needed a lot of pats on the back to believe: I am OK, and I have everything I need.

Yesterday, I was at a church service to hear a friend perform two songs. And wouldn't you know it, my mantra showed up there too. The minister used the psalm, the Lord is my Shepherd as the basis for his text, and asked us to respond whenever he said, The Lord is my Shepherd, with "I have everything I need" (another way of saying, I shall not want, the King James version).

I had to laugh, not having been in a church for years, and never having been to a Presbyterian service, that the message of being in the present moment was part of his sermon too. He quoted C.S. Lewis who said being in the present moment is the best way to experience eternity. At the end of the service, a woman got up to offer yoga and meditation classes in the Church annex. So many reminders, so many signposts along the way.

Just for today, I remind myself: I am OK. I have everything I need.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kindness and compassion in mid-life

Kindness and compassion for myself? I'm good to myself, usually. I eat well, go to bed early, do yoga once a week, have even been known to get a massage once every six months....

A friend of mine, aged 49, consulted a woman who works with guides and angels for advice on her life. It was suggested that she needed to be kinder to herself. That left her perplexed. A therapist several years ago told me the same thing. It appears I was good at being strong, at carrying on, at taking on burdens that were not my being responsible for everyone else except myself. Aching in the shoulders that was so bad I needed a heating pad to sleep at night was my first clue that I was carrying too much.

After working on the physical pain with physiotherapy, acupuncture and osteopathy, I began to untangle the emotional ingredients of my 'burden of responsibility'. My journey to healing through self-care has been a bit slow, but it is paying off. I am learning ways to be kind to myself, starting with getting the proper healing treatments. But mostly, I am working with the mind set that got me there.... a life time of perfectionism, and striving to be number one. (being eldest daughter in a family of eight, and 'little mother's helper' geared me up for it, and also striving to please my father with academic success). The trouble is, when I am harsh on myself, I am unforgiving with others close to me also.

How to undo the mind set? First off, I have tried to absorb the wisdom my therapist gave me in three little words. "I am enough". She questioned why I was giving away all my time to volunteer efforts and other people's projects and incapable of sticking to a creative project of my own. She made me look at how I strive to please others with 'good behavior', and constantly need outside approval. Five years later, I am still practising that mantra, I am enough, and still disengaging from too many volunteer projects. The feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed is often the product of saying Yes when I really mean NO.

How do I take care of myself? good question, and a good reminder to me to do something nice for me today. This week I asked my daughter to cook on a night when I wasn't going to have time before chorus rehearsal. I gave myself one morning off to do some creative loafing and dreaming with my journal. I went to bed at 9 pm one night after two nights late nights. I snuggled with my hubbie and watched a movie last night. He cooked me breakfast and made my cafe au lait this morning.....I want to book a pedicure this week to let my feet know I haven't forgotten about them. I tried a new yoga class and walked there in the sunshine. Oh yeah, and my women's circle brought me to an art class where I coloured with pastels and got in touch with my inner scribbler.

I know there is more I could do, affirmations to help me believe in myself, to attract joy in my life.

How can you be kinder to yourself today? this week? It may involve slowing down the pace, reducing your 'to do' list by only one or two items instead of trying to tackle the whole list. Or it may involve sitting down to eat a meal without interruptions, paying attention to the savouring and enjoyment of nourishing food.

Got a tip for mid-life women and self-care? leave a comment,
we can all benefit,