Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mothering Myself

I am planning a retreat, and in that mode of research for articles, exercises, inspiration. Ran into book store and picked up a pile of books, one of them being The Mother Factor. I did not buy it but perused it, looking at its chapter headings and diving in occasionally.

Mothering has such deep currents for me. Being mothered by a loving mother, also a sometimes violent and frustrated mother, often negligent and preoccupied with her addictions, has left a legacy, for sure.

I can see myself in the child the author describes who is too easily offended at criticism, who needs to rescue others, who reads others emotional needs superbly and feels responsible for other's feelings - under the heading of Unpredictable Mother, yes, that would describe it.

How can I mother myself, give myself nurturance, feed the child that was feeling abandoned and unloved some of the time, or left to hold the fort at too young an age?

It is such an important issue for me since I have been mothering two children. That goes without saying. But hitting menopause, it also became evident that the stresses and emotional baggage were like sparks to the fire of hormonal imbalance.  It became necessary to find a bucket of water to douse these sparks, or at least, uncover why they are still smouldering.

Loving kindness, compassion, understanding, all those huge words with Huge Meanings, are only accomplishable in little moments, in one on one's, in how I feed myself, allow enough rest time, provide fun and playful activities, rock my angry child inside, soothe the hurt and not beat myself up with blame.

Mothering myself would involve liking myself enough to take care of me.  Understanding my unconscious reasons for ignoring my own needs enough to start doing something about it.

I invite all unmothered or imperfectly mothered readers to stop for a moment, before Mother's Day, and think of serious ways of taking care of your own unmothered self, by mothering your self.  Little crooning lullabies, soft music, hush now, sweet child, rest, rock yourself to sleep. Here is something good for you to eat.....

try it


Monday, April 26, 2010

5 Things I Can Imagine Myself Doing Tonight

Hockey is drawing to a close, but tonight is perhaps the last game with the Canadiens in Montreal, and my hubby has got great tickets, so guess where he is?

That lead me to my computer after an early supper, K out dancing in class, J working on school projects, and me by my lonesome....wondering what to do?

Should I rent a video (walk over to the video rental sstore in the village and give the dog and I some exercise?), catch up on severeal movies listed in the Rolling Stone magazine article I'm reading on Glee (A Mnighty Wind, Best in Show), The Fugitive are mentioned and I've only seen one of those


sit down and write a poem about the 2 fire trucks in front of my house, and the 4 fireman down by the water on the boat ramp with binoculars, and the 2 police boats out on the water near Docker's Island rescuing somebody?


read Facebook and update my profile page (already done) and click on all the links on my home page from friends who have posted videos, photos, smart and clever sayings...funny quotes, inspiring messages...


start a new Diana Gabaldon book, after finishing (finally!) the Fiery Cross - I have never taken so long to really get into a book, but the end was packed full of action


watch TV?  (nothing much on though, and I hate watching TV unless it's a good movie)

Which 5 things would you do if you had a free evening to goof off?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One day at a time

One day at a time, one goal at a time, taking little steps out of overwhelm ...

Today, after meditating, I jumped up to read my emails - first mistake.  Should have written in my journal first, as usual. So the list of things to do got bigger very quickly.  Took out my journal and began to write down all my commitments, various volunteer things I've taken on, committees, raffle prizes, fundraising, chorus activities, board meeting notes to write up, and way at the bottom of the list was Writing. Stories. Poems. Even below that was, take care of self.

Sigh, it was 10:30 before I took a shower (advantage of working at home in my pyjamas).

Sudden mini-panic attack and dizziness - deep breath out, slow breath in.

Ok - since the list is overwhelming, I thought spring cleaning would work better. Guests coming this week, so strip the guest room bed, wash all the kids sheets, pillowcases, the king size bed....a mountain of white sheets on the floor outside the laundry room.

Dash outside after lunch for a quick walk up Alan Hill with Mollie - ah, once outside the door the bright green of new buds, the star magnolia blossoms, the smell of grass and old fall leaves underfoot welcomed me back to "ground center".  Breathing in the smells with Mollie, as she ran from muddy path to boggy grass. All the new shoots and little yellow and blue flowers calmed my mind.

Back to the house, and computer, emails, notes to type up - bing bang got em all done. And suddenly at 2:00, 3 teen girls took over the kitchen, cooking up snacks and cutting each other's I escaped to my room to edit that story.

This has been one hell of a day, started out rocky, ending up satisfying - I got one story rewritten, copied and into an envelope for a writing contest. Made a rehearsal plan for my quartet and helped solve a last minute hosting change for the women's circle....little emergencies that had me stymied and panicked this morning got resolved.

I credit the laundry.  When I need to focus, it helps to put one foot in front of the other and just do something useful. Clean a room or a closet, empty a desk drawer and sort it. File stuff where it belongs. Fold sheets and make the beds. Must be that Feng Shui of the soul tip I learned last week...

have a great week
ps singing this week at the Yellow Door coffeehouse with Over the Top

Monday, April 12, 2010

Making Space for the Heart

How confusing to live in the 21st century and wonder about who I am...

Lately I learned a bit about numerology and discovered I am a number 7, a bit of a seeker, hermit, deep thinker type which didn't surprise me too much. Add that to my zodiac sign of Scorpio and my Chinese sign of Horse, and the picture rounds out a little more.

This should be enough for my curious mind, but always the seeker, I am open to finding inspiration from many sources and through my facebook page and Owning Pink web network, I've been exposed to several life coaches and their approaches for how to learn more about What I Love, What I want to Do, Who I Am.

One insists we need to Feng Shui our souls, declutter and do a 7-day cleanse; another encourages me to find my Inner Organizer, another would like me to discover my life purpose through buying her book on Career change, yet another website for women's retreats invites me to manifest the life of my dreams and attend a tele-workshop with a coach. The line that appealed to me most was from the comfort queen:  a link about Freedom from Self Improvement, by Jennifer Louden at

So what is a girl to do, when she thinks she has an inspiring word or two to share, a possible book to launch and a desire to help women find themselves, yet an overwhelming desire to stop looking outside herself for the answers? And a definite overwhelm with Self-Improvement....

If, as a Globe and Mail article recently stated, we really do get wiser as we get older, then accessing that inner wisdom should be second nature, shouldn't it? 

Can I turn off the outside influences just for one day, or one week, and listen to my own inner voice? can I show up for my journal in the mornings (yes, another prompt from The Artists Way author Julia Cameron), and access my soul (Writing down your soul, another guidebook)?

The answers often come when it's calm, when I'm resting or meditating, when I've put a kabosh on the rushing, urgent email and phoning, and busy taskmaster Self.

The answers come when I make space for them, offer my listening hear to their whisper. When I invite them in.

Hold space for your heart to speak to you today.


Monday, April 05, 2010

Life Partners

A pair of mallard ducks just drifted past my window on the lake, and somehow it reminds me of my life partner and husband.

You've read the stories of geese who mate for life, and how they follow each other - if one is injured or takes a rest during their long migration, the other one follows.  And how they take turns leading the V shaped flock so that no one bird has to fight the headwinds alone all the time.

Partners for life - it used to scare me, before we got married 25, almost 26 years ago (May 19, 1984).  We lived together in an apartment for a while, just to stop the crazy making back and forth in the mornings, getting changed for work at two different places after spending the night together.

Marriage was on the agenda, and I was promoting it, oh yes. But secretly, I was struggling with the idea of 'eternity' and 'forever', all those diamond ring ads boast about.

Forever seemed too long to make a commitment, even if we were head over heels in love.  So I came up with a plan that I had devised in a high school social sciences project: 5 year contracts.  We would renew our vows or contract if you like, every 5 years.  That way I could manage a smaller chunk of eternity at a time. It made it seem more manageable.

5 contracts later, it seems to be still working.  Through miscarriages and loss, through going back to school (both of us, one at a time), through babies, strollers, sleepless nights and now teenage years, through stresses and strains and midlife restlessness and even through menopause and andropause, we are still drifting together down the current like that pair of mallard ducks.

I'd like to thank my life partner for just being there, for kissing me on the back of the neck every morning on his way to the office, for bringing me into such a wide and love-filled family, for helping me prepare an Easter brunch that lasted till dinner last night and beyond, for playing music with me, for being in harmonious synchronicity most of the time, and for just being who he is, a loveable guy.

back to work people,

Friday, April 02, 2010


Happy Birthday Wishes to Imagine a Woman poem and website. The party is going on all day today, April 2, so stop by and check it out.
Join the Woman Spirit Circle.
Read the inspiring poem that started it all.
Happy Easter/Passover weekend! Enjoy the spring sunshine.