Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Birth rebirth

Tomorrow is my birthday and today I feel like I need to say thank you and goodbye to my 45th year on this magnificent planet.  You know, let go of some stuff and hello to some new stuff.  So, as this year is about appreciation for me....


I deeply appreciate my own growing sense of well-being, worthiness, strength, opening, learning, accepting, appreciating, loving, understanding, arting, working, playing, retreating, quietening, workshopping, bootcamping, yogaring, dancing, chatting, deeply connecting, empathizing, getting inspired, lightening up physically, mentally and emotionally, nourishing, embracing, receiving, saying yes when I wanted to say yes and no when I wanted to say no, calming down, writing, listening,being brave and vulnerable.   And for all the more difficult times and challenges that helped me to grow, expand, love more. I am grateful. Deeply grateful.

And for all the love, support, inspiration, gentleness, understanding, empathy, encouragement, pushing, shoving, pushing back, standing up, riding on, walking with, talking to, gifts, generosity and growth given to me by my family, friends, colleagues, clients, acquaintances and strangers. I am grateful.  Deeply grateful.



At this time and moving forward, I am willing to let go of hustling for worthiness, people-pleasing, performing, perfecting and be gentle and loving with myself instead,  to embrace and value myself, to be authentic and experience joy and expansion,and to move from an expanded sense of being, to move within my own flow and rhythm, to appreciate who I am and what I do, to nourish myself with vibrantly healthy stuff, to vibrate at a high frequency, to love accept and appreciate myself, others and the moment and to appreciate abundance in my life. Every. Single. Day.

Open-hearted.  Brave. Expressing. Creating.

Seeing the magic. Everywhere.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Parenting consciously

I am so deeply moved by this talk as well as her interviews with 11 to 16 year old children on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday.  Dr Shefali appeals to all parents to set our egos aside and really see and trust our children, vulnerably, daringly open and honest.  We have had a few parenting issues in our home of late.  All virgin territory for us.  And our reactivity to the situation is immediate and loud.  I can apologise and breathe and start again.  This time with deep respect for what my children say and do. For their space in time.  For their need to make their own mistakes and express their own uniqueness.  I want them to be happy, well-adjusted adults.  This doesn't happen by magic. Or does it?  Is the magic formula the same for me?   For me to be happy in my life, I must be fully myself.  So for them to be happy, they must be fully themselves, and for this to be supported by us, in the comfortable and uncomfortable times.  Not always easy.  Buttons are pushed.  The child within reacts.

Angela Deutschmann ( wrote a little book called Parenting Lightly where she lays out the 5 Pillars of Parenting.  

The first one:  We will not get parenting right. Comforting. 
Second: We are not in charge of our children and how they turn out. Whoa!  Off the hook.  
Third and most impactful: Our children absorb who we are more than what we teach them or give them.  
Fourth: The best gift we can give our children is our own joy. What permission and harder than you think
Fifth: Our primary responsibility as a parent is to grow ourselves, not our children.

These are pearls.  A game-changer.

So again, appreciation of who I am and who they are.  THIS is what is important. Trust our children.  Trust ourselves. Truth. Love. Appreciation.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Parenting Peace

The weekend had been full of living at the intersection of 5 lives. My heart was carrying the weight of each of my sons' joys and sufferings.  Heavy.

"I just want to be okay with wherever they boys are at," I told Tia, my healing therapist last Monday. I wanted deep appreciation of exactly where they are with their lives:  Teenage love relationships. Parties. Stories of drugs. Friendship issues. Fitting in. Money. Marks. Injuries. Homework. Performance. Social Status. New School.  New Friendships. Life.

I wanted to let go of worrying about their struggles and the ancient impulse to fix their lives and take care of everything.  The anxiety was killing my joy and dominating my relationship with each of them.  The source of the anxiety, the story I told myself of each of their lives, became all that I saw of them.  Instead of seeing the magnificence of their beings.  The perfect imperfection of their whole selves.

I wanted to be in deep acceptance of it all.  I knew that acceptance was the only way out of anxiety.

But, shew! How?

Well, the only way for me is to remember who they really are.

Being a parent sometimes gives me illusions of grandeur. "I am older, wiser, and more experienced, " I tell myself.  "I must take care of them."  Otherwise......... disaster will strike, they will fail, other parents will judge me as a bum mother, they won't succeed in life, they will ruin their reputation,  they will ruin my reputation, they will become addicts or alcoholics and never get a job and live with us for the rest of their lives. Again, people will judge me.  People will judge them, reject them, think them fools, failures.  I will have failed, been a fool. And the big one :  they will die. I won't survive that.  Doom and gloom.

Instead of deeply listening to my internal impulses and feeling their potential, their magnificence and their complete equipped-ness to handle their own lives.  Messily. Imperfectly.  Through making mistakes.  Through experiencing what they must experience and learning what they must learn and growing as they must grow.  To lead a fabulous, magnificent, challenging, blessed, WHOLE messy life. As they must.  Without me hovering. Fussing.  Worrying.

So what is the point of being a parent then?  To do exactly the same as them:  Lead a fabulously messy life.  Full of ups and downs, cheer and challenges. And if they want to know how to do something, to trust that I or someone else with embody the solution to their challenge. And to lead by example.  Trusting that I am fully equipped to handle my life. Continuing to consult my inner guide as to what feels good to me. In every decision as it arises.  Baby step by baby step.  Peace by peace.

And there it is again: Appreciation. Love.

What exactly do you do?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ordinary Courage

Today, I want to appreciate courage.  Ordinary courage.  The kind of courage it takes just to pitch up at a swimming lesson when you aren't that great at swimming and the coach doesn't take that much interest in you. The kind of courage it takes to go to a gala and swim in a race when you know you are the number 6 swimmer out of 7.

That's what my little 9-year old did a few days ago and I was in awe of his casual bravery.  He just pitched up and did it.  He didn't LOVE it. He wasn't passionate about it.  He certainly wasn't the best at it.  He didn't get much out of it, except that he is learning to swim better and stronger, a plus when you live at the coast.  And he gets to spend time with his new teammates at his new school.  Reaching out.  Vulnerable.  The New Kid.  No reputation to ride on.  No history.  No big brothers.  Just him.  Willing to be rejected.  Willing to fail.  Willing to be a fool.

And that is the essence of bravery.  Willing to kill the cool.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Appreciation 2015

My word for the year is APPRECIATION.

I want to be in constant appreciation.  Of myself. Others. The Moment. As it is. Of who I am. Of what I do. Of those around me. And what they do.

When I picked the word, I thought it was an extension of my word last year : Acceptance.  Acceptance, for me, was the solution to anxiety.  Anxiety was and is, in my personal experience of it: non-acceptance. Of myself, others and the moment.  It caused me great suffering.  And my automatic-pilot solution to suffering?  Vacating.  Blank. Faraway with the Fairies.  Not that its a bad place to visit.  Well, that's not entirely true.  It's a non-place.  Limbo.  It feels like I am circling the airport and haven't landed yet.  So....not entirely joyful.  Just on PAUSE. Flat, dead. So my journey out of Pause has been an amazing one. Well, how do you un-pause a movie on TV?  You press PLAY! Yeah.....colour, feelings, stories, action, adventure, romance, laughter, crying. Life. At its best and worst. Both. Together. Yin and Yangish.

Acceptance has been a journey of being with the joy and the pain of being alive. Bravely being with both.

Now, appreciation, I thought, would turn the volume up on this experience.  My experience of life.  And it has and it hasn't so far.  Instead of it being louder, it has become softer, blurring the intensity of the experience of the extremes of Yin and Yang, joy and pain.  Yet. Louder. But not brash or abrasive.  But more heart-opening to both in the sense that they are the same. Beautiful.  Powerful. Opposites that seem the same. Intertwined. Different sides of the same coin. Both existing at the same time. Subtle swings between the two. As I said, softer. So now I cry. All the time. In joy and pain. You see?  Same-same. But really, really beautiful. Really. Beautiful.  It feels like my heart can hold both joy and pain as if they were the same visitor.  So more peace.  Less anxiety.

It's a practice. Of feeling. Daily landings at your own airport called LIFE.