Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Be Awesome!

He knows a thing or two about being awesome!  Don't make yourself small to accommodate others or manage their perception of you.  Its none of your business!  Yes, you!  I am talking to you, Donna-Joy Ford!

Cheerleader or street-sweeper?

Today a group of glorious women, whom I am proud to call friends, discussed the many challenges that face our children and what is acceptable for them to experience and what is not. As this was unfolding, I had a movie in my head of a child walking a road barefoot.   And as his mother described his particular challenge, I saw him stand on a stone in his road of life and it occurred to me that our jobs as mothers are not to sweep the road of his life clean so no stones will injure his feet! Our commitment, instead, I think, is to stand on the side of the road and cheer them on, echoing back to them a deep belief in their abilities, talents and humanity.  So while my children head off to foreign lands of uncharted territory I shall call High School, Boarding School and beyond, I resolve to cheer them on in all their endeavors and sometimes they may need to be held in a love-hug so our hearts connect and feed each other or they may just need a meal or a squeeze of the hand. "I love you, unconditionally", is the message I wish to convey.  Not a needy love of a life half lived.  But a strong believing love in the life of another beloved being.

I am always tempted to rescue.  It is such a strong instinct in me.  It is how I have navigated my life since a little girl where I was called "gran" from a tender age because of my worrying about others.  I am a born street-sweeper.   It is not a good place to be:  Worrying.  It leads to control issues and perfectionism and "door-matt-ness" and all manner of suffering.  I want to love wildly, with absolute belief.  In a person's ability to walk their journey EXACTLY as they are meant to, as only they know how to.  My interfering (see: sweeping) will not honor them, will not instill trust and faith in them, will not let them feel wholly supported and loved unconditionally.

I want to be a cheerleader, please, Mrs Streetsweeper. (preferably one that looks like this! - kidding!) Or maybe I will be both from time to time, gently sweeping, wildly cheering but loving all along, my child and myself.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Byron Katie - The Work

"Stress is a signal that you’re asleep. Question your thinking and wake yourself up." Byron Katie

When I remember to realise (otherwise known as awareness), I sometimes choose to help myself feel better by following The Four Questions which are part of Byron Katie"s The Work.

"The Work of Byron Katie is a way of identifying and questioning the thoughts that cause all the anger, fear, depression, addiction, and violence in the world. Experience the happiness of undoing those thoughts through The Work, and allow your mind to return to its true, awakened, peaceful, creative nature." (from Byron Katie's official website http://www.thework.com/index.php)

If something is bothering you and you wish to do The Work, follow this link: http://thework.com/thework.php and you may experience a deep sense of peace and expansive open-heartedness like millions of others.

Or if you need some convincing, watch her in action on one of many YouTube videos:

Or read her blog, which helps me to feel known, understood, loved and supported...Byron Katie's blog link

I just need to remember earlier next time, before I linger in suffering.  That is why regular activities that help me to remember are so necessary to my well-being, like journalling, blogging, meditation, prayer, yoga, opening up to a friend... What do you do to remind yourself to help yourself to feel better?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Asking for help

Yesterday my eldest son went to boarding school for the first time.  I knew it would be difficult for me because I never wanted this for my children.  I hated boarding school.  It broke my heart to go myself and I thought that taking my son would break my heart again.

The depth of my pain as a 12-year-old was rooted in my thinking and specifically in my thinking that I was separate from my family, my comfort zone, from being loved, from being supported, from being known, from something I could as yet not articulate.  It lead to the beginnings of depression.  And so I blamed boarding school for my unhappiness for decades.  I have worked through a lot of my stuff - enough to realise that my beliefs, my thinking was the root cause of my misery, my self-destruction.  I was not aware of a greater energy source beyond my humanity connecting me to everyone, everything.  I believed I was alone, very alone, so alone I was desolate.  A dark place that creates a funk around your brain.  I felt it as clouds around my head that misted any clear thought or insight.  I felt stupefied.  I drifted around in my head cut off from the bright clear reality of miracles and beauty that surrounds us always. For years.

I suppose I was afraid yesterday that my son would befall the same fate.  I put my stuff on him. Then I realised he has different thought patterns to me.  He believes differently.  And when he stumbles, I don't need to DO anything.  I can counsel him to become aware of his thoughts and its his choice to change his perspective or not.  I need to remind myself that I am not a victim in my life and neither is he.  We are powerful beings creating the worlds we perceive with every thought we have from moment to moment.

And we can ask for help.  We are not alone, we humans who are part of an intricate, loving social network. We love to help others.  And so yesterday, I asked for help often.  People were pleased to be asked!  Privileged almost.  I don't know why it is something I find difficult to do.  I am aware that I need to increase my trust in others and the universe.  I need to believe that I am well taken care of, well loved and part of a whole that likes to be useful, helpful and kind.

Cameron Dias is well-known for thinking that she lives in a "friendly world".  That's how she handles all the attention she gets for being famous.  She changed her thinking from victim of excruciatingly invasive paparazzi attention to "everyone is SO friendly that they want to carry my bag, take my photo, sign an autograph...".  Its a lovely re-framing of her world.  I am inspired.

And yesterday was proof of that, not only in the physical and emotional support given to us, but also in the believe that I am part of a whole, a loving supportive whole, that all I need to do is ask and receive it.  I felt cushioned as a result of my asking the One, God, Universe, Love and I was rewarded my many earth angels delivering the love.  Thank you.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Unity consciousness...the awareness that we are all part of one world, one humanity, one planet, one God ... with many different names...

Or see the profundity in humour..

So lets..

Listen to Deepak Chopra speaking about channeling and cosmic consciousness ....Unity consciousness:

"There is nothing but God", he says.

So I commit to meditation



and an open heart

so I can live like that too...

Thandie Newton: Embracing otherness, embracing myself

I think everyone on earth should watch this....to gain more compassion and kindness towards ourselves and others.

I love that Ellen deGenerous always ends her talk show with "Be kind to one another!"  I think sometimes she could include "Be kind to yourself!"  

I remember reading a book once where a mother took care of her autistic child who grew up not speaking.  The mother battled and battled and eventually adapted the use of a stenography machine so her child could communicate with her and one of the first things s/he said was that there was not enough kindness in the world.  It was so profound.  Can't remember the name of the book but thank you for that!  I have never forgotten that moment in my life when I read that.  Maybe this video will be one of those moments for you.

Too busy to live

I wrote this blog about 6 months ago and never posted it.  Just read it and I think its worth posting!  Here goes....

I am interested to discover that I am obsessed with being busy.  Even when I have a morning free when plans have been cancelled, I move onto plan B and a secondary, back-up list of to-do's that are not quite top priority but are very nice to get done if you have a spare millisecond or a free morning off.

I watched the trailer of Sarah-Jessica Parker's not-so-new movie called I Don't Know How She Does It.


I haven't watched the movie but the trailer said it all : we haven't got our shit together, us women who think we can parent perfectly and have a satisfying, if busy, work life.  

I recently had the privilege of making a huge mess of things with a client.  I judged the situation in a certain way and pushed too hard, the way I push myself too hard or my kids or my husband or my friends and my clients, clearly. It sent him heading for the hills, slipping away from possible growth and healing.  Is this what I wanted?  No, the very opposite.  But some people like to move slowly, and (thanks, Martha Beck) that's okay.  I forget often that I like to move slowly in certain areas of my life and are completely at a halt, a full-stop, in other areas.  We are whole human beings, with the pretty and ugly rolled into one perfect expression of ourselves.

I have navigated my life by pushing hard for the past 9 years and perhaps even before then.  I learnt that in order to be heard with a different voice, I had to be loud, determined, brave and vulnerable. And so now, I am a little like a bull in a china shop.  A little crass.  A little pushy.  Some say disrespectful.  Its true. But it is also the way I treat myself.  Always pushing, always busy, always having something to achieve. Sarah-Jessica calls it "The List".  She stays up at night running through it so that she has it down pat by the next morning, just so that she can accomplish an impossible amount of tasks, whilst she straddles the 2 opposing worlds of being a mom and an employee.

It is a crazy frenetic world we live in, if we so choose.  It is easy to get sucked up into the doing-ness of it all.  I am guilty of that alright.  And right there holding your hand throughout the whole experience is your ever-faithful servant : Anxiety.  "Let me squeeze this one thing in on my way there, and if all goes according to plan, I will be on time and would have succeeded in ticking another thing off my to-do list," I tell myself often but stress the whole way because I have almost set myself up to fail.  And being late feels anxious and like a failure.

Don't get me wrong.  Its not all bad.  I developed this trait because it served me in some way.  It allowed me to grow and overcome stuff I felt too small to do, too scared, too stupid.  But it no longer serves me.

I have never really loved opinionated, arrogant people - who does?  But here she is writing this blog.  So, my name is Donna and I am opinionated and arrogant sometimes.  It serves me when I need to be heard, when I feel small and insignificant.  But I am ready to let this go for a more powerful, truthful way of being.  I am ready to trust that I am heard and seen and loved in a healthy, powerful way, without having to exert my will on that of another.  So, here I go...softer, stronger and humbled by the lessons presented to me in the shape of a client.

Reading...such a source of happiness....

My 7-year-old and I visited the library again this holiday for the first time since he was little.  He loves reading too. It was lovely to be back amongst those volumes of  stories, shelf upon shelf and book against book.  The sense of potential enjoyment, other-worldliness, escapism and pure saturated joy waiting for me to accept the invitation of their presence sends a little lightening bolt down my body and ends in a girlie clap of hands, jumping on the spot and a subdued scream at the back of my throat! You know, "Eeeeeeee!" SO exciting!  

So The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman was recommended to me.  Reading it was like eating the most delicious rocky road ice-cream that lasted and lasted for the 2 days it took me to read! (Its holidays after all!)  It was achingly beautiful (I know I overuse this phrase but it labels a certain emotion for me), vivid, emotional, real...just delicious!

As soon as I could, I scrambled back to the library for the next Alice Hoffman installment.  I chose Here on Earth because its also an Oprah Bookclub selection and I am a big fan of Oprah!

Again, a thrilling ride....insightful, human, real.   And now I look forward to my next one entitled The Third Angel.  I can't wait!

This is a commitment to allowing what FEELS GOOD into my life.  I give myself permission to enjoy myself.

Total movie joy!

The Perks of being a wallflower...

.....achingly beautiful ....

...thoroughly absorbing....

...just a joy!

Feel your heart open, if watching movies is your joy too, of course!

I had an inner battle to give myself permission to go ahead and watch it after lifting my 14-year-old son and his friends to watch their own movie.  I didn't want to go home and my husband didn't feel like a movie so I felt sorry for myself and thought I would substitute it by visiting the book store where I found myself tidying the journals and diaries bookshelves whilst looking for the perfect turquoise journal.  It was a mess as you would expect this time of the year!  I tidy shelves when I feel out of control and to soothe and calm myself.  Its an avoidance tactic to deal with my real life, my real emotions, real responsibilities.  And my responsibility is to myself and how I feel this year....and what I really wanted was to watch a movie.  I felt like I couldn't on my own (although I have done this before), I couldn't leave my family for no reason except to indulge myself, I might embarrass the teens with my presence, we had a guest at home, this wasn't planned, and the list goes on and on....all the reasons why I shouldn't follow my joy, fill my tank, make myself feel good!!!!  And I came away feeling radiant with the joys of life! So I can do it and I will continue to do it this year!  Maybe you can too?!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I am starting a drawing class today....thanks to a very generous gift from my arty friend Anne (follow her blog : etoile for lots of inspiration and talent! ) Thank you, Anne!

The Artists' Way (see previous blog) has been a slow journey for me ... not 12 weeks as suggested but more like 12 months.... and we worked through a lot of scary stuff that is worth facing.  But I know how essential expressing myself is to my mental and emotional well-being, that it is worth sitting in that space just beyond my comfort zone to learn and grow and gain balance ...  a place of peace.

One of my intentions this year is to paint again, "art" again and this is the beginning....

And to let go of fear and anxiety around doing stuff!  So this course has me facing technology and making it my friend, asking for help (thanks again, Anne!) and trying new things....its scary exciting!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Reaffirming Joy for 2013!

So, at the start of 2013, I wish to affirm that I follow my joy from heartbeat to heartbeat with a heart that is wide open, fearless, looking for fun in all I am, all that I do, think and feel.

And it is a choice ...

...from a deep, calm place that I NURTURE through meditation, coning (Perelandra link), yoga, journalling, time with friends and family and treatments and retreats...

...the opposite of being depressed, suppressed, unexpressed...

...some good advice..makes you think...

and feel good (another focus this year: FEELING good but more on that later)....

...really, really good!  So I...

...every day.  So join me here with my heart's meanderings...following my joy!