Squall

Looking in, I see the storm brewing, rising up. There is a need that will no longer be ignored. Getting the words out. Telling the story, examining the story, understanding the story. My story. How I came to be. For me.

It’s not a pretty story, but it is a true one. True in that way that I believe it to be, though others may have a different opinion. There is pain and heartbreak. There are hospital visits and abandonment. There are moments of hope and peace. There is redemption and survival and living, deep, breath-taking living.

There is a long period of self-destruction and while that phase may make others sad or uncomfortable, it was necessary. The breaking down had to occur for the re-construction to take place.  It had to be that dark so I could notice the light.

And eventually the light was noticed and the reconstruction began. It would be nice to say that it was all flowers and sausages from that moment forward, but this is reality, life, my life, we are talking about. There have been rocky bits and scarey bits and rainbows and laughter and windstorms and thunderbolts. There has been pleasure and joy and beauty and perfect imperfection. It has been a whirlwind some days, weeks and months, and other times more of a quiet, gentle breeze, and other times still the air has felt so stagnant I couldn’t breathe at all.

This is the ebb and flow of life, my life specifically and I’m quite certain your life, and your life, and their life too. We have periods of destruction (hopefully) followed (hopefully) by reconstruction. And we are never quite the same after each breaking down; each new iteration of us something more than we were before. We become people with more jagged edges and softer, gooey-er centers. We become harder and softer, depending on where we are, who we are and how we view the world.

We each have our own lens that developed in those early years of life. Many of us were given our lens by our parents, grandparents, teachers and other important adults in our lives. They tried their best, I need to think, and each had his or her own lens they viewed the world through. And their lenses influenced our lens and at some point we aren’t sure where they stop and we begin.

And there is a time of seeking and searching and sorting out what is theirs and what is ours. What is mine and what is hers and what is his, where in the blurred edges do they actually stop and I actually begin?

Maybe there is no real separation. Even as I shed their stories and sort out what is truly me, I know that they are still a part of that. They still influenced all the decisions before, either in my conscious or my unconscious heart and mind. For me, the point isn’t to extract them fully from my being, but rather about being aware of them and understanding when it is more them and less me. Knowing when the fear that creeps up is the generations old story and not from my personal experience. Knowing when to soak in the wisdom and when to gently yet forcibly push out the myth that no longer serves me, or them.

Because they do live in me, the women and men before, those who make up my DNA. The ones who gave me their eyes and hips and lips and voice. The ones who passed along this love of words and writing and the ones who didn’t pass on an innate talent for drawing or painting. They and their experiences are as much a part of me as my own experiences are. And this sorting out and deciding what to keep and what to let go is like an endless cleaning of the attic, constantly finding both treasures and trash.

So now, in these moments of my 44th year of life, I feel I am in the quiet of the storm. I see the chaos that surrounded me, that created me yet I feel at peace and calmed by it. I am now in that place of being able to reject what no longer serves me and to allow myself to step more fulling into who I want to be. Their limitations are not mine and I do not need them to keep me safe. I now call on their strength and bravery to step into this next iteration, this new way of being me, being proud of me and who I am, and who I am becoming and unbecoming.

storm brewingInspired by a prompt from Corinne Cunningham‘s Writing Naturally : Winter online workshop.

Posted in Becoming, Being, being & becoming, Connection, Mamahood, Mindfulness, Motherhood, Personal growth, Personal Myths, Roots, Shedding, Unbecoming, writing | Leave a comment

To Be Alive

Breathing in, out, deeply, slowly.

It always begins with breath. Our life, a roar as the breath enters our lungs for the first time amidst the bright lights or dark corners. And the cold. The cold that lets us know we are alive, autonomous, singular.

The roar that rises up in those first moments of life. Her roar came quickly, his after he had a look around for a bit. Mine? I don’t know what those first moments of my life were like, if I roared immediately or if I looked around first and then made myself known.

Perhaps I did look around at first, try to figure out what the hell was this place, where I had landed. Perhaps that has been my home base this whole life so far: sitting back observing. Then when I’m ready, the roar comes.

I feel the roar and cold and my body coming alive. I have watched and observed and I know I could continue to do so for the rest of my days, but now, now is the moment to make myself seen, heard, known.

These words flow out of my fingers, onto this screen.  They have bubbled and boiled in my womb and belly. Sometimes they burst up and others they slowly simmer and rise. These words, sharing the experience of being mama, of being woman, of stepping into my own being, my own becoming and unbecoming.

What is it to be alive? It is to feel the brisk cold morning air as I settle in to write. It is to feel their warm bodies pressed against mine at the end of the day. It is to hold his hand, and know, simply know to depths of my soul, that he loves me, as I am in this moment. It is to laugh and shiver and glow. It is to whine and feel frustration and wanting. It is to listen to the whispers of my heart and it is to roar out my very being.

It is to own what is mine and make amends when I can. It is to love myself and my humanity and all its foibles. It is to love them and all their perfect imperfections. It is to examine, and excavate, and unearth, deeper and deeper, seeking out that juicy center that is me and all me and no one else.

It is to be curious and playful and ever the scientist experimenting and exploring. It is to be creative, filled with wonder and awe, ever the artist expressing and sharing the world as I experience it, as I know it.

It is reaching up to the stars as my toes root down into the mud. It is being made of clay and stardust and first laughs and lingering kisses and tears and heartache and unquenched passion.

To be alive is all this and more. It is feeling my body, from the inside out and the outside in. It is feeling my skin crawl and belly ache and head pound. It is feeling cool water quench my thirst, warm water soak my muscles and sunshine shower down on my face.

And more than all that. Being alive is living and it is more than mere words can express. It is the silence and deafening loudness, the darkness and the blinding light and it is everything in-between all of that.

It is in those in-between spaces that most living actually happens. In those ordinary moments when we don’t even notice how alive we feel. Or perhaps we do notice. And smile. And know.

Know that this life of ours, is ours. That we choose, each moment, how to live it, even in those moments when we don’t consciously or intentionally choose. How we act and react, what be pass on and keep, what we believe to be Truth and what we believe to be Lies. It is all choice.

To be alive is to choose, every moment, every day. And so I choose to know, to dig, to dive into my depths and grow my mermaid tail, knowing that in time I will glide with ease through this layer of being. I choose to connect and reconnect with this body of mine, to live inside it and not hover above it, unfeeling, unsensing. I choose to feel and know. I choose to explore and shed and allow what is me to glow through.

Starting Friday, for 30-days,  I will guide an amazing circle of women to their depths through deeper connection with their breath, their body, their self and to shedding the stories that no longer serve them.  Won’t you join us?

It is to roar

(Blog post inspired by a prompt from Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky‘s Liberated Lines FLASH::Amplify.)

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Tranquil

Sitting in the quiet of the morning, before the babes and husband have awoken, I find my breath. Multicolored twinkle lights glowing above my head and reflecting in the slider door, I look outside to our fairy forest, the first bits of light allowing it to be seen through the dense fog.

I feel tired, annoyed in this moment. These are the only quiet moments in my day and they are all to brief. Already I hear my girl starting to stir and I feel my body clench knowing at any moment she will enter my sanctuary and I will need to be mom, warm and loving, inviting.

It is not that I do not want to invite her into my quiet circle. I love the bubble of love and life that she and I create, that we have. Our secrets whispered, our bonds strengthened. It is that I feel I am losing me in this process of being a mother of two. Her brother more demanding than she ever was as an infant and not allowing any space for me (or her) to exist outside of him. Naps I am chained to his side, unable to do anything more than lay there, which brings its own set of frustrations into our world twice a day.

Try as I might to “take advantage” of that quiet time he demands and enforces I feel trapped, claustrophobic. I want to escape. I want quiet and tranquility on my own terms, not his. I want to have control of my being and not feel so imprisoned.  They say, hell I say, to savor these moments as they will pass too quickly, yet in the day to day I cannot wait for this phase to pass, for me to be able to get up to pee without him yowling and screaming awake.

I have no quiet, no rest, except in these first moments of the day. And they are not long enough. I crave to have the quiet stretch further out, so I can ease into life. No chattering, not cries. No need to feed any other body than my own. How in these moments I long for the days I didn’t appreciate before the babies came.

Yet even in that desperate longing I know I wouldn’t go back, even if I could. Despite the loss of a me I once knew and loved, they have truly given me life. They probe me and encourage me and expand me in ways I could have never imagined before them. And while I crave for solitude and tranquility in this moment, I would not have it at the loss of the chaos and noise that is my life now. I know, even though I protest and resist and whine, that these few moments in the morning will be enough for now, enough to recharge, to allow me to be. It is the time for the words to flow and my brain and soul and body to come into the world.

And soon enough this time will be gone too and the morning writing will be replaced by morning snuggles as my husband’s work schedule changes again. My quiet won’t come until the end of the day, when I am tired and words don’t always flow as easily. And this phase will pass too, as each before it did. I will find time for my words and for my family and for me in the constant ebb and flow that is our life.

This will pass too

Inspired by a prompt from Corinne Cunningham‘s Writing Naturally : Winter online workshop.

Posted in A Mama's Life, being & becoming, Family, Mamahood, Mindfulness, Motherhood, Surrender, Truth | Leave a comment

These bones

In my bones are stories that aren’t mine. Stories of my mother’s or grandmothers’ or great-grandmothers’. Perhaps they weren’t their stories either, perhaps they were handed down to them too. Passed off as Truth, as Rules to Live By, as The Way We Must Be. Stories of what it is to be a mother, a woman, a wife. Stories of how or when to talk, what it means to be successful, how our worth is measured by others, be they by our side or not.

Stories of being a bad mother not deserving of children. Stories of not having value. Stories of not talking too much, or shining too brightly. Stories of being noticed, but only for the right things.

So many stories live in my muscles and bones and DNA. Stories given to me on silver platters lined in blood and tears.

Competition, holding down, holding back. No trust in these stories, no sisterhood. No love. These stories were not shared in the red tent or in circle around the fire while howling at the moon. These stories were born of loneliness, isolation, pain, and fear.  Always fear.

Who spoke the first story telling me, them, us, we have no value of our own? Who forced these stories upon my mothers and grandmothers and aunts and great-grandmothers and all the women before them? When did these stories become “Truth”? Was it when Hesoid transformed Pandora from a Earth Mother Goddess, a creatrix of life, into the bearer of all pain and destruction in this world? Was it that long ago? And why, oh why did my mothers succumb to the fear and allow those stories to be told so many millennia ago? Why, did they take them in as truth and allow them to be  spread as a disease that grows in our being, to be passed down through flesh and bone to each of their daughters?

What will it be to shed these stories one by one? Will they ever all be shed? How can I not pass these stories on to my daughter, who is made up of half my DNA? How I can show her the value of being a girl growing into a woman? How can I replace our tainted bones with ones of life and creation and beauty?

Slowly, so slowly the layers peel back, getting deeper into these bones, extracting the marrow that no longer serves and allowing a new nourishment to grow in its place. It is messy and painful and beautiful this extraction and new growth. One story excavated, shown for what it is: a myth, not Truth unless I want it to be. And as this story rewrites and reforms into my own reality and truth and being now, I find yet another story of theirs, and I take in a slow deep breath and prepare myself for this next procedure of extraction and new growth.

Coming into my body, into my breath, taking back my muscles and skin and bones and very being as mine. First in my body and then in my soul, me, mine. Sharing, giving, melding, and still holding what is mine as sacred and honest and earth and blood. The stories come and go and the tears flow and I hear their whispers and screams to stop this process, to let the stories lie and continue to live in fear of being too much or too little and always never enough. I wrap us all in love and comfort, letting my mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers and their mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers and theirs too, all know that we will be okay, that there is no wrong in digging down to our truth and stories, in allowing this regrowth; there is only beauty in coming together in circle and allowing ourselves and each other to glow and that as we own our body and being and breath and life, we will do more than survive; we will flourish and thrive and glow and truly, deeply, fully, live.

know theyself

 

Inspired by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky‘s Liberated Lines FLASH::Amplify.

Posted in Becoming, being & becoming, Connection, Family, Mamahood, Mindful living, Mindfulness, Personal Myths | 2 Comments

These three words

I’ve had a hard time lately. Sitting down to write has been a huge challenge. I feel the words bubbling up inside of me, and yet I haven’t been able to sit down and put them on paper or screen. And so they bubble and fester and demand to be released and I tell them, soon, tomorrow, later today, just not now.

The words sit in my belly and in my throat. They make demands, and I tell them no, not now. I have things to do. Children to raise. Christmas to make happen. School to finish. Dishes to wash.

There is truth in this: the baby is loud and can’t be trusted to play quietly on his own for any period of time (this is very different from what his sister was like). Our girl needs nurturing and attention too. Plus there’s the homeschooling and my schooling and the administrative things that need to happen for my business. The list goes on. There truly are not enough hours in the day.

So I have struggled with finding the time to write. To let the words flow out of my heart and through my hands onto screen or paper. Many of the words have been lost, they disappear with each “not now,” “later,” and “maybe tomorrow.”

Not surprising as I suppress the words that are brewing in my belly, I have struggled with finding a guiding word for 2015. My words for 2013 (Connection) and 2014 (Release) came to me so easily. They were simply there and I knew. Truly those words informed and shaped these past two years. 2013 brought deep connections to my daughter, husband, friends and myself. 2014 was all about releasing things and stories and ideas that told me how I “should” live and were holding me back from truly living. Both words will continue to guide me through 2015, this I know. Yet they aren’t the words for 2015, they don’t embody the feeling or sense or way of being I see for 2015.

This feeling I want for 2015… it is the feeling that comes with shedding the stories that are holding me back; guiding others to do the same; not following rules because they exist; being true to who I am and my heart and my work. It is the feeling that grows from writing, writing and writing some more. It is the feeling that is born with being who I am in each moment and evolving into who I will be in the next.

I know many of the things 2015 will have in store: I will graduate from graduate school and I will get my license to become a marriage & family associate therapist. My daughter will turn 8 and she will move ever more into those years of the pre-teen. My son will walk and then run and surely climb and then eventually turn one. My husband and I will find new ways of being together with our growing family and the next iteration of my career. I will open a private practice with an office and start seeing clients in person. 2015 will certainly be filled with change and transformation, yet those are not the words I want to guide me through all that is to come, the known or the unknown.

Then in the not so quiet of my day, as my son was fighting his afternoon nap and my girl was playing Barbies and asking me to play with her, it came to me.  Not one word, but three. Three words that have made themselves known to me for almost a year. Three words I have claimed and then shied away from. Three words that scare me, yet are me, deeply and truly. Three words that have whispered and screamed at me, bubbled up from my womb, my belly, my heart. Three words that have forced their way across my throat and out my fingers, time and time again, yet I have ignored them to some degree, and definitely not fully owned them.

Writer. Rebel. Guide.

These words whispered to me in the spring of 2014. They screamed for me to pay attention just over a month ago.  Now I listen and acknowledge those whispers and screams.

2015 will be about me owning these three words. It will be about releasing all my fears and stories about claiming them. I will be diving deeper into me and who I am. I will begin (again) to accept, love and be proud of each iteration of me, who I am in each moment and who I am evolving into. It will be about making my writing a priority and seeking out opportunities beyond my little blog to be published. It will be about rebelling and not staying in the box They say I should stay in. It will about guiding others, along side myself, to owning their voices, their ways of being in this world and accepting who they are truly and deeply in their core.

I’m looking forward to this quest, and to be honest I’m also terrified. Who I will be at the end of 2015, I have no idea. And I know that who ever this future self will be, she will be evolving and transforming just as I am today.

Stepping into who we are, truly owning our Self, our Being’ opens us up to so much. It brings forth all the stories of not being good enough, all the stories of what we should or can do, all the stories about how we shouldn’t shine too brightly or be “too much” of who we are. It is stepping into a deep vulnerability, which as I said, is terrifying. Yet I know in my core, in my womb, in my very essence and being that this is my journey, my quest, my adventure and while I may be gripped with fear in many ways, I am also feeling exhilaration for this crazy process of being and becoming fully who I am.

Conduit and fuel

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Beginnings, endings

As the northern hemisphere entered the fall season in late September, I embarked on a 13 week journey guiding a circle of women to explore who they were, who they are, who they dream of becoming. We gathered together as the northern half the planet began its descent into darkness. As the days grew shorter we dug into our own shadow work, learning more about who we were and are, our true strengths and beauty becoming unearthed.  The journey has been intense and sometimes painful, as we shed layers and connected more deeply with ourselves. We have each struggled with resistance and our own shadows. We have each dug deep to excavate our own beauty and light.

I do this work along side the women I guide, quietly. I rarely share with them my own process because it seems inappropriate, it is their space and I hold it for them; I do not want my journey to taint theirs. And yet while I hold the space for them, they unwittingly hold the space for me. Each prompt was written only a day or two before it was sent out, giving me and the circle the space to be exactly as it needs.

The program shifted and transformed during our time together and at some point I threw away the outline I had for the course and simply allowed it to flow, letting my gut and heart guide me to offering these beautiful women, and myself, what we needed in those moments. It was a new experience for me to throw out my road map and rely entirely on my instincts. New and terrifying and amazing.

I tend to like to have a plan, and while I am open to the plan shifting and changing, I feel a safety in having a plan that I can lean back on. The problem with this, for me, is it can  become a crutch and I have felt myself become stagnant and not flowing or shifting at times; sticking to a plan because it was The Plan. I have often felt stuck and not right in my own skin, yet fear of the unknown kept me attached to The Plan. Old voices would insert doubt when I first started to consider ditching the outline for the program; voices that tried to convince me not to trust my gut, not to trust my heart, not to trust my womb and my own inner wisdom.

At some point during the this journey however I came to a crossroads. My skin wasn’t fitting, it felt like it was crawling around me and I knew it was time to shed, time to release the fear and the stories the voices tried to convince me of, the stories that weren’t true or real.  Still fearful, nervous, but knowing I truly had no choice if I wanted to feel good in my own skin again, I took that next step and opened myself to the possibilities.

I was inspired by the women in the circle who were doing the same. Sharing with us all the brave small and huge changes that were happening during our time together. I witnessed them as they faced fears, released stories, gained new perspectives. I saw each of them start to glow a little brighter, their presence becoming stronger, more solid, more tangible.

And because they were doing the work of moving into their next iterations, I had to step up and do the same.  That is the power of the circle: the conscious and intentional and the unconscious and unintentional support and strength that grows from a group of women gathered to do their own work, to be witnessed and to witness, to guide and be guided along this journey of becoming.

The constant evolving and shifting can be tiring, exhausting. There are days I feel it deep in my bones. Yet staying the same for too long does not feel right. I start to choke and my skin no longer feels comfortable, and I know this is true of the women who gathered together this fall for this work.

We began our work as the our parts of the world entered into darkness. We are now closing our circle as the northern half of the earth begins its ascension into the light.

I felt sadness today as I recorded our final video, and then wrote and scheduled the final prompt. I felt the desire to cling and not let go. I felt a poignancy about our journey together and a melancholy about the work that there is still to do. I want to stay with these women, in the safety of our circle. Not really hiding, but then not really allowing myself to be seen outside either. They brought so much to me through their journeys, allowing me to continue on mine and while shedding of layers is never easy, these women have done it with so much grace and beauty I am left feeling a bit awed by them.

So no, I do now want our time together to end. And yet, it is time for the circle to close.

Now is the time for the settling and resting. It is a time of allowing space for the final shiftings of this transformation. It is the final days of descending into the darkness, before we begin our ascension into the light. Perhaps this looks a bit like hibernation. Perhaps it looks a bit like doing nothing. Yet now, after the intentional work is complete, now in the quiet being is when the becoming truly starts to form.

ending beginning

 

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Breathing, Noticing, Praying

I come up for air and I start to notice.

I notice that her eyes don’t light up like they used to.

I notice that she’ll start to ask me to play with her and then interupts herself and says “never mind.”

I notice that her laughed sounds forced.

I notice a sadness emitting from her, when there once was such joy.

I take a deep breathe and I start to notice.

I notice my tone isn’t as gentle as I’d like it to be.

I notice more agitated sighs escaping my lips.

I notice how lost I feel in this parenting journey.

I slowly exhale and I start to notice.

I notice her. I notice me. I notice the disconnection.

And in this disconnection there is a deeper connection. I remember how it was when I became a big sister. I remember how I felt so lost and abandoned. I remember how the baby made everyone laugh and smile and all I could seem to do was annoy everyone.

I remember how much I needed my mom. I remember how very little I still was. Even though I was “older.”

And so I breathe. In and out. And I remember I can change this story.

She comes to me, scared, worried I will be mad or irritated. And she timidly asks if I could do bedtime, even though it’s not my night. And this time, I got it right and I say “Of course.”  And we brush our teeth and I read her stories and sing her songs and hold her close.

She starts to ask me to play, but interrupts herself, again. And this time, I get it right and say “Let’s go play in your room.” And we play dolls, and laugh and start to connect.

I pray more of these moments happen. I pray for more patience and clarity and understanding. I pray for her eyes to light up again. I pray for her laughter to rise up from her belly and not be forced from her throat. I pray for me to become the mama I want to be.

I breathe in and out. I allow myself to soften. Knowing in this softness is wisdom, strength. I soften for her, remembering what it is like to be that little girl. Knowing the criticism does more harm than good. Knowing these stories that live in me about what proper girls do and don’t are only that: stories, not truths. And slowly, painstakingly slowly, I release them and let her be.

And in letting her be, I am allowing myself to be. In allowing her imperfection, I allow mine. As I wrap her in my arms, I wrap myself. And slowly, painstakingly slowly, we heal.

And I know in those moments, we’ll be okay. Both of us, each of us, will be okay.

 

Posted in A Mama's Life, Becoming, being & becoming, Family, Grace, Growth, Mamahood, Mindfulness, Motherhood, Personal growth, Personal Myths | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

What if I dove in?

I’ve been holding back.

For months. For years. Stops and starts. Layers shed. Never quite reaching the center. Never quite letting the core be seen, heard, felt, acknowledged.

I have allowed fear of what They might think stop me. Slow me. Not allow me to dive into what I want to do, who I want to be. I’ve been allowing The Rules, someone else’s Rules, determine what I can and can’t do, who I can and can’t be.

What if I get in trouble? What if my career is stopped before it even begins?

And then knowing in my bones I have to do things my way, I have no choice but to follow my calling, to listen to my belly rumblings and heart whispers.

Why do I always have to do things differently? Why can’t I follow the beaten path, just once? Why must I never feel like the tried and true fits my skin?

I have followed. Asked advice. Mimicked, but not really. Watched. Observed. How have others done it? Does that fit me? Should I try it on?

And then, when I want to crawl out of my skin, but not my skin, someone else’s I know.

It doesn’t fit. It’s  not quite right. Maybe it’s close, but it’s not me, it’s them.

So…

What if? What if I dove in? What if I dove into me? Would I drown? Would I struggle and gasp and claw and flail about? Would I tread, gracelessly bobbing up and down, catching my breath but not really breathing? Or would I grow my mermaid tail and glide effortlessly, feeling both the resistance and support of the ocean surrounding me, the salt water from where I came, finding my breath in the depths, my ground, my home?

What if I sat and looked through hundreds of design options for my site and found The One. The One that is nothing like anyone else’s? And even knowing the vast amount of work involved with the overhaul, find myself giddy with the thought of it, of the home of my words finally being right?

What if I wrote from my heart? Allowed the words to flow straight from my womb, up across my throat, through my fingers and onto the screen? What if I allowed the tears to fall as my throat finally opened up and the words appeared. What if I wrote my truth and reality in this moment?

What if I let go of my fear? What if I followed my mantra and looked at the rules and decided they didn’t really apply to me and did what I want? What if my fear held on tight and through shaking hands and trembling voice I did it anyway?

What if I owned the words that have howled my name? What if I started living my vision of me?

What if I went deeper? What if I embraced the adventure?

What if I finally allowed all that BIG to break loose? What if I owned my strength, my beauty, my balance of ebb and flow?

What if I started over, again? And again, and again?

What if I allowed my roots as a mother, as a writer, as a woman to dig down into me? What if I stopped worrying about my “audience”? What if I really made my own statement, for real, for always?

What if I whispered YES through painted red lips? What if I growled it?

What if I shared the stories, the truth of them, releasing the details to the wind, knowing they don’t matter? What if I got to the center, the core, the heartache, the joy, the agony, the pleasure?

What if I opened myself up, again, and and instead of running and hiding when it felt like to much, this time I stayed rooted, chin up, eyes open? Allowing for bending and swaying, but not running, not hiding?

What if I shed another layer of those stories that have held me back? Time and again held me back. What if I went off script and did not what was expected or assumed, but instead became classically, timelessly me?

Writer. Rebel. Guide.

What if I owned those words, truly? Allowed them to sink into my skin? Permitted myself to be these words that have danced around me, begging me to claim them? Maybe not forever, but at least for now? And what if forever, knowing as I type that a smile spreads across my face and my soul, my body softening into the truth that yes, yes, forever.

What if I recognize the fire in my belly to write and put my words out into the world, connecting through letters and screens and gathering and finding and holding hands with my tribe? What if I realize this fire has been there since childhood, but I have squelched it, dampened it, hidden it? Writer. Always a writer. Then, now, tomorrow. Always.

What if I dig down and know I can’t do it the way every one else has, that I have to break out of any molds, that I have no choice but to do it my way, to be the woman I am at my center, to howl at the sun and the moon and to sometimes ask forgiveness, but never, ever again, ask permission? Rebel. Yes. Oh yes, since birth, doing it my way. Always stomping, dancing, skipping, stumbling on my own path.

What if I got quiet and listened, fervently  listened? What if heard my own embodied wisdom? And then, what if I held my fears by the hand and walked into the world knowing I could help others, knowing I could guide them into being and becoming, into shedding and releasing, into growing and glowing? What if I looked around and saw those gathered, looking back seeing the depth of the circle, looking forward seeing its breadth? Guide. The voices and myths becoming angry that I dare take on that word, that I dare allow it to melt into me, me into it. Guide, yes, a piece of me as true as the writer and the rebel.

What if I dove in? Indeed. What if?

going off script Inspired by a liberated lines flash :: tell me offered generously by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky, Diving in, growing my mermaid tail, finding my breath in the depths.

 

 

 

Posted in Becoming, Being, being & becoming, Grounding, Growth, guide, Personal growth, Personal Myths, rebel, writer, writing | Comments Off

What lies beneath

Deep in my belly lie the words that need to find a page, the passion I have suppressed for too long, now clawing its way up and out, across my heart and throat, pushing, tearing, seeking.  The words are not words, formless. Emotions and expression trying to find their way.

My throat, my strong brave throat, she stops them, silences them. I feel the battle, throat tight, sore, raw. How long can she hold out? How long until the rawness breaks through and pours out my mouth, my fingers?

So many years of not writing, of not speaking. So many years of keeping secrets and wearing masks. Untold stories lost, but not really. They have found their way deep into my bones, my DNA.

What have I passed down to her? To him? What struggles, heartbreaks, tragedies have they never experienced yet live within them? Because I experienced them, or my mother or grandmother or great-great-great-grandmother. I sometime wonder what is mine and what was theirs.

The stories they never told, but held tight within their muscles. Passed on again and again. Through blood and cells and actions and words. Through tears and shame.

If the trauma runs so deep, why doesn’t the joy?

Deep in my belly, my heart, my head, lies the passion to share these stories. To hear them. To witness and be witnessed. To find relief and release.

My quest, to shed the stories that no longer serve me, no longer serve you. The ones that get caught in our throats, held there by fear of releasing them and becoming what is unknown.

I’m right along side you.

So many paths of womanhood. All of us mothers, whether we have children or not. We are creators, birthing beauty into the world. Sometimes birthing ugliness. And what does that mean? We are not to blame for this world we were born into, for the scars so deep that they are passed along through womb after womb down to us. And yet… and yet.

We, the creators, can also be the destroyers, the rebuilders. Once the old stories are excavated and released, new stories can be written. We will stumble along the way. I know I do, constantly stumbling and thinking as the hurtful words pour out of my mouth “What the fuck are you doing?? Stop!!” And still they flow.

I fall to my knees, sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally. I ask for forgiveness, of her and him and her and him and them. I beg forgiveness of myself. I find grace and new definitions of beauty. I get up, brush myself off and try again, and again, and again.

And slowly, so slowly, the new stories are written and some of the cells from other generations are shed and I emerge, new but not new.

What stories lie beneath? Let’s unearth them together.

A part of the alter in my office. Release mantra card by Jen Lashua.

A part of the alter in my office. Release mantra card by Jen Lashua.

Inspired by a Liberated Lines Flash offered generously by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky, by the reminder in this article and by my own calling to do this guiding work and play . xoxo.

Posted in Becoming, Being, being & becoming, Motherhood, Softness, Surrender, writing | Comments Off

Our foundation

I watch her. One moment a little girl, the next a young woman. She’s only seven and a half and yet her body is starting to connect with the moon and with mine. Mood swings monthly. Huge tears. My sensitive girl made more sensitive. I ask her, “What is wrong?” and the sobs wrack her body as she shouts “I DON’T EVEN KNOW!!”. Her confusion breaks me. I find my soft place for her, knowing this change won’t be easy for this girl who weeps at every birthday, not wanting to become older, not wanting to accept the next age and iteration of her life.

I find a soft place for myself. To mourn the little girl who is disappearing but not really. The moments I missed or worse, tainted and destroyed. Knowing my own imperfect journey of motherhood. Forever trying. Sometimes wondering if I’m doing more damage than good and still  knowing now, that I am good enough. Knowing she was meant to be my girl and I was meant to be her mama.

Finding my own innate wisdom, my own embodied knowledge. Allowing the wise women before me to come forth and hold my hand through this new trial. Helping me to both hold her and let her go, at the same time. Allowing myself to shed my own layers of hurt and let that young girl in me come forward, to comfort her along with my daughter.

This wisdom rising up of what it is to be a woman. What it is to own my power and strength and beauty. To know there is infinite strength in the softness, the curves, the bending.

I see myself reflected in her eyes. I allow her own sadness to burst forth. Holding space for her as I do for so many others. And yet I sometimes forget she needs me to hold space for her first, always. Sometimes she gets my impatience and annoyance instead. Sometimes I fail at this thing called mamahood. And yet she always forgives me, she always tells me I am the best mama in the world, the most perfect mama just for her. And my heart cracks and shatters at her words and I find the strength to be gentle with her, with me.

I find myself grasping for her as she giggles and pulls away. In the next moment, she reaches for me, but I am not there. This is the dance of this mother and daughter. Beautiful, imperfect and filled with love and humanity.

I root down into my own embodied knowledge, my own wisdom. This too shall pass, too quickly. I have blinked too many times and missed so much. Those moments I have caught though, with my eyes wide open… they have been breath-taking, amazing. And it is those moments that remind me it’s not the big events and once time occasions, its the every day that defines us.

The every day quiet moments. The snuggles at bedtime. The warm hugs first thing in the morning. The bowl of oatmeal, lovingly prepared. The stopping typing and looking at her when she speaks to me. Holding her hand as we cross the street. The long talks in the car as we go from here to there. Those are the moments that have build the foundation of our relationship.

So we dance on this foundation, allowing it to hold us, to keep us safe during the turbulence and stress. For each moment I know I have screwed up, there is another moment or five that I know I got right. Those moments, the ones I got right, they keep us going, they give me faith in the tomorrows to come, again knowing in my bones I’ll screw some of those moments up too, and yet I will get so many more of them just right.

 

It seems just yesterday she was napping peacefully here.

It seems just yesterday she was napping peacefully here.

Inspired by a Liberated Lines Flash offered generously by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky. So thrilled to be writing from and for my heart again.

Posted in A Mama's Life, Becoming, Being, being & becoming, Connection, Gratitude, Grounding, Mamahood, Mindful parenting, Motherhood, Release, Repair, writing | 2 Comments