Quiet

Today my girl is out in the world, with friends, without me. Today I went and got a prenatal massage by myself. Today I came home, where my husband was working and talking on the phone, to a noticeable silence.

Being a mother can be overwhelming. Being a homeschooling parent sometimes feels more so. Every day, almost 24/7 with my girl definitely has me craving and carving out time for just me. Time to go out with girlfriends or my husband. Time for her to have some solo play time while I paint or write or read or stare numbly at Facebook. Time to find our separateness, our individual places in our worlds.

This separate time is almost always found one of two ways: I leave the house (with or without her) or we are both home but in different spaces.

Being in the house without her here is odd. I feel melancholy. There is a bitter-sweetness to this silence. It is not the quiet that is disturbing: it is beautiful to be able to have complete thoughts, to finish small projects in a matter of minutes instead of hours, to have a conversation with my husband while he is on his lunch break that is complete without interruptions or a need for either of us to divert our attention from each other. No, what is bringing on the sadness is her missing energy, her presence, her essence. Her herness that is generally by my side in one form or another every day and has been for years.

It is the realization that she is growing up. She turns 7 on Friday. The anniversary of her birth is both joyous and triggering: the gestation, labor, birth and immediate post birth hours filled with fear and pain and trauma and almost devastation; and yet, despite the odds and everything we were told here she is, two days shy of 7 and off at a friend’s house playing without me. Breaking into her own world and life, taking those tiny steps away from me. She is no longer a baby, and as I sit here and type I know that at some point most days will feel this emptiness, most days she will not be in our home: she will be sleeping in her own home, living away from us, having moments that we will never know about because she doesn’t see them as significant enough to share with us, to tell us about or because she wants to keep them to herself and away from us and our comments or concerns.

I wonder what the energy of her brother will be like and how it will the space, for a while, when she is gone; if her absence will be felt so acutely.

I wonder at this sadness and these tears falling as I allow my mind to wander into the future and imagine. In this process of finding myself again, of becoming myself again, there is a grief of what is being left behind. Often in those moments of feeling overwhelmed by the needs of our children we can’t even imagine a sadness over having some space to breathe, to think, to imagine, to dream. Those moments consume us with the lack of sleep and the need to wash clothes and cook meals and tend to the needs of our young. Those moments can bring forth a resentment towards these young beings in our care and nostalgia for life before children when we could talk with our partner for hours or stay up all night dancing with girlfriends and not needing to be out of bed the next day before noon or actually cook a meal for anyone.

Then we find ourselves in the quiet, the silence. Their energy missing and there is an aching in our hearts. We grieve how quickly it has all passed and know the time will only continue to race forward. We promise we will savor every moment from now on and we set ourselves up to fail, because the truth is those overwhelming moments come too fast and too often and these quiet moments are too rare.

This is part of motherhood, of parenthood. This is part of our evolution as we encourage our beautiful children to grow and expand and become independent and individual, away from us. This is part of our transformation as we expand our own definition of self beyond “mama” and back out into the world of own passions and dreams. This is the ebb and flow of our, and their, being and becoming.

give birth to themselves

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Wild Roses

wild rosesThe sun shall always rise upon a new day and there shall always be a rose garden within me. Yes, there is a part of me that is broken, but my broken soil gives way tot my wild roses. – C. Joybell C. 

 

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Back into the world

Like other ghosts

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Savoring the almost

There are times when I feel the “almostness” of being and becoming. I know I am on the precipice, the cusp; that in-between space of not in the past but not quite where I want to be. I have an urge to jump forward in time sometimes; not to abandon the space or process between or before, rather simply because I feel so much excitement for what is to come.

I feel this way about my fall offering of Being and Becoming.

I feel this way about graduation in a little over a year and starting my own private practice, doing the work I am so called to do.

I feel this way about the arrival of BabyBoy.

The excitement wells up in me and yet…

And yet I want the lessons and circling and expansion and experience of the current Being and Becoming circle to manifest. I want to savor this experience of these initial moments doing the work I most want to do, these moments with these women and being honored to be a part of their current journeys and explorations.

And yet I am looking forward to the experience of my final year in school, of having those initial experiences as a therapist in-training with an in-person client; of learning and growing myself both professionally and personally.

And yet, I wouldn’t give up these last few weeks of being a family of three, of getting lots of one-on-one time with my girl. Savoring these last moment sof focusing only on her and us. These last nights of not having the constant distraction of a newborn, an infant, a toddler to interrupt quiet moments with my husband.

Yes, I have excitement for the next iterations. And I want to experience and savor and languish every moment leading up to them.

This “almost” space. This “before” space. This “inbetween” space. This being space. This process of becoming space.

This space is where we live the majority of our lives.  Those Big Becoming Moments are flashes. The settling into being passes in brief instants. And then we are again in that state of being and the next becoming is starting to bubble and brew beneath the surface.

I now see life as an eternal cycle of conception-gestation-birth. We live in this cycle, our being is in this cycle. And while we are being–being mothers, wives, career women, artists, scientists, philosophers, poets, healers, guides–we are becoming more and more or less and less of those things, those titles, those ways of being. We are shifting and settling to fit in each new layer of our own skin.

This process a year ago, frustrated me. The endless shifting and settling, being and becoming. I wanted an end point. I desperately wanted to find that “arrived” space so I could rest on my laurels, so I could say “Here I am!”

The truth was, I wasn’t allowing myself to rest, to settle into the pause, to savor the being, the before, the now. I wasn’t open to relishing my being, knowing my becoming would be in its own time, at its own pace. I was so fearful of the unknown.  The dissonance felt almost unbearable and I didn’t want to feel it anymore.

Then something shifted. The next layer of skin was shed. the dissonance vibrated through my entire essence as the fear released and the glow began to radiate through and from every part of me.

It wasn’t a CRACK! or a BAM! It was something much more subtle, more gentle. A whisper telling me the dissonance was gone and I was living in the next iteration, I was being again.

We think the Big Moments define us: our first kiss, our wedding day, the birth of our first child, the major award for work. They don’t. They are merely markers in time.

What defines us are those quiet moments leading up to and following the Big Ones. What got us there and what we did after. That definition shifts and settles, evolves and transforms, ebbs and flows as we continue our path of being and becoming.

ebb and flow of being and becoming

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Pink Out Poetry – Being and Becoming (I was…)

This week in my Being and Becoming program we focused on a Past Self – a time in our life when we were strong, brave, carefree… I time in our past that calls to us now, aspects of who we were we feel missing from our Present Self. One of the exercises was to create blackout poems while thinking of this Past Self who is calling to us, and I have to say I have been blown away by this gorgeous circle of women and how they have jumped right in, allowing the words of their Past Selves to glow through, sharing who they were and the messages with the circle, allowing my probing and guiding to dig even deeper; their desire to see and know and witness and hear more about who they were and how strong that beautiful younger self was.

I’m participating in this program as I guide these amazing women. I’m digging further into my own being and becoming… this lifelong practice of discovering who I am in each changing moment. These are the whisperings of my Past Self, coming through to me now…

IMG_20140329_000814 (1)

Above the freeway,

beyond

crawling

past a grove of

pungent eucalyptus,

apple trees,

regal looking

my path

into the undergrowth.

A warming sun

splattering light

the vista opens

reflect

famous beach

floating on my back

placid, turquoise blue

I manage all this.

The message from my 20-something self, that beautiful woman who is so bold and rebellious and carefree; who is so sexy and sensual and vivacious. She whispers to me now, almost 20 years later. A warming sun splattering light. Me: allowing myself to glow, spreading light out. My light glows and it reflects on the gorgeous women in this circle, as their own glow spreads out and together our light is pure brilliance.

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A Blessing on the Eve of Being and Becoming

May you see the wonderous beauty that is you.

May you sparkle and twinkle and glitter and glow.

May you dance and twirl and sing and giggle.

May you look at your younger Self, and deeply know her, allow her to be truly seen.

May you uncover the many facets of who you are now, seeing the rainbows glittering in the sunshine within you. 

May you breathe in the truth of your dreams, seeing the future you and knowing she exists inside you now.

May you learn to flow with the ocean waves of life, riding them with grace and confidence, knowing that this wave too shall pass in its time.

May you find your voice and speak your truth.

May you see the light in others and know it is, in part, a reflection of you.

May you deeply see and be seen, listen and be heard, witness and be witnessed.

May you step into the journey of being and becoming with an open heart, knowing each iteration of you is all of you: past, present and future.

May you allow the tears to flow, the laughter to burst forth.

May you come into circle with others on similar yet different journeys, together supporting and loving; being and becoming the beautiful rebels and saints you are meant to be. 

personal revolution

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ENOUGH! On rule breaking, being and becoming and the new feminism

Living in a patriarchal and misogynistic world–a world that stifles femininity, creativity. A world that tells us our intuition is wrong, our emotions are wrong, our thoughts and ideas are wrong and unimportant. These patriarchal rules don’t only apply to women–they apply to men too: you are not rich enough, good looking enough, smart enough. We don’t come from the right school or neighborhood or family. Over and over we are told we are not enough, in a thousand different ways, moment after moment, day after day.

To which I shout: ENOUGH!!

Today in an email to a dear friend I wrote:

You don’t have to follow their rules… You have the right and the privilege and RESPONSIBILITY to be true to YOU, to make your own rules and to live your life in the best way you want and know how. The best way YOU know how.

I strive to live my life in this way. I examine rules and decide if they make sense, if there is a legitimate reason to them beyond maintaining the status quo, beyond squashing creativity, individuality, intuition and spirit. If there is a reason beyond all that, and the reason falls into my personal universal values, I will probably follow the rule. But if there’s not a legitimate reason that fits within my personal universal values, then I’m at the least not going to follow the rule and at the most going to do everything I can to destroy the rule.

Still, there are times in my life, times filled with fear and insecurity, when I have accepted rules that don’t fit my values, that don’t fit me. Times when my insecurity and loneliness take over and I so desperately want to be accepted, to fit in. And because I am vulnerable to begin with, my anxiety and stress and dissonance from following the rules, from feeling like I have to follow the rules, only make me doubt myself more, only make me more insecure and feel even more lonely.

Because I’m not being true to me.

Then I will get the reminder, I will hear the whisper or the scream: “You don’t need to follow their rules. You have the right, privilege and RESPONSIBILITY to make your own way of being in the world.”

I do my best to live by values, not rules. What I consider to be Universal values because they apply to every living being. Values that come from my soul, my spirit, my very essence and being.  The values of Respect, Love and Dignity. Understanding every living being is deserving of these things, no matter who or what they are; no matter what the worst thing they have ever done is. 

Let me repeat, let me shout it from my soul:

EVERY PERSON, EVERY LIVING BEING, DESERVES RESPECT (of boundaries, of knowledge, of experience, of ideas, of feelings), LOVE (to be treated with a soft heart, accepted as who and where they are, unconditionally), AND DIGNITY (to not be shamed or ridiculed or judged for their thoughts or ideas, for their viewpoints or experiences). 

This is not saying we have to agree or condone or not maintain our own personal boundaries. This does mean we give every person, now matter who they are, what we also deserve and want to receive. We treat others as we would like to be treated. We approach the world with a soft and open front and strong and stable back.

We create our own lives and selves and follow our hearts. 

And in those times when we screw up, when we consciously or unconsciously are hurtful to another, we own it, we apologize, give love to ourselves and our own humanity and to the person who was hurt and to their humanity. We own what is ours and allow the other to own what is theirs. Then we move forward and do our best to not harm another in the same way in the future.

This is the ebb and flow, the doing and undoing, the being and becoming of life.

Stepping back into my rebel spirit, my soft warrior heart, creating the space for me to shine. The space for you to shine. The space for our brilliance–YES OUR BRILLIANCE–to pour forth and sparkle and twinkle and glow and dance and reflect with each other’s. THIS is the work I am called to do.

Circling together in our love, our brilliance, our support. Respecting each other and treating each other with dignity. Building each other up while we reach for our dreams.

This, my dears, is the new wave of feminism. And really, what it is, is Humanism. It is not only for women we do this work of being and becoming, of rebelling and stepping into our softness and strength. We do this for our fathers and sons and brothers. We do this for our mothers and daughters and sisters. We do this for our partners and lovers and soul mates. We do this for strangers we have never and will never meet. We do this for those who will try to stop us, to stifle us, to destroy us, to make us follow their rules to maintain the faltering status quo.

One by one, we break down our myths, we stop following the rules, we circle together and we change ourselves, each other and ripple by ripple, we change the world as we splash into being and becoming the people we are meant to be.

Writing by candle light, because I can, because I want to, because there is no reason not to.

Writing by candle light, because I can, because I want to, because there is no reason not to.

 

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Join the Revolution

Show upI choose to show up for my life. I choose to step fully into who I am and into who I dream of becoming. I choose to step into my dreams, my soul song, myself.

I am part of several circles in my life. Some are lead by others, some are lead by me, some are leaderless. Each circle holds its own bit of truth, its own wisdom, its own power.

When we circle together, when we choose to allow ourselves to be seen and to deeply see others, magic happens. There is power. Fierce, revolutionary, magical power when women come together to support each other; when women choose to release the differences and truly see the similarities in all our experiences; when women let go of judging each other and ourselves.

This is being and becoming. It is a revolutionary concept. To let go of judgement. To make the time to explore and experiment and dream. To hold ourselves and each other up. To shine and sparkle and glimmer and gleam and radiate the brilliance that is inside of us. As we do this, as women come together, we change: ourselves, each other and the world. We grow together and get our villages back. We release our shoulds, our myths, our have-tos and step into being. Being present, being beautiful, being who we are now.

By stepping into being fully who we are now, we open the space to become who we truly dream to be. We open the space for the world to change into what we dream of it becoming. We open space for others to step into who they truly are, to grow, evolve, transform, become their dreams.

Join the beautiful and intimate circle that is gathering for I am…Being and Becoming. Be a rebel: give yourself this love, give yourself this space, give yourself permission to be the woman you truly are and to become the woman you dream of.

 

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Beyond Fear… Being and Becoming

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life. ― John Lennon

She asked us to name a fear, to release it as a bird releases a feather.

I laid in bed this morning, trying to feel what I fear now, allowing my mind to wander and wonder.

I lived in fear for a decade. Looking back I can see how my 30s were all about fear. Fear of not succeeding. Fear of succeeding. Fear of being a horrible mother. Fear of screwing everything up. Fear of wearing the wrong clothes, of saying the wrong things. Fear of my marriage falling apart. Fear of not being loved. Fear of not loving. Fear of not being seen and of being seen; not being heard and being heard.

I was stuck. Paralyzed. Barely able to breathe or move forward. Feeling lost and not so sure I wanted to be found.

Depression. Anxiety. Paralyzing fear. Lost. I was so very, very lost.

Inside a knowing that things could be different. Should be different. Outside, love trying to reach me, supporting me in the teeny, tiny steps moving forward, helping me claw my way out of this darkest hole, helping me hold my head above the water for long enough to fill my lungs briefly before plunging into the depths of darkness again. Continue reading

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Lost in Living Screening – Happy International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day and to honor my own journey in motherhood, womanhood, creativity, work and life, I am hosting a special screening of the film Lost in Living, a new film about women, family and the art/work/life balance. Filmed over seven years, filmmaker Mary Trunk explores the hidden struggles of four artist mothers. Through intimate, verite scenes, and in-depth interviews, this film illuminates how the choice of being a mother can affect one’s art and approach to creativity. Further, the film explores parenting expectations and failures, issues of friendship and marriage, the monotony of domestic routines, and most importantly it looks at who we are in the world and how we all struggle with the balance of family commitment and personal work. Tune in during any time on March 8th by watching Lost In Living below and join a global dialogue about personal dreams and family obligations.

xoxo.

(P.S. – The video will only be available to view from 8am PST March 8th to 7:59am PST March 9th). xoxo

Lost In Living from Paul Sanchez on Vimeo.

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