Practice in Integrity : Protecting the Peace

If you didn’t know, I am the mother of a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old. Life gets a little crazy. However, life does not have to be as crazy as I allow it to be. When I listen to myself there are little things I can do to that support the boys in growing up, while helping me create the serenity that I am missing.

My job this week is to remember the things that bring me serenity and parent in a way that protects those things.

For example, I love order. Instead of picking up all the toys all the time, I’m going to get the boys to do it. They are both capable. They need to learn to clean up after themselves more anyway.

I love clean. I’m going to ask the 4 year old for more help cleaning up. He’s capable of putting away his clean clothes and helping me to clear the dishes from the table.

I love peace. I’m going to institute some daily relaxation time, where we just breathe and be. Now, I don’t expect 30 minutes of meditation, but 5 minutes is a start.

This is a good start and a interesting practice <3 Let’s see where things go from here. Do you have anything important to you that you’d like to spend more time protecting? If so, what?

 

 

 

The Reconnection Challenge: Week 4 Water & Discernment

My challenge this week is to better discern when I’m not moving from my essential self. Any emotion outside of joy or love is an indicator that I am not rooted into my essential self. So, when I do have feelings like anger, frustration, or fatigue, my challenge is to receive their wisdom and use said wisdom to return to my essential self. Or so the trees say 🙂 It feels important to grant myself grace and patience through out this process. However I am reminded that the more I practice, the easier it will be.

In order to support myself, I’ve been asked to drink more water. Water will show me discernment by modeling what it’s like to never lose my essential self, no matter what gets thrown into or at me. By remaining in my essential self, I’ll never be confused about who I am.

When I initially channeled this post it didn’t seem possible. This week it actually feels like a fun challenge. Now that I feel more strongly rooted into the core of myself; I look forward to better learning from my feelings and emotions.

Let’s see what comes up <3

 

 

Mindful Eating

At one point in my life I was a mindful eating coach. I supported women in making food choices that supported their mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well being. It was fun times.

A few days ago one of my favorite questions (what are you really hungry for) popped up in my head. Ironically, I was in the midst of devouring chocolate cherry ice cream. I laughed at the question and realized what I was really hungry for I couldn’t quite have– or so I tell myself.

I tell myself that I can’t have time to myself. Then I proceed to fill every free moment of the weekend with activities that only I can do. I tell myself I can’t have any expression outside of motherhood as I neglect all sorts of reading, study and activities that have nothing to do with children. I tell myself that there is no room for “feeling like a woman again” as I complain that I’m too tired to twist my locs and neglect wearing my lipgloss of power.

Fuck all that noise. It’s easier to eat ice cream and be miserable. At least for today <3

Hope you are being good to yourself!

ISO: Sweetness

I sniff the sweet tea steaming on the stove and decide to add more sugar. I need something with just the right amount of diabetes; something sweet enough to prevent me from raiding the eldest son’s jellybean stash. I’ve been out of control lately. So out of control that I’ve been eating gluten too. Normally I avoid gluten. I know that gluten isn’t sweet, but it is good. Foods with gluten break me out and give me a spare tire. They’re also super fucking good.

So, why am I eating sweetness that rots my teeth and gluten that clogs my digestion? I have lots of different reasons:

  1.  I want more physical and emotional space. I feel like if I eat enough, I can create a safe space for me to hide in my body where no one will find me, ask me shit or want to suck on me.
  2. Did I mention emotional space? The eldest is three. He’s going through all sorts of big emotions, working through expressing his will and figuring out how to communicate. I often spend so much time trying to help him process and work out his shit, I don’t have time or space for mine. His shit reminds me of mine. The same is true for the youngest. By the end of the night, I’m exhausted and there doesn’t seem to be space for sorting out my own shit.
  3. I’m fucking tired and my body hurts. I’ve returned to my yoga practice and that has helped. However, my body is wrecked and my eyes are red.
  4. A civil war rages on within me. There are parts of me that want to Mama the fuck out. That part needs no personal time or space. It just needs to be loving, cooking, cleaning and tending. There are other parts that want Mama-me to hold the fuck up. There are rituals to prepare for, a business to re-establish, friendships to water, herbs to care for and a whole other host of shit to do outside of fucking with my kids.
  5. Did I mention that ritual freaks me out a bit? Don’t get me wrong, it feels right for me to do and I’m excited about it. I just wish that I had more space and quiet to hear. The odd thing is that my ears are full. More so than usual. I hear my ancestors, a few old friends and other things that watch me. More so than usual. It’s nice but also…. well.. a little more intense than usual 🙂 At least my dream life has calmed down 😀

Too much discord and a lack of space to sort it out leads me to eat. I eat to remind myself that I’m not processing my life. I eat to remind myself that there is sweetness in my life, but to enjoy it I need more balance. I eat to ease the pain of abandoning myself to care for people and situations outside of myself. I need to honor more of myself than just the part of me that is mother to the boys.

I am a full human being. I deserve expression outside of cooking, cleaning and playing with children.

We’ll see how things come together <3

Take care of yourself

J

What if?

What if all the stories I told myself about what love is and looks like aren’t true? I believe that in order for me to love I must abandon myself completely to it. And by abandoning myself I mean leaving myself stranded in my lover’s arms. No job, no friends, no family, no savings, no community, no sense of self. In the past, love has demanded this of me, but what if I didn’t need to love like this anymore?

If I don’t really need to be so empty to be loved and loving what do I want to fill myself with? Who do I want to be? How am I in love? Who am I, really? And how does this new self jive with all the responsibilities of my current self?

In love, I constantly find myself following the wisdom of a hurt, scared and isolated 5year old. She’ll do anything for you if you love her. This five year old is emotionally and energetically tuned in. She can tell what you are feeling, even when you can’t (usually because you don’t want to). She is fabulous at assessing needs, wants and desires. She is even creative enough to get you the experience you most want, if she likes you enough. This 5 year old has impeccable boundaries that don’t quite work with the rest of me because she is a hardass. Children are fierce and honest in ways adults choose not to be. However, but 9 times out of 10 she’s on the money in her analysis of a situation.

While my 5 year old is awesome at identifying and maintaining boundaries, she’s not so helpful in taking care of me. She asks demands that I love in detrimental ways that kept me safe when I was her age, but aren’t a good look now. The same demands she makes of me, she makes of others. As you can imagine, this doesn’t end well. She’s often hurt, disappointed and confused. Not everyone can love with the ferocity of a 5 year old. I’m no longer a little girl; even though I can’t help but act like one upon occasion.

I’m not quite sure what to do with my 5 year old self. I’ll just take my jasmine flower essence and woman up into shit. I mean jasmine is the essence of divine, intoxicating womanhood. There should be some harmony there. Me and my little five year old have been tussling for years. I don’t want to tussle anymore. I can see her wisdom. It’s just finding the right avenue for it so other parts of me, hopefully more adult parts can express.

We’ll see what happens here..

Take precious care

J

Violets in the backyard

As I clean up twigs and branches from a recently pruned bush, I note the abundance of violets in the backyard. Large heart shaped leaves and purple flowers dot the lawn, occupy space in the herb patch and form a wild little boundary between our yard and the neighbor’s yard.

I’m eyeing them. They’re eyeing me. They remind me that I love them and that I can make medicine from them. I play bashful by imagining myself getting sick because I harvested the wrong plant. They tell me to stop being so afraid of myself and my path.

I stop. Then I ponder the root of my fear. I think about how it felt to be separated from my brothers at a young age. I think about leaving New York. I remember being forced in a private school I resented being in and how I’ve spent so much time running away from that. Then I come back to the present. The violets are still staring at me; this time with some poison ivy.

Instead of holding on to the memory, I’ve held on to the fear of it happening all over again. I fear being ripped from loving community. I fear being suppressed, overwritten and forced into a way of being that ain’t me. I fear it so deeply that I keep myself basically invisible, isolated and defend my familial boundaries violently.

You know, it just might be time to do a little harvest, leave an offering of gratitude and make a little tea <3 We’ll see.

 

Take Precious Care

J

 

Update: In honor of the Taurus New Moon, I collected some violets with the intention of moving forward through my fear.

Fear part 3: Feel what you feel, baby

Behind all the fear that has recently arisen there are many other emotions. As I prepare for sleep by deeply breathing my emotions offer suggestions and dissolve into darkness. Now that the intensity of all that fear has passed, I am left with a richness of inner wisdom to be applied to different areas of life. My challenge is.. well.. hearing and applying that inner wisdom.

Before my son started toddling I always had space for introspection. If I didn’t look within in the morning, I could always catch up with myself during nap time. Sometimes my husband would even watch Lil Boo so I could pontificate. Now, I can’t really hear myself over the dinners to be cooked, toddler to be chased, house to be cleaned, days to be planned, husband just arriving home from work, pregnancy cravings and the millions of other things that come up. There is so much external activity I feel challenged hearing what is going on inside of me.

More forceful emotional states like fear, anxiety and anger are easier to be aware of. They often shift my behavior without me even noticing. In the aftermath of whatever I grow through I usually spot the culprit. It’s the more subtle emotions I have a harder time connecting with in the moment because life is so full.

Even with everything going on, I’d like to cultivate more mindfulness. I find that emotions drive my behavior. When I am aware of what I am doing; I can usually discern what I am feeling. My challenge is to slow the pace and pay more attention. I don’t need to be driven by life. I can choose to live it mindfully instead. After all, it doesn’t feel right to race through life.

We’ll see how this all unfolds!

Until next time, take precious care!

J

 

 

Fear part 2: Bringing it back together

As the mouse chipmunk vole saga continues to unwind outside our house, I find myself learning more about fear everyday.

I hate fear. I should live boldly; bravely charging into life. I don’t want to deal with fear. It’s not like listening to fear has actually ever helped me. It usually makes things worse since I can’t fix what scares me. Fear is an annoyance that makes me feel powerless.

My adversarial relationship with fear creates cyclical chaos. Rather than just hearing fear and adjusting, I push it underground. Underground fear leaves me anxious, paranoid, surly, tired and eventually sick.

As I enjoy being sick, I realize I ain’t got time or energy to keep suppressing my fear. I need to listen to it. Theoretically, fear is an early warning system that something isn’t right. What’s wrong with knowing that something isn’t quite right? I am in a different situation now. I can actually act on what is bothering me. As I ritualistically soak the house with peppermint oil, I try to hear what I am afraid of.

I fear being violated. I need better personal boundaries. For me, personal boundaries goes beyond saying no. It’s learning to build relationships that create mutual benefit. It’s learning who to ask for what and being compassionate with whatever response I receive.  It’s learning to take things a little slower, so I can see more clearly. It’s also consistently reminding myself that the past has passed. I no longer need to make decisions as if I am still embroiled in chaotic shit. I made it through. I am safe in my vole free home. I can flourish now.

The more minty fresh the house becomes, the more I realize that the voles may not actually want to come in house. They just want a safe space to live breathe and have their being, just like me. Maybe I don’t have to soak everything in peppermint oil. Then I think I’d rather not have a bunch of rodents living, breathing and multiplying so close to the house. I’m ordering more peppermint oil.

Until next time.. Take precious care

J