This week, my challenge is to become more rooted into my essential self….um whatever that is. The trees around me describe it as their treeness. That description makes sense and confuses me at the same time. I’m human. There’s all these things I ascribe to who I am. When I think of Jeannette Lancien, I think sleepy Mother who laughs and cooks a great deal. I think of a loving wife and good friend. There are millions of things I think about until I am gently reminded that those are things I do. They are not who I am. If all those things were to change, I’d still be me–that is my essential self. It’s not what I do. It’s who I be.
I asked how do I root into the essence of who I am? I am told to breathe, be still and smile. Who I am will bubble up to the surface. I must admit that answer sounds much more like my Father than the trees, but let’s see what happens <3.
This week my challenge is to slow down and root/ground into my essential self. Before getting out of bed and before preparing meals, I’ll take a couple of deep breathes into my belly and see what bubbles up. When I can feel myself, I will move from there
Let’s see what comes up <3
Oh yeah about last weeks eating challenge. It wasn’t too terrible, but it wasn’t great either. I have idyllic memories of being twenty something and vegan in the South of France. My memories and the present moment are two different things. Vegan bullshit is now abundant in France. I’m also not just cooking for myself and my husband (who eats just about anything with gratitude) anymore. Sadly, my kids are not into eating only veggies and don’t eat unless I’m eating what they are eating with them. So… eating better..meh. I was able to cut out milk products and limit the gluten. I’m hearing more; which was the goal. I’m overall satisfied but there is always more work to do.
Let’s see how next week goes!
Even though I am in the third trimester, sleep hasn’t been too hard to come by. (Jinx!) When I do wake up, I am usually able to get back to sleep without too much trouble. However, when I do have problems getting back to sleep, I’ve found a few sure fire strategies to help me back to dream land.
Here’s what works for me:
- Before bed time I enjoy a nice blend of herbs that promote sleep. Passion flower, Lemon Balm, Rose, Sweet Violet and Milky Oats ease my spirit so I can sleep. Hops has also helped me sleep too 🙂
- When tea is not enough, I take a dropper full of lemon balm tincture. In fact, I keep Lemon Balm tincture beside my bed. Just her presence eases my spirit.
- If I really can’t get back to sleep, I eat. Sometimes, I wake up because I am hungry. Usually enjoying a snack high in protein and fat helps send me back to sleep. (Think peanut butter or Babybel cheese!)
- Regular exercise helps me sleep too. My current yoga practice isn’t a very vigorous one, but I’ve noticed when I make an effort to take a walk I sleep much better. Somehow chasing a toddler around all day isn’t exhausting enough :p
- If none of this works, I enjoy being with me. Sometimes, I’m not awake for any other reason than I need to just be with myself. When I am not with my son, I am with my husband. When I am not with my husband, I am with the little one inside of me or on my way to sleep. Upon occasion, the still of the night is the only time I have to actually hear myself. I find when I actually make time to hear myself, I sleep well and have much more space for everyone else.
- Keeping a regular meditation practice has been helpful for my sleep as well. I find the more I create space to breath and clear my mind, the easier it is to let go and sleep. For me meditation is different than hearing myself. Hearing myself is a conversation with me. Meditation is me trying to hear God. It’s a different experience.
These five strategies have helped me sleep somewhat well through out pregnancy and some of motherhood. When none of the above works, I chalk it up to being pregnant and then masturbate. That is not a typo. Wanking really helps me sleep when all else fails. I love myself to sleep upon occasion. Pregnancy is a strange time. Even with the best preparations, things often do what they want.
Until next time…Take precious Care!
This week, my Mother in Law is visiting. She is amazing and Lil Boo adores her so much. Today, his first word upon waking from his nap was “Mamie” (Grandmother in French). Her joyful response was J’arrive (I’m coming). They are out strolling in the sunshine right now 🙂 She insisted that I stay at home and repose (rest)!
When she is around everyone is in a better mood. Somehow my husband seems less stressed about work, Huey naps longer and well…. I have less to do 🙂 I can actually see how family can work together in bringing each other joy and comfort. It’s a lovely, but strange feeling for me since my family isn’t really like that. We don’t cut each other, but we don’t necessarily take care of each other either. We aren’t all that close.
I find the idea of not working to earn her love or acceptance a bit baffling. I feel like I must be doing something for her, since it is simply awesome to not have to chase a toddler right now. All this space to feel like shit is amazing! I find the idea that she loves to be with her grandson comforting but strange. Not to say that my grandparents treated horribly, but yeah… Old Black Folk are usually tired and don’t have energy for ummmmm… the exuberant youth.
So, as I watch her whisk Lil Boo off to the park, I sit at home reminding myself that I am worthy of being loved whether I am slaving or now. I remind myself of how thankful I am that Lil Boo is loved by his Grandmother. I try to relax, enjoy being pregnant and find gratitude for all the loving care that I have received from her hands and heart.
Whenever she is around, my heart stretches and I learn more about just allowing myself to be loved. It’s disarming and uncomfortable. However, I know that it makes me a better person.
We’ll see what else unfolds from here.
Until next time.. take precious care!
I had a revelation. Chaka Khan fucking lied. Or she didn’t have children at the time.
I am not everywoman. That shit ain’t all in me. Hell, I am doing good to be just me. I would be doing better though if I could be okay with pleasing me instead of trying to please everyone else though.
Pleasing everyone is an old habit that runs me ragged. It causes me to volunteer myself and agree to do shit that I know I don’t want to do. It leads me to answering the phone when I have no business doing so. And it causes my to cater to folk, when I really ought to be catering to myself.
As I silenced my phone this weekend and commenced to reading smutty manga, I realized that trying to please everyone else ain’t working too well. In fact, it runs me ragged and causes a great deal of resentment. People pleasing also helps me make a mess of shit that wouldn’t be so messy if I just told the truth.
Do I really need everyone to like me? What happens if people like me for who I am rather than what I do for them? I don’t know. I don’t know. I just know that I am exhausted and need to make some better decisions from a different place. We’ll see how this comes together.
Until next time..Take Precious Care
Sometimes, I wonder what would happen with my life if I focused more on things I love to do rather than things I have to do.
When I say focusing on what I’d love to do more, it doesn’t mean ignoring responsibilities such as paying taxes and doing groceries. It means having a willingness to be motivated and inspired to do by love rather than a sense of obligation to shit that’s outside of me. In some ways, I imagine that it would make it easier to be me and to mother Lil Boo.
However this begs the question that if things come from love, would it be easier to take the bitterness of life. Even in the pain and bitterness there is always love; it’s just harder to see. If everything comes from love, even if it the result is less than loving whatever unfolds is worthwhile. Even if it’s just experience.
I feel willing to shed some ideas about who I should be to become more comfortable with who I am.. as a good friend said, being willing to define motherhood for myself rather than allowing it to be defined for me. In this way I can focus more on love, rather than obligation.
One fateful Saturday Morning I stumbled across the most interesting parenting article. It was a guide for what to expect from your little ones as they grow and how to best support them. Part of me was intrigued and the other part suspicious. I am naturally suspicious of just about everything and okay with it 😀
After reading the guide, I had a few more insights about how to better support Little Boo aaaannnnddd I had a deeper understanding of little me. I’d always felt that I had a surly teenager and a four year old battling my adult self for control. This guide confirmed my suspicion and gave me hope.
It was soothing to see where and how I am developmentally stuck. It’s super exciting to see how to best parent myself when my inner teenager and Little Me show up. Although I must say they usually show up when I am need of self care in some way. They have wisdom and their approach reflects what they most want me to heal.
I still have some way to go before I can say that I understand them because I find myself more attached to shutting them up than to actually hearing what they have to say. But I can say this guide helped. I am committed to hearing them more. I am committed to receiving the wisdom they have to offer.
Until next time, take Precious Care!
Quite often managing my own emotions in front of Little Boo kicks my ass. In the moment, it’s so much easier to be absorbed in what I am trying to teach Little Boo through words, rather than what I teach him through action. Sadly, I am not always the woman I’d like to be in front of him and don’t always remember to give him a “mommy was showing her ass for this reason today” lecture. The kid deserves an explanation and can handle it.
Slowly, I am learning to give myself compassion and love as I give compassion and love to Little Boo. It feels foolish to expect myself to be perfect and have it all together all the time. I learn the most and the best when things get messy and I have to sort it out. That doesn’t mean I need to create large messes, but I can give myself a little loving compassion when I do. That’s what I would do for him.
It often feels like our emotions mirror one another. When he gets agitated, I get agitated as well, but never for the same reason. There is often a small part of me that wants be difficult, by feeling and expressing it’s own frustration at the same time; as if Little me is fighting for my attention, affection and loving forgiveness. When I have energy I can see and attend to both. I can love him and myself at the same time. In those moments, peace comes quickly.
The challenge is remaining spacious enough to love myself as I would love Little Boo. It’s been quite hard to do so lately. Between nursery school applications, sickness, honey-do’s, and a whole host of shit that ain’t mine but require my energy, my internal space has evaporated. It’s been tough to be compassionate with him or me. Despite all this crap, I keep growing—just like little Boo.
Rather than being the parent who knows everything it often feels like my son is teaching me. Everyday he gently shows me how to love and have compassion for the parts of me that are little. I tell ya, Little Boo is amazing.
Take Precious Care!
I remember preparing to get pregnant with Little Boo. I worked so hard to get through, what I considered to be my “shit”. Specifically, my shit is an accumulation of habits, attitudes, perspectives and patterns I used to get through childhood. The shit was helpful then. It really ain’t so helpful right now. I worked with intuitives, saw a shaman, prayed, read, went to therapy. I did all I could to “heal” myself of this pain I’ve been feeling for so long.
Little Boo finally came. We moved from the west coast to the east coast. I watched my father die of cancer. I started working again. Life moved on and expanded beyond my Mommy Issues. But somehow, like always, I am here again with this pain. It stirs within me. It grabs my attention and wrestles me to the floor. It takes me over and I succumb to it; forgetting who and where I am.
Here I am again with this pain in my chest. Here I am again preparing to do battle with a part of me that.. maybe I should not be fighting. I mean, if something grabs my attention from within me– it must have something important to say. I am learning to listen. If something is tugging at my pants leg because it wants me–it must need me. I’m working on stopping and loving it. Slowly I am learning to stop fighting my pain. It has something for me and I don’t need to fight it.
As I have learned to be kinder to me my pain has calmed down and softened a bit. I don’t only get more pain when I stop and listen to it. Sometimes I get a five year old hugging me from the inside and telling me that everything will be okay. Other times, I get invitations to imaginary tea parties and a strong desire to wear fancy hats.
Since my son is a toddler, sometimes Little me takes the place of pain and plays with my son. It seems to bring everyone involved fun.
Slowly, I am learning to stop seeing pain and start hearing myself. I am learning to attend to and address my own needs. I am learning to love myself and all my little Mommy issues. All I needed to do was to stop fighting myself and start listening.
Take Precious Care,
Because I am no longer able to day drink, I’ve been working on creative ways to be present with challenging emotions that arise while I am with little one….
Things we’ve been doing that seem to work:
- Deep breathing (focus on exhalation)
Things that don’t seem to work:
- Thinking about my emotions*
- Snapping at lil Boo
*I want to note that thinking about my feelings is quite different than actually acknowledging them. I notice that I have a tendency to actually judge whatever I am feeling rather than just feel it. For me all my feelings are bad and thus should not go any further than bubbling up from the depths. I’m working on that though 🙂
Slowly but surely I learning to Mother myself as I am attempting to Mother Little Boo. I will let keep you posted as things unfold.
Take Precious Care
You know what, I’ve been so very well behaved lately. These past few days, it kinda went to shit though. I was triggered a few times and I did not take proper care of myself. I didn’t take time to remind myself I am no longer a child. Nor did I ask for any of the support and space I needed.
I did what I normally do when I wig out. I cooked a bunch a food and then proceeded to eat bullshit. Eating sugary bullshit usually makes me even more crazy because I find it harder to ground when high on sugar. Through out all of the fight starting crazy I didn’t even practice a lick of yoga. No child’s pose. No chair pose, No warrior… no nothing. I’m a mess.
For the past few days I have been floating around in a daze. But, a few things are helping me get back into my body and fully engage life.
- I finally got to hang out with my son. I swear every night, that kid hangs the stars in the sky. It’s so very lovely to be around him. And when he isn’t easing into the terrible two’s he makes being present, grounded and fully engaged easy and fun.
- I felt things that bring me life. When I say I felt them, I mean I thought about and imagined them until I could feel my body light up from the inside out. It’s a cool feeling 🙂
- I finally got my ass on my yoga mat. When I practice I am in my body and I have space to not be so.. floaty 🙂 It’s one of the places I feel safe. Besides, it’s dangerous to be outside your body while on your mat. That’s when you injure yourself.
I am still working on re-engaging myself fully. However, I am noticing that when I feel excess anxiety or fear I am outside my body. I also am noticing the difference of how I interact with other when I am in my body vs elsewhere. When I am grounded and present I can listen to others even though we may disagree. When I am outside my body, I am volatile because everything reminds me of some distant memory.
Although this sucks ass I can say this has been quite educational. We’ll see what comes up next week!
Take Precious Care,