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

Mommying Mommy: feelings.. nothing more than feelings

Somewhere between seeing my Dead Father’s name a couple of places, learning about the lung cancer vaccine (he died of lung cancer) and my son catching another cold I began to lose it. I feel anxious and like I am slowly coming apart.

No, let me back that up.. I haven’t really been right since both my husband and son got sick at the same time. The only thing that has changed is.. well… my husband isn’t sick anymore 😀

No matter who is sick and what is going on, I treat myself as if my feelings aren’t a big deal or worth a caring response. Feeling like I was wrongly discriminated against shouldn’t be a big deal, for me. I mean the folks who are discriminating against me are the ones punishing them selves–right? Besides, I went to a school for the daughters of the klan and another school named after a confederate general. I mean, insincerity and exclusion is nothing new. Feeling stressed out because Lil Boo is covered in green snot, coughing and has a low grade fever shouldn’t be a problem. His lack of napping isn’t a concern either. Give him some drugs, or pop in him a chamomile, mint & pennyroyal bath. Worried because I have no idea about which nursery school Lil Boo will be attending in fall isn’t a problem. I’ll just keep him with me while you enjoy Lil Boo number #2 because your nerves can handle it. I mean other folks do the same thing all the time you’ll be fine.

My father is dead. I should be over it. My Mother and I are estranged. I should be okay with it. Most of my friends are going through major, heavy life shit and thus ain’t got energy for my whining. That’s okay I can support myself ! Motherhood and Wifedom often require amounts of grace, mastery, love patience and compassion I never knew existed. I should just suck everything up and turn to night drinking.

No matter what I feel, somehow it isn’t enough to warrant any sort of loving, compassionate form of action. Especially when my feelings are in response to the present moment. Feelings that are revelations about days gone by are always welcome. It’s the feelings that come from the here and now that kick my ass. When I feel about the here and now my inner response usually is: Shut it, quit your bitching. Things will sort out. The odd thing is that things do sort out. However I feel like whatever my feelings in the moment are, they deserve some sort of something.

I picked this habit up from somewhere. Now let’s see if I can put it back down. *sigh*

Be good to yourself!

J

Mommying Mommy: Emotional Management

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!

J

Mommying Mommy: Feeling what I am feeling

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:

  1. Omming
  2. Deep breathing (focus on exhalation)
  3. Singing

Things that don’t seem to work:

  1. Thinking about my emotions*
  2. 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

J

 

Still in the body: Fear and Anxiety

As part of consistently honoring my commitment to being fully engaged in present moment, I can see things I couldn’t see before. Now, it’s not like I always know what to do with that I am seeing, but when I can see something I have a little more space to make different decisions.

So, what am I seeing you may ask? Presently, I am noticing an intense amount of fear and anxiety when I am not grounded in the present moment. I can dig that my fear and anxiety are protective measures. If I can detect danger or problematic behavior I can avoid it. But not everything can be avoided. I do much better managing bad situations when I am fully grounded and engaged in my body, which is the key to all of this.

I am slowly learning that fear and anxiety are a warning that I am not fully grounded in my body in the present moment. Ungrounded Fear and anxiety come when my imagination has taken me hostage, I’ve been abusing my intuition, or I’m uncomfortable for one reason or another.

On the other hand, when I feel fear and am in my body, it’s a physical sensation that is often is rooted in my belly. When I feel anxious and am in my body it’s either in my head or belly. Not to mention that both fear and anxiety usually come with clear instructions. When fear and anxiety come and I am outside my body, all I get is panic, stress and worse case scenarios. There is nothing tangible to help keep me safe.

Oddly enough, the more I commit to being fully present in the moment, the more it feels like being present is committed to me too. Things only run awry when I abandon myself in the present moment. I am excited to see what comes up next 🙂

 

Take Precious Care!

J

 

It’s the New Year… and I’ve been drinking…

teaHuh? Happy New Year and all that jazz 🙂 We made it to 2016, let’s hope this year is far kinder to us all. Or rather let’s be kinder to ourselves and each other.

Speaking of kindness, if you’ve been hanging out around here, you know I’ve been having a rough time 🙂 Since I’ve stopped taking 10 million tinctures in the morning, I’ve been tinkering with tea. I say tinkering because it’s contents continually evolve. Stinging Nettles and Lemon Balm seems to serve as a base. Other plant friends seem to keep popping up, but Nettles and Lemon Balm are crucial to the mixture and play the biggest part.

 

So here’s the current line up & ratios:

2 Parts Nettles

2 Parts Lemon Balm

1  1/2 Parts Rhodiola

1 Part Oat Straw

1 Part Elderflower

1/2 Part Marshmallow Root

Parts can be tea spoons, table spoons, oz, or whatever have you.

 

Each Plant Friend comes in with a purpose. Oat straw said I needed to add it to the tea, so I can be soothed by it’s presence.  So, now Oat Straw is involved. Rhodiola kinda came out of no where to become part of this tea. It seems to be here to help my adrenals  and support fertility. I feel Rhodiola has lots of wisdom to share. She likes to whisper secrets in your ear when you aren’t expecting it 🙂 She feels like  Mother’s helper, or something.  And most recently Marshmallow Root has made an appearance because it says my intestines aren’t happy about my gluten consumption. Even though I enjoy my ElderFlower tincture, she has requested to be included as well. Something about immune system regulation, being a Divine Orchestrator and helping me not over react to everything. The Plants Speak and I obey. Things seem to work best this way.

Any who, this is what I am drinking these days…

Daily Practices: Working though terror, panic and anxiety

Since uncovering the hornet’s nest that are my emotions, I’ve decided to do things a bit differently. Here are a few practices I’ve been playing with.

AM Practices:

  1. Tapping. Before leaving bed, I tap my heart and then move on to different parts of my body. My intention is to bring myself into my body by waking it up with gentle sensations. I find that tapping different parts of my body gives me access to any emotional energy stored in that specific part.
  2. Grounding myself and my 7 chakras…I roll out of the bed and do a meditation that grounds my feet, hands and seven chakras.
  3. Setting Auric boundaries… After my chakras are grounded, I feel/envision my auric field, ground it and see it protected with plants.
  4. Grounding yoga practice.. Finally I find my way to my mat to practice a sequence of grounding and invigorating standing postures.

PM Practices:

  1. Vigorous Yoga Practice… I enjoy a nice 45 minute vinyasa flow practice.
  2. Tapping before sleep.. I get into bed and tap myself until I pass out. My intention is to remember that I am coming back to my body tomorrow morning. Pre-sleep is also a great time to work out anything else that needs that didn’t get attention during the day.

What I’ve noticed…Being in my body allows me space to better negotiate my emotions when they show up or intensify. Even if I am in the middle of something with my son, I can at least notice what is going on inside of me, make a note of it and then come back to it when he naps, the babysitter arrives or the day ends.

Since I am now more connected with my body, I am noticing how much I have learned from over the years. It’s like these little pieces of wisdom and experience are suddenly accessible to me. Many different things are beginning to make sense.

Being out of integrity with myself and inside my body sucks ass. My body usually gives me very good advice and I rarely follow it. I’d rather do what others tell me ; )Thus, I have developed a have a habit of flying out my body when I am at odds with the advice that comes from within me. It’s like I try to numb the pain of making decisions that are against my own values.

As things continue to evolve, I’ll keep you posted. If you also find yourself working through your emotions, Karla McLaren’s blog is an awesome resource. Hearing your emotions can help things flow.

Take Precious care

Jeannette

 

Through the valley and the shadow of death

Sometime around September things started to slip. I slowly forgot to do the things that keep me sane. I started consuming large amounts of cheese. I stopped reading Grace Jones’s memoirs to read online gossip. My physical yoga practice shifted to meditation and I stopped making my little shatavri smoothies. It’s now November. I can’t make a clear business decision to save my life.  I’ve developed irregular physical pangs and stopped sleeping through the night.

For me this is what grief looks like. I go from a well oiled self-care machine to a surly mucus filled mother who doesn’t shower and hates talking in the morning. I want to sit here and say it’s important to know what your little signs that you are slipping into darkness, so you can stop. But sometimes, I wonder if stopping is really necessary.

Today, I welcome the darkness. During my sons naps and morning mediations, I welcome all the tears I haven’t cried and all the I love you’s I never got to say. I also find space to hear all my disappointments and frustrations why I feel this bottomless pit of longing I can’t seem to crawl out of.

Rather than trying to nourish or sweeten my way out of my pain, I think I will feel it. I know once I feel it, I can receive what it has for me and move on. I am learning that no matter how long I sit in child’s pose, no matter how much tincture or rescue remedy I consume, shit just hurts. It will continue to hurt until it doesn’t hurt anymore. That’s just life. We go through tough times. We only stay in the tough time when we deny our own suffering. Trying to stave off the pain of grief doesn’t help at all.

The only thing that seems to help is finding compassion to be where and how I am; knowing that in this moment I am doing my best.  My best is all I could ever ask of myself.

 

Mourning through Motherhood

Here is a short list of the herbs that have helped me mourn my father while being Mommy. Please note that I didn’t work with all these herbs at once. I find that some plants helped for different parts of the process. However they all have and continue to support me as I grieve and raise my little one. Also, I breastfed while working with all these plants and had no problems. If you are very concerned, please contact your doctor, midwife or lactation consultant.

Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic Arnica: Homeopathic Arnica was great for when the death was fresh. It kept me grounded and present so I could actually remember to grieve. Arnica didn’t take the pain away for me. It reminded me that I had just gone through something very painful and that I should take precious care of myself.

Homeopathic Ignatius Amara: Ignatius Amara kept (and still keeps) me from being emotionally constipated. When I wouldn’t let myself cry or be sad, Ignatius Amara would hold space for me to cry or be sad as much as I needed to. It helped me to keep flowing  and helped me to feel without judgment or overwhelm.

How the homeopathic remedies worked with me: For the first 3 months or so, I would take either Arnica or Ignatius Amara (sometimes both) every 4 – 6 hours. I needed all the help I could get at the time.  After three months, I backed off a bit. Now, when I recognize that I am having a rough time, I take some Ignatius Amara. I love Arnica, but for me Ignatius Amara is more gentle.

Tinctures

Elderflower Tincture: I love Elderflower. Elderflower will help you channel your energy in the most beneficial direction. So instead of spiraling into the darkness of what had happened, Elderflower helped me keep one foot in front of the other; moving in a positive direction. Note: This does not mean I had an easy time. It means that in the midst of sorrow, I had a light pulling me forward. There was something that had confidence in my ability to make it through and was rooting for me. For me, this is what I needed most.

Rose Tincture: Rose Tincture helps remind me how my I love my father. No, the man was not perfect, but thanks to Rose’s help I can remember and celebrate what I love most about him. Rose’s love also helped me say all I needed to say to him before he passed, so neither of us needed to carry that.

Peach Tincture: Peach has softened any harsh left over feelings I held towards my Father. It’s allowed my heart to expand and feel compassion for things he did that hurt me. Peach has also been instrumental in keeping my anxiety from running wild. My anger and anxiety have vastly increased as part of the grieving process, Peach keeps things in check for me. (Sweet Violet is another tincture that’s great for anger and anxiety.)

Reishi Tincture: Together with Peach, Reishi has helped to heal old scars on my heart. It’s increased my empathy for Dad and helps me feel like he’s not too far away. Reishi is perfect for deep heart work, and I would play with it more, but it upsets my bowels if I take it for more than a month at a time.

How the tinctures worked with me: I love some tinctures. They are easy to work with. I would take a dropper full in my mouth every morning. Teas I would forget or get stressed out over. Tincture I would rarely forget. I find that I forget, it’s time to play with another tincture. They usually call to me in advance , so if I am being on top of things, I already have what’s needed.

Essential Oils

Frankincense Essential Oil: I started playing with Frankincense oil right before my father died. It has a soothing, calming presence that helped to ground me. Frankincense oil is a great go-to for working through Daddy issues.

Myrrh Essential Oil: Mourning my Father’s death, inflamed grievances I have with my Mother. Myrrh helped keep me steady, in integrity and grounded as I dealt with my Mother. Myrrh is great for working through Mommy issues.

Geranium Essential Oil: Geranium’s big bright spirit brought youthful joy and peace. It helped me to feel resilient and strong. She also has a way of helping you work through things in a simple, easy and almost playful way. Geranium is fun and uplifting, yet protective.

Bergamot Essential Oil: Bergamot kept me from descending into the abyss. He kept me light and fired up. There would be no way that I couldn’t find light to see or understand if he was around. If you are clinging to the edge and want something to bring you light and joy, Bergamot on your hands, belly or the bottoms of your feet can help.

How the Oils worked with me: The Essential oils wanted different things from me. Sometimes, they wished to be put into a diffuser and kept near all day. This was perfect for winter. Now a days, the usually like to be put on my skin in specific places. Bergamot loves my belly and the top of my head. Geranium wants to be on my heart, in the front and on the back. Frankincense and Myrrh go in various places on various days.

Here’s my list 🙂 There are plenty of other Herbal Allies that will support you through grief, but these are the ones I know 🙂 I hope this list has helped you in some way.