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

Reconnection

It’s been a minute…So much has happened between now and the last time I posted. I want to blame it all on pregnancy, but recreating rhythm with a toddler in tow isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  Anywho, here is what I’ve been learning the past couple of months.

Love surrounds you, if you choose to see it. 

I mean, I’m not going to act like I float around Bowie in a pink cloud. Flowers don’t bloom when I walk by. However, since moving here I’ve been feeling more loved by everything and everyone around me. Since I am actually open to being loved here in the present moment, I can see how love has always been with me. I just couldn’t see it at the time.

The present moment is all there is.

It could be pregnancy, but I am slowly becoming able to better distinguish whether the emotions I feel in the present moment come from the past or are actually rooted in the present. This information has kept me from creating drama as a means of acknowledging and working through old pain.

Children are as wise, loving and supportive as we allow them to be.

It’s easy to say this because lil Boo is no longer vomiting everywhere. However even when sick, this kid is loving, supportive and has an easy way of encouraging me and his father. It’s amazing. He’s so gentle with us in our moments of fragility. I thought that it was my job to hold this kid down, and that’s what he does for me 🙂 Motherhood is always so surprising!

Don’t fight nature when you can learn from it.  

The only nature we currently have living with us are crickets in the garage and the occasional spider or beetle. Despite all my fears, nothing has chewed it’s way in. Regularly burning oils and the local cat population have caused whatever was burrowing around and underneath the house to no longer be there. I don’t smell them anymore. In their short time, they’ve taught me to embrace things as they are. There is good and bad in everything. When I become absorbed in the bad or fight reality, I can’t see or receive what’s good. I choose not to see that I am never given more than I can  handle or manage. Life and nature has a rhythm and balance to it. The more I fear and fight; the more I throw things off balance.

 

Pregnancy is giving me more to process, but I haven’t really gotten to a space where I can write about it. I am so amazed how this second pregnancy is different than the first. Physically, spiritually and emotionally things are just different. We’ll see what unfolds from here.

Until next time,

Take Precious Care

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: Parenting Me

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!

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: Emotionally Constipated

Damn ya’ll, I have hit a big snag in my mmmmm… voyage into the body. My emotions are literally fucking me up. I was in pain.

No, really I was in break-out the whiskey and bite a stick because you are about to cut something off pain. It started as a twinge in my right hip. I thought it was due to a little bit of rough housing combined with improper alignment during my yoga practice. So, I shifted my yoga practice, stopped rough housing with my son and had confidence that the pain would go away.

It didn’t. Not only did the pain increase, it started to rise up into my lower back. Meaning whenever I woke up in the morning, I rolled out of bed scrunched and hunched over on my right side and could barely walk. It took most of the morning to warm my body up and picking up my son was out of the question. Try not picking up a toddler 🙁 To let me know that it was serious, my body started waking up at God-awful hours and not going back to sleep until 10 minutes before my alarm. No herbal concoction could bring me good sleep. Only NyQuil would do and even with that shit I was up at 5-ish.

In the midst of all this physical pain and frustration, I forgot to feel my feelings. I never checked in. I mean I kept grounding chakras and shifting around my yoga practice which offered some relief. But, it took me a week or so to actually stop and feel my feelings.

My emotions (and I have lots of them) have a way of pooling in my hips and lower back. When I refuse to pay attention to what I am feeling, this is usually where pain starts and increases until I listen. If I am super stubborn (and I am) my sleep starts to mess up. When I wake early and my hips throb– that is my clue to just let my feelings flow. So, eventually I did just that.

What did I hear? I heard all sorts of nasty stuff 🙂 Rage, frustration, pain from many moons ago. All sorts of things that I have ignored over the years because it has been easier to bury my feelings underneath food, dick, alcohol and/or good weed over the years than to actually feel anything.

All this listening and feeling has led me to another book. I know, I am a sucker for heal your bullshit books. But, my lower back has stopped hurting and my hips are less cranky. There is hope for me yet 🙂

Until next time, Stay warm and be good yourself!

J

 

Still in the body: Not really

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 🙂
  3. 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,

J

Still in the body: Transforming nature of Emotions

So, I am still working through Peter Levine’s book: Healing Trauma. I am currently at an exercise where he asks that you track sensations in the body as preparation for sitting with your emotions. After grounding and centering yourself, he suggests that you sit with whatever emotion comes up. He asks that you observe and feel said emotion in your body without analyzing, naming or putting it into context. Levine asks that you sit with the emotion until it changes.

I want to say that I find this practice easy. That would be a lie, though 🙂 It’s challenging to do in the moment with a toddler. Sitting, feeling acknowledging my mounting anxiety while watching my son get his breakfast everywhere but his mouth hasn’t quite worked for me :).

When I am alone and feeling courageous, sitting with emotions is much easier. I find that I am sometimes even able to restrain my desire to classify and make sense of what I am feeling and why. Grounding into the sensation that the emotion causes in and around my body helps me stay present. I find the more I pay attention to my body, the more at ease my mind is. It’s like my mind becomes absorbed with the body rather than with itself.

The practice of sitting with emotions as they evolve reminds me of yoga. Even though my yoga practice occasionally makes me uncomfortable; the more I practice the more things change. Sometimes things change for what seems like something better. Sometimes, things get worse. But the more I practice, the more I feel like I can handle whatever comes up because I have space to handle it with. I love space. As long as I can have space, I can get through anything.

We’ll see what bubbles up and through next!

Take Care,

Jeannette

 

 

Update: Still in the body.. still working it out

The more I am in here, the more I notice things. Some of these things, I’ve known but buried because I didn’t know how to deal with them. Other things.. well I am only recently seeing for the first time. Here’s what I’ve been noticing lately.

  1. My physical alignment is wonky 🙂

I have this funky little inward rotation going on with my right leg that extends up into my torso. This is something I’ve known for a while, but have forgotten. I first discovered this when I had a regular ashtanga practice a couple of years ago. Which makes me wonder how long I have been physically neglecting my body. The more physically engaging my yoga practice becomes the more I am learning and remembering about how my body best works.

2. Parts of the childhood me that want to be witness are very like an upset childlike: intense and unrelenting.

This full on nature of an emotion or feeling that wants to be witnessed helps me determine the best way to process what I am feeling. I process emotions that are grounded in the present moment differently than how I process things coming up from the past asking to be witnessed. I would love to say that motherhood gives me all the time in the world to process everything that comes up, but I’d be a damned lie 🙂 What seems to be helping most is staying in my body, nap time and a regular physically engaging practice.

 

3. The holidays have me sooooo triggered.

I would say everything from Thanksgiving on has had me on fire in some way. All these memories and sensations hide behind present events intensifying everything. This shit has not been easy. Staying present in my body has not been easy. I have been losing myself in fantasy, watching all sorts of tv and eating gluten like it’s going out of style. These are my adult ways of coping with not being able to deal with the pain I feel. I want to say that I am doing something magical to get through. I’m not 🙂 I am seriously fucked up and trying not to spread it around 🙂 We’ll see what comes up.

 

That’s what’s going on in here. So, what’s going on in you?