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Thursday, May 31, 2012

what do you see?


What are we doing, fellow house fraus?  And non-house fraus, too, of course.  This message applies to all but I'm a house frau, so I am especially addressing my own breed of breeders.  Ummmm...  where were we?  Yes.  What are we doing?  Are we living our own lives?  Or are we chasing someone else’s?  Shout, “amen,” if you’re with me.  Go ahead.  Holler it right now, while sitting at your computer, while lying in your bed, while stirring your bernaise sauce at the stove.  Can I hear an, “amen,” if you have lost sight of your own priorities b/c you are unknowingly spinning your wheels, trying to keep up with your neighbor’s definition of a *good* life.  
What is a *good* life afterall?  Who defines it?  Our spouses?  Our kids?  Our bosses?  Our parents?  Our BFFs?  Or...  wait for it...  IS IT US?  Are we supposed to define our own *good* lives?  Shit, if that’s the case, there’s a lot of pressure on each of us to figure out what *good* means, what *good* is and what *good* does.  Or maybe there is no pressure.  Maybe there is just contemplation...
Contemplation is something that we don’t spend much time doing.  Quiet contemplation.  Listening to the crickets (KF ;-), watching the clouds blow by, focusing on one thing at a time, slowing down the pace of our lives so we can live mindfully - so we can live *on purpose* and *with intention*.   

When we live intentionally, we can only live a *good* life.  Because otherwise we are intentionally living a bad life - and who does anything bad with intention?  Makes no sense, right?
So it’s not secret, I had a total effing meltdown last week.  The meltdown took place mostly in my head.  On the outside I may have appeared serene, but my insides were an aluminum pan of hot meat lasagna flipped upside down and splattered on the kitchen floor.  This is not what one expects after 3 weeks of devoted meditation and inner peace.  But life is always changing and we are always learning.  So I gave into the mental tantrum for a spell, just to see where it would take me.   
By giving in, I mean I spent an afternoon hashing out a thousand mixed up feelings while cleaning out my office.   I unloaded on a few dear friends who were willing to lovingly tolerate my crazies and even compassionately commiserate by sharing their own.  I ate a ton of sugary food.  And committed to a 2 day tennis moratorium.  (I mean, who do I think I am?  Boris Bloody Becker?)  When I felt all sorted out, I consciously turned the mental station to healthy food, kids and laughter (hence the hours spent watching Ben Aaron and weird pics on my Facebook page - nothing gets me a cheap laugh like Photo Booth).  






Finally, I crawled into bed early and re-read “Peace is Every Breath”.  This is what made me stop:  
“Contemplating aimlessness helps us stop feeling compelled to go around seeking after this and that, exhausting ourselves mentally and physically.  Aimlessness means not chasing after anything, not setting any more objects in front of ourselves to run after.  Happiness is available right in this present moment.  We are already what we want to become...
“Everywhere you turn, life is full of wonders.  The Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of Buddha, is already right there, within and all around us; and the same is true of happiness.  Contemplating aimlessness helps us be able to stop our rushing around and experience a sense of contentment and joy.”  
There are so many ways to interpret and apply this idea.  But since I am a housewife in the suburbs, I naturally apply this to such.   And here is my tiny shift...
We are who we are.  We cannot be EVERYTHING.  Each of us has special talents, special characteristics that are unique to us.  And it is in these specialties, these God-given gifts, that we can find contentment.   
I have friends and family who are extraordinary cooks, athletes, intellectuals, parents, gardeners, listeners, socialites, performers...  and it is my job as a friend or family member to cheer my loudest for them.  It is my job to support these people.  It is my job to give these loved ones lots of space so their lights can shine as bright as they possibly can.  
It is NOT my job to try to beat them at their own game.  It is NOT my job to wish I were as *good* as them.  It is NOT my job to stress out b/c I’ll never be able to achieve what they are achieving.  It is NOT my job to do these things b/c I AM NOT THEM.  I AM ME.  I am this totally different person with God-given gifts of my own.  It is my job to stop exhausting myself by seeking something that is not in my natural design.  It is my heavenly duty to let my own gifts shine and to be content with the gifts with which God blessed me...  and NOT chase after someone else’s *good* life.  
For a moment, let’s erase the world around us.  Let us sit still and contemplate the magnificent world within.  Slow down your mind for a minute.  Tune in, read a little slower and answer these questions (and I’m answering in my head, too):  
What do you see?  
What does this life hold for you?  
Can you be YOUR best self?  
Can you allow others to be their best selves?  
Can you treasure loved ones without jealousy or desire or anger - but with acceptance? 
Can you accept that their bodies and their personalities are designed by God with *intention* and *goodness*?  
What would happen if you could be grateful for the gifts that God gave you?  
What would happen if you could deem yourself worthy of *goodness* just b/c you were born?  
How would your life change if you could accept yourself just the way you are?
Let’s free ourselves of the pressure to be just like everyone else.  Let’s express ourselves uniquely.  Let’s support each other - really support each other.  We tell our kids all the time to be kind.  Now let us be kind.  Be kind to each other and to ourselves.   Let’s change our world through mindful living.  And let's make it a priority.
It all starts with you, with me.  
Peace, love, gratitude,
V


p.s.
Please help my light shine its brightest - share this blog with friends if you like it!  xoxoxox


Monday, May 28, 2012

i've got self-helpitis la la la la la la laaaaaa

i'm suffering from self-helpitis.  while i'm not sure self-helpitis has actually been qualified as a psychological condition, i'm thinking it should be.  i'm experiencing intense symptoms which have led me to this diagnosis.

it all began four years ago when i opened my first metaphysical book.  since then, i've read a thousand books, articles, blogs, watched countless you tube meditations and attended seminars whenever i can.  and i've loved it.  chopra, napthali, taylor, weiss, HH, peele, tolle, coehlo, bailey, dyer, hanh, virtue, moody...  i've studied and admired them all - and dozens more.

after being so consumed with helping-my-Self, i've finally reached the point of overload.  there are just so many goddam things to work on... so many humanisms to accept, so many moments to capture, so many plastic bottles to recycle, so many habits to resolve, so many breaths to take, so many big ideas to comprehend, so many meals to cook from scratch, so many yoga poses to practice, so many children who require patience, so many meditations to explore, so many past lives to uncover, so many journal entries to write, so many wrongs to right, so many so many so many so many SO MANY!!!!!!!!!!!!


AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!  FFFUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

is this strange?  am i crazy?  has anyone else out there survived self-helpitis?  what do you do when you know what you have to do but just can't find the mental discipline to do it all?

it's as if i have changed and am changing so many things about my life and within my life that, in my search for balance, i'm about to flip over the backside of the rocker.  b/c no matter what i do to change, i'm still this ego-driven human being, schlepping around the burdens of earthly life.

when we are mindful, we constantly encounter what i call "tiny shifts" - little realizations that may seem insignificant or obvious, but when experienced in just the right way, at just the right time, provide us with a slight shift in perspective and forever change the way we view ourselves in the world.  these tiny shifts have brought me to what feels like a tipping point.

while tipping, my internal pendulum is swinging wildly and frantically from all of these tiny shifts.  i'm trying to objectively observe, trying to wait patiently for that pendulum to settle into a peaceful, rhythmic tic-toc.  but it's hard.  so hard.

i understand so much and know what needs to be done but actually doing it is incredibly difficult.  recently, i've been falling back into various old routines that i had once confidently abandoned.  it's as if, when i'm working hard on *that one thing*, committing my entirety to *that one thing*, my abandoned sub personalities creep back to the surface of my psyche and start messing with my life.  they think i'm not paying attention and start acting up.  those little bastards.

i can only assume that this is normal.  but honestly, it's tough to function like a normal person when your ego and your higher self are at war with each other.

shit.

peace.  yah, yah.  love and gratitude, too.
v

p.s.
gold star to anyone who picked up on the papa gino's reference in the title.








Friday, May 18, 2012

turn the channel

read this quote by robert thurman in a book called "BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World" today.

"Meditation is a neutral and very powerful tool.  The choice is what are we going to meditate on?  Most people let themselves be guided by a culture that this trying to make them buy things or make them afraid through the news.  When we watch television and we see a commercial, it is like a guided meditation on dissatisfaction.  We have to guide our meditation in a positive direction.  We do this when we meditate on freedom, on penetrating to the deep nature of reality.  In other words, if we meditate on being egotistical, we will become more egotistical, but if we meditate on being selfless, we will become more caring and altruistic.  When we experience ourselves as totally integrated with everyone, we are naturally going to be compassionate and kind to them."

i never really thought of tube time as meditation, but after reading these words i can see how this is so true.  so often, we sit in front of the television and vegetate.  vegetating is meditating, right?  so whatever is streaming into our consciousness is going to marinate for as long as we sit on the couch with the tube on.  and then it becomes a part of us.  this is scary.  and so powerful.  advertisers are changing who we are on a cellular level through commercials.  seriously.  this is true.  and this is CRAZY.  it's like brainwashing.  no wonder why every kid i see has a friggin pillow pet.  that commercial must run a hundred times a day.  they almost have no choice but to put the thing on their christmas lists.

i just had a conversation with my daughter's montessori teacher yesterday about how different children are these days.  how much bolder they are with adults.  how quick they are to inflict an abrasive comment on their teachers.  there is little doubt, for me, that the kids learn this snarky behavior from TV.  the way children act on "family" sitcoms is atrocious.  the characters are rude to their parents, they are rude to their neighbors, they are rude to other children's parents.  (i'm thinking of shows specifically on disney and nick - "iCarly" and "Good Luck Charlie" such.)  whether we choose to believe it or not, the fact is, our children are modeling their own behavior after these characters.  they think that these actors are cool.  and they think that the behavior of these characters is...  wait for it...  NORMAL.  scary.

and then, of course, is the programming that is pouring into that wide open channel in our adult brains while meditating in front of the TV.  through most news media and dramatic programming we are being programmed to fear.  notice how the tense of the verb changes.  we are no longer actively making a decision about how our brains are functioning, the television producers are making decisions for us.  we ARE BEING programmed.  not to get all big brother on you, but, well, it's sort of like big brother.  right?

last year, i banned all real housewives and most news programming from my house.  this was a big decision for me.  i reaaaallllllyyyyy loved my housewives.  BUT.  while watching the new york housewives reunion on bravo, my husband walked into the room and sat down on the couch.  the women on TV were verbally slaying  each other and hubby goes, "oh, v, my jaw is getting tight just listening to this."  and then i scanned my own body.  my chest was tight and i had a big lump in my throat.  i turned it off and walked away for good.  and then i noticed the physical reactions i had while watching other programming.  intense.  i encourage readers to do a physical scan while you watch TV.  it's madness.  so now i limit my TV intake to programming that lifts me up or educates me.

my kids love TV.  i usually let them watch PBS, discovery (they love "river monsters") and some nick jr.  but as of today i'm pulling in the reins.  (oh, god, please give me the strength to do this.)  if they are going to do something as powerful as meditate on an idea for 30 minutes, it's sure as shit not going to be what some dude at disney wants for my kids.

meditation is a powerful tool.  maybe THE MOST powerful tool.  time to turn the channel.

peace, love, gratitude,
v


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

metaphor for life

i went to yoga this morning with intention to dedicate my practice to allergy relief but my spirit had a different plan.  we always get what we need.  thank you, spirity v!



peace, love and gratitude!
xoxoxoxv

Sunday, May 13, 2012

a reflection on motherhood for mother's day

Me with PG as she takes her first breath


It's a beautiful Sunday in May - Mother's Day.  A day to take a mindful **pause** and honor mothers everywhere.  While I honor my Mom, my kids honor me - I'm a gratitude sandwich today and it's nothing short of lovely.  Today I want to reflect on the gratitude in all forms - not just sunny smiling days filled with hugs and kisses - I mean the good and the... ummm...  crappy.  (If you're thinking this is a dirty diaper reference, you're dead on.)

Mom, I am grateful that you toted a car load of 12 year olds to see George Michael in 1987.  You understood that tweenagers don't want to hang with a Mom at a concert.  You danced on the lawn at Great Woods by yourself while we kids jumped up and down screaming, "I WANT YOUR SEX!!!!!"  I remember glancing back at you at one point during the show, seeing you there alone in the crowd.  I felt bad but didn't know how to do anything different.  So I turned back around and continued the worship-fest with my big-haired, blue-eyeliner-wearing girlfriends.  (Come to think of it, maybe YOU were embarrassed to be seen with US.)

Thank you for letting us be 12.  Thank you for understanding our insecurities and our self-centeredness.  Thank you for not letting me buy that black t-shirt that read "I WANT YOUR SEX" across the chest.  I know I was pissed at you at the time and I probably ignored you for the entire car ride home.  Now that I'm a mother I understand how totally inappropriate it would have been to let your 7th grader wear that.   Thank you for protecting me.  I'll do the same for my kids.  Promise.

Mom, I am grateful for all the years you worked as a nurse, supporting us three girls all by yourself.  I can't imagine how scary, lonely and difficult that time must have been for you.  And I'm sorry for all of the times I cried to you at the mall entrance of The Limited b/c I wanted another Forenza sweater when you couldn't afford one more stitch.  I see now.  I see that you were doing your best, maxing out your credit cards, burning at both ends trying to give us what we needed and sacrificing to keep us in our house.  I get it.  And I'm grateful for your hard work.  And I'm grateful that you never threw Pop under the bus.  I never knew he was a deadbeat-dad until I was an adult.  You wanted us to believe that our father was good - and we were good.  You waited until I was an adult before sharing the whole truth and I am grateful for the years of being blissfully unaware.  Children do not need to know dirty details of divorce.  It only hurts the children.  And you knew this innately.  Thank you for a relatively innocent childhood.

Mom, I am grateful for the life lessons - for filling our home with animals to love and gardens to explore, for marrying a step-dad who is the best dad a girl could ask for, for taking me in after I flunked out of Bentley, for being the first person in line at the delivery room door when I had each of my babies, for cooking gourmet dinners while I chased my kids around, for treating my husband like a son (even though he's practically your age - haha), for treating me like your little girl - even though I'm 36 years old.

CG, PG and SG, every day is Children's Day.  I love you all so deeply and dearly that I cry when I think about the joy you have brought into my life.  I left out your brother in this letter for a reason.  There's no chance he'll ever be a mother.  But in time, it is possible that you three will join the ranks.  This being Mother's Day and all, I want to share the gratitude I feel toward you for making me a mommy.

CG, your light shines so bright.  You were 8 when we met.  You were turning cartwheels on a softball field and stopped long enough to greet me with a big smile.  On the day I became your step-mother, we were about to walk to the ceremony and you started crying.  I felt deflated, worried that you didn't want me to be in your life or maybe that you were sad to have to share your Dad with me.  When I asked you what was wrong you said, "I really wanted my hair to be curly."  I sighed relief and plugged in my hot rollers.  We were 30 minutes late for the wedding, but your hair looked adorable and you bounced down that aisle with a beautiful smile on your face...  and I did, too.  I am grateful that I'm your step-mother, that you accept me and my crazies, that you forgive me for my mistakes, that you like the clothes I pick out for you at Christmas, that you let me be your friend.  Step-mothering is a funny thing.  You never quite know what your role is and you never quite know if you'll get in trouble for doing what you're doing.  But, man, you've made it joyful.  I have grown wiser through our relationship.  I've learned so many lessons from you - the best of which is learning to love a child like she is your own.

PG & SG, my gratitude for you exists in giving and in sacrifice.  Through giving, I have learned wonderful lessons in life and love.  You each arrived on sunny Sundays, coincidently both in Room 14 at BI.  I've loved you from your first breaths...  actually even before that...  from the first wave of nausea I felt in week 3 of pregnancy.  Listen up, girls.  Pregnancy is a trip.  The things that will happen to your body over 10 months of incubation are nothing short of miraculous...  and disgusting.  If you are anything like me, you'll puke for the first three months.  During this time food is the last thing you'll want, but eat.  Please eat.  B/c not eating will only make you sicker.  Take your pre-natals.  Put your feet up.  Listen to Mozart.  Get bikini waxes or don't - no one cares.  Take long walks.  Have sex.  Play sports.  Stay away from mean people.  Use lotion but don't expect it to save you from stretch marks - let's hope you take after me in that department.  Sleep all day.  Take pictures of yourself.  Let old ladies rub your belly in the grocery store.  Enjoy your big perky boobs and your thick head of hair - b/c soon your boobs will be hard as rocks, leaking milk, and your hair will be falling out in clumps in the shower.   Do all these things and try to feel grateful, even when you are totally uncomfortable, pelvis cracked in half, hobbling down the cookie aisle at 39 weeks.

When the contractions come you will not believe it's time.  You'll say, "Oh, I just have a bit of diarrhea.  Oh, it's another Braxton-Hicks.  Oh, but the pain is in my back.  Oh, this can't be the time - I'm not due until Tuesday."  Listen to me.  Get out that stop-watch.  When you are five and one, get your ass to the hospital b/c your Momma went FAST.  And you probably will, too.  And girls.  Have those babies naturally.  No drugs.  You don't need them.  Our bodies are made to do this.  Girls, believe me, you can do it.  The pain is enormous, but so is the joy that results.  When those contractions wash over you, remember it is just a sign that your baby is coming.  And when you don't think you can take another nanosecond, have the nurse check you.  I'd bet my boots it's time to push.  Push through the pain.  Be grateful for the pain.  Sacrifice your comfort for the health of your children.  You will evolve through the pain.  You will grow strong through the pain.  The pain will remind you that you are alive.

Breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed for as long as you can.  Aim for one year.  When you know your milk is drying up, take your baby into a quiet room and watch her face as she's suckling for the last time.  I remember doing this with all three of you and the memory is so precious to me.  Then say goodbye to your boobs and hello to a pair of fried eggs with stiff nipples.

Invest in pantyliners in preparation of lifetime of piddling.  You laugh, you sneeze, you jump, you dance, you cough...  you pee.  Yup.  Some of the physical effects of childbearing are sucky.  I'm not sure how to find gratitude in saggy tits and wet undies, but I'm sure it exists in there somewhere.

Spontaneous urination aside, there are so many other things I want to tell you about, things I want to encourage you to do and find gratitude in doing.  Like take your babies to movies and restaurants when they're tiny.  Travel with them - they're not too young to appreciate an adventure.  Let them crawl in your bed when they have nightmares.  Don't let them eat sugar.  Teach them about God.  Find a good babysitter - you shouldn't have to do this alone.  Show them how to Love.  Value their education.  Punish them when they're naughty.  Show them how to love this planet.  Let them sit on your lap - even when they're too big to fit.  Greet them with a smile, even if they're just coming out of the bathroom.  Shower them with Love, not toys.  Let them wear whatever they want to kindergarten, even if it hurts your eyes.  Tell them their Energy is powerful.  Kiss your husband in front of them.  Tell them they're good.  When you want to scream, whisper.  Dance and sing with them.  Create a community of adults they can trust.  Laugh at their weird jokes.  If they make their own bed, don't remake it after they leave for school.  Don't match their emotion - stay cool, be the rock they need you to be.  Teach them to meditate.  Ask them what they think about and listen to what they say.  Remember that they are souls - quite possibly more evolved than you.  Respect their journeys.  When in doubt, Breathe.  Be thankful for the ride of a lifetime.

I hope that someday you girls will be grateful for these pearls of motherly wisdom.  I hope you feel the gratitude I feel each day sharing my life's journey with you.  I hope someday your kids feel gratitude for your sacrifices and your efforts like I do for my Mom's.  We are all so very blessed.

Peace, love, and, of course, gratitude,
Vanessa / V / Mamma

Saturday, May 12, 2012

rest assured


I had to dig through some of my old blogs to find something I wrote ages ago.  I was surprised (and a little embarrassed) to see some of the weird shit I'd shared.  Yikes.  And I was surprised to see how much funnier my blogs used to be.  Apologies for being so humorless since reprising the blog.  I don't know how to fix that, but I'll try.  ;-)  Anywho.  I wanted to find this blog and repost it b/c I had a big, fat break-through and wanted to share.  First, the backstory:

***********

As a child I was terrified of death.  TERRIFIED.  I was also afraid of the dark, as that’s when things that want to kill you come out - vampires, Jaws, wolves, aliens, the creeps in the Thriller video, and anyone appearing on “Unsolved Mysteries”.  I had nightmares all the time.  I clearly remember sneaking into Mom & Pop’s room in the wee hours, trying to guess which side of the mattress would welcome me in and which would send me back to my Holly Hobby-clad bed.  Sometimes when my nightmares woke me up, I’d stay paralyzed under the covers.  Too scared to run down the hall for help.  My big sister hovered inches above my head in the top bunk, but the long climb up the ladder would surely leave me vulnerable to the creatures lurking below.

Bedtime caused me quite a bit of anxiety.  My parents told me these hideous creatures did not exist and that I was safe.  But I never felt safe.  Nobody was able give me the security I needed.  Thinking back, I want to cry for that tiny frightened girl white knuckling her blankets all night.  It was sad to feel so alone and scared, even if the fear was completely irrational.

Happy to report, I’m not afraid of the dark anymore.  I find the dark quite peaceful now and would have a hard time sleeping with even a nightlight.  I kicked the darkness neurosis when I was 24 (this is abnormally old, I know).  I worked on a cruise ship called Maasdam and there were no portholes in my cabin.  My roommate and I worked crazy hours and caught zzzs whenever we could.  Since our cabin had no porthole, the room was often dark in the middle of the day and out of respect for one another we’d fumble around quietly with the lights off.  Midday darkness just doesn’t hold the scare factor that midnight darkness does.  You can’t be freaked out at noon.  It’s just not cool.  I also found that between total exhaustion, supreme drunkenness and rolling seas I could’ve sleepily spooned with the Boogie Man and been blissfully unaware.

The fear of death lingered much longer, but ended equally abruptly.  As quickly as it took to read the book “Life after Life” by Raymond A. Moody.  In it, Moody proves through recorded observations that people who have near death experiences (NDEs) report similar or near-identical stories.  Pulling away from the human bodies in spirit, traveling down the long tunnel, entering the loving light, feeling peaceful omniscience, reviewing their lives, seeing a crystal city, deciding they still have work to do on Earth and returning to physical lives.   You have to read the book to get the whole story.  Good stuff.  I’ll blog about it more later. 

The point is, I was afraid of the unknown.  Death.  But now I know death isn’t really death.  It’s a transition into love and light.  And love and light is pretty fabulous. 

There is so obviously something more.  Whether or not you subscribe to reincarnation, it’s hard to ignore thousands of people who report having the same NDE.  For me, in accepting the FACT that there is life after life, I overcame my deeply rooted fear of physical death.  In time, I also figured out why I was so afraid of it to begin with.  I think the answer is this:  I grew up without religion or open conversation about spirituality. 

Regardless of the practice, religion teaches children that heaven exists.  Religion looks those little munchkins in the eyes and tells them, without doubt, that they possess eternal spirit.  Religion provides answers to kids who have sooooo many questions.  And we all know a kid’s favorite question:  Why?  But why?  Yah, but WHY???????  I never had those answers as a child.  But now I think I have some. 

I don’t habitually take my kids to church, mosque or temple (though they are all lovely options), but I talk about God and this amazing Universe all day here in the home.  My house is my church - full of God’s energy.  I am very confident when I tell my children that we will always be together.  That we have shared countless lifetimes loving each other.  That sometimes I’m the Mommy, sometimes they are, sometimes we’re just friends.  But that we are always together, full of love and light.   

They listen, laughing and wondering with each other, “Who was I before?  Who will I be next?  I hope I’m a dolphin!  I hope I’m a bird!  Hahaha!”  And somehow, these are my kids.  Laughing at death.  Who would’ve guessed? 

Peace!
V

p.s.
I confess, to this day I still launch myself into the covers from half way across the bedroom.  That gnarly hand reaching out from below doesn’t stand a chance.    ;-)

***********

Okay, now the break-through.  You know how I told you that Corbie Mitleid read my Akashic Records?  Well, one of the personal issues that I wanted to address during the reading was the fact that I have lived all my life with this fear of being killed, slashed, chased, murdered, severed, eaten, whatever.  Gross.  Corbie introduced me to four of my soul's personalities and I found out I had several unappealing demises.  I spent about 3 days processing the feelings associated with this reading.  It was intense.  A good intensity.  

This is what happened next. My hubby went overseas for a week and I was here alone with the kids.  Typically when he travels, I lay in bed - burglar alarm on, gaze toward hallway, covers up to my chin, cell phone in hand with the numbers 911 punched in - mentally freaking out.  Every time the heater cracks, every time the window rattles, every time the dog rolls over, I am jerked out of sleep and lie there frozen in terror until the sun dawns.  It's fucking horrible.  

BUT!!!!!!!!!  Guess what????  That didn't happen last week.  

Instead I slept like a baby!  (I mean a normal baby, not my babies who didn't sleep through the night until they were actually toddlers.)  Oh, and I was challenged, too.  The kids had stomach bugs and were up puking for two nights - I was able to drag myself to their rooms, wash their hair, change their sheets, relocate them and immediately return to bed and pass out.  I did not even run fast past the windows or turn on all the lights or take a flying leap into the bed from across the room!  This is HUGE for me and I am TOTALLY convinced that Corbie's reading is the reason my fear has dissipated.  She was like, "Well, kid, you've been shot, slain, lynched and poisoned.  You're not going to go out that way again."  Can I just say this?  PPPHHHHHHEEEEEWWWWWWzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...................

xoxoxoxoxox
v

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

mindful mothering

wow, so this meditation project is turning out to be worth its weight in deep thought!  i read about a mindfulness exercise in a book called "making a change for good" by zen master cheri huber.  the idea is that you tie a string around your finger to remind you to be in the here and now.  i've actually been meaning to do this exercise for a very long time and thought this three-week meditation challenge to be the ideal time to try.

i always wear my watch on my left wrist and switched it to my right.  (holy awkward.)  and its effect has been undeniable.  all day long i feel that out-of-place watch and all day long i remember to connect to breath.

now, i've got to admit - i was pretty mindful, even before this watch switching experiment.  i am very aware of my intimate connection with source and think about the power of my energy every day - honestly, almost all day long.  but nothing yanks me out of my awareness like my three young children...  children who inundate me with challenges in patience and self-control.

so i wanted this week of meditative practice to help me maintain balance with my family.  beautifully, my watch has brought me back to breath during every single melt down (mine and the kids').  i've consciously applied things i've read and learned this week specifically to motherhood.  and i realized something:  i need to spend more time teaching my children and less time feeling exasperated or burdened by them.

my affirmation this week is:  "MOMMY IS HERE FOR YOU."

we have to teach them this and remind them of this every day.  there are so many things that we skip over b/c we assume that our children understand the way the world works.  we assume that they can connect the dots on their own.  so when our kids make mistakes or participate in mindless, seemingly crazy behavior, we admonish them.  we shame them.  we tell them they've disappointed us.  we make our own children feel like they are disappointments, like they're stupid.  and then we continue to assume that they know we love them and are there for them.  [note: i say "we" because i am guilty of this.  and i have seen other people do this to their children as well.  but i do not assume that ALL mothers do this.  and kudos to those of you who intuitively know better.]

my personal example.  PG is coloring with sharpie on a napkin on my new (white) granite countertop.  i see what she is doing and my first inclination is to scream frantically, "ARE YOU NUTS?  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!  YOU ARE GOING TO RUIN MY KITCHEN!  YOU ARE 7 YEARS OLD!  YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!"  but guess what, mommy dearest?  she doesn't know better.  she's just being creative and is not thinking about the damage her creativity can cause.  she means no harm.  she is just not tuned in to the consequences of sharpie meeting countertop.

so this time, instead of launching into my desperate victimized jane crawford routine, i feel my watch and take a breath.  i explain to her that sharpie bleeds through the thin paper of a napkin and can stain the surface underneath.  i tell her that stains do not come out.  i tell her that when she's 15, she'll be sitting here at the counter, looking at that old stain and thinking, "i can't believe i did that."  then i hide the sharpie, give her a crayon and send her back to work on that napkin.

instead of DEHUMANIZING her and SHAMING her, something i have done to her before and feel HORRIBLE about now, i taught her about cause and effect and encouraged her to think next time she pulls the cap off of a marker.  i taught her that sometimes thought-less behaviors can leave ugly stains (in this case literally).  through this teaching moment, i let my daughter know that i RESPECT HER LIFE and i am here for her.   and i taught myself that i am capable of mothering my children with mindfulness and patience.  (i'm bawling right now by the way.  this is a very difficult truth to overshare.)

we expect that our children can understand the complexity of life, the pressures of adulthood.  but they don't.  period.  they just aren't ready for it.  they don't have the capacity for it.  we parents think that because we drive them to soccer, because we buy them UGGS, because we kiss them goodnight, because we pack their lunches every day, that they should feel safe and loved and grateful.  but that's not how it works.  the only way they know they are loved is by learning this lesson: "MOMMY IS HERE FOR YOU."

i have a big chalkboard in my kitchen.  i typically use it to remind my kids to do things like brush their teeth, be kind to others, finish their homework.  but this week i am using it to remind myself of something.



peace, love, gratitude.
v

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the following ideas are locally grown

i've noticed lately that, almost on a daily basis, i've been presented an idea by a friend, studied a concept in a book, or written about a spirity thought, only to have it repeated to me in another form or by another person the following day.  i'm so grateful for these synchronicities.

example.  my friend AH recommended a recorded guided meditation by thich nhat hanh, a vietnamese monk who was active during the civil rights movement here in america and, at that time, an outspoken proponent of a peaceful ending to the vietnam war.  guess who oprah interviewed the next day on her network?  thich nhat hanh!  actually, there were a couple of oprah synchronicities last week.  one day i wrote the words, "we are souls," in my blog about the value of winning ("it's how you play the game") and the very next day, oprah pointedly said, "we are souls," on one of her shows.

they're not overwhelming coincidences.  honestly, they're barely worth mentioning.  but i so appreciate these quiet indicators - proof to me that the universe is lining up events that will guide me home.  i am so grateful.  we all receive these signs from the universe.  what are yours?  what are the messages repeated to you?  are you listening?  even though i'm listening i don't always decode the messages properly.

case in point.  a couple of weeks ago, a new friend, JM, who receives messages from spirit as a medium, told me that i am aligning myself with the right people to fulfill my destiny.  i got very emotional about it.  i so want to succeed in spiritual service.  i consider myself a normal person to whom people can relate.  i can introduce people, in a non-cheesy, non-preachy, non-creepy, non-culty, non-sequetor way, to some beautifully profound spiritual concepts.  i love providing friends and readers with spiritual crib notes and truly feel that this is why i was born.  i see how my experiences have led me to this place.

when JM mentioned rightly-aligning myself with people that will propel me forward, my mind jumped to a person whose interest in my TV project had energized me with the thought of grand-scale success.   my ego said, wow!  this is exciting!  this has got the be that person JM was talking about!  meanwhile my heart told me that i needed to stay grounded and disciplined, focused on my original intent, which is providing local opportunities for people to explore spirituality and being a tangible source with whom people to connect, discuss and ask questions.  today i realized that my heart was right all along - as it always is.  (what a know-it-all. ;-)  my initial ego-driven assessment was misguided.  on deeper thought, i realized that i've aligned myself with lots of people lately.  some of whom are friends, others acquaintances, still others who support my project technically (ie. local cable access).  these are people who support me and my mission and/or understand the potency of its potential.

the world has plenty of gurus.  i think that what we need now is to start building more intimate communities of tangible spiritual support - REAL SPIRITUAL SUPPORT - around the world.  why climb to the mountain top when all you need is right here at home?

tip o'neill once said, "all politics is local."  well, i'm going to expand that thought today by saying all spirituality is local, too.  a thousand gurus can jump up and down preaching about peace and love and mindfulness - but if there is not a local source of spirituality that speaks to YOU - to YOUR HEART - to YOUR BEING, if there is not dialogue in which YOU can participate, then how do YOU connect?  how do YOU discuss YOUR BIG IDEAS?  how do YOU make YOUR VOICE heard?      

i encourage readers to open up and share ideas and questions about god and self.  if not with me, with your own pods of friends and family.  we spend so much time yapping about stupid shit.  (me included!)  shit that doesn't make the world a better place.  shit that can compound negativity or leave us feeling depleted of energy or spirit.   meanwhile, these synchronicities are happening for all of us, every day.  and we are so busy talking shit that we barely recognize them when they happen.  so let's start paying attention together on the most local of scales - inside our hearts.

peace, love, gratitude,
v




Friday, May 4, 2012

pilot of WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? check it out, peeps!

yay!!!!  the first show is done.  you can view it "on-demand" at wincam.org or watch it next week on cable channel 8 or 36 here in winchy.  it may or may not be available via you tube on my blog.  we'll see what the internet gods have to say about its content and file size.  :-)

so as for now, click on the link below then click "Member Produced" then "What's the Big Idea?"

WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?

plenty of time still to build those gardens before the big planting effort later this month...  if you need coaching give jessie at green city a call.  and if you need a cheerleader, i'm available anytime!

xoxoxoxox

peace, love, gratitude!
v

p.s.
remember to "like" wincam on facebook...  the 100th "like" gets a wincam t-shirt.  they're sooooooo cooooollll!!!!!!!!

formula for purpose



discovering and following your life's purpose is formulaic.  pre-algebra-style.  ;-)  look at this:

equations:

a) identify your god-given gifts


b) embrace your gifts and love yourself

=

c) yield a treasury of gifts that are meant to propel you in the direction of your life's purpose


*****************************************

w) identify your challenges 


x) realize that these challenges are the only things holding you back 


y) do something MINDFULLY every day that turns these challenges into assets

+

z) realize that you are more powerful than your challenges 

=

c) yield transformation of challenges into a treasury gifts that are meant to propel you in the direction of your life's purpose

****************************************

solution:
2c = YOU!  (the only thing you need to successfully pursue your life's purpose)  

application:
wrap your gifts up and present them to the world

****************************************


everyone needs purpose.  the longer i live, the clearer this becomes to me.  in my day-to-day actions and interactions, i try my best to be mindful of intent.  intention is key to growth.  if you can't define what you want and why, how will you get anywhere?  and if we hope to live a full and enriching life, doesn't it make sense to set a large-scale intent?  we can do so through discovery of purpose.

there are many ways to clarify your purpose in life.  some people just know intuitively.  some people discover through prayer.  some people find their purpose through failure.  i think i've used all of these methods - DEFINITELY the failure one.  (uuuuggghhh.)  

if you are stuck, try numerology.  it is such a terrific resource.  i use numerology to confirm my purpose, my gifts and my challenges.  and i was amazed how accurate my charts were and how neatly these numbers brought clarity to my ever-questioning mind.  honestly, the numbers pointed to things i already knew about myself.  but they provided me with a vote of confidence and great game plan.

example:
i'm in transition between my 7 pinnacle and my 3 pinnacle.  pinnacles are areas of particular strength over a period of time.  the 7 pinnacle, present for me between ages 27 and 36, is indicative of a time during which i committed myself as completely as i could to study.  i had an intense desire to master a subject, which is dead on.  i ate, breathed, slept spirituality.  loved loved loved it.  and i still do.  the pinnacle periods are peaks, not chronological limitations.  

between the ages of 37 and 45, i'll be experiencing my 3 pinnacle which is a time for the limelight.  this is a period during which i will have heightened creativity and crave lots of social interaction.  again, these are qualities i've had for a long time.  i've always been a creative person with a big personality.  during this time i will need to remind myself that these are the gifts god has given me and i should not apologize for them.  i will use these gifts with the best intention.  

these strengths are umbrellaed by the number 9, my life path number, which represents my life's purpose.  the 9 energy is that of humanitarianism.  the 9 must serve a cause bigger than the self.  the 9 is big picture, self-sacrificing.  so i can find peace, balance and synchronicity in this life by using my gifts to serve human kind.  

but, of course, there are challenges, too.  b/c without challenges, how do we appreciate the journey and learn the lessons?  numerology separates life into thirds to define challenges.  i'm in the second third of my life, when my challenge, the 1, is about will-power and strength.  i need to dig down and find the confidence and discipline to move forth with my purpose.  the energy of discipline is represented by the number 4, a number that is karmically imbalanced for me in this lifetime.  so i know that if i'm going to find success, i need to have confidence in my personal power and consistently work my ass off.  time to bust out the red undies.  ;-)  

i'm happy to help you with your numbers.  it takes about 10 minutes for a general overview and all i need is your birthday.  even if you don't know me personally, i'm happy to do it.  just friend me on FB.  i've done it for a bunch of peeps now and i'm always so thrilled to see how people vibe with the numbers.  or check out the book "numerology" by hans decoz.  it's SO EASY to do.  

peace, love, gratitude!
xxv




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

joy risen

video

if you don't participate, this won't be fun.  xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

peace, love, gratitude and JOY!!!!!!!
v