Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wouldn't it be great?

Wouldn't it be great if you could sit around a table with people who you've experienced hurt with and laugh about it.

Wouldn't it be great if even after many years of not communicating, assuming the worst about eachother and digging into a fresh chapter of your 'story' you could sit and sip a latte and discuss with those people how utterly ridiculous it all was.

Wouldn't it be great if even though you have said things that you now wish you could take back and replace with something a little more intelligent you could pick up the phone and call that person and get a warm welcome.

Wouldn't it be great if we all didn't walk around with so much shame and guilt inside of us for past experiences that we could truly forgive ourselves and others?

When I think of world peace, this is the concept I think of.  Wars in the world end when the wars in our personal worlds do.

With so much emotion and so much misunderstanding sometimes in our lives, as humans we still seek the only thing that has and ever will matter.  Love.  To love and to be loved.  By everyone in our life.  Even by those we don't always agree with, especially by those we don't always agree with.

It's simple really.  Love doesn't require words, or gifts or even face to face apologies.  Love only requires a willingness to be in eachothers presence so that it can be felt and understood.

I had a friend once that gave me the greatest gift she ever could give to me.  That was the willingness to open her life to me again after we had parted ways in an unpleasant way.  After not speaking for a year or so I sat behind her at a school function.  The entire time my heart just kept opening up to her to the point where I just wanted to give her a big hug.  I missed her presence in my life.  After the function I went home and sent her an email (yes I chickened out of going straight to her front door, for fear she would slam it in my face and reject me - yes, I have rejection issues!) asking her to consider our friendship, she thought it over and came back to me with a 'yes'. 

Our friendship wasn't the same as it was before.  It was the fact that I could have tea with her again, or say hello in passing, or be in the same room and smile at eachother again that made all the difference to me.

When there is disconnect in a relationship it feels excruciating to me.  It feels like a giant piece of myself is missing.  I am a firm believer that not all relationships are meant to last, I believe wholeheartedly that we are all here to serve a purpose for eachother and then move on when the time comes.  But moving on with love is very different than moving on with anger and hurt.

Because no matter what the situation, down the road when your eyes are clearer and your mind is more open things begin to make sense and your heart begins to forgive and reach out, and it is at that point that it would be nice to be able to express that and have it accepted.

Wouldn't that be great!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Something fishy....

Last night we did our annual Christmas Day watching of The Sound of Music.

Somewhere in the middle of the movie my hubby turned to me and said "you want to be Maria don't you?"

Me:  Of course I do!

Hubby:  You could be a nun.

Me:  No!  I want to be an outspoken, free-spirited, play a guitar and dance around the mountains kind of Maria.

Hubby:  I'm just saying you could totally be a nun.  You've already had your kids.

By this point I have no idea where the heck this conversation is going but it is totally cracking me up!

Me:  I knew it!  You are trying to get rid of me so you can be with your girlfriend and start spending the money you've been putting aside in that Swiss bank account.

Hubby:  No, I'm just saying if you want to be a nun, I will support you.

Something is fishy around these parts!

Today is a good day....

Today is a good day.

And guess what? 

I didn't have to do a thing to make it so!

It just is.

Isn't that great?

Now let's think about the alternative.

Today is a naturally good day and I could choose to be struggling to make it better than it is.

And in that struggle I would totally lose the sense of natural goodness and instead focus on all that is going wrong in my quest for even more 'good'.

Have you ever found yourself in a struggle to make something 'better than'?

I bet you have.  It happens all the time, it's human nature to assume that if something just naturally is good then if we mix some control and manipulation and struggle into that we'll get something even more spectacular.

Wrong!

If there's anything this past month has taught me is that struggle is fruitless.  It gets you nothing and nowhere.

It's best just to take the day for what it is and smile.  Because good or bad, it's WAY better than what someone else may be experiencing.

And because I'm pretty sure it's a Universal Law that life is just naturally good, all by itself, all the time.  It's the human mind that decides otherwise.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What have I got to lose?

I've been asking myself this question alot lately.

When it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone and putting myself even further out into the world as a healer I find it's easier to step out as a small, insignificant Jenn.  Not at all the Jenn I am, and not at all the Jenn I wish to be in this world.

Last week I met a woman I'd only spoken to online.  She was so excited to finally meet me and I believe her exact words were "I can't believe I'm actually meeting you!"

Really?

But I'm just me.  What's so great about that?

I think we can all relate to this inner conundrum.  With the advancement of technology it's easier and easier for us to become who we want people to see us as, but it doesn't take away the fact that we are still human beings, struggling with our own shit and trying to feel confident about ourselves; completely and honestly confident.

I was flattered (of course who wouldn't be) by this woman's sentiment.  She was so sweet!

And it prompted some deep questionning for me.  Why do I not wake up everyday that excited to see myself?  If someone else thinks I'm worthy of that adoration then why don't I?  What have I got to lose by seeing myself as this spectacular, inspiring person instead of as the small, shy, insignificant girl?

The answer is......NOTHING!

None of us has anything to lose when it comes to stepping into the shoes that God sent us here to wear. 

You know those shoes that are sitting in the box on a shelf in the back of your closet collecting dust. 

Why don't we wear them?  Why don't we willingly put those shoes on everyday and wear them proudly?

When I search my heart for an answer to those questions I find that the truth is I'm scared of someone not liking my shoes.  That's ridiculous, right?  And if I dig even deeper I see that it's me that I'm scared of.  What if I LIKE who I am in those shoes?  What if I totally ROCK those shoes (btw, I see my shoes as those ruby red ones from the Wizard of Oz, totally blinged out and hard to ignore)!

What if, what if, what if.

If I continue this way I may just 'what if' myself to death!

Anyway, the point is I think in honour of a new year fast approaching, we dig out those shoes, dust them off, shine them up and put them on!  Wear who you are proudly because the world needs you to and more importantly because YOU need YOU to!

I can't wait to see what your shoes look like!

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's A Wonderful Life....

Today has been one of those days when everywhere I look I see abundance.

Funny because yesterday (and the days before that) was one of those days where I was seeing anything BUT abundance.

I was lucky enough tthis morning to get a Shiatsu treatment from my good friend Erin.  She helped my body release some pent up tension, anxiety and emotion.  I've been way too hard on myself lately and my body was taking the brunt of it.

Then I was fortunate enough to be helped by the most generous gentleman over the phone as I tried to find a Christmas gift for my Mum in law.  He made heads and tails of what I was trying to find and promised me he'd put something special together for her. 

Not long after I hung up the phone from that call the door bell rang and there stood my neighbour with a plate filled with the most delicious looking baked goods!  I almost cried as I hugged her tight and thanked her for her generosity (plus, I've had the biggest craving for sweets lately)!  This is the same neighbour that gave my son (their paper boy) 2 Detroit Red Wing tickets for a Christmas gift!

Benjamin and I walked Sundae to the post office and back today.  On the way home he ran ahead with her so she could get some energy out and watching the two of them run off filled me up with something I hadn't felt in a long time.

It felt like hope.

I don't know about you, but I think that feeling is just what this time of year should be about.

It isn't that this day is any different than any other day really.  I didn't wake up in a spectacular mood, I didn't eat anything different for breakfast.  It's just that today I opened my eyes to the beauty and blessings that life has to offer. 

Those blessings are forever flowing, today is proof of that.

I posted on facebook the other day that if you are stuck in one moment, if you feel you aren't good enough in one moment, just hang in there until the next moment comes along.  The next moment is the moment that will rock your world and blow your mind.

And today, it most certainly did!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Pain of Growth Spurts

Remember when you were a kid and you were going through a growth spurt?

Sometimes it felt like you didn't fit in your own skin.  Sometimes your bones ached.  Sometimes you found yourself falling over things, clumsy as an ox in a body that was growing so fast it took you a while to readjust your balance.  And if you were a girl the pain of the breasts that were about to blossom was almost unbearable at times!

The truth is whether your growth spurt is physical, emotional or spiritual, they are sometimes painful.

I've been reminding myself of this fact over the last few weeks, as I am once again in the middle of a growth spurt.

I feel like I am visiting this space of internal questioning far too often anymore, like the train of change just keeps on moving and I barely have time to stop for a pee break and grab a snack!

I know I'm not alone.  But at the same time it does feel lonely.

At one time or another we all come across this state of being where we feel like we are stuck in a rut.  I prefer to think of this time as a much needed rest, or that my 'stuckness' is just a way to let life catch up to me :)

Whatever it is though, it just is.  I can change it a bit through music and laughter, I can even shift some of the stagnant feelings with poetry and art but whatever needs to happen in this time is perfect and I just need to practice patience, as well as kindness towards myself.

My belief that I am everything I need to be in every moment keeps me from getting caught up in the craziness.  I know that when this low is over (and it will be shortly) there is going to be a whole lot of high!  And I will be more than ready for it :)




Friday, December 9, 2011

I Love Touchy Subjects.....

I love touchy subjects, don't you?

I love them because of the uproar they cause.  I love them because they tend to dredge up emotions that otherwise wouldn't be acknowledged.  They go to the root of all hurt and pain and allow us the opportunity to take out a mirror and see exactly what this subject does to us.

The touchy subject of the day is Christmas.

Oh yes, you knew this was coming.

Personally, I am not a fan.  I think it's WAY over rated. 

Yes, I put up my tree and I trim it with decorations.  I have even spent years making it a big deal for my kids because I like to be a hypocrite that way.

I also allow others to enjoy the holidays the way they wish to enjoy them.  No matter what their cultural, religious background is, you won't hear me bad mouth other traditions.  And you definitely won't hear me defend my 'right' as a Canadian to keep "Merry Christmas" in our language.

Right around the middle of November I start getting forwarded emails urging me to share the message that we as Canadians should not be forced to stop saying "Merry Christmas" because it might hurt the feelings of immigrants that have come to our country to live.  That if they don't like it they can go back to their country.

I hate getting these emails.  I never forward them and to be honest I question the integrity of the person sending them.  It's hatred and bullying and it's disturbing.

Has everyone gone mad?

Let's review...

What is Christmas?  What is the 'reason for the season'?

Christ was born (apparently...  that's a whole other blog post). 

What did Christ stand for?  Love, compassion, equality for everyone. 

What does Christ want for us?  To love one another unconditionally, to embrace our differences and learn from eachother (I'm guessing here).

So if you are so hell bent on celebrating Christmas the way Christmas 'is meant to be celebrated' then I suggest doing away with the intolerant messages, stop centering people out because they won't conform to our culture and traditions. 

Didn't we all learn how to play nice and get along in Kindergarten?

For me, it is the intention of the holiday that matters.  If your heart is speaking "Merry Christmas" and is living in the space of love and acceptance that Christ taught, then what does it matter if we get to say it out loud?  What does it matter if our kids get to sing proper Christmas carols in school or not.  What does it matter if stores announce "holiday sales" instead of "Christmas sales"?

Personally, I see more people concerned about one upping last years gifts than they are about what the season really means.  They have no problem pushing and shoving their way to the latest gadgets only to yell at the staff because they don't have the color they wanted.

Grow up people.  Show your true Christmas spirit!





Monday, December 5, 2011

Unleash Your AWESOMEness Summit

Unleash Your AWESOMEness!

Your AWESOMEness lives inside of you just waiting to be noticed and unleashed!  This full day event will get your juices flowing and inspire you to live life in your naturally awesome way!

Join Jennifer Merritt, Heather Chauvin, Rosemary Heenan and Kelly Cowan for an unforgettable day of opening up to your natural you.  Learn how to find your natural intuitive and healing gifts.  How to bring positive energy and thoughts into your life and use them to change your life around.  Learn how your true being lives in your heart and how to connect with that power!

This event is going to ROCK YOUR SOCKS and the changes you will see in yourself will amaze you!

Contact unleashyourawesomeness@gmail.com for ticket purchase or call Jennifer @ (519)903-2113

Natural Consequences... A Parents Best Friend

How many times have you stepped into a situation to try and 'save' your child from natural consequences?

The fact is, this happens ALOT!  This is a pandemic in the parenting world if you ask me. 

It's what I like to call the 'my child is perfect' syndrome.

Parents intervening at school, blaming teachers for their child's behaviour.  Going head to head with team coaches so that their kids get more play time in the game.  Even going so far as to congratulate their children when they have hurt another.

What is wrong with us?!?!?!

We can all think of at least one adult in our life who was raised with this parental attitude.  They don't  take responsibility for their own behaviour, often times they have severe addictions, mommy and daddy are still helping them out financially (with little to no appreciation I might add), they blame and expect others to do their bidding in life.  And they whine when life isn't handing them all that they desire on a silver platter.

Does this sound like the kind of adult you want your child to be?

What I have learned through the years is that life is a great teacher and motivator.  One way it does this is through natural consequences.  Natural consequences aren't about someone else stepping in and 'saving' someone from their behaviour.  It's about nature itself taking care of what isn't balanced and sending a message. 

We see it all the time as adults.  Speeders get tickets (usually) or one day experience an accident (both are natural consequences).  If  you don't pay your taxes or mortgage you lose your house (a natural consequence), if you don't pay your utilities they get shut off (a natural consequence).  If you don't show up at work you get fired (yet another natural consequence).

So how come we don't want our children to learn from natural consequences?  Because they seem too harsh?  Because we don't want to look like bad parents?  Because it might cost us money?

If children were meant to be saved from all of the 'terrible' things out in the world that could possibly happen, they would've come with a giant plastic bubble.

The child who ignores curfew will one day be spoken to by police, have his name written down and will be driven home by said police (been there done that).  If your child goes to a school dance drunk they will most likely kick him out or have the police called on them.  If your child doesn't do his/her homework or show up to class they will fail or not get into the college/university of their dreams.  If your child has unprotected sex, they will most likely (eventually) encounter a natural consequence to that as well.

As much as it is hard to step back and allow life to teach our children, it is much more rewarding to see them learning for themselves in a natural setting and to be honest forcing your child to learn a lesson YOU want him/her to learn is time consuming, stressful and does not make for a very productive relationship at all.

So next time your child refuses to learn your way.  Allow life to step in and give him the lesson he truly needs.

Give it a shot.  I'm guessing you have nothing to lose.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Puppy Rules!

If ever I needed proof that lack of sleep leads to craziness & depression, I've found it.

New puppy.

No sleep for 4 nights now.

Equals.  Depressed feelings, depressed and crazy poems running through my head and a general lack of enthusiasm for anything that requires me to stand upright.

Just like back in the day when I was a new mom (eons ago!).  I had this same feeling of disconnectedness, like I was in a bubble, nothing I did was right and I was a complete waste of the term mother because I couldn't seem to get my act together.  I would cry when I was supposed to laugh and laugh when I was supposed to cry!

This new puppy has put me back into that same space of vulnerability.  She has me checking out every YouTube video imaginable to see if I'm doing it 'right'.  She has me second guessing my very strong intuition and she has single handedly (or pawedly?) turned our calm peaceful household into the land of the dead and cranky!

She's got the humans pitted against eachother and she is the CUTE AND CUDDLY master of deception!  One minute we're biting eachothers heads off the next we're doing the "Oh cute little baby, whose the baby, yes you're the baby, goo goo gah gah" with her. 

She has us wrapped I tell you!

I've always loved my sleep.  I'm beginning to realize though how important sleep is for my mental health.  Watching myself deteriorate little by little each day, hearing the voices in my head talk behind my back is making me nervous, you should hear the things they say!  I'm one sleepless night away from becoming a crazy bag lady that talks to herself on the street (btw. If anyone knows where I can get a cheap grocery cart let me know).

I've never in my life looked so forward to three o'clock in the afternoon when the boys come home from school. 

Watching them walk through the door is like taking the first bite of my favourite dessert,  divine bliss runs through my blood knowing that there is someone in the house that can puppy sit while I take a little nap!  A sweet, luxurious nap!  Oh my!

And yes, before you ask she has a crate.  That's what keeps her up all night!  I spend the time listening to her barking and whining and imagine that she is saying 'get me the fuck out of this crate, stupid human.  Can't you see that I am the ruler of this castle.  Rulers must not be crated!"  She says it in different tones and squeals to see which one gets the response.  Usually it's the high, sharp bark that gets my attention, that one means 'business'!

I know sleep will return to us sooner than we expect and to be honest, she's an absolute doll, totally smart (like her mama used to be before sleep deprivation) and a fast learner.  We couldn't be more happy that she's with us.


Sundae & Benjamin



















Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't Change....

So this title probably freaked you out a little....  Since I'm usually going on about how things change and you change and everybody changes and you need to suck it up and go with the flow.

This post is a little different though. 

I find so many people forcing themselves to change because someone else wants them to be different and then becoming miserable with life because they don't know how to get back to where they were!

For instance; you can spot someone a mile away that looks like they are totally uncomfortable in that flashy new outfit that new boy/girlfriend loves on them.  Doing something like this for someone we care about is a noble act, but does it make you feel more the way you want to feel?

I think we may do this because we don't trust ourselves and sometimes we have no sense of who WE are and what WE like or we question ourselves because maybe it doesn't fit the 'norm' mould that others would love to place us in.

Maybe you are a couch potato, video game playing, pyjama junkie and 'new person in your life' is a little more outgoing.  Do you find yourself feeling guilty if you don't enjoy the social scene?  Do you find yourself questioning who you are?  What about criticizing or judging yourself because you'd rather be home cuddled up with hottest new XBOX release instead of out on the town stuffed into a 3 piece suit?

Of course it's not just new relationships and it's no big deal to go out once in a while to make someone's day.  Some of us grew up with the sense that someone knew us better than we know ourselves.  No matter what the scenerio, it happens to each of us at one time or another.

Heck, if it were up to the opinions of others I wouldn't still be blogging (especially that guy who once commented that my blog was a waste of space)!  And I certainly wouldn't be pursuing my passions in healing and teaching!

I can totally see the appeal of giving someone else control of who we are and what we will become though.  I mean if we don't know for ourselves then isn't someone else better off with that job?

I've had experience being someone who has given away that control, as well as one who has tried to change someone we love (haven't we all?). 

I can't count how many times I've wanted change for a friend more badly than the friend wanted that change.

Or how many pairs of brand new, never been worn pants are hanging in my husbands closet from the times I insisted he try a different style than what he prefers.

It's important NOT to change just because someone would prefer it.  It's important to not to give up your outspoken enthusiasm for life.  It's important to not give up your personal style, love of the arts, creativity, authenticity and wisdom.  It's important to dance to the beat of your own heart.

It's important to stand up for WHO YOU ARE!

Because if you don't you'll be robbing the planet of the incredible gift of the authentic YOU.


**Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it.  Not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. ~ Buddha**








Thursday, November 24, 2011

I have a virus....cough cough!

Well, not the kind of virus you think I have.  Not a physical body virus but the kind that is even BETTER!  Even more time consuming, energy sucking and frustrating!

A computer virus!

GASP!

If there was ever a day when I wanted to totally revolt from technology today would be that day!

A call into 'AOL' Customer Support had me directly sent to a company who not only did not know how to help me change my email password (my only request btw). But proceeded to tap into my computer to 'help' me find what was wrong with it.

Well, imagine my shock when the tech showed me a screen that stated I had 501 viruses and 62,000 errors!

And why I didn't jump on the $299.99/year subscription to their top notch anti-virus protection program totally baffled her!

This is the point where my intuition started banging on the pots and pans to get my undivided attention. 

I said to the girl "how do I know that screen you just showed me is my computer?  How do I know that isn't the standard screen for the completely clueless so that you can wrangle them into your contract?"

No answer.

The call was redirected to another tech support person who tried the same pitch.

I hung up.

I just spent 3 hours on the phone with Customer Service India and still have yet to get a new AOL password. 

SIGH!

Welcome to the age of technology.

Cough!



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Life is a Blog Post

Today was one of those amazing days that hands you a blog post on a platter.

My oldest son booked his G2 drive test for this morning.

Now in my 'cool Mom' way I hadn't been worried in the least about him getting to drive himself everywhere.  In fact, I was pretty sure I welcomed it!

No more late night rides home for the girlfriend.  No more having to get him to the show on time or pick him up from a friends house.

Doesn't that sound like blissful freedom?

I thought it did.  Until from the inner depths of my Mom being came emotions I had no idea I owned.

And when did they decide to show up?  Yep, that's right, on the way to his test appointment.

My intention was to stay as calm and cool as possible.  The reality is the control freak from Mars was more than willing to rear her ugly head (again....cough) and somehow try to zap him back to being 5 years old and needing to hold my hand to cross the street.

Thankfully, I knew what was happening, so when he said to me "you are so worked up, what is your problem?" (with his usual 'oh my God I can't believe you are my mother' tone of voice) I knew how to explain myself instead of getting all worked up about it.

The truth is that no matter how much I think I have it all together, I'm still a mom.  I'm still learning how to deal with these new experiences, my emotions surrounding them and the inevitable truth that he is one day no longer going to be living in my home getting my kisses goodnight.

This experience called me out!  Had me on my knees begging to be spared the agony of seeing him drive off without me and having to endure the depth of motherly emotion I was not expecting!

Thankfully, God is on my side on this one and thinks he needs to stay under my protective wing for a bit longer because this attempt at his G2 was unsuccessful.

Whew! 

Even prayers from oblivious Mothers are heard.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Always learning something

There are so many wonderful perks to being a mentor to a young girl. 

Of course one of them is spending one hour of quality time per week, painting, drawing, sculpting with play-doh, shooting hoops and playing board games.  All of these things I don't slow down enough at home to enjoy.  I love that I come home with glitter glue on my shirt sleeve or dried play-doh stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

And of course being a positive influence for a young girl, sharing one on one time, helping her to realize how special and important she is in this world feels amazing!

I was told by many that being a mentor would benefit the child immensely, but that it would change my life forever.  I experienced that on the first day of meeting her, I felt so blessed to have the time and opportunity to be a positive influence to a young girl, and the sense that greater changes are to come hasn't lessened at all.

Being a mentor to this young lady puts me in a space of extreme responsibility.  To myself.  Watching her interact with her sister and other kids reminds me of when I was that age.  Unsure of myself, quiet and accomodating.

A time when it wasn't odd to be called names, teased about my size and made to feel like a complete waste of earthly space.

When I see her reactions to certain people I can feel that emotion that lives inside of me.  That still scared little girl.  That little girl who is so afraid that someone will notice yet one more thing that is wrong with her.  Who feels obligated to nurture and please others before she nurtures herself (if nurturing herself was even an idea to be entertained in the first place).

That little girl scared to say what she really feels, afraid to lose the affection and 'love' of the people around her.

The self abuse, self judgement and self criticism inflicted on this inner child has left scars so big I'm surprised they can't be seen by the rest of the world.  Except, if I really honest about it, they can be seen if you're looking close enough.

They can be seen in the way I disconnect when I feel someone getting too close.  I'd rather be alone than run the risk of failing someone and losing their love.  They can be seen in my need to be perfect, maybe not so much in the cleanliness of my home anymore, but definitely in other areas of my life.  These scars affect my weight and eating habits too.

This mentoring role seems to be shining a spotlight on the things I thought I had handled pretty nicely at the time, but that I'm finding I had just put into a closet and walked away from.  It's helping me understand more deeply what makes me tick and how much more I need to forgive myself than anyone else.

So it's true.  Becoming a mentor will most likely change my life more than it will change the child's life. 

Because, it already has.





Thursday, November 17, 2011

Topic of the Day

The latest topic of conversation in our home has been all about stepping into your power aka "stop taking shit from other people and acting like a victim expecting someone else to fix things for you".

Hubby has been dealing with some workplace 'bullying' issues for the past 9 months or so.  You know the drill, employees having a conversation and then stopping abruptly when you walk in the room, ignoring you when you speak to them, keeping vital information about the operation of the building from you, accusing you of coming on too strong when there is an issue at hand.  Oh and my personal favourite screaming that you are a 'fucking asshole' then telling your manager that you are having difficulties at home to cover your sorry ass then never having to apologize for your behaviour.

Ahem.  Sorry I get a little passionate about this subject.

Isn't all of this behaviour 'kindergarten 101'?

This behaviour isn't the real problem in my opinion. 

The real problem is that hubby has decided that these people are right.  That they know him better than he knows himself and that he isn't the capable leader he once thought he was.

When I ask him what he feels he needs to do to get back in the groove of things he answers "get my confidence back".

Wrong answer.

Doesn't the thought of 'getting your confidence back' seem a bit daunting?  I mean, how do you actually do that in an environment that is breeding anger and resentment?

If you think you've 'lost your confidence' where you do you think it went and who do you think stole it from you?

Nope.  No matter what situation you are in, your confidence, skills, natural born qualities have never disappeared.  Fear has simply come in and thrown a sheet over it so that you can't see them temporarily.

I'm sure lots of people can relate to feeling just the way my hubby is feeling.  So, what do you do about it?

Can you remember a time in your life when you felt alive, passionate and purposeful?  I reminded my husband of the times he's spent starting up new treatment facilities.  How did that feel?  Did he question himself?  What was the outcome?  Was he respected for his role or was he degraded?  Was it hard for him to step into this role and get the job done?

Then we went through the steps of what is happening now, what it feels like, how it differs from those moments of triumph and purpose.  Has it been difficult to keep your mouth shut and let these people run all over you?

Now, if you could make a choice to be the person in the first scenerio or the second what would you choose without hesitation?

Of course, you'd choose #1.  It's who you are!  It's who you were put on this earth to be!

So maybe the key to changing your situation around is simply a choice to do so.  No homework, no extra reading, no programs or training.  Just a choice.

To Be or Not To Be.....  THAT is the question!

And that fear that is masking your greatness?  Well, it's just an illusion.

If he steps into his power what is the worst that can happen?  He won't lose his job because apparently you can scream 'fucking asshole' to your superior and not get fired for it.  So that's not a legitimate fear.

Your co-workers are already behaving as though you murdered their best friend and then set him on fire, so the fear of disconnecting from them is illegitimate as well.

And let's say he will need to find a new job, well there will be a new job waiting for him because the Universe gives to those who give empowerment to themselves without hesitation.  That's how it works.

So to everyone on the planet who seems to be up against a brick wall, where there seems to be no support or 'easy way out', instead of worrying about it and wondering what you can do to change it.  Just make a choice to be you (not the you others think you should be), the you that is magnificent and wise.  The you that knows just what to do when you need to do it.

And above all remember this:  You cannot live your life based on another persons emotional wellbeing.  You cannot walk around doing and being the person that will least ruffle feathers.  It just doesn't work and this world is in need of some feather ruffling.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Snapshot of my Life

Every morning is basically the same around here.
I lay in bed until 7:10am and I can hear the teenagers winding down their school prepping.

That signals that it's safe to enter the kitchen (a moment too soon could put me in the middle of the "there's nothing to eat in this house" war).

I walk up the stairs, say my good mornings and remind Nathan that there are dishes piled in the sink that need his attention and Evan that there is a cat clawing at the patio door looking to be fed.

You'd think these things would be obvious, and that after months of these reminders they would become automatic, but I live in the land of testosterone.  And I am convinced that testosterone causes blindness in men.

The occasional conversation about whether or not I'm willing to drive to Tecumseh to drop off a girlfriend that evening may ensue.  Depending on what my answer is, I may have to put up with a little 17 year old whining.  Which isn't totally unbearable since I know he can only stand there and whine so long before he needs to be out the door.

Evan usually is waiting by the door for his kiss and hug good-bye while these conversations take place. 

I wonder if he minds being the middle kid?

It's not long after Evan takes off for the day that Nathan gets his things together and walks out the door.

If he wasn't happy with the way the conversation went earlier, I may get a moon shot at me as I wave good bye and wish him a happy day.  Yep, it's gonna be a good day.

As much as getting mooned by your son in the morning isn't all that pleasant, this next part is even scarier. 

I have to wake up Ben.

Ben hates mornings.  Or I guess I should say he HATES mornings!

I pull down the covers from his head (he knows what's coming).  Kiss him on the cheek and rub his hair.

I try to be gentle waking this one up.  But no matter how sweet I sound, the words "Ben it's time to get up for school" always throw him into a fit of flailing limbs.

Usually, I can avoid getting a foot to the face.  Other times I'm too slow (mostly because I'm just waking up myself) and I get caught in the chaos.

He manages to get dressed and move to the couch.  Like clockwork I threaten to send him back to bed and call the school to tell them he won't be in.

I know you're all thinking that I have that one backwards, however this child will not miss school unless he is deathly ill.  He thinks it's a crime to miss a day and just the thought of missing schoolwork and having to catch up makes his stomach turn.  So as soon as I mention calling the school he is up and sharing his thoughts on my threat (that's a whole other blog post).

We get through breakfast and lunch prep relatively unharmed.  This morning he spends his extra few moments plucking out a tune on his bass.

With each tick of the clock I know I'm getting closer to the time when my day really starts.  The kitchen clean up, the bathroom wipe downs, laundry sorting and thoughts about dinner.  Today life will throw in a Reiki client, a distant healing and a networking event to balance things out.

This is my life.

And I love it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You are worth the effort of forgiveness

How do you forgive?

A couple of nights ago I held a forgiveness meditation on the beach in my town.  It was awesome!

I had a great group of people attend and you could feel the collective apprehension as they gathered and got cozy.

I could totally relate to their apprehension.  Of course, we all want to forgive, but we've never been taught how and it's a bit scary to think about letting go. 

I mean, if we let go of and forgive those we've been unwilling to forgive for so long, how will we feel?  What will happen next?  Will we survive without that story of unforgiveness?

These are definitely unchartered territories we are stepping into.

But, when the meditation was over I could see the physical changes in the way they moved and the brightness of their faces.  There was excitement in their voices.  Some were still very quiet, contemplating the enormity of what just happened or maybe trying to figure out how to maintain this place of peace.

The truth is, even the most stingy of people want to forgive.  It's our natural state of being.  We just don't know how.

Many people talk about forgiveness like it's no big deal.  Just forgive and let it go.  Let go and let God.

That's easier said than done.

Painful memories and hurt feelings keep us stuck in a cycle of unforgiveness.  A cycle of victimhood.

When you don't forgive someone you say things like "So & so did this TO me and I will never forgive her" and "My parents were unavailable emotionally for me when I was a kid and that is why I am like this today".

Some people won't forgive because they think the wrong was so big and so bad that forgiveness is undeserved.  There is a 'status' or 'label' put on the wrongs that we've encountered, some are worthy of forgiveness and some are not.  To be honest with you, if you have a status system going for your forgiveness, you aren't in a forgiving space to even forgive the smallest of hurts.  If you dig a little deeper you will find that you have never forgiven anything, you are harbouring experience after experience in your memory bank labelled 'unforgiven'.

When you don't forgive someone your body starts to show signs of wear, you become easily fatigued, distracted and frustrated.

Do you find that unforgiveness becomes easier and easier for you as you go on?  When you feel you've been wronged, you don't give it a second thought.  Unforgiveness just shows up as though it's the reasonable thing to do.  It's what is 'deserved'?

This is because unforgiveness and victimhood are cumulative.  They grow with each and every situation that you don't forgive or choose victimhood over empowerment.

I don't believe in snapping your fingers and "poof" forgiveness is found.  I'm sure there are people who can accomplish this, I am not one of them.

For me, it helps if I spend time with the stories that have been playing over and over in my head.  Getting acquainted with what I have been unconsciously telling myself gives me a perspective I might not have had before.  Where did these stories come from?  Are they true?  Can I find compassion for those involved in the stories?  If I can see things from a place of compassion and honesty then forgiveness streams in effortlessly, it just takes over and I find myself filling with love, empowerment and fulfillment.

There is extreme power in forgiveness.

How do you forgive?

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's a Girl Thing.....

Okay...  I'll give you fair warning.  I am going to share too much information here...  And it may get terribly disgusting I haven't decided yet.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

I haven't been to my doctor in 3 years.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

I know the ladies will know JUST what I am talking about.

And if it hadn't been for hubby having a bum knee and needing to get it checked out, that little bit of information would still be a secret to my doctor.

But no.

As soon as the 'Merritt family' file is opened the cat is let out of the bag.

Because...I am WAY overdue for my pap smear.

And it seems my doctor wants nothing more than to get that job done.  I've been hit with letters in the mail and phone messages asking me to call in to make an appointment.

Deep breath.

Personally, I feel pap smears are a violation of my right to keep my legs closed.

As I put it to my husband the other day "I don't even like spreading my legs for pleasure, let alone business!"  (Thank goodness he's used to my melodrama, he did not take this personally).

There is of course a million reasons why women detest pap smears!  They put you in the most vulnerable position you may ever see yourself in.  Not even child birth compares to the feel of cold clamp thingees being fed into your cavity and then cranked to spread you open like a turkey being prepared for stuffing!

I used to make these yearly appointments as if someone had a gun to my head.  Sweating profusely and stammering over words as I speak to the receptionist.

Then I lay on the bed with my knees spread in the air, I try to find my happy place before my mind starts wandering onto all of the horrific possibilities that could take place as I lay there open to the world.


Things like...what if someone pulls the fire alarm? Or......worse than death itself........gas!

Okay, okay I know there's the whole 'cancer' thing it's supposed to help detect.  However, I'd like to meet the lovely being that decided that this was the only way to get that kind of information. Just like I'd like to shake the hand of the fellow that thinks squishing a breast between two metal plates until you almost pass out is the only way to detect breast cancer! 

Notice I don't want to shake the hand of the fellow who invented pap smears....

I digress!

If we can get a man to the fucking moon, why can't we find an easier way to find 'private part' (I'm trying to be discreet...is it working?) cancer?

Another deep breath.

I'm sure that a yearly pap test is pretty much a walk in the park compared to the possible result of not finding cancer in time, but right now I just can't see the possibility, I'm too busy trying to find a body double to take my place.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Giving it up

Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to give it all up?  Not a suicidal moment, in fact not a thinking moment at all.  Not a negative experience, just a real experience.  A moment where it seems nothing is real and if you woke up tomorrow and it was all gone you would feel relieved?

I had one of those moments yesterday.  It was a split second visual of life up to this point flashing before my eyes and my brain wondering what it's all been for and my heart totally reaction-less.

It was strange and surreal and.......strange.

Strange mostly because this is not how I normally feel at all about my life.  So (of course) I questioned the validity of the moment.  Where did it come from?  Why did it exist at all?  What purpose does it serve?  Is it something I need to look more carefully at?  Was it fear?  Would I really be relieved if it were all gone tomorrow?

Honestly, I answered yes to that last question.

Maybe it's my addiction to the tv show 'House Hunters International'.  Seeing all those people give it all up to move to a remote location and live their dream life is SO appealling to me.  I feel like I could literally go with one suitcase and start a fresh life.   

As strange as the moment was.  It definitely felt like I instantly became clear about the concept of nothingness.

Nothing exists and yet we put so much emphasis on that nothing that it becomes something we are attached to and cannot live without.  We become emotional about it.  It stresses us out and causes us to behave in ways that we cannot explain.

So, how do I feel today?  The same.  The remnants of that moment are lingering, twisting and floating in my mind and body.  I'm not questioning it anymore though, I feel like it's a piece of wisdom that is living inside of me.  There's nothing for me to do.  There's nothing for me to need.  I am here and that is all.

This wisdom has most likely always been living inside of me, it's only now I know it's there. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Being the Change

This is the Halloween that I decide to stand in my truth.

I will not be handing out Halloween treats at the door.

My lights will be off.

I have become the old woman on the street that doesn't want anyone to bother her.

BOO!

Honestly though, this decision has been years in the making.  And it's only now that I feel confident enough in my choice to actually pull it off.

Interesting huh?  It's just candy!  What's the big deal?

Like most things there is a ton of pressure put on people to go along with the status quo, spend your child's college education savings on over-processed treats filled with enough toxins that the children of the world will be spinning in and out of sugar induced control for days, weeks even MONTHS!

Not to mention the fear of having my house egged and my trees toilet papered.  Do kids still do that to the cheapos that don't hand out candy?

There are so many kids challenged by weight and food sensitivity issues.  Why are we still indulging in this 'tradition'?  And is there another way to continue with the fun of halloween without suppressing our immune systems at the same time?

I wonder how much money is made by these companies every year throughout the various holidays?

I bet it's enough money to feed an entire starving country! 

That same starving country that I heard Westerners were sending their candy too last year!!! 

Oh My God!!!  What are we thinking?

All of this has been swirling around in my mind over the past month.

And when my husband questioned my sanity last night with raised eyebrows and "you're REALLY  not handing out candy this year?"  I realized just how important this decision is for me.

It's time to BE the change I want to see in the world (and if not the world, at least in my house) and being the change means taking one small step in the direction of that change.  Even if the step is as small as not participating in the process of keeping our children stuck in their health challenges.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Just an Observation

What if for one day you decided to just observe your life.  You know, stand off to the side of everything that is happening and simply watch it like a movie (or the Survivor series).

This thought has been coming up for me a lot lately.

Why not just observe what is happening instead of letting myself get sucked into the emotional drama of the situation?  Why not just let whatever is happening happen without placing a label of 'good' or 'bad' on top of it?

It's like taking the next step in your journey to 'go with the flow'. 

To be able to observe rather than judge takes the pressure and stress out of life.

And it may be easier said than done.  Especially for fellow drama junkies out there, but it is still definitely doable with a little practice and patience.

For instance.  Last week while I was taking some time to meditate I found my mind wandering (as usual) and I would quietly put the random crazy thoughts aside.  I did this over and over and over again until finally (after about an hour!) my mind just fell silent. 

It felt a little like putting cranky babies to sleep and then tip toeing around them so they didn't reawaken :)

Going with the flow and becoming the observer in your life takes the same calm, gentle commitment it does to send your thoughts away during meditation.

Imagine being able to connect with the moment that a simple, neutral situation (they are all simple & neutral by the way) becomes an emotion filled drama fit for the big screen.

This past week I had a couple of those simple, neutral situations come up and my mind wasted no time at all turning them into murder mysteries and high speed chases!  I didn't stop to question the labelling and judging until it was too late, they had already been developed and they were having an effect on my physical and mental well-being.

The truth is this happens to all of us, all the time.  Unless you are a monk sitting atop a mountain in total alonedom (like a kingdom but more alone, you get the picture) you are going to have drama and your mind is going to want to give you something to talk about around the water cooler at work tomorrow.

The trick is just becoming more aware of what this drama does to your body and your life.  Asking yourself "is this worth it?"  "what am I getting out of this drama?" may help you to realize that it's all a ridiculous ploy to create a worthwhile story that you will tell for days and days until something new comes along.

Today, I'm making a commitment to myself to become the observer more often.  I want to reduce the amount of tension my muscles are holding onto.  I want to reduce the amount of time I waste telling and retelling a story that if I think long and hard about it, has no content and expends a whole lot of energy for nothing.

It's time to remind myself that I am the captain of this ship and we'll be having no more of this mindless nonsense.

Feel free to join me.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A New Friend

I've been looking for a volunteer opportunity for 2 years now.  I wanted something that fit my schedule, fit my personality and fit my purpose in life.

So, when I found a kijiji ad in June advertising for the Big Brothers Big Sisters In School Mentoring program I felt like I finally found what I was looking for.

The more I spent time learning about the program and learning how to be an in school mentor, the more excited about this program I got!

Granted, I didn't think one hour per week was all that big of a deal.  How much of an influence can you be in that small amount of time.

I was assured by the coordinators and by a friend of mine that one hour a week makes a huge difference in the life of a child who may not get any one on one time with a caring adult.  I guess I'd have to take their word for it.

It was all I could do not to go crazy waiting for 'the call'.  You know the one, where you are told who your match is and what school you'll be in and all the deets on the fabulous little person you'll be sharing one on one time with for the year (and maybe years). 

The feeling is not unlike waiting for a child to be born.  Will it be a girl or a boy?  The anticipation feels fun and even adventurous somehow.

I have been excited since day one of this experience, so this past Monday when I finally got to meet my match I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to make an impact in this child's life.

Would she like me?  Would she think my hair (or lack thereof) was strange?  Would she trade me in for a different mentor?   ACK!!!!

The good news.  I think she's gonna keep me!  We had a great first day, we colored pictures for eachother, I gave her a rock in the shape of a heart that I found on the beach during a trip to Erieau that she can keep in her pocket for 'good luck', we played 'TROUBLE' at which I totally sucked, even when she tried to fumble the game so I could win at least once, I still lost AND she loved that!  And I loved that too.  To see her smile and reassure me that I'll get better the more I play.

The truth?  She mentored me that morning.  She took me under her wing and befriended me.  And I left feeling elated, like I had gained a valuable new friend.

I can hardly wait until next week to do it all again. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Pinky Swear

Just before we were leaving for our last trip to the cottage I was feeling completely worn out.  I felt like I had been running on a hamster wheel and getting nowhere in life and in business.  I was at my wits end, frustrated and not gaining any clarity of which end was up.

As I sat on the dock overlooking the lake one bright sunny day, I contemplated why it was that I was feeling the way I was. 

What could I do to change my situation and bring the fun and excitement back into my life.

I sensed that I wasn't completely off track, that the fun, passion and excitement was still within reach but somehow I had just allowed something else to get in the way of me seeing it.

It was in that moment that I realized I had been controlling every move I made over the past few months.  And in that controlling space I was feeling more and more disconnected to the way I truly love to live.  The control didn't make me feel fulfilled or purposeful, it just made me feel frustrated and tired all of the time.

So in that moment I decided to shift my perspective, I wiped my tears from my face, took a deep breath and pinky swore to God that I would stop controlling everything and just let life happen.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  I pinky swore God....

I looked up at the sky, envisioned a large cloud hand coming down with it's pinky finger stuck out and I saw myself reach up to connect pinky's and affirmed that I was willing to relinquish control over to the one who knows what is best for me. 

FYI:  God LOVES pinky swearing!!!

Since I've been back I've had some amazing 'AHA' moments, creativity has been flowing like water from a tap and I'm feeling energized, renewed and on purpose.

I have had some moments of wanting to step into the control room again (it's habit, what can I say) and it's not long into that moment that God reminds me of my commitment.  He flashes that pinky swear  moment in my mind and I have no choice but to back off and allow life to unfold before my eyes.

Yep, God loves a good pinky swear.

Monday, October 17, 2011

If You Can't Trust Yourself.......

I woke up this morning with this thought in my head.

"If you can't trust yourself....who can you trust?"

I can't tell you how many times I have been questioned because I made a decision based on my gut instincts.  People don't like it when you trust yourself more than you trust them.

I've had even more moments where I've regretted NOT following my gut instincts and going along with the status quo.

This early morning thought got me digging a little deeper. 

For instance, how many people are out there walking around with no trust in themselves.  Who have no idea that their stomach is turning because it's trying to tell them something really important or that the reason why they get a massive headache everytime they are in certain situations is because they'd be better off avoiding such people, places and things.

My favourite are those that see a psychic every other month to get 'direction'. 

**disclaimer:  I am not, nor have I ever been against psychic readings, I love them, I have had 3 in my lifetime and they have all been amazingly accurate.  I think it's great that we can get some guidance when we are at our wits end and cannot seem to get our head on straight **

I view outsourced intuitive guidance as a road map to use when you are so lost you can't even find your way back to the main road.  To over use this service is to negate your own inner wisdom (that same wisdom that a psychic taps into when giving you your reading!)

So let me ask you this question.  If you don't trust yourself enough to ask yourself the tough questions, how much can you really trust that person across the table from you telling you that soon you will meet Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome, get married and have 5 kids before May of 2013?

Seriously?

You're probably laughing right now, but this happens ALL the time!  And the part that is so frustrating is to watch someone you care for walk around living their lives based on what that intuitive told them would happen!  YIKES!

Wouldn't it feel better when at the end of the day you could say to yourself "hey, you listened to your gut instinct about that issue and look how great that turned out".  And wouldn't it feel even better if you weren't always questionning how life unfolds because it's not what the tarot cards told you?

I'm just saying....  If you are trusting someone else more than your trusting yourself then your in for some disappointing times.



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Transformation is a sneaky bugger!

If you were to ask me how I got to where I am I wouldn't have an answer for you.

And to be even more honest, there are multiple days when I wish I would've written some of the stuff I've done down, so I could give someone a bit of a heads up.

But I didn't.  And I can't.

And while we're on the honest train, I don't really think that having written it down chronologically would have helped anyone anyway.  Transformation takes time.  And it happens in your own individual time, in your own individual way.

My transformation probably doesn't look like the next guys because it was made just for little old me.

I've tried over the years to rush my transformation.  There have been many times when I could feel something new coming around the bend and wanting it so badly and wishing that it would just hurry up and get here only to have it take FOREVER to arrive!

(don't you just love run on sentences)

I have an aversion to patience and so I am often found rushing my progress in business and personal relationships as well.  Just to end up totally spent with nothing more to give to anyone or anything.

I find lately that those moments of exhaustion are coming more and more quickly.  It used to take months to catch up to me and now it seems like all I need to do is spend a couple of hours giving too much of my energy to rushing something and I BAM I'm on the couch because my body refuses to move forward.

It hit me the other day as I contemplated how hard I have been pushing myself to 'get somewhere' that my path has already been laid for me.  This is a belief I have held for many years (though sometimes the screams of 'should' are louder than my beliefs).  That everything that I have ever experienced up until this point has prepared me for this moment, just as this moment will prepare me for the next (and so on, you get the picture).  So, is it really necessary for me to 'bust my nuts' over something?  Does it really matter whether or not my website is kickass or not?  Does it really matter that I have no idea where I am heading or where I will be in the next month or so? 

No.  None of it matters.

I look at my husband and his career.  He has seemingly effortlessly risen up the ladder of his profession, has earned the respect of his peers and is constantly being asked to take positions with other companies because they would love to have his expertise on their team!  All he has done (and I say 'all' as if it's not important, but it is really important) is be himself and embrace the passion he has for what he does.

So as far as transformation goes, I think it's a go with the flow kind of process.  That if you are resisting then your transformation is going to come along slowly, like walking through a muddy bog.  But if you are open and trust the flow and the pace at which life is handing you opportunities then things are going to come along nicely.  Maybe not as quickly as you would like (if you are allergic to patience like I am), but it will come along none the less, because it has to.  Life is designed to move, shift and change constantly. 

Unless you are chained to a brick wall your whole life you will transform and it will be amazing and one day when someone asks you how you got there you aren't gonna have an answer for them because transformation is sneaky that way :)

Releasing Responsibility

I want to share a quote I found recently.  This quote sums up how I pretty much feel about my parenting style.

"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon them and to let them know that you trust them."  ~ Booker T. Washington

A few years ago you would have found me full of anxiety over my parenting skills. 

Back then I used to hang onto every little thing.  I had control over everything and I didn't give responsibility to anyone in my household.  No one could do laundry or dishes quite like I could.  I used to parent based on what others thought was best for my kids, not what I thought was best for them and I was always afraid of what someone might say if my kids weren't dressed just right!

No wonder I was in full panic mode most of the time!

This quote reminds me of our recent trip to the cottage.  Our older two sons (17 & 14) are both working and of course in school.  They weren't too keen on taking a trip and missing out on work opportunities (our oldest son has just started his first job and so didn't want to take time off) and so we opted to leave them behind. 

We opted to give them responsibility and trust them for the nine days that we would be away.

I was more emotional about not having them with me than I was about leaving them to their own devices for nine days.

They did great.  They got along well, they didn't starve and the house didn't burn down.  Their time without parental supervision was a success.  Who'd have thunk it?

What I would have missed as a parent had we not given them that opportunity, was to see just how responsible and capable they are.  Handing over responsibility to your child shows you just how well you have parented them up until this point.  It's like a parenting report card. 

If you are one of those parents who doesn't allow your child to do anything without your supervision, you are missing out big time!  Not only do you not know how well your child will cope in a situation where you are not with them to make their decisions for them, but you are missing an opportunity to show your child just how much you trust their judgement.  You are missing an opportunity to empower your child!

Ahem.  This goes for all you parents of adult children as well.

Granted you are not going to leave your eight year old home alone for nine days.  But there are things you can do for your younger children that will empower them.  It was always helpful in our house to let the boys dress themselves the way they like, pack their lunches the way they like and (as much as it pained my control freak ways) to let them do their chores the way they would like. 

Trust me, letting go a little bit now when your kids are younger makes it WAY easier to get into the passenger seat with them when they are working on getting their drivers license! 

So, do your kids a favour, heck do everyone in your life a favour; give over responsibility to those you have been withholding it from and then trust that all is well.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Verify the verification for me PLEASE!

Could someone PLEASE tell me what is the exact purpose of those 'word verifications' you get when you want to post a comment on a blog?

And why is it that when you type in what you think you see as that word, you get the error message that in fact that was not the word that was shown and you need to 'try again'.

Really?

How is one supposed to know that the small 'l' and the 'n' that were placed so closely together, were not in fact an 'h'?

And what about when they put those letters in cock-eyed positions?  Why would they do that? 

This has been something I've been wondering about for quite some time.  It's annoying (I'm clearly easily annoyed).

Maybe I'm dyslexic! 

What other explanation could there be for not getting those squished up, cock-eyed words right?

Or maybe the guy who makes up those stinking words is dyslexic and the company that hired him haven't noticed yet.

Yah, my money's on door #2.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

There's Kryptonite in my underpants!

This has been ONE OF THOSE WEEKS!!!

No, my house isn't floating down my street and my basement hasn't flooded (knock on wood).

No, I'm not starving and neither are my children.

And no, I haven't lost my job (I might if I actually had one though).

I have a great life really.

But there are weeks when it feels like my arch nemesis has dropped kryptonite down my pants.  Confused?  You'll need to read my last blog post.  And this has definitely been one of them.

Okay, maybe kryptonite in my underpants is a little extreme, but I'm trying to get a point across here....

Seriously, I feel like all my super human powers that I possessed just weeks ago have been annihilated by the one thing that weakens my defenses...  Self doubt!

Self doubt is my kryptonite.  It makes me forget who I am, makes me lose focus and clouds my judgement.

Self doubt totally sucks and I've noticed it's getting way more sly than it ever used to be.  Sneaking up on you wearing that invisible cloak until BAM! it knocks you out!

I'm working on mixing some special ingredients to reverse the effects of self doubt.

If I mix in just the right amount of quiet 'just for me' time with a handful of talking with a trusted friend.  Throw in a bit of doing something good for someone else and wham bam thank you ma'am you've got a recipe for disabling the self doubt kryptonite.

PS - my cape is STILL in the laundry.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My cape is in the laundry....

Today is one of those days...

You know the kind where the to-do list is longer than your arm, you don't know where to start and you wish you could just tear that damned list up and forget it even existed.

After putting my list together this morning, the thought crossed my mind that I was insane (this is not the first time that thought has crossed my mind btw).

The President of the USA probably doesn't have a list as long as mine!  Even the most successful people in the world take time for breakfast.  Why do I feel I can't?  The Pope, with all he has on his hands takes time for tea, prayer and reflection each day.  What makes me think I can or should get all of this done in one day?!?!

Where is it written in the Mom manual that I must beat myself up for being human and needing sleep?  Oh yah right, there isn't a Mom manual!

But those silly voices in my head keep telling me I'll be nothing, worthless, a big old nobody if I don't do the things I need to do on that list, if I don't take immediate action I won't get anywhere in life.

So I did what any other self respecting woman would do.

I told the voices that the dog ate my list.  Then I took a nap.

Besides.  I can't save the world today. 

My cape is in the laundry.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Finding compassion in parenting....

At what point in your relationship with your child do you think you'll let go?

Why am I asking this?

Well, I've noticed that some parents are completely obsessed with controling their children's every move.  To the point where most children still live at home at 30 and most parents are complaining about that!

For me, wanting to control the lives of my children began very early.  Like pre-birth early.

My children were all very late coming into this world.  Their late arrivals prompted induction.  Many, many, many inductions.  In fact, it took my middle son 3 days of inductions to decide to arrive (he's also the one that doesn't comprehend the idea of curfews or the meaning of the word 'now').

I kind of always had this visual of each of them holding on for dear lives inside my womb, screaming "No, no, no I won't leave the comfort of this place to go out into that hellish world!"

*cough*  Anyway....

Not long ago my husband and I were discussing the fact that our oldest son had no desire to find himself a job.  I had made the comment that maybe he just wasn't ready for a job, maybe he had maturing to do and no matter how much anger, frustration and nagging we put into our pleas for him to find a job, he wasn't going to magically become ready.

This comment reminded me of the boys 'late arrivals' and that thought brought me to this blog post.

The idea that we can control, manipulate and rush our children into the people we want them to be, is absurd.  Tell me; has there been anything in your life you have been able to successfully rush, manipulate and control?  Notice I said 'successfully'. 

Controlling them to the point where they are living the lives we want them to live is absolutely ridiculous.  And didn't work for parents of earlier generations either. 


The truth is we cannot control our kids.  And when we try to control them all we get is stress, tension, frustration, etc., etc., etc.

Our kids (believe it or not) have their own life purposes, they have souls and personal journeys to accomplish and experience.  Not unlike ourselves (wink).

This isn't a new phenomenon.  Parents have been trying to control the outcome of their children's lives for a gazillion years!  Maybe even more!  It's time to stop parenting the way the cave men did.  It's time we parents put a new spin on things.

So, how do we stop, look and listen to our kids?  How do we begin to allow ourselves to loosen the death grip and let our kids go and grow and still maintain our sanity? 

Personally, I find it helpful to remind myself of the anxiety of adolescence that I felt myself as a young girl (and back then we didn't have all this online social media shit to deal with, just good old fashioned face to face).  I remind myself of my own uncertainty even now as an adult trying to make her way through life.

If you want to connect on a deeper level with your child, if you want to build a great relationship where they actually come to you to talk about their challenges and fears you need to do one thing and one thing only.

Remind yourself of what it is like to be a child, an adolescent or a teen in a world so big, so scary and so intimidating.  Just remind yourself.  The remembering is where compassion lives and our children need our compassion not our control.

Hair Razing......

This won't come as a big shock to anyone who knows me well...

I shaved my head today...

Well, the guy thought it would be best to not shave the whole thing and try to get somewhat of a style out of it (chicken) and so I have sort of a mohawk thing going on...

But still.... It feels Fucking Fantastic!  Liberating!  Empowering!  Kick Ass Awesome!

I've been feeling the need to shave my head for about a month now, the urge just kept getting stronger and stronger until today when the urge had me hunting down cheap hair salons just to get the job done!

All the way home from my morning appointment I found myself wanting to turn into each salon that I passed until I finally settled on one close to home.

The hair thing is symbolic of the transformation I've been going through. 

I have outgrown the person I used to be.  Worried about hair color and style.  Always looking for something new to make me feel better about myself.

I can honestly say I feel free!  Free of obligation to do something with that regrowth that won't go away without a little chemical dependency! 

Free of obligation to style and fuss over the top of my head to the point where I am too exhausted to worry about the rest of my appearance! 

Free of worry whether or not the rain and wind will ruin my hard work once I have completed!

Freedom; plain and simple.
Did you think I wasn't going to show you?

A little side view shot for you...


Sunday, September 18, 2011

You get what you need!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

But someone's gotta do it!

To those of you who are experiencing so much flux in your life.  Relationships in crisis.  Finances in ruins.  Children running amok, etc. etc. etc.  You've asked for it.

Ouch!

Now, I'm not really that big into 'law of attraction' stuff, I don't believe that just because you have a negative thought something negative is going to come of it.

What I have noticed though, in those who seem to be in chaos and crisis mode right now (and what I've noticed in my own life as well) is that what is coming about right now is an accumulation of negative thoughts, not just last weeks thoughts, but last years and the year before that and the year before that.

Yikes!

I don't know about you but I've thought and said some pretty negative/damaging things over the past years and yes I can see all of that creeping up and showing itself to me now in fits and spurts.  I do understand where they are coming from and thankfully I've learned some tools on how not to let these things bring me back to that negativity.  One of them is staying in the present moment.

I think it's extremely important to recognize where it was we may have asked for what we are currently receiving/experiencing.  I'm kicking myself now for not knowing this before or I'd have been asking for a million dollars all those years ago!  For those of you that had the foresight to do that, I commend and congratulate you on a job well done (can we do lunch?).

Anyway, I have a theory on all of this "past thought haunting" that happens to all of us.  I believe that as we grow and mature and realize our personal responsibility to ourselves, these past thought accumulations come into our lives at beautifully timed intervals to help us hone our responsibility skills even further.  It's not necessarily the Universe sending us 'tests', it's our own thoughts coming back to us.

Here's one:  If your child has been giving you a run for your money since he was 2 and all your thought energy (and what you tell everyone around you) is put into "He's such a handful, he never stops, he's going to be the death of me, etc." then what you are going to experience when that child is 10, 14, 18 is exactly what you have been thinking about him since day one!

Here's another one:  If your marriage (relationship, career) has entered a rocky area and that's all you can think about even when you have surpassed the rocky area and are doing well, and all you do is talk about 'when so & so did this or when so & so did that" a hundred and one years ago, then guess what?  Yep, you guessed it, your marriage (relationship or career) is going to deteriorate little by little until one day it just doesn't exist anymore.

This one reminds me of a guy I knew who worked for one of the big 3 automotive companies years ago.  Nothing this guy ever said about his job, the pay and the company was nice, not one grateful or appreciative comment.  Then one day (as well all know) these companies started laying off their employees because of decline in auto sales.  This guy went berserk!  How dare they lay him off, didn't they know he worked for them for 20 years, didn't they know he was a committed employee, blah blah blah!

I couldn't help but say to him "Isn't this better than working for them?  Aren't they doing you a favour? You seemed miserable working there, nothing they did was right.  What's the problem?"

Needless to say he didn't like me pointing out the obvious.

Here's what we need to remember about life.  Negative attitudes and people bashing don't get us what we want, they get us what we need.  And sometimes what we need is a kick in the ass to get us on the right track.

From my perspective, all of his thoughts and words acted like a prayer "please, please, please get me out of this miserable job that doesn't pay enough, that I hate, that I despise going into every morning"!

And the Universe responded to that prayer.

It wasn't his version of what he wanted (suddenly the crappy pay was better than the alternative which was NO pay).  But it was what he needed.

So my advice to you.  When your faced with a situation like the ones mentioned above (or any of the other gazillion experiences we can have) take a moment to see where you might have asked for what you are experiencing. 

And if you can feel this kind of situation arising (and trust me we can all sense when the shit is about to hit the fan), do something about it.  You still have time to change what happens. You can do this by thinking loving thoughts and praying a new prayer.  Change your attitude, put a smile on, do a happy dance. 

Or accept what happens, learn from it and move on but don't make it part of who you are, don't let it establish another 10 years of unhappy thoughts and unappreciative words... 

Because guess what you can expect then?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Inspired living!

There are many times when we have a burning desire to do something and then in the next instant we have an extinguishing fear of doing it.

Suddenly a list of all the reasons why we cannot accomplish that burning desire begins to surface.

I've spent the past couple of months in the 'extinguishing fear' part.

What is my burning desire?  To educate and mentor parents who want to have a stronger, more open and respectful relationship with their adolescent/teen.

The extinguishing fear?  I am not a perfect parent.  I yell sometimes, I am unreasonable sometimes.  I am not perfect.

And in my mind, only perfect parents can educate other parents.

Ha!

The other day I heard myself say "I want to educate and mentor parents while I am still in the mode of parenting.  I don't want to wait until I am 65 and my kids are grown to do this, I want to do it now while I am still learning and still 'doing' the parenting thing". 

I want to do this so that I can stand beside each and every struggling parent who has woken up one day to stare down a kid they have no idea how to relate to; and help them adjust, help them find a way to relate to them.

At 14 my son was out of control.  Anger, violence, disrespect and threats were part of our everyday.  So much so that he spent more time at a friends house than he did at home because I just couldn't handle it.

People would tell me to get used to it and that it wouldn't end until he was 21!

I remember feeling dazed and confused.  How in the hell was I going to get through this all the while thinking "oh my goodness, I have 2 more as well!"

Cut to today.  My 17 year old (not 21) is loving, caring and kind.  There are no more threats, no more violence, no more anger.  When I get upset he talks to me rationally.  When he gets upset I talk to him rationally. 

I have a 14 year old as well and he hasn't exhibited any of the 'expected' teenager 'symptoms'.

Oh yes, we still get eye rolls and we still get "I'll do it later" when they are asked to do something.

But, I have turned my family's life around.  I have done that.  I did not access a perfect parent, I learned on my own, I did the work on my own and I did this for my family.

And I know I can do it for many others as well!

So those extinguishing fears are getting kicked to the curb!

If you have a burning desire to do something.  Just do it!

Life is meant for the living, not for those that think about living!

One last thing.  You feel a burning desire when you are meant to do something fabulous.  Burning desires don't come around every day you know.  So take action!  Take that burning desire and fly!  The world will thank you for it later!


Monday, September 12, 2011

A little faith

There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.   ~ Mohandas Gandhi

I am a quote-a-holic.

Quotes perk me up the way little blue pills................well......you get the picture.

The above quote is a great reminder for me today. 

I didn't sleep well last night at all.  My dreams were all over the place (as they have been for quite some time now) and I found myself in that crazy place where you are aware that you are dreaming and you want to do something about what you are seeing but you can't because you are really asleep.... 

So all night it felt like I was trying to put out fires, or at least create a change in what was happening only to find that I could make no difference at all.  I woke up feeling helpless and hopeless, insignificant.

And then I found this quote this morning.  Aha!

Last nights crazy dream situation reflects how I've been feeling in my waking hours these days.  I can see relationships ending and circumstances in my life changing (drastically!) and even though this is all familiar territory, I have been worrying about it incessantly!  Trying to find the logical explanation (is there one?) and trying to find a solution that keeps everything fine and dandy.

If I'm being honest with myself, I have no control over any of this, whatsoever!  I didn't put these balls into motion, they just started rolling and here I am on the sidelines watching it happen feeling hopeless, helpless and insignificant.

That's my real problem.  I've expected myself to know what to do and to fix it.  I've had no faith in the flow of life and I'm exhausted from trying to keep up!  There's a picture.  I'm trying to keep up with God's plans for me instead of allowing that energy to lift me up to the place I need to be.  It inevitably always does!

Last night I went to bed looking forward to the sun rising.  And now I know why.  Somewhere in my being I knew that clarity would come by sunrise.  And it did.

Today I have the opportunity to let go.  Now that I can see where it is I was resisting, I can loosen my grasp and relax a little knowing that in the end all I need is a little faith.








 

Friday, September 9, 2011

This one might get me in trouble....

Do we truly believe that 'celebrating' the anniversary of 9/11 each year helps people to heal?

It's been 10 years.

10 years of war and sadness.

Many more people have lost their lives to the cause than just the ones that perished on that day 10 years ago.

For what?

For peace?  For justice?

I doubt it.

And what about the other countless terrorist attacks?  The other hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their lives to terror over the decades? 

There aren't celebrations for those. 

No televised ceremonies. 

No glamorous preparations. 

No presidential speech.

What about the survivors who have moved on and are trying to live a normal life everyday?

It's like digging the corpse up out of the grave every year just to make sure it's still there.

I'm all for remembering, but are we dragging this on longer than necessary? 

Sorry, but I just don't get it.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Remembering to BE

Lately I've been spending a little bit of time with my grandmother in the hospital. 

She sleeps alot.  She's worn out from her 92 years on this planet.  Her gas tank is nearing empty.

So when I'm there, I'm not doing much.  I feel like I'm not doing anything to help her feel better.

When it's time to get her food to her and help her eat, I fumble.  I can't get the tray to sit right across her bed on the first try.  I am afraid I am going to stab her delicate lips with the fork (so I made her eat small chunks of chicken nuggets with a spoon).  I want to say something to her and I don't know what that something is.  I worry about missing her mouth and getting soup down the front of her (where did they put that big bib anyway?)  And don't get me started on getting the straw for her water into her mouth and not up her nose!

I've been laughing alot while I'm with grandma.  Laughing at my vulnerability and the ridiculous-ness of it all.  Laughing at this 'near end of life' comedy that seems to be unfolding, maybe just in my eyes.

The other day I laughed at my worries that I'm not DOING enough for her. 

I stayed with her a few hours and I read a book, I let her float in and out of sleep, I fed her what little she would eat for dinner and then I rubbed her hair and I rubbed her legs.  I said a quiet prayer for her.

She told me to go home.  I told her not to tell me what to do (my husband recently told me that my spunk reminds him of her).  Then I told her that I want to BE with her.  Just BE.  That everything at home was fine, that the boys will see me when I get home and that there was a big pot of homemade soup waiting for them for dinner.

She smiled.

And just then I let go of my worries about doing enough and we sat there....  being....




I WILL disappoint you. I PROMISE!

It's not like I do it on purpose.  It just comes naturally!

I think I might get a t-shirt made for this one!

Of course we've all disappointed someone at one time or another.   We are human afterall.  And this is a human experience we are having. 

You simply have not lived until you've experienced the phone call or email berating you for being so irresponsible and uncaring!

(disclaimer - the implication that one is irresponsible and uncaring when they have disappointed is an assumption on the part of the accuser and does not realistically reflect the integrity of the disappointee)

This topic is huge for some people right now.  Maybe it's all part of the collective 'AHA' that's happening right now. 

I've spoken to a few people who are experiencing being put on an invisible pedestal only to find that they are quickly booted off due to a moment of disappointment.

Ah, the game of life.  Seriously, where in the rule book does it say that our lives are to be lived only to please the unpleaseable?  On what page does it read that I will sacrifice my peace of mind and loving heart to stay friends with someone who clearly doesn't get the meaning of the word 'friendship'.

FYI for those of you who are just waking up.  Friendship is not a one way street where one person gets to make all the demands and the other person has to clean up all of your messes for you.  Friendship is a give and take, it's an unspoken contract of mutual respect and responsibility.

I will never forget one girl in Grade 8 (a gazillion years ago!) delivering her speech about friendship.  It turned into a red faced crying fiasco where the teacher had to escort her out of the room; but for me her words made a huge impact on my heart and have never left me.

People and relationships get hurt when foolishness enters the ring. 

It makes me wonder?  Is it the initial act that wreaks havoc on the relationship or is it the assumptions, blame and judgement that come afterward?

Personally, if someone thinks I disappointed them on purpose and out of malice, they never really knew me in the first place and will be handed a one way ticket out of my world.  To truly know someone is to know what they are capable of and where their heart is at.

For the disappointed, I have one question for you.  Who do you think you are?

I also want to give those who are currently feeling disappointed with anything or anyone in their lives a little tip.  You are not REALLY disappointed with that person or circumstance, you are REALLY disappointed in yourself!  Blaming someone else is avoiding the obvious need to look within yourself and correct the issue.  It's time to realize that we are not the center of the Universe, that life happens and we need to take responsibility for our lives and our emotional state.

Can I get an Amen?