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.


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.


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.


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 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?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top Secret Information Revealed!

How many people do you know think that happiness, success and a life full of bliss are out of their reach and control?

How many of these people believe that the ingredient to having all of these things is top secret and is only revealed to those worthy of the information?

Are you one of these people?

While life has us running around like mice in a science experiment, we are missing the fact that the top secret ingredient we all need to make life much more pleasant is simple and it's right beneath our noses!

While I was on vacation this summer I found my mind wandering on the usual things...  What am I doing here?  What do I want to accomplish with my personal life, my business life?  Who do I think I am?  How can I get more more more! 

I feel out of breath just thinking about these things!

As these thoughts flowed, a message kept popping in...  Well, it was more like a word.


Kindness.  What am I doing here?  Being kind.  What do I want to accomplish?  Be kind.  Who do I think I am?  Kind.  How can I get more?  Be kind.

When I began to answer all the 'pressing' questions that came to my mind with the variations of the word 'kind' I began to see how simple it all is.

Kindness leads to love.  Automatically.  No strings attached, no hard work, no mind numbing palms sweating dedication.  Just a simple act of kindness can pull everyone around you out of a pit of despair.

This is typical 'self help' stuff.  And if you're like me you read 'self help' stuff about kindness and love and peacefulness and you think big (aka the little stuff doesn't matter or you have to be a monk living on the mountain to achieve it), how can I make a 'big' difference?  Then, rather quickly I might add that energy fizzles because either I feel 'too small' or 'too poor' or 'too' something or other and my thoughts of big die just as quickly as they were born.

But kindness is the stuff dreams are made of!  Kindness comes in a beautifully wrapped trinket box, no bigger than your hand (easy to travel with and even easier to give).  And the minute the bow is removed from the lid....


Kindness explodes and sparkles of light touch everyone around you!  Kindness turns a miserable day into a bright one.  Kindness can pull someone from the brink of ending their life.  Kindness can give someone the strength they need to take one more step towards freedom!  Kindness can do anything you want it to do.

Don't kid yourself that, that smile you give to the girl that makes your coffee every morning doesn't affect change.  It does!

Don't negate that you holding the door for an elderly person doesn't give them hope.  You may be the only person that has even acknowledged their existence that day!

Don't poo poo a listening ear or a card of appreciation sent in the mail.

All of these things can change a life!  And it will change your life too!

The Summer of Change

Oh my goodness...  First day back to school for the kids...

My mind is flooded with the possibilities for this day, this total silence mom has control of both computers and can play any kind of music she wants day.....

It is certainly a day of bitter sweet celebration.

Where did the summer go?

Yesterday was emotional for my youngest son.  He was in tears over the fact that summer slipped through his fingers and he didn't do anything worthwhile to speak of.

Unless you count the gazillion mechanical robots and cars he created with his lego.  Or the countless NERF gun wars he had with his brothers.  Or the bike rides to the beach, the trip to the cottage and the visits with family and friends.

I have to admit as summer break came to a close I had these same thoughts in my head.  It happens every year really, the urge to make a mad dash to get it all in before the last day falls upon us.

If I look back I can see that the summer was jam packed already.  Maybe not with as many spectacular activities that my son would have preferred, for me it was filled with personal connections and growth.  I learned alot about myself this summer and as I look around at the people in my circle of influence I can see that tremendous changed happened for all of us. 

One friend connected with her truth, another had her second child.  One friend connected with her divine skills as a medium and has been helping people who have been struggling with their grief.  Another friend let go of her feelings that she was unloveable and still another connected with her true passion in business!  And those are just a few mentions!

It definitely was the summer of change and personal growth.

How did it change you?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'm in no mood to tempt fate!

So I'm having a bit of car trouble.

Not just one car...  But both of our cars refuse to just get up and go for me. 

They get up and go for my husband.  They get up and go for the mechanic.  But not for me.

What does this mean?

Two weeks ago my van stalled on a set of VIA Rail tracks.  I got the vehicle off the tracks just in time to see a train whiz by!

So, now it's in the shop and (here's the shocking part) the mechanics have no idea what is wrong with it. 


I'll tell you what's wrong with it.  It doesn't like me!

Then this morning I'm jumping into my husbands truck to get to a walk-a-thon and (another shocker) the "your battery is going to die at any moment" light comes on!

Are you F******* kidding me?!?!

So do I stay in the truck and drive it anyway, hoping and praying I don't get stranded.

I thought about it. 

For a split second.

Then I jumped out, grabbed my purse and headed back into the house.

I just don't think this is the right time to tempt fate.