As a child of the 70's growing up in hippie Eugene, Oregon (Land of the Grateful Dead, Oregon Country Fair, and more tie-dye and Birkenstocks than should be legal) - one of my FAVORITE records was Marlo Thomas & Friends' "Free to Be You and Me." And while most of the decade appropriate message was about re-defining gender roles, there was also a hefty dose of learning about the freedom to make choices and taking responsibility for them - all good lessons for kids (and adults) of any age!
This year has been one of my toughest as a Mama. I've watched my older son freak out as the end of high school drew near and he didn't have a college plan, barely squeak through to graduate, taken him to Colorado (four big states away!) for school & baseball, and seen him struggle with time management as a college freshman.
Not gonna lie - I've been working hard in "fix-it!" mode most of the year. In fact, my kid issues and guilt were so overwhelming this past Spring that I landed back in therapy - taking responsibility for every single thing that wasn't going right in my kids' life.
Bad grades? I didn't prepare him well enough for High School.
Partying? I'm not good at discipline.
Horrifyingly Rude Behaviour? Somehow I deserve that because I left my marriage. (Or some other such nonsense!)
. . . etc. etc. ad nauseum.
Thankfully I have a lovely therapist who looked at me and said, "There are a LOT of things in play here. Your kid came out with his own set of genetic material, and has had all kinds of influences in his life. You, His Dad, His Brother, teachers, coaches, friends, etc. If you want to take ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY for everything he's not doing quite right? Go Ahead! But the truth is, it's not all on you." She nailed that so perfectly that I haven't been back since. Woot!
I did have an issue with him recently that brought some of that guilt up again and I had to remind myself that he is an adult, and I am not responsible for the choices he makes - no matter how annoying and seemingly stupid they may be. (Amen.)
And you know what? I realized this week was that I had been doing the same exact thing with his brother - but in the opposite way!
Good grades? I prepared him for High School after figuring it out with his brother.
Kindhearted Soul? He must take after me.
Tall? Those are the "white" genes!
Talented Baseball Player? Ummm - this one is tricky, but I'm SURE I have something to do with it! :)
Oh yes, I have been taking ALL the credit for his "successes", as well as his brothers' "failures". Which is a total joke because even if I did prepare him for the bigger work load in high school (for example) - he has still had to go to class, do his homework, and study for tests. The kid is putting in a LOT of hard work - and the credit for that belongs to him, and not to me.
At the end of the day I think I found myself with almost-adult kids, and wasn't quite ready to say "I've laid the foundation, let's see what they build from here." I felt like it happened over night, and wasn't in any way prepared for that transition. What can I say? I'm a lifelong learner. It's not always pretty but I'm making my way - and so are my boys.
Are you taking responsibility for your kids' actions in ways that are maybe not that healthy? Even if you don't have children - perhaps you've seen this behavior in yourself with other family members or at work? Remember - you are responsible for YOU, and even with the best of intentions - it's good to let other people be responsible for their own actions too. That my friends, is Freedom!
There's a land that I see where the children are free
And I say it ain't far to this land from where we are
Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free
Come with me, take my hand, and we'll live
In a land where the river runs free
In a land through the green country
In a land to a shining sea
And you and me are free to be you and me
(Full lyrics to "Free to Be You and Me" here)
Love and Light,
p.s. To be clear - both of my boys are amazing and turning into really great adults who I love spending time with. They are kind and funny and respectful of women - pretty much everything I've ever hoped for.
One of the things I like best about myself at 45 is that I am relatively Self-Aware. As in: I know what I like and what I don't - and I'm not afraid to say so. Things weren't always this way, and I think over the years the ability to say "This is who I am!" may have been muddied with:
Needing Things to be a Certain Way
Having to Control Situations
. . .because I did, and sometimes still do, all those things.
But the truth is that I have always been particular, starting as a young child - especially about food, and shoes. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that in addition to still being clear about what kinds of food I like and don’t, I’m also particular about my style.
For example, when I see Nordstrom ads in my FB feed? Inevitably they are for the shoes in the fancy shoe department (Salon Shoes?) and I want THOSE shoes, not the ones from Brass Plum that look kind of like them. Call me crazy but I can tell the difference, and I'd rather go without than buy something that looks cheap to me.
My favorite places to shop are Anthropologie, Boden, and Free People.
Additionally I am a fan of certain kinds of jewelry, which are by most standards expensive, AND totally cool!
Jill Platner Simple and Organic - I'm glad I follow her on Instagram so I can catch the Spring Sale!
Love Heals I have spent hours in their Ojai boutique perusing all the boho yumminess. * sigh *
Jes Maharry Haven't bought any of her work in years, but somehow those pages from the Sundance Catalog always make it onto my Vision Boards.
Anne Sportun I swear my heart skips a beat when I look at her designs . . . it's the perfect mix of beautiful and different - LOVE!
I don't actually own a lot of jewelry - but I make sure that I really love what I have, and wear it every day. It's also why I switched out my FitBit for an Apple Watch. I am clearly drawn to the aesthetic value in things. :)
Here’s what I recently realized:
Many of the beliefs I've carried over the years ("I’m a picky eater", "I spend my money on frivolous things", "I have expensive taste" <— you better marry a doctor when you grow up! . . .) are not MY stories, but stories that other people have told me about ME. And I am choosing not to hold onto them any more. Boom Baby!
What about you? Do you have things that you are particular about? Things that maybe you've been told make you "high-maintenance" or "quirky"? I am here to tell you that those things make you, YOU! So stand tall, know what you love (and what you don't!), and Own It!
Love and Light,
I've been doing some content inventory over the last couple weeks, and realized that I've done two posts about ASKING! Thankfully even though they were kind of about the same thing, I didn't repeat myself - clearly there's a lot to be said on that topic!
This week I'm writing about something that might look like asking on the surface, but it's actually a little different. Specifically, what energy we give our goals/dreams/desires - and how that impacts the way (or timeframe!) in which they are delivered to us.
During my Life Coach Training program with Martha Beck - I distinctly remember a call where she discussed the different qualities we can give our desires. The way she described the first was putting our dreams out into the world with a "clingy, graspy, needy" feeling. Funny . . . I knew e-x-a-c-t-l-y what she was talking about!
In contrast, the second method was to launch desires from a much deeper place - one of zen and calm and curiosity. Given that I didn't have a lot of experience asking in this way - I put the idea on a shelf somewhere in my brain and didn't give it much thought until the last few months when I've had a series of things show up in RECORD TIME after I've found myself thinking "Wouldn't it be great if . . ."
When I took a closer look, it was clear that those "asks" started from a state of wonder, rather than one of panic or neediness . . . they had a totally different vibration!
One of my favorite books is called "Ask and It Is Given" by Esther and Jerry Hicks - which explores this idea of manifesting your dreams through the vibrations you put out to the world.
"By the powerful Universal Law of Attraction, you draw to you the essence of whatever you are predominantly thinking about. So if you are predominantly thinking about the things that you desire, your life experience reflects those things. And, in the same way, if you are predominantly thinking about what you do not want, your life experience reflects those things."
It can be a lot to wrap your head around, but let me give you a couple of examples of how this has shown up for me recently:
This summer I'd just about had it with the never-ending plucking of my eyebrows/lip/witchy chin hairs which seemed to have turned into a middle-aged reality. I literally found myself thinking - there HAS to be a better way! Followed immediately by the thought "I"ll call a waxing place this week . . ." But before I could get that organized, a friend of mine who is a Registered Nurse and now doing cosmetic procedures called me and said "Oh hey - can I practice Electrolysis on you?" Hello? YES PLEASE. Solution delivered - and unlike waxing, it's PERMANENT. Thank You Universe!
More recently I found myself deeply disturbed by the presidential election - to the point where I was actually feeling quite anxious and couldn't really put my finger on WHY. I thought to myself "Wouldn't that be cool if I could sort out my Facebook permissions so that a certain presidential candidates' information just wouldn't show up in my feed?" Followed immediately by the thought "I'll ask my computer programmer boyfriend when I see him tonight - I'm sure he'll know how to do that." And then I forgot to ask him - oops! But when I got home that night there was something in a comment string on Facebook that was a link to a Google Chrome Plugin that would do EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED. And boy did I install that baby in a hurry!
Neither of these desires were anything that I really cared about THAT much. I was looking for a solution to something that was annoying me, it wasn't a life or death situation. That being said, it has made me think about some of my bigger dreams and goals (even the Wildly Improbable ones!), and how I approach them - would I be getting a different outcome if I didn't feel so panicked about the ask? Needless to say I am going to start paying attention and make sure that when I state my desires, I am coming from a place of zen, and not "totally freaked out". If you know what I mean!
What about you? Do you have any big goals or dreams that are sitting with the Universe? Do you remember the energy you attached to those when you put them out there originally? If you are feeling like the clock is ticking and those just aren't manifesting in a timely fashion - perhaps they need a fine-tuning . . . an energetic reset if you will? I'd love to hear - leave a comment or send me a note!
Love & Light,
When my boys were young they were vey fond of a game called "Would You Rather . . . ". I'm sure if you have kids in your life (whether they are your own or not), that you at some point have been subjected to this game of having to choose from what are inevitably two really horrible things. In my case it was between eating something gross and the other choice was ALWAYS " . . . Or Lick a Dogs Butt?"
Of course my answer was always NEITHER! which would be followed by loud complaining that I was no fun & not playing by the rules - etc. etc. (This would be the one time in my life that I didn't actually follow the rules - funny!)
In the last six months I have read a fair share of self-help books - and one of my favorites was "The Art of Non-Conformity" by Chris Guillebeau. It wasn't so much the examples of people starting non-profits to bring clean drinking water to Africa, or bloggers that acquired large audiences and turned their writing into streams of income, or globe trotters who figured out how to live on the cheap anywhere in the world - working in location independent jobs. Nope - while all of that is totally cool, as a mother of two teenagers those aren't goals for me right now. (Well maybe the writing gig?) What I loved most about the book was that it opened my eyes to the idea that you can choose how you want to live your life - it doesn't have to be the way society has always dictated.
I mean really - can you imagine playing a real life game of "Would You Rather . . . ?" where you only had TWO choices? Even if one of them wasn't Licking a Dogs Butt (ha!) it's such a "this or that" mentality ... when really we can create our own reality in any number of ways - ideally doing work & doing "life" in a way that makes our hearts sing. This is the land of opportunity, right?
You may or may not be familiar with Martha Beck's concept of Wildly Improbably Goals. (If not, you can read about them here.) If you're feeling stuck I would highly recommend giving this a try even if it seems outlandish - I'll share one of mine here so we can do this together:
I am going to write an eBook on Coaching and Creativity that will provide me with $2000 a month in passive income.
Does it sound crazy? Yes. Is it Impossible ? No. If you haven't written down your WIG's in a while, take some time to do it this morning. If you're just learning about them, write some for the first time . . . it's fun! I'd love to know what kind of Wildly Improbably Goals my people are dreaming about - leave a comment or send me a note!
Love and Light,
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
My boyfriend was out of town this week for a work gig, in Calgary! (And if you're wondering why I didn't go with him or why my timing of having to get a J-O-B is so crummy? So am I folks . . . So am I!) These days he doesn't travel much, but about a year ago he was out of town every other week - which
s-u-c-k-e-d. And here's something I noticed about the last five days: I REALLY missed him!
Of course it's natural to miss your sweetie when they are gone - but historically I would only really feel that heart-pang maybe once a week or every other trip when he was away. And when I tried to explain this to him at some point it sounded like this: "I've got a lot going on Babe . . . I'm Busy!" <--- Let me tell you . . . that "Busy-ness"? It's a THING. And this week after noticing those feelings bubbling up a lot more (I've really been missing my kiddo who is far away at college too!), I have a few things to say about it.
Whether you want to admit it or not, being "Busy" is a convenient way to numb. Just like drugs and alcohol - it keeps us from FEELING. But here's the thing: where drugs and alcohol are not always socially acceptable? Being Busy IS.
I'd even go as far as to say it's not only acceptable but our society actually tells us it's a good thing. Think of all the people you know who are feeling accomplished because they are busy, busy, busy, go, go, go, collapse! Do it all again the next day. It's an epidemic. Bleh.
<INSERT RANDOM BOTOX STORY HERE>
Last week my friend Ariane posted something on her Facebook page about women getting Botox in their armpits . . . so they wouldn't SWEAT. ** To be clear, there are several non-cosmetic uses of Botox that include treatment of migraines and yes also for people who suffer from excessive perspiration - both of which are pretty much a godsend for anyone in those demographics. I believe the article being referenced was relating to neither of the above and could be squarely filed under "convenience". ** At any rate, the comments that ensued were interesting, but the one that stood out to me the most was the question, "If you don't sweat, where to all those toxins go?" <--- RIGHT? For sole-ly cosmetic purposes it sounds like a terrible idea to me, but I'm not a very sweaty person . . . so I won't judge. Onward!
Here's the deal people: Busy-ness is like Botox to Your Soul (click to tweet)
It's no joke! In my experience having an over-scheduled life (work, kids, relationships, family, etc.!) creates a really convenient way to not have to deal with feelings that make us uncomfortable. But sadly it also keeps us from feeling the good stuff too . . . and who wants THAT? Not a lot of positive can come from keeping all your feelings trapped inside. Don't Botox your soul people!
Are you overwhelmed with an over-committed schedule? Consistently working more than 50 hours a week? Feel so busy that you routinely forget to drink water or go to the bathroom? Take a moment this morning to think about one thing you can do this week that would change that pattern. Remember - the difference between water that isn't boiling and water that is . . . is only two degrees. Small Change - Big Impact! I'd love to hear your thoughts and successes (& failures! <--- that means your trying!) - send me a note or leave a comment below.
Love and Light,
Meet me here on Saturdays for some weekly vibes - honoring the week that has past, and clearing the way for what's new. Gather your journal and favorite pen, along with a hot cup of coffee/tea/chai - and settle in for 30 minutes dedicated to YOU.
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