It’s Kind Of Cliche But It’s True…

…that for many women, if not most of us, labor and birth are as easy as it’s gonna get when you decide to have a child and become a parent. It doesn’t matter if that child comes from your body or another woman’s, motherhood is extremely difficult.

I was watching this video the other day where Cardi B talks about having a newfound respect for mothers and I really appreciated what she had to say. Normally I don’t care who’s having babies, celebrity or not, because really, why tf would I care? This ain’t Children of Men times we’re living in here; people have kids every day.  It’s that parenting in general is so undervalued that the title of the video piqued my interest.

Cardi talks about the crazy that happens to your brain and the rest of your body after you give birth and the intense attachment she already feels to her daughter and I wanted to explore these topics for a little bit.

The post-partum crazy brain is definitely real and I firmly believe it never really goes away. Amidst baby showers, shopping for tiny little clothes and various accessories, picking out names, yada, yada, yada (all of this is after the soul-destroying intensity of the first trimester when you’re pretty sure you’re dying or you’re going to die from lack of nourishment because your body rejects any and all attempts at being fed and watered), nobody really gets into so many of the other important aspects of what happens to you when you become a mother or what parenting is actually like.

I liken motherhood to forever feeling like your skin has been peeled back, every nerve in your body constantly exposed. Something flips in your brain man. You love your children so much that sometimes it feels like you can’t take it. You desperately (this isn’t a strong enough word here) want for them to be happy, loved, protected, and woe is the person who does anything to even attempt to come between you and your child. By the way, it doesn’t matter if that threat is real or perceived, that fire we feel to take care of our children is very real and can certainly reveal the ferocious side of a mother in protection mode.

As they grow we watch them steadily become even more of who they are. We’re reminded that they’re here on their own journeys so inevitably, as humans do, we clash with our children at times. You’ll constantly have them on your mind, even when your mind is somewhere else; it’s a constant connection that we have that brings awe as well as exhaustion.

And that’s why it hurts so much to watch them fall as they make their way around Earth, figuring out what it is they came for. That love is why they’re the ones we get the most riled up about, when we see them heading straight for some bullshit but they want and need to learn for themselves. With such an unfathomable amount of love comes an equally immeasurable quantity of fear.

Every single shadow you have will come straight for you once you become a parent but nobody really talks about that. Instead people put most of the focus on finances, having all the “right” gear, what’s the best school, what kinds of activities should they be put in, and so on, with many other more practical as well as superficial concerns that really do seem important depending on where the parent is coming from.

It doesn’t seem like people really talk as much about life past the baby and toddler stages. I guess they go into the elementary school age a bit but people get the most excited over the baby phase for whatever reason without really examining the fact that this is just another person, a little bitty one just like we once were, growing up with thoughts and feelings and challenges of their own.

I don’t think that many of us came to grips with our own childhoods before deciding to become parents. It doesn’t matter what kind of childhood we had, there’s always something lurking, buried way down in our subconscious, that our children bring out. Being able to recognize this stuff and deal with it is crucial to raising a child who’s comfortable in his own skin, who can go out into the world every single day with the knowledge of who he or she is and thrive.

These and many others are the conversations I want us to be able to have about motherhood. I’ve only touched on a small portion of my thoughts here but I think about these kinds of things all day every day. I don’t know, maybe not many other people see the world as I do and most people are actually fine with the way things are. When I look around at the world it seems to me that we really do want to have these discussions but something holds us back. Eh, just some thoughts…

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You Can Keep Your Vibration Where You Want It To Be!

Have you ever noticed that when you feel like you’ve finally made the decision to really change something in your life that hasn’t been working for you things start looking like they’re falling apart at an exponential rate?

All the work you’ve started to do feels like a waste of time and effort, the feelings of accomplishment and finally getting somewhere begin to diminish. What comes next? You become discouraged again and feel like you’re right back in the same place that you were before. You start getting a deluge of negativity and hopelessness in your thinking and before you know it, you settle back into that old, unproductive groove, feeling trapped and distraught. Then the cycle starts again.

Well I want to say here that this merry-go-round of hell is a full-on trick of the mind! Lemme see, how can I explain what I’m saying without sounding all kinds of incoherent? I don’t know, maybe that’s how it’ll come out anyway but let’s see what happens!

What I’m getting at is harnessing the ability to pull to us exactly what we want, to move our internal dials to the precise station that’s playing all the right songs that give…us…life, all of that is up to us. Sometimes you also need to fiddle with the antennae a little for good measure but that’s not so bad (I know there’s gotta be some of you guys out there that remember analog!)

This has taken me an extremely long time to figure out and when I did it was one of those delicious moments in life that I live for. You know what I’m talking about? Those “Ohhh!!! Ok! Nowwww that makes sense!” when the thing starts to click and you can actually apply what intellectually and/or intuitively you think you know.

I only recently really started to understand how to get on the same vibration as what I want and stay there. I’ve also realized that this tuning goes for everything in life, from the way I’d like my children to go about taking care of their daily responsibilities so I don’t have to tell them for the umpteenth time to do x, y, or z, to talking with deities.

We will only get more of what we focus on! I mean, it seems so freaking simple but constantly being in the thick of our own personal missions we have in order to understand what we’re doing here on this planet and how to live our life’s purpose, things can get a little goddamned muddled sometimes!

So yeah, you’re trying to change your life and crap keeps happening that has you incredulous to the point where you’re thinking “Wait, what?! WTF just happened here??! Un-friggin-believable! Why is it that every…single…time I try even harder things get worse?!” and on and on it goes.

Well, what I’ve found to be true is that in order to actually get to what you’re going for, old shit has GOT TO GO! This can be people, possessions, ways of thinking, anything and everything that just doesn’t work in the reality you want. That’s what the Death card in tarot is all about. Old things have to what? Move! before new energies take up residence.

What we’re doing is cleaning house and when it gets going, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused and slip right back into the exact line of thinking, or mental and emotional vibrations, that we’re trying to get away from. We find ourselves on the same old station that’s playing everything we don’t want to hear and we’re hating it but we’re the ones that changed the damn dial back to all the stuff that’s just not doing it for us.

Once we fall back into that mindset we’re following our own lead straight back to Awful Town and we don’t even know it. When we want things to change, we tell ourselves all the things that hype us up without really being ready for not some but all of the work that goes into becoming who and what we want to be.

We tell ourselves “Yep, I’ve decided, let’s do this thing!” so somewhere inside of us we answer back: “Yeah? Great! Sounds good!” Then old energies get to moving out and we get confused about why it seems like life has started to come after us with a viciousness meant to destroy our very will to live when we were barely hanging on before. So we lose energy and focus and end up right back where we don’t want to be. Subconsciously we’re getting the message “Oh, ok! We’re here again? Sounds good!”

We keep attracting more of the same bullshit we say we’re trying to get away from. Why? Because we hit some static on the way to the music that we actually want to be dancing to and we don’t quite realize why the static is happening in the first place since we think we’re doing everything we’re supposed to be doing. Getting past that place can be disheartening af when you’re fighting as hard as you can but you’re still not landing any punches.

If that was as clear as mud, basically what I’m saying is that it makes no difference whether we do one or the other, vibe high or vibe low, because each of us is in the driver’s seat. Whatever we’re telling ourselves is exactly what we’re going to get because subconsciously we’re broadcasting with big fat neon signs “This is the thing I want!” with whatever we’re focused on mentally and emotionally.

There’s a part of us that doesn’t want to change, a part that’s terrified of change (and this is coming from a person who tends to be right at home with change!) because no matter how much we consciously say we don’t want a thing, we’ve got it programmed into us, for any number of reasons, that we need that thing to survive. It provides us some kind of comfort and protection but we don’t know why. It’s up to us to figure out why and how to dismantle this malfunctioning piece of software and make way for what we actually want to happen in our lives.

So I’m perfecting my ability to ride out the various purges and this is forever a work in progress. When I start to see I’m encountering an increase in obstacles on whatever path I’m walking, I acknowledge what’s happening and do my best to understand the process. I try to put things in perspective, pay attention to my fears and frustrations, figure out why they’ve been with me, then let them go and get back on track.

This stuff is definitely not easy and doesn’t happen quickly, at least not in my experience. I don’t have everything in my life figured out but this understanding that I’ve gotten? It’s  absolutely helped me to gain a major level of control over the self-sabotage that I’ve been doing my whole life. And that right there is without a doubt one amazing feeling.

Setting My Intentions

Until a couple of weeks ago I’d only loosely been paying attention to the lunar cycles for the past few months. I’ve had very little energy and much of the life felt zapped out of me. My level of apathy has been pretty damn high but at least I’m not at burnout level. That right there is a whole ‘nother universe of hell and I don’t ever, never, not eeeeever want to experience that again.

No, this is more like I’ve been a little, no a lot, out of step with the flow around me. I can still feel and see the magnificent symphony playing all around me, it’s just that I’ve been kind of detached from it all.

Clearly it was time for me to go back in, to realign my mind. It’s been lovely to have some good stormy weather to complement my reboot. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, they’ve always been beautiful to me. I know the destruction and havoc that they can cause in people’s lives isn’t something that is generally wished for. I’m talking about the energy behind those tempests.

Putting on excellent music, lighting my incense, burning my long neglected candles and getting fresh ones that were calling to me, all of these things along with various synchronicities have helped me get myself flowing again.

I’ve been trying to remember what kinds of things I used to enjoy that required me to leave my house and I thought “That’s right! I used to love to go dancing!” Well, doing a search for the places you used to love to go to and seeing that they’re mostly all defunct now is yet another unsettling way to realize just how much time has passed.

Ah well, no importa since my creative juices have been flowing in other ways. I’ve gotten back into sewing and knitting, my first batch of beer is fermenting, I’m studying herbalism again, Lenormand and Tarot are calling me back, and I’m going to make an elder flower cordial after I’m done with this post.

During these last two weeks or so I’ve felt and seen this renewed sense of, what? Maybe that the stagnation is starting to break up? I’m working with a particularly amazing goddess right now and as always is the case with these things, she came to me exactly when I needed her.

With Midsummer coming I’m very focused on action and the fire element. I think a calendula decoction is exactly what I need to add to this party. That and some various Skittles dranks, yessir…

I’d love to hear how you’ve re-centered yourselves after long periods of frustration and feeling stuck. It’s really easy to feel alone out here even though we’re almost eight billion strong as a species but try to remember that you’re not. It just feels like that in the daily grind.

I Need Motivation

I’m sitting here. On the steps by the front door, willing myself to move. Today I just want to stay in bed and knit. I want to study Spanish and drink coffee while watching some Dust.

I don’t want to do anything because everything is more of the same at this point. Mood: existential crisis?! I don’t know, maybe. I’ve wondered and pondered so much around me all my life and at this point I’m struggling to give a fuck.

To be fair, I haven’t given many fucks in a while, at least not the kind and amount that are my normal. I miss having passion for things, I miss having energy, I miss, Jesus man, I don’t even know. Something I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on.

My whole life there’s been this gnawing and nothing seems to fill it. When the obsessions come and I pour myself into them, that helps. Sewing, Tarot, knitting, making beer, learning Spanish, whatever, I flood my senses with the activity and I get this energy that keeps me up all night so that I can do more of that thing. Color comes back to everything and I feel more alive.

Inevitably the cycle moves on to the next phase and the apathy sets in again. I’ve always lived in my head and have never known another way to be; hell, I don’t want to be another way. I just want to see the reason for things, the point. It’s as simple as that but not really.

Life only has the meaning that you give it. That’s why we need to constantly be aware of who we are, what we want, where we want to go, and how we’re going to get there. “Know thyself ” are some of the most important words I’ve ever come across. Knowing who I am and what I’m about is exactly how I know that without a sense of constantly moving forward, without ever seeing results that matter, nothing means anything to me.

So what’s my motivation right now? What do I need and how can I get it? How can I move past this feeling of being stuck in neutral? I don’t know the answers today but as the solutions inevitably reveal themselves to me, I know this gestation period will begin to make sense.  Thinking is my default and it’s a beautiful day to do more of it…

Where am I going?

And how am I going to get there? I’ve been asking myself these questions with maniacal urgency the last few years and still the answer has always been painfully and frustratingly elusive.

I want to do so many things and I become immobilized by the thought that I’ll never be able to do them all. All the things I want to learn and do have immense value to me and if I had my way I would spend my days pursuing every single rabbit hole that I’m even slightly interested in.

But that’s not exactly the way life works is it? At least not completely, not for everyone. We all have our responsibilities and the things and people we sacrifice that other side of green grass for. But how did we come to these conclusions? When did we decide to trap ourselves into thinking that to achieve our desires there’s a particular path we have to follow? Or worse yet, that our desires don’t matter?

I think a lot of this has to do with how large our worldview is. If you don’t know what you don’t know, how can you truly choose what’s the best path for you? Sometimes people have multiple shitty choices and get locked into thinking that’s all there is.

But we’re not alive just to pay rent and mortgages and have 70-80 hour workweeks in order to pay bills. We’re not alive to constantly experience just one kind of reality, smiling at people while you pretend you don’t feel as if all of the life has been drained out of you and nothing you do really matters. And we look into the eyes of these people around us, these people that we exchange pleasantries with every day and wonder if they feel the same crushing emptiness.

So I think I’ve finally got a direction for this blog. I’m going to talk about doing what I want to do, the steps I’m taking to get there, and everything in between. I need to be able to look back at my life and know that I didn’t let fear and stagnation stop me.

I have to live my life because I don’t want to look back with a thousand regrets. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what I want and how I want to make that happen but late is always better than never with these kinds of things, yes?

 

What Do You Want?

Male Warrior from LXXXI The Magician's Deck

So I was checking my Instagram one day, maybe last week? Quite often my days blur into each other so it becomes difficult for me to differentiate whether I’m coming or going into or out of my mind. I guess that’s the same thing ultimately, heh.

Anyway, I ran across a post and found my blood started to absolutely boil, just hot like fire. I got super defensive and extremely restless and I split myself in two. I said to myself “Woah, slow down chick, WTF is going on here, why are you so pissed right now?! Nothing has occurred and no one has done anything to you. Breathe man, what’s the problem?”

“The problem? The PROBLEM?! I’ll tell you what the problem is. I’m sick of every time I see a mother who is overwhelmed, overworked, and close to a breakdown (or perhaps she’s already had one, possibly several, but she has to pretend that everything is aces and sunshine) ask for advice on how to fit it all in from people that seem to have gotten it down, the kind of response I see every.single.time is “I dunno, I’m just doing it,”or “I find the time to fit it in,” or “I work at this constantly and don’t let anything stop me; I’m committed to this.”

Omfg, this was bringing me to the teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling, run screaming from the room brink every time I saw some variation of this response. “So, what, you’re (who this “you’re” was, I have no idea lol; just a general direction in which to focus my anger) telling me is that those of us that haven’t been able to pull this off have no drive?! We have no will and don’t work hard?!? Well you can take that and shove it up your ass! Who the hell do you think you are?! And lemme tell you another thing…”

Now, I’m an extremely private person so this was all an internal dialogue going on with me. I realized I wasn’t angry at anyone outside of myself (what I’ve found is that when we’re angry it tends to be about something we’re dealing with but not facing), wasn’t yelling or screaming or cussing anyone out; I was pissed at me. This was all about me and my frustration at not moving my life in the direction that I want it to go; feeling chained down and unable to do what I wanted to do.

But then I got it, it started to dawn on  me (son-of-a…): I don’t know what I want to do, that’s what the whole friggin’ issue was. I don’t know what drives me now, what my passions truly are. When you’re passionate about something, you work at it way into the wee hours and you’re de-freaking-lighted to get up extra early to get back to it. You go hard at whatever you’re wrapped up in and come hell or high water, you’re getting it in one way or another.

And it’s not just my passions, because I’m passionate about, say, Tarot. I love the insight I’m able to get from my cards and practicing the art of divination has helped me unlock all kinds of inner doors. But my goals for Tarot aren’t in the same lane as my financial and self-sufficiency goals, which are a priority for me right now.

I’ve found myself so jealous over the years of Moms I’ve seen as being successful at balancing the megaton of work and responsibilities that is motherhood while still having time for themselves to pursue their goals; something I’ve felt I failed at. I wondered so many days and nights, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I figure this out? What am I doing wrong??”

When my babies were little, making sure that they were loved, safe, and happy is what drove me. But as The White Witch brings it across oh so gorgeously, children get older; they just don’t need you in the same way. And besides, you start being able to do a lot of this parenting gig with one eye open from two rooms away.

When my husband and I figured out our oldest son had severe food allergies (we had no idea at the time that this was a thing; I mean, who’s allergic to FOOD ffs?), what drove me was figuring out how to make foods that he could eat and enjoy that other kids took for granted.

When I was going to school to ultimately become a midwife, that’s what drove me. But after so many twists and turns in my life, including having somewhere around five miscarriages while trying to conceive a third child, my heart wasn’t really in it anymore, to say the least.

So now I’m at a crossroads, one that I’ve never quite explored or let myself open to. My entire life, I’ve been needing to pay attention to me: what I want, what I need, who I am, what I desire, what really makes me tick, why I’m here. Instead, I ran from fears I couldn’t identify. I was looking everywhere trying to fill a place inside of myself that could only be satisfied from within. I didn’t know what I needed when it’s just me, alone. But that’s all part of my alchemy, so very good then.

I’m figuring it out. My struggles are for my growth and it’s incredible stuff. That’s why I used these six questions as a jumping off point to help me go deeper with rediscovering what my passions are so I can start mapping some things into existence. In a different post I’ll share the spread I came up with and how I felt it worked for me. In addition, I’ve also found my birth chart to be extremely helpful in my fleshing this all out.

So dear readers, tell me, what do you want? I think that truly digging in and figuring out what you’re passionate about is the answer to the inertia and apathy many of us feel in our lives. It’s not that we’re too busy or too tired, it’s that we don’t know what we want. What do you love? Not what you think you should love or should be doing, not what someone else has told you to enjoy, but what do you really love? Happy hunting as you continue to probe the landscape of your own mind! If you’re comfortable, share your thoughts in the comments.

*Featured image: Male Warrior from LXXXI Quareia The Magician’s Deck Copyright 2014 Cassandra Beanland, Stuart Littlejohn, Josephine McCarthy www.quareia.com*

An Honest Mistake, Why the Shame?

How interesting it is to unravel the complexities of what we are living in this human experience. I find it fascinating to break down why people do what we do, to really dig into where our feelings stem from and try to make some sort of cohesive sense out of them.

It’s been another long day here and after the hubs came home I went to the grocery store to get a few things that I need over the next couple of days while he’s out working. As I was walking through the store grabbing the things I need I was certainly in my own little world, as I often am, that’s just my nature you know. My evening card for the day was the Seven of Cups rx which absolutely showed me crashing back to reality this evening.

So I’m getting all this stuff out of my cart and onto the conveyor belt right. I didn’t notice that I was in a 15 items or less line; I thought I’d bypassed all of those! Well, I’m doing my thing and start to hear the laughter of the cashier and the women behind me. I feel it and absentmindedly wonder if it’s about me, heh. Eventually as I’m checking out and the women move to another line, the cashier lets me know that I’ve got more than 15 items for her. I look up and see this is true, apologized profusely, and felt the hot shame, the utter embarrassment flood me.

But here’s the thing, why did I feel such embarrassment at an honest mistake? And I started to dissect what I was feeling. I also wondered, why hadn’t any of the women simply pointed out to me my mistake? And why had they felt the need to laugh about it? Was it to feel superior? Was it to off-set their own insecurities? And why was I allowing it to get to me?

I think that in this world we get the idea in our heads, from family, friends, society as a whole, that we aren’t really allowed to make mistakes, we should have known better. We’re supposed to be on at all times and never slip, the face must always be up and ready to go. What is this and where did it come from? What I had to do was recognize what was happening, figure out what I was feeling, and release my need to not fuck up, to be vulnerable and open to not getting it right every time.

Going through this life I’ve continuously had to temper my perfectionism aka fear. I screw up, and that’s ok. Perfectionism in play or not, any of us could benefit from not holding ourselves to these extra high standards, especially mothers. What are we trying to prove? Who are we trying to outdo? The more I continued to dig, the more I realized that so much of this is an attempt to deny the fact that we’re flawed; and no one wants to acknowledge that this is so, even if we think we acknowledge that this is so!

I think that much of the remedy here is to embrace our mistakes, enjoy our flaws. Pull them apart and accept them as just as much of who we are as anything we’re happy to show off. These imperfections are very much a crucial part of our experience this lifetime as well. So since we decided to take this ride called life, let’s go crazy and be really real with ourselves, always.