Poetry

Heart Beats: On Hearing the Passing of Mary Oliver

 

I remember your small frame walking up to the podium.

From the back row at Benaroya Hall I watched you this mighty poet deliver us all breathless and smiling and laughing and weeping, jaws dropped.

Despite your size you carried a light brighter than a bonfire with more heat than a barn on fire.

It is your poem, The Journey, I have been opening with at every circle gathering of women I facilitate since 2010. It is your life journey as poet that makes me pull out my pen every other year or so and pretend that I too am a poet. It is your invitation asking ‘what will you do with your one wild and precious life?’ that is messaged on my FaceBook page – the very wisdom I ask myself as I sit with my day timer and tea each morning. And on some occasion when I don’t want to get out of bed, your invitation comes to me, urging gently and reminding me that wild and precious are far underused.

I think of you when I walk my dog drumming up my own inspiration, seeking my own muse as Buford and I stop to breathe in the white capped Olympics, the Puget Sound — our private banquet as we feast.

I stumble upon the news of your passing on Instagram. Pretty sure you didn’t have an Insta feed, just another reason why I want to be like you when I grow up.

I checked the Internet, Instagram could be wrong? But there it is, you died yesterday before I had the chance to meet you. Like really meet you, like I have in my mind a hundred times.

We walk the dogs, stumble upon a marsh filled with wild geese and I pull out a poem or two from my pocket over a shared pot of tea, praying that you tell me there is hope, that all I need to do is to keep showing up, keep playing with words on the blank page.

I raced to my bedside and retrieved my copy of Thirst, one of your collection of poems that I gave to six loved ones two Christmases past. I find, When I am Among the Trees, and I sit down to a cup of tea and let your words cover me like a warm blanket.

You left this world quietly like in many ways how you lived. Walking in nature, creating poems out of your heart, spreading light and love and art and grace.

What if we all did that? What if we concerned ourselves with the color of the sky, the wingspan of an eagle, the opening of a rose? What if we watched in wonder, and loved the world back as it loves us with her glorious, unstoppable, breathtaking beauty?

Thank you, thank you Mary Oliver for inspiring me to pretend if even just once in awhile that I too am a poet, that I too get to wonder and live with the question of what I will do with this one wild and precious life. Thank you for reminding me to stand tall beside the trees, spreading my wings like the heron, dreaming under the stars.

You have sent the invitation, now it is up to me to answer.

And you dear reader, what is it you will do with your one wild and precious life? How tall will you stand? How far will you fly? Are your dreams made of stardust?

 

 

img_3637Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader, Writer, Teacher and Seeker, oh and that’s right–mother of two. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my posts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit regularly since I began in 2009 or this is your first blog stop.

Interested in life or spiritual coaching (individuals and couples) or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website www.mamaneedsarefill.com. I can always be reached my email: info@mamaneedsarefill.com. Holding sack lunch mini-retreats since 2009.  There are spots open for March 8: Anchored – Creating routines that tether you to what matters. Contact Jenny, 206 255 0463, to reserve your spot.

Advertisements
Observation

Heart Beats: Dismantling Attachment

On New Year’s day I dove into the icy cold waters of the Puget Sound with a hundred other strangers in the honorary Polar Plunge activity that seems to be sweeping the nation on the first day of the New Year. Seems utterly ridiculous but those are often the things that call my name – the utterly ridiculous. Some folks are drawn to try things that scare the pants off them and others create bucket lists of things they must do before they die.

 

I seem to operate on a different random calling: it sounds outrageous to others and fun to me, so sure, let’s do it. A year and a half ago on a whim I bungee jumped off a very tall bridge over a very rocky river in B.C. Canada. Then after turning 50 a few months later I decided to take a stand up comedy class and perform in front of 150 strangers, (19 friends showed up for which I am eternally grateful). Recently I quit my life coach teaching job and then last week I not only jumped into the cold water once, but twice. My three year old great niece missed seeing my jump in the first time so I did it again. Both times invigorating, easier than I thought, and super enjoyable.

 

I have always had a spontaneous gene growing steadily next to my genes of practicality and order. The only negative to this experience in the process of jumping in is that I somehow lost a bracelet I have been wearing for over six months. The beautiful stones represented abundance and success and was a gift from a long time dear friend. I didn’t think to remove it and I know I had it on the morning of the plunge but in the photos taken of me after, it is not on my left wrist.

 

That first week of January, on a whim, I decided to move some framed artwork in our bedroom. It was time for the Archangel to be on another wall and time for the moon drawing to take up residence in the hallway. Upon opening our cabinet which stores my nick nacks and jewelry I proceeded to knock over and break not one momento, all special gifts from family or friends, but three: an angel, yoga frog and glass figurine. The wood carved angel had hands over her heart, a gesture I am often doing to ground myself and get present. She was unfortunately beheaded in the fall. A clean break which easily could be super-glued back together. The yoga frog was a symbol that reminded me to be calm, get in touch with my inner zen. “Be the yoga frog”, my kids would say when the frog sat for years on the kitchen window sill. In its tumble to the ground it lost its base–a jagged result that may or may not mend well. The glass figurine was a gift I barely remember giving my mother years ago and recently on her cleaning out she gave it back. The outstretched arms were a perfect resting spot for bracelets and necklaces. In the fall her right arm was severed–another clean break that could likely be mended.

 

In a spontaneous, true to my heart decision I retrieved the garbage can and gave all three things a proper burial thanking them for serving their time on my shelves and in my heart. Things I told myself. As my husband watched me in awe, “things, just things,” I told him.

 

In the morning I recalled the four lost and broken items gone in the first four days of the New Year representing the four states of presence: the bracelet – mental state – my mind believing abundance and success would come my way, the angel – emotional state – honoring what is in my heart, the yoga frog – physical state – moving my body in a way that aligns, strengthens and invigorates and finally the glass figurine – spiritual state, representing Divinity within and outside of me. I chuckled to myself upon this revelation and questioned why I wasn’t sad. I loved these things so why was I not mourning their quick and sudden demise? Was I subconsciously releasing attachments that didn’t serve me any longer?

 

It is too soon to have answers but I do know this: I must honor what is in my mind, heart, body and spirit. I must pause and reflect what is true–releasing what is simply a thing and replaceable. Peeling away the fingers of attachment taking hold in my mind.  I must honor the utterly ridiculous for that is often how my heart speaks to me and calls my name.

 

How does your heart call your name? And most importantly, will you answer?

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader, Writer, Teacher and Seeker. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my posts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit regularly since I began in 2009 or this is your first blog stop.

Interested in life or spiritual coaching (individuals and couples) or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website www.mamaneedsarefill.com. I can always be reached my email: info@mamaneedsarefill.com. Holding sack lunch mini-retreats since 2009.  The next one on March 8th is now sold out but there are available spots for May 10 and June 14. Contact Jenny, 206 255 0463, to reserve your spot.

From The Heart, HeartBeat, Live with Intention

Heart Beats: True in 2019

20190103_125606
A gift from my friend Sonya this Christmas. A reminder to live from the heart. The heart symbol has spoken to me for years and I am starting to see hearts everywhere again even though I released my heart rock collection back into the ocean in 2017. Everything is a circle. Back from where we start.

It has been over a year since I have showed up to this blog space. Today my friend and faithful writing partner Sonya and I have resumed our 12 year practice of tea and writing after taking a one week break over the holidays. It is my turn to host and I get up to heat more water for our tea as she sits across from me penning her thoughts, unfolding her own musings. She is the friend I see the most. I see her more often than some family members. We made a commitment to ourselves, the blank page and each other 12 years ago and we keep showing up Thursday after Thursday.

 

This HeartWriter blog began back in 2009 and I see that I didn’t show up at all in 2018. Today out of nowhere I decided to come back. I make no promises. We will see what unfolds. Thanks for showing up.

 

This randomness of showing up here today feels true and TRUE is my word for 2019. I have had many words over the last decade – Believe, Awake, Focus, Peace, Wholeness –  choosing one word as my theme and intention for the entire year. I take the month of December to reflect on where I want to go, how I want to live and who I want to be in the next year. This year didn’t take much time, the word chose me easily. I was sitting down with my dear friend Shelly mid-December and I was sharing my idea to choose authenticity for 2019. She too, picks a word each year. Shelly asked me a great question when I shared I didn’t necessarily want Authentic as my word but the idea and feeling to reflect authenticity.

 

“What are synonyms of authentic?”, she wisely inquired.

 

I could only come up with Real. She offered, “TRUE.”

 

“Oooh, I like that.” I continued feeling it out and TRUE kept finding me. In quotes, songs, conversation.

 

I choose to live TRUE not because I have been living falsely but because I want to go deeper, continue finding my voice and unveiling what is authentically me. I choose to make choices out of love over fear, walk in the direction that is calling my name, and listen to what wants to be honored. This word for the year is so utterly personal finding words to express it fall flat on my tongue.

 

Each day I will notice when I am not living, acting and participating in life the way I truly desire or feels good. In that moment of awareness I will make a choice to shift my behaviour without shame or judgment. If I catch myself mindlessly scrolling on social media when I am bored or directionless and the action is not feeding me, I will put down the phone and ask, “What is TRUE right now?”

 

The answers could change over the same situation. If the mindless scrolling is leaving me empty, causing me to compare or I am just doing it to do it and it is not providing joy or inspiration I will stop. If I am finding connection, motivation, wisdom, fun and joy then I will allow myself to continue as long as it truly is something I want to be doing.

 

At our NYE small gathering when I shared with one friend that TRUE was going to be my word for the New Year he asked with curiosity, “Don’t you already live this way? You strike me as totally authentic living your way quite genuinely.”

 

I tried to explain that it’s not that I am unauthentic, authenticity is one of my natural gifts, but that I wanted to expand this even further. Make choices, speak words, walk the direction that wholeheartedly declare my truth. I will continue to unravel the word as I have an entire year to do so.

 

As of right now, I will heat more water, listen to what is calling my name next and be fully grateful for the evolving meaning of what it means to live true.

 

img_20190101_120723_893
Photo taken New Year’s Day 2019, Polar Plunge, Alki Beach, West Seattle. The tree pose is my grounding mudra that brings me home and centers me.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader, Writer, Teacher and Seeker. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my posts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit regularly since I began in 2009 or this is your first blog stop.

Interested in life or spiritual coaching or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website www.mamaneedsarefill.com. Holding sack lunch mini-retreats since 2010.  The next one on January 11th is sold out but there are openings for March 8th, 2019. Contact Jenny, 206 255 0463, to reserve your spot.

 

From The Heart

Randomness of the Heart- The Twelve Days Revisited

20171213_115514

I started believing in Santa twelve years ago when my kids were we little ones. It is that time of year and a popular post that comes up in discussion with friends and followers. I will share Faith in Santa and The Twelfth Day as well, with you dear reader, for these stories break open my personal experience of having a change of heart. As a child, Christmas was not a favorite and as a mother myself I had the gift of rewriting that story. An opportunity to birth a new perspective, a chance to make space in my heart.  In case you are inspired to pass on this tradition, tomorrow, December 14th is the day the fun begins, it is the first day of Christmas. You don’t need an elaborate plan to spread Christmas Cheer. Having done this three times now in our neighborhood, all you need is to step into the spirit of Christmas with the eyes of a child. Perhaps these two re-posts will give you a bit of inspiration.

Re-Post from 2009, Traditions Part I – Faith in Santa by J.G. McGlothern

(https://heartwriter.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/faith-in-santa-tradition-part-i-by-j-g-mcglothern/).

One Christmas Eve when I was four years old my eleven year old sister told me in the dark of her room in one long breath that there was no Santa, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy.  Lying in bed that night I still tried to hear Santa’s sleigh bells but when the sound never came, I stopped believing.  Then in grade school, friends’ parents would ask me to “pretend” that Santa came to my house because their children still believed.  I remember Tanya’s dad from the yellow house up the street pulling me aside and politely telling me, “Santa comes to our house, so please, for Tanya’s sake, pretend he comes to yours too.”

Christmas began to take on a sleigh load of negative feelings and with its imminent arrival every year I grew to fear Christmas. Raised Catholic my mother did a wonderful job to teach our family Christian beliefs about Christmas.  I learned about Jesus being born in a manger, the gift of peace, and the joy of giving love to others.  Sitting in church on Christmas Eve nights I would imagine that I was part of the manger scene.  Sometimes I was Mary, absorbed in the true beauty of it all.  And sometimes I was one of the Wise Men traveling from afar, following the star with great anticipation of meeting the Messiah.   This part of Christmas gave me peace and kept my faith alive.  Back in school after Christmas break, the anxiety started all over again, I had to invent gifts that Santa brought.

Years later, as a parent with the birth of our children, I struggled with how to celebrate Christmas without bringing Santa into the whole thing.  How does one raise children to focus on the beauty that Christmas offers, when the commercialism of it all is shoved in your face?

Four years ago, when my children were four and one and a half years old, I received a precious gift.  I met Santa. On the morning of December fourteenth as I collected the morning paper from the front porch I found a small poinsettia on our door-mat, wrapped in gold tissue and tied with a red ribbon. In meticulous printing our last name was written on a tag in unfamiliar handwriting. Opening the tag made of silken, creamy white paper, I searched for the giver’s name and only found the words, ‘On the first day of Christmas the McGlotherns received one poinsettia…’   Who could this be from?

The next morning, a bit earlier, as I opened the door to collect the newspaper sitting right next to The Seattle Times sat a beautiful gift bag bearing two delicately wrapped hand-dipped, off-white candles. I placed them in silver candlesticks next to the poinsettia in our front window.  The same precise manuscript indicated the gift was indeed for us with the message, ‘On the second day of Christmas the McGlotherns received two glittering candles…’   Were the three dots a sign? An indication of a promise?  Perhaps more to come? I ran to the calendar and counted.  Ten more days until Christmas. The twenty-fifth would be the “twelfth day.”   Not knowing any history about a “twelve days of Christmas” tradition, I was curious.  Is this a celebrated tradition I don’t know anything about, similar to the “Secret Santa” tradition some celebrate in the workplace?   On the third day of Christmas “three tinkling bells” waited on our doorstep.  Hanging them from the tree, in the front window, I wondered who could be doing this. I never heard a car, voices or footsteps.

Our four-year-old daughter, started coming into our room every morning with the question, “Have you checked the front porch yet, mama?”  I was trying really hard to curb my enthusiasm and wait until she could be the one to check the door. If I woke first I would avoid the front room and busy myself with undone dishes, cleaning fingerprints off the refrigerator, anything to keep myself from going to the front door and turning the knob.   Each morning continued to greet us with beautifully wrapped surprises; candy canes, homemade molasses cookies, walnuts the size of small apples, Satsumas as sweet as summer, and chocolates that were too irresistible to stop at just one.  On the fifth day of Christmas we opened a box with a photograph glued to the lid.  The picture made me stop and look closely.  It was a picture of a handprint in the snow, a child’s handprint, with the five digits perfectly imprinted into the white, glistening snow. Inside were five homemade snowflake ornaments hanging from delicate pink thread.  I knew the giver was creative, thoughtful and most of all believed in Christmas.

Soon my friends and family all knew about it and would brain storm with me to decipher who these thoughtful surprises were from.  My neighbor even volunteered to stalk my front porch every morning. Although I was mostly content not knowing the giver, I was still curious.

Through all of this excitement, I forgot I didn’t believe in Santa. I forgot I hated Christmas.  Each day was offering me a new joy besides a surprise gift at the front door.  I discovered the great delight of baking sugar cookies with our four-year-old daughter. In years past, the baking was a chore. Christmas shopping wasn’t a burden, our list was short and family received homemade gifts.  Our friends received a Christmas card with a handwritten message.  Even the cold, grey weather was comforting.  I didn’t long for the colors of springtime; instead I found solace from the dark sky and consolation from the light of a simple white candle. I never once turned on the television, so I wasn’t aware of the Christmas sales, hot items of the season or the temptations of the last minute shopper.  Evenings were spent reading Christmas books, listening to the Nutcracker, playing games and coloring.  I taught our children about my childhood traditions of putting evergreen on the fireplace mantel, straw in the manger and hanging mistletoe in doorways.  My husband strung lights, hung wreaths, and helped our children hang their stockings. He helped our daughter write her letter to Santa. I saw how Santa could be brought into the season without being the main focus and without corrupting my mood or Christmas spirit.  We talked about Jesus’ birth, buying a goat through the Heifer Project, making gifts for family and what color of sprinkles our friends would like on their cookies.  All our daughter wanted for Christmas was a pants belt and for her brother to have his own doll.  Santa’s job would be simple.

By the tenth day of Christmas, the day we received ten walnuts and a silver nutcracker, all of our friends and family knew about our morning doorstep surprises and wished they had done something like this. They all responded with passionate wonder.  I want to do that, they all echoed.  Without these exact words their responses were saying: I want to reach out, I want to give, I want to believe and share in the spirit of the season.

On Christmas Eve, I went to bed listening for sleigh bells believing that if I was supposed to find out who was behind the mystery I would.  At five in the morning our son, hollered out in his sleep.  His cries woke me and although he fell back to sleep easily, I lay in the dark, tossing and turning.  Like many children around the world that morning I hopped out of bed, unable to keep still.  I went into the living room and turned on the tree lights, lit the off-white candles in the window and sat down with a cup of hot tea and my journal.  The tea went cold before I had a sip and my journal remained unopened.  I went back and forth to the window, peering out into the dark morning, I kept opening the front door.  I even stood on a chair to peer out the window at the top of the door.  Nothing.  I wrote a note to the mystery elves, telling them that if I never found out who they were I wanted them to know they changed my Christmases forever.  At eight o’ clock, when my family was awake pulling a pants belt and baby doll out of their stockings I checked the door one more time.  Empty except for my note.  Did they forget?

Forty-five minutes later, with Christmas wrapping strewn around the room our coffee mugs empty, I heard singing outside.  “Honey”, my husband said gently,  “You are going to want to answer the door.”  The caroling was coming from our front porch.  Opening the door, I was surprised to see my new friend Erika, her husband and their three sleepy daughters. I collapsed into Erika’s arms, “I’m so glad it’s you.  I never even thought of you being the ones, “I wept softly. We wiped each other’s tears of joy.  “You helped me to believe in Christmas again,” I whispered.

That morning and now, Santa for me is just another way to bring giving into the Christmas season.  Not getting, but giving.  We can teach our children the beauty of simplicity by example.  The following Christmas, we did the same for an un-expecting family a few blocks away.  And the smiles on their faces told me I was helping to carry on a tradition that was drenched in love and sprinkled with the true spirit of the season.

Re-post from 2011, The Twelfth Day, by J. G. McGlothern

https://heartwriter.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/the-twelfth-day/

Adorned in our converse tennis shoes, Santa hats, carrying our umbrellas my little family and I trekked around the corner to deliver gift number 12 to our unsuspecting neighbors.

Six years ago we were the receivers of the 12 days of Christmas, Every day starting on the 14th of December we received front porch surprises. One gift the first day, two the second and so on until Christmas Day, the 12th day. The following year we surprised a family two streets away and this year we chose friends who live around the corner and who have two teenagers.

On the first day of Christmas at 6 AM I snuck out into the dark of the morning with our first package, addressed to them, wrapped with love and care.

There are no rules really, except to have fun and like Buddy the Elf, spread Christmas Cheer.

My kids were just as excited about Santa’s visit as they were about being secret Santa to the May Family around the corner.

The list we made up as we went included:

One White Candle

Two Ornaments

Three Cardinal Bird Candles

Four Paper Doves (made by my 7 year old)

Five Chocolate Star Cookies (made by Trader Joe’s)

Six Satsumas

Seven Christmas Carols

Eight Christmas Words

Nine Surprises (ornaments, tea, hot cocoa, drawings, etc)

Ten Peppermint Candies

Eleven Tealights

And today after first attempting delivery at 9 AM noticing the house was dark, and their stockings were still full, (remember they have teenagers) we came back at 11 AM with 12 “Santa Whiskers”, homemade cookies, singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas to a smiling family of four on their front porch.

After catching up, laughter and gratitude expressed our neighbor hollered out, the one unwritten rule as we walked back home, Next year we will have to pay it forward.

Oh, yes, the joy in paying it forward, giving exceeds the joy of receiving. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

20171213_114540

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader, Writer, Teacher and Seeker. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my posts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit regularly since I began in 2009 or this is your first blog stop.

Curious about becoming a life coach or upleveling your life? I am a co-facilitator at Seattle Life Coach Training. The program is transformative, the experience more life giving than words can describe, www.slctseattle.com.

Interested in life or spiritual coaching (individuals and couples) or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website www.mamaneedsarefill.com. Holding sack lunch mini-retreats since 2009.  The next January 5, 2018 is sold out. Two Seats available for February 9, Five Seats available for April 20 and Five Seats available for June 8. Contact Jenny, 206 255 0463, to reserve your spot.

 

From The Heart

Randomness from the Heart: El Dia de los Muertos

This Halloween I decided to paint my face in honor of the celebration originated in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos, or as Americans know it, Day of the Dead. I am not Mexican but I have an affinity for my loved ones who have gone on before me. Those who honor this day on November 1st, believe that at midnight on October 31st, the souls of all deceased children come down from heaven and reunite with their families and on November 2nd, the souls of deceased adults come to visit. Growing up Catholic this is very similar to the celebration and honoring of All Saints and All Souls day honored on the same first two days of November.

 

In particular my deceased, grandpa, grandma and dad play a huge role in my life. I think of one of them if not all every day. Even though it has been 38, 24, and 15 years since each of their passing, they visit me regularly. Or at least their memory along with their wisdom, love, and peaceful presence shows up among the activities and responsibilities of my days. I feel comfort and experience grace in these little moments.

 

A few years back I made a massage appointment with a woman I learned of through a friend. She sees dead people, my friend told me. I called immediately for an appointment. As the massage therapist worked on my body, she gently asked, Do you know that sometimes when I work on clients their deceased loved ones show up?

 

Uh, yes, I told her. That is the main reason I am here. Fully expecting my dad to show up I had a surprise visit from a friend who died giving birth to her twin sons in 1999. Marci and I didn’t know each other for very long but on this day she had a clear message I needed to hear. Choose joy. The timeliness and specific details of this message only make sense to me. I think of her every time I walk by a particular tree in our neighborhood or hear the seals down at the beach, two Marci memories. I feel the power of her message when I am overwhelmed with life or stuck in indecision.

We need our deceased loved ones. They support us, guide us, lead us, fill us up and console our sad or frustrated hearts as well as celebrate our achievements and joys. Not only do they represent a piece of our past they join us in the present.

 

I don’t know about you, but this comforts me and nurtures my soul. I am filled with gratitude for all those who have gone before me and who are with me now in spirit.

20171101_101059

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader, Writer, Teacher and Seeker. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my posts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit regularly since I began in 2009 or this is your first blog stop.

Curious about becoming a life coach or upleveling your life? I am a co-facilitator at Seattle Life Coach Training. The program is transformative, the experience more life giving than words can describe, http://www.slctseattle.com.

Interested in life or spiritual coaching (individuals and couples) or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, http://www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website http://www.mamaneedsarefill.com. Holding sack lunch mini-retreats since 2009. The next January 5, 2018 is sold out. Seats available for February 9, April 20 and June 8. Contact Jenny, 206 255 0463, to reserve your spot.

From The Heart

Randomness from the Heart: Purge

20170722_091403
One of the things I got rid of this summer was my heart rock collection. I intentionally tossed each rock in the Puget Sound, as pictured here, behind the fence. Can you find the heart in this photo?

This has been the summer of the purge. It began with my clothes. Four bags, sayonara. Then books. One Hundred and Seventy Two. Using Marie Kondo’s concept from her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I started as she suggests with the big categories, not room by room, and I released stuff that I had no good reason to keep. It wasn’t serving a positive purpose so I let it go. Ten bags of kitchen items. Two trips to Good Will, five trips to Salvation Army and ten different items placed on my curb all now someone else’s treasure. One trip to the dump. Four grocery bags of photographs and twenty seven journals. An endless amount of recycled paper.

In the pursuit of personal clarity I chose to tackle the physical items in my home and as a result the cobwebs in my mind, covering my heart are disappearing.

These things that I was hanging on to, shoved to the back of the closet, was an amalgamation of stuff that represented me in another time or I was keeping out of fear. This worry about maybe needing it one day or stressing over not having it was all in my imagination. If I get present, which is always my aim, these things are obsolete. The feelings, experiences and memories they represent live deep inside of me. No trip to the dump can change that.

Looking at something day after day that doesn’t create positive vibes, like an over stuffed drawer or piece of clothing I never wear has a way of clogging my mind. Seeing order and items that make me smile clears that space in my mind.

4, 172. 10. 2. 5. 10. 1. 4. 27. Just numbers? Just stuff? All of these things carried emotional baggage. No longer stuff to sort through, make space for, or hide in a drawer or at the back of the closet.

I see now how I have hidden behind objects. The physical space they took up in my house somehow crept into my subconscious. Now this spaciousness is not something I need to fill but rather be in, simply experience. Yesterday after clearing drawers of paperwork and de-cluttering my home office I sat down in it and colored. I created a piece of artwork with colored pencils that meant something to me.  Free to birth something that allows me to take up the space that matters. Space that inspires, motivates and nurtures.

Purging what takes up space that can be better utilized feels good. I am light all over.  Unencumbered by stuff opens up channels in my body, mind and spirit. I am breathing more deeply. I have room to dance. Space to fly.

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader, Writer, Teacher and Seeker. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my posts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit regularly since I began in 2009 or this is your first blog stop.

Curious about becoming a life coach or upleveling your life? I am a co-facilitator at Seattle Life Coach Training. The program is transformative, the experience more life giving than words can describe, www.slctseattle.com.

Interested in life or spiritual coaching (individuals and couples) or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website www.mamaneedsarefill.com. Holding sack lunch mini-retreats since 2009.  The next one on September 15th is sold out but there are openings for January 5, 2018. Contact Jenny, 206 255 0463, to reserve your spot.

 

From The Heart

Randomness from the Heart: I Lose it Sometimes

20170824_113153

Last time I showed up to this space was mid May. I wanted a break, some space in between the weekly random Monday posts. I am back with the intention to be even more random than before, and not necessarily posting on Monday’s, but to always post from the heart.

Generally even keel, typically forgiving, regularly able to go with the flow, I pop my cork and lose all sense of stability when someone honks their horn at me. I see it as a personal affront and react like a bottle rocket whose fuse has just been lit.

The other day stopped at a red light I contemplated taking a free right once I had clearance, but I noticed a man standing in the crosswalk, waiting to cross the street. I waited, too.  The driver behind me honked. A quick look in my rear view mirror revealed a teenager behind the wheel. Not sure if it was the mother in me or the neurotic who rolled down the window and shouted back to the driver, “There is someone in the crosswalk and I’m not going to hit them.”

More horn honking. As the light turns green and I watch the pedestrian begin his walk across the street she really lays on her horn and flips me off. Why I am so unglued, I am not sure at this point, but I pull over for everyone’s safety. Timing would have it that at the next red light we are next to each other. I roll down my window and proceed to scold her again part mom part crazy lady.

“I know your mother,” I yell. In truth, I don’t know her mother. I have never seen this young woman before in my life. As she cranks the music, ignoring my rants, I decide to lighten up and I begin to dance to the beat of the music. I raise my hands in the air, part mom dance, total nut case. As the light turns green and she flips me off again, I hang back to get a look at her license plate which like every good mother and psychotic individual.

I shout out her plate number, the ultimate, I’m gonna really get you move.

Wow. What is with the over the top anger? What is behind this?

At home I take some deep breaths. Draw a bath. I begin to question myself like I would one of my life coach clients. Curious about why once again I have allowed someone else’s disappointment, disapproval and judgment  to rattle me so. As the lavender scented bath water grounds me back to this earth, I realize that the horn is my hot button because I see it as someone judging me, pointing me out, disapproving of my actions. Somewhere along my path pleasing others has become a value. Not letting others down has become my hallmark.

At what point is this not serving me? At what point is this sacrificing my own well being?

All labels of mother and lunatic behind me, there in the hot bath I opened up to a new awareness. I was able to shift to gratitude for the impatient teenager. She gave me reason to go deeper and look behind my reaction.  

The next time someone honks their horn at me, I get to practice a new response. Will I ignore it? Will I turn up my own music and start dancing? We shall see. What I do know is because of that little interaction, I get to approve of myself when I think others are not. I get to proceed with self love and acceptance. No horn has to be my hot button, signal of truth or dictator of actions. Rather a signal to come home to myself.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader, Writer, Teacher and Seeker. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my posts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit regularly since I began in 2009 or this is your first blog stop.

 

Curious about becoming a life coach or upleveling your life? I am a co-facilitator at Seattle Life Coach Training. The program is transformative, the experience more life giving than words can describe, www.slctseattle.com.

 

Interested in life or spiritual coaching (individuals and couples) or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website: www.mamaneedsarefill.com. Holding sack lunch mini-retreats since 2009.  The next one on September 15th is sold out but there are openings for January 5, 2018. Contact Jenny, 206 255 0463, to reserve your spot.