From The Heart, motherhood

Tickle Me — Laughter Part II by J.G. McGlothern

I would rather die than live a humorless life. Someone famous must have said that one time or another, if not they should have, because it’s brilliant. True and brilliant.

My husband is one of the funniest people I know. He can make me laugh like no other. He can also piss me off like no other, but I’ll save that for a different series. Things get tense between us when we have forgotten to laugh. Let me re-phrase, things get tense between us, when I forget to laugh. Let’s face it even though our children are the best comedians, they can also annoy us, test us, challenge us…and that’s when I fail to see any humor in the situation.

Last spring our son stayed the night with his aunt. His first sleepover without his big sister. The next day he told me when he got sad and started to miss us, he asked his aunt to tickle him saying that would make him happy again. All she had to do, mama, was tickle me, then I was fine.

It would be great to be able to operate like that. When I’ve been upset with my husband and he has tried to tickle me, I re-acted a little differently than my son did with his aunt. I don’t think there was blood or a black eye, but there was definitely swearing and evil looks involved.


Laughter Is The Best Medicine — Laughter Part I by J.G. McGlothern

Laughter is the best medicine.  Haven’t we all heard that?  Laughter has even cured a woman from her cancer.  It can turn a crappy day into a great one.

I remember going with my mom and sister to the movie, Being There, with Peter Sellers.  My mom laughed so hard, she fell off her seat.  Of course being a ten year old, I was mortified.  But later I could laugh at the incident.

The other day, my Life Coach introduced me to the concept of laughter yoga.  We nearly laughed our asses off as she tried out some exercises on me.  I say nearly, ‘cause come on, nothin’s gonna laugh this ass off but exercise and eating smaller portions.  But why not throw laughter into the mix and give it a try, huh?

She explained how fake laughter releases the same chemical as real laughter and shared some techniques for me to try.  At home that evening when my two offspring started getting sassy with one another I told them about just laughing instead of getting mad.  My son, the one with a temper the size of … well his mother’s, loved the idea. We both tossed our heads back and giggled.  My daughter rolled her eyes at us.  Instead of laughing at her, we just chose to laugh over rolling eyes, over getting mad, over fighting.

I continued the day with laughing over my headache. Spontaneously laughing over being such a serious person.  I felt like a crazy woman set free.  I could have auditioned for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and been given the roll of Jack Nicolson’s twin sister.

The next morning, the offspring started bickering.  I sent them loving light, laughed to myself over how I send them healing light and continued washing the breakfast dishes.  They both joined me in the kitchen.  My son, the boy who could be Jack Nicholson’s twin sister’s son in the movie says…mama we could just laugh about fighting instead of fighting.  I high fived him and we put on our best laughs.  If we were in a movie theater we’d be rolling off our seats.

Diversion and laughter got my son to stop fighting with his sister, two days in a row.  His sister on the other hand, hid her laughter under her covered face.  She didn’t want us to know it worked for her too.  She has the role right now of being the mortified girl next to the crazy lady in the movie theatre.  It’s good practice for me when she’ll be a teenager and I’ll be laughing non-stop at the joys of female hormones.

From The Heart

Welcome Back by J.G. McGlothern

I was fired up to go to Hot Yoga this morning. I haven’t gone since June and today was the first day of my Get Healthy Competition I am doing with 8 other moms.  We are doing the Game On Diet and I am determined to put myself first.  This means eating healthy, taking time for me to exercise and fill my soul each day with things that give me joy.

Waiting outside of class, there were now ten of us.  Waiting.  Either the yoga instructor forgot or slept in.  As the clock neared 7 am, bodies left.  I was determined to wait.  I visualized the teacher showing up.   I needed to sweat today and this was the only time during the day that it would work.  Another yogini reached the other studio by cell phone…instructor was on her way…would just be 15 minutes late.  Excellent.

In class I was being gentle with myself, slowly remembering how to do the poses. When it came time for Camel, I was happy just bending back my head to see the ceiling. I didn’t need to bend backwards today and see the floor with my eyes.  But Holy Moses.  Even that smaller move, made me dizzy, light headed, close to nauseous.  I let myself lay down in the Corpse Pose while the others did a second set of Camel. 

That’s when dad showed up again.  To catch you up, if you’re new to me and this blog, my dad died 7 years ago and showed up in yoga class last spring, during the Camel Pose.  This time instead of encouraging me to bend back more, he lay down beside me and held my hand.  The tears burst out of me like a leaky faucet.  The yoga instructor reminded us that we should let go of whatever emotions were coming up and that it was normal to experience a variety of feelings and then she came over, knelt down beside me and squeezed my hand.

My tears were a definite reminder that this was where I was supposed to be.  I needed to stand in front of a mirror for over an hour, push my body, love it, be gentle with it…and let go.

It’s good to be back in my skin.  My sweaty, stinky skin.

From The Heart

Game On by J.G. McGlothern

Some mom friends and I are getting healthy.  We are putting ourselves first.  I mentioned to a mom how I was trying to eat less more often and she told me about a competition diet, explained in the book, The Game On Diet by Krista Vernoff and AZ Ferguson.

8 women, 4 teams, we start Saturday.  I have to weigh in, take a before and after photo and start calculating my points. You don’t win the game by losing the most weight, but by earning the most points.  And you earn points by doing the following each day: getting 7 hours of sleep, drinking 3 liters of water, eating 5 small meals, exercising 20 minutes, giving up a bad habit, starting a new good habit, etc. More than a diet…a waking up, a cattle call to look at your habits and how you care for yourself, thrown in with some good old fashioned competition.

On the same day I committed to doing this I was given a gift.  My dear friend wrote me a letter and delivered it with a bouquet of orange dahlias. One of my favorite flowers dressed in my favorite color.  The first line of her letter was telling me…”you are rock star beautiful.”  The letter was inspired by my negative thoughts that consumed me recently.  In the letter she went on stating all the wonderful things my body had done…give birth to two children, run half a dozen half marathons, etc, etc, etc.  Point being, we are so f@#king hard on our bodies.  We tell them they are imperfect yet look at all they do…raise families, run, walk, swim, earn livings, nurture and most of all love.

So my healthy new habit as part of the Game, is to use daily affirmations.  Every time I look in a mirror, or see my reflection in the window, I am going to say. “You are rock star beautiful and I love you just the way you are.”  Instead of beating myself up with, “You’d look good if you lost 15 pounds” or “Ick” or “I look awful today.”

When I was telling a friend at a party this weekend about the Game On Diet the music was loud and she thought I said, the Gay Mom Diet.  I told my gay mom friend the story and she said, well you’ll have to start playing softball, drinking beer and wearing plaid, flannel shirts.  Now that’s a diet I could handle.

Our friends cheer us on, make us laugh, and engage us in a little friendly competition…a competition of who can love themselves more really.  Because that’s what we are doing by joining in this Game.  We are saying, enough is enough, time to love ourselves, time to care for our bodies that do and love so much already.

So Gay On…oh, I mean Game On!

From The Heart, motherhood

Don’t Go Changin’ — Change Part III by J.G. McGlothern

A few years back I was frustrated with a certain family member (don’t worry not the 2 – 4 who occasionally read this). I was frustrated with their attitude, their negative nature. My panties would get all bunched up when I thought about them.

A wise woman told me to gather all the love in my heart I had for my family and imagine it forming into a ball of light. Then to envision that ball of light traveling to that person I was frustrated with and imagine the light circling them with love. No words. No wishes. No prayers for them to change. Just light. Warm, bright healing light.

Guess what happened? They didn’t change. I did. Their negative energy stopped turning me sour. Although I am an incredibly hopeful person on one hand I also believe people don’t change. If they don’t want to or don’t see a problem with the way they are… why should they? The only person I can be responsible for is myself.

This morning in the shower I heard the kids yelling at each other, arguing over something. Instead of yelling at them to shut up, to knock it off, to cool it, to call it quits, to stop it…I stood there with the warm water falling down on my head and I gathered light in my heart. I thought of my husband, my daughter, my son and all of the love I feel for them and imagined that love forming a ray of light that traveled out of the shower, out the bathroom door, down the hall to the kids’ room. I envisioned the light bathing them with love. I waited. I kept beaming them light. It was quiet. I didn’t yell. I continued with my shower. When I stepped out, all was still quiet. A little bit later, after I was dressed, the arguing began again. But it was polite arguing. They worked it out on their own.

I CHANGED. I didn’t step in, I didn’t yell. I stayed out of it and simply sent them healing light. They will argue again. They will yell at each other. They are brother and sister, doing what brothers and sisters do.  I can’t change that. But during that next time, I will remember how sending light worked this time and I will send them more light.

From The Heart, mom writer

Keeping Me Accountable — Change Part II by J.G. McGlothern

I owe my seven year old daughter fifty cents.  We made a pact this week.  Every time I swear, I give her fifty cents and she puts it in her piggy bank.  If someone is just getting to know me they are shocked to learn I cuss like a sailor.  I don’t know why my otherwise, soft and gentle disposition leads them astray.  Nice girls can cuss with the best of them.  I guess moms aren’t supposed to swear.  I call bullshit. (Damn, that’s fifty cents.  Oops, make it a dollar.)

The part I want to change is cussing in anger, cussing at my kids.  Because when I swear in anger those otherwise meaningless words carry hurt.  If I spill a bowl of soup or trip over the dog and oh shit comes out of my mouth I don’t see that as damaging, but telling my kids to shut the fuck up should definitely be classified as out of line, cruel and to use mommy speak, not acceptable.

This is why I asked my daughter how much I should pay her every time she hears me swear.  She first said, two dollars. To which I replied, oh ship.  Phew, I get to keep fifty cents. 

I hope I am teaching her that I am aware of my mistakes, but I am willing to change my behavior when I see it is hurting others.  My long standing belief that swear-words are empty and meaningless can crash with the rest of the world and most importantly with the world that contains my children.  So I am learning to reign in the truck driver speak and at the same time, my daughter is getting rich.

From The Heart, writer mom

Day is Done, Gone the Sun —– Change Part I by J.G. McGlothern

On the last day of August walking down the street…I smelled it. The way the sunlight cast shadows on the street, I saw it too. On the second day of September it was unmistakable…fall was in the air. Grey and cool. On Friday fall was even more in the air with the blue sky above, the dew covered grass and the way the angle of sunlight shone through my kitchen window. Today it rained hard in the early morning. I got hot on my late morning walk and had to shed a layer. I love living in Seattle for many reasons but one is the change of seasons. And even just the change of weather in one day. You never know. This fact can piss some people off big time. Understandably, it is nice to know how to dress for a day and how you should move forward with your daily plan. I however, love the surprise and spontaneity in the change from bright and sunny to dark and cool.

The changes of seasons in this city are so perfect for my personality. I need change. The light from the sun and moon depict each season clearly yet every year I am taken by surprise by the way in which I see the light. A moonbeam will shine through a window in the middle of the night and I will be reminded, I am not alone. Driving down the road I will need to grab my sunglasses from the glove box, for the surprising glare of sunshine will blind my vision.

Change is hard for many. We want to hold on to what we have. I get that, but for me, for the most part, change drives me forward. Although summer is wrapping up, the kids start school next week,  I am ready for this change. Ready for schedule, structure, some time for me.  And most importantly, a new way to see the light.