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Peace Love Basketball – Part III by J.G. McGlothern November 24, 2009

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 9:17 pm
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Contest…Drawing December 1st. Get your questions in and visit www.peacelovebasketball.com **See below Blog for details.

Basketball…

For the last 15 years, the entire length of our relationship, my husband has gone to the Final Four.  He meets his Chicago and East Coast friends at the designated NCAA championship location and for four days they bond.  Male style.  Beer, basketball, more beer…sometimes golf, more beer and basketball.  My husband comes home exhausted but oh so happy.  He has released his stress and is ready to engage wholeheartedly with our family life.  One of his passions fulfilled…until the next March.

I must admit I am not a fan of spectator sports. If I can’t play why would I want to watch? B-O-R-I-N-G! But…there is nothing like college basketball.  They still have passion about the game.  Unlike those bigger boys in the NBA, whose only motivation is a pay check.  And even then their game is played with cockiness and arrogance.  Watch the Gonzaga Bulldogs during March Madness and you can’t help but cheer them on from the couch.  Even I am screaming at the television in those last few seconds where it just comes down to …. execution, time management, luck? Or perhaps love of the game? Passion?

In a few days our family will be gathered together and raising our glasses in honor of my brother-in-law who died unexpectedly three years ago. Jason was passionate about basketball, sports in general, but passionate about coaching his two girls on the court.  Standing over 6’ 4”, Jason was a gentle giant on the sidelines.  Guiding, teaching his daughters and team mates about the game he loved.  At his funeral it was standing room only with a huge crowd of people who came to honor a man you loved his family with all his heart and knew the importance of teaching children the life learning lessons that come with a ball in their hand.

Your third question for this contest dear reader is this: Who in your life has been a teacher…leading you to follow your passions?

CONTEST DETAILS:  You can win a hip, super comfy, organic cotton T-shirt from the Full Court Design Collection to keep you stylish and a journal to keep you honest.

All you have to do is take a moment and ponder a question and leave your answer in the comment section of my Heartwriter’s Blog AND visit my friend’s web site, www.peacelovebasketball.com, and become a FaceBook fan by clicking on the “fan” button. By leaving your comment on Heartwriter’s Blog and becoming a  PeaceLoveBasketball Fan, your name will be entered into a hat for our December 1st drawing. Answer all 3 questions in my Peace Love Basketball series and your name will be entered 3 times. (If you are not a FB member, no worries, visit www.peacelovebasketball.com, click on contacts, email Sonya and in the subject header type “Heartwriter Contest” and your name will still be entered in the drawing.)

NOTE: Men can enter too! You could win a long sleeve, black, uni-sex PeaceLoveBasketball t-shirt!

Get your comments entered by Dec. 1, 2009. 

 

 

 

Peace Love Basketball — Part II by J.G. McGlothern November 22, 2009

Filed under: From The Heart,mom writer — heartwriter @ 3:43 pm
Tags: ,

Contest. Enter Drawing by answering a question AND visiting www.peacelovebasketball.com !

In my Peace Love Basketball Heartwriter series, my friend and I are holding a contest. You can win a hip, super comfy, organic cotton T-shirt from her Full Court Design Collection to keep you stylish and a journal to keep you honest.

All you have to do is take a moment and ponder a question and leave your answer in the comment section of my Heartwriter’s Blog AND visit my friend’s web site, www.peacelovebasketball.com, and become a FaceBook fan by clicking on the “fan” button. By leaving your comment on Heartwriter’s Blog and becoming a  PeaceLoveBasketball Fan, your name will be entered into a hat for our December 1st drawing. Answer all 3 questions in my Peace Love Basketball series and your name will be entered 3 times. (If you are not a FB member, no worries, email sonya@sonyaelliott.com, in the subject header write “become a fan” and your name will still be entered in the drawing.)

Love…

I’ve been working on being kind to myself and putting myself first.  Motherhood can strip you naked at the end of the day so there is not a lot left for you to give. So what about remembering to receive?  It’s a balance thing you know, this giving and receiving.  When we give, give, give, what do we end up with?  Bitchyness, resentment, sadness, bitterness, exhaustion and oh, yes an empty cup.

Remembering that we matter and that it is okay to receive can be a learning process.  We need to learn new patterns, often develop new ways of being.

One thing I have been doing the last few months to refill my empty cup is revisiting a child passion. My daughter and I started piano lessons this summer and I am having a ball.  It feels like such a luxury to be plunking on the keys in the middle of the day when there is housework to be done. But screw it I say. And you have heard me say this before, the dishes will still be there, the laundry won’t get up and walk away. 

The act of creating music with my own hands fills me up and makes me a nicer mom. No longer crabby.  Fortunately, my teacher and I have an agreement that I  don’t get to beat myself up if I don’t practice as much as my daughter.  However, by giving myself a piano practice goal of a certain amount of time each week I am being held accountable to be good to myself.

Yesterday morning in yoga (yes, another way I refill my cup) the instructor said something I hung on to all day.  We were in the second part of class, doing the floor series and in between each pose we lie still in the corpse pose. The instructors often tell us it is the most difficult pose.  We are challenged to lie still, keep our mind quiet, our bodies still and our hearts open.

If you can’t be still for yourself, be still for your neighbor, the instructor says yesterday morningAnd I think, What a lovely way to look at it.  So then I leave yoga thinking, If I can’t love myself for me, I can start by loving myself for others.  For my children.  When they see me playing the piano, reading a book, going for a walk, they are witnessing that mom needs care too and she just doesn’t pack lunches, wipe noses and fold laundry.

Your second question for this contest dear reader is this: What loving act do you do for yourself which ends up re-filling your empty cup?

 

 

Peace Love Basketball — Part I by J.G. McGlothern November 20, 2009

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 6:48 am
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Contest. Enter Drawing by answering a question AND visiting www.peacelovebasketball.com !

For the next 3 Blogs my friend and I are holding a contest. You can win a hip, super comfy, organic cotton T-shirt from her Full Court Design Collection to keep you stylish and a journal to keep you honest.

All you have to do is take a moment and ponder a question and leave your answer in the comment section of my Heartwriter’s Blog AND visit my friend’s web site, www.peacelovebasketball.com, and become a FaceBook fan by clicking on the “fan” button. By leaving your comment on Heartwriter’s Blog and becoming a  PeaceLoveBasketball Fan, your name will be entered into a hat for our December 1st drawing.  Answer all 3 questions in my Peace Love Basketball series and your name will be entered 3 times. (If you are not a FB member, no worries, go to www.peacelovebasketball.com and click on the Contacts link,  in the subject header write “Heartwriter Contest” and your name will still be entered in the drawing.)

"Play Like a Girl" Peace Love Basketball Prize t-shirt

Peace… 

Thanksgiving is next week, even though the store front windows, television commercials and radio announcers are only telling us about Christmas.

The upcoming holiday season holds hope and anticipation for many.  Stress and more stress for others.  Often the anxieties of the season can take away from the love and joy we are supposed to experience. The “to-do” lists and obligations overcome us, leaving us far from a place of peace.  We can’t wait for the holiday to get here, then we can’t wait for it to be over, in the mean while being completely unaware, detached from the experience, empty.

I never liked Christmas.  It all goes back to being four years old and my eleven year old sister telling me on Christmas Eve…There is no Easter Bunny, No Tooth Fairy and No Santa Claus. Then when I was six or seven there was a terrible family fight involving another sister and my mentally ill father. So it is understandable I developed some stress and sadness over the month of December.

But then I had kids.  The anxiety and sadness have been replaced with love as I have learned to embrace the joy of Christmas. However, the stress can still be there, just a different kind of stress.  A stress over the “shoulds”.

Last year I gave myself permission to have less “shoulds” surrounding Christmas.  I didn’t send Christmas cards, didn’t make a gingerbread house and bought way less gifts than the year before.  This made room for more light to shine down on me in the month of December. In other words, I was more at peace so I was able to see the light that was already there.

Your first question for this contest dear reader is this: How will you lessen or eliminate the stress from your life this holiday season?

 

 

Trimming The Tree Before The Turkey by J.G. McGlothern November 19, 2009

Filed under: mom writer — heartwriter @ 8:07 pm
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My kids wanted me to break out the Elf movie Christmas Soundtrack the other night.  I normally don’t let anything Christmassy break out of the closet until December 1st or at least Advent, which falls on the 29th of November this year, but tonight I caved.  Music is one thing. Music is for any season. Any season and every season.

Remember when The Bon Marche, now Macy’s, lit their Christmas Star the day after turkey day? We had time to anticipate, hope, wait with excitement. Now store fronts are already decked out in the Christmas spirit and we haven’t even gone over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house for gravy and stuffing.  What are we teaching our children?  What happened to tradition, ritual, the simple order of things?

I don’t recall a lot of Thanksgiving decorations in store fronts as a child, but what happened to celebrating just being thankful?  There isn’t any pressure on Thanksgiving…yes we are with family, which may be stressful, but our main duty is to pig out, enjoy who we are with.  Fight over the turkey skin, take seconds on potatoes.  We remember to count our blessings then eat a turkey sandwich the next day.

Before I get all stuffed and over loaded, I need to remember to be grateful. There is no season for that. Being grateful can happen, winter or spring, summer or fall.  Then full on gratitude, I might not crave seconds on potatoes. (Pumpkin pie yes though…one warm, then one cold, must be done.) When I realize what I have, the abundance, I don’t go looking for seconds.  The first time around is plenty.

On the night we danced to the Nutcracker and Jingle Bells, I was grateful that my kids love music, giddy that they love to dance as much as I do.  So I broke a rule of Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving but I was so aware of the joy it brought all of us on a school night, between book reports and piano practice, to just dance. And dancing can happen winter or spring, summer or fall.

 

Handle With Care by J.G. McGlothern November 12, 2009

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 10:46 pm
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So where are we?  I have left you for days now with dreams, hopes, reminders to breathe, hopefully bits of inspiration to take care of your soul – challenges to live in an observant manner, unwrapping all the good within you.

Where does that leave us?  Probably like me, still struggling with making time for yourself, forgetting to surrender, unaware of your hopes and dreams because of being too busy with this and that, but during it all still a smidgeon aware of it all shifting inside of you. Yes?

I have been struggling with something personal for many months now and leaving yoga last night I was mad at myself for still being in the struggle.  Angry I was still having negative thought patterns consume my waking hours.  Then, all sweaty walking to my car in the rain, arms full of towel, yoga mat, sweaty shirt, water bottle another part of me, a wise part said, STOP. Don’t beat yourself up for not having let go yet – it’s part of the process.  Grief, change, transition, it all takes time, can’t be rushed, moves at its own pace, bears hidden gifts.

Ahhhh, I breathed out.  I had just given myself permission to not be done healing – blessed myself with an invitation to be gentle with myself.

We beat ourselves up enough as moms, women, people – it was time to be gentle and in that act of waking up walking to my car, I shifted, making room for love, making room for joy, making room for what needs to happen next.  And since what happens next is out of my control and all I can control is within me, I might as well be gentle with myself. Right?

 

Hope Floats — Hope Part II by J.G. McGlothern November 3, 2009

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 4:27 pm
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There is nothing in Mother Nature that can stop me in my tracks and remind me of the possibility of hope like the moon.  Just last night, taking out the dog before bed, there it was as round as a communion host, as white as snow, as loyal as a Labrador Retriever, shinning down at me, lighting up my world – refilling my cup with hope.

It will provide the same hope for me when it hangs up there in the sky as a crescent or hidden behind a cloud with only its glow giving away its position.  The power it holds over me is life giving.  I’m like a child when I see the moon.  I have to point it out to strangers walking down the sidewalk.  Did you see the moon tonight? It shifts me out of my chaotic, racing mind and moves me to a place of peace.

That must be the role of hope.  It should stir you, inspire you, move you out of your head, cover you with possibility.

 

It’s Not About Me? Really? by J.G. McGlothern November 2, 2009

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 10:55 pm
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Yesterday at hot yoga I placed my yoga mat in one of my usual spots, next to someone I’d never seen in class before. I usually don’t attend the 5 pm Sunday class, so she may have had the same thought…I’ve never seen her before. Or she may have had a completely different thought, one not even related to me.

Three walls of the large room we practice in are covered with mirrors. We stand in front of a floor to ceiling mirror and are supposed to look straight ahead at our third eye focusing on ourselves for 90 minutes. I’m human, my eyes wander a bit now and then although my focus has greatly improved and I am able to keep primarily attentive to myself in the mirror. When I glanced over occasionally at the gal next to me yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice her scowl. It made me double-take more than once that class. Was she mad at me? Wait, I don’t know her, never met her, haven’t even exchanged looks. Was she so mad at herself? Did she not like the person glancing back? When I would turn back my gaze and attention back to myself it forced me to smile at my image in the mirror, to wear a soft loving gaze. I had come in on a Sunday evening, I owed myself a loving look not a demeaning glare.

She got me thinking. How often do we see others glaring, scowling, frowning and think…She’s giving me the evil eye, she doesn’t like me, he thinks I’m strange? Just because that person is in front of us that moment doesn’t mean they’re really in front of us in that moment. Physically they are standing there, but they may not be thinking of us.

Not too long ago I attended a party where a very thin woman I barely knew sat next to me with her plate of hors d’ouvres and said, Oh, I shouldn’t eat this I’m so fat. I’d love to try that dessert on your plate but I’ve gained ten pounds and look huge.

I could’ve blown her over with my exhale. I immediately took her words personally and thought, only momentarily, about putting my plate of food down. Was she talking about me? Does she think I need to lose ten pounds?

NO, SILLY.  I saw her as thin, beautiful, perfect really, she saw herself another way and not deserving of dessert. So many of our encounters are taken personally when in reality the person is merely reflecting on THEMSELVES. NOT US. What a concept.

Man, I wish I was a guy sometimes. They don’t take anything personally and if their buddy remarked about not eating dessert because his jeans felt snug, the other guy wouldn’t think he was talking about him. They’d fart, belch, cuss and move on.

After yesterday’s class, 90 minutes of moving in a 105 degree room I was hoping to catch eyes with the gal next to me, see what her smile looked like.

Not a chance. She was doing sit ups. In my almost 2 years of practicing Bikram yoga, I’ve never seen someone end their practice with crunches. We’ve just sweated our asses off, the thought of continuing doesn’t cross my mind. Is that why she was glaring at herself in the mirror? She didn’t like what she saw? Or does she like what she saw and wants to keep it up? Does it matter? It isn’t about me.

I rolled up my mat and towel and went home proud of myself for showing up, proud for not judging my appearance and really proud I didn’t start doing sit-ups next to her, because the thought crossed my mind, briefly.