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The Dead Stuff February 21, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 1:12 am
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Pruning my neighbor’s hydrangea this afternoon took time.  I am not always patient for tedious tasks.  But I offered, it was my idea, I approached her.  By trimming off the dead stuff the entire plant took on a new shape. 

My neighbor and I are looking forward to spring and new growth from her hydrangea that borders our front lawn and separates our two properties.  We are curious about the new shape and how it will grow and branch out.

She was grateful for someone else doing the work.  I discovered that I was more patient pruning her plant then I have been in the past with pruning my own.  I usually want it done, eyes closed, I hack away.  This time it was someone else’s plant.  Her garden perfect husband, now watching me from the otherworld was with me, pleading me to go slowly and not to hack blindly.  When Jeff was alive we would often be in our front yards at the same time.  He moved carefully, with great purpose and intention.

I think today I was learning from his previous ways.  Moving with purpose and going slow I realized I was mirroring where I am in my life.  Slowly cutting off what doesn’t work anymore, bitching, complaining, negativity.  Creating room for new growth.

By J.G. McGlothern


Intense February 11, 2010

Filed under: mom writer — heartwriter @ 7:42 pm
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The other morning in yoga my instructor said something along the lines of…This yoga teaches us to be calm in intense situations.  She says this in a 105 degree room with 15 people lying on the floor grabbing their ankles bending their spines like we are 5 year olds.

So I start thinking…Hey if I can do this, and I hate heat, (my idea of too hot is anything over 71 degrees) then I can handle my son’s intense emotional outbursts. So there I was practicing being calm in a 105 degree room, dripping sweat like I had just stepped out of a lake.

Breathe, practice, practice, practice, breathe.

I am so ready for intense…bring on the tantrum, bring on the chaos, bring on the screaming, yelling and drama, oh, bring on the drama.

Breathe, practice, practice, practice, breathe.

by J.G. McGlothern


Off The Page February 9, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart,motherhood — heartwriter @ 9:41 pm
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As I am learning to play It’s a Wonderful World on the piano, my teacher noticed I was being hung up by the page.  The music was holding me back.  So for the last two weeks I have been learning the song by memory with the sheet music folded up and put away. 

So scary at first. You want me to what?

Learn it without reading it.  She was right, looking at the sheet music, slowed me down.

So line by line, chord by chord I am learning the song without reading the page in front of me.  It feels liberating. 

How many things do we do by the book only to learn the book is getting in the way?

It should have sounded right to me the first time. This is how I cook, I don’t follow recipes.  They hold me back.  I look at the ingredients, read the general gist of the recipe, then just start cooking.

And isn’t that how we parent?  We talk to friends, learn from what our parents did or didn’t do, read an article here and there…then we turn our eyes from the page and start catching what we get thrown.

And in the end every is alive, and maybe less bruised then if we kept our eyes on the page.  All it takes is trust.

by J.G. McGlothern


It’s Only Hair February 6, 2010

Filed under: mom writer — heartwriter @ 9:10 pm
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Do men fret about their hair like chicks do? I don’t think so. I have been growing out my hair, haven’t had it touched by scissors in 6 months………until yesterday.  Whack it off, I told her.

Are you sure?  We could try something new, lots of layers. 

This is new, go for it, I said indicating a cut mark at my chin.

Nearly 4 inches off, I am a new woman, but my old self at the same time.

Funny how we let something like hair define us.  Even funnier how we connect to things outside of us, beyond the top of our head to explain who we are.  I am not just a mom hauling kids to and from school, feeding them regularly, keeping them alive.  I am a woman who is figuring out who I am more and more every day.  Embracing all that comes my way, painful or not.

This morning my eight year old daughter was getting ready to go to the ballet with my mother and I asked if I could “do her hair”?  When the reply, Yes, came my way I was stunned.  She hasn’t let me touch her hair in years.  I knew I was being controlling, wanting her hair to look “right.”  After all she was going out in public.  How hypercritical and neurotic of me but at the same time I am preparing her for the future, right?

You call B.S. I know. It had nothing to do with her, but more about me.  I wanted my mom (because she is of that generation to see how nice my daughter looked). B.S. again.  My daughter loves how she looks, is proud of who she is messy locks or not.  And here I am, the lady who took a poll from friends and family before getting my hair whacked off.  In the end I did what I wanted and ignored those who urged me to grow it out but still how ridiculous of me to even ask for others opinion on my hair when in the end it is just hair and it can always grow back.

by J.G. McGlothern


Accountability Partners – Practice Part III February 5, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart,mom writer — heartwriter @ 1:49 am
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I love how the universe works to support us.

Eight years ago I was seeking some faith connection…I received a call from a long time church friend who was starting a women’s faith sharing group, Was I interested in joining?, she asked. Yes, I responded. Still going strong in our eighth year we meet twice a month to share our journey and listen to others share theirs.  A constant reminder that my faith is important to me and one way to deepen it is to share the struggles and joys with others as I learn from their stories, twists along the path that lead to growth and discovery, abundance.

I decided I wanted to be a writer sometime around college.  Ever since then when I am in that, “ I wanna write but procrastinate” mood, a fellow writer stumbles onto my path.  Two years ago a friend told me, You should meet So-in-So she is a writer too.  So So-in-So was standing in front of my daughter’s school on a lovely September day and I introduced myself.  Now me and So-in-So meet once a week to keep each other accountable.  We share our weeks writing goals and report our progress.  Then we just write.

Recently during one of our writing sessions a friend stopped by.  When I shared that So-in-So and I were writing partners and that we met every Thursday, he immediately responded, You’re practicing, that’s great.  He got it.  He understood how important writing was to us and he was honoring our practice.  He didn’t stay long to chat, perhaps feeling like he was walking on sacred ground.

For that is what your practice is…sacred.  The act of honoring what you value and paying attention to your Divine within.

I feel abundantly blessed to have so many accountability partners.  There’s my Monday and Friday walking partners, Monday faith group, my Tuesday piano teacher, Thursday writing partner…I could go on.  Exercise, nurturing my faith, playing music, writing…all ways I fill my cup as a mother and as a woman. 

There have been so many other times when I have wanted to achieve a goal or try something to better myself, when someone has come along and either wanted to do the same thing, providing me with a partner in crime or offered the perfect suggestion, the title of a book, a bit of advice to set me moving forward on my path. No coincidence.  Definitely no accident.

Who keeps you accountable in your practice?  Who helps keep you honest?

by J.G. McGlothern


Show Up — Practice Part II February 2, 2010

Filed under: mom writer — heartwriter @ 6:53 am
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When I heard Anne Lamott speak last spring I took the opportunity to ask her a question during her question and answer period.

How does a stay-at-home mom of young ones write and work toward being published? I asked.

Thirty minutes a day, she told me. You show up in front of a blank page every day for thirty minutes and most of it will suck. But you show up again.

So here I am showing up.  I intended on going to bed early.  I am reading two really good books, Travelling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Tyler and The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.

I am in the beginning of both books and they have my attention so I want to read on.  But I also have committed my life to being a writer, so here I am showing up to practice.

Sometimes I don’t want to practice.  I want to forget about my dreams and live someone else’s.  Practice isn’t supposed to be easy I suppose.  But it does get easier the more I do it.

Like tonight at bedtime.  Yelling is getting easier. I want to give it up completely, but I keep doing it. That isn’t the practice I want to be doing.  I want to practice keeping my cool not yelling.  Maybe I should write that on the kids’ chalkboard 100 times.

I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me. I will not yell at my children when they don’t listen to me.

Along with showing up to practice I must remember to be kind to myself.  I just bet the kinder I am to myself the kinder I will be to my children.

The mother/daughter writing duo of Kidd and Kidd had to practice their new way of connecting (I can see where it is going and I am only on chapter 1) and I am sure David Ebershoff doesn’t have 19 wives, so he had to practice his craft of writing.  One page at a time.

I have put in my time on this blank page.  I will now go finish my “list” of 40 things I am grateful for in my journal.  Another practice I am working on…learning to be more grateful.  Then I will read a few pages of one of my books…practicing reading more.  Then I will practice dreaming in my sleep, so that I can wake up and write down any messages…practicing paying attention to my dreams. 

Oh, so much to practice and so much time to practice practicing.

by J.G. McGlothern