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Taking My Own Advice July 30, 2010

Filed under: mom writer,Uncategorized — heartwriter @ 4:35 pm
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At the pool with a long time friend this week my own words came to, not bite me in the ass, but definitely to nudge, challenge, awaken me to my own awareness.  I was in a moment with my son and she quoted my Blog.  Right there, pool side, she reminded me of my own wisdom.  The wisdom WE ALL HAVE deep in our bellies, buried beneath are muddled brains, swimming in love.

by J.G. McGlothern

 

Chain Reaction July 27, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 3:40 pm
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This morning I heard my husband toss and turn and get out of bed. Instead of my usual sleeping through it I found myself lying awake in bed far earlier than I wanted to be.  My mind rolled over un-answered emails and remembered some out of town friends wrote yesterday that they may be coming to town soon.  I would love to see them.  Then my mind remembered the messy guest bedroom they’d be sleeping in.  Then one thought lead to another and the next thing I was doing lying in bed at 6 am in the morning was planning painting our downstairs bathroom, cleaning out the garage, getting rid of kids’ toys in the basement.  They weren’t happy thoughts, I was stressing out about things I thought I “should” be doing to prepare for friends who may be coming for a visit later this summer.

I wanted to stop the insanity.  I hopped out of bed, put on my walking shoes, grabbed the dog and went for a walk.  Outside the sun was shining.  There were no boxes to take to Good Will, no rooms to paint and rearrange, just nature.  Me, my dog and the sunshine.  OH, and the beautiful flowers.  So I started being grateful and by the third block I was sporting a new mind.  A mind present to all around me not tasks I thought I needed to worry about.

Heading back to our house I remembered the date.  July 27.  Then I remembered my dad died 8 years ago today. Remembering my dad loved flowers, back home I watered the front porch plants, picked some hydrangea blossoms and went inside to make myself a bowl of oatmeal.  As the oatmeal slowly cooked on the stove top I ran into the vacuum my husband left out.  I made sure the oatmeal was on low and just quickly vacuumed the living room.  I saw how this could lead to no good. So after only one room being vacuumed, I put the vacuum away.  I put the hydrangeas in vases and sat down and ate my oatmeal.

We direct these chain reactions in our lives don’t we?  One thing leads to another and if it is leading to no good we need to stop. Stop the insanity and do something to bring us back to the present.  Smell a hydrangea, watch oatmeal boil, pet a dog, remember a loved one.

Our friends won’t care how many toys are in the basement, they are coming to see us.  I get myself all worked up and the sun has barely risen.  What chain reaction will you create or put to a stop today? Do tell.

by J.G. McGlothern

 

Back Seat Driver July 21, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 10:47 pm
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Driving home from a weekend trip to our friend’s cabin two weeks ago, my son surprised me as he spoke up out of the blue from the back seat.  My little boy who struggles with quick transitions was perhaps exhausted from a weekend of swimming, knee boarding, campfires, late nights, giant marshmallows.  He seemed settled in his car seat, all dozy with sun kissed cheeks, quiet in contemplation, looking out the window.  But then he spoke up, waking me from my focus on driving the windy road along Hood Canal.

“Mama, I don’t want to die, and you know why mama?” As the tears exploded from his soul, “I don’t want to leave this beautiful earth.  I love it so much.”

All I could do in the moment was reach back my hand and offer to hold his little six year hold hand in mine.  My intense, passionate, alive, fully engaged little boy speaks such truth, such wisdom, such beauty.  And not in a small way. Nothing about him is small. His love, his words, his passion, his out bursts. 

I recently sought out help with his out bursts and visited a counselor who provided me with two tools for my back pocket.  The tools have been quite useful.  Usually his out bursts don’t deal with dying and leaving this earth they are more out of anger or frustration about not getting his way right then.  Often at the end of moving from one thing to the next.  He needs time to disengage and I don’t always prepare him or frankly, all the preparation in the world isn’t enough for him to adapt to the next thing.  Low adaptability might be one way to describe part of his temperament.

My counselor advised “try not to problem solve right away, instead offer a reflection of his feelings.”  So if he is expressing his feelings of frustration instead of offering a solution, say “I see you are mad about not having more time to play,” for example.

So I did this and have done it a number of times now. I already know exploding back amplifies the situation so I tried this new reflection by saying, “I see you feel this” instead of telling him to stop being upset and fixing the situation. Guess what? Yes. Of course it worked, I wouldn’t be telling you about it if it didn’t, right?

So when he told me a few Sundays ago that he didn’t want to leave this earth because he loved it so much I forgot about the whole not problem solving thing and I have no idea if I reflected back his feelings, I was just amazed.  Amazed and in awe that a little boy could think like that.  I was struck by his vulnerability, his beauty and could only offer my hand.  Then I said stuff, stuff I believe, stuff I am not sure of, stuff that made him feel better, but with all those words my hand probably was sufficient.

We don’t have to prepare, teach, fix, solve, control everything for our children, for that would be driving on their territory, taking up their side of the road on this journey.  Next time he explodes in frustration in an annoying way, I will offer my hand.  And the next time his soul explodes with beauty about some poignant observation, I will do the same.  Offer my hand and love him even if I am the one in the driver seat at the moment.

 

Live As If This Is All There Is — Words To Live By Part XI July 20, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 9:57 pm
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For the last couple weeks, before I could begin to write about this, I had to try it on for size.  Who hasn’t heard this before? We all have at one time or another, right?  It is a beautiful expression, an absolutely wonderful way to experience this precious life of ours, but definitely not easy. Or is it? I had to try it out before spouting off about it.

In order to embrace this thought – this wise mantra it would require giving up living in the future.  Giving up my ego.  You know that little thing that gets in the way of it all.

I am not one who dwells on the past. I definitely can get lost though in the future, pondering “if only” and “when this” completely ignoring and oblivious to “NOW.”

This is all there is.  This life, this husband, these kids, my friends, this body, this brain — my little spot on the planet and that is enough.  That is being blessed to the moon and back.

Do I live that way now every day of my life?  Of course not.  I want a bigger kitchen, my kids to each have their own bedrooms and to participate in every activity they show interest in, my husband to love his job, for me to be a published author, to one day make lots of money doing what I love, to travel the world with my family and finally but really should be primary, to live more peacefully.

So the last couple weeks, I haven’t thought about the desire for a bigger kitchen, I have been cooking meals and creations in it with the help of my kids, getting messy in our small space, together.  My kids have been so exhausted from swimming, camping, playing, reading, being kids that their one bedroom has been a place for renewal not fighting.  Instead of rolling my eyes when my husband shares the stresses of his job, I have listened with love.  Instead of living in a tidy, perfectly clean home in my spare time I have been reading, napping, working on my tan, living as if this is all there is.  This small house with this big love inside.

In order to truly live as if this is all there is I have to be willing to shed a few wishes, to be more grateful, every single day.  And to live in the moment, live for right now because this is all there is and this is truly enough.  And when I get lost in the future, in the sea of “if only” and ”when this”, I will remember this summer.  The summer when I let the house be a mess and we read 100 books and baked with chocolate and had brown cheeks and water in our ears, living as if this is all there is.

 

Do What You Love — Words To Live By Part X July 5, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 7:30 pm
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live with  intention.

walk to the edge.

listen hard.

practice wellness.

play with abandon.

laugh.

choose with no regret.

continue to learn.

appreciate your friends.

do what you love.

live as if this is all there is.

-mary anne radmacher

The tenth line of Mary Anne Radmacher’s poem, the mantra I have been dissecting for days now, seems so obvious, so simple in its message.  Doing what one loves seems just as vital as breathing. So tell me then, why is it so difficult on many levels and something we run from?  Instead putting duty first using our heads dialogue to direct us away from our hearts desires and blocking us from what really matters.  Can you tell me?

This is something WE all battle.  Others more artfully and less painfully.

If the message is so obvious resonating peace in our hearts when we read it why then do we battle in our heads to live it out?

Just something I am thinking about on this chilly summer morning as I am doing one thing that I love, one thing that I am finally making room for in my life, filling a blank page.

What would happen then if every day we did one thing that we loved? Just one thing.  Maybe then the next day when something we don’t love was starring at us in the face we could more easily step away from it replacing it with one more thing that we love.  Doing two things in one day what we love…now what would that feel like?

At twelve in the afternoon, still in my pajamas on a Monday, my head is telling me as this page is just about full, it is time to get dressed, do a load of laundry.  But my heart, my beating heart, is going to win this one and I am going to go open a book, the second thing that I love.

by J.G. McGlothern

 

Appreciate Your Friends — Words To Live By IX July 3, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 3:41 pm
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When I turned 40 over two years ago I gathered my mom, sisters and friends for a four day celebration at the ocean.  I wrote a poem about all the different friendships gathered in the room before me.  This week I dug out that poem and rewrote it fitting my friendships today which are the same, different, reshaped, new and still very very blessed and close to my heart.

Plenty To Go Around

We talk every day

I call once a week

you prefer email

our face to face conversations are best

I run into you at the right moment

Connecting once a week once a month once a year.

We knew each other in diapers

invented fun

double dated

took the same class

solved the world’s problems

discovered each other on our children’s playground

reconnected at the grocery store in book club introduced at a dinner party on Face Book

our  paths crossing because of the stars aligning our children’s ages our needs our desires

Fate.

We have shared the same bathroom

airplane rides

meals

pot of tea, bottle of wine

secrets,

recipes, parenting nursing gardening advice

history

Chapstick.

We meet for long walks

movie dates tea coffee gossip catching up

together we run walk practice yoga

creating words sacred space

bonds that won’t be broken but perhaps only shared for a short time

maybe forever

you are my running walking yoga writing meditating sharing – partner.

We sit in silence

never short on words

you are the talker

I am the talker

you listen

I listen.

We are mothers

daughters

wives

planters of dreams

women who pray

artists, seekers of joy, enthusiastic readers, movie goers

dancers and drinkers of life.

We laugh

We cry

We listen

We laugh some more

I spill my heart

You let me

We come together when the other needs us most.

You are the circle that surrounds me

lifts me up when I am low

grounds me when I am in the clouds.

You are my sisters

my mothers

my confidants

my allies.

Without your friendship

I would be a single flower in a barren field

together we are a garden alive with color

full of grace

Bound by love.

 by J.G. McGlothern

 

Continue To Learn — Words To Live by Part VIII July 1, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 4:31 am
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live with  intention.

walk to the edge.

listen hard.

practice wellness.

play with abandon.

laugh.

choose with no regret.

continue to learn.

appreciate your friends.

do what you love.

live as if this is all there is.

-mary anne radmacher

I feel like I am in a big learning space and it is all about ME.  Learning about my feelings, choices, attitudes. Being in my 40’s is a far betting learning time for me than it was when I was in my 20’s or 30’s.  Back then I was more focused on stuff outside of myself, learning about how others tick and how other things tock.  Now it is about my own rhythm and the lessons, big and little, that I am learning about myself. Every day I learn more, a new chunk of life to chew on and gain insight from.

Never a shortage of things to learn and I appreciate the poet, Mary Anne Radmacher, for reminding me of it.

by J.G. McGlothern