Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Needing the reminder...

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day...
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you..."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

In Excess

Last night as the movie credits were rolling I overheard the woman in front of us explaining the movie to her friend. She was describing the caste system that "used to" exist in India pre-Ghandi and the horrors and nonsense of it. That got me thinking...
We can look at a pulsing country like India and see clearly the cruelty of being born into the wrong family, into the wrong village, simply into the wrong house and how little sense that makes for dooming a person to a life of poverty and deprivation and ultimately, untimely death. We look at the Brahmin caste and the absolute insanity of their thinking that they have a right to treat the lowest caste however they see fit -- including having sex with girls as young as 7 or 8 years old, thinking these girls are blessed to have been with a Brahmin. How could they think it okay to live in elaborate houses and drive the best cars and eat the best foods while the lower castes' babies are dying and disease is rampant and people are starving? And all because they were born into that birthright? This doesn't make any sense to us.
Yet this is what exists today, on a grander scale yet. We, the priviledged classes born into countries that have too much -- countries suffering from excess -- we born with the birthright to waste turn our eyes from those who have nothing. We try to believe that they are different. Yet we all know someone who has adopted a child from any one of those countries and we have seen them grow up with the same emotions that we have. We see them mothering their children with the same love we have. And intuitively we DO know that we are all the same. That we are all one species.
But we don't want to look at it that way. We want to believe in our birthright to waste. We suffer from the symptoms of excess -- obesity, loneliness, pollution, decimation of natural resources -- but we want to believe that it has to be okay to live like this because we deserve it.
Deserve what? and when does it begin?
I look at my own children with their room burgeoning with too many toys and feel a little sick at the thought of them getting MORE because it's Christmas and that's their right -- to have more more more. Why? Why do we burden our children with too much stuff? We put our babies in their own beds with bars on the sides to keep them safe and eventually contained (and thus away from us having our peaceful sleep) yet is anyone really having that peaceful sleep? Aren't we all complaining because our children aren't sleeping through the night -- they want to be in our beds, hearing our heartbeats, nestled against our furry bodies. We are too busy to carry them on our backs like they do in underdeveloped countries. We have to get back to WORK so we can afford all our excesses! So we put them into childcare where they begin to shrivel (not always), into daycares and preschools where the caregiver is overburdened, the children are out of control and hurtful, and then we wonder when as teenagers they turn their back on us and walk away when we're talking to them. We've been pushing them away from us since they were born and then we're surprised when they finally walk away???
I'm not saying that we should ALL live in poverty on this planet. I'm just asking what our world would look like if we all truly did ALL we could to help each other. This has been a big year for devastation in the world and we've all opened our wallets to help. What does doing all I can look like for me? Is it the equivalent to what I spend on a nice dinner out with my husband? The equivalent to what I spend on gifts for my child in a year? We all say "we can't afford it" to many things. And then we do afford it if we really want it. What would it be like if we couldn't afford to live in excess because we were helping others on our planet have something? What if we stopped complaining about what we don't have and started sharing what we do?
We wonder about revolutions and terrorists and crime. But what would it be like to sit in squalor with absolutely nothing -- and absolutely NO hope of that changing -- and watching our neighbours wallow in relative wealth, throwing more food away than they ate, filling up a big pit behind our home with all the stuff that they don't feel like fixing or keeping anymore. Would we be content with that kind of imbalance? Or would we rise up and demand that we deserve to be treated with more respect and dignity than that just because we exist?
This whole issue makes my stomach churn. Mostly because I can hear people in my own family telling me that this all doesn't make sense. Yet how can it not? HOW can it possibly make sense to live the way we do and turn the channel on the T.V. when we don't want to see how terrible other people live?
How can it make sense to continue to give our children more food than they can eat, more toys than they can love, but less love than they need, less touch than they need, less listening than they crave and think all is right with the world.

I want

I want to live a life of full integrity. I want to live my life full-on regardless of who is around me. I want to be authentic 100% of the time. I want to not hide my true self but to live out loud.

Monday, November 21, 2005

what if...

Why is it so hard to wrap my head around making a real difference when there is SO much to be done. ANYthing I do is more than was being done yesterday.
There are about 15 million refugees in this world. Imagine. Imagine having NOTHING, including absolutely no sense of peace. And okay, okay, we all want to think that the political climates in many of these countries have to change before we could possibly do anything to help. But what if the people in those same countries were just a little more empowered? What if tomorrow someone in some village got a cow or a chicken or a goat and suddenly had hope? And what would that do to your sense of empowerment if you were just in some small way responsible for making that happen?
Here's my idea:
Christmas is coming up. We've all got too much stuff as it is. Oh there's always going to be something more we pine for, and that's okay with me. But is what you're pining for likely going to be the selection your mother-in-law makes for you? How many of us are wishing we didn't get many of the gifts we get because then we're just laden with the guilt of having one more thing we didn't ever really want but now have to display/use/wear? WHAT IF we emailed the people who are likely to buy us something (even though they know we don't need or want anything -- but they love us and they want to show us and in our culture you show love by giving stuff... but that's another story...) and ask them to give us the gift of peace? What if we could feel just a little more peace in our hearts if we knew that people who actually are in desperate dire NEED of stuff got just a little of what they needed? What if we emailed our friends and family our own favourite website ( is a really good one) and said "I know you love me and want to give me something. Would you consider giving something here instead, thereby giving me the gift of a happier heart?"
And there's our children. We protect them from the realities of the world. We sure don't let them watch the World Vision programs on weekday morning T.V. WHY? Because it might traumatize them. HOW? They would see children suffering. But don't you think they already feel the suffering in the world? Here's what I see happening:
Annika: "Why is that little girl crying?"
Mama: "I think she's hungry, Annika."
Annika: "Why is she hungry?"
Mama: "Because she doesn't have enough food."
Annika: "Can't her mama give her some food?"
Mama: "No, she can't. She wants to, but she doesn't have any."
Annika: "Can we give her some of our food?"
Mama: "We can, Annika. Would you like to?"
Annika: "Yes, mama. I want that little girl to not cry anymore."
Mama: "Would you like her to get some of your presents at Christmas?"
Annika: "Yes, mama."
OKAY! That's pretty simple! I think children get it a lot faster than we do. They, who are so fresh from God, understand things that we have long forgotten. And the really cool thing is you don't have to pass on your sense of hopelessness. There IS SO MUCH we can do. Let's get started...

Pushing the envelope

See? I even did it. I wrote what I saw written on the inner sanctums of my heart and then got scared because I felt I was going to make everyone feel uncomfortable. I said what I needed to say and then quickly moved to lighten the mood.
Not that a light mood isn't exactly what we need in these times, but I wanted to be honest about my intentions there. I WAS shaking my booty like never before with my grooving so-nearly-4 year old, and I intend to do so every day for as long as I'm blessed with life... But I don't want to feel like I need to lighten the mood when I speak my truth.
I just got home from seeing "Water" tonight. Nothing I didn't know before. Nothing I didn't see when I lived in those lands. But as the screen faded to black, my heart squeezed and I cried for our world. I cried for the children that are forgotten. I cried for the widows that are mistreated, our species everywhere who are traumatized just because they were born on the wrong side of the ocean... Goddess, help us help ourselves. Help us help each other. Help us truly know at the deepest level that we are all one and when one child cries, every one of our hearts ache. Help us realize that this is the sadness that prevails within us no matter what we do. Teach our hearts that until all of us are free, none of us are free. And show me how to do my part... thank you. amen.

shake your booty baby

heavy stuff
i need more Marvin Gaye in my life!
betcha can't listen to "Got to Give It Up (pt. 1)" without shaking your booty like it's 1984! hee hee
p.s. Is there a Pt. 10 to this? and everything in between? if there is, i need to get my dancing fingers on them...
p.p.s. Then stick on Nikka Costa's "Everybody Got Their Something" and REALLY get your booty waggin'!!

What of Ecocide?

My mind has been pretty global these past few days. Sunday came and went without as much ritual as I yearn for inside my little family. My mind has been awhirl with thoughts of the goddess, mother earth, god, nature, spirituality and how they are all combined. Many organized religions are finally waking up to the fact that we as species are destroying the planet and that something MUST change quickly. For too long these same religions hid behind their interpretation of Genesis as God giving man dominion over nature and whatever he chose to do with it was therefore his own business. Now they're realizing that with each species that becomes extinct, we are basically ripping apart creation -- some go so far as to say that we are ripping pages out of the bible. That doesn't mean much to me, but for people who look to the bible for their every answer, this is a powerful statement.
And so my mind has been on my own family and what I'm doing to foster a deeper sense of spirituality within my children (which, if they learn that goddess resides within them, I believe manifests as self-love and self-confidence) and on a larger scale, what are we doing to stop the obliteration of our planet? We recycle. We compost. We try really hard not to be gross consumers or wasters. We re-use our water and our paper and we try to rescue the leaves and grass from everyone we know for our compost -- to keep it out of the landfill. We do a little. But it truly is so pitiful. There is SO much more we can do. We have so much. There are SO many people who have SO little. What are we going to do to help re-balance the earth?
Here is a quote I found in a spiritual newsletter today: (to put it into context, the author is talking about what leads so many to become terrorists in this time of unrest) However, it also takes tremendous idealism for a person of means to brashly spend money on elaborate pleasure boats and cars when there are children racked by disease---starving daily in cities and nations all around him. The mental state of this latter type of person produces what we call a "Terrorist Situation." In order to support and defend your ideology of "I am not my brother's keeper," in all its modern forms, a person must choose to destroy certain neurons in his brain that could connect his consciousness to the cries of despair and serious need that rise up all around him. It is murder by omission, and the person you kill is always yourself.
Okay, so none of us want to believe that, right? Because WE WORK HARD FOR OUR MONEY AND WE HAVE A RIGHT TO SPEND IT however we choose, right? We desperately want to believe that we have the RIGHT to be disgustingly wealthy while most of the people on this earth live in squalor, and we insist that we do not have any obligation to help anyone but ourselves. We work hard, we've sacrificed so much, right? That's what we want to believe? But is it really true? Do most of the people in Sudan have ANY opportunity to escape the horror that is their birthright? I was born into comfort and I am one of those people who don't want to think too much about this subject. It makes me too uncomfortable. But read that quote again. Do it! Make yourself! If you're still reading this far, then you obviously have the courage to really think this through. I read the quote again and it I had quite a shift occur within me: a definite sign that something there is resonating strongly within me. We truly are one of the first generations to not feel moved to really help others. We easily turn our eyes from anything that makes us uncomfortable, and feel that we have EVERY RIGHT to do so.
But I want to really think about this for a minute. It wasn't very many years ago that there was NO HUNGER in our country because if your neighbour needed help, you helped her! It wasn't very long ago that if someone was going to a foreign land where you knew people had less than you did, you sent all your meager excess -- and that was in an age when people didn't have much excess. Look at us now!!! IT IS VULGAR how much we waste. How much we throw away. How we turn our eyes from the World Vision advertisements because we can't handle seeing such want, such hunger, such poverty, such lack, such pain. We want to believe that those mothers don't feel as strongly about their babies as we do, that somehow death and destruction and rape does not carry the horror for them that it would for us. THIS is insane. But where does it all come from? Why wouldn't we get one glimpse of such pain and be drawn in and do ALL WE CAN to help??? WHY???
Is it because we are so completely out of balance that we can't stand to see OURSELVES as we truly are? And if we look too deeply at the imbalance it will illuminate our own lives a little too brightly?
Do you know anyone who is doing ALL THEY CAN to heal the earth? Do you know ANYONE who is fully in the game to help rebalance even our own species? Do you know anyone who can look full-on at those starving, crying children and their pleading eyes and know that they can sleep well, rest assured that there isn't a thing more they could do to help that child sleep well too? And that child's mother? And father? Anyone? I don't. I'm definitely not one of them. Not yet. Are you?

Friday, November 18, 2005

will the real Mary-Sue please stand up

Funny, I always come onto this page without any forethought or any clue as to what I'm going to write. Often I lay in bed and think about things I want to blog about, but then never actually write about those things. Weird.
But lately I have been thinking about public personas. And why it is that so many of us want the people we feel insecure around to think that our lives are perfect. Like me, for example. When I took my 2 to Australia in February, I desperately wanted it to be easy. I felt so frustrated with myself that it wasn't -- the flight was relatively easy, but it wasn't easy being on my own taking care of 2 day in and day out for 3.5 weeks. I felt let down, that somehow I must not be as natural of a mother as I want to be, or it would've been a piece of cake. I'd had visions of myself with Pedar on one hip, backpack on my back, Annika's little hand in mine, trekking anywhere and everywhere across the planet. Easypeasypuddingandpie. Nope. I came to grips with this on my own fairly quickly. But with the people I'm most threatened by, I found myself describing just how EASY it had been. I could hear my voice, feel the plastered grin on my face and almost convinced myself each time! WHY? Why do I need certain people to think I'm different/more/better/easier/fill-in-the-blank than I truly am? What is that?
And I hear it from other women too. One of my cousins, for example, loves to tell everyone how easy her life is. How she never has any troubles with her kids, doesn't mind when her husband leaves for weeks at a time, never has marital troubles, has no issues with her family or friends, blah blah blah. Is she for real? Is it possible? Or is it insecurity? Is it what she wants to believe about herself? Or is it lack of awareness on some level? Or is it just having a really positive attitude, or the whole fake-it-til-you-feel-it motto? I don't know. Personally, I don't think it does ANYone any favours, including ourselves. When I pretend that things are easier for me than they really are, the person I've just convinced may find herself feeling really disappointed about herself or her own life. And all for naught. If I had been real she might have walked away feeling validated somehow.
I find the people I continue to pretend to (against my good judgment and deep desire!) are the people I get really tired of hearing complain incessantly about how difficult EVERYthing in their lives are. So I compensate for them by having not a problem in the world. But it's stupid and meaningless and a waste of energy. The thing is, there's a BIG difference between being REAL, living with integrity, being honest about how things really are, all the while striving for better choices for better outcomes... and just plain out bitching. Isn't there???
and hey! isn't that constant "oh! my life is SO terrific! things-couldn't-be-better-thanks-for-asking" attitude what they're talking about with the Mary-Sue character? hmmmmmmmmmmm

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


i just did a little search to see how one would find my blog searching and found THIS:
what the hellllll?
i'm trying to do a mind-delete-delete-delete erase rewind
in order to continue to enjoy my own NAME!!!
has anyone ever heard of this before???

I'm ready!

I realized today (when my good friend said she searched and FOUND my blog --> i secretly thought this was impossible) that I am ready for people to read and comment about my musings. I'm ready for insight and feedback and I promise that I will NOT censor myself, knowing that you are reading what I write. I can't at present imagine that happening -- this is a life lived out loud and the whole point will be lost if I begin to censor... REAL integrity, to me, means living 100% real, authentic, honest & open, 100% of the time. It's only my goal, mind you, and thus the disclaimer*.

* If someone begins reading my blog that I'm NOT comfortable with, I reserve the right to ask them not to.

Children want their own way... Who doesn't?!

One of my reasons for blogging is to see mySELF from a different perspective. This being said, I intend to blog about all of the most difficult things in my life.
The most challenging for me right now is raising my children, my 4 year old in particular. While this is also the challenge for me that hands-down brings me the most joy and rewards, on the flipside it also stretches me the furthest and makes me question myself more than anything I have ever done.
I read on the National Child Project website "Our vision is a world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect, understanding, and compassion. In such a world, every child can grow into adulthood with a generous capacity for love and trust. Our society has no more urgent task." ( It is followed by an intensely awakening interview with Alice Miller
Here is my ultimate challenge: I have a difficult time letting my child be "out of control" of her emotions. I have an impulsive need to help her out of this mind-set the instant she gets into it. I have read many books and so I have a lot of tools in my kit, but if things don't change almost instantly, I reach for my threat to smack her. Smacking her is violence. Violence kills love. AM says "Spanking is always an abuse of power. It is humiliating and it creates fear. A state of fear can only teach children to be distrustful and hide their true feelings. " And so I am teaching her to squash her true feelings and distrust me and her own emotions. I understand why I do it: corporal punishment was a horrible reality in my own family, growing up, and while it wasn't used against me, I was so traumatized when it happened to my siblings that at a VERY young age i made it my job to try to keep everyone from getting out of control, in a desperate attempt to try to keep the violence from occuring. Now intellectually, I know that I have nothing to fear anymore -- that my children can be as out of control as they want to be and nobody (including me) is going to inflict any violence on them. But the fear is so deep and so ingrained that the reaction comes up before my intellect knows what is happening, and ironically, it is that same violence that I fought against as a child that I threaten my own children with.
I spent my entire childhood trying to stop the violence from happening, only to turn around and inflict the same fear on my own children. INSANITY!
Last week SRJ wanted to take a little family photo before she left and sweetA wasn't cooperating. She started to get crazy and I threatened her (not with smacking -- I can't even remember the absurd threat I made) to get her to cooperate. SRJ later made the simple statement: "She's a child and she was behaving like a child. Why couldn't you just let her be?"
And since then I've been wondering the same, myself. Why can't I just detach and step back and watch her be crazy?
Well, the answer is I can. Just watch me.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

there's more to me than what i see...

i've been pulling my soul out of boxes this weekend and been on an emotional rollercoaster.
when my mum died i boxed half of myself up in boxes and rubbermaids (to seal the love in) and haven't had the courage to unbox that part of me until now. five years later...
i've pulled out old journals and read through some of them and gotten the best glimpse of who i really am -- all of me, not just the wife and mum i've become, but the depths of me down to my toes.
what a journey. a wild ride. loving it. pulled out old letters from my mum, some from my dad to my mum, some heartbreaking ones from my mum to my dad... my mum's old purse, chock full of old love letters and old photos of people i don't know -- people from her life-before-me.
on friday i read a blog about a new mum ( feeling so sad that her mother loved herself more than she loved her. and opening these boxes i can feel the love pouring out from my mum -- and feeling the intensity of my mum's love towards me. feeling so grateful that she opened herself to me -- and loved me more than she loved herself.
anyway, it's a work in progress, my life! that's what i'm really getting out of all this.
i'm slowly moving my studio around so that it's going to be a haven for me and my creativity and my family and my friends and my soulsisters. and i'm piiiiiiiining for white sofas like these for my new room. Anyone got some in storage that they're eager to unload? he he

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Here's to enlightenment!

I have been thinking about what a blog is to me. Why have I chosen to blog? Why have SO many people chosen to blog? Why do so many people read blogs? What's it really all about?
For me, I have always found that I don't really know what I think/feel/believe until I either write it out or discuss it with a true friend. I can't seem to sort out my head in silence in my own little corner. And I think a lot of people are the same. So, I set out blogging in an attempt to get a different perspective on my life. I must say, it has been a marvelous success. There is something about writing out my thoughts/feelings/beliefs in a private-yet-could-be-very-public forum that enables me to be an observer of myself on a deeper level than I have ever experienced before. My enlightened aunt has described the first level of enlightenment as being just that: you are an observer of your watch your life from a place of to let it unravel and proceed without taking things personally or needing any specific results. So! Perhaps blogging is the fast track to enlightenment! he he
Since I've been blogging, I have had some very powerful breakthroughs about myself: I am addicted to needing to be right; I am intensely judgmental; I crave approval, etc. I also see my writing in a different light -- not so much my writing per se, but what I have to write about. I had always thought that if I really wanted to write something to be published, I just needed to make the time to DO it and it would be a slam dunk. This really held me back from doing just that as it was an enormous amount of pressure. Reading what comes out of my heart/head/spirit here, makes me see that I need a lot of practice -- a lot of opening up, a lot of letting go before I will be able to let anything come through me that would be worth sending off to a publisher. And I'm happy with that. It opens me up to be able to write a lot more without any of the pressure of feeling the need to have it all be exceptionally good reading! Freedom.
I don't know who reads this blog, and perhaps that's the power of it. Would I write differently if I did know? If there were a little "visitor log" alongside my log-in, would I censor myself? I am a life-long seeker of living in integrity, being real, living my true life no matter what. Perhaps this is the bonus of my blog -- I get to LIVE OUT LOUD very intentionally, without any fear of self-censoring.
I don't know who runs the blogspot site or why it is just free to whomever wishes to use it, but I send blessings to he or she or they and hope that more people take advantage of such a generous offer.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I miss you already!

I've just spent a week with a real woman and she's only been gone from my little world a few hours but I miss her already. It's gotten me thinking about what real people are to me. How do I choose the people I populate my heart with? Since I met my first real friend in 1984, I have been very sure of who I choose to spend my time with. I've never had casual friends nor spent much time with people who weren't dear to my heart. And I've never been apologetic for being that way. Today I've been wondering how I came to be like that and feeling really grateful for whatever it was that made me that way.
I was always the 3rd wheel in elementary school and by the time I got to middle school the social aspect of it all was so destructive for me, that my dad removed me from school altogether. I went back in grade 10 and that's when I met my soul sister, V. That was quite possibly my first introduction to what deep friendship could offer -- and the first real friend I let into my heart (besides my mum). Since then, I've settled for nothing less. Perhaps growing up with so few friends made it possible for me to not need many at any one time. And after that initial taste of real friendship, nothing else was ever acceptable to me. I moved around a lot, and never hesitated to let dear friends into the depths of my heart, despite the fact that I knew I might never see tham again after a year or two. As a result, I have many incredible people in my life, but scattered all over the globe.
Now I live in this small town where there is a clicky little group of hip (according to themselves) people who want to include me in their circle of friendship. Only one problem: there is no real friendship to be offered there. They talk like they're friends. They act like they're friends. But they are acquaintances with very little in common. And it makes me sad.
BUT, just like everywhere else my shoes have taken me, I have found real people here who offer real friendship. And what a gift it is.
I look at my children as they interact with their little friends and I wonder how they will be. Will they seek out real people? Only those who will call forth their best? Only those who uplift them and understand them and care for them at their deepest level? I can only hope. Maybe. someday...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Real world?

My mind is all awhirl today. Experiences of walking in the crisp Autumn air picking and eating apples off the trees mixed with visions of the coke-snorting, weed-smoking, party-til-you-puke real world out there beyond the gates of my small-town life. I love my life more than I could ever put into words. And I also hate the thought that that is really the reality for most people out there??? My mind spins when I think that they think I am missing out because I live such a slow life? I'm all for the slow food movement that's growing momentum world-wide. And now I realize that my whole life is akin to such a movement. So why can't I wrap my head around the idea that this could be considered a waste of opportunity to pack in more more MORE? Perhaps because I judge that to be a waste. So in judging I put myself in the path of judgment? But I truly don't know how to unplug and disconnect and let that be okay. And what's more, I feel no desire to. I guess that makes me the hypocrite. And I guess for now I'm okay with that.