I have caught myself falling back into my depression routines which is pretty frustrating. I am also noticing new layers or levels of issues to deal with. This is also a good thing as these are the real issues, the rackets I have built up that were hidden beneath my tortured soul persona. The good news is that now that I am past all the bullshit I can concentrate on going after the stuff really getting in the way. It is like all that anger just wrapped me in a blanket of safety and now I am fully exposed, left to look for and examine the real issues I was just hiding from before.
My therapist is thrilled and I am working on being thrilled, but right now I just feel a little let down. See there, that’s a racket talking right there.
I have been finding it hard to write. This post have been sitting in my draft posts in various stages of undone for about a week now. I ended up having to write it by hand to break through the block and it hardly resembles what I meant to write when I started. When I think about it, I wonder if much of my inspiration came from my angst and resentment and blame. This is a new place to write from for me. This is a new place to do everything from for me.
Although I see the future in a whole new brighter light from a place of knowing I am not only capable but also deserving, insecurity and fear are still rampant and restraining.
But alas, life rolls along and time speeds past and there is much to be done. School starts this week and a new stage of life beings for our family. Ada starts kindergarten on Thursday and Ian will be attending preschool two mornings a week starting next week. This leads to many new challenges and some great opportunities as well.
I am not the most organized of people, another racket I run to avoid being responsible for my own life — See how those can get in the way?
So, this week I have set myself up to succeed and started a fresh school year with a fresh outlook.
Taking responsibility for my life means many things to me. Much of the big stuff like the wall I put up between myself and others and how angry I was and generally nasty sometimes are gone – vanished like some sort of magic. What’s left are those things that can make a huge difference in my day to day life. These include being organized and responsible for remembering what forms need to be filled out, that there is a field trip tomorrow and I need to send snacks to school on Wednesday. It also means taking responsibility for my health and my body and finally doing what it takes to be a healthy, confident, beautiful woman.
Maybe we can throw in figuring out what I want to be when I grow up as well, but that is the big scary monster in the room right now and a lot of baggage lays between me and that goal, although I have been having some thoughts about what it might look like and that is a surprisingly big step for me. In the meantime I can concentrate on getting the things I do have under my control under control.
I have already made some big strides. Today (well actually yesterday but it took me too long to edit this) I have eaten great, exercised, cleaned the house and spent quality time with the kids, while still managing to get some work done. It is possible to be productive and get everything done. It’s amazing how much time opens up when you stop worrying so much about how overwhelming it all is.
The challenge will be to keep at it for more than a couple of days. This is another racket I run. I have great intentions and a strong start, but the follow through tends to go by the wayside. I have put many tools into place to assist me in overcoming this weakness and I will share them with you over the next couple of weeks as I discover the successes and failures. I hope that maybe an idea will spark you to create a less overwhelming life for yourself as well.
She is a runner and was completing a half marathon in an old polyester dress that she loves and found really comfortable to run in. She threw it over a pair of shorts and off she went. After several people commented on her dress and asked where she got it, she thought there might be something there.
A lot of hard work later nuu-muu was born. It’s a play on the muu-muu (remember those? LOL). Get it?
Who says you can’t be athletic and girly at the same time. These dresses are made for exercising but are cute cute cute as well.
Well, when she started the business she sent me a dress. I was so excited when it arrived and then absolutely mortified when it didn’t fit. It would barely go over my head and when I did finally get it on, everthing was bulging and horribly horribly wrong.
This had nothing to do with the dress, which is actually very flattering and made for real bodies, even coming in sizes up to XXL. It had everything to do with my denial and the size I should have asked for, but was too embarrassed to.
So, the story goes, it was laundry day and 106 degrees out and I needed something to throw on so I could wash my very limited supply of clothing appropriate for such a heat wave. I look up and there it is, hanging in my closet, just where it has been since the day it arrived. What the hey? and I put it on…
What? It goes over my head. Hmm, a little tight across the boobs, but wait… Where is the bulging? the uncomfortable tightness that made me want to run and hide under the bed until winter? Almost gone. Not perfect, but with a pair of leggings, this pretty little thing just might make an appearance on my next hike and is definitely making the trip to Hawaii.
Can I just say, as a side note, that I hate having big boobs. Having lived with them since I was 10 years old, I can confidently say that if I could have one plastic surgery it would be to remove them. Nothing cute is cut for big boobs. Why anyone above completely flat chested would want to make them any bigger, I simply can not understand. OK, rant complete.
How did this happen? Have you read The Gabriel Method?
I am more than slightly uncomfortable with the fact that Dr. Laura is the new spokesperson for stay at home moms. Her traditional value system and outdated theories certainly don’t represent me as a stay at home mom.
But with that said, I am glad that someone is speaking to and about stay at home moms. I have said before that I feel very fortunate to be in the position to stay at home with my kids and I do, but it was a choice that we made for our family because we felt that was what was best for our family.
This was a very significant sacrifice for us and we struggled financially for a long time. But with careful planning, stategic budgeting and a lot of self control, we have been able to not only survive, but thrive in our situation. Karli has worked so hard to advance his carreer so that we can build our life and provide for our kids.
And now that the kids are getting a little older there is an opportunity for me to remake myself professionally as well. I put my career on hold to stay at home and it is undeniable that I would have been very successful by now in that career. But, that doesn’t mean that I can never work or build a new career for myself. It just looks a little different now and for me that is the best thing that could have happened. I feel like I am going to get my cake and eat it too – a professional life that fits my lifestyle and the family life that we have chosen to build for ourselves.
Choosing to stay home has been the most rewarding and challenging thing I have ever done. It isn’t easy and I am certainly not lazy or stupid. I have heard that this is a common perception, but I have never experienced that. I work very hard and give of myself on an emotional level that I think is hard to understand or relate to unless you do stay at home. But I also reap the biggest rewards and I think my kids do as well.
But, I also don’t think it is productive to perpetuate the divide between stay at home and working moms. We all work very hard to care for our children in the way that works best for our families. My closest girl friends work outside the home and I have a great deal of respect for them and there choices just as they have respect for mine.
We often joke that we couldn’t imagine how hard it must be to do it the other way around and I think that says that we have made the right choices for us. Moms should support and respect each other, no matter what our circumstances are.
On somewhat of a side note…
A while back my step sister in law (is that the way I say it?) posted the article below on facebook. I felt this was a pretty good representation and until now forgot how much I wanted to share this with you all. Now seems like an appropriate time. Click on the image to make it big enough to read.
This is a celtic cross reading. This reading will take a comprehensive look at the financial future.
I will be using the I-X Major Arcana Cards and I-X of Coins for this reading.
Shuffle the major arcana cards while focusing on the questions and then deal out the first two positions.
Shuffle the coins cards while focusing on the same question and deal out the top four cards into positions 3 through 6.
Combine the remaining coins and major arcana cards and shuffle them together, again concentrating on the sames question and deal out the top four cards from this pile into positions 7 through 10.
The Question: What opportunities are coming that I will profit from and how much will I profit from them?
1. Covers You (current situation) – XI Justice (in some decks this is VIII and I have swapped them for the purpose of this self inventory)
2. Crosses You (challenges) – VII Chariot
3. Above You (what is possible) – IX Coins
4. Below You (how you got here) – VII Coins
5. Behind You (recent past) – III Coins
6. Before You (what’s next) – VIII Coins
7. Who You Are – IV Emperor
8. Who They Want You to Be – II Priestess
9. What You Want – VI Lovers
10. What You Get – X Wheel
Make sure you put the time in to thoroughly research the opportunity. Crunch the numbers and weigh the possibilities. The answer will not be completely clear, you must ultimately decide. Look deeply for the answer.
You must enter into this opportunity with enthusiasm and energy. Make full use of your resources and care well for those things trusted to you. This has grown out of something you were formerly successful with.
Just recently money was handed out and will be repaid with interest in the near future. You will remain in control of the situation while others hope that you will solve their problems.
Although you would like to be presented with an exciting offer right now, this is what is needed in your life right now and good or bad the risk is taken.
My Take: An Armored woman holds a set of scales. She feels for what side is weighted more heavily. She is without eyes to ensure her lack of bias. The sky is dark and stormy, her sash blows in the wind. She is armed against harm and unnerved by the turmoil around her. It is a trying time and every angle and option must be adequately examined.
The Card: Your values and judgements will drive you to change the world around you for the better. You believe in the underlying fairness as a part of what makes us human. Be careful not to be too judgemental. The scale has become one with the judge so that she is the one handing out justice. She has no eyes, showing her complete dedication to being evenhanded and unbiased.
My Take: This card always reminds me of charging forward. The strength of this card is profound. There is also a balance between riding the wave of life within the structure and constraints of our lives. The power of the forward motion is hard to control and your inner strength is needed to keep it in check. You have a firm foundation to build on and are ready to take the next step.
The Card: You are ready to set off on your journey. The horses represent the unbridled energy driving forward that must be guided and controlled by the charioteer (you). You are confident in your abilities but must be careful of being arrogant. But don’t fret, you are correct that you are well prepared and aptly capable of taking this journey and surpassing any obstacles that come up. You are beginning to lay the framework to build your future on.
My Take: This seems like a peaceful card with the doves and all the flowers. A young woman tending her garden, building a comfortable home life. Her dress is very conservative and traditional which says to me that this deals with the more traditional roles and values of home life. I can’t help but feel something unsettling about her. The coins surround her like an arch. This card is saying to me that there is an investment in the traditional home.
The Card: The lushness of the garden, the abundance of blooms indicates that you have done quite well creating a comfortable environment. You have worked hard and enjoying the spoils. This is a peaceful time. Be careful not to retreat to far into your own world.
My Take: The coins on the tree are like fruit, hanging low and ready for the taking. She has traveled far to fill her baskets with the fruit. The land is lush, the sun rising. She rests before her harvest. It feels like you have worked hard and now it is time to gather and save the money you’ve made.
The Card: This card is about patience. She is waiting to harvest the fruits of her labor but is waiting for the time of peak ripeness. Timing can be everything in business. This card could also mean that you have nurtured something and now it can grow on it’s own. The woman can also be seen as at a crossroads, deciding what the next move should be.
My Take: This cards speaks to me of artisan work. A man is blowing glass. Working with your hands. Using your creativity and ingenuity. He is confident in his task and a master of his trade.
The Card: The glass blower is a master of his craft through hard work and experience and now deserves the respect he receives. Taking raw materials and creating something beautiful and refined from it. You have attained mastery in your field.
My Take: A man tinkers with a mechanical device. There are extra parts, plans and books all around him indicating he is still learning and has not yet mastered his trade. This work is slow and meticulous. A detailed approach is necessary.
The Card: This is time to work slow and steady toward the goal. This is not time for grandiose schemes. Rewards will come from dedication and hard work.
My Take: Structure and order. He is building the world he sees in his mind. He is the master of his domain. He takes great pride in and is very protective of the world he has created. Beware of judgement and dominating behavior.
The Card: Fatherhood, leadership, structure, order. Social responsibility and tyranny. This is the card of social constructs. Although these powers can be misused they are integral and necessary in our lives. Power is no inherently good or evil but inevitably a mix of both. Take hold of your own power and use it wisely. Look for the potential order in your task.
My Take: This is the card of psychic abilities, of looking inward for answers. Trust your gut, you know the answers you seek.
The Card: You must be delicate in approaching the subconscious. If you meditate and focus your energy on the answers you seek and are open to seeing what your intuition is trying to tell you, you may just get a glimpse. The priestess’ energy is a calming one, as one feels when they trust themselves. You are reaching toward wholeness.
My Take: This is a passionate card. The feelings of this are are intense. The lovers are joined, almost becoming one, losing oneself in another.
The Card: A relationship of any kind, but mostly love relationships. Sharing ourselves with others. Considering other points of view. Be honest and above board, consider the other side in this situation. The attraction of opposites. The beginning of a new creative relationship.
My Take: This card shows a mechanical wheel with the signs of the zodiac all around. This card always reminds me of the wheel of time in that it is always moving forward. Time continues to go by no matter what is happening in our lives. Change comes whether we like it or not.
The Card: This card represents the feeling we have sometimes that our lives are being steered by some mechanism, that we have little control. Although it may seem that we have no control sometime, there are always things in our lives that we can control with a little creativity and determination. We must remember that this control and power we wield over our own lives is that which keeps from being vulnerable to others. The wheel card can represent a feeling of helplessness but it also means that there is change coming, and that is a reason to feel hopeful.
The answer section of this makes me think of something I have been considering lately. A month or so ago, I heard a story on NPR about micro philanthropy and the new ways that people are looking at philanthropy. He discussed an organization called Kiva. They enable individuals to provide micro-loans to business owners, individuals, and loan coops around the globe. The payback rate on these loans are incredibly high and after hearing about it seemed like something I would like to check out. I did a little due diligence and registered at the site, but haven’t taken it much farther.
From the cards here, it appears this might be something worthwhile for me to pursue. It also makes sense as it talks about how, although I might like for there to be something big and exciting coming, that these things I can do to take care of myself and others may have a bigger impact. There may not be a monetary profit, but I think I might be more in need of emotional profit anyway. It will be good to help people help themselves.
The cards are also telling me that change is in the air, and I always view that as a positive thing.
I also feel there are some things to be said here about my freelancing business, but really, I’m just not in the mood to think about that right this minute, let alone discussing what may or may not get done in the future.
Why avoid it though? Maybe because if I actually say it out loud, I will finally have to follow through and hold myself accountable? That’s a tough one, you see I tend to talk big and fail to follow through. I want this to stop and that is why I am sucking it up, taking a deep breath and writing it all down for the world to see and hold me accountable for.
This is going to get a little lengthy and I apologize for that ahead of time. You can stop reading now if you want because this post is really for me anyway.
A few notes before I get into the nitty gritty. The goals on this list are intended to be year long goals not to be implemented immediately but taken one step at a time and built upon as the year progresses. This is a year of change and forward movement for me though and I fully intend on working on each and every one of the items on this list.
This really isn’t a post about my new year’s resolution as much as laying out my goals for this year, but if I had to sum it up into one resolution, I would say that it is to not get overwhelmed and paralyzed by the enormity of it all. I think I tend to look at the big picture too much and it just freaks me out and keeps me from being effective at the step by step, day by day stuff. So, my goal is to get organized, get motivated and tackle one thing at a time.
Ok, so here we go.
In my old book club, I had the pleasure of knowing a well known hypnotherapist and a really great woman Diane Sewell. A few weeks ago, she sent out an email (I assume to her mailing list) that really inspired me to take this year’s goal setting seriously. Here is her list of 10 things you can do to be successful and get off on the right foot in 2009.
- How You Think is Everything: Always be positive. Think success and not failure. Also beware of negative environments.
- Decide Upon Your True Dreams and Goals: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.
- Take Action: Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid to get started. Just do it.
- Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.
- Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.
- Learn to Analyze Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.
- Focus Your Time and Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you.
- Don’t be Afraid to Innovate; Be Different: Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.
- Deal and Communicate with People Effectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.
- Be Honest and Dependable; Take Responsibility: Otherwise, #’s 1-9 don’t matter.
- Diane Sewell, Master Hypnotist and Weight Loss Expert
In the past year I have struggled and worked very hard to improve my mental and emotional states as well as remove the negative environments that were contributing to my depression and life paralysis. Now, I look at my future as a clean slate, a place to start and it is time for me to take control, set goals and direct my own future.
I have an affirmation that I say all the time. I say it when I am feeling overwhelmed or sad or stressed, during Savasana, before I go to sleep – really any time that it seems appropriate to do so. It calms and focuses me. It goes something like this.
I am whole, I am happy, I am healthy, I am beautiful
With all this in mind, I have laid out this years goals into those four categories and listed them out below. Some of the items are pretty simple and straight forward, but many will required detailed plans to accomplish. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting these plans as well and will link to them from the appropriate items below.
These lists are not in any particular order. Just as they came to me.
I Am Whole
Things that are healing and contribute to my overall mental health and fulfillment
- What are my true dreams?
- Work hard and accomplish enough that by the end of the year I am attending therapy once a month rather than every week.
- Complete and full 21 day manifestation.
- Read my tarot cards once a week for insight, guidance and awareness.
- Be contributing $500 per month to the family budget by the end of the year.
- Find or create a mommy support network.
- Create and maintain a comforting and manageable home environment
- Be the best mom that I can that day, every day.
- Start writing my book.
I Am Happy
Things that are simply for my and my family’s pleasure. The things that just make life more fun.
- Have one great family adventure every month.
- Take time for fun just for me – book club, girls nights etc.
- Find a babysitter
- Have more sex
- Kiss my husband passionately every day
- Give myself a break sometimes
- Laugh out loud with my kids every day
I Am Healthy
Things to improve both my body and mind
- Achieve a slim, fit and healthy body – this means to me… Look and feel great naked and goal weight of 135.
- Experiment and incorporate more healthy foods into diet
- Sleep better
- Walk the dog more
- Garden and landscaping projects
- Generally by more active and productive – just get up and do it, when you think about doing it.
- Reduce TV watching by 1 hour per day
- Be reasonable with the puzzles and online games – have a picture and a crossword puzzle printed out to work on during downtime. Online games only during designated relax time. Get a grip.
- Complete PHP certification
I Am Beautiful
This is as much mental as physical for me. I want to feel beautiful in my own personal and distinct way.
I am terrible at forming good habits and have neglected much of the womanly maintenance over the years. As many moms can probably relate – I have let myself go a little.
Now, I am not really into a lot of the girly stuff and looking perfect all the time doesn’t even reach my radar, but it is important that I begin to feel good about myself again and keeping up with some physical improvements will generally lead to that I think. You’ll notice, this is pretty basic stuff here.
- Wash my face every night
- Shave my legs once a week (I have very blond fine hair so this is all I need to do), even in the winter.
- buy some quality makeup
- Get a haircut regularly
- Lotion all over, every day
- Figure out my own personal style
- Buy new clothes that fit well and make me feel good about myself. Don’t just buy what’s cheapest.
- Look in the mirror and say you are beautiful inside and out, every day
For this reading I will be using the I-X of Coins. These cards deal with all things related to money.
To select that card that represents my relationship with money we will add up the letters in the first and last name. A = 1 Z = 26 and all in between as you might presume.
I am going to do both my married and maiden names to get a full picture.
11+1+18+9+14 = 53 = 8
18+5+5+3+5 = 36 = 9
8+9 = 17 = 8
11+1+18+9+14 = 53 = 8
7+1+12+12+1+3+8+5+18 = 67 = 13 = 4
8+4 = 12 = 3
VIII Coins: Your money will come from the mastering of a profession, which will provide you a nice living. You spend your life perfecting your craft and will be rewarded for it. You do well with money and could make the making of money your craft.
III Coins: Your money will likely originate from others but you work very hard for it. You may be involved in a field where you require creative funding to finance your pursuits. This could include grants, stipends, freelancing or income from your family or patron of some sort. You contribute greatly to those who fund you and they are happy to do it.
VIII of Coins
My Take: This card brings up imagery of a clock maker. A mad works on an intricate piece of machinery, carefully adding each piece in its place. There are shelves of books in the background indicating someone well studies. This card makes me think of mastery of a craft.
The Card: This card involves labor intensive projects requiring slow and steady work. This is not time for hasty decisions or quick movements. Buckle down and do the work. The plans on the table indicate that he is not yet an expert in his field. He should look to the books behind him and his tarot deck for guidance.
III of Coins
My Take: The man in this picture appears to be blowing glass. He is an artisan and a free spirit.
The Card: This man has mastered his craft. The creation of art from raw materials.
This reading makes some sense I guess. I am a kept woman after all (hee hee). No really, although I have had a traditional career (or at least the start of one), it was never where my heart lie. I have always known that I would spend my life learning and continuing to master some skill. At this point what that is just appears to be illusive. I have always wanted to get my PhD and become a professor. I also love Yoga and think often about teaching, talk about a lifetime of mastering. Now, i just need to learn to get over my self doubt long enough to pick something, maybe neither of these are it, but something, I just need to find it and then commit. Whoo, scary.
Layout: Cover and Cross
I am keeping the wands and major arcana cards separate, shuffling each pile while asking my question and then dealing the top wand and crossing it with the top major arcana card.
Question: What changes can I look for in my work life?
Covers: IV Wands
Cross: I Magician
The Answer: Cooperation is paramount. You will seal a deal.
Examining the Cards
My take: There is a large door ajar, surrounded by four towering wands. There is forest in the foreground and sunshine streams through the open door. It’s like seeing the forest through the trees. The door awaits, but you must make your way through the forest first. The light may represent an answer or resulting matter. The four wands surrounding the door? Maybe guarding it, providing safe passage through the doorway.*
The card: Safety, security, taking concrete action. The door and the pillars represent safety and stability. The number four traditionally represents stability. There are also very unreal elements to the card, the size of the doors and pillars, the red moon in the background. All ideas and creative endeavors must at some point become real by taking action or they will forever remain dreams. The time is now to open the door and take action to make your dreams a reality.
My take: The magician sits in a chair with the four suits (wands, cups, swords, and coins) laid out in front of him. All the tools are present to accomplish the task. Things seem to magically happen the way they are supposed to, you are ready to take action.
The card: Education, teaching, common sense, taking action. The magician represents teachers, mentors and our inner voice. He guides us and inspires us and gives us the courage to set out on our personal journey. Often, like magic, this inspiration comes to us in a flash as if he touched our shoulder with his staff, imposing on us just the right amount of intervention. The four suits represented on this card stand for different approaches to tackling a task. The magicians influence helps us to combine these in just the right delicate combination.
Well, it appears that the time to take action is coming shortly and that whether I know it or not, I have all the tools and support necessary to make my way through the door. I hope that the magician will touch me with inspiration and a flash of clarity when the time comes, because I am still lost. I do not see the clear path, it all seems very foggy still. I ask for clarity and courage.
* I should note that the “My take” sections are my impressions as I look at the card before reading the answers or about the card in the book. I am trying to learn the cards, to form relationships with them and commit their meanings to memory. My take may change and hopefully evolve as my readings go on and should not be taken on any authority.