Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A mermaid, a puppy, and a giant balloon...

Another successful Halloween! What fun it was this year to have Lexi help me with the construction of her costume. We had interestingly deep conversations during our sewing amazes what a 6 year old thinks about! Fun was had by all and what a gorgeous coats needed for trick-or-treating!

To top off the holiday, today when Brea and I went to the grocery store, the cashier gave her this giant balloon. It's gone everywhere with her since!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Unexpected Answers...

Soul searching.

I think we all it at some level throughout our lives. And as we age (this coming from a young woman in relationship to the age which I can be expected to live if I'm lucky), I think the searching changes as our life stages change. Sometimes though, many of our searches have a common theme. A theme that helps us to uncover who we are and just what we're looking for.

I've started to notice that often my common theme during these times of wonderment is validation. When it comes down to it, when I find myself questioning something in my life, what I'm really looking for is validation...let me clarify, validation from an outside being/force. Validation that my thoughts, my feelings, my actions are good, correct, well...valid. (This blog is a perfect example as I eagerly await comments on post to validating their content!) Strongly attached to that need for validation is my fear of failing or causing disappointment...and as I'm becoming increasingly aware of, my fear of success.

I'm a pleaser. Always have been. My mom would tell you that even as a little kid, I was a pleaser. I was a cinch (I'm sure I'm over simplifying this a bit) to discipline because often all my parents had to do was give me "the look". The look of disappointment which could just as easily send me into tears just as a good spanking would for most kids. (I was raised in the 70s and 80s after all.) Failure just isn't an option.

But what I've become more aware of is that often I change course, even when I'm on a good path, not only to prevent or sometimes cover-up (something else I'm becoming more aware of) failure, but also to avoid success. Why? Do I not feel that I'm worthy of true success? Am I afraid of the attention that success could bring? I guess that something I'll continue to ponder. But I'm getting off topic here...

At any rate, once again I've felt like I've been in a cycle of searching for validation. On the shallow end of the search, a validation that I'm professionally doing what is best for me, my clients/students, and my family. On the deep end of the search, well I don't know that I'm ready to air that out yet as I don't know that I understand all the nuances of the complexities of the deep end myself!

Once in a while the stars all align (as they say) and an answer comes, often not in the form you expect, but if you are present in your life and willing to listen, you can "hear" it. Stars have been aligning as of late and through visits with friends, messages heard at resent workshops and speaker presentations, and finally today during a long quiet drive to Iowa City (I spend a lot of time in my mind when I drive), something clicked. It was like someone flipped the switch.

If I'm honest to my true nature, everything else will take care of itself.

It seems so simple, but how many of us really listen to that message? We try to make ourselves into someone we are not...often to please anyone and everyone except ourselves. We give into those feelings of not being "good" enough if we don't strive for more. We develop masks and faces to fit our surroundings and cover our true selves. And in the process, in the process of trying to do more, be more, have more, we make ourselves, and eventually many people around us miserable. Ironic.

My dad was a farmer. I say this not because when he died that was his "title" in life, but because I honestly believe that farming was the expression of his true nature. As a kid I remember the times when he allowed himself to live the life of a farmer as being the happiest of my childhood. But I don't really think my dad believed that being a farmer was "good" enough. I'm not sure why being as he came from a long line of farmers. So he lived his life searching for a place in life that was "better". In the end, unfortunately, I don't think it was a very happy life. While there were happy times, I myself have some pretty special memories from my childhood days, I don't know that he lived a life filled with abundant joy as I think we all hope to live.

I often joke with people about my brother and his carefree, "hippie" lifestyle. When in truth I deeply respect his ability to be so true to himself. We've grown closer over the past couple years, I'm sure as many siblings do as they traverse life as adults rather than warring little kids, and I know that the expression of his true nature doesn't always come easy. He wars internally from time to time as many of us do. But it is amazing to be around and has been an amazing gift to me as I continue my search in life for who I am. We are opposites in so many ways, but I feel us growing more alike all the time...I help him ground (I like to think so anyway) when he needs, reminds me to be more free. Yin and Yang. Balance.

So I strive to trust in and stay honest to my true nature. For once, validation has started to come from within. What an amazing feeling that is.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Grandma and her girlies...

One of the true joys of being a parent for me is watching my Mom be a Grandma. Though the distance between our homes keeps us from seeing each other as often as we would like, the bonds of love are so strong that time and distance melt away when we are together.. Her warm, open, caring spirit shines through, and the girls relish in her affection when we are together. Whether it was snuggling in bed first thing in the morning, walking to and from school, making cinnamon rolls (Lexi's favorite activity with Grandma), or just sitting around relaxing, we truly enjoyed having Mom/Grandma here for her short visit last weekend.

We love you Mom/Grandma! Thank you for the love, for the support, for the comforts. Thank you for just being you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Celebrating 6...

A sombrero, whipped cream in the face, a surprise visit from Uncle Jason, new shoes, a new hamster (Herman), a new bike, fun things to color, a colorful umbrella, yoga for elephants, a fun night at Fall Festival and a sleep over with a close friend, ice cream, giggles...all great ways to celebrate being 6. Hope you had a wonderful day honey. I love you lots!