I had a massage yesterday. I know: in your mind, you’re conjuring up heated towels, scented candles and an hour or so of pampered bliss. My friends, it wasn’t that type of massage :). This is deep, deep body work, with emotional release and counselling as well. Today we were working on releasing the muscles in the front of the throat, chest, shoulder and abdomen. All of my vulnerable places. My job was to talk about whatever came up during that process. I found myself talking about my childhood asthma, motherhood and perfection. About how I had decided fairly early on that I wouldn’t have children, because from what I could see, even the best, most conscious parents hurt and damage their children. I could bear my own pain, but I couldn’t bear the thought of inflicting permanent pain on my own innocent children; so I could either be perfect (obviously impossible) or not have children. And then you know, I met the Bear who wanted to have children, and I thought it would be okay, we could do this hard thing together. I found out that I can do this hard thing called motherhood. I try very hard to be perfect, and I fail at that everyday. Like every mother in the world I cause my children pain, some of which will remain with them throughout their lives, and the very thought of that makes me weep, as I sit here, writing these words. I don’t know if I am a good mother, but I try very hard, if that counts. I have found out this about motherhood, as opposed to any other thing in this world: you can’t leave it. No matter how heartbroken, exhausted and sick of it you are, you can never leave. This fact means that once you are enrolled in the subject of motherhood in Earth School, it becomes a compulsory subject. For me, motherhood is about showing up, being committed (as in going crazy and keeping your promises!), consistency, respect, community and above all love. It’s not about perfection.
Best (short) Read:
This is a post from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page. She has been a speaker on the recent Oprah’s Life You Want Tour, and she wrote this after she saw Iyanla Vanzant speak:
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: “Have the courage to do what you need to do before you are FORCED to do it.”
Dear Ones -
Iyanla Vanzant was incredible yesterday at Oprah’s The Life You Want Tour. Like: ON FIRE. She’s a speaker of the truth, and I love it. So much of what she has to teach is about ultimate self-accountablity, and as she spoke I had more than a few moments of electric self-recognition about things I have done in the past (or am still doing!) that invite mess and dysfunction into my life.
Let me quote one particularly resonant passage of her speech:
“Have the courage to do what you need to do before you are FORCED to do it. And when you are forced to do it, don’t get mad at the people who forced you to do it.”
Does this make as much sense to anyone else out there as it does to me? Does it remind you of yourself as much as it reminded me of me?
I don’t like conflict. I aim for appeasement. I often dodge the chance to directly address problems early on, because I hope the problems will go away. I deny and I duck and I put my hands over my ears and say, “La-la-la-la-la.” And then, guess what? Sometimes those problems don’t away. In fact, they blow up in my face — often through another person’s reflexive or angry action. And then I think, “God, what a mess that person has made in my life!” When in fact that person was just acting out in a dysfunctional manner because of a completely screwed up scenario that I had allowed to continue for far too long — because I didn’t have the courage to address it earlier. It is not their fault that things got messy; it is my fault that I didn’t clean up my own house sooner.
I started to learn a long time ago that if we don’t take action in our lives, action will be foisted upon us — and you might not like how it plays out. You may stay passive as much as you like, but destiny will not rest. If you sit there long enough and do nothing, shit will go down, anyhow. So you can either change bad situations yourself, or you can wait for them to detonate upon you (on someone else’s terms)…but it’s probably better if you take it in your own hands sooner.
I am still learning this. I can see messy things that happened in my life this very year, because I didn’t want to cope with problems sooner. I’m not beating myself up here about it. (Nor should you.) It’s over. (As Iyanla says: “If it’s in the past…you passed.”) But I took note of this idea yesterday, and told myself, “Liz, stay alert. Heads up. Start speaking your truth sooner. You’ve been put on watch.”
And this is how we learn and grow.
Last weekend, Mars, the God of War and Action, left Scorpio and moved into Sagittarius. Seriously, can you feel the difference? For six long weeks, our energy has been directed at all things Scorpio – the hidden, the dark, the mystery, secrets, sex, taboo, deep personal work. It’s been great :) Actually, it has, and because Saturn is in Scorpio as well, you can be sure that whatever you learned about yourself (or other people!) during this time will be with you for a long, long time. But Mars in Saggitarius! Now that’s a fresh vibe :). Think: lots of action around travel, philosophy, higher learning, physical activity, adventures – and probably lots of foot in mouth situations :) Here are my two Mars in Saggitarius stories for this week:
- On Wednesday while at work, my boss told me that we would all be playing netball for sport. My blood froze for a moment, coagulating in horror. Netball?? Let me tell you something about myself: team sport is not my thing, especially anything with a ball. But netball holds a special place of fear in my heart, as it was the sport most girls knew how to play at school, except me and a few other small schools girls. However, I’m all grown up now apparently, so I metaphorically girded my loins, donned my bib and got ready to defend my goal against five 10-12 year olds :) We played for a sweaty, exhilarating 30 minutes, and afterwards I said to my boss. “I never thought I would say netball and fun in the same sentence!” Mars in sagittarius.
- I bought my daughter a new bike this week – a friend was selling her daughter’s hardly used bike, and it looked much better than the one we already had. It was more a hopeful purchase, because I hadn’t had much luck teaching her how to ride a bike – she just didn’t feel safe on the two wheeled bike, even with training wheels. So, we take the bike across the road to practise on the school’s flat grassy area. In five minutes she was riding that damn bike by herself. By the end of the week, she was starting herself off, riding down hills, weaving in and out of obstacles and going over little jumps. Mars in saggitarius.
Take note of any new feelings of courage, yearnings for adventure or desire to expand your mind and your horizons for the next couple of months – honouring these feelings will put you in the universal flow, which is of course what astrology is!
This is a little shout out to Nicole Cody from Cauldrons and Cupcakes, one of my favourite blogs. Nicole is Australian and lives in a similar part of the country to me, probably only 3 or 4 hours away. Her blog was nominated in the 2014 Best Australian Blogs competition and she has been Freshly Pressed. She describes herself as a psychic, metaphysical teacher, organic farmer, writer and lover of life. She is also a sufferer of chronic Lymes Disease. All that aside though, her blog is wonderful, full of wisdom, humour, food, spirit and beauty. I really enjoyed this recent piece from her, My Whole Life I Was Wrong. Just wonderful.
It’s the first day of a two week period of school holidays (if you live in NSW Australia :) ). Already I am looking forward to a weekend away with the family on our favourite farm, a night and day alone, a friend’s birthday party, sleepovers and catching up with my friends that I don’t get to see during term time. No school lunches, no timetables, just freedom. Yippee!
Have a beautiful weekend people :).