(i have the technical jargon down pat now don't i?)
I agreed for three reasons -
one i think Karen is awesome - she is an openhearted thinker with a way of noticing and commenting on the world which is kind, funny and insightful
two - she is a fellow Louise
three - the holidays are hard
so here goes
holidays are hard from my perspective because they are piled high with shoulds
and when i looked in my personal luggage (not matching but immense) around the holidays, i found the following...we should be happy, we should have lots of family, the family should get along, there should be rosy faces around the table looking lovingly at each other, i should buy the perfect presents, cook the perfect meal (which is tastier and better than everyone elses), wear the perfect outfit, have the perfect weather...
you get the picture...
turns out, that instead of a time of celebration and joy my actual perspective of the holidays is more perfect and more shoulds than any other time of the year...
and who pushes my buttons and triggers my tender parts??? ... that's right, the delicious combination of my family of origin and my husband's family of origin... just who i get to spend time with then!
in fact as i write this i can feel that tightness rise in my stomach and my mouth and nether regions (by which i mean my bum hole) clench
but when i breathe a little and look inside myself with that magical headlamp of stillness
i see little me
that little Jane who really wants to be a good girl, which means, of course not being the best Jane she can be but pleasing everyone else...
it is little Jane who wants the validation from everyone else, that what she does is perfect, so that she can be content that she is on the right track, that she is worth something...
and so knowing that, instead of more presents and more salads and more happy
this holidays i will be listening to my clenchings (just be grateful i didn't call this post listening to my bumhole- i am sorely tempted)
and when i feel the tightenings i will take a breath and say (sometimes it needs to be out loud but i suggest going to the toilet to do this - there are mental health professionals in my family that might see the need to act....)
"Honey, it's ok. You are doing fine. We are going to look after each other ok? You are safe with me. You are doing great today. You are perfect just as you are honey. What are you grateful for right now?" (and i will probably be smart enough to say having some time out from that lot, but still)
I will be realigning with myself, with that scared little girl who lives inside my tender heart, who just wants to make everything alright (to a bunch of people that crone me knows are unpleasable)
I will be showing her the deepest kindness and reassurance, acknowledging her existence and welcoming her into my arms for a reassuring hug for a moment or two when she is scared and feeling under attack...
that is what self care looks like to me...
and i hope you make the gift to yourself this holidays of practising, as my dear mollie would say "Extreme Self Care".
The colour of the sky *the ocean * Elizabeth and Maeve * people who reach beyond the ordinary * genuine generosity *good food * watching things grow * the miracle of birth *a woman's power *tenderness in all its forms * the cycle of life * courage * people with a sense of fun * compassion * beautiful jewellery * art that is made from the heart - without a view to the purchaser or the market but made because it has to come *Clarissa Pincola Estes * grace
LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS THESE ARE MORETHINGSTHATITHINK
i welcome you with warmth and love to the thoughts that grab me .... and the way they come out of my fingers when i make the time in my day as a mother and artist and poodle walker to write them down.....