Turn on the video below, it's lovely. For the three and a half minutes it takes to watch, just stop. Breathe gently and slowly. Dont think, don't plan, just breathe and watch. 2 things, that's all. Breathe and watch.
Tip: Turn off your phone/s and let the loved one's know they can either join you or leave!
This is such a great story - a teenager coming out as gay with a happy cake to celebrate and inform! "Good Morning Parents..." reads the letter of introduction. How inspiring to be so young and able to have the courage to say (and with humour): Hey Guys, I'm Different and I'm Really OK with it. Can you be too please?
My thoughts go to other young gays who know damn well the response would never be as supportive as this story describes. Sometimes secrecy is survival - but if this part sounds like you, make sure someone knows. Someone you trust and who makes you feel good about simply being you.
We so often feel like change and growth should be easy and come with some sort of magic wand. It doesn't.
Personal evolution comes like a well tended garden. Plan it (decide). Design it (set goals). See it with all its colour (visualize what you'll look like when you're being your best self).
And then: Do. The. Work.
Your muscles (brain, heart, soul) will be sore and stiff with the thing. Keep going. You'll become better, fitter, stronger as you go.
Plus you see the garden grow. Mary was onto it. Mary knew something.
Nurture it. Water that garden. For god's sake, get rid of the weeds. Negative thoughts, spinning like a turntable of noise, never stop until you get them out of the garden of your self.
Tend to the garden of you. Yes there will be death (loss, pain). Turn the soil of your life afterward. Fertilize it with new stuff, good stuff. Grow the next garden.
This verse came to me in childhood and resonates with a deeper meaning now:
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
Do the work on your garden. Grow it, love it. The world needs silver belled, cockle-shelled gardens, in all ways.
We are used to giving. As women, it's biologically built into our DNA over thousands of years of evolution. We are good at nurturing, it's an ancient gift and survival technique.
But what about receiving? Hmm. Not so good at that eh?
The ability to receive graciously is hard for us. When someone compliments us, how can we stop ourselves from putting ourselves down in our reply? Well, let's see. You stop your mouth going into autopilot and saying, for instance, 'Oh it's marvelous what make up can cover up!' Instead, say, 'Thank you.' Smile.
Give the person the idea that you appreciate that they've just complimented you.
Give yourself a lovely refreshing breath in and breath out. Enjoy the compliment. Receive the compliment. It's a lot easier on your head, heart and soul that way.
Resisting a compliment is hard work, it requires discomfort and a fight on your behalf. That's valuable energy you're wasting! It also is a bit of a slap in the face to the person who wanted to let you have the good stuff in the first place.
So next time someone says something to you, about you that is flattering, enjoy it. It's good for you, it's good for them. Everyone wins!
How often do you make a check-in with yourself and ask the real questions?
For instance: How am I going? What do I need to do today to lift myself?
These exercises are entirely necessary if one is learning to manage depression. Buy hey and c'mon. These questions are just necessary. This is daily practice.
Give yourself some attention. Ask the real questions, wait for the answer and then act on your own advice.
The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.
I enjoy working with people's dreams. Whenever they appear in a session, they always present rich inner material for that person. Dream dictionaries are never used in my office. (They can be helpful but they are limited).
The main reference point, or interpretation base is that person. I simply ask the guiding questions. What is that related to in your waking life? What do you really feel about the person in your dream? What do you feel the dream is about? And etc.
I kept a dream diary myself over many years, the style of writing still intrigues, delights and yes - informs. It still reminds me of how completely insane I am...Oh but in a good way.
A dream diary holds a personal history that can be helpful down the track as well as the morning after your dream. What are your dreams telling you at the moment?
Take my mother for example...
But then there's this: It's said by some (see Christiane Northrup), that the perimenopausal years (those that come just before the menopause itself) are ones in which a woman's sense of herself, the truth as she knows it and what needs to happen, come into a sharper focus.
At these ages, many women have spent the majority of their adult lives looking after other people. Those "others" may be their own children, their parents, husbands and a host of others too. They are used to being nice, nice and nicey nice to others and generally being fan - frikking - tastic on everyone else's behalf.
Oh, but however. At this age, many women start to say things like, "Do it yourself".
Or "Go away".
Or "Gee you know, I don't like you anymore after all".
I have no doubt these facts contribute to the weaker members of the male gender running for the nearest under 30's bar/porn site/bloke's bonding area (that would be the pub).
But there are others. Real men who have a good strong spine, a big heart and a twinkle in their eye. They can stay the distance. The strongest who can gently point out where a woman might have stepped over the mark but they love her and snuggle her at the end of that difficult conversation.
So then it goes like this...That good strong women must necessarily be with good strong men.
Photo of a bunch of suffragette Japanese women having a few things to point out - found here.
Speaking in developmental terms, the great blessings of entering into Middle Earth, as a woman, include one certain fact. That fact is this:
A woman no longer needs the approval of other women. Or men. Mother's still may have some clout, but if a woman has had children then she has probably understood more of that thing now. But still Middle Earth women don't herald anyone else's opinions quite so freely. They can now embrace the freedom of their own convictions. - Me.
If I was to be really very cynical, I might even suggest that much of the reason that so much media is put into making older women appear to be less than desirable is because it's so daunting to acknowledge truth. Middle Earth (female) power is a substantial force.
Laurie Anderson (performance artist and musician, pictured here 2008), has always been a force.
Now, she's just sublime.
I went to a really inspirational gathering today. The large room was full of primary school teachers. There was an Australian psychologist out the front who was smart, tuned in and really funny. Lots of laughter filled the room and oodles of head-nodding.
His name is Andrew Fuller. He runs a private practice out of Melbourne for kids, adolescents and families. He's written a number of books. He works with/in a lot of schools.
He was talking about resilience training for the young. He mixed it up with current brain research. Spent the best part of 2 hours inspiring the desire in everyone to become more resilient themselves. Suggesting that the best this to do is to become more like who want to be - first.
Then the kids will get it. Perfect simple psychology.
Here's a sample. He said there are four rules (to remember, to teach):
1. Anything is possible
2. Nothing is easy
3. When things get difficult, remember Rule No. 1
4. If something looks easy, remember Rule No. 2
He also advocates encouraging "Big Hairy Audacious Goals" again, for all of us. I really enjoy being a psychologist when I see another one being so damn good. Check his site out, buy a book or resource. He's great.