Monthly Archives: February 2011

Walking in my Mother’s Footsteps

Thirty six years ago today, my mother gave birth to me.  Since that day, I have been following in her footsteps.  Some of those patterns are positive, and some…well, not so much.Footsteps

Some of the positive things I have inherited from my mother are artisitc talent.  She is an amazing artist.  I’m not quite as good as she is, but I remember some truly incredible paintings she did of some of my favorite cartoon characters.  I specifically remember Joyleaf, from ElfQuest. It was a real tribute to Wendy Pini’s work.

My mother has a strong work ethic.  If she says she’s going to do something, she does, and she usually over-delivers.  She sometimes procrastinates, as do I, but I’m focusing on the positives right now. 🙂

My mother is a perfectionist.  Some might see this as a negative trait, but I’ve worked to turn it into a positive for myself. It makes me accomplish tasks to the best of my ability.  It kind of ties in with over-delivering.

My mother is generous.  She gives her time and skills where they are needed. When I was younger, we went with her when she volunteered for the Christmas parties at local senior care homes, and in the parades in the summer.  As part of the Telephone Pioneer Clown Club, we appeared at many a summer festival and event painting faces and making baloon animals.  I am still very generous with my time and skills, as many of my friends will attest.

And then there is the downside to following in my mother’s footsteps.  I sometimes forget to take time out for me; to pamper myself or just have fun.  I am working to remember that to be truly able to take care of other people, I need to take care of myself.

I have spent many years becoming more comfortable expressing my feelings as they come up, rather than holding them in. I believe I am healthier for this effort.

I am the major breadwinner in my family (for now!), as my mother was when throughout my youth.  I don’t always make the best financial decisions, so I am educating myself, and sorking closely with my husband to make better choices.

I love my mother very much. I am extremely grateful for everything she has given me, the good and the not so good.  Because even in the not so good I have been given a truly beautiful gift: the opportunity to learn and make my own choices.  Thank you, Mom!

Blessings,

Mary

Meditation Confessions

Meditation ConfessionsI’m not perfect.  I am a perfectionist, but I’m not perfect.  So I want to let you in on some of my secrets regarding meditation, in the hopes that you will find encouragement, and stick with it through the challenges.

My meditation practice was sporadic until a few months ago. I talked about meditation, and I would do it some mornings…if I felt like it.  And sometimes at night, before I went to bed, I might meditate.  Maybe.  And I would sort of meditate when I sat down to write a new guided meditation.  But it wasn’t until someone I met at a course said to me, “You’ve got to treat it like diarrhea.  If you had an appointment to meet the president, and you had diarrhea, you’d take care of that first.”  She was speaking of yoga for herself, but I took it to heart for meditation.  Now, every morning, it’s the first thing I do.  Every. Morning.

I sometimes fall asleep while I am meditating. It depends on how much sleep I’ve been getting, and how rested I am.  Some days, the alarm goes off, and I just want to go back to sleep.  But I am treating it as the most important thing, so I sit up, and put on my headphones, and begin my meditation.  And then I wake up a half hour or 45 minutes later… 🙂

I use brainwave entrainment music to help me meditate. When I used to meditate with nothing, after about 15 or 20 minutes, my mind would start acting like a young child in a car: “Are we there yet?” I couldn’t resist opening my eyes to look at the clock and see how long I’d been sitting there.  Now, with the music, I know the pieces are each one hour long.  If the music is still going, I’m not done yet.  And if the music has changed, it’s time to get up (for those mornings when I fall asleep…) Here’s the music I use.

I can’t always quiet my mind. Some mornings, it is easy. A few deep breaths, ground, connect, and voila…bliss!  Other mornings, my mind is quite the chatterbox.  No matter how many times I remind myself to just be here now, or ground, or focus on my breath, my mind goes chasing off after some thought or idea, and it just won’t be still.  Some days I just have to stick it out and know that tomorrow will be better.

I hope that helps encourage you in your meditation practice. If there is anything else you struggle with, leave a comment and let me know.  I’ve probably experienced it too!

Blessings,

Mary

Happy Valentine’s Day to ME!

Ah, Valentine’s Day.  Festival of LOVE. Favorite holiday of florists, jewelers and candy shop owners.  A day that reminds of of whether we have a wonderful relationship, a not-so-hot relationship, or just a cat.

Valentine’s Day seems to either be very romantic, or very depressing for most people I know.  My husband generally refuses to celebrate because it is a “Hallmark Holiday,” an excuse for retailers to guilt people into spending. When we first got married, I was upset by this.  Now, I’ve decided to take a different view of this day.

This Valentine’s Day, I am going to honor the most important person in my life, the one I love and admire the most: ME!I Love ME!

It’s not about the flowers and the chocolates.  It’s about honoring myself. I’m taking time to fill up my cup, to be open about where I am at and what I am feeling.  To pamper myself in small, but significant ways.  The best part is, I don’t need to spend a dime to make myself feel important and loved.

So, I had a nice long soak in the bath, and did every beauty treatment on myself that I could.  I painted my toenails, and treated my hair.  I masqued my face and shaved my legs.  I even used an aromatherapy sea salt scrub.  I took my time reading a book, and cut out a pattern for a dress I plan to make.  I took a long walk in the woods with my boys, and made chocolate chip cookies.  There was no rush at all to the day.

I feel wonderful! I feel pampered and appreciated, and most of all, I feel loved.  I’m not dependent on others to feel this way.  But when I truly love myself, others reflect it back to me.  And that is a truly precious gift to give myself!

Just doing some searching online, it turns out that February 13th is “Madly in Love with ME Day!” Without knowing about it, I totally embraced that holiday!

How will you love yourself today?

Blessings,

Mary

The Art of Recieving

This week I had coaching sessions with three different clients, from three different parts of North America.  All of them had experience in the healing arts, and were either working to, or wanted to, earn income using these skills. And each of them had challenges receiving money for their healing gifts.

My energy-work teachers told me there has to be some sort of energy exchange whenever I do healing.  Sometimes, the energy exchange can be as simple as a heartfelt thanks.  It could be something that is done in trade, for example, cooking a meal for me.  Or it could be money.  Because money is just another form of energy.

Give-Receive CycleIn several different courses I have taken, the teacher has had the room raise their hands if they are comfortable giving help to others.  Almost everyone in the room usuallt raises their hand.  Then the teacher asks how many of us are comfortable receiving help from others.  The number of people raising their hand is far less.

Our society teaches us that, “It is better to give than to receive.”  (I’ve been told that the original quote is, “It is better to be in a position to give, than be in a position where you need to receive.” I haven’t been able to verify that, but I like it!)

But if all of us are giving all the time, who is receiving?  And if I do not receive when someone else is giving, then I am robbing them of the pleasure of giving.

So how can we become more comfortable with receiving?

Practice.  Start with receiving compliments without diminishing them, or immediately giving one in return.  Let it land, and just say thank you! If you have to, give yourself compliments by saying them into the mirror. As you get better at receiving compliments, it will become easier to receive gifts, and money.

In conversation, be fully present with what the other person is saying.  Take your time before replying, and don’t plan your response in advance.  I know for myself this one can be challenging.  My mind likes to get ahead and think about what I’m going to say, or how I am going to answer. Don’t worry, the right words will always come, and the other person will appreciate having the opportunity to truly be heard.

Tell yourself you are worth it!  Many times I have found that a difficulty in receiving, especially money, comes from a feeling of unworthiness.  And if no one else has said it, I will tell you that you are absolutely, definitely, 100% deserving! (Just say thank you, and receive it!)

The bonus of practicing the art of receiving is that you will have more and more to give!

Where else in your life can you practice the art of receiving?

Blessings,

Mary