I absolutely love the idea of choosing succulence and living juicy.
Choosing succulence in terms of “positivity” doesn't mean you're living life saccharine-sweet, it just means that you're making the choice to acknowledge that it's not always going to be rainbows and unicorns and that's okay.
This past month as I've been grieving the loss of my grandmother, I've been reading Elisabeth Kubler-Ross writings about grief. The quote that really stuck with me is, “I'm not okay, you're not okay, and that's okay.” Because it's okay that we're not all okay! And we don't need to be defined by our "not being ok."
It's too easy to succumb to the negativity and the complaints. Positivity doesn’t mean ignoring the issues. (and there are so many issues!)
Just means you're turning on the light in the darkness!
The vibrant author, SARK says it's a “personal revolution” to choose positivity.
A couple of years ago I met with my relationship and intimacy coach (and dear friend!), Maria Rider. At our first session when we inquired about my goals, I declared that I wanted to “be juicy!" and not just in my intimate world...I meant living life juicy!
Juicy for me is not being tethered by the darkness and the negativity.
Not being drawn into the black holes.
Not allowing my whole presence to be sucked in by the challenging things that were happening around me.
Not allowing the circumstances of my life to hold me back from joy.
Not allowing the challenges that my children were going through or financial situations or a loved one dying or being ill or any of those things that are just “LIFE” to stop me from moving forward in my own life goals.
Not letting myself live in fear.
Because safety is an illusion.
Anything can happen at any time, and you can't live life "waiting for the other shoe to drop."
What ways are you seduced by negativity?
In what ways are you so absorbed in the current global challenges that you're not seeing the joy in your life?
Today Facebook gave me a memory from 2 years ago. The picture is from Hanukkah and the pure joy in each of our faces is undeniable, the glow of the lights, even the dog is blissfully being snuggled... and yet I know that this was such a dark chapter in our family's life. I know that there was so much pain and sadness.
I chose the positivity.
I chose the joy.
I rose up to see the light in the darkness.
I turned the f****** lights on!
Waking to the deep loss of my Grandma Rosy and feeling the cruel cuffs of Covid detaining me from being physically present with my Florida family.
Rosy has physically left this plane, yet I know she will always be with me in my heart. Just like Zaydie.
I knew it was time. In time for their wedding anniversary on 11.15.
I’ve been wearing her pearl drop earrings since the last time we spoke over FaceTime. The last time she knew it was me and mumbled the words “Love You” incoherently. I have been grieving since that day. I’ve been deeply missing her. Missing our conversations.
She was a consistent light in my life, I began calling her when I was a little girl just figuring out how to use the phone and she was my go to for so much over the years no matter the distance.
As a child I was fortunate to have her live nearby and relish memories of cooking together, family gatherings, sitting in synagogue, learning to sew and knit. Some of the best memories were our adventures to the Bra and Girdle Factory where the old ladies with tape measures helped fit me and find me the most youthful of the boob scaffolding that I required at an early age. Then we would go next door to the Chinese restaurant for the lunch special. All her life she loved going out for Chinese food!
Everywhere we went she was a beacon of connection. She talked to anyone about everything and everyone loved her. There wasn’t much filter to Rosy- authentic and honest.
I began grieving her loss after that call. I made her mac + cheese and banana pudding recipes and I looked through pictures. I began listening to the many voice recordings I made over the last 3 years asking her questions about her life and some of the sweet phone messages. I watched and re-watched videos from her 99th birthday party last January.
Today I will wrap myself in one of the gazillion afghans she has made and know that I am wrapped in her love. I’ve begun to collect photos and videos from friends and family that have received handmade Rosy items to be woven together into a blanket of her legacy.
She was one of a kind. I’m so profoundly grateful for all the time we’ve been gifted by her presence. That my children could grow up with her and hear her stories, cook with her, swim with her and experience her joy.
Her memories will be a blessing and her Rosy spark will live on in my children. L’dor v’dor. (generation to generation)
Last year my journey felt solid. I had been training, eating healthy, getting stronger, engaging in personal development workshops and thriving. Don’t get me wrong...things were far from perfect in my home and I was pushing through sciatica pain that began mid spring.
And then the bottom fell out, a year ago this week, when our 16 year old took off and it has been the single most difficult year of my life not seeing or speaking to him, for he is a piece of my heart.
Emotional pain that I wasn’t allowing myself to feel was being stored in my body. Movement became more difficult, yet I kept showing up and pushing myself because I missed the emotional release that came from working out. I focused on getting good sleep, meditating, connecting with friends, taking baths, oiling up…ya’ know...self care- cuz that’s my thing!
A friend posted recently “You can’t heal if you’re pretending not to hurt” and OUCH...it smacked me, like a slap in the face.
Ya see, I had let go of the nutrition work I was doing with my coach… and I found myself eating to fill the void, numb my feelings, and self soothe the child in me that ached to feel loved ...and then all the weight came back on and I physically felt shitty.
Yesterday I caught myself standing naked in front of the mirror and I didn’t cringe and loathe my body. For the very first time, my heart softened and all I could see was the powerful loving being that has birthed three babies. I could see the pain in my body, on my face and in the silver strands of wisdom in my hair. I saw flashes of my life with my children, holding them, nurturing them, and then felt the need to hold myself and the tears flooded my eyes as I embraced myself.
And with that acceptance I realized that I can’t stay in this body as it is for it is too painful. I’ve been here before and I don’t choose to stay.
It’s time to get back to all out, no BS radical self care. It’s time to go back to what I know works for me. It’s time to do the things I know work to raise my frequency, increase my energy, and bring me back to my vibrant self so that I can decrease the inflammation in my body and support my hormones.
This song speaks to my soul...I think I’ll post these lyrics on my mirror:
“I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table, again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen”
(Lyrics by Rising Appalachia)
I've done it before and I can do it again...the specifics may look very different for each of us, but let’s get at it…’cause it’s always better to do these things together!
hang with us in Resilient AF Midlife Mamas on Facebook !
Parenting has been a journey that has taken me places I never expected to go . We love our children and support them in all they do. Nobody teaches us how to parent or love on our children, we learn from example, maybe some reading or courses, otherwise we are kinda winging it! We don’t necessarily have the tools to deal with some of the issues that arise. For us, we ended up in therapy for 10+ years to explore tools and communication skills to keep our family together.
Teen years are tumultuous for the average teen. The breaking away from parents and family is relatively normal. The challenge is when you pepper the experience with the mental illness and/or drugs it can be disastrous and excruciatingly painful. We all prepare to launch our kids out into the world, off to college, or exciting job opportunities. We ramp up to the letting go and watching them fly, proudly cheering them on and supporting them wildly….all while missing them immensely.
So, what happens when there is no ramping up, or when there is failure to thrive? What happens when the societal expectations of teens is ravaged by mental health issues? Or as I write this global pandemic? Anxiety and depression seems to be rampant among our teens along with self medicating. What if there is more significant mental illness involved? What happens when they are also struggling with gender and/or sexuality issues? As parents….we still love them. Though as teens they don’t always love us, or respect us, or want to be with us.
We belong to so many groups that are supportive of parents on these more challenging journeys. The parents who have “lost” their teens, who are disconnected physically or emotionally from their teens, who are abused by or hated by their teens. The parents that are struggling financially, emotionally , physically themselves because they have given so much to supporting their teens and young adults. Because 18 is not a magic number, it is not a definitive line in the sand that deems our children “adulthood” on an emotional level. More often than not, 18 “adulting” still requires significant financial and emotional support for a healthy stable 18 year old.
We have lots of safe spaces to vent about our kids and the challenges with our families, to get info on programs, or gain perspective on treatment options. I desired to create a space to focus on what we need as mamas to take care of us.
you have given so much of yourself away in raising kids
you have given up your career or have put your goals on hold in order to hold things down at home
the wear and tear of chronic stress has taken a toll on your physical body
you struggle to maintain emotional wellness
your energy, sleep, hormones are all wonky
you heart is torn and your relationships are strained- sometimes it feels like your friends and family don’t “get it” because their family seems “normal” or “healthy”.
you don’t take vacations or time away for yourself where you can breathe easy and relax...you are always ON- and self care….it’s possibly not even on the radar
The greatest common denominator I see among these fierce mamas is that our hearts are huge and wide open to the possibilities of “saving” our kids. (Even though they may be 13 or 18 or 25….they are still our “kids.”)
The ONE thing I know for sure is that we may not be able to “save our kids” and we MUST be able to save ourselves. No matter what happens, we need to take care of ourselves. We must love ourselves.
this....so much this...
most days this being at home has been kinda sweet and productive. since we were already homeschooling and working from home, it wasn't super disruptive.
the college student is miserable to be home. misses having own apartment- i get it
same college student also stays up until the wee hours and surfaces in the late afternoon. appear to get food. requesting a hug when they are present...quality, not quantity.
when the teen is done with schoolwork they can be found socializing online, searching outside for insects or playing with their pet snake. they appear to be in the kitchen grazing for snacks throughout the day so I at least get to lay eyes on them.
the house is a fucking mess. the living room is our crossfit gym. the kitchen stays clean for 5 minutes. there are containers of unidentified shit that nobody is brave enough open. the front porch is piled with boxes. the garden still hasn’t been prepped. the laundry room is backed up with baskets of clean laundry waiting to be folded. the dust bunnies are infringing upon the dog's space and he is resentful.
so every couple weeks i lose my shit. i flip out and delegate cleaning chores. (ok- delegate is kind) i lecture them on "everything has a place. blah blah blah" (cuz really? -we know that's what they hear!) I declare that “things need to change” and “I’m not going to tolerate this anymore” and they all sweetly let me rant, stare at me blankly, do what they were asked and then resume normalcy.
mostly I find peace in my little purple office next to the kitchen, across from the bathroom (these are important logistics!) I have lovely window views of the front and side of the house and I hear the chimes on the porch in the background. this is my safe space. space where I cry, cuss and in lieu of throwing things I use my dammit doll (fabric doll designed to be hit on things- thanks mom-best gift) then I take a few minutes to meditate, come back to center and resume badassery.
how are you holding up?