Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Poised on the edge of something new

Everywhere I look these days, someone is celebrating the good news that humanity is about to break through the old patterns into a new paradigm of collaboration, compassion and creative abundance. We are almost there! Any day now! Maybe we've already crossed over but we just haven't adjusted yet to the new energy!

At the same time, in my personal communications with friends and loved ones, many have been acknowledging that they've never felt so adrift. They have been using words like 'stuck', 'depressed', 'raw', 'unispired' ... sometimes even 'hopeless'. One friend says she is "buried in the hole that is my emerging self...a bit tender and raw as I wait for the wings to dry and the skin to toughen up a bit". Another describes she is hoping time will speed up till she gets "over the hump."

Maybe both are true at the same time. Maybe transformation does not happen as some lightening flash, some miraculous lottery win bringing instant ease and abundance. Maybe transformation happens one person at time, one moment at a time as we allow ourselves feel all of our feelings and to love ourselves just as we are.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Peaceful Solstice to You

Once again I have gotten caught up in the whirl of the holiday season. Lots of parties and gatherings, lots of laughing and talking, lots of eating and drinking, lots of connecting with people I see only at this festive time of year.

My family will leave on Friday to travel back to Wisconsin to celebrate two early Christmases with both of our families-of-origin. The weather forecast in the heartland has been reading like something out of campy holiday comedy: "a high of zero degrees with a wind chill of minus 18". It takes our breath away. We are scurrying about trying to find our long underwear and wool socks.

And when I can be still in the midst of all this hustle and bustle, I do hear a quiet pulse of something new taking form within me. Something mysterious and exciting is gestating. I am pregnant with something new and different. I will find some moments during this solstice season to be alone and quiet with this feeling of being pregnant and I will surrender to not knowing where this process will take me.

I send you heartfelt wishes for a peaceful solstice, a happy holiday, an abundant new year and a joyous inauguration day!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Honoring the 'No'

I had a conversation today with a typical modern woman, juggling multiple roles and responsiblities. There was an edge of exhaustion and overwhelm in her voice, mingled with determination and the remnants of her stamina.

She works full time and is scrambling to reposition her business in this sagging economy. She has been hosting events and doing presentations and developing new brochures and redesigning her website ... in addition to servicing her clients. Some days she is still in the office at 8 p.m. She is the mother of three children under the age of 9, all of whom are typical modern children who play several sports after school, take various lessons (dance, music) and sometimes need special tutoring in school subjects. She drives them endlessly to these activities most days and every weekend. Like many modern women, she lives far removed from her extended family; she has no day-to-day support from her mother or sisters or aunts. Instead, she has the additional responsibility to travel long distances by airplane or to host family members for long visits frequently in order to keep her family connected.

And now it is the holidays. She somehow has to find the time to shop and wrap and ship all these gifts. There are trees and decorations and lights that must all come together in familiar ways. She must plan holiday parties at work and birthday parties at home (all three kids and her husband were born in December). She has to work extra hours in order to pay for these extra expenses.

Today she was telling me that she needs to also find the time to make from scratch the whole array of holiday cookies that her grandmother used to make - "because it's tradition." I felt a great big 'NO' rise up into my my throat. I actually did find the courage to speak it aloud to her, but I don't think it went over so well. Tradition won the day ... and I wonder if this modern woman is losing her Self.

Just a quick reality check here: My Grandma did not work full time outside the home. She did not leave a day of work to drive her children to soccer games and piano lessons and math tutoring. In fact she never drove her children anywhere - they needed to find their own way after they had helped with the chores. She lived her life in a large extended family with sisters and aunts and cousins living in the same rural community. Her life was still demanding and challenging on every level ... but her decision to make nine different kinds of holiday cookies was anchored in a whole different set of realities.