Writing from the darkness of domesticity…again

 

 

As some of you know, I have been taking a break from work since September. Three months in, I find myself grateful for the extra time and space and also bristling against my now (even) more domestic mode. (Since there is nothing else to take my focus.)

I hate domesticity. I rail against it. All the time. Almost every day.

I hate everything to do with housework and domestic duties. It is something that I have an ongoing battle with. I struggle, I rage, I despair. I accept, I flow, I enjoy. I struggle, I rage, I despair. This is the rhythm of it for me.

I hate the schedule. The monotony. The uselessness of it all. What does it mean for me to wash dishes, cook food, buy groceries, run errands, pick up toys, change summer to winter clothes? I honestly don’t give a shit. I find it useless, stupid and a waste of everything else I am good at.

I love my children and I honestly don’t give a shit.

I feel like a wolf that has been trapped in the wild and caged. Every day, her wildness dims a  bit. And she forgets what snow on the air smells like.

Dramatic? Maybe.

This place where I am is not where I expected to be. In high school, I did a project with my two best friends and we wrote down what we wanted to be when we grew up. One wanted to be a fashion designer. One wanted to be married with children. I wanted to travel around the world and have “lovers in every port”.

Being the main housekeeper and childcare provider feels like having a job I hate and not getting paid for it.

Maybe, some would say, your healthy and happy children are payment enough.

Nope. No, they are not. Not for me.

And yet, YET, occasionally, there is joy in this role. Occasionally, nothing brings me greater pleasure than being a mother, a mama bear, a goddess of the hearth, a keeper of all things cozy and nutritious and delightful and wonderfully loving.

Occasionally.

And then, there are many times where my rage and feeling of unfairness threatens to rip my brain from my head and light my house on fire.

So what does a woman do, a wild woman do, a woman who dreamed of travelling and having lovers in every port, what does this woman do with her domestic rage?

I allow myself to become untamed. I shed the skin of domesticity and become animal. True to my nature. Wild. Free.

I light candles and they represent the burn of every woman who feels like me.

I put on a black dress. I like where it is tight and pulls against me. I like how it caresses my bare skin. How it will expose me as I move. It connects me to my darkness, my vitality, my angst, my vibrant push against it all.

I know I have a choice in this moment. To dive into the darkness I feel or to pretend it isn’t there. To stuff some part of me down, down, down. To suffocate my soul. To stitch myself up on one side only to have myself spill out on another. To cover my shadow with sparkly glitter which burns like poison on my skin.

So I dive into the darkness I feel. I move and sway and let the music take me away.

I begin to shed, cracking open what I mistakenly thought was me. I am reminded of myself. How much life there is inside of me. How much joy. How slowly I can move; like I am leading the world by the tip of my finger.

I touch my skin and feel where it is velvet soft, where it is warmer, where it curves in and out.

And then, aaahhhhh, there I am. My creature. My animal of all the shades, this breath of life in and out. My curves, my opening wider and wider.

I find the hard parts and soften them with curves. My cells open and breath for the first time today.

Yes, here I am. I become exquisite, mysteries, untouchable, magical again.

I leave with no plan, no solution. Nothing has changed. But I have stood firmly inside of myself and tasted my greatness. I belong to myself once again. And I have reminded myself of how much I am, how deep I go, how wide I am capable of opening.

I have celebrated my truth and made poetry from it.

 

 

What my grief feels like

 

I am beginning to offer grief and rage workshops and I want to share some of my experience with grief with you. To let you know that you are not alone. That you are not wrong for feeling deep sadness. I am right there with you.

There are so many reasons for us to grieve. Death. Of a person or of a dream. Struggle. Being stuck. A change that we didn’t ask for. A door closed. Something we want that we can’t have. The goodbye that we never had.

For most of us, we grew up being told – more by example than by words – that intense emotions were unsafe, dangerous and to be dealt with behind closed doors.

We need to change the way we move through intense emotions and the way we accept and honour our feelings. They are a strength, not a weakness.

This is what it feels like for me to be in my darkness. What does it feel like being in yours?

I know I can reach out but I still feel completely alone. Alone in my house. Alone in my thoughts. I have people around me but I am completely and utterly alone. In my confusion. In my pain. In my crying.

In this darkness, I am alone.

I have been crying on and off all day. I have gone from moments of feeling completely right to sheer panic carving out a ditch in my chest.

I am talking to my children in a calm voice while I hold my hands over my chest in case my heart decides to launch itself forward into the abyss.

They call to me. I don’t have the energy to answer back. I want to disappear into a cave and never come out but instead I have to go upstairs and put a movie in.

I am so defeated. I am so lost. I don’t know what is right, what to do, what I want. I feel utterly incapable of helping myself because I don’t feel like I have the energy to do anything at all. I am tired. So tired. The thought of planning dinner feels so exhausting that I don’t give a shit and everyone can go hungry.

The skin on my arms tingles and my chest is so tight and crying feels like too much energy yet the tears break my face every few minutes.

Is this grief? Is this defeat? Is this giving up? Is this growth?

It is painful and makes me feel helpless. I am a shattered, paper thin version of my warrior now.

I don’t want to move, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to feel, I want to have a hot bath and disappear.

My heart, even, is tired. She feels like she has dropped into a coma. My shoulders can’t lift, they can’t hold the weight of all that needs to be held.

Is this a fight? Is this my glory moment? Is this growth? Is this where I charge ahead or is this where I hide my wide open crying wound under a blanket?

How do I do this? Alone. Tired. Small. Defeated.

It is painful to move. To let this move. It feels better to freeze. It hurts.

I am a shell of myself.

I rock back and forth, I stroke my hair, I am a neurotic disturbing rhythm.

I want a mother. To hold me and tell me that it’s all okay.

I can feel my mind stopping me from falling. It is judging me. What, it wants to know, what the fuck is wrong with you?

I hold my original heart in my hand. She is so open and joyful and ready to belong. Then she has first irreparable hurt. And then, another. And she hardens as, somehow, her underside grows even more tender.

There is no running through it, moving away from it. There is only being in it.

It hurts. It is messy and painful and ugly and too much.

Every door opens closer to that most wounded wound. Being alone. Not being held. Being apart. There is no balm for this one.

And so I move. I move what I can. How I can. I keep breathing. And moving. And let it flow.

And in the movement, in the allowing, there is no fixing. No “over”. No done. There is only having been heard. Having talked without words. Having shown, having been so inside of it. There is only a feeling of having walked through the fog instead of around it. There is a release and relief in not having to carry all of it anymore. Smaller bits I carry only.

Every time I sink into my darkness, I build up my ability to be with other’s darkness. It no longer terrifies me. I also know the gifts it brings. The incredible bigness of the heart in darkness.

I am finding my power and my clarity in my sadness. This sadness is carving away at so much armour, so much of what will lead me in the wrong direction. She is also my courage because once I have gone so far down into her depths, I am unafraid.

There is a sweetness, a delicious relaxation to drop my head back into my grief and stop fighting it. It is the water after the deep thirst.

In my depth, I am absolutely fearless. Because I own my darkness, there is no threat of darkness that anyone can hold over me. I become sovereign.

It took time for me to learn how to feel. Every time I feel, fully and in my body, I learn something new and expand myself in new shapes and areas.

What I have learned is how to give myself full permission to feel what I feel, deeply and without apology. Unbridled. Primal. Embodied. I have learned how to move emotion through my body so I can write my poetry with it.

I am learning, always, how to have grief open me up instead of shut me down. 
 
I know there is a different way to move through our stories of rage, of grief and struggle. There IS another way to do this. Yes, in darkness and also in tribe. In joy. In connection. In gorgeously alive, breathing and expanding beauty.

I’m really good at self-care and here’s what I’ve learned about it

 

I am really good at self-care. It has been and is the work of my lifetime.

Here’s what I have learned:

Self-care has many levels. There is surface self-care and there is deep self-care. We have our own versions of all the levels. For me, a hot bath is surface. A movement session where I burst into tears and crack somewhere is deep. I need both.

Self-care is always changing. Ha! What used to soothe, re-fill and re-fuel might not work anymore. We are always changing. We are never ever static in how we feel and what we want and need. Yoga might have done it for you before but it might not anymore.

Self-care is a call-and-response. The body (or heart or soul) calls for something. The mind decides whether or not to fulfill the request. For example, body tells mind I am tired and want to sleep. Mind tells body, push through, I can’t stop to give you what you need. Conversation over. Self-care dead.

Self-care bangs up against everything. Self-care hits walls everywhere it goes. It bangs up against what your partner wants you to do. What your kids want you to do. What your work wants you to do. Anyone who expects self-care not to bang up against anything will never do it well.

Doing self-care in spite of what it bangs up against builds our warrior. When we are not building our warrior, we are building our victim.

Self-care is the hardest when it is needed the most. This still boggles my mind. When we need it the most, we do it the least. Most times, when we are in crisis, instead of increasing our self-care (more massage, more physical activity, more meditation, more good food, more sleep, more orgasms), we decide to just make it through as best as we can. And we survive it all. We survive the crisis because we are so good at surviving. But we might arrive at the end of it in a total physical or mental breakdown, depleted and depressed or just numb.

Self-care is work. It requires an iron will and tons of discipline. It is where a woman must stand in her own power and for her own worth. This is where the battle is fought, day in and day out.

Part of what is essential to me is my feminine soulful movement practice. For those who live in Toronto, you can join me every Monday night.

In the comments below, I would love love to hear what you have learned (or are learning) about self-care.

 

Diaries of a retreat – Part 3/3

 

This is the final installation in my “Diary of a retreat” writings. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

Day 3

The theme for me this retreat has been belonging. A big challenge to the story I’m holding on to about not being worthy of love and belonging.  I know on a cellular level what it feels like to be the outsider. It feels like my natural state. But I don’t want that anymore. The more I want to fly, the more I need a tribe. So that was where I opened this retreat. I allowed myself to belong. In however and whatever shape that took. And I do feel that I belong here. I belong to the women here. I belong to this movement. I belong to my friends here. I belong! And in belonging, I can bring my whole self here and be a part of this for everyone else. I become part of their belonging too.

Today we had class on the beach. It was one of the highlights for me. Being in the sun, feeling the wind, moving outside. Hearing the ocean. The teacher’s voice was low enough that I could move as I wished. And then we went to the ocean. And I danced all the way there; it felt like it took a million years. I dragged my toes in the sand, I curved my hips, I leaned back, I took my time. And then, in the ocean, I called a few women to join me in swimming (sometimes we are the pusher and sometimes we need to be pushed) and we took our suits off and swam naked. It was glorious. The ocean waves would come and knock us over as if to say, Snap. Out. Of. It. THIS is who you are. THIS is how you should always be, in this state. Free! Wild! Alive!

I know now that by not going to class and taking my own time, I was creating the safety that I needed to jump. And the jump I want to do is to show my truth to this tribe. I wanted to break apart. I wanted to show ME. Because when I can show the truth of me, I can truly belong. Here. There. To myself. To the world. Anywhere. Everywhere.

Day 4

I had my first group dance and it was okay but nothing emotionally happened, except that it felt good to move. It was a safe dance for me. I knew I wanted something more. So then Sheila (Kelley, S-Factor‘s creator and leader) asked me to tell one of the leaders to put me with a group of women that would want to dance to a “break apart” song.

This is what being a co-creator in jumping into your fear feels like. You actually seek out what will break you apart. 

When we got assigned our new dancing groups for the second round, I said I want a song that will break me apart, that will make me cry. The second woman said, I want to dance to dirty sexual music that talks about fucking and licking pussy. (Honestly, I fucking LOVE this stuff!) So, that is where we started off. I just had this knowing that I needed to push for my song and that this dance was mine. We finally all agreed to dance to “Delicate” by Damien Rice. (Even women who love to dance to dirty sex songs have a tender, delicateness about them. We are 100 shades of the rainbow.)

I went to the middle of the floor right in front of all of these women because I wanted to be seen. I started on the floor because I didn’t think I could stand up. I danced. I broke apart. I cried. I showed my fear in being seen and then I was seen, as I lifted my shirt over my head and showed my tear-stained face. And then, at the end of the song, I wept. Lying on the floor. I let it all out as I was held by my tribe. And then, I felt so fucking glorious that I yelled out a cry of victory. I did it! I gave my self the time I needed, I listened to my own voice, I trusted when I was ready and then, I jumped.

I belong. Exhale. 

The evening after the retreat ended…

I spent this night with people! I went out to dinner with them! I belong here! (As you can tell by the exclamation marks! this is not what I usually do!) They weren’t stopping me from belonging, I was stopping myself! Gosh darnit, fucker head shit!

After being home for 4 days

I’ve been back for 4 days now. This re-entry is different Last time, I merged with life effortlessly. So I thought I got it and that is what would happen this time. But it didn’t. I am still quiet about the retreat. I am still holding it in my body and heart like a treasure. I don’t know how it will move through my body and my life but I know it will.

But here’s what I learned. I belong. I trust myself to know what I need. I know how to make myself safe. I want to jump.

Thank you for reading.

Sophie

xo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

    

The warrior who fights for everyone else but herself

 

(I can’t believe that I had actually forgotten about Xena, Warrior Princess for a few years. Never again!!)

Do you recognize yourself in this? The warrior who fights for everyone else but herself?

We rage at our schools, our daycares and our camps to demand better treatment, better food, better playgrounds, better resources for our kids.

We join petitions and send emails to complain about neighbourhood hazards.

We rally around our friends who are in the worst kind of tragedy…or lost…or broken apart. We bring food, organize phone calls, make special trips.

We bend over backwards to create space and time for our partners to succeed at business or a new job or a new passion.

We fight for our friends’ birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations. We bring the flowers, the snacks, the wine, the champagne. We offer the house, the cottage; we offer to host, to make the dinner, to bring the bagels and cream cheese.

We say “yes” to other people’s requests by saying “no” to what we want.

I need to write this one down again because it has made me stop and shiver…We say “yes” to other people’s requests by saying “no” to what we want.

We are fierce warriors for so many people in our lives. And yet, we can be meek and mild when it comes to fighting for our own lives. (Perhaps waiting for our husbands, jobs, children or success to step in and do it for us.)

What I’m talking about is the challenge we face to be our own rescuers and our own heroes.  To be the warrior that fights for what we need to live our lives as fully and as gloriously as possible – led by our own truth and our own desires.

This world labels women as natural caretakers, except, it really means care taking of other people. The message we get as wives, girlfriends, mothers and daughters is that our gift lies in our inherent ability to nourish and nurture other people. To keep them fed, warm, loved and comfortable. And yes, that is one of the most beautiful and warrior-like things about women. We are fierce about taking care of people we love. (And lukewarm on taking care of people we are supposed to take care of…)

And yet.

And yet.

We can’t fit in the gym but all our kids are in activities. We don’t cook the food we really want to eat because we are preparing meals that someone else likes. We act as though our time belongs to the general public, instead of something that is ours to claim and name. We choose the restaurant that the date loves instead of the one we love.

And how is this working for us? You tell me.

But there is another way. For any woman who has heard the whisper “This is not enough for me”, she must step into her warrior. And this is not easy work. It is easier to play the victim, become bitter and stay stuck. The warrior must carve our her own rules, her own way and be loyal to her truth above all. But the most difficult thing she must do is to bravely face her own judgement of what it means to be a good mother, a good wife and a good woman.

If we believe that being a good mother/wife/woman means dedicating our lives to serving others (with the hope that their happiness will become our happiness), then stifling our warrior-selves from working on our own behalf fits well.

But if we believe that being a good mother/wife/woman/creator/world-changer/friend/mentor/artist/entrepreneur/role-model/wise elder requires that we do everything we can to love ourselves, take care of ourselves, make our happiness a priority and honour our truth, then our warrior-selves must battle on our own behalf as well.

If becoming a warrior for yourself is something you’d like to experiment with this year, please join me at my Body Love retreat on Feb. 11th, 2017. This is a full day of embodied experience where we begin to bypass the brain and learn from the wisdom of the body. Where we hear our own truth and feel the courage to honour it in our own lives.

Where we shine our warrior lights on our own lives.

Read the description and register here. Registration ends on Feb. 3rd so if this is calling to you, don’t let it slip away.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings on what it is to be a warrior in your life…for yourself or for other people.

The dark side of motherhood – I see you

 

I wrote this blog post after feeling very resentful about having my work pushed to the bottom of the list (sigh, again) and shuffling into my role as mother and housewife. I was so desperate to hear my husband say he got it, he understood, he felt my pain, he knew how amazing I was, he couldn’t believe how I do it all, he was in awe of my greatness, my warrior, my goddess, my fucking incredible-ness.

Pause.

Can you guess where this goes? He didn’t say any of it. And as I walked out into the night to clear my head, I all of a sudden realized that only women can see ourselves in the way we need to be seen….can hear ourselves in the way we yearn to be heard.

So, to myself and to all the other moms out there…this is my ode to you. I see you, I hear you, I am you.

To every time you’ve thrown something, smacked something, broke something with your rage and felt ashamed, out of control and overwhelmed, I see you.

For every time you’ve been doing dishes while your husband is having a shower, I see you.

For every time you made the effort to cook something healthy and no-one at the table ate it, I see you.

For every time you thought, I just can’t do it all, I see you.

For every single time you wanted to hear “I see you, I hear what you are saying, I think you are amazing, I can’t believe how much you do, you are incredible” from your partner’s mouth and it never came, I see you.

For every time you just felt very sad and very alone, I see you.

For every time someone asked how you were doing and you really wanted to say I think I’m falling apart but you said ‘fine” instead, I see you.

For every time you looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize that lifeless, glowless, tired face, I see you.

For every time you stayed up late to work, woke up early to work, worked with a baby crying, worked with children calling your name, for every time you worked exhausted, sick and overwhelmed, I see you.

For every time you crawled out of bed, feeling unable to face another day but doing it anyway, I see you.

For every day you felt that bonedrenched exhaustion and thought you would fall over and you didn’t…I see you.

For every time you looked at your children and resented them, I see you.

For every time your career fell to the bottom of the heap, when you did your work in the bathroom, in the early hours of the morning, grabbing a few minutes here and there and trying to build something magical in 15-minute timeslots, I see you.

For every weekend filled with laundry and errands, I see you.
For every time you thought, I just want to be by myself, I see you.
For every time you went shopping for clothes and came home feeling like shit because your new body doesn’t fit anything it used to and it’s too tired to work well, I see you.

For every moment you dreamed of reclaiming your ass, your sass, your enthusiasm and your wildness, I see you.

For every time you didn’t think you could stop crying. Or get up off the floor. Or breathe. Or function. Or be responsible for anyone, anymore, I see you.

For every time you felt so angry because all of this feels so unfair. For every time you felt lied to….because no-one told you it would be like this, I see you.

I see you. I hear you. Every time, I see you.

Let’s not do this alone.

Let’s see each other. Not just in the sunshine and the good times and the easy days and the surface talk but in the hardness, the sadness, the overwhelm, the shadows.

You are amazing. You are a miracle. Sacred. Divine. And you deserve to have your family throw you a party every weekend with balloons, cake and presents just to celebrate how amazing you are.

I see you. I hear you. I am you.

Please share this with a mother who might be feeling alone right now…let her know that she is seen and heard.

In the comments below, I’d love to know your thoughts on the dark side of motherhood.

A summer of surrender…and a fall of getting naked

Hello all,

It’s been lovely to be offline for a few weeks this summer and forced to, having both kids with me most of the summer, forget a bit about work and concentrate entirely on living.

My summer’s themes have been sunshine (a lot), surrender (spending all day with two children forces me to either surrender or fight to the death, which is exhausting), and sensuality. Not bad, not bad…

I have had moments where I’ve been amazed and inspired with my ability to find so much love and patience with them when another version of myself would have hung them up by their ankles, and then I’ve been so disheartened in those moments where iron claws of ego, perfectionism and the need to control made that impossible. So I wobbled back and forth between feeling divine (free, released, chilled out, relaxed, with the flow) and DIVINE (being the essence of what it is to feel my highest self) and then feeling like just a lowly human being after all, holding on to all this stuff that keeps me from really being free.

My greatest moments were spent on the beach, expanding into all the sensuality – the heat of the sun on my skin, the caress of a soft summer breeze, the rhythm of the waves, the feeling of the sand shifting under my body, the smell of water and fish and green in the air. Mmmm, it reminded me of how blissful I find the beach and why.

I always find the transition between summer and fall hard. On one hand, I ache for more time with no schedule, more surrender, more relaxation, one more day in the sand and on the other hand, I crave the routine, the schedule and that special feeling of energy and creation that I always get in September.

One thing that this summer allowed me to practice is releasing. Surrendering more and more. Letting go. And then letting go more. I want to get naked in my life. I am slowly letting layers slip off my skin and finding that I feel lighter and more clear with every new shed. Do the layers ever end? I don’t know. But I do know that every time I let go, everything I am, my body, my heart, my brain, my soul exhales with relief. It feels peaceful and joyful and oh, so, right.

Easy? Nope. But……that’s okay.

As the fall starts, I’m going to be talking about my October 15th retreat, which is approaching. I’m going to be talking about why it might be a good fit for what you are wanting in your life right now and my intention behind what I teach.

If one of the things that you yearn for is to let shit go, I’m right there with you. We are going to be releasing ourselves from some tightness and iron claws through movement, desires and nourishment.

A naked woman is a sight to behold. Are you ready to release yourself from the obligation of carrying stuff that doesn’t serve you? That doesn’t allow you to shine or be fully loved? That just feels so freaking heavy and tiring to hold on to? If the answer is yes, join me at the October 15th Juicy Woman Revolution full-day retreat. Let’s get naked.

Sophie xo

What I struggled with in learning how to prioritize myself

 

 

When I first felt the angry, desperate and sad yearnings inside me for more nourishment, I was in a dark place. At home with a new baby. Spending my days preparing food, cleaning up food, cleaning up the house, washing dishes, preparing more food, cleaning up more food, changing diapers, doing laundry, putting the babe down for a nap, cleaning up the kitchen, preparing food…

For me, it was a very hard period because I had no space, no room, no time, no place for me. I felt completely and utterly exhausted, depleted, unhappy and joyless.

That was 5 years ago and I’ve learned a lot about what it means for me to be well-nourished. To prioritize myself. To take care of my needs (and to actually know what they are).

Becoming a Well-Nourished Woman is a process. It requires work, diligence and the constant choosing of it.

But it is the only way for me to live now. Being under-nourished feels like a breeding ground for all of my nasty voices. It makes me feel insecure, bitter, resentful, angry, unloved, unappreciated and I start riding the victim card hard. Which keeps me trapped. It isn’t fun. It isn’t inspiring. It pushes me down instead of lifting me up.

Here’s what I can share with you about my journey in Becoming a Well-Nourished Woman.

Here’s what I really struggled with when I decided to start putting myself first.

Guilt

All kinds of guilt. Mother guilt. If I didn’t put my children above myself, did that mean I was a neglectful and bad mother? Wife guilt. Wasn’t marriage about sacrifice and making compromises? That old single life is over, girl! Get with the program!  Greedy Guilt. Was I being too greedy in wanting to be happy? Delighted? Nourished? Really well-taken care of? Did I deserve all that I wanted?

Giving up the victim role

If I wanted to be well-nourished, I had to make decisions based on what made my life easier, happier, less-stressful and more joyful. Which meant that I needed to take responsibility for my life. Which meant I couldn’t be a victim any longer. I couldn’t spend all of my energy complaining, griping, feeling resentful and bitter and lashing out at those closest to me because I felt so angry at being deprived. I couldn’t complain anymore because it wasn’t anyone else’s responsibility but my own.

My sense of my own worth

I had to teach myself that I was worthy of feeling good. That I was worthy of wanting to feel relaxed. Cared for. Nurtured. Adored. Loved.  Nourished. For me, every time I did something loving and nourishing for myself, I sent a feedback message that I was worthy. And every time I felt worthy, I felt free and empowered to do something loving and nourishing for myself. It was and is a wonderfully sacred circle of cause and effect.

These are the top 2 things I did (and still do) that are the bedrock of my being a Well-Nourished Woman.

I started small

For me, making myself a fresh cup of coffee was the beginning of prioritizing my nourishment. Instead of drinking a cold cup. Instead of going without. Instead of having tea – which I didn’t want. Instead of reheating some cold coffee. It was a small thing to do but it created a ripple effect that allowed me to move towards big nourishment items – like leaving my family and going on a 6 day-retreat. I didn’t start there. I started with a fresh cup of coffee for myself. And then cooking dinners that I wanted to eat. And telling my kids I was unavailable when I sat down to eat. And from those small acts of self-love, I allowed myself larger nourishments. Without the small acts, I would never have gotten to the big ones. In other words, if I didn’t think I was worthy of a fresh cup of coffee, how could I ever feel worthy of leaving my family to go on a retreat?

I added just one thing to whatever I was doing to make it more pleasurable for me.

Kids want to go to the park? I’m loading up my phone with some good music I can listen to. Have to wash the bloody dishes again? I’m finding a really cool podcast to listen to. Need to finish some work and just way too tired? I’m lighting a candle and making my self a cup of tea. Have to work on my financials? I’m getting into my cozy clothes (maybe my confidence toque) and setting a time-limit so I am focused and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that for all of us, life is filled with many tasks that we don’t necessarily love to do. So, the question becomes, “What can I add to this job/task/situation/party that will make it more pleasurable for me?”. Boom.

Why it’s time for YOU to become a Well-Nourished Woman.

1. When you begin to make yourself a priority, you give every woman around you permission to do the same.

2. It is a deeply self-loving act and it’s time for you to start loving yourself desperately and madly.

3. No-one else will do it for you. No-one else will give you permission. This is no-one else’s responsibility except your own.

4. It feels so much better than deprivation.

5. All the girls in your life become lucky enough to see a different story for a woman; instead of seeing self-sacrifice and low self-worth, they see it is possible (and glorious) for a woman to love herself and to believe herself worthy of feeling good.

6. Because you are not the only one who can take care of your children. Cook the food. Do the job. Take the phone call. Be the go-to person. Take care of all the details. YOU ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT. Things will continue to revolve without you.

Finally, you might need to start treating yourself like you are worthy before you believe you are. So what? It will come. Start small. Add just one thing. And be patient. See what happens.

If there is a woman in your life who you think would benefit from reading this, please forward this email to her. When we all start to really honour and love ourselves, amazing things can happen. Let’s start now. And take all of our tribe up with us.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on learning how to put yourself first and what your journey has been like for you.

 

 

Getting rejected and the hard sell

 

A few weeks ago, I had a booking to speak with a mum’s group. A few days before the talk, one of the organizers told me that the group was more interested in nutrition and parenting and so they had booked someone else for the talk.

Rejected! Although, ever since I read a book written by a stripper who talked about how many men she had to approach before one said yes to a lap dance (it was a lot….and she was doing it wearing a bikini), rejection hasn’t been that hard for me.

However, to say that my gentle-spirited heart didn’t flop down on the couch with a hand dramatically on her forehead would be untruthful.

And then I wrote back saying that if they had another spot that they thought I would fit in, I’d love to take it. (“Never get mad at rejection! Up your game with enthusiasm!” – thank you, Mama Gena.)

And I thought again about how the work I do can be a really hard sell. About how challenging it can be to get women’s attention away from finding the perfect workout/outfit/disciplining technique/job/recipe for broccoli-filled desserts/haircut/vegan diet/clothes/handbag/boyfriend and towards finding themselves.

Man, it’s tough. And I know what it feels like, especially from a motherhood perspective, to constantly be on “improvement” mode…what should I be doing more of? Less of? What should I be doing a better job at? Are there any gaps? Holes? Mistakes? Brewing issues? Potential problems? It’s like being on constant anxiety alert…and it can be done with parenting, a marriage, a job, dating or anything else.

It is exhausting. And it changes nothing. Armed with the right breakfast recipe for you and your kids could result in more time and stress for you and be just another meal that gets consumed and forgotten.

I know the anxiety and worry treadmill…where you constantly have binoculars trained on everyone around you and outside you and what they are doing dictate what you should do too. I used to be in the place. That used to be the version of my life. So I know how all-encompassing it can be. So for me to stand up and say to women “forget the recipes, the outfits, the constant giving and fixing and trying to be better….just fall in love with yourself, dive into your glory and become a glorious fucking woman!”….well, it can be challenging.

But, you know me. I love a good challenge. And when I witness a woman experience a moment of her glorious self, when she holds the reins of her life, when she steps into herself and becomes filled up with her own power and beauty? Well now, holy shit. That’s worth every rejection, every hard sell and every challenge.

Without an once of judgement because I’ve been there, I get it and I am you and you are me… I wanted to ask some questions.

Is it possible that the real changes we want in our lives, the real yearnings we have, will never be answered by chasing the “perfection” model of how we parent, work, eat, exercise, look or behave? 

Is it possible that when we focus on being better in our roles as friends, mothers, employees, entrepreneurs, daughters and partners that we actually just put more pressure and expectation on ourselves, which leads to more stress and less pleasure and fun? And we forget to focus on being US.

Is it possible that a night out dancing once a month with our girlfriends would give us so much more soul-joy than learning how to make that perfect green smoothie for our kids?

Is it possible for us to be brave enough to turn all of our energy and focus from the outside to the inside and really fill us up? Adore us? Fall in love with ourselves? Feel great in our skins, our bodies, our hearts and our lives?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. For the mothers and every other woman out there – what does this make you think of? Does anything resonate for you here? What is your story that you can share about this?

I am not a domesticated animal

 

I am not a domesticated animal. I am a wild animal that should not be allowed in nice clean houses. (Good thing I don’t have one of those…)

Here’s the line that keeps repeating itself when I am cleaning up some mess on the table. For the fifth time. Grocery shopping. Cleaning toilets. (Actually, that one is a joke because I don’t clean). Doing drop-off and pick-up. Being nice and friendly. Paying bills. Christmas shopping. Thank you notes. Summer camp research. Meal plans. I’m thinking to myself, with some degree of surprise…still… “What the fuck am I doing? I am not a domesticated animal!”

(This is actually what I look like every morning…)

lioness

 

As I fill up the sink to wash dishes, I mutter to the universe, “This is not where I really shine. Have you seen me on the dance floor?! That is where I shine. This is not me. Honestly.”

I worry about an alien invasion where they will catch me folding laundry and that’s how I’ll go down in their history books.

I remember back to my high school days where everyone told us that our lives would be different from our mothers. We wouldn’t have to get married or do housework or stay at home. We could have careers and be whatever we wanted.

And here I am (and not alone), 20 years later, housebound, folding laundry, planning doctor appointments, putting labels on clothing (again, a joke, because I still haven’t done that) and down on my hands and knees, wiping up spilt milk…again.

The fact that I love my kids, my dude and my house has nothing to do with it. I resent it, when it becomes the only thing I’m doing, because it’s just not the fullness of me. It doesn’t represent the totality of who I am. What I can do. My wildness, my craziness, my aches, my bliss, my genius, my adventure, my rebel spirit.

By the way, this is the exact feeling that inspired me to create the Juicy Woman Revolution.

Some days, I just am so mad about it, I put on Def Leppard. Cry. Rage and rant. Kick something. Gently (or not) squeeze my nipples to remind myself of who I really am.

I have a sticky note on my computer that says “I am deliciously erotic.” There are days when I read it and know it deeply in my body to be true. Then there are days when I couldn’t feel further from deliciously erotic. In my track pants with a hole in the crotch, kinda needing a shower, with hairy legs and unbrushed teeth. Exhausted and resentful.

But then, when I read those words, something shifts in me. Sometimes it’s really small. Like a whisper. And sometimes it’s really loud like a FUCK RIGHT, I’M DELICIOUSLY EROTIC!

And that’s why it’s there. To remind me to claim my space to shine. To create places that tell the full story of who I am. To do things that remind me of who I really am, in the fullness of my feminine power and beauty. To live outside the wife/mother/responsible member of society box.

I vow never to be tamed.

About a year ago, when my daughter was getting out of her car seat, she lost her balance and yelled “I feel dangerous!”

And I thought, hell yeah.

If you feel inspired, in the comments below, please share your thoughts on being a domesticated animal….or untameable…or anything else this makes you think of.

As always, thank you for reading.

Sophie