What Love Told Me book

 

 

PAMPER PARTY at your home !
Tuesday
Sep112018

The first rule of Red Tent is you do not talk about Red Tent...(So let's talk about ME instead!)

I facilitated our first Red Tent meeting last night.  In case, like me, you were also thinking it was some particularly flamboyant camping trip (Kill. Me. Now) - A Red Tent is a gathering of women usually around the new moon to support each other and be there to reflect on life.  I finally got round to reading Anita Diamant’s legendary book of the same name a few months back and I loved the idea of woman coming together, particularly in that energy of the New Moon when we can be susceptible to extra bonkerness, overwhelm, manic-ness (is that a word? I didn’t want to type Mania!!), emotions, weepiness, over-tiredness, and that antsy feeling where you feel a bit trapped in your own body. So I set up the group and 12 beautiful souls came together last night and a Community was created through the magic of us sharing our truth in vulnerability.

Traditionally The Red Tent is so called because all of the women’s menstrual cycle would be in sync with each other during a particular phase of the moon, so during this time The RED (clue is in the name) Tent would be the place where they would all gather to physically bleed together and release their menstrual blood into the earth for 3 days, before returning back to ‘normal life’ with the men and the rest of the community.  And during this time these women wouldn’t lift a finger, would relax and rest with their sisters (I get it - periods are exhausting!) to just talk, laugh and cry together in this sacred tent during their 'Moontime'. A bit like last night - only in place of the tent (did I mention I HATE camping) it was held in my mate’s warm, cosy living room and luckily for her furniture, without us all bleeding in sync together.  

But it was beautiful.  I was so touched by the courage of them all - especially as some people had only met for the first time that night and already dared to share things from deep in their heart, that perhaps they have never told people close to them.  To witness and hold space for them felt like a deep honour and something even ‘miraculous’  when the relief was acknowledged amongst us of realising ‘Shit, I’m not the ONLY one who feels like that’. 

But when I got home I was relaying SOME of it..(what goes on in Red Tent STAYS in Red Tent!!).. to my fella, I explained that we would be taking it in turns to host(ess) the monthly session. He said. ‘Wow so you don’t have to run another one for a whole year’.

A WHOLE YEAR OF HAVING SPACE HELD FOR ME!! OH MY GOD. IMAGINE THAT ?

As soon as he said it I felt nervous AND excited. Scared AND relieved. Happy AND worried.

I've noticed recently that the balance of me actually receiving space/love/time/listening ears for ME has got so wonky. Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing, supportive, healthy, balanced equal friendships,  but the more events I’ve been running , the more I’ve found myself caught up in a cycle of giving and holding space for others and not finding situations back to receive that for myself. It’s probably happened by default, given that the work I do as a Kundalini yoga and Reiki teacher and therapist etc, but perhaps there was also an element of me being really comfortable with it being a bit one-sided.  Perhaps there was some safety in that imbalance for me as it meant I could indirectly do some more intimacy avoidance?  Where I didn't have to share back?  It’s ironic really that I facilitate so much Connection in the stuff I do (Shameless Plug: The next Connection Experiment starts in October if you want to join!) and yet I end up feeling lonely like I’m the one washing up, alone in my kitchen at my own party, with everyone else dancing in the other room ! (That has actually happened). Like I’m happier on the sidelines, not getting involved but secretly longing for that connection FOR me too.

Perhaps it comes from being a shy kid? Perhaps its from the fact I’m an Empath and get overwhelmed by the energy of Too Many People and have to retreat to recharge. Perhaps because I class myself as an introvert.  Or because I want to be in Control or because I like being so independant? Or perhaps the excuses are a cop-out and I’m just scared.

Whatever it is, recently there has been a deep longing in me to be also seen and heard. To NOT have to be there for others ALL the time as I’ve started to resent it a bit if there was no equal energy exchange back (i.e payment/balanced friendship).  People sometimes expect me to support or be there for them almost ‘on call’ and despite sometimes feeling swamped or overwhelmed by this - I have to take full responsibility and simply learn to strengthen my leaky boundaries so that my energy isn’t getting depleted when it feels one-sided.

This has also shown up in my Meditation Practice.  I am outing myself on here that so far, I have ONLY had any kind of practice because of others and not for myself. What I mean is that If I have a Reiki client or a yoga class or a workshop where I have to be on top form to support others - I will take time to meditate, protect myself, clear out my energy and put on my Batfink Love Wings to be able to ‘hold’ whatever gets thrown at me.  Bring it all to me - your tears, your shame, your doubt, your anger, your trauma, your fear - I can handle it. I will see you and hear you and accept you. You can say or do or be anything you like and I will be here loving and supporting you.  But on the other days, when it’s just little old me, the morning practice and any kind of connection with The Universe gets thrown out the window.

But the truth is that I HAVE CREATED THIS IMBALANCE MYSELF BY BEING UNABLE TO RECEIVE.

Even to the extent of making a brew -

Other Person: “Do you want a cuppa?”

Me (practically running to the kettle): “I’ll make it”

BOOM DEFLECTION! My work here is done. What on earth is that about ? Feel free to insert your own analysis - but I’m sure there’s loads of us like that.  Perhaps the Martyr in you recognises the Martyr in me ?!!

So FINALLY, after holding the group last night I GOT it - that I have to invite stuff in for me. More balanced friendships, more intimacy, more presence and listening, more support, more nurturing, and more cuddles for ME too.  And that starts with me, next month around the new moon, learning to share for myself and open up in this brand new women’s circle. I can’t wait! And since there are no sleeping bags, portaloos and rainy campsites involved, this is probably the first actual Tent I am genuinely excited about. 

Thursday
Sep062018

The Waiting Place

'...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting'

Dr Seuss (‘Oh the Places you’ll Go’)

 ‘Oh the Places you’ll Go’ is my favourite Dr Seuss book - I don’t know how many times I’ve read it and yet still I feel so uncomfortable when we get halfway through the story and he arrives at The Waiting Place.  I desperately want to skip over to the next page where he escapes and gets back to ‘the bright places - where Boom Bands are playing’...

The Waiting Place.  Perhaps you know it. Waiting for happiness, waiting for a new job, waiting for more money, waiting to feel good about yourself, waiting to fit into those skinny jeans, waiting for the love-of-your-life, waiting to get pregnant, waiting for Saturday, waiting to feel peace... the list goes on. Wishing our lives away to some point in the future which may or may not happen. 

I’m there today. I woke up feeling completely flat as the realisation dawned on me that I literally have no plans today. A small moment of relief came when I remembered I have to pick my fellas’ son up from school. Followed by the thought ‘That is 8 hours away!!!’  8 hours of nothing. Of waiting for 4pm. I DETEST the Waiting Place.  

Some of you would be overjoyed to have 8 precious hours for yourself. With nothing to do. A friend of mine is booked up until November. Everyday. She would be delighted to have the day off.  But not me;  I feel nervous and there’s a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach.

And what has actually changed since yesterday ? I am still the same person in the same life and yet I woke up to a changed state simply because I Have Nothing To Do today.

I gave up working 9-5 (cue Dolly) 10 years ago. Since then I have always had numerous jobs and have been extremely lucky in being relatively comfortable in The Uncertainty of Not Knowing where my money will come from each month. Apart from the odd 3am wobble, I have learnt to (mostly) trust that I am always abundant and to release control about where my next client will come from. And luckily for me, they always DO come. Turns out The Universe DOES actually provide. 

But in the past The Fear was always financially based and today it is different. It is still a similar feeling - Dread, Foreboding, Empty.  It’s partly Guilt. That Everyone Else is at work. But that’s not totally it.

This is a regular feeling in the Guesthouse of Kate Roberts (google Rumi’s poem if you don’t know it) every now and then, usually after a flurry of activity and events in my business; And I wake up completely anxious because my diary is TOTALLY EMPTY. 

I despise Not Being Busy. I am a doo-er.  I love it when Proactive Paula is in town and its all Go, Go, Go and I can..

GET.

SHIT.

DONE.

I feel happy, connected and in flow. Ooh I’m busy today ! I’ve got so much to do! Wearing Busy-ness as a badge of honour.  I LOVE being Busy.

So TODAY, Thursday 6th September 2018, purely based on the fact that technically I have nothing to do until 4pm - I am declaring myself officially Pointless.

The Existence of Kate Roberts is completely Futile!  

When did we start defining ourselves by our To-Do lists or our jobs or how busy we are?

I think so many of us can relate to this.  Its part of our society.  Like theres kudos in being busy.  In one of my old jobs in Recruitment we used to have to work till 8pm on a Wednesday night.  We all resented it so much so that I doubt anyone ever actually did any work for those extra 2hours but still there used to be this unspoken competition to be the last person out of the building. None of us left on time at 8pm. It was frowned upon to be the first to leave. There was also an unofficial rule hidden in 'banter' of being called a ‘Part-timer’ if you left at 8.01pm. What on earth is that about ?

And I would work the weekends sometimes. Sending an email to The Boss to make sure she knew I was in the office On A Sunday and making sure that Everybody else knew about it on the Monday morning, even though nobody else actually cared.  Wow, give that girl a pay rise. Actually it wasn't about the money - the Braggy Bertha in me was content enough with just feeling all smug and significant about how Busy she was in comparison to her Lazy Linda colleagues daring to have a whole weekend.

So what’s it about ? This feeling pointless simply because I don’t have anything to do? Why has DOING become my purpose anyway?

When I went on Mastin Kipp’s ‘Enter The Heart’ retreat we did an exercise to find our Purpose.  Having lost my job 2 months earlier I was well excited thinking that I’ll finally get the answers to the question what do I want to be when I grow up !!

During a meditation he asked us to recollect events from our past when we felt happy. Random memories popped up for me of a Family Holiday in the Isle of Wight in the 80s, A visit to Ayres rock in the 90s and a few days earlier; trekking up the top of an inactive volcano overlooking the clouds in Maui. 

When we came out of this trip down memory lane, he asked us to write a list of adjectives to describe the emotions in each of these moments.  They were all similar feelings: Joy, peace, happiness, gratitude etc but we had to pick the most powerful 2 feelings for ALL of these moments in our life so we could work out our Purpose - as he casually dropped in the bombshell line; ’....given that purpose is something you ARE not something you DO’.

Um? Could you just repeat that again for me ?  You’ve lost me, Mastin. Purpose you say ? Its related to BEING not DOING ? WHAAAAAAAAAAAT ??

He then proceeded to write on a whiteboard the following:

‘The Purpose of my life is to __________ myself and my higher power and feel the _____________ that results, whilst inspiring others to feel the same’

We had to fill in the blanks with our Top 2 feelings based on our Happy Place memories.  Mine were Love and Connection.

So let me get this right, my purpose on earth is purely to love myself (and ‘God/Source/Spirit/Them Lot’) and experience connection as a result of doing this. Oh and my mates will also benefit by indirectly getting to feel the same thing?

BOOM. That’s it. My purpose is to love myself. FULLSTOP. Nothing else mentioned: no jobs, careers, businesses, contribution, legacy, possessions, titles etc.

Just one thing on the To-Do list: BE LOVE

This goes against everything we know. All the bullshit we’re told about what defines us. What gives us a sense of worth. A sense of purpose. Why we are needed in the world. 

The point of us is LOVE.

Our Purpose is LOVE.

So today, I am going to try and remember that and not have a wobble about who I am and what I bring to the world.  And just LOVE. And that is the only thing on my To-Do list.

Turns out today I have the Best job in the world, after all.

Better get to it....

Wednesday
Jun132018

Just Reach Out (or rather don't)

In the wake of all the recent celebrity suicides, there have been many articles about depression going around encouraging people to speak out and talk to someone about what they’re going through.  I myself, offer free ‘Empathy Calls’ to all of my reiki clients where they can call me up and speak uninterrupted for 15minutes. At the end of each yoga cIass, whilst explaining that Kundalini Yoga can bring a lot of emotion to the surface, I say a similar thing - encouraging people to stay behind after class to speak it out or reach out on facebook in the next 48hours...  All very nice offers but despite my intentions, I realised that these are probably THE most ridiculously naive requests I have ever made! Why? Because when we are struggling, the last thing the majority of us are able to do is pick up the phone and call a friend, let alone a yoga teacher who is sat at the front, all serenely dressed in all white looking like...and I quote...’An Angel’ who clearly looks like they’ve got their shit together !!

In all of the years that I have been supporting people and holding space I think only 3 people have ever taken me up on the offer of receiving an Empathy Call! And I realised that those three people are probably some of the bravest souls I have ever met. To actually pick up the phone and say ‘I’m struggling - could you just listen whilst I speak it out’ to someone they hardly know - wow that is MASSIVE ! I doubt I would be able to do it.

In the age of the mobile phones and social media we’ve just simply stopped talking to people...y’know like, OUTLOUD...and actually RINGING people up....on the PHONE....  Gone are the days of just ‘calling for a chat’.  Even when considering making a spontaneous call there’s usually the loop of made-up assumptions going on in your head: ‘Oh she’ll be busy with the kids/work/her hubby/too knackered’, which often stop us from hitting dial. 

So what do we do? Absolutely Nothing.  We turn the telly on.  We scroll. We watch Netflix.  We prepare our Cave with chocolate and crisps and wine and blankets and we settle in for the night.  Alone.

And if we ARE aware of our need for support from someone we disguise it in a text message checking in first ‘Are you in for a catch up later?’.  (When did we start announcing that we are about to call?- like an old school telephone operator connecting the calls. Or worse still, planning a call in advance like its a corporate meeting ! - asking your friend to provide you a list of suitable evenings in the next 2 weeks when she might be able to chat. ) Perhaps its the fault of Caller ID and having the choice to screen a call -which suddenly added an extra layer of vulnerability - the chance to be rejected when your name flashes up on someone else’s phone.  The thought of your friend hitting the RED button rather than the green is so juicy to the ego’s ‘See? I told you you were unlovable - even your friends won’t take your calls!’

But it is a basic human need to be seen and heard.  And we know this deep down but it’s so hard to ask for that need to be met.  You’re leaving yourself wide open to getting hurt.  In the middle of opening up about your fears/sadness/despair there’s the chance that the other might give you any of the following responses.

Dismiss you: “I’m far too busy right now to listen to you. “

Spiritually shame you: “Be grateful - focus on what you DO have in your life. Remember the Law of Attraction”

Steal the limelight/Interrupt you: “Oh god I’ve had such a shit week too - let me tell you about it... “

Force Comparison: “You’ve broken your ankle? Well my friend has just been in a car crash and she nearly died. People have it MUCH worse than you...”

The British reaction: “Pull yourself together - keep a stiff upper lip”.

Make a joke: “Lighten up at least you’ve got your health”

Or the more subtle forms of stopping you mid-tears by handing you a tissue - subconsciously telling you “Please stop crying you’re making me feel really uncomfortable’”

All of those possible outcomes are terrifying to our little vulnerable hearts. Add that to the fear that no one could possibly love me when I’m down so I have to always smile and keep up The Gameshow Host Act. So what do we do ? We keep quiet.  Telling ourselves that it is definitely not safe to share and tell someone how you’re really feeling. DO NOT SHOW VULNERABILITY. KEEP YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. EVERYONE ELSE MANAGES TO DO THAT. NO ONE ELSE FEELS LIKE THIS.

But internally we’re in despair. We have a need for support. To be cared for. To be listened to. To be accepted. To be heard and seen in all of our emotions.  So instead of asking directly for our needs to be met we do it subtly.  Or passive aggressively!  And things start to leak out anyway.  We might do some hinting.  We might start snapping at close members of our family.  The road rage might step up a notch where you’re swearing your unhappiness out to unsuspecting fellow drivers. We might shout at our kids a bit louder. And externally project out our pain AT other people (silently screaming for someone to SEE us). Or the opposite -we might stop all contact with the outside world.  We might not reply to text messages. We might stop giving eye contact. We might avoid contact with others and totally withdraw. 

But none of those things are working. In fact it just causes further distance and isolation from your Loved Ones.  So we stay depressed. We stay anxious.  We take antidepressants. We contemplate suicide. Christ, our cunning Ego has a million and one tactics to keep us separate and alone. And it’s working.

At the retreat I just took part in, 12 out of the 12 women (me included) admitted to sometimes feeling lonely and waking up in the middle of the night worrying about how to exist. EVERY. SINGLE.WOMAN. And no one is talking about this. Not even to our mates. So we end up thinking that we’re The Only One. The Weird One. The Odd One Out..

So even though we’re always telling people to reach out...  Or call the helpline...Or go to the support group.... we’re still suffering alone in shameful silence.

So maybe there’s a different way. The opposite way. Perhaps The ones in pain shouldn’t have to be brave to ‘reach out’.  Perhaps The Others need to be the ones to SEE those who might be struggling. To be more diligent for what’s going on for other people.  To notice the red swollen eyes - Christ to LOOK in their eyes in the first place. To see that a snappy comment might be out of character. To offer support in the moment.  To talk more honestly.  To call during radio silence and ask how you’re doing.  To send a text message or a card or flowers to say I’m thinking of you. To utter the three words that everyone longs to hear: TELL. ME. MORE.

What we need more than anything in those moments of darkness when we can’t see our own light - is other people, a friend, a partner -  someone to care and love us, when we are incapable of loving ourselves.

So I’m still going to offer my Empathy Calls.  But perhaps acknowledge that reaching out and actually PICKING UP THE PHONE is too fucking scary.  So I’ll suggest that you just text me the codeword instead. What IS the codeword? Erm.. it’s ARMADILLO...er... obviously (?)... Rather bizzarely, as my friends know- It has ALWAYS been Armadillo. For years ! If there’s a bad date happening - text me Armadillo.  If you need to meet me at the bar and do some shots it WAS Armadillo. If you’re trapped with someone talking AT you, mouth Armadillo. And I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHY that became code for ‘HELP ME!’.  

So I just googled it now : Get this!: ‘Armadillos are barrel-shaped animals covered with natural armour. In fact, its name in Spanish means “little armoured one.” 

I LOVE THIS ! I got goosebumps reading it and tears welled up - because basically that’s what we are when we’re lost or down or sad or hurt or in despair - we become the little armoured one. Just like the Armadillo.  So perhaps instead of asking people to REMOVE their armour and open up...which let’s face it is bloomin hard (pun intended!) when you’re shut down, closed and protecting your little heart... So how about WE just care for THEM, protect them, notice them, listen to them and support them with so much love that EVENTUALLY they feel safe enough to take off the armour themselves?

 

Saturday
May262018

Mum's NOT the word (from Friday 4th May)

I had to go to the hospital today for further ‘investigations’ after the results of a smear were a bit ambiguous. ( It’s probably at this point that I need to point out to friends and family reading that the doctor  didn’t find anything sinister and everything was fine; a false alarm and I was reassured with a ‘come back in 12months’)

But during the examination, the doctor rather weirdly, asked ‘Do you want to have a look?’ and since I’ve never seen my insides and bless her, she was so enthusiastic I said yes.  But as I looked at the monitor and she pointed out my cervix and said “and that's where the baby comes out” - I promptly burst into tears.  I’d gone in there thinking about the cervical cancer that my mind had helpfully (and luckily inaccurately!) diagnosed me with, and in fact ended up being faced with the unexpected  grief of the realisation that no baby will ever come out of the teeny tiny hole the doctor had just pointed out on screen.  The harsh realisation: My cervix was redundant. Truth time.

I will never be a mother.

I will never be a mother.

I will never be a mother.

So I silently cried. And the doctor apologised and looked awkward.  But it was actually ok as I was ready.  I finally had to face it. I had to feel it. And grieve it. Partly because it was Time (- I’d just turned 43) but partly cos its hard to run away when you’re half naked with your legs akimbo in medical stirrups. ( I apologise - I’m making a joke cos this all feels very uncomfortable. And I’m sad. And embarrassed. )

Because the weirdest thing had happened in that room (as if 3 complete strangers looking at your bits, whilst asking about plans for the weekend wasn’t weird enough) I had looked at that monitor and WANTED a baby to be in there.  I knew logically this wasn’t a 12 week scan - but something in me had hoped that the letter got mixed up and the dodgy smear turned out to be a life growing inside me.  Yeh, I get it, you think I’m nuts -and of course logically I knew I wasn’t pregnant before attending my appointment, but my brain, (or heart?) was unable to process that.  For a split second I somehow found myself in a parallel universe expecting a happy future-based fantasy montage of ‘Congratulations Miss Roberts’ pregnancy talk.  So instead when, in reality, the chat turned to ‘nothing to see here’ reassurance about my imaginary tumour, I felt disappointed.  And sad. Because I knew I was never going to be pregnant.

I left the examination room and locked myself into the nearest toilet and cried at my feeling of ‘not good-enough-ness’. The WHATS WRONG WITH YOU ? Everyone Else has had children.  Or wants children. But I know I would be crap at it.  I wouldn’t be able to cope. I am too much of an Empath to care for someone else 24hours a day. I can’t even look after a kitten let alone a child. I am too selfish. I am different. I am not a real woman. 

And all these beliefs were highlighted by seeing my perfectly-intact cervix on that screen and I felt pointless at having been born as a woman.  What a waste. Like I hadn’t achieved what I was put on this earth to do. And I felt deep shame at that thought.  I know that sounds ridiculous in this day and age where women have so many choices but I guess that’s the point - It wasn’t EVER a choice.  I didn’t make an empowered decision to never have children. It was circumstance. It just didn’t happen for me.

But did I even WANT to be a mum ? The big question! Do I want kids? I don’t know. There’s not a soul shaking, bottom of my gut knowing.  There’s an ‘I’m not sure’.  And my brain isn’t happy with a grey area and the NOT knowing.  But I’m scared of finding out.  I don’t want to ask myself and hear the truth.  Because to actually hear the answer ‘Yes I want kids’ deep in my womb when I’m 43 and that chance has most likely passed me by, is just too difficult to face.  It would be too painful.   

So instead I like to protect myself by making up two versions of why I have never had children (whether I wanted them or not)

Theory ONE: If I wanted it THAT badly I would’ve MANIFESTED BECOMING A MOTHER:

Hypothesis:

The big things in my life that I had KNOWN I wanted (with every cell in my body) -  I MADE happen. I desperately wanted to go to Maui and despite having lost my job, I managed to raise £6k in three months to pay for. I went to Maui.  I wanted to run a marathon even though I couldn’t run more than 20mins. After one year’s training, I ran a marathon.  When I moved back from Amsterdam I missed cycling everywhere -so  I manifested not just ANY bike, a DUTCH bike- in Manchester ! You get the gist.  So I’ve convinced myself that I just wasn’t MEANT to be a Mother in the traditional form. 

Which leads me to Theory Number TWO: I was put on this earth to be a Mother in different ways: Hypothesis:

 Maybe my Maternal Instinct is playing out in different ways. Maybe I’m being a Mother when I teach my yoga or nurture my clients. Maybe I’m meant to just be a part-time step mum so I can conserve my energy. Maybe I’m meant to be the confidante to some 17+something year olds at my previous job so I can support them with stuff they definitely WOULDN’T tell their real mums

THEREFORE I WAS NOT MEANT TO BECOME A MOTHER. THE END.

Obviously I have reached this conclusion with the help of a lot of Spiritual bullshit and terminology like ‘MANIFESTATION’ (cos I’m THAT powerful and THAT in control of my destiny !!!) and sentences like CO-CREATION WITH THE UNIVERSE, like surely if I had wanted to have kids badly enough it would’ve happened for me, because y’know, ‘The Universe provides’.  But that just makes me livid, because there’s plenty of people out there who REALLY want to have kids and it didn’t happen for them, or despite them reading the ‘Calling in The One’ book - they just didn’t happen to meet the Right Guy. Or they were too old. Or they couldn’t have children. Or their partner couldn’t.

 I am certainly not about to use a Spiritual Bypass to disguise the fact that it is actually just really shit and extremely bad luck, not to mention painful and sad. It would be cruel and insensitive if I said to anyone else (other than me) ‘perhaps it wasn’t your Path’. Cos it’s fucking hard accepting your fate and rehashing every crossroad and sliding door that you missed, without someone else from the Spiritual Community telling you that it’s JUST NOT MEANT TO BE.

When I was a birth partner for a single mum friend, I was worried the night before the birth that when the baby arrived and I witnessed them instantly falling in love I would be jealous.  Like I already knew that that moment would never arrive for me in the future and that it might bring up some grief for me.  The grief never came. I was overjoyed for them both but the experience didn’t make me rush out to find a sperm donor either.  My womb wasn’t crying for my own child. But some friends have had that - they’ve desperately been trying for children to no avail and have experienced envy at pregnant women or gone down the IVF route.  But luckily for me I’ve never had that pull.  I’ve never felt my clock ticking or my ovaries stirring at the sight of a small baby

So in conclusion I think I want to WANT to have children. Which isn’t the same.

In fact if I’m honest what’s behind all this is that I WANT to be NORMAL.  Because I’m tired of feeling weird. Of feeling like the odd one out. And I just want acceptance that its ok to be different despite being, to quote Michael Jackson “not like the other guys”.  I am still enough without children and me and my unemployed womb will be ok. And dare I say it, happy, even if we didn’t fulfil our supposed purpose.

We’re all struggling with things we need to let go of.  Lost purposes.  Outcomes.  Future fantasies.  What ifs. Lifelong dreams. Getting our way. Control.  Daydreams, People changing.  Us changing. Things being different to what is.

But to do that, to accept the present moment - we need to get totally real and honest and brave.  I know to find my peace I need to feel sad and grief for the path I did not take.  For the things I am not.  And never will be.  And being ok with that.  So eventually  I can celebrate the things that I am. And become the things I’m meant to be.       

And until that happens being with the indecision and sitting with the ‘I don’t knows’ or the ‘What am I gonna dos?’ or the ‘I have no fucking idea what my gut is telling me’ and NOT knowing the answers.

I’ll leave you with this poem from a well known Guru; Gonzo from The Muppets (?!) which sums it all up beautifully -

‘I wish I had a coat of silk, the color of the sky.
I wish I had a lady fair, and then a butterfly
I wish I had a house of stone that looked down on the sea
But most of all I wish that I was someone else but me.

Now I don't have a coat of silk, but I still have the sky
Now I don't have a lady, but there goes a butterfly
Now I don't have a house of stone, but I can see the sea
Now most of all I know that I am happy to be me.
I'm happy to be me’

And by sharing this, I’m certainly not doing that other classic Spiritual put down which is meant to deflect our feelings where we are told to ‘focus on the positive’ or get out the Gratitude List for what we DO have.  No I am only suggesting that both verses can be true. That I can be grateful for the beautiful sky and feel gutted I haven’t got the coat of silk.  The Big AND.  That all the things can exist equally together at the same time. I want to be a mother/I don’t want to be a mother. I am in despair/I am full of hope. I can’t stand myself/ I’m happy to be me.

It’s the sitting in the middle knowing that all of it can be your truth and trusting (AND being terrified) that it’s ok because the contradictions are ALL part of you. And bringing love, acceptance and kindness to all of it.

 

 

 

Thursday
Apr262018

GUEST BLOG: Fatherhood by Spencer Jacobs (aka My Big Man) 

It is a joy to be talking about one of the most blessed part of my existence which is being a father.

It is the one aspect of my life that feels like the truest essence of who I am and who I want to be

I became a father at 45 after a long self-destructive period in my life

And Whilst my partying had slowed down I was still very immature

I was still held in the thrall of my inner adapted child. Sad, Self-centred and selfish

All of that began to change though on November 23rd 2012 at 12.23

As my son slowly floated up to the surface of the birthing pool in Crumpsall hospital

It felt like a hole in my heart had suddenly filled. I felt whole for the first time in my life

And what I’ve realised since that day is that what I felt within me was Purpose

a new purpose and I became richer because of that and I began to grow

I was, I am, still sometimes held in the thrall of that adapted child but something has changed in me

now when I think of who I used to be I feel compassion for that man

Before I became a father I held him in contempt

from the very first moment I saw Thomas it felt like being home

That may sound like a cliché but it’s a beautiful truth to me

Through my relationship with him I have learnt to experience Love with Trust

What a delicious phrase that is for me

Love with Trust

Loving with Trust opened up my eyes to how closed I had been in connecting with my fellow man

And Every day I spend with my son I learn something new about myself and about the world around me

One of the loveliest feelings I experience is when I connect to the nurturer inside me

My son helped me find it and through watching him connect to his when being in the world

I began to see we must all nurture each other in some way

Men must be fathers to everyone not just their own children and all men must nurture their fellow man

My son Thomas brings me Deep Joy

But. I’m only human and being a father and a worrier has meant that there is a darker side to fatherhood for me.

First there is The Fear

Sometimes I get so frightened by thoughts of the impending demise of either my son or myself that I have panic attacks.

I feel the fear flood my stomach like ice cold lava

Then there is the guilt

There are times when I’m so consumed with guilt about some mistake I think I’ve made

* Not being gentle enough

* Not being attentive enough

* Not being perfect enough

The guilt sits on my shoulders like bricks, weighing me down

Then there is the feeling of inadequacy

I see it in every perfect father I think I see. Their brilliance, their vitality is a light that shines on all of the limiting beliefs I have about myself

* I’m too old

* I’m too fat

* I’m nuts

This is when I feel the hole again in my heart

 

Ultimately though I know the truth is this

I have a son

Called Thomas Alan John Jacobs

He is 5

I love him

I feel blessed

I thank the Universe every day for him.

And I thank you all for listening to my truth.