The Red Cloak

This is artwork I did today with my family. We’ve been making art together, and it feels so good. We each made our own piece today, but sometimes we make one piece together. I love making art. I has been a while since I’ve made space for really making art, and now I remember how therapeutic it is.  When art is therapy, it is about the process and not the product.

This painting is about what is processing inside of me now–there are themes of the shadow of a child, the red protective cloak, facing the strength of the tree which gives life and is firmly rooted, the winds of change, cycle of life, release of the old, room for the new, room to grow, birds, leaves, and feathers. There might be more that I am not seeing and will see as time goes on.

Little Red Riding Hood has significance here, and I am not sure yet what it is.  She was a significant character in my childhood and is still significant in my Early Recollections. Some people see her as a metaphor for sexual awakening and temptation, or on the other hand, for learning about deceit.  It can be a symbol for maturity and coming of age.  The woods are exciting and dangerous at the same time, and can allude to temptation, courage, sexuality, and maturity again. Maybe there is possibility and potential, there is courage to face the unknown. Maybe there is a need to be virtuous and fighting the temptation to go astray.

What do you see?



Growth and Movement

What is life without growth and movement?

In Adlerian terms, movement equals life.  Once movement ceases, there is no life.  We have the choice in which direction and how to move in our own life.  When we fully own that responsibility, we can align with our true selves and live a healthy and purposeful life.

I have been thinking about this lately, during a time of intense challenge that has me growing and moving more quickly than I’ve done in a long time.  I am quite busy with learning and growing and changing, and it is scary and also wonderful.  Challenges are opportunities for growth and change.

I am also beginning the “parting” process between Anna’s babyhood and me.  It’s a process I’ve been dreading for a while, and I’ve seen it coming.  I am a griever.  Letting go is hard for me.  It seems that the more I heal myself, the more easily I am able to make these transitions without getting stuck in the grief process.  I have cried a few times about the “no more babies” topic, and maybe I will some more. And really, we can grieve and be grateful at the same time.  Happy it happened, sad that it’s over, and life goes on.  Making room for the new, all in the name of movement and change.



Do you want to be a part of a Freezer Meal Club?

I do! 

So I am just putting it out there, in case someone else who reads this wants to do it with me.  It would take just one other person to start, and we can go from there.

Here is where I read about it and got the idea.  There are a 60 recipes on the website and they look good!

We would get together once a month and swap our freezer meals, and go home with a bunch of meals to last the rest of the month.  

Do you want to do this with me?

Aries New Moon 2014

Tonight is Aries New Moon, or Treasure-map-making day.  

This will be my third year of making a Treasure Map, and it is something I really enjoy and that helps keep me focused on my goals for the year.  It is really fun to see what comes of it and what doesn’t–and usually it works out for the best, even if I don’t end up getting what I wanted initially.  A couple of years ago on my treasure map, I wanted another baby and a farm.  Well, that did not happen, and something else happened instead.  I learned who I am, and I learned that what I needed was not a baby or a farm.  I was presented with other opportunities and also with closure and the ability to let go.  We don’t always know what is best for us.  Sometimes we can trust that only the best will come to us, and if we keep our eyes open, it will come.

Treasure Map 2014

1. Become a doula

2. Get an internship that fits my life perfectly

3. Enjoy speaking/sharing my thoughts in groups

4. Heal what needs healing

5. Healthy, harmonious, and meaningful relationships

6. Good physical and mental health for Alan, Mia, Anna and me

7. Make wise decisions

8. Feel calm and at peace.

Homeschool again?

Mia has started having burnout from school.  Since starting last January, she’s been excited and motivated about school, although some weeks has felt a bit overwhelmed, too.  Lately it’s been pretty consistent for her to feel overwhelmed and burnt out.  She asked me last night if she can be home schooled next year.

While I am dealing with a lot of personal issues right now, this topic is definitely on the front burner today.  I am open to the possibility, for sure. I am thinking of all the possibilities; I think anything is possible if we really want it.  This challenge, however, comes at a time where I will be interning and taking classes.  I can’t be home all the time.  In addition, after graduation I need 4000 hours of supervised hours in order to become licensed.  That is 2 years full time, 4 years part time.  I could maybe manage the part time and homeschool, too, but clearly I am interested in getting licensed as soon as possible.  What to do…

I completely understand where Mia is coming from.  The workload is quite astounding.  There is little time for relaxation during the week and on Sunday.  For a fourth grader, this would certainly feel overwhelming.  She is still a kid.  She is supposed to have fun and play!  Home schooling is so efficient and low-stress.  Home school is also a big piece on my plate.  

I have to figure out if this is something I am willing and able to put back on my plate.  I would have to enlist some help.  I would likely need a nanny of some sort when I am at school or internship.  Although, she would be 10/11 years old next year.  Maybe she could stay home by herself for a few hours when necessary and do her online schooling.

Another option that could be very viable is that she transfers to an Open school in SW Minneapolis, one I have been eyeing for a while.  They have no to very little homework.  The neighborhood is lovely, and we could move there.  I put in the application for the lottery and I suppose we will go from there.  This would be an ideal situation for me and probably for the girls, too.

Anna has no interest in homeschooling, so I would have one kid here and one kid at school, just as I do now!


Inviting healing and positive energy: I deserve love and I matter!

My friend Alyssa got me to thinking about this, so I have her to thank for this post.

When we’re in pain, we want to express it and feel it, and this is an important part of the healing process.  If we stay in this part of the process, however, we can get stuck here.  Being stuck in feeling the pain and negative energy invites more of it into our lives, and we soon find ourselves surrounded by painful situations.

I’ve come to believe in this Law of Attraction, and although I forget to practice it much of the time, it helps so much when I do remember that we are in charge of our thoughts.  Our thoughts shape our feelings, perceptions, and our lives.  Like attracts like. Our word choices and where we put our energy are very important in this Law of Attraction. When I first heard about this, I did not believe it.  Then I practiced it and saw things change.  Our thoughts and beliefs really do attract or repel people and situations.  Our mindsets and attitudes shape our existence.  It’s wild.

The last couple of weeks or more, I have been in a cycle of some serious purging of old feelings, memories, and beliefs.  My class has a hand in this, and it’s been helpful. I’ve gone through this several times in my adult life, but this time is the most deep and intense healing session I’ve ever experienced. Medical nomenclature would call it PTSD, but since I am not a big fan of labels, let’s call it “healing”!  Let’s also say that I invited this; I put it into the universe that I wanted to heal, once and for all, so that I could move forward in my own life and on my journey to becoming a therapist.  I am tired of that wall in front of me and I am truly willing and ready to let it go now. And that kicked things into full gear.

I have periods of calm between the storms, and that is wonderful and also necessary.  It makes me think of the process of birth, and how we have contractions for a short time and then a period of rest.  Like birth can be, some of it is so uncomfortable and I am not sure I can handle it.  Then I think of my choices: move through it and keep an eye on my ultimate goal, or give up and succumb to the pain, going back to my old ways and keeping my old belief systems.

When I am in the thick of it and feeling like I want to quit or die: if I remember, I do a little bilateral stimulation, affirmations, and/or the “5 things” trick I learned from my friend, Meghan.  The “5 Things” trick works like this: when you are in your right brain, ie all emotion and no rationality, look around the room at 5 separate objects and label them.  It works almost immediately to connect you once again to your left brain and gets you to thinking more rationally.  Still, I have to feel the discomfort until my body is able to let it go.  It’s that discomfort that’s so hard to face.

The crappy result of all of this healing I am going through is that I have a very low threshold for other stress in my life. Needless to say, this affects my family and especially Alan. Luckily they are extremely forgiving, and amazingly, they continue to love me.  Then I have to pinch myself sometimes.  This continued love, despite my mistakes, goes against my mistaken beliefs that I have to be good to earn love.  They love me as I am, no matter what. That’s pretty wonderful and it’s also hard to believe sometimes. I deserve to be loved! I MATTER!

I am visualizing, thanks to Alan’s intuitive input, that there is a dark grey cloud inside of my body and it is slowly coming out, turning to dust and flying out the window.  That really helps me.  I can control the speed at which it comes out, and I can do it at the pace I am able to.  Then I can release it and send it away.

Anna had her 5th birthday this weekend.  Despite my emotional roller coaster ride, plus dealing with the sentimentalism I always feel on my kids’ birthdays, it was a delightful day.  Anna is a bundle of joy and delight, and she fills my heart with love.  Children are such a gift.  Love is such a gift.


Quote that I like

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.  The world will not have it.  It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.  It is your business to keep yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.  ~ Martha Graham


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