Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Isn't this a lovely story with incredible illustrations?
Ok, it has been almost entirely a youtube week....no time to sit and contemplate.
No time to be still and quiet while sitting in front of the computer.
And it's friday already...which is more like my tuesday cause i worked last night, again tonight and on saturday.
Weekends don't feel like weekends when you are working them. Mabe I will get lucky and get called in for a day shift on sat and still make it to the bbq....that would be nice....
with love, Tricia
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Just a few minutes here to remind myself that we are all connected to the Universal Mother. That we are all embodiments of the Goddess and the Sacred Feminine. Reflections of the Divine.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sometimes you know without a doubt that you are exactly where you are suppose to be.
I had that intense affirmation as I sat amongst a drum circle, a visitor within a community, happily anticipating what was in store for the evening.
The "teacher" was a kind, compassionate, forgiving soul with a passion for music. Those who have sat next to me in a singing circle or who have recovered drums from my hands and replaced them with shakers, know that I am rhythmically challenged. That acknowledged I was a bit nervous about the "voice toning" aspect of the evening, that is, until we actually began the evening. All trepidation dissolved. Once again I was in the presence of a "teacher" who believed in the process and finding joy in the process, in taking the risk to try, in the journey not the destination.
He started out the evening getting everybody to stand and just step from one foot to the other until the whole room was entrained in this movement. That was the first sign, this was how my initial birthing From Within workshop got started as well. Entrainment is a powerful thing. Basically, getting into the same rhythm...the same current....it's chemistry, it's biology, it's nature. It's being pulled by the strongest force in the room....thus the relevance to birth. For a woman-centred birth she must be allowed to be the strongest force in the room around which everyone else becomes entrained. This must be taught in our culture today otherwise the caregiver (doctor/midwife) will be the strongest force around which the rest of the room becomes entrained. So there we were, stepping from side to side and you could feel the current, the energy, the pulse in the room. Then he added some sound (at which point the thinking brain steps in and it is harder to stay entrained unless you can shut off the thinking brain and resort back to instinct (again, like birth)) and from there the night was wonderful.
He talked about the cycles in music, in life, and how everything is just one big cyclical event and i was thinking how this might be a profound thought to some people but how in tune woman are or can be to these cycles because we are forced to live them whether we acknowledge that or not. It's one of the things that bothers me about our culture regarding menstruation and the pill and all the effort to make cycles shorter or non-existant....we loose touch with out natural rhythm and in doing so fail to see or feel the connection to nature, to the Mother Nature, to Mother Earth. It's so sad in many ways. But anyhow, I was there, listening and thinking about all the beautiful women in my life who honour their connection to cycles.
And then the chanting was so powerful for me in the moment that as I have said it moved me to tears. I knew I was where i was suppose to be. And I was so in the moment. That's what I love about chanting . Especially sanskrit, which means nothing to me but carries it's own energy just by the vibration the sound creates. Abnd everything else dissolves into that moment. Big sigh.
Empty your lungs. Let all your breathe out. Push it all the way out of your lungs.
Deep breathe in. Up through the diaghram, up through the chest, up, up, up and bog breathe out.
Synchronicity. Simple. Beautiful. It happens.
with love, Tricia
Saturday, June 12, 2010
By Gale Berkowitz
A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more.
Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a daily basis. A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. It's a stunning find that has turned five decades of stress research---most of it on men---upside down.
"Until this study was published, scientists generally believed that when people experience stress, they trigger a hormonal cascade that revs the body to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible," explains Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D., now an Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University and one of the study's authors. "It's an ancient survival mechanism left over from the time we were chased across the planet by saber-toothed tigers.
Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just "fight or flight." "In fact," says Dr. Klein, "it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the "fight or flight" response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead.
When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect. This calming response does not occur in men", says Dr. Klein, "because testosterone---which men produce in high levels when they're under stress---seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen", she adds, "seems to enhance it."
The discovery that women respond to stress differently than men was made in a classic "aha!" moment shared by two women scientists who were talking one day in a lab at UCLA. "There was this joke that when the women who worked in the lab were stressed, they came in, cleaned the lab, had coffee, and bonded", says Dr. Klein." When the men were stressed, they holed up somewhere on their own. I commented one day to fellow researcher Shelley Taylor that nearly 90% of the stress research is on males. I showed her the data from my lab, and the two of us knew instantly that we were onto something."
The women cleared their schedules and started meeting with one scientist after another from various research specialties. Very quickly, Drs. Klein and Taylor discovered that by not including women in stress research, scientists had made a huge mistake: The fact that women respond to stress differently than men has significant implications for our health. It may take some time for new studies to reveal all the ways that oxytocin encourages us to care for children and hang out with other women, but the "tend and befriend" notion developed by Drs. Klein and Taylor may explain why women consistently outlive men. Study after study has found that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol.
"There's no doubt," says Dr. Klein, "that friends are helping us live." In one study, for example, researchers found that people who had no friends increased their risk of death over a 6-month period. In another study, thoseh who had the most friends over a 9-year period cut their risk of death by more than 60%. Friends are also helping us live better.
The famed Nurses' Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having close friends or confidantes was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight!
And that's not all! When the researchers looked at how well the women functioned after the death of their spouse, they found that even in the face of this biggest stressor of all, those women who had a close friend confidante were more likely to survive the experience without any new physical impairments or permanent loss of vitality. Those without friends were not always so fortunate.
Yet if friends counter the stress that seems to swallow up so much of our life these days, if they keep us healthy and even add years to our life, why is it so hard to find time to be with them? That's a question that also troubles researcher Ruthellen Josselson, Ph.D., co-author of "Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls' and Women's Friendships (Three Rivers Press, 1998)."Every time we get overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships with other women," explains Dr. Josselson. "We push them right to the back burner. That's really a mistake because women are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another. And we need to have unpressured space in which we can do the special kind of talk that women do when they're with other women. It's a very healing experience."
Taylor, S. E., Klein, L.C., Lewis,B. P., Gruenewald, T. L., Gurung, R.A.R.,
& Updegraff, J. A. (2000).
"Female Responses to Stress: Tend and Befriend, Not Fight or
Flight",Psychological Review, 107(3), 41-429.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Once again another joyous escape into the ecstatic pulse of the drumbeat.
I was moved to tears as the whole room vibrated and resonated with the pulse and beat of not only the guitar, drone, and drum but also of the power of chant. Tears...i fought them back. I was overcome with emotion, with feeling, with being alive, with getting in touch, with release.
Big sigh. All the air out. Blow it away. again. return to centre. pause. Exhale. Breathe in. deep. forceful out breathe. close your eyes. listen. repeat.
Ahhh, it has been a week. I wanted to melt right there and blubber and sob and let it out. If it were any other gathering I would have. I pictured the leader of the workshop as Pam (England, BFW) and I know if she were there she would have welcomed the tears, she would have known another layer had been peeled away...finally...she would have looked me straight in the eye and challenged me to go deeper, to get in touch, to get angry perhaps. But it was not the time or place. So I talked myself down, I told myself what i was feeling was only a story I was telling myself, that it wasn't the real story...that eveything was a story.....
The pulse, the beat, the rhythm, the unity in a group of strangers. The energy, the beauty, the symetry, the syncronicity, the heartbeat.....
The muck, the mudiness, the struggle, the hurt, the fear, the future.....disolved for but a moment.
Thank-you. More. More. More. Enough.
with love, Tricia
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Yep. right again. I used the word the. The mom. Not a mom...anyone can be a mom but in each family there is noone that can replace, duplicate, fill in the shoes (no matter how big, how small or how crappy) of the mom.
So we went as four moms sans enfants. With big purses filled with all kinds of chocolate, snack mix, fuzzy peaches and natural gummy things plus one smart cookie had a water bottle full of gin. We sat in the very last row...four seats...perfect.
And the movie...well, it was kinda enjoyable. There were some really good scenes in that flick.
Today was one of those days (again) where the scene with the "true confessions of mommyhood" (take a sip) rang true once again. It seems like it should be simple. I just need them to get up, get ready, and go to school. Not so easy. So we ended up in a stand off once again. This time with Chloe locked in the bathroom, not coming out, actually getting cozy in the bathtub. This after I chased her around the kitchen with a scary look on my face and the closest thing possible in my hand, a piece of wooden train track...and I thought "move faster,get motivated, get out the door". She didn't try to hurry up and catch her ride, she leisurly stood there packing her bag, listening to the horn honking (huge irritation) and didn't attempt to speed up. UGH. So frustrating and I snapped. And she ran to bathroom and wouldn't come out. She later transfered to her room.
Where is my all expense paid trip to Abudabu when I need one? With friends and a private bar?
There is no Abudabi in my future. Thank goddess the friend part makes up for that! And the private bar? Not so much, but there are clothing swaps and full moon singing circles and potlucks to make up for it and to dip into too much sangria and more. There are open ears and open hearts and reflective eyes. There are lots of hugs and open arms. There is alot of "how can I help or what do you need".....
It just doesn't take the the from in front of the word "mom"...I'm still the mom. Dammit some days.
And the days not over yet.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Last night the kids played outside till bedtime and I gave them a snack, helped them brush their teeth and Lola just crawled into bed and was asleep before I turned the light off. Astrid was a little more determined to stay up, so as she lay sprawled on the recliner, head on the footrest, the rest of her body laying across the seat and arms of the recliner looking like a cat....she tried to stay awake. I went in the kitchen for a moment, walked by a few minutes later and she was hanging there, cat-like, upside down in the chair, asleep. I moved her to her bed shortly there after and began to dig through the pile of dvd's.
I settled on The Jane Austen Book Club. I am so glad I did! It was one of those wonderful little movies that had me grinning the whole time. Yes, it was delightful.
I love that kinda easy to watch, feel good, chic flick. Although, I think even the guys could appreciate this one. It was just good.
I realised, not that it's a surprise to me or anything, that I have never read a Jane Austen novel.
I know, shame on me( as my Catholic mother would say, not that she's ever read on either).
I think I will choose one for my summer reading.
Any suggestions from out there?
I may just start with the first one that shows up at the thrift store....or I could be more specific and choose one and hunt it down at the second hand bookstore.
I havn't decided yet.
with love, Tricia
Monday, June 7, 2010
Not so much.
I am still on borrowed time whilst I sit here and type. (one handed I might add because I learned to type and breastfeed or hold a babe and thus the one handed typing thing)
So the meditation thing.....sweet story.
Yesterday I was bound to the usual routine of hunting and gathering the groceries for the week and Saige needed to clean the yoga studio. So off we went. She was in a good mood perhaps from reeling in a good haul of babysitting cash over the weekend. For whatever reason she decided to be uncharacteristically generous and bought me a blended coffee from Blendz. Then we started to drive and she cranked, I mean CRANKED the Lady Ga Ga on the stereo. She danced and sang in the passenger seat beside me and I could feel her exuberance like rays of sunshine.
It was loud. Real loud. I just drove. I didn't reach to turn it down. I didn't comment on how loud it was. I found myself meditating to Lady Ga Ga. I moved my shoulders up and down to the beat a few times, I might have sang along with a chorus or two but for the most part I just didn't try to change it. I just noticed my thoughts and my daughter enjoying herSELF and we drove home vibrating with the rhythm.
It was a good moment.
It is a small town though and I was wishing that I had been wearing a pair of dark sunglasses.
with love, Tricia
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Hmmm...always interesting. I never peek ahead to see what the next four lines will be...
Wouldn't it be fun to copy some of these out on paper and start leaving them around the city for people to find? Not quite hidden between stones and mortar, but kinda....
with love, Tricia
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I found this cool demo and wonderful art site....
I love the idea of the zendala...
I wanted to show you the one I did but, the batteries are dead on the camera and they have to charge before I can upload it.....
So, give it a try....I used a dvd that was sitting her beside me to start and a piece of blank printer paper...and a fine point sharpie.....
It is fun! And medatative!
I simply decided we would follow friends to the park to enjoy the sunshine and the whining and fighting began!
I can definitely see some days how it would be easier to have half the kids I have....
Oh, the stink eye and attitude from the Big Girls because I choose to zip over to the park so their sisters could enjoy some play time. The whining and complaining and effort to be miserable.
The worst part : the witnesses. Yep. It is at times like these that I would prefer to throw them all back into the van (whining, complaining,fighting) and drive home and LOCK MYSELF IN MY BEDROOM. Perhaps even enjoy a bit of a pity party over the lousy behaviour exhibited by my children...in public, no less. And mabe even stroll for awhile down that path of "where did I go wrong?"....and then eat some hidden lindt easter eggs....and get ready to emerge from my cocoon of denial. I said I would prefer to do this...what I did was resist the urge to throttle the two oldest kids, let the younger kids play (when they weren't being harassed by their older sisters) and stayed a few minutes longer than I might have if they had been cooperating. And I just kinda "noticed" the feelings that were coming up. In my head I was having a full on temper tantrum to match the full on teenage tantrums I was subjected to. Subjected...sounds victim-ish...it is...I was feeling that way...I just didn't respond that way...outwards.
Yep. Other moms at the park with their still "controlable" kids under the age of....7...or so. Most likely thinking to themselves that they will never let their kids behave like that...let alone in public. I've learned never to say "never"....there may always be a first time.
And really, are my on the "way to adulthood" kids not responsible for their own lousy behaviour by now....How long am I held responsible? Just wondering.
Things seemed to settled down once we were home but i am still searching the internet for an exchange program (minus the exchange) that I can send them on to experience a different culture. Preferably one without internet, cable, plumbing or readily available food. You know, something that would help them realise how good they've got it...even when forced to enjoy a few minutes in the sunshine at the park.
with love, Tricia
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