The day I gave birth to my son, Harper, I made a birthday cake. I cleaned, I organized, I made pumpkin mousse pies for Thanksgiving visitors. I nested.
Fast forward 15 hours and I was home again with a newborn and a sore bottom. The birthing classes, the conversations with my midwife, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, journaling exercises from Birthing From Within—nothing prepared me for the experience of birthing. It was terrifying, exhilarating and hands-down the most powerful experience of my life. Naked and kneeling, I moaned and grunted through labor. And, birthed my own way into motherhood as I pushed my baby into the world. My life would forever be different in ways unimagined by me before that moment.
Our first days at home filled with family visitors, breastfeeding dilemmas and the constant slinging and rocking of baby Harper. All that I had heard about newborns sleeping for the first few weeks went out the window as my child demanded to be held constantly for those first four days. Listening to this little person, I adapted and followed his lead by nursing on demand, wearing him in my sling, and sharing a family bed.
This child of mine continues to surprise me. And overwhelm me with feelings so huge I sometimes don’t know how to contain them all. What began in those first few days as demanding cries are now the adament questions of a preschooler. This boy is a bundle of exuberance, tenacity, and sensitivity. He is both assertive and loving. And he is still my babe.
Harper, we love you so. And we will be celebrating your birthday all week long!
p.s. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
photo taken on retreat, October 2009
“When we focus our energy towards constructing a passionate, meaningful life, we are tossing a pebble into the world, creating a beautiful ripple effect of inspiration. When one person follows a dream, tries something new, or takes a daring leap, everyone nearby feels that energy, and before too long they are making their own daring leaps and inspiring yet another circle.” Christine Mason Miller, Ordinary Sparkling Moments
I came across this post from a Kirtsy link. It asks, what’s on your fridge?
As of late we have an assortment: a handwritten menu of this week’s suppers, a card from my mom that reads “can you feel it…sending you positive energy,” two pictures of Harper, this week’s preschool calendar, a magazine page of a renovated Airstream trailer, and a Nikki McClure calendar which is a holiday gift I receive every year from a dear friend. And then there are the magnets; one is from the vet, still front and center even though Sophie our golden retriever died in June this year. Another is from Prevail, the victim services organization in Indiana where I led a workshop this summer. Two more are inspiring quotes from my mom. And, there’s the one that’s a running joke between Joe and I that I’m too embarrassed to even share.
I like this assortment.
I’m also amazed at how accurate it highlights what our world is filled with right now. Like the intention to eat healthy homemade meals. The connection to family and friends. The dreams waiting patiently for life.
And so I’m curious…what’s on your refrigerator? What is it telling you about your focus, your energy, your life today? What messages are you getting? What is it reflecting back to you?
I’m falling in love. With people and places online. With their creations and their thoughts. With their honesty and questions. With their humor.
Here are a few posts and peeps of late that I’m digging:
- the spirit of NieNie over at the NieNie Dialogues
- this collage and accompanied words by Kelly Rae Roberts
- permission to leap–or not in this post by Havi Brooks
- this amazing, lovely project
- the reminder from Jen Louden that when patterns come up once again, we simply have more to learn
- these necklaces that come with superpowers
- Sarah and her honesty here
- and last but not least, Naomi’s mission here to help us all create work of our own
This week was all about laughter in Martha Beck’s The Joy Diet. What makes me laugh most is this little one:
These photos were taken two years ago during a photo shoot for my website. I left him with the photographers for five minutes as I changed and this is what a bag of m & ms can do to a child!
If this book is about (re)discovering joy, my little one is my guide. He constantly is bringing me back into the present moment. He often reminds me of the little things, the wonder of it all. He leads me into practicing nothing, as Martha would encourage, when I need a “mommy time-out.”
And all the funny things he says and does? The highlights this week have been dancing to LL Cool J and Neil Diamond in the kitchen, jumping in a five-foot tall pile of leaves, “decorating” his bedroom with cut-out pictures we’ve just colored (string and oodles of tape are must-haves), and telling his daddy he wants to ride home with him from pizza out so that “they could say bad words.”
Living with a preschooler is a trip. A joyful one. One I want to fully, fully experience.
How is laughter showing up in your life this week?
What did you do the night of 9/11?
This is the question Martha Beck asks in this chapter of The Joy Diet, for The Next Chapter. She says our answers are a strong indicator of our real careers, the action our hearts and souls want to take. At first, I wasn’t sure if my answer amounted to much of anything. Until I absorbed my answer: I witnessed, cared for myself gently, connected with loved ones (especially with my husband who was traveling in Canada at the time), and carried on. And as the days rippled forward, I repeated each of these steps over and over. Naturally.
Witnessing. Self-care. Connecting. Family. And then doing what needs to get done.
That’s what I do.
That’s why I am a coach. And why I lead retreats.
That’s what my heart and soul long to do over and over, even if I weren’t paid for it.
One simple question. Telling answers. What’s yours?
It’s Wishcasting Wednesday once again over at Jaime Ridler Studios. Today she asks, ‘what do you wish to experience?’
Here’s what comes to mind this morning for me:
- peace with what is
- a walk on the beach
- a return visit to Manka’s Inverness Lodge with my hubby
- deep delight
- farmer’s market omelets this Saturday morning
- one more day as an eight year old in the little green Indiana farm house I grew up in
- an afternoon of card-playing with my grandparents
- juicy learning, like with the Mondo Beyondo course or this retreat
- a long lunch at The Attic with my dear friend, Lindsay
- more work that matters, like the retreat I co-led with 13 formerly incarcerated survivors of domestic violence [their choice of title]
- treasure-hunting with my friend Christy to decorate my new home with funky style
- an eating tour of Paris
- the experience of being a new mom once again
- a luscious retreat in Big Sur or here
- a lingering meal at The French Laundry
- the creation of a community and sacred creative space for advocates/changemakers/dogooders to be inspired
- a visit to the infamous commune, The Farm
- the co-creation of a weekend retreat extravaganza for advocates with rock stars like Havi, Danielle and Susannah
- travel around the country like the Wanderlusters with my fam
I could go on and on. But I’ll never get this posted if I do.
What do you wish to experience?