The Honesty Exchange (Revisited)

This may start a little strange but the advice is solid!

Polyammering

I wrote a post many moons ago about this concept, but it was through the lens of two back-to-back relationships ending. The concept behind it was sound and something I continue to practice in my daily life, but the examples I used to present it back then were, in my opinion, too personal and not the most effective ones to get the message across. This is my attempt to do it better.


In the world of kink and BDSM, we talk about the “power exchange.” I love to focus on the word “exchange,” not as a “one gives and one takes,” but as a mutual give and take between the people involved. It looks a little bit like the symbol for recycling – not a one-for-one exchange, but symbiotic exchange running on a continuous loop.

This particular post isn’t so much about the exchange of power in BDSM, but about…

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Stick With It

A lady close to my own heart. Always trying to grow and nurture her better selves to come to the fore!

Cynthia Harrison

Rewrote the end of the manuscript I’ve been working on for a few years now. The first and last chapters always need the most revision. But I think this time I’ve got it. The photo is of the finally finished product. I say finished by that’s just the story I’ve told. Now I need to edit, add chapter headings, and construct a timeline. These are things I’d rather not do, but do them I must. Only then, when I feel the narrative is as tight and the writing as polished as I want it to be, can I send it to my editor.

I have a lot of experience sticking to my writing projects. In other areas of life, I’m not so great. I’ve gained and lost weight for 25 years, never able to stay for long on the slim end of the scale. I’ve also started and abandoned every…

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Transformation and Productivity

Maybe some of you fine folks noticed that I haven’t blogged in a few months. I missed keeping you informed of how I laughed all the way to the sanitarium. Well life has been very rich to say the least. I have two new fingers, well kinda new. I attacked my old ones accidently, when I lost all connection between my head and body, and in particular my heart. I lost my temper and stabbed down on a cutting board while cutting carrots and severed my pinky and ring finger tendons because my birthday celebration didn’t go as planned. It took a millisecond to do so much damage, the cuts looked insignificant yet my two fingers were instantly paralyzed.

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The truth was I hadn’t really made a plan for my birthday, I’d expected poor hubby to conjure up the perfect experience alone. In the end, we had a sick kid to deal with and that took priority. Yet my inner three-year-old self felt neglected and had a tantrum because she didn’t get her way. I had forgotten to nurture her as the adult.

Oh boy this confession idea is tricky. So my writing production declined severely as I got my finger tendons reconnected and learnt to reuse them.

I am very fortunate in comparison to people dealing with major health altering events. A plastic hand surgeon repaired my pinky for five hours. Just imagine how tiny the inner workings of a pinky are and his patience and commitment. I’m very grateful for his expertise, skill and due diligence. I had promised myself that I would never have plastic surgery, well look where that got me. At least my hand was being held for the entire time, I couldn’t have asked for better service. The adorable surgeon was meticulous and said “Despite your best efforts you haven’t ruined all my hard work.” I didn’t really follow the post- operative protocol as shopping bags are heavy and can’t be ignored.

I’ve also been under the care of an amazing occupational therapist, who has given me every finger stretching torture device you could imagine and my fingers can move again. I hope to regain at least 95.5% of my fingers’ former abilities and for that I am very grateful.

My hand accident has been a tremendous gift to me. Throughout this premenopausal period, I’ve focused on healing a lot of old hurts, a divine time to do this kind of work. Childhood traumas take a tremendous amount of work to accept. But I’m even more determined to come closer to that illustrious inner peace thingy-me-bob. Closure is impossible but a calm mind is something that I can aim for.

I’ve had a lot of time to think and I realized that I need to be more independent and enjoy having more space in general. Most importantly I want to create some personal finances. Staying-at-home reduced my self-esteem so I need to take steps to improve this. Yikes!

 

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My hubby is very supportive but I know it’s time to take baby steps in the right direction. I dream of being a successful writer one day and of making a decent salary but I need multiple income sources to feel secure.

I’ve managed to finish my first steps by certifying as a Yoga Instructor. I completed the beginner’s 200 hour course despite my hand injury and soul searching. I’ve taught one garden class so far and loved it. It’s more frightening than standing in front of 30 teenagers teaching in a classroom setting. Who knew!

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Although I still spend an inordinate amount of time bending and torturing my fingers and thinking I should be doing something more, I can type again. So I’m back to editing and reworking my novel’s chapters. Sometimes I feel stuck and other days I fly through chores, exercise, dog-walks and start editing before lunch. Those days are too few right now, I’m plagued by a lack of focus. It’s frustrating.

Therefore I decided to research specific personality traits in order to make sense of my dawdling and anger impulses. There are many different character types and I resonated towards the three below:

  1. Securely centered adults tend to have positive views of themselves, their partners and their attachments. They feel comfortable with intimacy and independence, and balance them fairly easily. I am occasionally in this category.
  2. Stressed out – Overthinking adults seek a lot of intimacy, approval and responsiveness from partners, often being needy. They tend to be less trusting, have less positive views about themselves and their loved ones, and may show high levels of emotional expressiveness, stress and impulsiveness in their relationships. Oh dear this is more like it and sadly I can put my hand up to much of this description. Sigh. Deep breath, where’s my chamomile tea?
  3. Fearful-avoidant adults have mixed feelings about close relationships, both desiring and feeling uncomfortable with emotional closeness. They do not trust their partners and view themselves as unworthy. This sounds self-absorbed and I guess I am because I write about myself a lot, yet it pains me to accept that a part of me is a fearful avoidant adult.

In an attempt to be truthful in my blog I admit that I veer towards the last two behaviors. I’m a fearful, angry person at times and that’s a very hard statement for me to accept. I’ve been very independent most of my life until I met my hubby and I’ve grown a bit frazzled and complacent looking after kids for 14 years. So as they grow up and need me less I can focus on being more purposeful and less stressed with more time for ME.

Therefore, I’m facing the second part of my life and bringing the idea of transformation  to center stage. I have new, slightly stiff fingers, a saggy belly and greying hair. I’ve decided to embrace this aging process so I’m going to let my hair dye grow out.

Dr. Mercola recently claimed that 90% of toxic chemicals are absorbed into the body via the mouth or skin. Toxins shrivel up my precious brain cells. I need to protect my brain when I can. Perhaps I’ll still have my pink streaks from time to time as they make me smile. I’m not going completely natural just yet.

I’m also trying to be more grateful to everyone and kinder. I have a mean angry streak and I don’t like it but I can focus on the better parts of the rest of me.

So I’m offering myself more self-love, pats on the back and self-massage on Mother earth (spiraling and circling on my back does wonders for anxiety).

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I am learning to recognize and have little chats with my inner angry three-year-old and my hormonal grumpy teen-self. They both need adult validation, support and love.

Here are some of the tools I use to reduce stress:

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tap on your head, face and chest midline meridians and say the mantra “Despite the fact I’m a grumpy bear sometimes, I deeply love and accept myself.” If you say if enough times you begin to believe it. Check it out on U tube for a more detailed description.

MIRROR WORK – I say “I love you” in the mirror when I remember. It makes me smile.

THERAPY – I see my therapist weekly and love her because she tells me I’m charming.

YOGA – learning more about the yoga world and having a regular practice is one the best changes I’ve ever made. I’ve only touched the surface but it’s transformed my breathing, standing, posture and mood. Never mind, helping firm the saggy parts.

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MEDITATION – I have been listening to the Insight Timer Ap’s inspiring guided meditations on a regular basis, sometimes while walking the dog or brushing my teeth.

ANIMAL CARE – I’m trying to be more compassionate to our pup, who represents a frightened younger part of myself. It took me 20 minutes to persuade him to take a walk last night. But I took the time even though it was 10p.m. and I was exhausted. When he’s hiding under his bush and refusing to come out I may have called him “little fucker” but hey I’m human.

READING – I believe in reading self-help books. Two recommendations are Calm Cure by Sandy Newbigging and The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron.

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This was a tricky blog to write. Procrastination and admitting my weaknesses aren’t easy yet Perfection is so boring! 

I claim my right to be a permanent work in progress.

I hope it inspires you to think about your needs, and what you want to work on next.

Please let me know what reduces your stress and helps you overcome procrastination.

Keep smiling it transfers positive energy – there’s a shortage!

 

 

 

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Watch Who’s Watching

Source: Watch Who’s Watching

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A Rush of Productivity – or Not?

This grand title for my latest post seems mighty ironic sitting where I am right now. Since returning from London at Christmas, I’ve been knocked back by several viruses and have felt lousy. So the productive fairy hasn’t arrived yet.

On reflection, I’m not sure that she’s welcome any way. Sure I have 14 things on my to-do list, which doesn’t include finishing my novel, oops. I feel more secure about these day-to-day projects as I’ve given them a legitimate home on a reminder list. But are these the true priorities that I want to focus on?

My daughter had a run of bad luck too. She fractured her ankle and without a single tear just got on with it . The medical boot was heavy and awkward, but she wore it for a month and didn’t complain. She got the same stomach virus I did and puked all night and never moaned, or cried. I can tell you I did.

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My daughter also told me recently that I hadn’t been spending enough time on her and I didn’t know what was happening in her school life. She was right of course. Her grades had been fine so I’d taken her off my concern radar, but she wanted me to be connected and I hadn’t been. It didn’t take much to plug back in, a couple of science project clean-ups in the kitchen, where she distilled clean water. Who knew that water distillation could be done with a pot, a bowl and some ice? Very useful if our clean water supply runs out.

I’ve got spontaneous hugs from my daughter, now that I’m paying closer attention to her. That never happened before.

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My son and I have a strong, steady relationship, I let him sneak in an extra bit of screen time and forget to mention this to Dad and he’s happy.

He also had the stomach virus and didn’t even wake us up!

His grades and homework, well, like me, he could be a bit more productive. But he’s a happy bunny rabbit most of the time. He tells hubby and me when we misbehave and encourages group hugs when we’re mad at each other.

So I’m not embarrassed to admit that my kids are my new role models and mentors.

My New Year promises to myself may not have materialized yet, but I’m strangely happier as a result. I’ve managed to keep a clear pathway from the living room to the kitchen and clean clothes on everyone’s back. My hubby’s on a detox plan so I’ve cooked less too. I’ve sat and cuddled him more recently, and it feels warm, cozy and loving.

It’s been a great basic start to 2017.

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I’m not promoting a bout of sickness, NO!

However, I can see the spaces between the myriad of leaves on the forest floor.

There simply isn’t a right and wrong, there’s only I’m doing the best I can with the knowledge and past experience that I have.

So don’t beat yourself up about a grand 2017 scheme of greatness.

Stop, tickle your kids’, or your dog’s or hubby’s belly.

Time outs help us regroup and summon up the energy to keep on going. Life doesn’t really get easier, we just need to be kinder to ourselves and smarter. Priorities – well you have to figure out those for yourself. But my expectations of self are lower and I’m trying to make my judgments more lenient. I fail consistently!

I’ll end on a note of gratitude. I’ve learned a new way to fold my laundry. It’s based on the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo (Author)

Maybe I’ll post a short video with the technique, but the fabulous thing about the method is, Ms. Kondo asks us to thank each item of clothing for its service to our family and ourselves as we fold it. This fills me with gratitude and it makes my drawers look lovely when everything is so thin and lined up. My kids’ drawers look splendid for a day or two at least. I hate folding normally but this is cathartic.

I truly believe that my body believes every word I say and think. So it’s great to find new opportunities to spark joy and positive thoughts. So I gotta watch my tongue and get back to healing, growing stronger and taking baby steps with my to-do list. I’ve got a bit of a temper too, so maybe I need to look into that and let go of that sucker and all it’s disappointments. Oh I’ve boundary issues too and I fart a lot and …..

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Happy Folding and Positive whispers only!

Amazon link to Marie Kondo’s best-selling book:

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing-ebook/dp/B00KK0PICK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485280783&sr=1-1&keywords=kondo+method

 

My Fabulous Yoga Teacher, Patty Holmes, at Yoga Garden  in White Plains shared these fabulous links with me and I’m passing them to you. Love “The Things I Wish someone Had told me.”

Insight Timer top free meditation app. may spark a daily practice. Give it a try!

Sarah Blondin Podcast: Live Awake – two great meditations – Make                           it Sacred and Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Special Gift:  Long Time Sun a special song to give to ourselves, the ones we love.

Thank you Patty!

 

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Author Confessions Round 9

I’m a panster when I write.  I don’t outline, don’t use storyboards, and don’t formula write. I have a sense of where I want to start and I know what direction I’m goi…

Source: Author Confessions Round 9

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11 Ways Writing Improves Your Mind, Body and Spirit

This is a guest post by Sierra Delarosa. Sierra is a freelance writer, musician and content writer for Global English Editing. 11 Science-Backed Ways Writing Improves Your Mind, Body, and Spirit Fo…

Source: 11 Ways Writing Improves Your Mind, Body and Spirit

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Hug Till you Drop!

Feelings: a sense, a touch, a consciousness. Wow! Doesn’t that all sound grand and out there. Well, we all have feelings like it or not and I’m discovering that I’ve been hiding some of the most important ones from myself for quite some time. Yip, hidden deep in my hips actually, I’ve noticed my right hip talking to me for about two years now. I blamed a boot camp class at a local gym but on reflection I realize that I’ve been more of the culprit. Not intentionally of course, but during my life I have shut down a lot of my feelings and buried them in a deep pool close to my hips. The pelvis area in yoga is the first chakra, which grounds you to the earth and makes you feel balanced. So bundling up this mound of unexpressed needs and feelings that go way back to my childhood, combined with an overflowing supply of hormones, I’ve felt topsy-turvy pretty much every month of my life.

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Well, the good news is I’ve been doing something about it. A fellow writer in my writing group and I realized that we weren’t great at expressing how our main characters feel. So we bonded in our feelings of inadequacy. Well it turns out that his ex-wife is a therapist and the most loving and beautiful creature to have ever set foot on this earth. Yip I mean it. We’ve I’ve been talking about self-love with her.

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I know I’ve been discussing loving yourself forever, but I still don’t get it. Recently I told her that I was doing great with the kids and hubby, then she asked me “How are you getting on with yourself?” The answer wasn’t immediately available to me, which proved that I hadn’t been really focused on it, yet again I’d forgotten me. It just seems very self-serving and needy I guess.

However, instead of beating myself up, which is my normal habit. I’ve decided to think about increments of change. I’ve been in a pattern of closed-off self-criticism for forty odd years, so it might take a little time to change the direction of my mindset. I can’t transform from a pumpkin to a glorious coach in a mere moment of magic.

Change takes refocus and time. Boo, I hear you all say. Well yes, I sucks, but not really. Not if you honor the small shifts and new understandings. Yes truly acknowledge them. Stamp and sing around the room type stuff.

It’s also great to get a little support on your journey.

Now ladies, hubbies shrivel up and die when we start talking feelings with them, but they’re practical creatures and they understand shopping lists to a degree. So let’s give them a short list to work on:

Darling I need:

Some peace and quiet to feed my spirit/faith

Time to restore my energy

Opportunities to strengthen my body on a regular basis

A turn with the remote control (I’m joking but you get my meaning)

Take care not to overwhelm them with more than three or four items on the list at once, or you’ll get kidney beans when you need black beans. But hey, if they’re taking the time to help with the list, we can be flexible with our life recipes.

Your hubby’s on a mission and kept busy, so now it’s time to get support from an even more powerful source. Start talking to SELF. Yes, this looks and feels weird but produces amazing results.

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First of all put pen to paper, or make a dream board, or draw, sing, recite or dance a list of who you really are and or want to be. Here’s part of my list:

I need to understand I have boundaries and can’t always say yes

I am interested in learning about the psychology of happiness

I love orgasms!

I love snuggling in a warm bed

I enjoy watching indie, sentimental and thoughtful movies that have little or no bloodshed

If you want to move on to the advanced stage, then think about achievable goals that you want to reach in the future.

Some of my Goals:

List some of my boundaries. E.g. I need to let people know when their words hurt and say OUCH loudly!

BE ON TIME

Play with my kids more

Listen with gusto to everyone

Stop wearing my feelings on my sleeve, sit with them QUIETLY for a few days, they are very likely to change. Yes this is confusing, some feelings I bury and others I declare without thinking much about the consequences. They tend to be critical thoughts oops!

Get a flatter stomach.

A Transformational Moment – These are Awesome

During my yoga training this past weekend, I was teaching a basic seated twist to my fellow yogi students and asked them to release their arms and hug their lower abdomens, (remember the hip area) our main area of support and grounding.

To be honest I cried as I spoke the next pose to the group, and I’m going to share it with you because it’s important to me and hopefully will make sense. I asked my yogis to hug the three year old in us that pulled on their mother’s apron when she was trying to cook dinner and didn’t have time to deal with our needs. So we were plopped into a caged area to play alone. Then I asked them to hug the ten year old who wanted to tell their family about the girl in school who annoyed them and no one listened to her. I asked them to embrace the confused and frustrated preteen in us, who was scared of her need for growing independence.

Here’s the important part: I asked them to reassure their younger selves that you are mature now and can listen and protect their well-being. My strong reaction, i.e. crying until I couldn’t speak anymore was a great message to self. It was saying put self-love at the top of my list of goals.

Now of course not everyone had issues growing up, but remember our parents came from a post world war period and the normal state of being was hardship, loss and scarcity. So attending to their children’s needs wasn’t a priority, getting food on the table and clean clothes on our backs was.

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Learning and loving ourselves is a life-long process, in fact it might to stretched out over many life times, but my ideas to help smooth out wizened scars are pretty simple.

A tight and loving hug for self and a few lists is the key. Add in a few kind words (maybe into the mirror when you brush your hair everyday) and reassurance of safety and love and is a recipe that works.

It can change a fixed mindset of “I’m not enough” to “I ROCK”. This doesn’t mean my three-year-old self doesn’t tantrum sometimes when my expectations aren’t met. Ask my hubby. She can strop impressively. I’ve been known to rip shower doors off their hinges. Recently I’ve moved to flinging bed pillows as a safety precaution.

Getting to know my needs a little better, I know I need to give myself space to calm down and let the anger dissipate, with lots of reassurance from my older self. Hubby hides under the nearest black hole until the all-clear siren.

I’m not perfect but I’m a work in progress and hugs sure feel good. So I’m going home to visit family this holiday time and I will have no expectations of a spectacular event. I will go with an open heart and my new personal boundaries. When I feel someone encroaching on my feelings I will back away and take a time out. It’s as simple as that.

Of course I’ll try and grab as many hugs and glasses of bubbly as my liver will allow. All this work on changing patterns needs regular rewards for effort – don’t forget that!

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So love yourself ladies and gents, find whatever makes you smile and DO IT as often as is humanly possible. When you fill up your heart with love then you can share that love with others- it’s a simple equation.

Happy Festivities!

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Christmas Wishes

So glad Cynthia is back! In force!!!!

Cynthia Harrison

Today is the worldwide release of my latest novel for The Wild Rose Press, Blue Lake Christmas Mystery. Writing a Christmas novel has long been a dream of mine and finally last year I did it. There were some surprises along the way, like the dead body at the holiday party. But I cracked on, as my British friend Ali would say, and Blue Lake Christmas turned into Blue Lake Christmas Mystery.

This is the first time my publisher has positioned one of my books in their mystery imprint, which is kind of thrilling as I love reading mysteries as much as Christmas stories. And that’s my advice to anyone who wants to write a book: ask yourself what you love to read, and then write a book like that. Otherwise, it won’t be half the fun.

fullsizeoutput_1820Tomorrow, in a bit of serendipity that feels like a Christmas…

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Dark Side of a Country

So we struggle with such small things: a niggling pain here, a twinge there, a brow wrinkle and a sag or two. But I looked up as I walked the dog today and my spirit flew above the trees and melted into the rich blue sky above. It was 65 degrees in White Plains in November and the country is voting for a new leader. A woman, after 96 years from gaining the vote (yes we’ve only had the vote a short time) may be leading one of the strongest and most influential countries in the world.

Yet sadness strikes me today, Hilary Clinton is competing with a strange adversary, a businessman, who uses the Trump foundation’s funds to buy portraits of himself, proving his questionable character. Trump refuses to disclose his taxes, he advocates building walls to keep strange folk out (yet this country was built by immigrants, I’m one myself and I am known to make the occasional person smile) and Trump clearly disrespects women in so many ways. How did this happen?

Clinton has had to lower her voice to speak and sound like a man to be acceptable to this so called fair society. She had to be very aggressive in her debate style, and she pushed herself to collapse to hide that she was ill, in fear of seeming weak, yet it’s cold season and everyone gets sick.

So what does this tell us about this country and society?

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Clinton is very experienced and has served her country for so long. Yet she has been more investigated than any other candidate in history I believe and has been found NOT guilty, even just this week. Yet, she was scolded by the head of the FBI as a naughty politician that has done nothing out of the ordinary. Hilary has just been caught in the new Hi-tech world of so-called transparency and wants to remain private. I can’t blame her.

I hope every single woman votes today and votes with her heart and soul. I sincerely hope that Hilary can prove our female worth to society and smash the glass ceilings into tiny slithers that suffocate the hardworking women of this country.

I wanted to write about so many more up beat and uplifting topics but I just needed to share my feelings about this historic day. Interestingly this country’s Democratic party chose a black man, a wonderfully intelligent and worthy man, but nevertheless a much less qualified candidate than Hilary last time. So race outclasses gender. Interesting isn’t it?

Women struggle to balance work demands, childcare, disciplining their kids in a kind way versus a more macho, vigorous male way, we forget our dreams, lose our figures, laugh at our faded sexuality and accept this as a fair shot at life. We are scorned if we don’t marry, or if we divorce and God forbid if you decide not to give birth.

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Yes I feel that strongly I wanted it to be a glamorous pic!

Well I declare an amnesty.

I ask every female to start asking for what they really need from their friends, family, their husbands and their children in a non-emotional, compassionate way.

A new expectation in my house is needing the dishwasher to be emptied. I’ve started to ask the children to fold their clean clothes and tidy their rooms etc. Our family has chores listed on a white board in the kitchen (best tool I every bought) and we work together before any fun screen time to get it all done or as much as possible.

I am taking responsibility for more of my life, my dreams and my spirit. I’m not expecting anyone to save me on a white horse and if I need a nudge I’ll ask someone to make me accountable. Plus I’ve found support from many different people – young and old, even if I have to pay for it. I’m worth it.

I like my new empowered me.

It’s a calm gentle place, where I sit and let the Universe breathe me. I contemplate life and give thanks for my hard working body. I focus on the beautiful, loving core of my family, hubby and kids. I try to ignore my monkey mind that overthinks everything and I appreciated the tiny white and black, perfectly checkered ladybug that landed on my sunglasses this morning and said Hi.

Life can be better. We can all do better. We need to make small shifts to the right and not accept imbalance. My strong, hard-working, academic daughter said she was grateful for me today. Now that means something awesome!

Gratitude rocks.

Positive thoughts rock.

Please start asking and receiving.

I wish everyone a loving, Darling Thanksgiving.

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