On this day…

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Today we celebrate

  • the Women we have taken for granted,
  • the Women we have loved and lost,
  • the Women who have given us care, love and protection,
  • the Women who have chosen to go their own way,
  • the Women who have privileged our lives more than their own,
  • the Women who have shown us the way,
  • the Women who have sacrificed much so we can be here in this moment in our history.

Today we celebrate Being a Woman, and be reminded of the need to pay attention and be vigilant as we go into our future – to honour the women in our lives.

Let our wisdom guide us to appreciate the beauty of our uniqueness and difference, and our shared humanity.

Happy International Women’s Day!

 

Namaste

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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Priority… me.

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It’s a life journey, isn’t it :-)? To learn to manage our priorities. In fact, to learn to determine what our priorities are.

Is the spotless living room necessary? Yes, it is a preference, but necessary? At which point of ‘dirtiness’ does cleaning a living room become a priority and go on the list of priorities?

Context changes and something like cleaning becomes a priority or in fact, top priority?! (You can tell I don’t fancy cleaning.) A metaphor for life really. Truly, I am a master of prioritising; when things become ‘sufficiently important’ to become a priority, they will and they move along the list.

I know many who clean, who love cleaning and would prioritise this over say, reading a book. I know women whose identity is validated by the cleanliness of their homes. At times, I envy them their discipline and focus.

I know others who want things ‘perfect’ – the perfect Christmas party based on an image in their mind or preconditioned expectations. How about the perfect family gathering where ‘everyone loves everyone’, no tear visible in the family fabric?

Is this our obsession with perfection? Is this our need for conformity and thus perceived acceptance and belonging? By whom and to what?

So it was that I remained in bed on a Sunday mid-afternoon because my daughter, who has according to herself perfected the art of being a lump, insisted that I should. A family joke, and by definition, a lump is one who is having a lazy day being in bed in her pyjamas and doing nothing serious. (I bet she’ll amend this definition if she gets the opportunity! 🙂 ). Her final words before she left my bedroom were, ‘stop doing stuff’. That’s a red flag – stopped me it did and you are witnessing the onslaught of ‘reflection’.

Whatever my values are about ‘doing’ and ‘effort’, at some point I stopped prioritising ‘me’ in my life. The ‘me’ who loves to read, the ‘me’ who enjoys listening music (and the exploring and downloading associated with it), the ‘me’ who feels a little empty not writing, the ‘me’ who wants to curl up cosy in bed just because.

Context changed, and I was feeling depleted. So time out.

And what have I learnt from this young lady who approaches life with a certain joie de vivre and a whole lot of confidence? Remember to prioritise ‘me’. She does and without apology. Maybe I did ‘do’ something right, 🙂 ?

Which reminds me, how are you travelling?

My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another.     Shakti Gawain

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

What’s your cover story?

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A cover story, have you got one? I bet you do.

You know, the convenient story you tell so you do not get ‘into trouble’ with your partner, your parent, whomever you feel accountable to or at least obliged – the story or stories you tell to escape.

Mea culpa, I have my share. The medical consultation that took longer than usual because I’d gone to a café for a little time-out. The slightly extended work hours because I’d tagged on some blogging time. The longer drive home because I’d in fact left later than I said I would. I’d like to believe my cover stories are harmless. Perhaps.

I have been told cover stories that range from the ‘I am a tee-totaller’ to cover up the fact he is a recovering alcoholic, the ‘I am unwell’ to avoid the work she has come to detest, the ‘I’m fine’ to cover up the hurt, the ‘you would not believe what happened to me…’ to cover up the underlying emotional turmoil, to ‘I am here for my children’ to cover the fear and hopelessness she feels.

Then there are cover stories of the strong capable woman in denial, the righteous indignance of the man who doubts, the abusive actions of the boy who feels unloved, the loving caring girl who is ashamed.

Why the cover story? I speak of being authentic, to be true to one self… yet the cover story…

They are for the moments I don’t feel entitled and thus guilt; when I believe I am not doing my duty and thus shame; when one believes the cover story gives him acceptance, when the cover story grants approval instead of rejection, when lacking a cover story makes her feel vulnerable and unsafe; when facing one’s fears is too frightening.

For the sake of self-protection, we create a multitude of cover stories, great and small. We doubt our entitlement to be true to ourselves, to follow our bliss, to dance to the rhythm of own drum … when we are complicit in believing another’s agenda, views, expectations, needs, wants, desires… take precedence over our own.  This is when we do not love ourselves enough to stand for ourselves, to declare to the world,Here I Am’, ‘This is Me’.

So are cover stories good or bad, harmless or otherwise? This ought not be the question. The question is why the cover story, and allowing ourselves space to explore this. And if we must speak of harm, perhaps the most significant impact cover stories have is upon ourselves – when our cover stories are so effective that we lose ourselves.

Show me how you follow your deepest desires,
spiraling down into the ache within the ache,
and I will show you how I reach inward and open outward
to feel the kiss of the Mystery, sweet lips on my own, every day.
 
Don’t tell me you want to hold the whole world in your heart.
Show me how you turn away from making another wrong without abandoning yourself when you are hurt and afraid of being unloved.
 
                                             Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Dance

 

I learn this lesson every day – creating cover story, questioning cover story, grappling with using or not using cover story, preparing for potential conflict and resolution, holding on to my truths and my desires.

I will learn this lesson until it is learnt – the lesson of self-love and self-respect.

What is your cover story? Why?
Have they serve you? How?

Namaste
– FlorenceT

NB. For the complete poem ‘The Dance’, click here.

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.