Juggling Woman

by Yulit Price on November 18, 2014

We are all familiar with the juggling woman. She has become a part of our everyday life:

She is the one driving her kauto-repair-elements-21154262ids to daycare just on time to get to her office,

She is the one feeding her kids after school before going to her own evening classes,

She is the one running her business, volunteering and serving on that board of directors,

She is the one cooking, overseeing the kids’ homework, and catching up on emails,

She is all of us, and everyone of us.

 

Many of us women long to go back to the “cave” days. Cave woman had a simple life:

She was surrounded by her tribe,

She was offered extended support,

She was taught multi-generational wisdom.

 

It has been long since we made the cultural departure from the cave.

And yet, all this evolution has come to us with a cost:

“There is a crisis facing women’s health, and it affects everyone around us” were the opening words spoken by Dr. Libby Weaver in her Tedx talk at Queenstown.

The crisis?

Living in a frantic pace,

Trying to be all things to all people,

Believing that we aren’t enough,

Living life out of touch,

Having no bandwidth left.

All of this is leading to what she calls “rushing woman syndrome”.

According to Dr. weaver, today’s juggling woman is:

Oscillating between fight or flight in response to modern stressors,

Trying to please everyone around her,

Fueled by anxiety as she is constantly seeking approval and fearing rejection,

Clouded by false beliefs, and the story of her deep inadequacy

“Warming up with Caffeine, cooling down with alcohol”

In this illuminating Tedxtalk, Dr. Libby weaver juxtaposes the two archetypal women: cave-woman and her modern counterpart – juggling woman.

“So I want you to begin to explore, how you eat, drink, move, think, believe, and perceive. The minute you change your perception, you rewire your entire chemistry. It is time to get back in touch with your breath, it is time to remember the absolute miracle that you are, and get in touch with the magnificence of your existence.

Please remember that life is precious, and that you are precious, and to treat yourself accordingly”.

 

Mothering wellness circle:

If you are a mother searching for your own “cave”, wanting to feel the warmth of extended support and to be tapping to your own – as well as the collective wisdom, we invite you in:  www.WellnessCircleMotherhood.ca

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The Open Secret

by Yulit Price on January 31, 2013

There is this moment in therapy – and in life, where we are taken by the open secret.

You may feel particularly stuck.
You have failed yourself again.
You are not quite measuring up.
Everybody else has it all together.
You didn’t think you would be here, at this point in your life.

It’s kind of a quiet suffering.
A secret that you hide.
An internal ache that you keep buried inside.
A voice that keeps saying:
“What’s wrong with me?”

This is what Rumi, the poet, calls the Open Secret:

“Rumi says that when we hide the secret underbelly from each other, then both people go away wondering, “How come she has it all together? How come her marriage/job/town/family works so well? What’s wrong with me?” We feel vaguely diminished from this ordinary interaction, and from hundreds of similar interactions we have from month to month and year to year. When we don’t share the secret ache in our hearts—the normal bewilderment of being human—it turns into something else. Our pain, and fear, and longing, in the absence of company, become alienation, and envy, and competition.
The irony of hiding the dark side of our humanness is that our secret is not really a secret at all. How can it be when we’re all safeguarding the very same story? That’s why Rumi calls it an Open Secret.” ~E. Lesser (cited from her book Broken Open).

Listen to Elizabeth Lesser talk about the open secret and what it takes to break open that secret:

Broken Open is the book that will help guide you through the ‘rabbit holes’ of transition, divorce, loss, parenting, aging, and facing the shadows of growth.
The author, Elizabeth Lesser, is the co-founder and senior adviser of Omega Institute, the largest adult education center in the United States focusing on health, wellness, spirituality and creativity.

This year, as you navigate the many rabbit holes life takes you through, I hope you will remember to open up to the humanness – in you, and in others.

Navigate gently!

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I Thought I Was Done With…

by Yulit Price on December 24, 2012

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

Maybe you have ‘done therapy’ before.

Maybe you are in it now.

Maybe, like most of us, you are somewhere on a continuous path of inner-work.

 

troublesWherever you are on the journey of self growth,

there comes a point where you find yourself saying:

“I’ve been here before”

and

“I thought I was done with…” [Fill in the blanks]

 

…. I thought I was over with…

my past,

my transition,

my pattern,

my shame,

my grief,

my triggers…

 

Only to realize here you are bumping squarely against it once again.

 

As the year coming to an end, ask yourself:

 

1. What repetitive theme is showing up for me again?

2. What are my main triggers? List the most familiar ones.

3. What am I working through now? Name it for yourself.

4. What one lesson am I taking with me to the year ahead?

 

Along different points of our soul’s growth, we will be ‘tested’ in new ways.

We are never ‘done with it’, we are merely WORKING THROUGH IT again, and again, and again.

 

This holiday season, allow yourself to light your way through.

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Milk, Butter, Eggs

by Yulit Price on November 28, 2012

I struggle with writing. Sure, sometimes it flows from me with an unexpected fluidity, especially when I don’t have time to ‘capture’ it and write it down. But the truth is, years of academic writing have left their mark on me. Writing by the ‘rules’ is a lot different than letting your in-the-moment-writing rule.

Someone once said to me: “This academic stuff sticks to your body like seaweed.” I laugh as I still recognize the truth in it.

It has taken me years to unlearn, as I am still disentangling my voice from layers and layers of seaweed. Every time I write, I remove another layer; Every time I journal, I get closer to the skin of my voice.

And yet, I know, how powerful writing for yourself is as a tool for self-realization and insight. It helps deepening the well: the connection between you and your infinite wisdom; the clarity between you and your inner voice.

I came across this quote that made me pause:

“Writing is the way I ground myself, and it’s what keeps me sane. Writing is the way I try to make sense of my life… Sometimes just holding a pen in my hand and writing milk butter eggs sugar calms me. Truth is what I’m ultimately after, truth or clarity. I think that’s what we’re all after… And I write… because you can’t get away with anything when it’s just you and the page. No half-truths, no cosmetics. What would be the point?”  ~Abigail-Thomas

But some of us stay away from the page precisely because of that: it may bring clarity… It may bring forth a piece of truth… So we turn away from the page.

I ask many of you to journal, to document your thoughts, to write your ‘outer voice’:

“I’m afraid I am not a good mom”

“I’m not ready yet for this career”

“I won’t be able to handle this… (job, juggling, pregnancy, crisis, difficult talk)”

 

Why am I asking you to write? 12 Good reasons:

1. You are filled with thoughts, stories, reflections.

2. Nobody has access to the thoughts in your head.

3. Your head is already too full… We recycle the same thoughts over & over again.

4. You already embody enough stress, confusion, or uncertainty. Writing is a container; it  holds all that weight outside your body.

5. Through writing, what needs to change for you becomes clearer.

6. Through writing, self-discovery unfurls.

7. Through writing, the self articulates what it really wants.

8. Through writing you begin to notice same patterns/voices/stories that shackle you.

9. Through writing you begin to ‘re-write’ your life story.

10. The page will always listen in silence. The judgment we hear? It’s all ours.

11. Writing is a form of meditation. Both call for slowing things just enough to observe what is.

12. Through writing, healing occurs.

 

I hope you are writing. Even if it is “milk, butter, eggs”…

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Daring Greatly

by Yulit Price on October 24, 2012

Daring Greatly is a newly released book by Brene Brown, which made it to the #1 NYT best seller list. It is a profound book about the way we parent, live, and lead our lives.

Watch the book trailer here.

Brene, a qualitative researcher at the University of Houston, tells the story of what holds most of us back from being our true selves and daring greatly with our life + work.

Here is the quote she refers to as the premise of her book:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly . . .”   –T. Roosevelt

In her eloquent way, Brene fills the book pages with examples of how we experience shame, mostly when we feel vulnerable. We try to shut-down vulnerability and shrink ourselves in our attempt to gain approval and avoid criticism & judgment.

When you find yourself cutting-off joy…
When you play down your achievements…
When you worry about what every one else will think…
When you keep yourself small, less-than, and inadequate…

Can you find ways to quiet the voices that tell you:

‘You are not good enough’

And

‘Who do you think you are?’

We need your work,
We need your parenting,
We need your ideas,
We need your contribution.

We need you to show up to your arena:

your mothership,
your relationship,
your leadership,

your body of work,

and dare greatly.

You are enough.

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Imagine Yourself as this Woman – Part 2

by Yulit Price on October 3, 2012

“Imagine a Woman II” 

 

Imagine a woman who is interested in her own life.

A woman who embraces her life as teacher, healer, and challenge.

Who is grateful for the ordinary moments of beauty and grace.

 

Imagine a woman who participates in her own life.

A woman who meets each challenge with creativity.

Who takes action on her own behalf with clarity and strength.

 

Imagine a woman who has crafted a fully-formed solitude.

A woman who is available to herself.

Who chooses friends and lovers with the capacity to respect her solitude.

 

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the full range of human emotion.

A woman who expresses her feelings clearly and directly.

Who allows them to pass through her as naturally as the breath.

 

Imagine a woman who tells the truth.

A woman who trusts her experience of the world and expresses it.

Who refuses to defer to the perceptions, thoughts, and responses of others.

 

Imagine a woman who follows her creative impulses.

A woman who produces original creations.

Who refuses to color inside someone else’s lines.

 

Imagine a woman who has relinquished the desire for intellectual approval.

A woman who makes a powerful statement with every action she takes.

Who asserts to herself the right to reorder the world.

 

Imagine a woman who has grown in knowledge and love of herself.

A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her own life.

Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.

 

Imagine yourself as this woman.

 

“Imagine a Woman” © Patricia Lynn Reilly, 1995

 

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Imagine Yourself As This Woman – Part 1

by Yulit Price on September 27, 2012

I spent my childhood writing poems.

They unspooled from me like the thread in my mother’s sewing machine.

Poems became a part of me.

More than twenty years ago I immigrated to Canada. My poems were left behind.

Life turned to be about composing the woman that I would become.

Back then, I could not have imagined her.

 

The following is part 1 of a poem from Patricia Lynn Reilly’s Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself:

Embracing Your Wisdom and Wholeness.

 

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.

A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.

Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

 

Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.

A woman who listens to her needs and desires.

Who meets them with tenderness and grace.

 

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past’s influence on the present.

A woman who has walked through her past.

Who has healed into the present.

 

Imagine a woman who authors her own life.

A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.

Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.

 

Imagine a woman who names her own gods.

A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.

Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.

 

Imagine a woman in love with her own body.

A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.

Who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

 

Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body.

A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.

Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

 

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.

A woman who sits in circles of women.

Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

 

Imagine yourself as this woman.

 “Imagine a Woman” © Patricia Lynn Reilly, 1995

 

Here is to embracing who we are all becoming.  Stay tuned next week for PART 2 of the poem!

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Open Letter to [a] Husband

by Yulit Price on August 21, 2012

I have just returned from professional training with the wise and witty Brene Brown, more recently known as “Vulnerability Ted“.

Yes, for three days, we were all “talking shame” and “speaking vulnerability”, while dipping ourselves in Brene’s research findings and therapeutic approaches.

I will not write here about ALL that I have soaked. (As an Introvert, I tend to soak a lot).

I will share one thing with you in this post.

The following is a letter written in “vulnerability” to a husband.

Yes, it is a language on its own.

Often, a language we keep to ourselves.

Often, we think: a language “he won’t understand”.

And yet, when we are daring greatly (to use Brene’s words), we open ourselves to be seen in a way we haven’t before.

(Please note: The following letter has been written by a mother to her husband. She has given me permission to share it with you).

A Letter to [a] Husband

I want to share my feelings about being a working mom with you, because I want you to understand my struggle.
I know that understanding this struggle is difficult.
There are times when it seems even I don’t understand.
This struggle has provoked intense and unfamiliar feelings in me and I fear that my reactions to these feelings might be misunderstood.
I hope my ability to cope and your ability to understand will improve as I share my feelings with you.
I want you to understand.
You may describe me as an overreacted, stressed out, perfectionist, too serious person. I get that and I can relate to that sometimes.
However, I would like to describe myself as struggling, muddling through, sorrowed, heavy burdened.
My being a working mom makes me feel guilty and ashamed.
I feel like not being there enough for my kids, not performing perfectly enough at my work, keeping all the balls in the air and waiting for one to fall down.
This makes me feel angry, exhausted, sad, tired and lonely.
I feel angry, because I cannot seem to be able to control it at all, no matter how hard I try.
I feel exhausted, because I keep running from here to there in practice and daily life, as well as in my head, going over and over the to-do-lists that I make up in my head.
I feel sad because I don’t find time in this busy schedule to enjoy two things in life that I cherish so much: my kids/family and my work.
I feel tired because of all this work, plus all the emotions I am going through… this takes a lot of energy.
I feel lonely because although I rationally know I am not the only working mom struggling, everyone else seems to be doing just fine and have it all perfectly managed.
You can help me. I know you care about me and I know my struggling through this working-mom-thing affects our relationship.
My sadness causes you sadness: what hurts me, hurts you too.
I believe we can help each other through this sadness. Individually we both seem quite powerless, but together we can be stronger. Maybe some of these words will help us to better understand my experiences.
I need you to understand and sit with me in this. Please don’t fix it for me by giving advice about how to make arrangements, because this will make me feel even more inadequate.
I need you to reassure me as a good mom.
Tell me that I am doing great, and be specific about this.
Tell me what I am doing good.
Remind me of how well my kids are doing, how great they are, and how my being a working mom is a good example to them.
I need you to assist me.
When I am exhausted, give me a break, if only for five minutes. Take the kids and give them a fun time, so I can get myself back together to enjoying it all again by hearing their laughter.
Encourage me to maintain my sense of humor and guide me to find joys.
Encourage me to find laughter in my struggle, to be grateful of all the beautiful things we have received, to enjoy this together, and find energy and strength for the moments to come.

~M.B

——————-

It is my hope that you use this as an ‘open’ letter;
A letter you can borrow from and alter to fit your own words. Your own unspoken struggles. Your own area of vulnerability.

I thank the author of the letter, the woman who was daring greatly by sharing it with all of you!

Can you resonate with the letter?

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The Fear of Vulnerability

by Yulit Price on July 24, 2012

In my years of Counseling men and women, I have been hearing different versions of:

“I don’t do vulnerability”

“I’m scared of being vulnerable”

“We don’t show our vulnerabilities”

 

Many of us did not grow up with vulnerability role-models.

For generations, the message inherited and passed down was: vulnerability equals weakness.

Recently, Brene Brown has shared with the world her findings on shame and vulnerability.

Her last Ted talk, which I loved, and mentioned here Living With Your Story, has crowned her as the vulnerability expert.

In her new talk, she explains how giving her ‘shame’ talk has changed her life, and delves into the connection between vulnerability and shame as encountered in our social lives.

Brene Brown defines vulnerability as: “an emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty (that) fuels our daily life”.

According to Brown, shame is a barrier to vulnerability, and, depending on gender, it ‘shows up’ differently:

For women it is in the discrepancy between who they are on the inside and what they are suppose to be like on the outside. As Brown puts it:

“The web of unattainable, conflicting, competing expectations, about who we are suppose to be”.

For men, it is about the potential of perceived weakness.

Her loud message from her new Ted talk  is:

1)   Vulnerability IS the path to reconnecting back to each other.

2)   Shame grows on: secrecy, silence, and judgment. The antidote is: empathy.

3)  We connect to people who are daring to show courage through vulnerability, and authenticity.

 

“We want to be with you and across from you, and we want you to dare greatly”. ~Brene Brown.

 

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End. Graduation. Conclusion. Break. Closure. Wrap up. Epilogue. Commencement.

It doesn’t matter if you graduated long ago, never attended, or in the middle of your ‘back-to-school’.

It doesn’t matter if your kids just graduated college, nursery, or are somewhere in between.

In our own way, we are all graduates of this school called life.

I believe all of us can extract ‘life lessons’ from commencement speeches aimed at graduates. Not from every speech, I agree, but from the ones that will stay, and stamp, and stick on our minds.

I have compiled together the three commencement speeches that have touched me most, for their velcro (a message that sticks), vulnerability (showing our humanness) and vitality (lasting energy and power).

All of them will speak to you wherever you are now – a human being, a parent, a student, a healer, a teacher, a dreamer, a doer, a walker of life.

 

The Dropout

On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs delivered Stanford’s 114th’s commencement address.

He is no longer with us, yet his message still resonates:

  • Follow your creative curiosity, rather than formal education’s prescriptive paradigm, in      order to contribute your best potential.
  • Trust that you will connect the dots looking backwards.
  • Live with the vulnerability of death in mind.

“…Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

“…Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

 

The Graduate

J.K Rowling had to make magic in her own life.

With vulnerability and verve, she speaks about two critical components of life:

  • The Fringe of Failure
  • The Importance of Imagination:

“…a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

 

The One Who Did Not Attend

Neil Gaiman is a freelance writer, who never attended college nor university, and who understands the ins and outs of following your art with your heart.

  • Doing your art is doing what you feel you are meant to do, what your soul wants to pursue, what gives you a sense of meaning and purpose and voice in the world.
  • Ask yourself: am I walking closer to or away from the mountain?
  • Keep creating or serving from your calling as you navigate life’s ups and downs.

“If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.”

“Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing.”

“The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It’s Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.

In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard… would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn’t consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don’t have to make things up any more.”

“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art.”

“The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”

Sometimes, we are putting so much pressure on our children to excel in their schooling. Sometimes, we target this pressure onto ourselves.

It’s worth taking a step back and asking:

What would be the most important message you would want to share?

 

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