Saturday, April 4, 2009

Being Super Woman

Sometimes people ask me "How do you find time to do all that you do?" The interesting thing about that question is that I am often wondering that about the person who asked! I wonder that about so many people. And then I wonder...did they, perhaps, just stumble upon the same "method" that I did?

I don't actually set out to accomplish anything each day. In fact I'm not a very competitive person, I don't have a lot of faith in grades, test taking or any other methods that involve measuring success. I don't even feel very motivated some days. So how do I get anything done - LOL?

It comes from years of observing what works with me and what does not, years of meditating on what I am "meant to do" and what I feel at peace doing. Years of failed attempts in various projects and years of knocking on closed doors only to realize the windows were open the entire time. Basically, years of observing what I was doing to slow down my efficiency, my joy and my harmony in life.

Over time I started to ask myself what I really wanted from life. What is it that I really want? Simply put I want to give and receive love. I want to contribute in a positive way to my own life and those of others. I started realizing that there were some things that were "assistants" in this process and some things that were "road blocks" to this process. Here are some of the observations I made. I would also love to hear about the road blocks and assistants in your life.

Road Blocks

1. Competition. I would see what another person was doing and feel I could do better in some way OR, in many cases a person would indicate they were directly competing with me or they felt I was competition in some way. It was easy to get drawn into this. I would spend hours trying to be "better" or hours trying to convince someone I was not competing with them or...basically, I would spend hours following paths that were not my own. When I learned to focus and spend less time focusing on the outside I became happier, more efficient, and more true to my own heart and path.

One example is in business. I know there are many people working in the world of Waldorf, homeschooling, herbal healing, photography and other areas that I work in. Some professional business models insist that you need to "know what the competition is doing". However, I find it healthier to not even see these other people as competition and just let everyone "do their thing". If everyone focuses on what they are good at and they are able to bring their own unique contribution to the world, instead of worrying about being the best or doing something better or copying others, then what will come through will be of the best quality and everyone will benefit.

Another example is motherhood. The more I focus inward, instead of on the outward accomplishments of another mother, the better I am able to function for my own family.

2. Knocking on Closed Doors. So many times in my life I stood at a closed door knocking and knocking, looking for other ways to open it, trying to force it open, trying to pick the know what I mean! Then one day, I slowly started to realize that the windows were open the entire time.

One good example of this is when I moved overseas and was far away from my favorite Waldorf school. I spent days dreaming about how to get back, fantasizing about my husband losing his job, all sorts of things just to get me back to that school. Then I realized that all I needed to do was start my own school. 40 families of amazing friends and four years later I was more than sad to leave this group of wonderful people. However, at that time I realized that it would be an opening to something else wonderful. I left my heart open to possibilities and realized that leaving my full-time school opened me up to doing full time work with my online school instead of the part-time work I had been doing with it for years. And I love the work I am doing now so it turned out beautifully!

3. Trying to fit in. That was a struggle for me that I thought was done and gone in High School, but during my early adult years I realized that this struggle only ends when you declare it ends. I spent some of my early adult years trying to "fit into" different communities. Trying to be the perfect LLL mama, trying to be the ideal Waldorf mama, trying to be the ideal "compound wife" who attends teas and has a lively social life, trying to be the ideal mom who enrolls her child in the "right" extracurricular activities, trying to go to the fun events that everyone was raving about....

It was a slow process that started to happen more than 20 years ago...but at this point I am finally in a place where I have no problem at all telling people that I don't want to do something or go somewhere if it is not something I enjoy. If someone thinks I am "odd" I simply don't care. I've taken a great liking to the word "eccentric" :) However, what really happened was that over many years of doing it "both ways" I realized that it didn't matter if I did them "my way" or "their way" - people still responded to me the same way, people were still people.

4. I could go on and on. Perhaps on a different day I would even include three different ones. Those are the three that come to the top today. Perhaps I will add more later but I don't like long BLOG posts!


1. Giving up my vision of what is "ideal". For many years I measured myself and what I did against a "fantasy" vision of what everything "should" be like. We all have these fantasy visions. Is there someone in your life you admire that you try to emulate? Is there a Tv show or movie that inspired you and you want to be more like the main character? Is there a book that you find useful? Many people find that some new age or self-help books can be really motivating and inspiring. Sometimes these books, movies and people can be a wonderful boost for us and can really help push us in the right direction or add some energy where we previously felt uninspired.

However, when these visions become what we see more than our own lives, it can take over and become a road block instead of an assistant. Now, I make more of an effort to keep all those inspiring people, books and movies in their place. I focus on appreciating them and who THEY are, and not on how I can be more like them. I try to use that inspiration to teach me that I can also be wonderful and amazing like THEY are. THEY did it by following their hearts and I can too.

2. Intuition. When I was a child I used to play "mind reading" with a friend of mine. We would try to "read" each others minds and we actually had a lot of success. We WERE best friends, after all - it was easy to make a connection.

When I was a child and planned my day I completely based it on what I wanted to do, what I felt was right.

However, that quickly starts to fade away the first time a parent says "you should" or a teacher gives you a "B" grade on a paper.

It does not help that adult society labels everything. We have "doctors" and "experts" and "self-help" books. Everything we see around us tells us that we are not fit to help ourselves - we need to make sure to consult an expert.

As an adult you need to learn to trust your intuition again. It is a slow process but the way you start is by noticing the times you made poor choices and the times you felt really good about your choices. How did you feel BEFORE each of these choices? Keep a diary. Over a few weeks a pattern will emerge. Some "professional" psychics and intuitives share that they feel a "glowing feeling" in their solar plexus (gut) area when a feeling is based on intuition. Is that perhaps where "I had a gut feeling" comes from?

For me, it is more than a "gut" feeling. For me, when I have an intuitive feeling about something I feel almost a cold breeze on my face, like someone has opened up all the doors and walls around me. When I am making a poor decision I feel like I am being closed in on by walls or someone is suffocating me with a big blanket.

When I do consulting with people for homeschooling or health I try to help them to trust their own intuition more. About 80% of the people who come to me for help already know what they need. It is amazing how amazing we all are and how much we know. We are just scared, for some reason, to admit it.

The more you are willing to admit how much you know (and be completely comfortable with what you do not know) the more open your life becomes. At the same time you also need to be open to always learning more and realizing that what you "know" can change. Be open to what others have to say about what you do - listen with an open mind and always be willing to learn more, know more, or be better at what you are doing. Be open to being confident in what you "know" about yourself, your health, life in general, but at the same time realize that none of us really "know" anything! But then that is another topic...

3. Trading fear & duty for love & inspiration. It seems a lot of what we tend to do as people is motivated by fear. Even being aware of this I STILL find it sneaking in the "back door" of my life without realizing it! It is a sneaky nasty little thing! So what does this mean?

If my spouse or partner tells me they want me to do something for them or they tell me they are unhappy with me in some way I can change for them or make an effort for them out of FEAR (my end goal being to please them so they are not unhappy with me, or my end goal being they will be angry if I don't) or I can make an effort for them out of LOVE (my end goal being simply to make them happy because I love them).

Another example is with what we purchase. I can purchase a certain toothpaste because of LOVE (I love the taste and have found, from experience that the ingredients really help me) or I can purchase out of FEAR (the ads say this one is new and improved and I fear not using the latest advanced products, or I fear that if I use one that is not like this it will hurt me in some way).

Or what about how we raise our kids? I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about what movies we let our kids watch.; After we both wrote long paragraphs about why we made the decisions we did I realized that we were both being motivated by fear - she was scared that her kids would learn the things she did as a child and be exposed to horrible things she felt were inappropriate in her childhood. From my end, I feared that my children would be too sheltered as I was and then go out when they were 16 and make all these discoveries on their own when it was much more dangerous (like I did LOL). So we were making these decisions based on FEAR, not LOVE. Another friend I know consults a website that tells her if films are good or bad based on language, etc...etc...some classic and well done movies are on the "bad" list.

So what if we made these decisions on movies based on LOVE and intuition? Did we feel love when we watched the movie? Would we LOVE to share this with our child?

Once you become aware of this you will be amazed at how many decisions you make out of fear. I was certainly amazed! When I started tracking myself it seemed like about 90% of my decisions were fear-based. WOW.

So I would love to hear from others - what are your "road blocks" and "assistants"? What helps you to be more of who you are and to find that place of peace and harmony in your life?

For when you find an hour, a day or a week of that peace, any moments of that peace and harmony you can harness - it becomes like one of those scenes from the movies where Superman changes into his cape or when Wonder Woman puts on that ring - in those moments you are transformed and you have superpowers too.

Blessings & Health,