Morning pages and my old friend, The Grumps.

Every morning my goal is to write three pages of thought stream. Sounds easy enough, but I can’t tell you how hard it is not to sensor myself! Even in a piece of writing that no one will see, I judge. I worry. I think too much.

It has gotten better especially when I wake up too late and run out of time to finish before an impatient toddler wakes up! On these days, it is easier to just rush through and not think about it!!

It has been such a great way to get the crazies out and get through to the real stuff that is in my head. My day goes better because my thoughts are clear.

So here is the thing, on the days when I do my pages, I can be positive! It turns out that letting all the crap out of my head leaves space to be positive and grateful for this life. It helps me smile more and frown less and hopefully laugh more with my beautiful family.

I am a worrier by nature, but this simple act of writing every morning helps me be a nicer and kinder person to everyone, including myself.

I don’t like new years resolutions because I find it so hard to stick to something (that is for another story!), but my goal this year is to keep up my Morning Pages so that I can share the best part of me instead of the part that is clogged up with grump.

More writing, less grump. Here’s to 2013!

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Learning from a Master

“If you hear a voice within you say “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
― Vincent van Gogh

I am sure we hear this voice all the time. In fact I just spent a day trying fight past those words just so I could get done real words down on my page.

This Spring, F and I had a rare trip together without Little Bee. Of
course I missed her, but she was in good hands. My mother took care of her for two nights while we adventured through the city of Amsterdam. Pure heaven to be free of little feet for a few days! The freedom was good for my creating soul and I did lots of writing while free of household worries and to-do lists. And the long wine filled dinners with my handsome date, helped a bit too!

We visited the Van Gogh museum and I learned so much about this amazing artist that I have loved for so long. The thing that remained with me was his determination to get better. He refused to believe that he could not paint. His early works were highly criticised, but he kept on at it until finally he was a master. He maintained that the more he did the unfamiliar, the better he would get. The only way was up, basically.

Now why do I want to be perfect the first time? What makes me so special that I don’t need to practise?

The masters of creativity were great because they believed that they could succeed through hard work and determination.

And they never listened to the voices that told them that this plan wouldn’t work.

Hats

There is a lovely, little place in my head that remains forever muddled. That is because it is the real me. I don’t mind being a bit muddled. But lately, it has become a thing.

On the outside I have a great husband, a beautiful daughter and another baby on the way. I am a teacher taking time off to raise my kids. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, an in-law, a sister. I am a lot of things I didn’t use to be.

I used to be just a girl trying to figure it all out. Just me, on my own. Responsible for just myself. And that muddled, little place that was the real me was still a little hard to figure out, but I think I was getting there. But lately, all these other hats have made it even trickier to get to that little part that is the old me. So forgive me if sometimes I don’t act like I used to.
It’s just that I am finding my way past all the hats.

A date with myself.

ImageWhat a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.  Some oil pastels, butterfly shaped card, glitter, leaves and feathers…….oh, and a cup of green tea.

Artist’s dates came into my life this year (that story another day…) and they have really changed the way I think about creating.

I used to really get down on myself for not having something to write or getting on with this storybook that I wanted to do.  And then I used to sit and think and think and think about why I couldn’t trust in my own writing, even though I had so much that wanted to come out.

Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way course suggests going on a creative, playful date each week with just yourself.  The idea is that if we let our minds wander and play, creativity is set free.

Sometimes we do a gallery, sometimes a walk through a pile of leaves, sometimes a good rummage in a charity shop for beautiful, forgotten things, and sometimes, like today, it involves glitter glue and sequins!  Although I can’t do it every week, and more often than not, I do it with my Little Bee, it always leaves me feeling calmer and happier and ready to play with words.  

Resilience and Fairy Dust.

Image

I have to share a lesson I learned from my two and three quarter year old daughter about being resilient. Tales from the Beehive is not supposed to be a gushy mummy blog.  Bees On Skis is there for that.  But this is the lesson anyway….

I am bold, but yet completely afraid of rejection.  Paradox, I know, but we established all that at the beginning…I am a mad mix of everything opposite.

This is what has kept me away from writing for so long.  This fear has kept me from sharing anything at all (except blog posts!) with anyone.  I don’t know why I am like this.  The people around me in my life now are the most supportive and encouraging, and yet, I still can’t find the courage to just release my words to someone who will judge them.

My daughter.  She is resilient.  I am in awe of this aspect of her personality.

The other day, she walked up to a little boy at a party and told him (with her gorgeous smile), “Hello.  Do you want to be my friend?  I can be your friend, if you like.”  No fear that this little boy was going to reject her at all.  No shyness or worry.  No nothing.  Just a pure offering of herself in friendship because she really believes that she is a good friend.  I can’t even do that at thirty three years old!

Another day, she said to me after nursery, “Mamma, we have to see Nicholas soon.  I really think he is missing me.”  She just assumes her importance in the world and her importance to people and I think it is something to learn from.  She values herself and what she has to give to herself, her friends and her family.

I know this is all innocent toddler talk, but there is something in it that I have forgotten along the way.  I would like to learn again the resilience I have tried to nurture in her.

And also, she thinks she is magic when she wears her fairy wings.

Maybe I need a pair of my own…..

The one where she was flawed and it was okay.

Today I want to be accepted as the flawed human being that I am.

Little Bee is allowed to be her 2 years and 9 months old self…with her tantrums, and her wanting to “do it by myself” and then spilling it everywhere, and her bursts of tears when she drops her Bedtime Baby over the side of the bed, and her not wanting to share her snacks or her toys and being so tired after a day in the sun that she just collapses in a heap of tears on my lap before bed, wailing, “It’s been a long day, Mama, and I am too tired to sleep!”…and there isn’t even any need to forgive her or allow her because all these things mean that she is just doing her job as a human.  She is learning and growing and changing.  Just as she should.

When is the cut off point?  Apparently there is a point when we are all supposed to be done with the growing.  When we are all supposed to be in good moods all of the time, patient, kind to every living being, never snapping, and of course never frustrated!  If we are upset, we shouldn’t show it, we should deal with it in a quiet and sensible way.  And definitely no tantrums.

I can’t do it.  I just can’t.

I am just not able to be calm and collected all the time.  I freak out, I worry, I am too blunt with people, I cry a bunch, I am selfish,  I feel guilty about so many things, and I am very moody and yes, I go to that angry place and yell a bit too.  If the world doesn’t allow me to be this way, then I can’t share all the wonderful things about me either.  My passion for the people I love and the work that I do, my loyalty, my creativity, my kindness and my quirky, a little nutty and completely cheerful side.

If you let me be flawed and if I let me be flawed, and if I can let it all gush instead of trying to be sensible and quiet, then maybe my gifts will come tumbling out too.

Good Girls

In my dreams I was a cool, daring girl who said no to the teacher and went on wild and exciting adventures.  I vowed to myself that when I grew up, when I could escape, I would be that girl.

I wanted to disobey the rules but I just couldn’t.  I don’t even know why?  Was I worried that all of a sudden someone would punish me?  Yes, I guess I was.  People who follow rules are somehow praised by parents and teachers and all the people who influence our early life.  All I wanted was for people to praise me and tell me that I was a good girl.  Good Girl, Nice Girl.  Follow all the rules and use perfect punctuation.

And so I grew into a Nice Girl.  I am sort of interesting and quirky, but never enough to tip the boat.  I guess I am afraid I might fall out into that big mass of water…the unknown.  The unwritten.  I want to be out there, swimming in the ocean, but every time I try, I end up clinging to the boat, afraid that once I jump in, I won’t be able to swim.

Maybe the water will be so beautiful, I may never need the boat again……Maybe punctuation doesn’t matter as much.  As I thought. It did.