Friday, April 30, 2010

Sibling Relationships

Sibling Relationships - Why are they so much different than most other relationships? I think they are different because you feel that because you were raised in the same household, and in essentially the same way, that your sibling somehow understands you. That they somehow know why you are the way you are, and that they feel the same way you do.

Sibling relationships seem to be, in childhood, a testing ground for social behavior. In the transition to adulthood, it is easy to remain in a state of competition with your siblings. There a point where some of us draw a line in the sand as to what we will put up with, and the result can sometimes cause a temporary rift in a relationship. Sometimes, if the competition or rivalry has been going on for quite some time, these temporary rifts can become long, deep-rooted silences.

In my personal experience, if you can somewhat detach yourself from the family dynamic you grew up with, you can pave the way for a healthier relationship to flourish. Throughout our formative years, we are slowly squeezed into a mold that we often allow to define us as we enter adulthood. This stereotype is dependant on our temperament, the personalities of other family members, as well as mutual experiences within our families. An example: The family goes to an adventure park - the oldest one is challenged by another family member to try bungee jumping, or the zip cord. The oldest one is used to being brave, and is frequently commended by other family members on this trait. The parents often boast to outsiders about this quality. In a way, the oldest child has no choice but to be the brave one, because that is what is expected of him.

When we can break free of these expectations and obligations, we open ourselves up to becoming friends with our brothers and sisters. This means letting go of previous judgements, grudges and negative experiences that involved our siblings. It also means forgiveness. I am lucky enough to have become friends with my two sisters, and I’d like to share some thoughts about them here. I hope I’m not crossing any boundaries by doing so.

My eldest sister is a very intuitive woman who has taught me, and continues to teach me, how to take care of myself. She takes care of herself, knowing when she needs alone time, journaling nearly every day, and constantly looking for new inspiration. These are important aspects of life that we women tend to forget about or push aside. She is independent with a strong will, and a free spirit. She can laugh and make me laugh like nobody else can. Her and I can get so silly together, making up characters, songs, crazy dances and the like. We usually end up laughing so hard that our bellies hurt. We connect deeply on a spiritual level, and both hold the belief that you create your own destiny – no one else is responsible.

My youngest sister is a nurturing, caring person with a big heart. She loves everything about food, and that is where we connect the most right now. She loves to cook, she loooves to eat, and she loves to try new things in the kitchen. She is incredibly passionate about food, and is willing to take chances when she cooks, which I admire about her. She loves to be near the ocean, fishing and being immersed in nature. She gives so much to her husband, and revels in his attention. And she is another silly sister! When the three of us get together ... it is probably unbearable for other people. But we love each other, and would do absolutely anything for each other.

I have a tendency to try to take care of both of my sisters, which has its’ downsides, as not many adults need to be taken care of. I know there is a stigma about my place in the family because I am the only daughter who has children. There are still beliefs in our society, that family life (married with kids) is the best life. I don’t necessarily believe that’s true. I am happy with my life, and I know this is where I am supposed to be. But I know my sisters are happy with their lives too. Their paths are unique and beautiful and ... their own.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cry If You Want To

Our lives are built upon a foundation of balance. Everything we let into our private psyches affects us, but did you know that each circumstance in your life is dependant on the other? We are part of the whole, and this is reflected in each aspect, large and small.

Our emotional balance depends on so many details ... minuscule matters such as how you awake in the morning, whether you drank coffee or tea, what the weather is like, the moods of the people in your home, and countless other circumstances. There are of course bigger things that affect us as well, such as an argument with a loved one, a close friend moving away, someone close to you being sick, and many many others.

In light of these revelations, it is important to recognize that our emotional balance varies from day to day. There is no reason to be hard on yourself for not being as happy as you were the day before. Be gentle with yourself, and continually recognize that you are an emotional being and that things affect you. There are many books, movies, songs and poetry about remaining positive, but I believe that sadness performs a purpose. Sadness give you an opportunity to become an introvert, focus solely on the feelings and then release them. You can use your emotion to purge your negative feelings, and to essentially make room for more love, more happiness and more peace in your life. It is okay to cry. It is good to cry.

This reminds me of a Holly Cole song called "Cry if You Want To" ... Enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Mother, Earth

Mother Earth
She whispers Thank you
she feels my gratitude and echoes me,
I feel her presence
exchanging from the earth body to my own
I feel the divinity coursing
changing me
my blood is water
my body is dirt
my breath is fire
I am the air
cool, transient, unavailable
and sometimes forsaken
retribution in stillness
holding on to hope
Mother Earth, she bleeds for me
She bleeds her soft welcome so I can see
It is not pollution or misuse of the land
it is the lack of communication
I honour her when I walk upon her
stepping over her roots
she feeds me from veins that plunge into meaty soil
She needs me, and I need her
this exchange never ends
It goes on and on and on
We all need her this way

Friday, April 9, 2010

Honour Your Body

I was recently scheduled for a day surgery, and it got me thinking about how much our bodies are capable of. Have you ever taken the time to really think about how amazing your body is? The response you get when you honour and accept your body will probably be surprising for most people. When we look at our round bellies, less-than-perky breasts, muscular legs and all the other wrinkles, marks, rolls and dimples, it is easy to see our bodies as less than perfect and less than whole. But how much more real can you get than looking at these perceived imperfections and simply accepting them for what they are?

Most people, when they focus on their bodies, tend to use that focus towards exercising, dieting and feeling physically well. When will people begin to use that focus to look at the body as a perfectly whole vessel? Our bodies are a shell in which we get the opportunity to experience this life. But our bodies also hold a vast amount of knowledge we cannot understand unless we utilize its' power. Let us use the energy that these beautiful bodies can store and produce to manifest the spiritual lives so many of us yearn to have! Our physical bodies can elevate us and form a bridge into different levels of awareness.

Using vigorous exercise is certainly a way that you can change your vibration and experience having control over your body – this kind of exercise is immeasurable in terms of how it can make you feel. Part of this involves surrendering to the activity, blocking out thoughts of limitation, and embracing the truth in the experience. Another part of this requires you to listen closely to your body, and to honour your body when there is pain or discomfort. I believe the most important thing you can do is to trust your body. We all have accidents, we have all been hurt physically, and it is a jarring sensation. Some of us have had to undergo long recoveries from broken bones or surgeries. How much time did you spend allowing your body to recover from trauma? And did you have a dialogue with your physical self? Did you forgive the physical part of yourself if you felt let down, or if you lost faith?

Learning to trust and honour your body is an intimate and loving experience. As children, we used our bodies in any way we could, and it was fun to experiment with the possibilities! We would spin, we would run, we would hang upside down. We are still capable of all these actions as adults, but it feels sort of silly to perform these acts now. But that is exactly the point - using our bodies in this way changes our energy. For me, it is trail running. Single track, through the trees with roots exposed, branches reaching out to brush my head, mud everywhere. Allowing my body to do what it knows to do. I don't need to think about it, I just allow my body to move. It certainly was a long process learning to surrender to instinct, but I assure you, it has been worth it.

There are so many ways we can use our bodies, so why do we allow our brains to limit these possibilities? Take the time to honour and trust your body, and you will find you are rewarded with so much. Do what you can do today - spin in a circle, jump up in the air, lay on your bed with your head hanging upside down off the edge. And allow your body to do what it knows to do.