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Blog Listing

A collection of stories, insights, pain and laughter that details our lives, our experiences as women and mothers and the wisdom that comes out of that.

Filtering by Category: Empowering Women

Embodiment and Play by guest blogger Sarah Chapman from Drama Rama

Julie Tenner

“…I spoke on the Podcast about the times in my life when I couldn’t laugh. When smiling was so hard that I didn’t think I’d ever get my mojo back again. I was so depressed that I didn’t think I could find a way out….When you can’t smile or laugh, I ask you to try and remember that sometimes things take time…and gradually the laughter, the deep belly laughter that can make you cry returns as well…

I challenge you to find that thing that makes you smile from your heart.

That one thing that you have loved for years. You may need to reconnect with your inner child or you may need to find something new so that you can smile and laugh and play….

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Calling lost libido?

Julie Tenner

"...It is ironic that the very product of desire, children, is in the end what we ‘blame’ for our lack of desire....There is no question that kids make a vibrant sex life more challenging.  The ‘in service’ role of mother can have family life feeling like a constant triage; assessing who’s needs are greatest at any given time, putting out spot-fires, leaving you feeling exhausted and like you’re falling short of the benchmark.

I often think a low libido has more to do with hitting another upper limit; waiting to transform our beliefs and ingrained body-patterns on our worthiness for pleasure and ownership of our own sexuality, than it does with life circumstance...."

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Setting limits and boundaries with ourselves and our children

Julie Tenner

"...Our ability to hold spaciousness for our children, to anchor whatever comes up for them and our family dynamic, comes from our ability to maintain our boundaries.  The stronger our desire to maintain our boundaries, the stronger our sense of self-worth and the more readily our children roll with our needs. 

It seems like a paradox, but spaciousness and freedom spring from feeling safe and how crumbled or in-tact our boundaries are, dictates how safe we feel to open up to freedom and spaciousness..."

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Today I faced my inner teenager

Julie Tenner

So today I faced my inner teenager – one of the most covered, most vulnerable aspects of myself during this tumultuous time of growth.  Today I faced my “inner-unco” and I did it with a tribe…

In case you didn’t know, I’m a tall woman….wait, lets get this out of the way….

Yes I’m tall, yes I did already know that.
I’m 6 foot 1.
Yes, really.
No I don’t play basketball….

I could literally script this conversation I’ve had it that many times in my life – every place I go, every day, several times a day.  No joke. Nowadays I usually find the humour in it and answer with a knowing smile (unless you’re the retired men at the swimming pool who never tire of “hello shorty” and other horrendous tall-person jokes; who are clearly oblivious to dagger-looks and “ahh, it just never gets old boys does it?”…Every. Single. Morning).

This is just one anecdotal story to paint the picture for you.  Now we can chuckle.  Now I know who I am and am secure in my place as woman I can love it, but as a gangly teenager desperate to fit in and be liked this constant ‘battle’ was torture. 

When I grew I lost all connection to my extremities – I was gangly and uncoordinated and embarrassed by this enormous body I couldn’t control or ‘prove’ why it was ‘ok’.  My body was not a path to connection, I only knew my body as disconnected.

I didn’t have sporty parents, so although sport seemed like the place a tall girl would fit in, as an uncoordinated perfectionist it was hell and resulted in an implosion of self-hatred, shame and embarrassment.  I never stuck at anything and constantly avoided ‘opportunities’ for sport-related embarrassment and I buried this shameful part of myself, covered it over and moved on.

So.  No accidents I married an elite sportsman.  A basketballer.  Lol, the Divine has a sense of humour.

From hating on all sport I was slowly introduced to the love of it via the love of my life.  What does sport provide?  An outlet for feelings of frustration and inadequacy.  A tribe, a great tribe of peeps you love to giggle and hang out with who share common interests and are linked in a common goal.  Leadership.  Practice at resilience, communication and team work.  A channel for the masculine.   A place for our inner warrior to be called out.  So much.

Now that was a movement I wanted to be part of.  But my fear of rejection, isolation and humiliation was so great, my inner teenager never let me try ; I’ve stayed trapped in this self-made cage for 20 years.

Now, I’ve expanded in many, many ways.  I make a conscious effort to PUSH myself into and through my resistance - my “don’t want to”, my “can’t” and my shame zones. 

I consider it a necessary requirement to expansion. 

The only way is through and facing myself in the process.  Plus, the more you do it the more you gather evidence of the “worthiness” of this courageous and most difficult act; you find more joy, more peace and more connection on the other side of every challenge, every time.  So in my mind, I seek the challenge and throw myself into it, knowing avoidance keeps me avoiding, which keeps me caged and offers not only a glass ceiling, but walls too.

Through my children I’ve “graced” my way into sport. I began with simple playing (forced by virtue of having a first born son – the pain of doing it was less than the pain of avoiding it!) and I found a joy and delight in physicality beyond weight.  Who knew?!

Consequently, for my daughters it’s a no-brainer.  I want them to have access to the very thing I didn’t – a love of and connection to, their body through what it can do and how it can feel not what it looks like.  I coach my daughters basketball team; which is the only team within our club in A-grade, despite having a coach that has never played and is all about the social/emotional benefits of team sport.

So when the joke began with some mums at school around needing incontinence pads to play sport I joked.  When a mum rung me saying “It’s done – perfectly poised is in the comp, so you better be in!” I laughed so hard I nearly cried.  I use humour to cover hurt and here it was good and proper in my face.

Big girl pants I said to myself.  Deep breath.  You’ve got this babe.  I’ve got your back this time.  Plus, this time I had a tribe behind me.  A man who loves me deeply, a community of women I could wee my pants or make a fool of myself in front of and they’d still love me.  That’s pretty powerful.  Now I have a voice that’s not afraid to speak vulnerability.  I can say “I’m scared, I’m facing my inner teenager and I’m terrified” and they hold my heart and offer courage when I feel like I’m flailing. 

Today I faced myself, my inner critic, my inner teenager and shame, deep deep shame.  I faced up and showed up.  I faught tears as I stepped onto the court.  I smiled with compassion at my inner critic when I missed a pass.  I giggled at my inner perfectionist when I couldn’t keep up with the pace.  And I laughed with and for all of us.  A bunch of mums with kids round our ankles, sweating, laughing, possibly peeing, and all facing some part of ourselves to be there. 

That game was a great big, sweaty, hot and heavy mix of emotions from my wounded teenager, my guiding inner mother, my practiced warrior woman, my humble crone.  I’m so grateful for these parts of myself that have been exercised over the years, they serve me in my expansion daily.

The challenge is the way.  Showing up is one of the hardest things we are asked to do as women and mothers.  We are so accustomed to shame, to hiding , to shrinking.  But I want a life without limits, I have such a desperate need for my soul to be seen and part of this drive for expansion is knowing the pain of shrinking. 

So thank you to my inner teenager who I just want to hug and show her all the ways her body is magnificent.  I wish I could take her hand, much like the ghost of Christmas Past, and show her where these legs have taken her.  I would show her where this heart has led her.  I would show her who these lips and eyes have touched.  I would show her who these arms have held, who these breasts have fed, what this body has created.  I would tell her how magnificent her body is made to feel.  And lastly I would show her how this vessel is perfect to remind her to show up, be big and bold. 

I would tell her to feel the fear and do it anyway.  Do the very thing she most wants to resist- it’s the path to her greatest awakening, it’s a muscle that needs strengthening and it will serve her well into her life.

And.  Go play sport with a bunch of women who have your back.

We are all wounded

Bridget Wood

By Julie Tenner

We are all wounded.  We are literally the walking wounded.  No one's wounds are greater, no ones are lesser.  No one can say what is, or is not, worthy of a wound.  No one can say how deep you, or I, feel any one moment in our lives – it isn’t tangible, it isn’t measurable.  Because something that was deeply wounding to me, does not mean it would be for you.  Because a moment impacted you so deeply that you can still feel the hurt and pain, does not mean I would.
Our Wounds create our Voids – the things we feel we’re missing and always compensating for.
Our Voids create and drive our Values.
Our Values create our Genius, our quest for our Soul Purpose.
Isn’t it fascinating?!
Do you love your wounds, your battle scars, your pain?  Could you? 
Of the many dark wounds I can still connect to in my lifetime, probably the greatest for me was the death of my father.
He had been dying for 4 years.  An incurable form of cancer ravished his body as he scoured the world for alternative cancer therapy and bared his soul in ways that I can only say was equally breathtakingly beautiful and tremendously terrifying. 
Upon his diagnosis I was 15 years old.  Almost overnight I “lost” my dad, at least that’s my perception, he became very focused on himself and his journey.  My mum was equally as self-focused on her survival mode.  They both needed to do this, no one can say what is right or wrong in how we embark on these enormously painful journeys, but as a daughter on the cusp of womanhood it was devastating. 
So, “parentless”, I took on many labels, I tried on many different personalities to see who I needed to be, based on what I perceived others thought.  I spiraled downwards, I darted upwards and I sparked every way left and right….concealed very cleverly in a “capable” persona.  But inside I was dying. 
As I cooked for and nursed my father, as I bared the tirade of emotion from my mother, as I sought to raise my younger sister, I felt wounds go deeper to where there was no feeling left – I wasn’t dying, I was numbing.
For the next DECADE after my fathers death I sought counseling and therapy in many different forms – convinced this time they could take the slippery, rotting pain out of my body and then somehow I’d feel healed and I’d be connected to myself…once this was removed, once it was gone.  A decade of this.  You name it, I tried it.  And still I felt wronged.  Still I felt wounded – gaping open sores that I was sure others would find rancid and insidious – convinced my emotional “gangrene” was intolerable and therefore I was - so I kept the many masks of “capability” to prevent everyone running away from me….
Wow.  I read that now and I just want to hug teen and 20-something me.
I get it.  I see it.  But its not the way, its not the paththe cure for the pain is in the pain….not in the removal and disconnection from what is “wrong” or “intolerable”, but in the all encompassing embracing of it – just enough of a toe dip into the immense pain to see the why….
Not Why – how could this have happened to me, I don’t understand it, I don’t deserve it…not the why a decade of therapy taught me.  Not the why that still holds me in my victim state.  Not the why that makes me, or anyone involved, wrong or right.  Not the why that justifies my wounding and my pain and in doing so, keeps me trapped by it.
But Why – why is this here, what was it trying to wake me up to, what is it here to teach me, why now, why this way, what are the lessons, where is the wisdom?
This why, this ability to look at what is so awful and repulsive and bring it into the light and into my being, until I can accept my whole soul and understand the wisdom in such a profound way, that I am brought to tears of gratitude.  Thiswhy, that says “yes” to all of me, not “only you can stay, but you are wrong”,this why saved my life and my soul.
This why led me on a journey to seeing the gifts in my experience/s and in my pain.  Our wounds are the place the light enters, right Rumi?  It has taken me a lifetime to understand this and still I would say I don’t fully grasp the enormity, but what I can say is this:
My deepest wound, the excruciatingly slow death of my father, is an experience I now have nothing but deep, humbling gratitude for.  I understand its why.  I’ve gained the wisdom and I’ve transcended my perception and pain in doing this.  It is likely the one major life event that led on to every other choice I made and outcome I’ve created, to be who I am now.  And I love who I am now – I went through one hell of a time becoming her.
If you are like me and stuck in your wounds, if you are seeking “the more” but you don’t know what it is or how to access it – our online Loathing to Loving Program delves into the tools I used, and still use, to transcend any pain or wound…I would really love to help you bring your greatest shame and pain into the light and mine the diamonds from it.

Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is also The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specialised focus on awakening women to their full potential – health for the mind, body and soul – creating lasting life change for you and your family by “coming home” to your magnificence.