“…I wait out the storm. Eventually she begins to soften, her angry-tears turn into heart-broken sobs. This is another transition, the one of releasing anger and connecting to the pain underneath. I respect this place and it softens me also.
I check my posture; is it open and receptive? Am I grounded in my heart-space?
I see a soft blanket flung on the floor in front of me, I stroke it. “I wonder if you’d like to lie here and listen to the story of the day you were born while I stroke your hair?”
Her pupils dilate, her body shifts towards me, but she’s not quite ready to move on my terms…”
“…To love the men around you, see them through the eyes of the young masculine you are raising. For every objectifying view you have about how he ‘is’ or ‘is not’, see how he is the opposite too. For every moment you want to keep him boxed into your projection of men, based on the culture you were raised in, see how this keeps you and your story safe, and limits him to show up fully for you, in the way you are seeking.
Don’t cage an emerging masculine into a box. Don’t objectify them. We know how that feels as women. Think about this boy you are raising and all of his wholeness and then see this in the men around you too. Your sexual story is yours to own, don’t project it outwards…”
An incredible story about one mums journey through a triplet pregnancy, after being given a 100% fatality rate, to birth 3 healthy babies. She shares her story with us here and in the podcast, provides all the relevant links to foundations and organisations that helped her and gives her advice for anyone who finds themselves in a multiple pregnancy.
"...All of these are anciently programmed biological responses to stress and survival and form the basis for our adult relationships. So, ‘fine’, is also not fine. How we internalise the messages from our family of origin will unconsciously set us up for how we respond to intimacy, vulnerability and conflict as an adult.
When we flip the mirror of yelling back to ‘us’, instead of our children, we can also see it as a red flag of a trigger of our own.
How did we get here? Why are we yelling right now?
What happened the moment before ‘I snapped’?
What is our internal dialogue?
Are we ourselves stressed?
Are we expressing how we’re feeling on the inside?
Are we unconsciously ‘releasing’ the stored emotions of how we ourselves were treated as children?..."
"...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...."
'...What if like a water diviner, I could focus my attention and attune my body, to the subtle energy of my desirous wellspring? Would I find an overflowing well buried deep within?... '
If you're sick of the consumerism of Christmas, or want to turn your children's focus from "getting" to "giving", then this blog is for you!
This type of Advent calendar alternative is from my sister (Charli Marden Photography and Design), who every year spends focused time on brining balance to her kids experience of Christmas, with an altruistic alternative to the traditional Advent Calendar - she creates a 'Good Deeds List'. Each day they open an envelope and do the activity enclosed, together.
"...We can spend so much time with our little (and big) ones that we often are too ‘blinded’ to really see who they are becoming.
We can get stuck in monotony and think we’re making little difference, question why we spend so much time invested in finding answers, showing up even when we don’t’ feel like it and caring so deeply about the way we respond….
And then, there it is….those little pieces of ‘us’, the glimpses of deep wisdom and understanding, our legacy and impact on these developing humans and it breaks my heart open and floods my eyes with tears of gratitude...."
“....Show me how you were loved, and I’ll show you how you make love”
This is possibly one of my most loved quotes from Esther, it is a question that floats in my mind and body daily. I think of it when I consider my own internal landscape, how I respond to different people, how I show up in my relationship and what I’m teaching my children in my ‘being’.
My summary of how Esther explains it is this:
A little child sits on the lap of the parents. If all goes well, at some point the child will want to get off the lap and crawl/walk away to play, discover and be exploratory, and every little child will turn around and look at the adult who is standing there.
How we respond or how we were responded to is crucial..."
This is a question Bridget asked me today:
"If you could look into a crystal ball, what would you want for your children and how can you lay the foundations in parenting?"
One of my favourite questions is what do I want, yet we have to remind ourselves to ask it...What do I want.....?
For my children I want:
A courageous individual who can laugh at themselves and continue to show up
Someone who can connect to their pain, turn towards it and love even harder
Someone who has enough self-belief to be selfish and self-motivated, enough humility to know they are not defined by what they achieve and enough honesty to be dark and know their wholeness
A human who feels connected in their body and beautiful in their skin
A relationship with their family that catapults them into seeking, but always brings them home to loving arms, warm hearts and deep conversations
The ability to think outside the box, to challenge the status quo and to ask why
Of course, whatever I want for them is in some way what I am seeking for myself, which is funny when we think of our life like this. We are all looking for and seeking the very things we perceive were or are missing for us.
It's why we're the perfect parents for our children, because our own wounds will lead us to actively seek the 'remedy' to fill the void (the pain) we feel - what we want for them will be part of our own genius. We have already travelled the path they are on or will be on, we've already done the hard yards, learnt the lessons and gained the very wisdom they need distilled down to them to get through their life's challenges and towards your desired outcome.
It is always why it can be so darn painful to parent because our children are hardwired to push our buttons, which 'forces' us into growth and (hopefully) the right toolkit to find our way through with ever greater wisdom, genius and abundance in this area of life.
So when you look at what I want for my children, you can see my own values at play:
Which speak to my own voids within each of these areas. What I want for my children is essentially the essence of what I perceive was missing for me and that my heart aches to achieve.
The next part of Bridget's question was "...how can you lay the foundations in parenting?", which I find inspiring.
How do you lay the foundations of emotional intelligence, of wholeness (acceptance of light and dark), of stepping towards pain (not avoiding it), of the art of communication and resilience?
- We listen, we hold space for raw unedited emotions, we acknowledge the painful and uncomfortable by bringing them out of the darkness and discussing whats going on for each of us.
- We allow rage and anger and we find ways to MOVE them. They are only toxic when they stagnate like a bog with no flowing water.
- We invite in vulnerability and slow softness. We teach our children the quiet side of abundance.
- We give language to their feelings, we connect these words to their body sensations, we learn baby-steps to self-awareness and we help them carve out a toolkit to move these emotions through their body.
- We hold the space for them to experience and struggle with challenge in their lives. We don't solve it for them, we trust they have everything they need inside them to find their way through with a stronger sense of self and a clearer intuition.
How do you lay the foundations of body connectedness, awareness, governance and love?
- You provide opportunities for them to experience their body outside of what it looks like and enjoy it! Massage, movement, playing, dancing etc.
- You marvel at how amazing their body is when it heals, when it communicates to them through sensation.
- You bring their awareness back to their body, especially when they are lost in their head.
- You teach them how to tune into their body, how to breathe to where it feels tight, how to ask what their body is saying to them and listen for the answer.
- You teach them that their body is sacred, it is precious, no part less so than another. It is their right and their 'job' to stand up for their body, to protect it, to keep it safe.
- You teach them how to know what they desire, what they want, how to listen for what they need and how ask for it.
- You help them know the deep truth that pleasure is their birth rite. They were born of pleasure and into pleasure, they are literally made of love. This is their barometer for discovering in this world - if it feels pleasure-full seek it out, if at any time it stops being pleasurable, stop, and it is always ok to stop at anytime, anywhere.
How do you lay the foundations of self worth, self belief, creative thinking and enough tenacity to stick at something?
- Be crazy with them! Show them what it is to live loud and proud, with a sprinkle of "the subtle art of not giving a fuck". Be you, be real, be authentic - all easier said than done, but they're watching you and learning.
- Celebrate their quirks and offer them tools for continuing to show up even when it hurts.
- Recognise their genius and talk to them about what you see them really loving and excelling at.
- Offer boundaries and know you are worth the time, effort and energy involved in maintaining them. Talk about respect, honouring yourself and listening to your needs.
- Discuss the universal principals of challenge and support, the importance of finding your way through something not around it, how our genius expands when we are willing to keep going and the rewards are even sweeter (then actually allow them the time and space to experience challenge).
- When the going gets tough, don't look to remove the 'problem' (the person, situation etc), instead ask what your child needs to step up into their power and how you can help resource them to move through it.
- Continue to ask, why? Watch documentaries, have difficult discussions.
- Celebrate the milestones of change - when you know they've been working really hard on something, when its been a continuous conversation in your family and then they actually display it, point it out! Let them know the effect it had on you, how you felt in response to witnessing them achieving this.
- When they creatively find a way around your rules, occasionally hold onto a sense of humour about it and recognise the creative genius involved in working that situation (and everyone in it) out and figuring out how to get their needs met.
- Be willing to have negotiations. On everything.
- Encourage them to pursue what lights them on fire, what illuminates their soul and makes their heart beat a little harder and a little faster.
If you want to step up with us to resource yourself to learn about the parenting you never received and have the toolkits to providing the vision you have for your family, join us on Monday 16 October for Aligned Parenting.
It's just $149 for two weeks of content and coaching with us, including a LIVE Webinar, private Facebook group, and a further 6 weeks access to the course content to revise at your leisure as well as immediate access to our members only Facebook group.
Join or find out more here.
Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specific 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.
"...We can help our children learn feelings, empathy and how to grow through these challenges. We don’t need to fix it, change it, or have the answer – so breathe, relax your body, relax your mind – you don’t have the pressure of finding the solution, only of listening to how you are feeling, holding space for the same feeling within them and showing them the way back to balance THROUGH this emotion...."
"...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..."
"...Children who constantly whine, ask for the same thing repetitively or test the same boundary are seeking clarity. There is a level of uncertainty and with uncertainty comes anxiety, because the boundary is not clear; history would likely dictate that the limit has not been consistent.
Sometimes its been a “yes” and sometimes its been a “no” and sometimes its just been plain unclear!
Perhaps you’re tired, perhaps you’ve worked all day and you’re feeling guilty about how much time you’ve spent with the kids, perhaps you can’t deal with the fall out of a “no”, perhaps you’ve wavered on the limit…there are any number of reasons we don’t commit to a limit and I’m not here to admonish you for any of this – Lord knows, I’ve done all of these from time to time..."
"...Our children’s behaviour is never separate from our own. Even my raging 3 year old. What part of me is raging and feeling unheard? What part of me is fed up and wants some attention on my terms? Where am I stuffing down my feelings instead of expressing them? Where am I denying my anger? Why did the judgement of a 14 year old girl I don’t know and likely will never see again, sting?..."
"...So blow off the establishment, sometimes it’s just worth it. What my children learn from a day out of school like this is more than they could learn from a single day in school and we all leave our day behind feeling back in step with one another and back in flow with our joy..."
You know how we give, give, give, always questioning our mothering against the 'shoulds' on how we spend time with, talk to, and relate to our kids?
Well yesterday, with reckless abandon, I gave my son one spoon of ice cream and proclaimed the rest as my own. There was no 'fair split' - I ate pretty much all of it, and he watched!
Why am I telling you this?! Because as mothers we need to surrender to the pockets of the day that we can make deeply nourishing to ourselves, without guilt or shame over what that may take away from our children.
We need to set boundaries. Sometimes those will be for our children's safety. Sometimes they will be for our own sanity and self-respect.
And when we deeply own and stand in our authenticity in these boundaries and rituals for ourselves, we teach our children that it's okay for them to do it too. And that's the kicker - because in doing so, we are not raising children who are 'people-pleasers' disconnected from their own voice, we are raising children to listen to their inner wisdom rather than the opinions and rules of others.
That's what I want for my children. Even when at times it will piss me off! They are here to self-actualise and bring their unique gifts into the world (as are we!) and living by my values and guidance all of the time is negating the wisdom in their own.
So there you go, life lessons from a tub of ice cream:
So mama, enjoy your ice cream, or your chocolate, and when the guilt creeps in, ask yourself 'What are the benefits to them?' When we become emotionally polarised, we are missing the full picture.
Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon us.
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 path…the 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.