Category Archives: observation

Free Refill: Slow Down

Dear Holders of the Cup,

Two weeks ago I gave you 10 secrets to holding a full cup this holiday season, (http://www.mamaneedsarefill.com/2017/12/free-refill-tis-the-season/), and I am breaking down those secrets further. Let’s look at Slow Down as a way to actually savor the holiday season while holding a full cup.

Running errands last Friday I spotted a parking spot right in front of the store I needed to visit. I flipped on my blinker as I moved into position to parallel park. (Have I ever told you I am the Queen of Parallel Parking? Well, I am. Except for that one, okay, two dents on my fender.) I immediately realize a dude has pulled his car right up to my bumper and I now have no space to back in and parallel park. So I wait for him to notice my blinker.

HONK, HONK, HONK, blares his horn causing many too look our way. The blinker making I later learned one pedestrian told him, She is parking, you need to go around. And he did have plenty of room to go around on the four lane road, which was relatively quiet except for his honking.

As the moment became longer I could see him yelling from his car. You want to know what I did? I waited. I breathed. I didn’t take it personally. I considered it an invitation to slow down. He eventually passed me and I eased into the parking spot.

What was his problem? A passerby inquired as I got out of my car.

I don’t know, I told her, the old me would be upset and crying after yelling and flipping him off. She laughed.

I didn’t need to jump on his party bus of hurry-hurry-rush-rush. I was invited, but returned the invitation. (“Return to Sender, address unknown, no such number, no such home.” Thank you Elvis.)

This is what I mean about slowing down, we don’t have to join in with others’ stress. We get to choose the energy we want to spread. Expanding this further we get to listen longer to the music, pause to connect with a stranger, visit with the store clerk, chat with the Salvation Army attendant, take an extra few minutes to sit down and drink our cup of coffee or tea while it is still hot. We get to notice the lights and even take a different way home to discover new ones. We get to taste the cookie dough as we bake and savor the details of preparing a meal for guests.

When we slow down we are present. Taking our actions at a slower, deliberate pace allows beauty and light of the moment to seep in. In those moments I find myself racing to the next thing, I realize I am the only one who thinks I have to rush. As I let my shoulders drop and take a deep breath, I invite in patience and I ask for help. Whether it’s from Angels, God, my children, my husband, or the passerby on the street corner. Everyone wants to help, the outpouring of help is always available. We need only receive. This can be utterly Divine help in the form of Grace, others taking on tasks or wisdom shared from random connection.

We get to see “interruptions” as presents to unwrap. When I happen to run into someone I am not expecting to see in aisle twelve, I receive the invitation to slooooowww down and I become present with that person, rather than with that thing that needs to get checked off the list. The task can wait. What is more important in the moment is who or what is standing before me. I use to get super annoyed when I was in a hurry and I’d see someone I know at the store, now I smile, and thank the Universe for sending me a sign to slow the F down.

In slowing down we witness Grace and we realize all that truly needs to get done, will get done. You are supported. You got this. Now please enjoy the season for it is the path to the holiday not just the holiday itself that it waiting to be unwrapped. Just for you. Sip and savor each moment.

Cheers, Jenny

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2010. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my random blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463. (Next mini-retreat, Friday January 5th is sold out. Two seats available for February 9th mini-retreat: Love Cup. 9:30 – 2 PM ( 2 seats left), in West Seattle. April 20th and June 8th mini-retreats: 5 open seats each.

 

Friday’s Free Refill: A Whiff of Summer

For me the smell of Earl Grey and flowers EVERY season warms my heart and fills me to overflowing with joy.

My husband swears I would make the best bomb sniffing dog. Let’s just say I know someone is thinking about chocolate before they even open the hidden bag of chocolate chips at the back of the baking drawer.  When someone leaves out the milk, I know it before the carton turns warm and that’s while sitting in another room. Light a lavender scented candle and I drop to the floor and begin meditating.  More strong sense of smell has the ability to change my mood, transport me to another place and inspire immediate action.

 

For me raspberries are more than the smell and  taste of summer. The slightest hint of raspberry takes me back to 1973 standing in my grandparents garden. The sun is out, the birds are singing, grandma is inside their white house making apple pie and grandpa is mowing the lawn on his riding lawn mower. I am happy, barefoot, stepping through the garden picking the ripest plumpest berries and popping them into my mouth. I am not just in their garden, I am in heaven.

 

More than forty years later, that is what the smell of a raspberry does for me. Takes me to one of the happiest times in my life. More than happiness, more than a sign of summer, for me a raspberry is pure joy.

 

A plethora of smells have power over me, taking me to another place. A place of calm, surrender, inspiration, or peace. Lavender calls me to calm the hell down and invites me to create something with my hands whether it is a big green salad or to color with crayons. Lemon grass whispers my name to actually enjoy doing nothing. Peppermint invigorates my mood and lifts my spirit.

 

I could go on and on and on about how certain smells trigger particular memories and remind me of specific moments. Smell moves me. I make scents that have a positive impact on me a part of my daily life, whether it is in using essential oils, lighting candles, cooking certain foods or stopping on my path to smell a rose.

 

I encourage you to discover the smells that move you. What inspires, calms, invigorates or relaxes you? Is it a fresh tomato off the vine? What about the first whiff of coffee in the morning or the last smell of vanilla before you fall asleep. Choose the smells that take you back to that summer where you were standing barefoot, happy, immersed in heaven. Put them on, breathe them in, cook with them, burn them strongly. Play with their power. Allow yourself to be transported to your happy place.

Cheers, Jenny

Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for women, men, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2 pm. Next one, September 15 (2 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Real Boys Cry

My vision is for a world that supports boys who cry instead of teaches them to hide, stuff, ignore and be ashamed of their tears.
My vision is for a world that supports boys who cry instead of teaches them to hide, stuff, ignore and be ashamed of their tears.

My kids wanted to show me a You Tube video of a seven year old rapper performing on America’s Got Talent. They wanted me to see this talented little guy. This totally cute little boy got on stage in front of thousands of people if you count those watching on TV. He performed his heart out. And then one of the judges, Howard Stern, hit his NO button. Apparently that means he can’t go on, show over for the seven year old.

The boy began to cry. A very normal emotion. Tears welled up in his little brown eyes. The crowd proceeded to chide Stern. At this point Stern got up from his seat and approached the boy on stage. He offered him a genuine big hug. He then did something that made me want to scream.

Stern told the boy to not cry. That his crying made him feel bad. Then in his dramatic flare he told the crowd and his panel of judges that he wanted to quit. If this job was going to make kids cry, he wanted out.

The absolutely best thing that little boy could do was cry. Heck, I’m 48, never mind that I can barely carry a tune, but I’d cry.

Crying is liquid emotion getting out of us. When ignored I can only imagine what it does. It grows, festers, turns hard and bitter. I get it, Stern felt uncomfortable. No one likes to think they made someone cry. When will crying cease to be the thing we fear?

I hear and see dads and moms on the sidelines of my kids sporting events regularly tell their kids to not cry. Shake it off. Buck up. You don’t need to cry. Like laughter when it bubbles up within us all we can do is let it out. Tears aren’t to be feared. They are to be honored. Loved. Respected.

I can only trust that little boy is going to take this experience and have it grow him. If he still loves rapping, I hope this encourages him to keep practicing.

When will old stereotypes of boys crying stop? Wouldn’t it be lovely if we lived in a world that supported boys emotions instead of teaching them to buck it up and stuff that feeling in a corner?

A release of waterworks is transformational. Acknowledging emotion is life giving. When I have the honor to witness it in another I want to applaud. I don’t. I simply sit still and allow them to feel.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Focus

Visiting Maui over the Christmas/New Year Holiday I discovered these trees that draw me in with their beauty.  One way I focus my mind in meditation is by  visualizing a tree, now I have a new tree to keep me focused.
Visiting Maui over the Christmas/New Year Holiday I discovered these trees that draw me in with their beauty. One way I focus my mind in meditation is by visualizing a tree, now I have a new tree to keep me focused.

Every year instead of a list of resolutions, I begin the New Year with a one word intention. In 2014 it was PEACE. 2015 PRESENCE. I spent time reflecting over the last few weeks, wanting the perfect word for 2016. A word that would have meaning, power, direction, strength and be applicable to where I am in my life and the direction I want to go.

 

It will only make sense to me. And that’s all that matters. For me this is my year of FOCUS. Focus on what is in front of me. One. Thing. At. A. Time. When I get distracted, come back to my intention for the season, the day, the moment. Stick to it. Don’t give up. Be clear. Less is more. Follow through. BE where I am.

 

There are a couple of big things on my mind and they will only be accomplished with determination staying focused on my intention. I love breaking words down to help me find their significance and deeper meaning. For me, FOCUS = Faith. Order. Centered. Unity. Stillness. Without faith I’d be lost. There is no better order than the Divine timing of the Universe. When I am untethered from my center, disconnected from God, I am overwhelmed and a bit out of control. With unity I find wholeness and in stillness I hear my wisdom within.

 

In the past years Peace and Presence kept me grounded to my truth like I know Focus will keep me rooted to what matters most to my heart. When I am connected with that my cup stays full and when my cup stays full I am a better version of me.

 

Is there a word that you can align with in 2016 to keep you grounded to your desires, dreams and intentions holding a more full cup?

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Sleigh Bells

A retreat attendee paints her cup with a reminder we all need...Believe. When it comes to beliefs about yourself, what do you believe?
A retreat attendee paints her cup with a reminder we all need…Believe. When it comes to beliefs about yourself, what do you believe?

When I spoke of holiday traditions three blog posts ago I emphasized participating in traditions that fill your cup. Rather than doing it because you have always done it, ask yourself if you are present and engaged to the activity at hand. (see older post about how to hold a full cup over the holidays,  http://www.mamaneedsarefill.com/2015/12/fridays-free-refill-traditional-cup/)

Ten years ago I hated Christmas. I stopped believing in the magic of it all when I was four years old and my eleven year old sister told me on Christmas Eve that Santa wasn’t real. I fell asleep that night listening for Santa’s sleigh bells. When I didn’t hear them, I stopped believing. I didn’t regain that childlike wonder in the magic of Christmas until I was in my late thirties. (see older link about losing faith in Christmas as a kid and regaining that faith as an adult, https://heartwriter.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/faith-in-santa-tradition-part-i-by-j-g-mcglothern/)

In the popular Christmas book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, the young boy protagonist grows up and can still hear the tinkle of the sleigh bell he was gifted by Santa. His sister, parents and other grown ups only hear a silence when they ring the bell. The bell is only heard by those who believe.

That’s what happens to us in other areas of our lives. We believe what we are told.  If someone says we are too sensitive, too strong, not good enough, too this and too that we may take their opinion to be our truth. It makes my heart so sad, just as sad as when my sister told me there was no Santa, when people fall into a belief system that is so far from their truth and based on someone else’s opinion.

You get to say what you believe. You get to write your truth. And it begins with how you look at yourself. Will you look at yourself with a belief that deflates your soul and leaves you feeling empty or will you look at yourself with a belief that nurtues your soul and fills you up? Our beliefs are powerful. Our beliefs change lives. Our beliefs can leave you hearing nothing or the magic inside if you dare to listen deep enough.

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

 

Friday’s Free Refill: Those Eyes

Seeing through a child's eyes can wake you up, especially when it is your own child.
Seeing through a child’s eyes can wake you up, especially when it is your own child.

I hate the zoo. It always makes me sad to see the lethargic animals staring off into space from behind their cages.

This past Tuesday my eleven year old son was on school holiday so guess where I took him? Yep. The zoo. Simon loves animals and the zoo is one of his favorite memories as a young kid. It was even my suggestion. This was our bonding time, it felt right to ask him if he wanted to go.

It was predicted to rain so I wore my boots and brought the big umbrella. I gave Simon the zoo map and asked him to lead the way. We visited just about every animal exhibit. I can’t remember a more fun zoo trip. I saw the caged up animals in a different light. Maybe it was the way they looked at me, not staring off into space, but rather looking right into my eyes. It was the jaguar first. Her pale green saucer eyes drew me in. Then the bears, two brothers. The elk, the penguins and that gorilla. All souls. Each with a story, a gift, a message to share.

My perspective changed and it began before we walked through the front gate. Even before I saw the clear blue sky above and purposefully left the umbrella in the car. I didn’t want to be sad, I wanted to have fun and be woken up a bit. This intention came true. The Humboldt Penguins would be extinct if they didn’t have a place like the Woodland Park Zoo. Many of the animals wouldn’t survive in the wild. The zoo was giving them a place of refuge, something I’d never thought of before. How can you not have fun when your son grabs your hands and starts skipping as he says not once but probably five times that day, Thanks so much mama for taking me here, this is one the best days of my life? Right? His perspective, his joy, his connection utterly contagious.

Sadness was something I didn’t want to feel that day and when I looked at the animals I felt something else. I felt connection. Maybe not the deep connection like my son feels but one that mattered. One that changed my view, woke me up a bit and opened my eyes wide. Wide like the jaguars. Those light green pools of possibility. Saucers of hope.

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Soul Sistah

My SoulCollage creations are personal symbolic representations that offer insight into my self- awareness and growth.
My SoulCollage creations are personal symbolic representations that offer insight into my self- awareness and growth.

You know how I talk about the importance of accountability partners pretty regularly on this blog? Accountability partners are the people in your life that help support you on your journey. The ones who you check in with whether it’s book club or faith group members, writing partners or running buddies – any person or group that is a part of what is important to you.

One Monday night a month for a couple of years now I meet my Soul Sistahs. We have created our own SoulCollage group. “SoulCollage is a creative collage process. You make your own deck of cards representing one aspect of your personality or Soul. Use the cards intuitively to answer life’s questions and participate in self-discovery,” according to www.soulcollage.com.  It is a way to deepen your understanding of self by answering life questions that come from refering to the cards you have created. This is great accountability for someone like me who wants to be creative, hungers to be creative but has always told myself that I lack that creative gene. This is great accountability for someone like me who is constantly seeking meaning and purpose in my life, open to growth and discovery.

We pour our wine or tea, (mood drinking is applicable) break out the glue sticks, scissors, magazine cutouts and construct an 8 by 5 inch card into a personal meaningful representation. After the creative process we ask ourselves six questions from the SoulCollage format that allow us to dive in deeply to the meaning of the card for us.

Monday I created the collage pictured above with birch trees and a deer. Many of my cards have trees. A symbol that aligns with me naturally, calling me to be rooted, urging me to spread my branches. All four of us have developed our own style in creating our cards. One likes faces and her cards have a variety of women’s faces that offer wisdom and a peek into her own soul of self discovery. Another has bright colors on her cards, affirming her own vibrant nature, calling out the artist within her to express her unique energy, encourage her to step out or step within. Space, animals, water, sky, mountains, certain colors, all pieces of our cards, parts of ourselves, all drawn to things that support us. Drawn to symbols that have profound meaning for us individually as we unfold our personal discovery.

I came away Monday night with the core meaning of my birch trees to mean “Focus on what is in front of me.” A perfect message for the gal who gets easily called away out of the present moment by any shinny object passing by. “Squirrel”, is often my theme of the day, pulled away and distracted by the next thing in my peripheral vision. (As I wrote that last sentence, my (Thursday accountability) writing partner’s husband came out of his office into our writing space to pour his own cup of tea. I always get up from my chair and hug him, exchanging some witty banter. This time, I remembered my white birch tree, as it is propped up on my computer.) Focus. On. What. Is. In. Front. Of. You. Not easy for me the natural social greeter who genuinely wants to connect with everything and everyone. But I did it. He commented on the quietness and clicking of our keys and I left my old squirrel way behind me. (I may have flipped him off when he made a snarky comment. If I did, I didn’t take my eyes off the page.) Focusing on the writing before me. This is MY JOURNEY. My desire to be present. My development of living out BEING HERE NOW. My SoulCollage card helped me do this yesterday.

I could tell you about ALL of the meanings I have discovered this week about birch trees. I could tell you about their symbolism of rebirth, new beginnings, protection, communication and rejuvenation. But then I would be following the squirrel for what is before me is this writing not the birch tree. Oh, real  quick, the deer symbolizes self – compassion, gentleness and unconditional love.

When we leave each other each month going back to our lives after a two hour journey of going deep we not only bring our card with us, we bring each other’s wisdom. We all offer any wisdom we see in the other’s card. Feeling supported not just by our creativity but by each other. I keep my card on my night stand, my reminder I see every day. This week I tried something different and have it on my kitchen windowsill. A place I look more often than my nightstand. All throughout the week I had a whispered reminder to FOCUS on WHAT is in FRONT of me. It made a difference. I grew all that much closer toward my desired state of being. Fewer squirrels grabbed my attention.

Whatever it is that helps you get all the closer to your dreams, reaching your goals and fulfilling your desires is worth honoring. If it is an accountability partner or group that helps you to show up to yourself, then join, partake, do it and show up to yourself in this way.

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463. (Next mini-retreat, Wednesday November 4th, Next mini-yoga-retreat Sunday November 15h, both in West Seattle.)

 

Saturday’s Sip: Take it with You

Before pulling into our campground, that would be our home for 3 nights, I found a delicious Americano at Bear Cafe.
Before pulling into our campground, that would be our home for 3 nights, I found a delicious Americano at Bear Cafe.

This morning I woke up in my own bed and only heard a few birds compared to the previous three mornings. I have been camping with my son’s 4th/5th grade class (24 kids, 10 adult chaperones) on the Olympic Peninsula in the rainforest, near the ocean and my morning alarm clock has been not just a few birds but a cacophony. This morning I missed the chorus and imagined them joining the birdsong out my bedroom window.

 

Since I am back home I am able to get back into my meditation routine going to my familiar spots in my home. I don’t have to fetch water or start a fire, I can linger longer in my meditation. And that is what I did this morning. The really cool part is that I was able to recall my days camping and bring the breathtaking scenery into my routine. My ten year old son taught my a handy trick. He stops in front of something he wants to remember and takes a “mind picture.” Pausing long enough to feel, taste, experience and breathe in the view before him.

It wasn't even 8:30 in the morning and I stood at this spot saying to myself,  "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What a great way to start my day!"
It wasn’t even 8:30 in the morning and I stood at this spot saying to myself, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What a great way to start my day!”

 

When I grounded myself, I found myself in the rainforest. As I chose my words for the day I sat on a log on the beach. Recalling all that I am grateful for I felt the sun on my face gazing up at the trees.

 

If meditation is new to you, recall a spot in nature that makes you smile and go there in your mind, feeling its presence in your soul. You can recall a peaceful place if only to take a breath and center yourself. Nature’s power whether it is the sound of the ocean or frogs and birds calling out your name, the calming touch of moss or rocks under your feet, the view of an eagle flying above or the ocean’s rythmic trance, it all has the ability to transform your mood and shift your perspective.

The color of green in the Hoh Rainforest is my new favorite color.
The color of green in the Hoh Rainforest is my new favorite color.

I invite you to go there in your mind the next time you need a shift in mind or heart. Remember a place in nature and go there in your mind allowing yourself to feel the transformative power of Mother Nature.

She has the ability to rock your world and what a gift that is!

I vividly recall standing here Thursday morning just after seeing an eagle fly overhead and as I let the class go on ahead, three of us chaperones stood gazing at this view before continuing our walk down the beach.
I vividly recall standing here Thursday morning just after seeing an eagle fly overhead and as I let the class go on ahead, three of us chaperones stood gazing at this view before continuing our walk down the beach.

Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. Visist her website for more information. If it is an accountability partner you seek, Jenny has in person and by phone coaching available. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Remembering

On Spring Break this week of course I found the good coffee shops. This one had some artwork begging me to take its picture.
On Spring Break this week of course I found the good coffee shops. This one had some artwork begging me to take its picture.

Remembering dad.

I can’t look at today’s date without thinking of my dad. It would have been his 88th birthday. He left this world at age 75 when our first child was 8 months old. My dad got to hold our daughter, but it is our son, whom he never met, who reminds me of him. Their chocolate brown eyes, the way they can’t just leave a room without checking to see if they forgot something.

Even though my dad suffered from mental illness all of my life he still had passions. He was passionate about sunshine, flowers, books, good pie, Willy Nelson, God and his four children. The way he devoured a book, writing in the margins, reading passages over and over it was clear that the written word mattered deeply to him.

Despite his struggles in his lifetime he found things that stirred his heart and made him laugh loudly or cry deeply. Even in his darkest of moments he reached for words to soothe and comfort his depressed spirit. The Bible, poetry, philosophy, National Geographic, any literature on rocks and minerals. Always a student of something.

Those things that we are passionate about can shine great light into our lives even when we don’t suffer from depression like my father. Often it is the color of a flower, the inspiration of a good book, the taste of warm berries, the sound of a particular instrument, the connection with another human being that shatters all the darkness.

We all have a date, more than one I’m sure, that reminds us of someone we love, of another time in our lives. Does that remembering connect you to something you were passionate about? Find what connects you, lights you up, feeds your soul. Remember a time when you felt alive. Now go live. Deeply.

 

Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach has been leading retreats for women since 2009. Her next mini-retreat held in West Seattle is Wednesday June 10th. Her first mini-yoga-retreat led with BJ Weitl will be Sunday May 31st at Bikram Yoga West Seattle. Could either of these retreats be just what you need to refuel and refill? info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Monday’s Random Thought: Thank You MLK, Jr

mlk.jpg (511×413)

You define courage. You exemplify Grace. You stood up for many, reminding us to Dream, encouraging us to Believe. Thank you for living your life with Purpose, Integrity and Spirit showing the world unselfish Beauty, total Wisdom and unbounded Love.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

(Side Note: I lead a double life and also write as blogger, HeartWriter. I “accidently” posted Monday’s HeartWriter Random Thought here under Mama Needs A Refill…for more poetry, randomness that may or may not deal with being a Mama see, www.heartwriter.wordpress.com.)

Friday’s Free Refill: Mirror Mirror on the Wall

When was the last time you caught yourself doing the very thing you complain about when others do it?
When was the last time you caught yourself doing the very thing you complain about others doing?

One of my biggest pet peeves is when drivers honk their car horns unnecessarily. I believe a car horn should be used only when safety is a concern and you are intending to warn other of danger.

Recently, with my  left turn signal I blinking away on I-5 I had the intention of getting over to the left lane. The right lane was an exit only so I needed to make the move. I had lots of time to get over and there was a lot of traffic so everyone was moving at a snail’s pace. The truck behind me apparently was in lots of danger or a really big hurry or something simply crawled up his ass for he honked his horn like a crazy man celebrating a victory. Only he wasn’t celebrating. He was apparently agitated and wanted me to get over so he cound continue moving toward his apparent emergency. No one was letting me in, so I had to be patient and I was hoping my patience would rub off on the horn happy fellow behind me. The honking was kind of freaking me out. Traffic was moving less than 20 miles an hour, my getting over wasn’t going to get him to his destination that much quicker for he had slow moving traffic in front of him as well. A kind gentleman let me merge over and we watched the mad man go forward not much faster than us. OH, but thank God I got out of his way.

The next day on an arterial, left turn signal on, the same thing happened. Another mad honker wanting me to hurry up. The thing is no one was in danger, I wanted to make my move when on coming traffic had passed. Reasonable thinking, I believe.

Rattled again by the crazy honker I took some breaths. My son pipped up from the back seat. “Mama it’s his deal. You are driving fine, I’d tell you if you weren’t. Shake it off. Water off a duck’s back.”

Why is it our children use our advice on us right when we are in the middle of big drama and emotion? He was right, I was driving fine. My blinker was working. And those dudes just had something going on with them that had nothing to do with me even thought it appeared so in the moment. Just like the message warning on our automobile side view mirrors, “Objects may appear closer….” Their energy, urgency, frustration was appearing a lot closer and I was letting it ooze over into my energy and space.

Then I kid you not, ten minutes later, I got a taste of my own medicine. After dropping off my son at swim team practice I was making my way through a yellow light, paused in the intersection when the driver in front of me was attempting to make an illegal left hand turn. Any second now the light would turn red and I would be holding up the oncoming traffic. Moving at a snail’s pace the driver seemed confused about where to go, so what do I do? Honk my horn like a crazy woman of course. Screaming like she can hear me, which she can’t, to move the hell out of the way.

Once she realized she couldn’t turn and continued straight we both just made it through the light in the nick of time. It was then I started laughing. Laughing like a crazy woman who just had something crawl up her ass. There I was doing to her what had been done to me. Like looking in a mirror I had taken on the agitation of the crazy horn honkers.

I took a breath. I shook it off. And I told myself you are not in danger, those objects just appear closer than they actually are, so take another breath. Water off a duck’s back, water off a duck’s back.

Friday’s Free Refill: Believe

What you choose to believe can ignite or destroy your faith. Are your beliefs supporting you this holiday season?
What you choose to believe can ignite or destroy your faith. Are your beliefs supporting you this holiday season?

It is our beliefs that carry us forward or hold us back, create our reality and shape our lives.

December, the season of believing. You either believe Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ or that it is about giving to others. Perhaps you believe both not cancelling out the other. You believe in Santa. You believe in the kindness of others. You believe that this is a joyous time of year or a stressful one. You believe in mankind, messages from angels, elves and magic. There are a number of beliefs formed around this season. None more true than the other. All plausable. The thing is whatever it is you believe to be holy and sacred whether it’s Jesus or Santa or both they all have a message, a place and purpose.

When I was four years old my eleven year old sister burst my bubble on Christmas Eve by telling me there was no Santa. This absolutely painted my road to not liking Christmas for years to come.  With my beliefs shattered the season lost meaning and left me disappointed.

Then there came a day when I decided to choose a new road, one established with new beliefs. I found the magic in Christmas again. I was carried with love and hope through the season. I learned how to create, discover and find other ways that supported my faith. I believed in something bigger than myself, something even bigger than Santa. Faith in God absolutely, that wasn’t seasonable, but faith in LIFE itself.

My beliefs in the kindness of strangers, mankind, possibility, miracles, and peace rewrote my story of Christmas. Faith doesn’t need to be in one thing. It’s about believing in something for which you have no evidence. No black and white facts but a feeling of warmth in your heart. When the days are dark and you know deep down that there is light around the corner. This is faith.

When you are sick and someone brings you soup, you are reminded that you will be okay. When you are tired and the stranger helps you through the door, you are being shown that you are supported. When you are standing in front of the window in tears and a bird stops to look right into your eyes, you are exposed to the light. You remember. This is all faith.

Believing in possibilty, hope in all things, beauty, love and power exist when you have faith. So what grows your faith? For we all can say what shatters it without batting an eye. Just turn on the news. But what nurtures your faith? Are your beliefs supporting your faith and how do you want to live this holiday season?

It is our beliefs that carry us forward or hold us back, create our reality and shape our lives. What is it that is carrying you forward and what is it that may need to be released so that there is room for you to believe this season? Room for you to carry on with faith. Room for a miracle to help you remember.

Friday’s Free Refill: Sweet Bird

Our children our a gift into learning about ourselves and to becoming even more of who we are.
Our children our a gift into learning about ourselves and to becoming even more of who we are.

Thirteen years ago today our sweet bird daughter, Margaret, came into this world. I always thought I would give birth to boys, lots of boys. God knew I needed a girl before I could be ready for any boy.

The mother – daughter relationship has been a dance for us both. The thing is I wanted to give our daughter everything I didn’t get from my mother. That only shoved her away and put up walls between us because the things I didn’t get are not the things she needed or desired.

Four years ago I gave Margaret a journal for the two of us to share. When she is done writing to me she puts the journal on my pillow indicating that it is my turn to write back to her. We have been doing this back and forth, taking periods of time where the journal sits unopened, but we always pick up where we left off, “Dear Mom, Dear Daughter.”

See my daughter is just like her papa, she keeps her emotions inside locked up for others not to know about, but she is really good at knowing how others are feeling. The journal has broken down our wall and made communicating with me safe and comfortable. Oh, the questions shes has asked and the news she has shared, if only I could tell you.

This way of communicating has opened up another door for us. She is now getting really good at speaking her feelings to me instead of keeping them bottled up. I am learning that every emotion doesn’t have to be broadcasted to the Universe and that there is great beauty in keeping your feelings under your sleeves. For this is where they can percolate and discover what they need.

Instead of being frustrated by our differences we have been laughing a lot lately. She is teaching me that she is not me and that her needs and desires are just as unique as she is. I get out of her way by not assuming and by asking. She gets out of her own way by learning to speak up and let out her thoughts, when she is ready. She is teaching me patience.

Oh, I can’t imagine having a gaggle of boys in place of my sweet bird Margaret. It is a delight to watch her unfold her wings, on her timing, one page at a time.

Friday’s Free Refill: Awareness

If we are walking by something every day and not even noticing it, unaware of its presence there is a good chance we are not aware of our own needs our own presence.
If we are walking by something every day and not even noticing it, unaware of its presence there is a good chance we are not aware of our own need,s our own presence.

Walking the dog around the hood the other day I discovered a yard with amazing Peonies stretching their pink faces to the sun. I pass this house regularly and had no idea they grew Peonies.  A few houses down my favorite bush, California Lilac, was greeting me with her brilliant blue garment. I didn’t know there were so many Irises in the neighborhood either. Our walk turned into a wake up call.

My alarm clock was the beauty planted in each and every flower and tree blossoming along my path. How many times do I walk by something and not notice it? I made it a practice the rest of that walk to be present to the nature around me. The bird song, the brilliant colors and smells calling to me in the breeze. My worries disapated. They seemed unimportant. All that mattered was the path I was on and my present surroundings.

I returned home recharged from the short walk with a vow to take ten minutes every day to really be present as I stroll the neighborhood with my dog.

What would happen if I was always present to the places my feet took me? I can only imagine there is a whole world out there just waiting for me to notice.

What about you? What will you notice? Are you willing to see how being fully present can recharge you and maybe, just maybe, fill your cup?

Friday’s Free Refill: Among the Trees

I forget how recharging it is to be out in nature.
I forget how recharging it is to be out in nature.

Just barely home from a two night adventure with 120 something 2nd and 3rd graders, I am exhausted. Ready for a shower. Physically drained for sure and my head is still spinning a bit, from the girl and boy drama that can come from that age group. Despite all that, I am aware of what a gift it is to be outside, in a canoe on a lake, hiking among the trees, walking along a river, sitting around a camp fire. Stepping away from routine and out of doors among the stars and moss covered trees awakens my senses and reminds me of how simple life can be. Simple and rewarding, life giving and life shifting, simply by feeling the earth under your feet and looking around you.

What shifts inside of you when you step outside and walk among the trees?