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August was a very weird time – an all too brief 4 day visit from one of my partners, two funerals, a wedding and the Nineworlds Geekfest conference sandwiched in between them – All very exhausting emotional things – followed by a period of “brain fuzz” from “doing all the stuff”, so not much room for the inspiration needed to write to take effect.

I’ve wanted to write my next post (“You can’t do it wrong“) for the last three weeks, but my brain simply didn’t want to give me “words” of any shape.  I did manage to journal a little bit about one of the funerals (to aid creating white space in my brain) but I know there is way more in there that needs to come out. When I’ve not been at work (doing “the minimum needed to get by and keep projects moving”), I’ve spent most of my time either sleeping, fussing over my orchids/watching YouTube videos on Orchid care and finishing up re-watching S7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Now, I could chose to beat myself up over this seeming “waste of time”, and a few years ago I very much would have done, feeling all the guilt around “doing nothing” and I would have tried to force “things to work”, which would inevitably lead to life not working at all and even more “things not happening” in life as I wallowed and flailed.

However, taking the Mindful view on things, I simply acknowledge that having had a very emotion filled and time sapping beginning to August,  I needed some time to reset. And my doing that self-care and taking that time to get back in the flow is not something that is “bad” or “wrong”, it is something that just “is”. And I have no need at all to feel bad about that at all.

Take my work here for instance. I dedicated myself to producing world-changing content once a week, and my lack of words to the world since the beginning of August could be seen as a massive failure. I could sit here in a puddle of self-recrimination and self-doubt, allow that negativity to enable me to listen to my amygdala and simply give up on my writing and myself  – because changing the world takes effort… and that equals resistance.

I do know that for the last week or so, where my brain has been up and firing again, that I have been very subject to resistance. I’ve been wallowing, “filling up my eyes” in a rather drastic way, doing anything to seemingly avoid writing or creativity (Although I have been spending lots of time with my Orchids!).

However, using that resistance as my compass, and knowing that my time-out allowed my brain to heal, enough is enough and it’s time to push on through! It’s time to give thanks and forgiveness in my life, open up to abundance and start shining again.

I’m hoping that I’ve given you reassurance and food for thought. Have you had a time where you felt that everything was just too much? How did you cope then? And are you now working Mindfully and with Gratitude to accept that sometimes life hands you a shit sandwich (to quote Marie Forleo!) and that you have to deal and move along. Leave me a comment below, and we can start working on connecting those dots.

Catch you shortly!

Image used “Intermission (5/7)” by jnyemb
Used Under Creative commons licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Thoughts on my gender socialisation – Being thankful

Being Thankful - Article Wordcloud

It occurred to me yesterday morning on the Tube that I’ve a great deal to thank my Mum about.

I very rarely, if ever, “sit like a girl” when I occupy a seat, 99% of the time I sit with my legs apart “like a boy”, even when I’m wearing a (long) skirt.

As far as I can remember, I’ve always done this, and this got me thinking about other things that I “do like a boy”, and by extension, the behaviours that my Mum just didn’t make too much of a fuss about that would be against “typically girly behaviours” as I was growing up; She pretty much just let me get on with learning how to be me.

I had dolls, (which I tended to use more as balls or weights rather than petting over them) and also had “princess” dresses. However, I also had Mechano and Lego when I was very young, I climbed trees and ran about outside as I got older, in my teens I had a Chemistry set, a ZX81 then a ZX Spectrum and asked for and received a Technical Lego set on my 15th birthday. I know I actively tried to be “more girly” at one point and made myself a “doll house” (the top of my dresser), but it was mostly me constructing walls and furniture for the dolls out of paper, plastic and card, rather than play-acting the “happily ever after lives” of the dolls.

I messed around with make-up, and mum bought me make up and books on how to apply it to my face but it wasn’t something that she said I “must” put on. (I rarely wear make up even now…)

Due to being both a very tall and quite a bit overweight apple-shaped girl, I never got into fashion either, and when my feet breezed past my Mum’s size 6 and ended up at a size 9 (and my nascent love of “pretty shoes” was thwarted) Mum helped me find clothes and shoes to help me feel and look my best, even through my totally “anti-fashion” phases. (Because, in a world of clothes designed for short pear-shaped women, when “nothing ever fits right, why should I bother?”)

Although she showed concern, she never insisted that I diet or restricted my food and, whilst suggesting that junk food was not the best thing for me, never tried to make me be something I wasn’t. She helped me drop fat when I chose to do so when I hit 17, but it was me that asked her for the help following a diet plan, not her that pushed me into doing it.

I realise now, that by allowing me to play with a range of things “across the gender divide”, by not guiding me into “all the pink toys and princess dresses”, and not pushing me towards fashion or make up or telling me that being fat was wrong, that what she gave me growing up was a very rounded socialisation – I was never forced to be “a girl”, I was encouraged to be my best and play to my natural strengths – which are actually opposite some of her’s (as she’s an Artist/Creative and a keen Gardener) as I’m rather focused around Logical/Latteral thinking (hence my superpower!), Science and IT.

I’ve found my own femininity and sexuality, my artist in dyeing and knitting and my green fingers via Bonsai and Orchids as I’ve grown older, but I really do have to say “Thank you Mum. You did a far better job of me than you give yourself credit for. Well done.”

Who do you need to be thankful for in your life? Also, do you need to forgive anyone for their past all-too-gendered socialisation behaviours towards you? Leave me a comment below and we can start working toward connecting those dots.

Catch you next week!