Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

Focus Finding Mission

I open Twitter and see the people doing it right: they focus on their niche, consistently tweeting on the same topic; their tweets have a distinctive voice and are routinely clever, or inspirational, or snarky, as befits their persona; their posts are nicely spaced, appearing every hour, around the clock.

I know this is the right way to build an audience, establish credibility, and attract a following. Every now and then, I attempt to follow these rules. Then, I get distracted. I retweet something, just because I like it. I type a random thought that came to me in the shower. I tweet 50 times one day, and then don’t tweet for days, or weeks.

I have a jumping-around kind of mind. My interests and thoughts scatter a hundred times in a ten-minute conversation. Ideas spin off, sometimes on rapid straightaways, sometimes into deep rabbit holes, sometimes in a thousand directions, like sparks of fireworks.

Source of Scatter

For 30 years, I was the consummate good girl. I created lists and schedules. I color-coded my school notes and files. I adhered to guidelines, suggestions, and shoulds. For 30 years, I thought the true me was the ultimate rule-follower.

From 30 to 40, courtesy of my children, I discovered all the ways that rules do not work. I stumbled upon books about alternative health care, natural living, positive parenting, and expanded world views. I realized that my rule-following youth was not a projection of Me, but a coping mechanism for surviving in a crazy world.

For the past few years, I’ve been learning to recognize my multidimensional self, to honor my non-linear thought process, and to unearth the real True Me. My tweets and blog posts reflect my winding, confusing journey. I may not be doing Twitter and blogging, right, but I’m doing it my way. I celebrate that.

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Accepting Love

I want to be loved by you ♫♫♫♫♫ I know the signs by which I expect you to show your love. I hope you know them, too.

It’s lovely if we truly know our children, partners, parents, and friends and are able to love they way they want to be loved. It’s nice if they know us well enough, and have the capacity to, love us as we want to be loved. But it doesn’t always work like that.

My father loves me by preparing beautiful meals for my family. My son cuddles me in an amazingly loving way, but only when he so chooses. Lots of people hug me.

I could tell the huggers, “I don’t like to be hugged by you,” but I suspect they would be hurt by such words. I could ask my son to do something for me, but he wouldn’t do it. I could say to my father, “I appreciate the food, but I’d like to hear about your childhood,” but he would walk away.

I can notice all the ways I’m not getting what I desire, or I can appreciate the love that is freely given, when and how it is presented to me.

I choose to accept and experience love in its many expressions. I choose to notice and appreciate the goodness in my life. I choose to embrace the adventure of living.

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Revealing Myself, Libra

Our bodies are made of stardust. The moon moves the waters of the world in an intricate pattern of rise and fall. The Earth’s angle toward and rotation around the sun dictate seasons for planting and reaping. Wise Women and Men have long recognized the influence of sun, stars, moon, and planets on life. For many of us, synchronizing projects, plans, and selves with celestial and terrestrial rhythms leads to increased enjoyment and productivity.

As part of my journey to embrace my Swan Mother Essence and to be my best self, I have joined the Magic and Wisdom Circle. During the cycle which begins when new moon in libra, our theme is self-love.

I decided to join the circle about a week ago. Though the circle was closed until the moon moved into libra this morning, self-love information began to show up for me as soon as my intention was set. Last week, I was reviewing an advance copy of Sasha Allenby‘s “Write an Evolutionary Self-Help Book.” In Chapter 3 – Your Life, Sasha writes:

Magical Mirror by Ironshod Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Fantasy©2009-2014 Ironshod via DeviantArt

Self-love is a term that is bandied about very flippantly in the self-help and transformation industries. Here, it is not a term that I am using lightly. If you did nothing else, other than commit to experiencing as much self-love as you have the capacity for in this given moment, and if you are committed to expanding that capacity in each moment, then all the other aspects of your life inventory will fall into place.

I wonder if you are willing to come on that kind of journey with me as we go through this book together? To put self-love at the heart of all you do?

Am I willing to put self-love at the heart of all I do? What a question! I turned off my Kindle and let the idea of self-love (putting it first being a leap I saved for another day), first.

Yesterday, YouTube suggested a video for me: Self Love – The Great Shortcut to Enlightenment by Teal Swan. Teal calls self-love the root from which everything grows.

By setting my intention, my journey to loving myself truly and deeply began. I am, in motion. As I appreciate all aspects of me and practice self-acceptance, I fill myself with a love and harmony so grand, they flow from me. And so it is.

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Full Responsibility Parenting

A Mother’s Lament by ~Yohnnilee Fan Art / Traditional Art / Drawings / Books & Novels©2010-2013 ~Yohnnilee

A few days ago, I wrote some lovely words about not interfering with my children, about letting them have their own experience, about trusting that they can manage their own lives. I clicked post, sending my insights into the world. I felt good about my enlightened parenting. For a minute. Then, life resumed its relentless march.

Ellana came down dressed to go out in tights and a shirt. Daniel got in Jonathon’s face and made silly faces, which caused Johnathon to groan and speak harshly to his brother. YouTube and i-Pad games took precedence over homework, for a long time.

And I . . . interfered.

I used what my daughter once called The Tone of Voice, the same tone of voice which I admonish my children not to use. I offered dozens of suggestions in rapid succession. I pushed and prodded, which, in my Not Interfering post, I implied would build a foundation for resentment. Way to go Swan Mother. Yay, me. <sarcasm>

Knowing What Kind of Mother I Want to Be, Not Being Her

Cover ImageI wrote a book about my journey to recognizing that my children are magnificent exactly as they are. I’ve been a mother for a long time (15 1/2 years). I’ve done lots of things wrong. I’ve read piles of books and blogs. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I have a clear picture of the supportive, gentle, and loving mother I want to be.

So . . .

  • Why do I offer observations and suggestions, when my goal is non-interference?
  • If I love them exactly the way they are, why am I frustrated?
  • Why is my best so flawed?

Total Acceptance

“I have come to drag you out of yourself, and take you in my heart.  

I have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the sky.”

originally, Rumi (now, my family, to me)

We do not live in a bubbles. The moods and actions of people around us affect us. Weather affects us. Moon cycles and solar flares affect us. Childhood experiences and what our spouse said this morning affect us. Humans are complex creatures.

There is no excuse for me to speak unkindly, but I apologize to my children, not here. I do not want my children to apologize to the world for being who and how they are, so I accept myself as I am — even when I don’t like myself or my behavior. I keep doing my work and remembering Carl Rogers’ curious paradox:  When I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

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