Archive for June, 2014

Mommmmm!

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

“I want you to be really, really selfish. The more selfish and nurturing you can be for yourself, the by-product for those that you love…is greatly enhanced.”   Greg Gumucio

“Contemporary research shows that happy people are more altruistic, more productive, more helpful, more likable, more creative, more resilient, more interested in others, friendlier, and healthier.”  Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

 

The other day while out to dinner with my kiddos, I shared something I did when I was sixteen that they were not ready to hear.  Casey, my eighteen year old responded, “Mommmmm, you really need to stay on your pedestal!  In fact, you need to stay on it for four more years.  Once Maggie graduates from high school then you can share your stories with us.  But, not till then.”

Casey darling, you crack me up.  I get it.  There are just some things you simply do not want to know about me.  And, honestly, there are some things I don’t want you to know.

It is difficult for our kids to think of us as more than moms.  Just ask them how they feel about the fact that their mom has sex with their dad.  Casey’s answer, “it makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.”

Casey and his girlfriend Hailey

But what I am noticing a lot these days is that it is not just our kids that are having a difficult time, it is the moms themselves!  Many of our dreams and desires have been pushed to the back burner, smoldering away, while the everyday duties of taking care of the kids, house, bills, dogs, cats and fish consume us.  We then forget to take care of our physical, emotional, intellectual and sexual selves.  In fact, some may even prefer to gouge our own eyes out with a spoon than have sex with our husband after a long day of being a mom.

So, in response to this phenomenon, I posted this on The Yes Mom Facebook page yesterday.


A beautiful young mom who is quite dear to me replied, “Thanks, I needed this today.”

I am happy that I could help and I hope you did something really special for yourself.  I certainly could have used this reminder when my kids were young.  I admit I had a tendency of sacrificing myself, my health, and my happiness in the name of love for my family.  Actually, who am I kidding, I still do.  But, I am getting better at it every day.  I go for hikes, write, play music, travel, juice, spend time with my friends and yes, enjoy sex!

I have learned over the years, “You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s life ahead of yours and call that love.”  A brilliant quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower; although as all you moms know, there is not much sitting.

I have also learned that If you believe long enough that sacrifice at your own expense is love, it will inevitably turn into resentment, grief or possibly worse…depression, over-eating, over-drinking, affairs, illness or in my case breast cancer.

The most powerful teaching moments are the times we mess up.  Breast cancer was one of those times.  It had a profound effect on me.  I was a good mom, I still am, but I didn’t always take care of myself.  I didn’t make my happiness priority.  I had this idea that if I put myself before my kiddos, I was being selfish.  I was wrong.  It only becomes selfish when it is at other people’s expense.

By the way, I may be using moms as an example here, but this applies to everyone.  Everyone that gives themselves up!  Everyone that sacrifices their wants and desires by putting others first!  That does not mean that we should not be “in service” to others.  It means we have to take care of ourselves in order to be in service to others.

So, to all you incredibly beautiful, intelligent, women and men with stars in your eyes, books to write, mountains to climb, and businesses to start, let go of that white knuckle grip on believing your are selfish when you are taking care of yourself.  Remember you are worthy!  It is not selfish to be healthy!  It is not selfish to be happy!  It is not selfish to pursue your dreams!  It is necessary!

Oh, and one more thing.  “Casey, I have had sex more times than you would ever want to know.”  Love you sweetie!  Love you all!

 

Loud and Proud

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

I dedicate this blog to a group of women who have not forgotten how to dance, sing, and paint the leaves on a tree any color they want! 

I love you Daisy Chain!

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ― Martha Graham

“I have no desires, save the desire to express myself in defiance of all the world’s muteness.” 
― Vladimir Nabokov

Saturday night, Daisy Chain blew the roof off Knuckle Heads in San Clemente.  Knuckle Heads is a little biker bar by the sea with a big beating heart.  They loved us.  We loved them.  It was a blast.  But the truly big heart was the band we got to play with, Hurt and the Heart Beat!  They were so much fun.  I want to play with them again and again and again.

The really cool thing about this, I fantasized about being the lead singer in an all girl rock band for years.  Today, I am living it.  Today, I am living the dream of my teenage girl self.  Sometimes I need to pinch myself to make sure it’s all for real.

Daisy Chain with Angela on vocals and Debi on Guitar

Raundi Moore Kondo with Hurt and the Heart Beat

So why did it take me so long to sign up for this?  Why didn’t I put a band together when I was 16, 18, or 20?  The simple and not so proud truth is that I was afraid.  I thought playing in a band was for the highly trained, the talented, the excellent; the musician.  I thought it was for other people.  I thought I wasn’t good enough.

What a bunch of hogwash.  I was good enough.  I am good enough.  Am I perfect?  Hell no!  Is our band going to get signed?  I highly doubt it!  Are we going to put out a platinum album?  Probably not.  But, are we having fun?  Yes!  Are other people having fun?  Absolutely!  Am I happy?  Enormously!

I am happy because I get to dress up in a hot sexy outfits, dance, sweat, and belt out my story to the world.  And, as you all know, I have a story.

After the show. Hot and sweaty with Amy our keyboardist!

Our Goddess Drummer Isis

I have to admit, it takes some courage to get on that stage.  And, it takes courage to tell my story.  And what I have learned over the years, courage doesn’t just happen.  It’s a choice!  And, we all have a choice.  The first time I chose to sing into a microphone, my words were barely audible.  I pulled a Jim Morrison, turning my back to anybody that was watching. It was scary shit.  My heart was racing, my palms were sweating, and that stupid little voice in my head kept saying, “What the hell are you doing Deanne?  Who do you think you are?  Thank my lucky stars I didn’t listen to that little voice because Saturday night would have never happened.

I have heard people say “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”  Not only is this an absurd statement, it’s a deadly belief.  We are all creative beings; every last one of us.  It is in our nature.  We were each born with the incredible ability to make something out of nothing.  We were each born with the need to express our self.  As Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist.  The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”

Unfortunately, something happens to many of us as we grow up.  Our creative spirit gets lost along the way somewhere and we forget.  We forget to dance.  We forget to sing.  We forget to color outside of the lines.  As Brene Brown, my favorite author who writes extensively about living a creative life says, ‘it gets shamed out of us.”  God forbid you paint the leaves of a tree pink, purple or black.

If you have forgotten and are unsure of how to truly express yourself, go back to your childhood.  What did you enjoy doing when you were a kid before shame set in, before you didn’t care if you made a fool of yourself, before failing was considered a bad thing and perfectionism was overrated?  Painting perhaps?  Building model planes?  Maybe baking cookies with your mom, singing to Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy or dancing to Donny and Marie…”I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock’n roll.  Whatever it was that you enjoyed back then may give you a clue to something you may enjoy today.  If you can’t come up with something, maybe there is an activity or outlet that helps you connect to your childhood; maybe something that helps you “reconnect to the freedom you felt as a child.”  (Brene Brown)

"The Swamp"

Our guest guitarist Dylan sitting in for the lovely Diana!

It is extremely important to find that outlet, to express yourself in a way that helps you reconnect to that freedom, because if you don’t, it will bite you in the ass.  “A wound is like a mouth.”* If you don’t say it, if you don’t sing it, if you don’t write it, paint it, perform it, build it, design it, wear it, or sculpt it, the unused creativity will come out in other forms, and I can assure you, you will not like the way it comes out.  As Sigmund Freud said, “Unexpressed emotions will never die.  They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”  And Brene Brown explains that “unused creativity is not benign–it metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame…”

These days, I spend my life making sure that my creativity gets expressed so that it does not metastasize.  It has been suggested that breast cancer is repressed energy; anger and grief eating away at you from the inside.  That’s why I let it all out now, on stage, in my writing, any form that comes to me. Loud and proud!

I have realized over the years as I have learned to live out-loud, that self expression is highly correlated to joy.  And we are all hungry for joy.  Not only is it a means to freedom, connection to ourselves and to others, it is the reason we are all on this planet as one; to bring a little bit of our quirky little selves to the cacophony of other quirky little selves, resulting in the most amazing of harmonies.  So go ahead.  Show up!  Let yourself be seen!  Say it loud and proud my friends!  Because we are all in this together!

 

** Michael Meade