Friday, January 22, 2010

Emotional Detox

Today is day 6 of the Radiant goddess course. I've been chopping veggies and fruits, blending and juicing all in an effort to cleanse my body and to allow my energetic self to shine with its true radiance. It has been an amazing journey - I am getting up earlier for some movement (banish the negative word Exercise from the vocabulary!) and to listen to the meditations. I then head downstairs, walk the dog (or in current conditions, we shuffle around on icy sidewalks) and finish up with a few minutes of writing in my daily planner before watching the day's video message from goddesses Leonie and Sone.

So a couple of days ago we were directed to look at what our bodies might need to be detoxing from. Having felt physically pretty smooth and clear, albeit a tad hungry, I thought to myself "I have a handle on this." Sugar is my arch nemesis and I am aware of how those cravings operate within me. I wouldn't say I was glib, but I moved on with my day with little thought about detoxing.

Yesterday we were directed to take a walk in nature and to make it a Great Spirit walk, being open and aware of any messages the Universe might be sending our way. In a spirit of adventure, Cowgirl and I headed off to a nearby park, well aware there might be some trail breaking necessary. It was tough going through the snow at the start and I was proud of Cowgirl's spirit of willingness to plow forward, even after several incidents of her sinking thigh deep into the snow. In those first few moments, I wasn't hearing Great Spirit talking; I was hearing my huffing and puffing as we sloughed forward.

Then things fell into a lovely rhythm. The snow was less deep and we didn't have to constantly look at our feet. We could look around and see the milkweed pods, the dried berries, the bird and the squirrels nests in the surrounding trees. We could hear the Blue Jays cries in the still winter air. Then we began to notice the tracks in the snow. First deer, then rabbit and squirrels. "A Ha!" I thought. "My message is from the animals!" I would consult my animal totem cards when I got home, but I already knew the general gist: gentleness, gathering, and fear.

By the time my fingers got numb, I knew we should turn back. Pausing to take some (more) pictures, Cowgirl impatiently yelled "Let's go!" "In a minute ... just one more shot" I replied, a comment she has heard on far too many an occasion. And she knows it will be more than a minute. I was absorbed in trying to focus on a dried pod when "whoosh!" a splatter of snow flew by me, grazing the side of my shoulder.

Now, I like to think in normal circumstances, I would have laughed at this playful gesture of impatience. But as my camera was almost hit, and as I am presently hormonally challenged and detoxing, I exploded. And by that I mean anger spewed forth from me like Vesuvius raining down upon Pompeii. Only it was words that I poured out upon Cowgirl.

The writer Anne Lamott said it best when she wrote "lashing out at your child is like bitch slapping E.T." or something to that effect. After the tears (both of us) and time talking things through, I remembered to look at my animal cards for any messages. Deer: "Stop pushing so hard to get others to change and love them as they are." Squirrel: "Lighten your load if you have gathered too many 'things' that do not serve you. These 'things' can include thoughts, worries, pressures ..." And finally, Rabbit: "Write down your fears and be willing to feel them."

And here we get to the meat of the matter. Far too often I react to Cowgirl's behavior out of a form of fear. From day one I knew she was a strong force that would challenge my abilities. She is the exact opposite of me as a child and my first fear was I was out of my league. She can be like a wild horse - a powerful, free spirit which I don't want to break, I just want to contain. A bit. I want her to do well, to succeed in whatever she sets her heart and mind upon. I want her to love and be loved. So my greatest fears are her not fitting in, struggling because of her independent spirit and being mislabeled, misunderstood.

And being totally honest, I am afraid of being judged and deemed lacking as a parent. Cowgirl is very, ahem, determined. Some might call her "bossy." I catch myself often saying to others "we are working on her bossiness" because I am afraid of what others might think. Of me. I am, in short, afraid of failing her. I fear that I might not prepare her properly for this world and all its challenges and obstacles. I fear I am teaching her the wrong values and am not guiding her skillfully around the treacherous terrain of notions of acceptance and a healthy sense of self.

Thinking about all this, I recall amongst all the animal tracks in the snow many dog prints. I've almost overlooked this message. Dog represents loyalty. Even when cruelly treated, dogs still live to serve. Their medicine teaches compassion and forgiveness and an understanding of human shortcomings. The greatest shortcoming is living our lives in ignorance of our true Self, our true nature. When I act out of fear, I am really believing myself to be this small, limited, flawed being. When I dump my fear upon my child, I am burdening her with this false image of herself as lacking in some way. Lacking focus, lacking discipline, lacking lacking lacking.

We suffer not only because we deny our Light, but because we identify with what we are not. The task as I see it is to uncover the false notions and work to let go of them. Cleansed of these misperceptions, my true Self, my Radiance, my inner goddess, will shine through. I hope now I can manage better the emotional detoxing. And to remember the lesson of deer and to love my child as she is because she comes to be already complete, perfect and gifted with the skills she will need for this life. I have to trust in her. And in myself.

We are not works in progress, but the work is always progressing ...


  1. i love this post lis, for so many reasons. firstly i felt it spoke to me, saying: "sign up to the radiant goddess course" (seriously, as if i needed to sign up to anymore e-courses :)
    but i also love how you've illustrated the subtle ways in which the signposts from the universe are always there for us. we just need to remember to look out for them. and wow, what messages they imparted you with!
    i also have to say, although i am not a parent, i admire the mother you are. i admire your honest sharing here, and i admire the way you look at yourself to see how you can best be there for your darling little one. honestly lis, she is already the luckiest girl in the world. you lead by example, and as a result, she can't help but blossom. beautifully.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I had a bit of emotional detox today as well. I posted it on Day 5 of the Radiant Goddess circle.

    I know how challenging a willful child can be. I have one. Don't beat yourself up. It's okay to apologize and move on. You are human!


  3. Lovely Lis, I absolutely love your last line 'We are not works in progress, but the work is always progressing ...'I shall take this and drop it into my own medicine bag :) I strongly agree with pen's observation that you are a shining example and that cow girl is so very lucky to have such a thoughtful, compassionate , inspiring parent.
    Lots of love,

  4. Lovely post, Lis. I laughed at the thought of C's impatience whilst you took photos. Did you look up little monkey in your animal cards too?! ;-) You are an amazing Mum. The love you pour into your daughter's life is beautiful and inspiring. I've no doubt C will turn out as wonderful and loved as you are. Big Kisses. xx