Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Drained. There will be no fancy words tonight, but I still feel the need to check in here, to try and follow some of the threads dangling inside my mind tonight.

Madam is hurtling towards toddlerhood, and her normally sunny personality is being eclipsed by what feel like endless tantrums, complete with arching back and red faced screams and kicking my hands away. I find myself having entire arguments with TEG in my head, and innocent questions like "what's for dinner?" sound accusatory.

My apartment is still a chaos of boxes, and I despair of ever being able to find a place for everything. It always amazes me how completely motherhood has changed my life—TEG and I have moved 6 times in 7 years, and we’ve always been able to unpack and settle in within a matter of days. But trying to find pockets of time when Madam is happily occupied, and TEG is not on the phone, and I can dredge up the energy—well, this is not always possible. So there is a maze of half unpacked boxes and things that don’t seem to fit anywhere.

Let’s not even talk about trying to, you know, decorate the place.

And did I mention that my in-laws are coming to visit this week?


Several bloggers I admire have been writing about the Law of Attraction and learning how to manifest their desires in the world. This is something that fascinates me, in part because it sounds so simple. Use your emotions as a guide to try and observe your thoughts, then try to find thoughts that bring about happier emotions.

So why can’t I do it? I try to envision myself achieving my heart’s desires (writing and publishing a book, having more time to write, finding a way to make money, healing my fractious relationship), try to imagine how wonderful it would feel, try to imagine that it would all be possible. My thoughts are textbook examples of positive thinking.

And yet...I know I am lying to myself. Or rather, I know I don’t really believe it’s possible. I am beginning to realize that manifestation doesn’t so much have to do with the emotions caused by my self-consciously "happy" thinking, but rather with the deeper BELIEFS that directly contradict these thoughts. Beliefs about how utterly impossible all of my desires are, and how I don’t much deserve them, to boot. Beliefs that seem utterly resistant to all of my attempts to understand them, change them, listen to them, argue with them.

How do you all, wise readers, uproot these stubborn belief systems?

One thing I read about manifestation has given me pause. Basically, you can’t leap from low-grade depression or apathy to ABSOLUTE BLISS in one swoop. You need to go up the feeling scale gradually—from fear to depression to anger to frustration and so on until you reach the heights of love, appreciation, confidence, and bliss. It’s certainly not as exciting to think about slogging through all of that misery than it is to think that you’ll just FIX your mind and then abundance and bliss will shower blessings on you. And I do this with so many aspects of my life—I want to make every change at once, so that I can step fully into a completely new self, new life, new future. But this induces a fear that I’ll change so suddenly and irrevocably as to destroy the historical threads that tie me to my family, to my husband. And so I think a whole lot, but don’t make the leap into action.

This is a convenient excuse—to project myself so far into my dream future that it becomes a nightmare, and saves me from risking at all. It’s not enough to start writing, I must also get a tattoo (actually, I do want much does it hurt?), have lovers (all artistic wannabe bohemians do, don’t they?), leave my family, change my name, denounce my history. might be time to make one little change—and who knows? That might be the way to shave down the glacier of my resistant belief system.


I have a secret to confess here. I have a tiny bit of a phobia—driving. And if I am honest, it has affected the quality of my life for a while now. Once winter starts here in earnest, I’ll have to find a way to continue my daily outings with Madam—that way sanity lives. And that will probably have to include driving.

I have no idea why I am terrified of this—I drove in California (albeit reluctantly), but this is so much more of a city.

I have tried positive talk, "just doing it," associating it with pleasant rewards. Nothing has worked very well. I need some advice on other motivational techniques. This is something that serves to keep me feeling so dependant and, well, childlike (clearly the theme of the month here), and I am so tired of it but I can’t seem to overcome this fear by myself.

So channel your inner Freud, inner Jung, inner Dr. Phil and share your psychological wisdom with me; I could use it.

Sorry for the drab meanderings tonight; it’s late and I have miles to go before I sleep. So let me send you off into a post that is like a clarion call for me today, written by someone who is clearly able to manifest, and drive, and who is getting a lot more sleep.

Or am I just making excuses again?



Blogger deirdre said...

Oh toddler-hood. Oh my. I watch toddlers and teenagers and am almost okay with not having kids. It will pass. She'll be sweet again.
You've summed up a lot of my fears too. Wanting, believing, inviting, having. I wish I could connect these stages together and wrap them around deserving.
Driving in an area I don't know scares the bejesus out of me too. I think driving almost a thousand miles in a car I didn't trust when I brought my sister's kids home brought me closer to getting past that. It had to be done and I had to do it. It helps if I can visualize the route, if I know where to turn around if I get lost, and knowing I can call someone for clear and patient directions.

10:05 AM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Jessie said...

When it comes to achieving your heart's desires, it's possible that going for one thing at a time might feel a little less overwhelming. Still, I know what you mean...I am an "all or nothin'" kind of person also. I struggle to eek the energy out of myself to accomplish even the simplest tasks I set before myself--that is, unless I can throw myself into it fully (not so easy to do when life is always getting in the way!). I've been finding that late night coffee drinking helps immensely, but uh... yeah.

However, as for your dream to publish a book, I must tell you that just yesterday as Vinny and I were driving across town I was telling him about you. I told him that you write one of the best blogs that I read...that your work is more than blog material--it is PUBLISHABLE!! I reiterated this in about 5 different ways. I mean it M. Your words are powerful and polished. keep blogging (because I want to keep reading ;)), but your words are meant to go even further. I can feel it.

As for the driving phobia--I can relate. I've visited this city plenty of times and it is intimidating to me also--especially the freeways! V. and I drive around a lot together and that helps (ugh. but I've always been irritated by women who need their man to feel safe! am I becoming one of them?). idea is that you and I and the Madame drive around together once in awhile. What is it about having another person along that makes it so much less stressful? You can't get lost when you're with someone, right? Well, that's the premise I work under anyway.

We'll get our schedules worked out soon enough and I'm here whenever you need me. Even if I have to ride my bike to you! I need the exercise anyway. :)-

lots of love,

10:29 AM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I remember how difficult it was to gather my dreams into tangible goals when my daughter was a toddler. It was simply impossible to do everything I wanted/thought I should be doing. So I tried baby steps - doing small things that reminded me I had a life before I was a mom. Then the small steps became bigger steps and soon I was not only walking, but running! Little by little, day by day, bird by bird (as Anne Lamott says). Don't be too hard on yourself. Just do something, anything to make your own future more attractive to yourself. Dwell in possibilities. It doesn't mean you have to be cheery all the time - goodness knows, I wasn't. Many a night I cried myself to sleep with the frustration of it all. But in the end, I managed to accomplish much of what I wanted and I'm still working on the rest. :) Love to you - stay strong! You'll get there. xo

12:18 PM, August 23, 2006  
Anonymous beansprout said...

"Because you are alive, everything is possible." --Thich Nhat Hanh

Oh God...I know how hard it is to change those core beliefs. Maybe the first thing to undertake is changing that...trusting that you can change the beliefs that you hold about yourself. Believing that you can become the woman that you want to be. I struggle...daily! But there is hope.

And I'm with Jessie...there are many times that I have thought what you have written is worthy of publication. Take good care and be well.

1:14 PM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Three part comment:

1. My 17 month old went through this especially when he first started crawling, first starting walking and when certain teeth have broken through, It doesn't last forever(although it has come back here and there-and he isn't even two yet!).

I share the experience.

2. Ummmm...yeah my mind has gone to all these questions-I have watched the secret 4 times and I have it on my ipod and listen to it in the car-at least 8 times. I need to listen over and over.

Here are a few things I didn't hear until the umpteenth time:
-it is hard in the beginning
-You can't monitor your thoughts all day or it will make you crazy-so in the morning start with making and feeling a gratitude list-this does help get me in a more positive frame of mind-then imagine the feeling of having what you want (I am moving pretty slow here too-I am buiding images I want to put on my to be vision board and ignoring the negative thoughts that come up)and then go about your day. If you notice you feel stressed or upset or down-maybe what you are doing is out of line with what you really want (this is where I am now-I am working on trusting the feelings as much as I think what I am doing is necessary-especially to get done the way I want it. an example is I have been wanting to photo-measure and list all the art work I have from my mom's collection so I can approach some buyers. I have been feeling guilty about not getting to it and then trying to let it go because it wasn't happening easily-maybe it just wasn't the time-but it felt like procrastination-then a gallery person called me yesterday and then today I felt inspired and hapy to list/photo and measure. It was very weird)

This was a very long explanation - sorry.

3. Driving-I too get nervous sometimes, but I don't really know that I have great advice here. Practice? That always seems to take some of the nerves out of new things.

Hugs and kisses to you my distant traveling partner.

8:54 PM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

i echo Thea's comments, darling.

you do deserve all of your desires. i strongly believe in this theory.

it makes sense. "if you think and feel negative thoughts, you will attract negative things. if you think and feel positive thoughts, you will attract positive things."

it helped to keep it that simple for me.

perhaps we're all kooky but it sure has worked during the most difficult time in my life. i truly have found a bliss in the midst of sorrow.

i believe in you. your talents. i can see you living your dreams. you are such a rich and deep soul. let the world have a taste of your wisdom...

love to you my friend!

12:09 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger earnest and game said...

Good luck with the MIL this weekend. I an envying you your good food.

As for driving, it's only setting tasks, errands, meetings, must-sees, must-eats, must-dos that make it possible for you to slide in and just drive. If la petite Madame was across town and needed to be picked up, you would go every day without a hitch. Maybe then place your need for adventure and independence in this same light-weight it the same, take it seriously, and just say, it's got to be done. You're picking yourself up. That's a nifty thought, isn't it. You're across town, in that museum, in that cafe, in that park, and you've got to go and get her. She's depending on you. Xooxoxoxoxo

12:34 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger madness rivera said...

It's hard to will patience on someone especially yourself. I personally had to not paste over my real feelings with cookie-cutter self affirmations. That was not real to me. Just Do It? For real though? So, I tackled from the bottom; I tackled (tackle) the negative thoughts because that blocked the self love, the confidence, the actual action. It all was buried under that. And I squashed it, man, and realized if it takes me forever to accomplish stuff, fine. Am I the person I want to be? Mother? Wife? Am I real? Am I honest? This is what promotes the best writing, even if it takes years. Forever, it seems, in my case.

Must you drive? If you really don't want to do something, must you? I'm of the camp that if it causes much panic, then put in on the back burner for a while. Don't feel pressured because a lot of people aren't afraid to drive. Who cares. However, if you feel empowered by the thought of facing a fear, then go for it and knock that shit out. But if not, give yourself a break. Sounds like you're putting yourself through a lot.

You are thoughtful and a good writer. This is quite an accomplishment already.

2:10 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger wendylou who? said...

I have two toddlers...oh, I mean Teenages...Almost the same thing...Learning to affect their environment...It will pass... yours with that lovely Golden age of will have so much fun. Mine will pass too....It's called college! Stay strong!

6:50 PM, August 24, 2006  
Anonymous fern said...

"One thing I read about manifestation has given me pause. Basically, you can’t leap from low-grade depression or apathy to ABSOLUTE BLISS in one swoop. You need to go up the feeling scale gradually—from fear to depression to anger to frustration and so on until you reach the heights of love, appreciation, confidence, and bliss."

You've taught me a very valuable lesson with your words- I am very guilty of working hard to "fix" something in my life and expect everything to go from awful to wonderful by some "cleansing" ritual or the other.
I suppose dealing with things that get us down is something we have to be prepared to do every single day. I wish it were easier, and I need to be more patient with myself because we can never just "get over it".

Thanks for the entry!

8:22 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger M said...

Wow! What a post! So full of deep thoughts, making me think a lot too. I feel the same way about manifesting my dreams and desires - how do you do that when you don't always believe in your own abilities?! I'm learning though, and using it as a new way to approach my job search. I'll let you know if it produces anything wonderful!!
About the driving, the only advice I can give is "Just do it". I grew up in a small town and was terrifed to drive in a city, but once I did it enough times, I lost the fear and felt much more confident. Maybe you need to find someone who you feel comfortable with to just go out driving with you - take some back streets to start and work your way up to the big cray traffic places. I love to drive, and I used to be scared as well. I really miss it now that we are relying on public transit - I have yet to actually buy my first car!! Good luck with it, you can do it!! Baby steps, as SARK says.

6:32 PM, August 25, 2006  
Blogger Jerri said...

Just found your blog, and it warms my heart.

24 years ago, I lived in Minneapolis with a small child and a longing to write. Now my children are grown and I have plenty of time to write.

It would be easy to tell you you'll miss these days when they're gone, remark on how fast they go.

Trouble is, my memory is excellent, and I can still feel the sensation of running in quick sand, remember the frustration of typing with one hand.

It's hard. It really is. Be gentle with yourself. Be as reassuring to yourself as you would to a friend who must face a fear.

But do face them, a bit at a time. Do one thing that scares you each day. Start small--making a phone call you dread or writing something that makes your heart hurt.

Above all, believe in your dreams. Believe in your right to make them come true. The power of your Spirit shines through the words you write.

Let that light shine and warm yourself in its embrace. It's there. I simply know it.

9:26 PM, August 26, 2006  
Anonymous Shannon (Sentimental) said...

Alas, I have time to read you and tell you your words are beautiful.

I can't say I have all the answers myself or even half of them. I can say I know exactly how you feel as I feel that way too. Want to know my solution?

I do it, I head for it and slowly but surely I get closer and closer to my goal, my dream, my ultimate me.

I recognize it is a long and winding process and a process that I at times will reach peak knowing myself only to fall the next day to a total stranger.

Have faith though, five years ago...I felt like you. I wanted something more but was clueless as to how someone "like me" could get it. What the hell is that? "like me"?

I can do anything I set my mind too...a recent realization for me in my composing the self class....

the only boundries I have are those I set for myself.

Remember that....and stay steadfast to your wishes of your heart.

10:06 PM, August 31, 2006  

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