Monthly Archives: October 2011

pumpkins

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Today the kids don’t have school because there are parent-teacher conferences. These days always used to be frustrating for me. I would make plans for the kids to do something fun with the nanny while I went to the office. Today they get to be with me. I’m taking two of my kids to a farm/pumpkin patch, but my oldest daughter is hanging out with a friend. There is a voice in my head trying to make me feel bad that I worked right through the years that she would want to hang out with me. There is some truth to what that voice is telling me, but it is not the whole truth. And, more importantly, if I listen to that voice, I will sit in regret rather than be open and available for the ways I can be present for my daughter today.

On another note, I went back to Catalina this week. We worked on the tightness in my chest. I have experienced strong sensations of heaviness, constriction and adrenaline in the center of my chest for as long as I remember. Catalina and I talked through some life events that may have contributed to these sensations as she alternated pressing on points on my sternum, ribs and holding my feet. Our conversation centered mainly around two events. The first is when I was in my early twenties and having a surgical procedure, I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic which made it extremely difficult to breathe as I was going under the general anesthesia — pretty terrifying. The second was my dad’s death when I was 13 and the way I withheld expressing my grief. Catalina encouraged me to take my attention off of the sensations in my chest. She said that by obsessing (my word, not hers) on the tightness in my chest, I reinforce the idea that something is wrong. Instead, she encouraged me to focus on the feelings of my arms and legs being relaxed and the solidity of the connection between my feet and the floor. I have been experimenting with that the last few days and have been really successful at restoring a sense of calm in my chest.

Off to the pumpkin patch!

entrepreneur

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I don’t know why this is embarrassing, but I feel self-conscious about sharing it. As part of going part-time, I was advised by my accountant that there would be certain tax benefits to being paid through my own corporation. I reached out to a corporate lawyer, Jeff Unger, with whom I have a relationship, and asked for his help in forming my corporation. I had impeccable timing. Jeff had just announced a new program in which his firm would form corporations for 500 new entrepreneurs for free in exchange for being able to post their stories on his website. When he suggested that I participate in this program, I told him he really didn’t want me because the term “entrepreneur” didn’t apply to me. My business plan is: “work less and spend more time with myself and my kids.” He said that he definitely wanted my participation, because I am a “lifestyle entrepreneur.” Who knew? So Jeff formed my corporation, Life in the Cocoon, Inc., and I owned my entrepreneur status.

bloggers

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As I have shared here anecdotally, I regularly check in on several bloggers who share their lives and their stories ways that are variously courageous, personal, funny, artistic and authentic (I am re-posting a few links below in case you’re curious). I find that spending a few minutes reading their posts can help me to drop into my own authentic feelings or expression.

Occasionally these blogs lead me to other bloggers such as Jennifer McCullough whom I discovered this morning via Superhero Journal. It seems that her blog is actually new and I’m hoping she writes regularly since today’s post on solitude really resonated with me.

Ordinary Courage (Brene Brown)
Chookooloonks (Karen Walrond)
Love Life (Kal Barteski)
Superhero Journal (Andrea Scher)

open

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For the past 4 days, I have noticed with a combination of skepticism and amazement that my solar plexus has stayed relaxed and open since my session with Catalina. I keep waiting for something to trigger the familiar adrenaline bursts, the clenching, the contracting or the sinking feelings in my stomach. I have had plenty of triggers in the last four days (kid outbursts, work stress, time pressures, etc.), but when I place my hand just below my ribs, I only feel softness and a faint trace of my heart beat pulsing throughout my stomach. With my solar plexus out of the game, my chest has taken on full responsibility for carrying around my fear and anxiety. I feel the area just behind my sternum buzz with nervous energy and heat and threat. Can we break that up in one session, the way we did with my solar plexus? Or is there more work that has to be done before my chest will be ready to let go? However it plays out, it is delightful to imagine the experience of feeling that peacefulness throughout my abdomen.

wendeled

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This past Wednesday I had a pretty intense and emotional experience (as I described in my previous post “Jump”). As if by design, I followed this up on Thursday with another notable experience of an entirely different nature. My friend Noa and I treated ourselves to a shopping trip with Tiffany Wendel. Tiffany is the stylist who reorganized my closet and put together outfits for me back in the spring. The term “shopping trip” doesn’t sufficiently described yesterday’s outing. It was more of a fairy tale . . . complete with glass slippers. more…

jump

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I have been seeing my new therapist, Sarah, for about 3 months now and I feel great about the work we’re doing together. It is a mix of talk therapy and Somatic Experiencing (SE). SE is a body of work dedicated to resolving both acute and developmental trauma which can be practiced by professionals as diverse as psychologists, massage therapists and midwives.

At one point Sarah and I were talking about the various medical procedures my son has undergone since he was an infant throughout his diagnosis and treatment of both diabetes and celiac. We were both of the opinion that he has probably been traumatized to some extent from these experiences and that the effect of this trauma probably makes it more difficult for him to regulate himself emotionally under stressful situations. Sarah said she highly recommended a slightly eccentric SE practioner named Catalina who does SE healing/bodywork and has done amazing work with some of Sarah’s other patients and their children. I was so excited and curious to try this! more…

jobs

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We went to Fallbrook this weekend to celebrate my cousin’s 40th birthday. My oldest (almost 11 year-old) daughter didn’t come with us because she was invited to a birthday party/weekend at Disneyland for one of her best friends. It was the first time that one of our kids had missed a family event like that in favor of doing something with their friends (sigh). . . but I know it is just a foreshadowing of what is to come. more…