“I Like Your Happiness!”

Patriarchy can attempt to divide us; however, I know for a fact that folks can not be so easily broken apart by walls and borders. We’re lovers of the international state of mind.

I’m thinking of the Airbnb couple in Victoria, BC, who took us to brunch and wanted to know more about what we do here at Arcanum. I’m thinking of the woman who cut my hair in Guanajuato, MX, who hugged and kissed me as I left her shop because we’d become instant friends in an hour.

I’m thinking of the young fellow at the MacStore in León, MX, who said, “I like your happiness” and hugged both of us and took our pictures for their Customers Of The Month wall. I’m thinking of the couple in Cottonwood, CA, who worked in medicine and shared pictures of their beautiful children before making us breakfast at their Airbnb. She also shared her magnificent permaculture garden and koi-filled ponds so I could take pictures. I gave remedies to their dog and did some Bowen on his sore hip, and he was feeling fine by the next morning.

Jessica and Rosie, our lovely Airbnb hosts. She is into permaculture, mom of five grown kids, and an aquafit instructor. We loved her!

I’m thinking of the cab driver in Guanajuato, MX, who told me that my Spanish is excellent and to keep practicing as my best education is out talking with people like him. I’m thinking of the couple in San Diego, CA, who rescue exotic birds and rehabilitate them out of the goodness of their hearts. I’m thinking of the mother and son in Eureka, CA, who run an Airbnb and also take in elderly folk who can’t afford nursing homes and how we all ate breakfast in their living room and laughed at the news on the big screen TV.

I’m thinking of how quickly folks rush in to help give us directions, help us with translation, and just simply make our lives easier all of the time. My heart is swollen to her brim with all these experiences and nothing in the news or television can erase what I know is the steeped kindness of others. Their wide, open smiles and caring eyes swim in my veins.

Put the remote down, shut the lid of your computer, and go on a walk-about to far off places that you’ve never been to before. Perhaps study a new language on Duolingo so that you can communicate better. You’ll no doubt find what we’ve found in our travels to be true; love and human kindness is a thing, and it prevails beyond borders and walls. It is something you can lean into and allow yourself to be carried along with for awhile. It’s what is going on all around the world in everyday lives.

 

Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen; How to Stop Spoiling the Broth

June 2017 Newsletter

We’re all trying to balance so much! Often times, it’s not just the business, home life and kids to keep organized, and on a schedule, often times we’re having to be responsible for the collective consciousness for the entire household. Consider how often you’re asked, “Ok, so what’s next?”. Or “You should have just asked me to do that and I would have gladly helped you out.”

So many women I serve, and some men too, will cite extreme exhaustion. Not only for the actual tasks they perform at the office or at home, but  because they also feel like the CEO of operations. This unexpected job description often surprises us out of nowhere. Who put me in charge anyway? Where was that written? How do I exit this role without the whole damn ship sinking?

How did the job of  knowing what’s next fall on me? I’d never asked my husband, “What’s next?” in over a dozen years of marriage. How is it that as a reasonably intelligent woman I always felt my corpus callosum log-jammed every time? Perhaps my lesson was to learn how to engage with my own instincts and activities, leaving intellectual management to other individuals. That, actually would make sense.

In those moments, I definitely know I could use help. The first thing would be to take the task-manager role off my shoulders. When was this bestowed on me? Please supply a two page answer single spaced while I dress this roast of bison and finish prepping the potatoes. Perhaps you’ve lived this too.

While the offer to help is, in itself, an act of generosity, it can annoy the living daylights out of a Mom in a Sepia state. How many CEO’s of multinational companies can think on the spot of the detailed activities to be executed by a worker who barges into his office while he’s on the phone and also in the midst of forecasting the budget for the next annum? You see it, right? It doesn’t happen. At the very least, you make an appointment or see a more junior manager. Perhaps your spouse might ask one of the kids. Ah, not a bad idea, a kid will always tell you precisely what to do to serve them.

I recall feeling totally burnt out in the early stages of my marriage. In fact, I had the feeling that if one more person asked me what they could do, I might run my laser eyes clear through their guts while launching enough swear words at them to burn off their eyebrows. They’d grow back, right?!

I once recall trying to prepare supper while nursing an infant on the breast, with a toddler pulling all the pots and pans out on the floor, stirring a pot of rice pasta with the phone in one ear speaking to the guy rescheduling to come service the dishwasher who I had stayed home all day waiting for. It was a Friday.

At that moment, my husband walks into the kitchen having just arrived home from the office, and wants to know what he can do. The first answer that popped up to the fore is, “no clue” and then, “isn’t it obvious?” or to silently turn back and offer a tear of frustration into the pasta. This gesture alone can create a ton of animosity and then spouses wonder why dinner conversation is a little stunted and the weekly sex is dwindling.

I spent years stuffing my feelings down and taking Sepia regularly until my breast finally swelled with a 1.5 inch tumour. Among this, and other dynamics, I’d say this phenomenon cost us the marriage. It wasn’t until these very same issues started to crop up in my second marriage that I began to “get it”. The whole family plumbed solutions to help relieve me of the burden of doer and decision-maker. At the time, I was running a household, half a business, part of the farm, a kids’ camp (in the summer), writing a book and doing postgraduate research. Brutal, I know!

The summation of this post is that we finally did solve it with some creative problem solving. It took a team effort, but you can read that article here.