How Being Fluid Got Me Off My Ass

Happy Monday Lovers!

Today I want to chat about how being fluid got me off my ass this weekend.

It’s time for another true confession. I’m a control freak. This is one of the big issues I try to recognize and move through every single day. There was a time when my need to have everything go exactly the way I wanted it to was so all-encompassing that it would fill me with frustration and anxiety when even the tiniest of things would fall out of place. I’m sure you can imagine how fun I was to be around, especially with the added unpredictability of my newly acquired young step daughters.

Now, when a wrench gets thrown into the works, which is actually a daily occurrence in my world, I am able to pause, breathe and relax into the change, redirecting and re-evaluating what my needs and the needs of the day require. Most of the time.

For example, Sarah cut my hair at home. She’s done incredible work on the kids’ heads, but I will freely admit I’m a hair diva. I bond for life with a good hair dresser, but I want to be as frugal as we can be now. I wasn’t sure I was up for the risks involved with letting someone I love, who has learned hair dressing on the internet, come at me with a pair of scissors, but I finally relented and let her have a go. I have very thick, weirdly wavy hair. It’s kind of a beast to tame, but I think Sarah’s first go was pretty darned good. It wasn’t salon perfect though, and I could see the difference, which drove me nuts. And subsequently drove other people nuts because I wouldn’t stop talking about it. We tried to fix it, but it still wasn’t right. What did I do? Saturday night, two tequila in, I tried to fix it myself. Secretly, in the bathroom. No surprise, it didn’t work. What happened was a huge lesson in ‘leave well enough alone’. Now, drastic measures would be required to repair the damage I’d done.

Past me would have cried. I would have been furious with myself for being so impulsive and stupid. I would have tried to blame Sarah for not getting the hair cut right in the first place. (See? I told you I could be an asshole!) Instead, I laughed, had a shower and then when Nekky came to bed, I shared the disaster of my hair with him and prepared him for the reality of my pending short hair. Then I turned to You Tube and found an amazing tutorial of the hair cut I would need to fix my lid. In the morning, I dragged Sarah upstairs, (after she’d had breakfast of course) and asked her to help. We took it slow, we followed directions, we made a few modifications because I currently have bangs. It was fun, and even when I feared we had cut too much bang, and that I looked like a medieval squire, I continued to breathe. Then I dried and styled my hair, and it was just fine. It’s better than fine, even. Sarah is a fiercely talented lady. I’m still not convinced that my bangs aren’t a bit too gigantic, but I’m going to stop obsessing about it, because there are more important things in the world than my hair.

My need to control my physical body has been illuminated through this hair saga. From where I stand now, I can see why I need to exert myself so extremely sometimes – everything from hair obsession all the way to the need to conquer my anxiety and depression by feeding myself shitty food that I’m convinced makes me feel better. This need for control is likely attached to the trauma I’m working through. I can do something to my body that has an immediate and gratifying effect. I do feel better. But then I feel worse. Not just physically worse, either. Guilt and shame come flooding in, regret over too many cookies. Yesterday, rather than sitting and ruminating, I engaged in physical actions that made me feel good. I was already in a great mood, and the weather was glorious, so I’m sure that helped shift from staying in my head to being in my body and pushing through. It’s not always easy to put things in motion, so I’m going to make a little list of those activities to refer to them when I need them again. You can use them too if you like!

Physical Activities that I Can Immediately Access to Feel Better

Housekeeping – major spring organizing and purging, and major elbow-grease required scrubbing

Shifting plans to spend more time with the kids

An hour long walk in the woods with Noah

Pretty decent food choices all day long

A DIY manicure – I never do this kind of thing, but it felt so nice to just focus on making my hands look good

Yoga – though it became more like Aussie Rules Yoga as Noah tried to climb on me and turn me into both a bridge and a tunnel

Early bed time – not sure this would have been a choice, but I was so sleepy from all the fresh air and exercise that I tucked in with Noah and was asleep before I could even consider some bed time reading

Early wake up for more Yoga – I’m feeling really tired now, but I’m hoping I can adjust to this because I love how much time it leaves me with in the morning.

Why this particular rambling today? I guess I’m trying to let you know that if you can relax through change, try to hold on to the positive, and just keep breathing, you’ll see at least one great lesson. On the surface, I thought the lesson was “Don’t try to cut your own hair after drinking tequila” which is not without merit, but I see now that there was a deeper opportunity there. I could connect to a bigger issue and actually experience the ways I could make changes.

What hiccup in your current life has thrown you for a loop? What is the surface lesson there? What do you think the deeper lesson(s) could be? How can you do something today to embrace that lesson and make at lest one positive change?

Let us know your own physical tricks for dealing with your own little idiosyncrasies in the comments below.

Oh, and here are the hair tutorials Sarah followed:

Design Your Happy Day

I don’t know about you, but after pouring my guts out yesterday, I immediately started to feel better. This morning I woke after a decent sleep, and I felt really inspired. I also felt determined to discover as much happiness as I could today. It occurred to me that perhaps the very act of thinking about how my day could have some guaranteed happy moments might actually usher those moments in. I tried to make a little mental list of all the things I knew might be possible within the parameters of the day ahead, realizing that if I focused only on those, and any other opportunities I could seize, it might actually raise my spirits. What if you could design your happy day? What would your moments of happiness look like? Here’s my list, and I’ve been pretty successful at enjoying most of these.

Spending relaxed and focused time with Noah.

Getting to know a new friend.

Bringing something lovely to my new friend’s home (I thought of tulips, but found some delicious scones first)

Having a nap, which didn’t exactly happen but we did enjoy an hour-long snuggle in bed together, watching some Netflix on the iPad and reading some new books from the library.

Some outdoor time, which I was hoping would be a nature walk. The wind was outrageous and the temperature had dropped quite a bit since the morning, but still we got some fresh air and discovered some great puddles and an enormous spider hiding in the mailbox. We also found a beautiful snail mail thank you card with a very thoughtful gift certificate inside. Such a lovely surprise.

Writing time, not too much today with the little guy, but enough to get this blog post out to you while he plays with his sisters who are freshly home from school.

Some chilled out fun with the girls. We are currently arranged around the living room. I’m typing away while the kids enjoy freshly baked blueberry muffins from my new friend.

Some reading time, which is yet to come.

Okay, now your turn. Think about your Saturday and make a list of things that might be possible to add some happiness to your day. Share them in the comments section here and know that you’ll be inspiring someone else!

Happy Friday Lovers!

There’s A Whole In The Bucket

I have to confess something to all of you. I am a fraud. I’ve been writing about my life here for years now, and a few of you have taken time to let me know that you have been inspired, that you find my writing hopeful and positive. Guess what? It’s a sham. When I write hopeful things here, 99% of the time it’s not because I’m feeling it, it’s because I need to feel it and I’m hoping that writing from a positive perspective will make it so. Usually it works. Today it won’t.

I suppose I can’t consider it a total waste if I make it to 40 and realize I’ve been doing it all wrong. You might think I’ve got a lot of stuff figured out. You may think I’m a great mom, and an awesome partner. That’s a lie too. I’m not. The sum of my life experiences has made me hard and angry. I respond to stress and conflict by going on the offensive, or shutting down and walking away to avoid going on the offensive. I perceive everyone as out to hurt me, and then I try to hurt them worse so they will back off. I’ve been mean and cold, and harsh and unsympathetic with everyone in my life who I love. Everyone, except Noah.

My son is the first piece of me that I can look at and feel nothing but love, even in the most challenging moments. Noah is my catalyst, who has taught me that the only way I can ever hope to soften and change is to learn to look at all of the other pieces of myself with that same unconditional love. Nothing in my entire life has been harder to do than this, and I am trying like hell to change. To soften. To sit in my vulnerability and share it without anger and blame. You could ask me to become fluent in Mandarin overnight and I swear it would be easier than the changes I am trying to make.

The changing part wasn’t actually the hardest, not after I realized how much of my rage and self-protection (some people call this defensive or offensive behavior) were tied to a traumatic event from my childhood. This illuminated nearly every single behavior that I hated, it contextualized and explained it. It allowed me to see myself stuck as that seven-year-old, stuck in that place of terror, and love the hell out of my little girl self. Once I could do that, it was like a switch was flicked and I was able to empathize better with everyone around me. By loving myself better, I could love others better too.

But here’s the hard part. None of the people around you can see what’s happening inside, and when you’ve been the kind of difficult-to-live with, angry asshole that I have been, they continue to see you as such. You keep trying, and they keep treating you as though the same kinds of negative behaviors are happening, even when they are not. They get stuck, because they are afraid of those behaviors, and their fear makes them blind to anything good that might be happening. I am trying so hard to be better, but it’s not landing, and sometimes it’s a spectacular fail.

To make matters worse, I’m trying to evolve while living with my in-laws. A lot of in-laws. There is often up to eleven people under our roof! Multiple witnesses who have seen every parent and partner failure I have made in the last two years. They are good people. They are wonderful people, and I love them, but I don’t really know them that well. I need privacy. I need a safe space where we can heal, where I can try to flex these new muscles, where I can organically grow, or fall flat on my face as the case may be, and not have so many witnesses. I need safety.

I’m trying to fill the bucket, but the bucket has a hole. Nekky put that quite eloquently this morning, and it struck me as very true indeed. There’s a hole in the bucket. A big one. And I’m so very, very tired of trying to fill it up with good only to watch the good fall through the hole. I feel like I am constantly failing.

Of course I want to heal my relationship with my daughters. What flows freely with my biological child has been an excruciatingly painful contrast to my many shortcomings where my daughters are concerned. I have some serious lost time to make up for, time that consists in equal parts of a total lack of understanding about how children ‘work’ and so much misdirected pain and hardness from my past.

It would be nice to have a healthier relationship with my partners, though I’m at the precipice of deciding that romantic relationships aren’t really intended for people like me. Those relationships need to be a two way street, and I just seem to suck the life out of everyone and give very little back. At the very least, it would be nice to heal some shit so we can at least be awesome friends and parents.

I just don’t know how to keep filling the bucket when there’s a goddamned hole. As always, I turn to the Internet for answers, hopeful that the lyrics to the old folk song will have a happy ending.

From Wikipedia:

There’s a Hole in My Bucket” (or “…in the Bucket“) is a children’s song, along the same lines as “Found a Peanut”. The song is based on a dialogue about a leaky bucket between two characters, called Henry and Liza. The song describes a deadlock situation: Henry has got a leaky bucket, and Liza tells him to repair it. But to fix the leaky bucket, he needs straw. To cut the straw, he needs a knife. To sharpen the knife, he needs to wet the sharpening stone. To wet the stone, he needs water. However, when Henry asks how to get the water, Liza’s answer is “in a bucket”. It is implied that only one bucket is available – the leaky one, which, if it could carry water, would not need repairing in the first place.

As I’m reading this, feeling more and more despair, I glance at the title of this post. I’ve spelled “hole” “whole”, quite by accident, but maybe that’s it? Maybe I just keep pouring myself into the bucket, all of me, every last inch no matter how big the hole gets. Put the whole in the bucket, even if it gushes out onto the ground. It’s going to go somewhere, all of that bucket-filling stuff, and if that particular bucket can never be filled, at least I can say I tried. Really tried. Not like I tried with my failed marriage. Not like I tried with countless careers that I gave up on. Not like I tried so many times before until it hurt too much to keep trying. There is no epidural for life. It hurts sometimes, and maybe it’s in pushing through the pain that we are reborn, truly reborn.

I don’t feel better. I don’t feel happier or more positive at the end of this post. I’m not going to lie, I am aching and tired and I feel like giving up, but at least I have a little direction. If I can’t fill the fucking bucket, at least I can water the grass.

Shop in My Sexy Closet

Hey lovers,

I’ve started listing what’s left of our costume hoard from the glory days of my cabaret burlesque troupe Les Coquettes. I’m feeling a bit crappola again today, so I’m not going to write a very big post. I did want to share some of the items I have for sale, in case you might like to shop in my sexy closet and give them a good home.

I Got Married In This

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This stunning, one of a kind custom ball gown is a confection in yards and yards of champagne colored dupioni silk. The train can easily be snapped into the bustle. Handmade, hand painted silk and velvet flowers accent the beautifully draped skirt. A handmade tulle crinoline in robin’s egg blue peeks out. Fully boned with stainless steel ribs, the corset features embroidered flowers, a lace modesty panel at the décolletage, cookies for added lift, and beautiful hand finishing in matching dupioni. A vision for your wedding, your stage production, or your cosplay fantasy. Needs a lace for the back of the corset, and some very minor wear and tear. Measurements are as follows:

Skirt waist: 29″

Skirt length: 43″

Corset: 30″ across bust 26.5″ at waist

A wide ribbon for lacing lets this fit a 34″ bust and 28/29″ waist nicely.

Here’s the Ebay Listing.

They Were a Hair Too Small

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How adorable are these Queen of Hearts spectator pumps? I wore them twice, at most and only on stage. They were just a hair too small for me at the time. They say size 9, but would likely be comfortable for an 8.5. They are entirely patent leather and I love them.

Here’s the listing.

I’m Sure You’ll Put This To Good Use

We sure did. My favorite moment with this particular costume was when we shot a Harlequin Romance style cover for the poster for one of our shows. Remember this?

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Here’s the listing for that one.

This is a tiny fraction of what’s left to come. If you like this, let me know and I’ll keep sharing here so you don’t miss out on any fun treats for yourself. Just think, you’re helping to recycle great sexy fun, and what’s better than adding to your wardrobe while saving the world?

 

 

Awesome Stuff by Awesome Women

Photo of Nichelle Laus by DaveLaus.com

Happy Tuesday lovers!

I’m feeling much better today, but I decided to stay home and work all the same. Of course, that meant I had to bulldoze my way to my tiny desk in my cluttered bedroom. I look forward to the not-so-distant future and more space to call my own. Until then, work can’t start until all the toys and clothes are put away, so I’m a little late to the party. To make up for it, I’m going to share some of the awesome upcoming stuff on my horizon.

The Feminist Porn Awards

I was super excited when I was asked to cover the upcoming Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto April 15, 16, and 17th. It’s the 10th anniversary of these awards, celebrating porn created for and by feminists, and as you can imagine, it’s always a great party. Frankly, porn of any kind has been low on my radar since we moved in with the in-laws. I realize that’s a lame excuse, but I will have LOTS of catching up to do if I’m going to be able to see everything on the extensive list of nominees. In my eyes, this is a worthy research project to invest my time in, even if I can’t see them all. If you would like to join me in this research, a full list of the films nominated this year, as well as the films that have won in previous years, is available on the Feminist Porn Awards website. ATTN FILMMAKERS: if you have a screener of your film, I’m very happy to review your nominated work. Just email me here.

Healthy Body, Healthy Baby

I’m not pregnant, despite my (not so) hilarious April Fool’s statement, but when this guru floated into my inbox I took note. Maybe because she’s hot. Maybe because she’s both a fitness model, a trainer and a transformation coach. Maybe because she’s a cop. Maaaybeee because she has four sons. WTF woman??? Like you don’t have enough going on, you also need to put your amazing talents on video and help the masses? Here’s a little snippet of Nichelle Laus’ seriously kick ass Healthy Body, Healthy Baby workout series:

Super mom Nichelle Laus is a proud Toronto police officer, a fitness coach and competitor, a motivational speaker, and a fit mom of four! Her passionate love of fitness is a secret she cannot keep to herself. In fact, she often gets emotional about it. She wants every mom out there to discover the happiness she discovered when she embraced this determined healthy life. So, Jeeperz Crow partnered with her and is thrilled to release their first Canadian made fitness series for moms! Every month, during her own fourth pregnancy, she designs a fitness video catered to expecting moms. Starting in her second month, and ending four months post baby gives you a full year’s worth of exercise videos for the cost of a one month gym membership. She is the pregnant best friend who suffers right along with you through the growing pains, in the comfort of your own home. Let Nichelle guide you on this journey as she herself has successfully done four times before.

I want it, because it looks like an incredible work out, even if you aren’t preggers. I figure that the degree to which I am out of shape puts me on par with the average seven-month-pregnant North American woman, so it will all work out. Get it? Work Out? Ugh. Don’t take if from me, check out the world of Nichelle Laus for yourself here on her glorious website. (Nichelle, Imna look you up once we have our own place again, and I’d like to test run your videos.)

Use common sense and consult with your physician before starting any new workout routine.

More of What You Love

I miss my opportunities to talk to you, with my actual voice. This need was largely satisfied by my hosting duties with Les Coquettes, but now that the troupe has retired, I find myself looking for new ways to chat with you. That’s why I’m hard at work creating my new podcast series called The Passion Project. Inspired by my motto “Live With Passion, Tell Your Story” The Passion Project features the inspiring lives of the real-life men and women in my own circle who are pursuing their dreams and living a passionate life on their own terms. I hope to be ready to launch by the summer, so if you’d like to be the first to know, email me and let me add you to the Playboy Mommy Family. You’ll also get my monthly newsletter, with awesome free stuff and tidbits you won’t find here.

A Gift To You

Grown Up Doodles

Doodle by Charlene LeBlanc

I’ve been wracking my brain for a way to create a little present for you. Something of value, in exchange for you signing up for my Playboy Mommy Family. The answer came to me via Facebook, and the amazing and wonderfully playful work of my (super hot, badass) friend Charlene (Chuck) LeBlanc, who designed this lovely, mindful doodle. Charlene and I are collaborating on a guided journal and colouring book that we will make available for free to those of you who sign up for my Family Perks (see sign up form below). If you join the family, you’ll get my monthly newsletter, plus any promo offers and giveaways from sponsors, in addition to special news and updates before anyone else is in the know. By filling out the form below, you’re letting Chuck and I know that you are eagerly awaiting your beautiful meditative colouring book and journal, your very own space to play!

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