Monday, May 17, 2010

Silencing the Voice

The village of wizards and princesses, built by Nico and his Mama

I've been in my mental cocoon lately. A time of absorbing the wisdom of others. Reading, listening and observing. A friend had passed along this article that discusses how as mothers, we often get caught up in the "busyness" of our work instead of relishing the joy of just being with our kids. That truly opened my eyes, as I had forgotten the supreme privilege I have in being able to stay at home full-time as a mother. So I started a journey this month of mindfulness. I've been learning to silence the voice in my head that tells me that the dishes are dirty, closets are cluttered and the laundry unfolded. I'm learning to gently remind it that I am busy building a castle with Nico or watching Matteo paint, or inviting to it to silence so we can hear our little Luca Bean sing as he plays with his toys....and it is a beautiful thing. I've learned that when I am listening to that voice, that's when I feel the most frustrated at not being able to do it ALL. That's when I am quick to anger for the mischief that little boys do and I realize that my little boys voices are much more important than the one chastising me for a messy house.

This has a been a wondrous and difficult time. I mean, this voice has been with me for quite some time. It doesn't just stop at telling me I need to be a better homemaker, it's the one which tells me I'll feel better if I just buy that vintage Ostheimer piece (that I can't afford and definitely don't need) or that eating that pint of Karmel Sutra will take away whatever hurt/frustration/anger/sadness that I don't want to feel. The voice originates from my history, my experiences... it comes from me, so there is a gentleness and respect I also need to afford it . I realized that I let myself go on autopilot letting the voice guide me rather than letting myself feel what is going on right now. So I've been very silent, immersing myself into every moment, trying to infuse my actions with a mindfulness guided by my heart.

So you can see, this is a pretty big journey that I am on. The voice seems to have a say in so many aspects of my life. I hope you don't mind as I share this journey with you. I'd love to know if you have a similar voice that resides with you ... or am I just a crazy person hearing voices :}? How do you silence it? How do you go about living your life fully and awake?

As Always With Love,
Marina

30 comments:

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

W.O.W! I am right there with you (although I eat away my frustration with chocolate bars instead, lately). I tend to get the most upset with my sweet little ones when I am upset with myself at not being able to do everything. I feel horrible when I do that. What a great reminder you are sharing to step back and realize we are not superwoman and need to just step back and enjoy these days, they pass much too fast.
You are always full of wisdom my dear friend!! Ilook forward to seeing what others say, I know I could use any help ;)
Miss you!!!!

cat said...

you and i seem to be on the same path. we just had another (and decidedly the last) heartbreak of loss and now i'm in a re-evaluating mode. that voice can be loud...the dust bunnies shout as i try to read to the girls or just be outside with them in the garden. i too have had a lifetime of experience with this voice and am now, finally ready to silence it and re-invent myself once again. this time with purpose and not out of despair or desperation.

love you marina...so very much..

xoxoxox

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

Count me in. You verbalize it so much more eloquently than I ever have, but, I, too, have been making the effort to pay more attention to my children, husband, family, friends. To connect with them, rather than worry about my laundry, email, and nasty carpet.
Can't wait to come over and enjoy time with you and your gorgeous boys! (You know you are the only one who can see the mess at your house, right?)
Nicola

Kelly and Kelly said...

No ideas on how to silence that voice but I'm eager to hear how this goes for you b/c it's hear too.

eidolons said...

Having a newborn has helped to silence my little voice. Or at least, it's made the voice harder to hear. I've been devoting myself to this newest little Beast while reassuring my 1.5 year old Imp that he's still super-important to me - all the while staying connected with my homeschooled seven-year-old.

I'm hoping that developing a routine (the little guys is only two weeks old) won't allow the little voice to resurface too much.

kristene1027 said...

This is my first time reading your blog. It was meant to be. As my girls are napping, I found myself checking my email and rushing to make phone calls (& the others on the list) whilst I stew in frustration for what I have not accomplished today. A few wandering "clicks" and I ended up engrossed in your blog and printing the article to remind me of the big picture and my blessed fortune. It's true that these days pass us by and then are gone forever, save for what we can remember from them. I don't want to have a legacy of washing dishes and mopping floors and tidying toy boxes. I want to have a legacy of smiles, comforts, books, adventures, and all of the ingredients necessary to raise these little blank slates into mindful human beings. Thanks for letting me partake and relate. :)

Stephanie said...

Marina, this would speak to any woman who read it. So true. Not sure if you saw my post with "Song for a Fifth Child", but it always helps me keep things in perspective when I hear myself saying, "Yes, as soon as I..." We live in a world of high pressure for mamas. I saw a $500 appliance that cuts shapes out of flat sheets of fondant icing so your child's birthday cake will look professional. I almost cried...it's not enough to make it from scratch anymore. Now it must have monkey androids on it. I love the idea of this blogging community of moms that are trying to stop the insanity our culture tries to sell us. We do enough. We have enough. We are enough.

TheSingingBird said...

Marina, I have to silence it with the reminder that everything is a choice, and when I choose fear of what others think, or I choose "should", then I am not choosing love, which is always the right choice.

I have a spiritual counselor who always guides me to choose loving action over fear. I am STILL learning this, even after 19 years of mothering. You are not crazy or alone in this. I think we all get side-tracked by our egos/fear.

Love and best wishes♥

mamaof4 said...

Wow, I just love how the universe speaks to you, b/c tonight I really needed to read this. I actually told my kids earlier that if we could just get the house completly clean , I would have more time to do fun things with them. How crazy, yet in my conditioning that seems to be a prerequisite for fun. Time to drown out the voices!!

Gwyn said...

Hello. You put that eternal struggle so nicely. All I know that helps with me a little, and I am in no way a master voice silencer, is keeping life as simple and unstructured as possible. If there are only a couple of things to do a day, and some are done at night, it is easier for me to be present with my kids. Days when we have deadlines and times and dates and obligations are much harder!

Knecht Ruprecht said...

Your words are so true...

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healing hillary said...

:) that little voice....hmmn, I am feeling a post coming on.
in the mean time, let's just leave it with, I give it a hug.

Lisa said...

i feel you, Marina. i have to remind myself that i am incredibly blessed to share my days with my children. to learn with them and explore the world with them in a way I was never able to as a child. I sometimes do the same thing Nicole does and get upset with the kids when, really, I am upset with myself. and that's not fair. and then i am even more upset with myself! you are an amazing woman and mother! it's not easy to be a stay at home mom with 3 kids these days. especially in an urban environment. for me, going for a walks in a garden with my camera always silences the voice and fills me with peace
thanks for sharing Marina
perhaps one day we can have tea together!
hugs
lisa

Jen said...

Well said, Marina. I had a wake-up call the other day when Isaac was playing outside and I was weeding the garden and he kept saying "just a minute, mommy" a phrase I frequently say to him when I'm trying to get one last chore done before playing with him.

healing hillary said...

ok here is my response in blog post format :)
thanks for the inspiration!
http://healinghillary.typepad.com/healing-hillary/2010/05/embracing-that-voice.html

Mama Rose said...

Marina, thank you so much for sharing this. I haven't been reading or blogging for months now, until yesterday. I'm so glad to be back when I am. It's blogs like yours that help me stay connected to who I truly am and as a reminder of how the universe speaks to us in many ways. Your words couldn't have come at a better time. I'm happy to not feel so alone! I've been thinking about how I need to get into meditation again. It always has helped me to hush those inner voices of distraction. It's good to be back again. I've always enjoyed reading your blog!!

chen said...

大家隨便說,說什麽都好,就是請不要惦惦.............................................

M comme...Maman said...

Ooh, so very inspiring! Thank you so much for this text...I'm right there with you! Thanks a million.

Hip Mountain Mama said...

wonderful post! Yes, I have a voice as well...and we are not crazy! :)
suzy

Stephanie said...

Marina,
I've just done a post about balance, about taking time OFF from the many demands we place on ourselves as women, and felt empowered and inspired by your blog; namely, the fact that you take time OFF from it. I love reading your posts but have such a deep respect for that need for stepping back. Thank you.

Heather said...

you really have such a beautiful way with words Marina. I struggle with this on such a strong level as well, and I am in a spot that I deeply resonate with what you have said. I constantly feel as though the work of motherhood is never complete, and I have to remind myself every day to get down on the floor with the boys and build, play, dream, and nap. Thanks for another amazing post

Sara said...

This post is exactly how I have been feeling for the past six months. Ever since baby number four arrived I have been trying to let go. It is so hard to not feel overwhelmed. I try to live in the moment with my boys but feel it is much easier when my dishes are done and my bed is made! :) Otherwise, my chi just feels off. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy them despite the mess.

john & catherine said...

Such a helpful post. Would you mind sharing the reference to the article you read which inspired you so? Thanks again!

Woodspritemama said...

Beautifully said! I try not to put too much in my head (blogs, books etc) that might make me feel I am not doing enough ;) Works like a charm every time! Hugs to you :)

Twig and Toadstool said...

Oh yes!!! This is a beautiful post that speaks to so many of us busy mammas...I am often guilty of putting the chores in front of the kids, because it "HAS" to get done...makes my day much more stressful. It is my lesson in life to slow the heck down and enjoy the moment at hand...learn how to not compare my life with the neighbours...and learn to need less! *insert deep breath here*
Every day is full of lessons for us moms...part of the wonderful, confusing, beautiful, awe inspiring human journey we are on.
Maureen

Tahara said...

I understand...I also get very frustrated at times and realize those are the times when I am angry and not enjoying my boys...I have also been making a better, more conscience effort to just enjoy the boys...

I have missed you and your blog :-)

JesseniaT_Or怡臻ndorf said...

別人短處,掩蓋幾分;別人過失,包容幾分。..................................................

欣怡 said...

認清問題就等於已經解決了一半的問題。.............................................

Marina said...

Thank you all so much for your wonderful, supportive comments! Right after I wrote this, Luca came down with a fever. It wasn't anything serious, but for 2 days the voice was either silent or I just chose not to listen. It was 48 hours of simply snuggling, nursing and holding my little one, focusing on the moment. Though I wouldn't wish illness on anyone's child, there was a small gift to be found in learning that when my attention is focused on my child, I just can't hear the voice.

Again, thank you for the wonderful comments... I cherish them all

Love, Marina

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

How can I have taken this long to come and read these wonderful words!

Sometimes I just go sit for while in the girls room with them. It is easy to not think about anything else when I am in their space with them, the voice has nothing to say. I tell myself I should do it more often, sometimes I bring in some knitting or a book, we have nice conversations.

The housework is important to me, but I have let go of the sweeping obsession, which lasted for several years. Can't leave dirty dishes. Chloe helps more often now though so it makes it more fun.

Thank you for your beautiful voice!
xo