Friday, December 31, 2010

My vision for the year 2011

                                " If there is righteousness in the heart,
                                  there will be beauty in the character.
                                  If there is beauty in the character,
                                  there will be harmony in the home.
                                  If there is harmony in the home,
                                  there will be order in the nation.
                                  When there is order in the nation,
                                  there will be peace in the world."

                                                                         -Sri Sathya Sai Baba

I read these words first as a young woman just sixteen years old. Even then, the power of this message resonated deep within me. I recognized the profound truth of these words. Pure, simple, fearless truth.

With one righteous heart, the whole world begins to transform. There is no greater "righteousness in the heart" than the heart of a mother who loves her family. Yours, is the work that will bring peace to the world. Yours, is the work that will inspire change. I know that sometimes, it feels as though all you change are dirty diapers. I know the feeling that nags at the back of your mind whispering, "Is this really all there is? Is my life nothing more than picking up blocks and appeasing a screaming child?" It can feel as though you are stuck in an eternal loop of eating, cleaning, and sleeping. But I promise you, amidst the folded laundry and sliced apples with peanut butter, lingers something eternal. With each kiss you shower upon your little one, each sock you match, each dinner prepared for your beloved husband you are singing out the beauty of your character. The dedication you have to your family. The love you can not help but express. Through this work, you are creating harmony in your home.

This is the music of life! This is the song that will change the world. Your song, your voice, no one else can bring that music into your home. It is outside of my power, or your mother's power, or your husband's power, or the government's power, or the military's power, or the school's public educational power, or your church's power. The home is YOUR stage, if you don't fill it with your voice, no one else will. And if you do not fill that stage with your song, dissonance will creep in and pound at your family's ears. Sing your love song to your family and let that music fill your home.

I do not have a goal for the year 2011. I have a vision. I hold this vision in my heart, for this year and for every year. A vision of music filling the air. Echoing out of our homes, singing from out of the hearts of every mother. Music with the power to bring order to nations, and peace to our world.

This is no small work my divas. Do not let yourself get distracted, do not think for a moment that your voice does not have this power. Do not let anything take you away from the stage that is YOURS. Sing my divas, sing for your husband, sing for your babies, sing for your friends, sing for yourself. Let your voice uplift and inspire others so that they too may find their song.

This is the greatest work on earth. This is the most powerful music on earth. Not even the Metropolitan opera can compare to the sound of your lullaby as you rock your little one to sleep.

I applaud you my dear divas, I applaud you.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Open your eyes....

In C.S. Lewis's book"The Last Battle" his final story, or perhaps, the true beginning of the story, we are taken once again to the great land of  Narnia. After the last battle has been fought, and the last King of Narnia proves his allegiance to Aslan the land begins to change. A doorway is opened and Narnia is given a rebirth. Our beloved characters from past stories are gathered and beneath the clear Narnian sky Aslan presents himself in all his power and glory to his people. Yet not far off there sits a circle of Dwarfs, blind to the world around them. They wallow about in what they perceive to be a pitch black stable and have nothing to comfort them, except their pride in not being deceived.

In a desperate effort to help the Dwarfs Lucy appeals to Aslan, asking him to use his power and open their eyes to the beauty around them.

"Dearest," Aslan says to Lucy, "I will show you both what I can, and what I cannot, do." He came close to the Dwarfs and gave a long growl: low, but it set all the air shaking. But the Dwarfs said to one another, "Hear that? That's the gang at the other end of the stable. Trying to frighten us. They do it with a machine of some kind. Don't take any notice. They won't take us again!"

A second time, Aslan tries to reveal the truth of the Dwarfs surroundings. With a gentle shake of his mane a great feast of the finest food appears in the laps of the Dwarfs. But while they hold goblets of fine wine, and exquisite pies in their hands all they can taste is dirty water and hay.

"Well, at any rate there's no Humbug here. We haven't let anyone take us in. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs."

"You see," said Aslan. "They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they can not be taken out."

I remember reading this for the first time and thinking to myself "I would never be the Dwarf, I would be Lucy. I would see what was real, I wouldn't be trapped in my own mind like that."

But if I take a step back, and have the courage to be honest I must admit that I have been in the dark stables of life before. I have been consumed by all the things I am not happy with, I have cried the tears of a wife with a husband out to sea. I have screamed my frustrations at a busy toddler. I have lamented over pimples, stretch marks,  and crooked teeth. I have held goblets of the finest, sweetest wine in my hand and tasted only dirty water. And I have beat my fist against the air and screamed at the top of my lungs that it was all real, and I hated it.

Not even Aslan himself could have opened my eyes when I was in this dark place. It was not until I allowed a thought to shift, did my eyes begin to open.

 I saw that the tears I cried for missing my husband are a beautiful thing. For only a woman so well loved would grieve as I do when apart from her husband. Each tear is a reminder, that I love a man so kind, so good, and so wonderful that I can hardly stand his absence. What a blessing! I am the luckiest woman in the world to have a husband I love so deeply. I am the most blessed woman to ever live, because at the end of the day when the tears have dried up, I am at peace-for I know he is coming home to me again.

I saw this little boy who loves to explore the effects of gravity with his cereal bowl, express the crescendo of his voice with each scream, and engage me in play with feet flying, fists punching and smile catching, is the greatest gift God ever placed in my arms. To come to me with such ease and at such a perfect time in my marriage is more than I could ever ask for. This little boy, who runs a mile a minute but slows down just long enough to throw me a kiss or jump into my arms is the greatest joy I have ever known.

I saw that with every ridiculous criticism I told my reflection, I was ignoring and being ungrateful for the miracle of my life. My health, my vitality, and my beauty.

What difference does it make what is real or what's not, when all that truly exists is our perception of it?

Who do you want to be? How do you want to live? What do you declare real in your life? Is it more important that you are happy, or that you are right? Is there more you want in life than your past? Is there more to you than your suffering? Maybe it's time we start asking these questions and step out of the stables. No one else can open our eyes for us. No one else can think our thought, or build the world we choose to live in. This life is only as hard and terrible as we perceive it to be. Even God can not force us to look upon him. He can not choose our thoughts, he can not steer our gaze. We cast our eyes where we choose, and what we see becomes real to us.

If I can see it
I can be it

If I perceive it
I'll achieve it

With each thought,
I create.
And so the world
Is what I make.

May you step out of the dark stables of your fears,  your sadness, your loneliness, your despair, your past or whatever burdens are blinding you.

May you scoop up the dew kissed flowers of the field, breathe them in, and smell their perfume. May you hold the sweet goblet of wine in your hand and drink deeply. May you run free through the green grass under the endless sky of Narnia. May the world you create for yourself, and your family be all that you dream, and more. Open your eyes my divas, open your eyes.

The Domestic Diva

Merry Christmas

"Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities and powers!"

D&C 128:23

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I remember June...

Me and my beloved grandma Kohler, daughter of June B. Moss.
Another inspiration in my life-but her story is for another entry...
On June 7th, 1895 my great great great grandparents were married in the Manti temple. One hundred and twelve years later, to the day, their great great great grand daughter was married in the Seattle temple. (Me)  What different lives we knew. Julia Anne's parents were called by the prophet of the Mormon church, Brigham Young, to go out and settle the land in the St. George and Boulder area of Utah. There they stayed for three generations fulfilling that mission.

In a small cabin, with one window, no indoor plumbing, no electricity and short growing seasons Julia raised her thirteen children. Her husband was a blacksmith and during the winter months traveled down the mountain to Salt Lake City where he had a blacksmith shop and would mend wagons to earn a living. There he stayed and worked, till  spring and summer rolled around. Then he would travel back up the gorge to be with his family, and tend their farm. They lived in fear of indians, bitter cold, and illness. They kept cream and butter cool in the "crick" and scrubbed their clothes clean on a washing board.  But they were people of great faith, and courage. All of Julia Anne's 12 surviving children remained strong members of the Mormon church.

Of those twelve living children was my great great grandfather William Behunan, and his oldest daughter was my great grandmother, June.

 Great grandma June, speaks of her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents with an indescribable admiration.

 "They were very strong people, all of my grandparents were good pioneers. There's none of them that ever fell away from the church or did anything wrong that way, they all stayed true to the faith. I've been blessed a rich heritage." She said.

 June died just before reaching one hundred. I have a vague memory of her as a small girl, going to her house and playing in a little stream that ran through her back yard. She showed me her blue forget me nots and told me to remember her. They were the prettiest little flower. Delicate like the wrinkled hands that picked them for my eager fingers.

There are days when I start to get lost in the should and should nots. There are days when I am tired, and I miss my husband terribly. There are days when the fear of how to cope through another deployment loom over my head. There are days when I feel alone. Last night when I received a call from Josh telling me he wouldn't be home for another two days-I felt it. I smiled on the phone, I told Josh he could be strong, and that I loved him and I'd be here whenever he got home. But that was for him. I hung up the phone and there was nothing left for me. Nothing but longing to see my husband.

And then a prompting came to listen to a CD, I've had for years but have never taken the time to listen to. A recording of my great grandma June telling family stories. As the voice of my great grandmother filled the room, I felt her words sinking deep into my heart. This was my family. It felt as if this sweet woman was snuggled on the couch next to me, arms about me assuring me that I'm not alone. I am surrounded by angels. By women who have gone before me, and struggled through greater trials than my own. Burdens so heavy they would crush anyone weaker. I marvel at the courage they lived everyday. I am inspired by their determination to persevere. I am carried through my sadnesses by their strength.

Forget me nots,
their dainty heads
nodded in the breeze
amid the stream
and vivid green
of summer through the trees

And there beside
a little girl
she pointed out the bud
"forget me not"
she smiled sweet
and filled my hands with love

When they emerge
from winter's grasp
a blue and precious bloom
I see her hands
I feel her love
and know that it is June.

You are never alone my divas. Not only do you live in an age where you can turn on the computer and read blogs about other women going through the same joys and struggles you are-taking comfort in the lives we all share, or post a status on facebook and receive an encouraging word, or pick up the phone and call your mom or your best friend, you are also carried by those who have gone before you. Raising happy families is God's greatest work! He wants to see his daughters succeed, he wants us to feel supported, and he sends our grandmothers, our great grandmothers, our great great grandmothers to check on us. I know He does. Listen for it, they speak softly-but they love with the might of eternities. They will fill you when your well has run dry.

I promise.
The Domestic Diva

Monday, December 20, 2010

Singing the greatest duet...

Josh and I are polar opposites when it comes to the gender spectrum. I am a Disney princess trapped in the real world and he is a Herculoid marching about as a submarine officer and I wouldn't have it any other way. We balance each other perfectly. We are a constant fascination and entertainment to each other. While I'm chatting with the ladies indoors in front of the fire about babies, housekeeping and tasty green drinks my husband is outside with the guys seeing who can stand the cold the longest.

One day we were driving in the car and happened to pass by a brilliantly colored field of crocus  "Oh, what a beautiful deep aubergine" I gushed.

"What the heck is 'aubergine' "he laughed?

"It's actually French for eggplant, it's how artists describe deep purple" I explained.

"Huh" Josh mused. "Aubergine..." I could hear the smirk in his voice.

"What?" I pressed.

"Well, I just don't see why you can't call it purple."

"Purple could mean a lot of different things, if it's muted it's aubergine, if it's a tone I'd call it lavender, and there's a bunch of other hues in there I could probably find various names for."

"It just seems really confusing when you could just call it purple, and why does it all have to sound so girly, aubergine, lavender, chartreuse, periwinkle, who comes up with these names?!"

"Good point!" I laugh "What name would you give a color?"

Josh didn't skip a beat, it was as if he'd thought of this before...

"Herculean bloodsmoke" he said emphatically "The smoky color that drifts up from a boiling cauldron filled with the blood of a great beast slain by the hand of Hercules himself."

"And what color is that exactly?" I giggled

"Black. Gray. Red. In some cases blue. The only colors that really matter."

From that day on, whenever a situation calls for the description of color, Herculean Bloodsmoke is the first adjective Josh reaches for, and it always makes me smile.

There is such beauty in differences. There is intrigue and mystery. There is always something to figure out, or be puzzled by. I love the primal variance between men and women. It creates such blissful balance. Like harmony and melody, it offers a depth and passion all its own simply by being a contrast. But more than that, I feel if offers a wisdom profound and enlightening if you take the time to learn from it. It's impossible to understand just about anything until you have experienced a contrast with it.

If all you've ever seen is light, how could you understand the word dark?
If all you ever felt was warm, how could you understand the experience of being cold?
If you've never been hungry how do you know what it is to be full?
If you've never been anxious or stressed, you wouldn't even realize you are at peace.
If you've never known a tear how could you ever know you are happy?

Contrast is the greatest teacher there is, and the greatest lesson we can learn is how to live with our opposite. We all have a perfect contrast, and we will all find that. For me, a Disney Princess, I had to have a Herculean math major with a passion for doing flips off of walls. I needed the experience of being married to such a  man. I needed to learn to love something I didn't understand-and so did he. I never expect us to look at things exactly the same way or have the same feelings about an experience because we look and feel the world around us so uniquely. It amazes me that when I look into the eyes of this man so different from myself I am filled with such love and devotion. I can feel his love being returned to me, in his own way, his own perfect way. A way I will never understand but forever be grateful for.  He has caught me in a gaze from which I would never look away.

I love him for the way he sees the world,
I love him for the way he sees me.

I am learning everyday from our differences and becoming a greater woman because of those contrasts. Let us embrace our husbands as they are, you chose your perfect match, and he chose his. You compliment each other, how boring life would be if we were all singing the melody line. So embrace the harmony in your marriage, harmony in the disagreements, harmony in the passion, harmony in the parenting, harmony in the budgeting-you won't be singing the same line but you'll find a way to keep things in tune. May you always be in wonder at your differences, may you keep creating music even when it's a rocky sight singing job, may you revel in the joy of grand compositions and sold out concerts. You may be the diva, but your husband has a voice too. Open your heart and listen to his voice, and let yourself be moved by what you hear in all its difference, all it's might and all its power.

The Domestic Diva

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A green drink your toddler will love...

One of my passions as a domestic diva is health and nutrition, while I'm not always perfect at it I do my very best to keep good food in the house. However, sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed. There is SO much information out there about what to eat, what not to eat and why or why not to eat it that something as simple as a snack becomes a whirlwind of confusion. When my friends call me and tell me they want to change their lifestyle habits I always give the same advice "start with ONE thing."  Every little health tidbit I feel inspired to write about in this blog is going to be small, the type of change that can be your ONE thing. It is more important to take ONE small step in the right direction than to keep traveling down the wrong path because it is familiar. Today, I'm going to give you a simple recipe for a green drink you and your family will love. It is my go to pick me up drink when I need energy, a quick tummy filler, or when I want to feel like I'm doing something beneficial for my family's health. This is how to make a DELICIOUS green drink.

You will need:
Two or three leaves of organic kale
One ripe organic banana
Organic apple juice
3-4 ice-cubes
And a blender

First rinse your kale well  and then take the leafy parts off the stem and put them in the blender. Pour enough apple juice in your blender to cover the Kale leaves and blend until smooth. (This may take a little while depending on the type of blender you have). After the green is pretty blended add your banana and ice then blend again. You have just made yourself a delicious and nutritious green drink! While you're sipping on this amazingly tasty concoction you can read over this list of all the good things cruciferous vegetables do for your body and feel REALLY good about yourself. (Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, if you didn't know that it's okay I didn't either until just recently)

Cruciferous vegetables have;
lots of vitamin C
and Vitamin A,
fiber and
phytochemicals - which
scientists are finding help
prevent several kinds of
You just drank yours raw, which has the added benefit of being alkalizing to your body, and all of the nutrients and enzymes naturally occurring in the plant are maintained since they weren't heated. Also, because you blended it up, your body doesn't have to work as hard to digest the nutrients and they will be absorbed by your body much faster than if you'd had to chew it in a salad. Blend one of these up for breakfast, for a snack, for your hubby, for you kiddos and most importantly FOR YOU!

                                                                   Scotty says "YUM!"
                                                                  Here's to your health!

Oh to be two, and ode to two

Chocolate milk pours...
You watch in wonder as it seeps
Deep into the couch cushions

With crayon in fist
You race across the sliding  glass door
The TV screen
The computer screen
The walls
My budding artist
A bowl breaks as you cry for breakfast
A light-bulb will never shine again
As you pummel it with a rolling pin

Books belong on the bookshelf?
Nope, the floor
Clothes belong in their drawer?
No, also the floor
Water belongs in the bathtub?
No brainer. The floor.
It's so easy to be tidy when you're two

"Iee uv ooo"
The best sound of all
In that sweet baby voice of yours
that will only last for a moment

I love you, two.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I COULD do that....

As domestic divas I think we get really bombarded by all the things we think we should be doing. A home-makers list is endless, at a very basic level it involves cooking, maintaining a home, and childcare those three things are HUGE tasks and take a full days work to keep up with. On top of that, there are a hundred thousand ideas about how those things should be managed. And just for fun, toss in the fact that we should be creative about it too, host Christmas parties, make play-dough for the kids, hang curtains in the bedroom and don't shrink your husband's favorite shirt in the wash. All the while the laundry keeps piling, the dishes are getting crusty, and we still haven't taken a shower. You know you should start to tackle the to do list that just keeps growing but there's this lurking dread in the back of your mind knowing that tomorrow you will wake up and it will be like nothing you did today will even matter because it will all be there AGAIN the next day. Add a dash of stress to the mix, a screaming two year old who won't take a nap, you're in your third trimester of pregnancy, money is tight, your husband hasn't been home in days, you're working part time, going back to school or all of the above, and WHEW!-recipe for meltdown!

Now I want you to look back over what I've described and feel for a moment the love of a million other women who have empathy for you because they have been there too, you are not alone. We all have a lot of things we should be doing. Or that we think we should be doing.

The word "should" is so tricky. It carries a lot of weight. If you read my entry titled "Happiness is acceptance" you will have realized the power of this little word already and the effect it has on how we feel about our surrounding circumstances. Without being too redundant I am going to re-visit this word again, only within a new context, this time we are going to talk about its direct reference to YOU.

Okay real quick, right now I want you to get out a piece of paper and pencil, at the top of the paper write:


This is just a list ladies, you make them everyday when you grocery shop or plan your day, you can do this-it will take five minutes, okay...Go...

Don't come back till you finish your list.

I mean it.

Okay, done? Here's what my list looked like:


Keep my house tidy and organized
Do a load of laundry daily
Never go to sleep without the dishes done
Provide healthy food for my family
Take time out to play with Scotty every day
Make notes and gifts for Josh's next deployment
Finish my design course
Practice my music daily
Finish the baby gift I'm making for Ashley
Pick up my art room
Have a learning activity for Scotty every day
Have music time with Scotty
Pick up the office
Read scriptures and pray daily
Family night each Monday
Decorate my home
Be a supportive wife for my husband
Bake cookies

I'm sure your list was just as overwhelming. Now I'm going to show you a trick that will take that feeling of inadequacy and turn it into empowerment. Are you ready? Because your life is about to change-you are never going to look at a to-do list the same, or think of your role as a home-maker the same. This is drastic. This is powerful, I just want you to be prepared.

Go back to the top of your list, cross out the word "Should" from your title, and over it I want you to write the word "COULD". Now your list will read: "Things I COULD be doing as a wife and mother".

Do you feel the difference! You are no longer obligated to be any of these things! You are CHOOSING what you want to do and in that agency there is POWER! There is FREEDOM! There is JOY! We all have a list of ideals, but instead of becoming a slave to that list, just let it be a selection of possibilities. I never want this blog to become another impossible ideal for you-I want it to present possibilities and support.

Even as I write this my toddler is hitting my back and pulling at my arm to get my attention, I have a load of laundry waiting to go in the dryer, and another load on my bed waiting to be folded, I have no idea the next time I'm going to see my husband, tomorrow night? Monday-I'm just waiting for a call- I'm a mom just like you, and I feel the weight of the ominous "Should" just like you. When it comes to things outside of our control let the should be, but as far as what WE should be-give it up and choose what you could be instead.

Well, at this point I could keep writing till I come up with a clever note to end on, or I could put a diaper on my child who is running around like Tarzan....I choose the latter!

Until next time!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Practicality versus passion, why I wear white pants.

Because, they are gorgeous. White pants are beautiful and that's all there is to it. It doesn't matter who you are, you wear a pair of well fitted white pants, and cream lacy top, maybe some pearls and suddenly you are a star. Nothing shines brighter than that glowing, radiant aura of crisp white light. Reflecting every most flattering feminine curve in all it's God given glory. White is just beautiful.

But, you pick up your toddler with muddy shoes, while sporting a pair of white pants and then what? Is that spotlight of dirt worth the joy of stardom? Or say you've been chasing that little boy of yours around the park for two hours and he's finally ready to sit down on a park bench...dare you risk resting your lily white back pockets on a public seat, potentially hiding a layer of dirt atop it's sheen black finish? No. You wear jeans. You wear jeans because it's practical, and the mother of a two year old can't be wasting time fussing over dirt when she's got grass to roll on, slides to slide down, pea gravel to tromp through and spilled juice to clean up.

Point taken...however, if you were to open my closet doors right now, I think you'd be shocked to see that I have two pairs of trusty jeans and five pairs of white pants. Not to mention about 30 tops in whip cream, off white, linen white, pearl and eggshell. It's true, and I just can't help it. Despite all the practical voices in my head that tell me to wear brown, because brown hides the melted chocolate all over my son's little hands, I love to wear white.

So here's my happy medium, bleach. You know, when it comes right down to it, sometimes practicality must rule out, park days I wear jeans. But if I'm just doing a bit of light housework, running errands or visiting a friend for a play date on a rainy day, I pull passion out of my closet and wear white. When life happens, all I need is a dab of bleach, but I've still been true to that part of me that just must wear white pants. So yes, balance is always important but I'm just saying don't let the pendulum swing too far to the jeans side of your closet and forget the pants that really make your style diva sing.

So my divas, you want to go back to school but feel money or day-care have put it on the back burner for a few years, maybe you should just throw on that pair of white pants and take the leap...

You really feel the creative urge to scrapbook but haven't started dinner? Toss some noodles in a pot of boiling water, a few sliced oranges on the side and call it good. Go scrapbook.

You're tired and overwhelmed with an endless to do list? Book a massage for yourself, go ahead-it's okay to spend 60 dollars on yourself-60 dollars will come again.

Yeah, there will be spills and splashes on your white pants. You will likely brush up against a dirty car door or get sticky fingerprints on your knees-but that's okay. You can always get those pants clean, the important thing is you were brave enough to let yourself wear them. You let passion take precedence over practicality and sometimes, just sometimes we need to do that.

Here's to white pants, jeans and washing machines,
(Just not in the same load)

The Domestic Diva

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happiness is acceptance.

We all want to be happy.

Perhaps, the giddy dance in your bare feet through the grass, I'm so happy to be in love and alive- that I'm gonna sing on the beach about it till my prince rides by on his horse, sort of happy is a bit much for some gals...(Or maybe you just haven't allowed yourself the freedom to express that one yet, if you haven't I urge you to give it a try it's a blast!) But at any rate, the truth remains, we all want to be happy.

The desire for happiness resonates deep within our very soul, we are here to find joy. When we are not happy, we want to be happy again as soon as possible. Everyone learns to make that shift in their own way, some ways are more effective than others. The wonder of life, is discovering the trick to finding joy, that works best for you. 

This entry is about my trick.

 My dad always told me that happiness is a thought. That if you are sad, to change your thought, think of something positive. "You are one thought away from being happy" he would say. But I'd find sometimes that trying to change my thoughts, and thus my feelings about something didn't always come that easily. I used to think that he meant if I was having a negative thought to quickly push it aside and replace it with a positive thought. Sometimes this works, when my husband is deployed and I'm missing him terribly, sometimes it helps to just push that lonely feeling aside and start daydreaming about our next romantic getaway. (We always run off together for a weekend after he comes home from a deployment.) And it helps! I start to feel better.

But those are the more mild cases. The ones that really require effort are when I'm tired, and my husband hasn't been home for days, and my two year old just poured chocolate milk all over the carpet, or found a pair of scissors and cut up my throw pillows, or I'm hungry and trying to get dinner on and all I hear is the sound of my son's voice three octaves higher than any self respecting coloratura would care to sing, belting out his frustration with the force of a broad-way star. Then those pesky thoughts start to creep in...

"I hate the Navy, who makes a man work 30 hours without sleep!"

"For heavens sake, of course the boat is dirty, boats get dirty, why should you keep all the guys at work on a Saturday to clean it! Can't it wait till Monday!"

"Seriously, child! Do you have to scream at me like that?"

"Why are you always making messes, it's like I live for nothing more than being damage control!" 

And then the feelings start to happen, simultaneously with those thoughts, and I get angry and anxious and annoyed. Suddenly I can't remember how the thoughts got started, or how the feelings crept in, I'm just consumed in it and no amount of positive thinking could possibly get me out. Romantic getaways are suddenly impossibly expensive and months and months away, why do I have to wait that long just to see my husband anyway! Everything starts to feel impossible and overwhelming. I want to curl up in a little ball and just cry. I don't want to be a mom. I don't want to be a Navy wife. This is hard. I don't like this. It's not fair. I'm not happy.

We've all felt it. We've all been there over something. Maybe your experience wasn't a two year old and an overworked husband, maybe it was, but you've felt it too. I know you have. You want to know the secret? You want to know the trick I discovered to ending all of the resistance? It's easy. It's easier than coming up with a positive thought to think about-but it is a thought. A sentence really, here it is, I'll put it in bold so your brain really reads it:


Yeah, simple, but effective. And powerful...I'll show you just how powerful by adding one little word to that amazing sentence. 

"It should NOT be this way!"

Oh the difference is so subtle but so profound. When we are upset about something, when we are angry and anxious we are describing all the things we don't like, all the things we think should be different. We are looking at the world around us screaming "No, it shouldn't be like that!" but it IS like that and so we get frustrated, angry, anxious, depressed, or fill in the blank with your own response. And why shouldn't it be that way? Ask yourself and I think you'll find the answer to be very revealing, we want it to be different because we think if it was different we would be happy

So here's the trick, let the situation be okay as it is. I'm not just saying to accept it, that can to easily turn into martyrdom, and we fall into silently suffering through our surroundings, no I'm telling you really, let it be okay. Say, that it should not be any other way.  Say that it should be the way it is. 

It starts to look like this,

"My husband should be working long hours. The Navy is a demanding career, as it should be."

"Those sailors should be willing to give up a Saturday if it's asked of them. I am impressed by their hard work and dedication, regardless of the task they are given."

"My two year old should scream when he's frustrated."

"My two year old should make messes, that's what two year olds do as they explore the world around them."

When you let go of thinking it should be different, and allow life to be what it is, something amazing happens, the anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, and depression melt away because there's nothing to feel those emotions over. In its place is this wonderful feeling called joy, and happiness, and contentment-which we were striving for from the beginning. From the moment we said it should be different. Then another miracle happens, as we say life should be just what it is and we are at peace, our mind is free to make things even better. We have the patience, clarity of thought and freedom to become creative in our parenting and understanding.  When we are free from our own dissatisfaction we are suddenly available to be remarkably supportive, understanding and compassionate to those around us. Most importantly, our family and loved ones...our husband, who must battle his own "should nots" as he's working a 30 hour day with no sleep.

Where before there was only resistance, now there is possibility. There is hope. There is room for change, or not-it doesn't matter. Because either way, regardless of the circumstance you have what it is you want, joy.

And so my divas-Today I urge you to stop hitting your head against the wall, expecting to knock it down with your for-head, all you will get is a headache. Instead, step back and say to the wall "You should be here, you are a wall." And smile as the peace begins to fill your heart.

My dad was right, we are one thought away from being happy, and it should be so easy, shouldn't it?
Until next time, 

The Domestic Diva

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yes, she cooks, she cleans, and she SINGS!

Last night, while my hubby had overnight duty, I decided it would be fun to Google the title "Domestic Diva" and see what I came up with. I found some beautiful blogs by women who have truly turned home-making into an art! What fun to read about decorating on a budget, and favorite recipes of the year. I found references to Martha Stewart, who many have deemed, the original Domestic Diva. There were pages and pages of these Domestic Diva's all over the place, how delightful to know I'm one among many hundreds perhaps thousands of women who truly love home-making and have made it an expression of their souls.

To me, that is exactly what a Domestic Diva is, a creative expression, like any other art form. The home is my stage, it is where I shine. To all of those women who find great joy and satisfaction in folded laundry, and a baby who smells like Burt's Bees Baby wash, and the romantic swag of your new bedroom curtains, I applaud you. Sometimes it feels like the world is full of critics and adjudicators, telling us we are not singing our song correctly. That those of us who stay at home must not be properly fulfilled because we don't have a career, and those of us who have a career must feel guilty because we are not home enough with our children. Someone always has an opinion about how we are living and those opinions can make us doubt ourselves. I don't know what is right for anyone else. I can't tell you how to be a domestic diva, that's like trying to tell you how to sing. I can show you techniques, and tricks, I can talk about breath support and describe how it feels when I sing, but eventually you just have to open your mouth and let your own voice be heard. Sometimes, the most important person to hear your voice, is yourself.

To me, all of life is a song-and I love to sing it...Doing the dishes has a song, making the bed has a song, the perfect painting in my living room has a song, my parenting has a song, vacuuming has a song, it's all a grand rehearsal and my life is the performance. Every true singing diva knows, that for all the hundreds of hours of preparation there is one moment of performance. If we only lived for that performance, that moment of perfection... we would be miserable. There is joy in preparation. There is always something to look forward to. There is joy in the everyday tasks that must be fulfilled, for it prepares us for life's moments! We organize the game closet, so we can have fun playing games! We go grocery shopping because we enjoy eating! We love and care for our children so they can grow up to love and care for themselves and those around them. Every moment is about rehearsal and performance, and there is pleasure in both.

So, whether you are actually singing out loud or not-let the music of life fill your heart in every task you undertake! If it is bringing you joy, sing it out! Let your creativity resonate to all the world. May your song echo in the hearts of all those who enter your home. It is a reflection of you-and people want to see you-people want to be inspired and uplifted by your creativity and passion.

Let the voices of all domestic divas fill the air, as the homes of this world transform into places of beauty and music and love! You are singing in a great chorus, this work is noble and good. You are surrounded by women of creativity and talent-and you stand among them with a voice and gift that is completely your own. No one else can sing your song. No one else can create your home. No one else can live your passion.

Sing my domestic divas! Sing!
Your fellow chorus member

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Parenting with Puccini

  "THUMP!!! THUMP!!! THUMP!!!!KICK!! KICK!!! KICK!!!! KICK!!!!!
This is what it sounds like whenever I close a door behind me. It doesn't matter what I do, if a door clicks closed with Scott on the outside, the next thing I hear is Scott kicking that door with all his might in relentless repetition.  It is frustrating to say the least. I'm sure I'm not the first mother to cry in exasperation "Just let me pee in peace, CHILD!" But alas, no matter how I respond to the situation, it is a phase he is holding onto for dear life. The other day, in an effort to deal with the situation, I did what I know best, I sang to him. I really wanted to scream, but instead I opted for opera. This resulted in one of my more stellar moments as a mom.

I watched as my son stared up at me in utter shock and surprise as I opened the door mid kick, swung my arms out wide above him as if greeting a grand audience and started singing in full voice "Mi struggoe mi tormento! O Scotty, stop kicking the door!"

An excerpt from "O Mio Babbino Caro" by Puccini, whose line translates to "I struggle, I'm tormented!" And then my addition, and admonition to stop kicking the door. Good news is, he stopped kicking the door. However, I do wonder if he will grow up to have an unexplained aversion to "O Mio Babbino Caro".... 


Curtain Call

When I was a young girl I dreamed of one day becoming a Diva. It was more than an imagining; it was an obsession. I began taking voice lessons at age twelve and couldn't be quieted after that. I sang constantly. And if I wasn't singing, I was performing life's drama in all the glory of a true diva. I formed the Diva Society, and claimed the mission statement "To stand tall and bring beautiful music to the lives of people everywhere" my battlecry. Friends at school started to call me "Miss Diva" a name to which I would still respond to, if used today. I even wrote and distributed a single copy of the newsletter "The Daily Diva" featuring great articles about "Noteworthy Composers" and a section on vocal technique. I felt then, and still do, that life is a song, and I LOVE to sing it.

 Even though I am not singing in front of thousands of people (yet) and creating record breaking albums (yet) or putting my name on a designer line of clothing meant to reflect my persona  (yet) does not mean I am not a diva in my own right. In fact, everyone who loves to sing, and loves to perform is a diva in their own way. This blog is about being a diva, my way. The way of a young wife, and mother of a two year old, who has dishes to wash, laundry to catch up on, dinner to make, and a song to sing...

And with that final note, I take my bow...
Until next time,
The Domestic Diva
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...