Archive for 'the radvent series'
Posted on 25. Dec, 2012 by Princess Lasertron.
I have a lot of feelings around the end of the Radvent series each year–relief, some nostalgia, some pressure, hope that people enjoyed it, gratitude to have finished another year. As November passes each year I never think I’m going to do Radvent again. I think I partly do it to please readers who tell me they look forward to it, but I know I couldn’t even begin without the gift of inspiration that seems to come just in time for the first post. Some days the urge to write is stronger than others, the ideas are better than others, but the challenge to write each day is always on my mind and it makes me live with more purpose and intention.
Reading back through the Radvents of past years, it’s unmistakeable that the themes and posts from each day reflect the values I had at the time. The things I was thinking about, the problems I cared about, the motivations behind my business and life. My goal this year was to inspire readers to open up to accepting their own worthiness, brilliance, and potential. To either get back on a path to self-acceptance, or celebrate the huge accomplishment of a positive self-image–wherever you are on the continuum we go up and down on through our whole lives. Indeed, women are pressured to look beautiful but never feel beautiful, “be strong” but never stand up for themselves verbally or physically, be mothers, be married, work, stay home, ANYTHING. A woman never feels like she is enough. And in the constant struggle within ourselves, we turn it outward toward each other and forget the sisterhood and camaraderie of the feminine experience. Quieting the din of messages about how to act, what to say, how to look, what to like, is a SKILL to be developed. I look at Alice and think about how I was born like her–carefree and unknowing that anything I loved or wished for deep in my heart could be wrong. Unaware of anything artificial, constructed, and untrue that would come to be expected of me. Of us. If that’s the disease, the antidote is self-reflection, self-awareness, self-love. And I think that takes work.
So this is the work I do. It’s for me, but it’s also for you in that I hope that sharing my own process of working on my sense of self inspires someone else to do the work they need to do. And perhaps to share some ideas about where to begin.
Tonight I’m writing this post amidst calm. I’m awake, alone, surrounded by reminders of the generous and laughter-filled Christmas Eve celebration my family just enjoyed. A can of diet coke, a few candy wrappers, on the couch observing the joyous and wonderful toys and gifts arranged, awaiting Alice’s awakening in the morning. A wooden kitchen, a cardboard fort system, Duplo building blocks set up to create a zoo scene, puppets, clay, and books. To me, it’s things purchased to begin the tradition of Alice’s first Christmas with Santa Claus. I hope it makes her feel loved and special, but I think about how this is probably the last year that she won’t be expecting this. This is calm, the excitement and elation hasn’t happened yet, everything waiting here for Alice’s Perfect Christmas isn’t even known by her to be here.
What is inside you that you don’t have awareness of yet? There’s no way to know, is there? How can you know what potential lies within you until you rise to meet a challenge? Finishing a writing project. Daring to share a passion. Giving a speech, starting a business. Childbirth. Overcoming illness and grief. Calm, conflict, reaction, and growth is a cycle that repeats on macro- and micro-levels in our lives forever. I’ve accepted that, and it gives me comfort, confidence, and a level of inner calm that helps me have perspective because I address my old issues that always cycle through as the person I am now, not as the person I was before. I love this place. I expect to step back, but I expect to leap forward with grace even farther than before.
What cycles are ending for you right now? What is beginning now? What is coming next?
Enjoy what is important to you. Just be in the middle of it.
During the holidays, and today in particular if you celebrate Christmas, we’re often surrounded by people and in places and thinking about ideas that are important to us. Put aside your thoughts of tomorrow, your wishes, and become calm among the chaos. My mom says “The days are long and the years are short.” Figure out how to use them to honor what is important to you.
Create your own comfort ritual.
What makes you feel calm and comforted? Figure out what you need to do to re-center yourself when you are stressed or facing conflict. Feel proud to know that you can comfort yourself.
“Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I’m happy with this December, with this year. I’m happy with what I contributed to the world and how I grew my understanding of myself and used that to live more intentionally and consciously. I’m happy with the example I set as a mother, I’m happy about what I built with my partner Sarah who I love like a sister, an irreplaceable part of my life, I’m proud of the honesty and openness my husband Dave and I fostered between us as a team. I love the respect I gained for other people, especially other women, and the perspective I found about the importance of supporting each other. From that genesis, the belief in the value and beauty and the choice to recognize it in others, that the most happiness I’ve ever felt has emerged.
Posted on 24. Dec, 2012 by Princess Lasertron.
When I was growing up, we came to visit my grandparents in Florida every year or so for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or over the summer school break. I remember getting into my grandma’s convertible in nothing but my swimsuit with a big plastic tote bag of beach toys, our sunglasses, a little bag of sandwiches and chips. We’d whizz down Camino Real and go over a drawbridge, and end up right on the shore with its white sand and shells and showers to rinse off our feet.
The last time I came to Boca to visit Grandma and Grandpa Florida was seven years ago, the first Christmas I was dating Dave. I can’t believe it was that long ago–stepping through the doorway into the white-tiled living room their house again yesterday brought me back to my childhood immediately and it felt like it had only been a few weeks. I love this place. I love making this trip. I wish I could do it more than once a year.
Coming here is the first True Vacation I’ve had in a long time…I’m still doing some work each day but it’s pretty light. Being able to do things just with my family, from the drive down here to all of the time spent here at the house laughing and talking with wine, wrapping gifts, driving out to the theater and beach, is wonderful without distractions. Watching Alice sit in her great grandparents’ laps, looking through old photos and listening to the stories behind each one. Catching up with my aunt and uncle and cousins.
My grandparents have given me a lot of guidance in my life–advice about marriage, business, parenting, partying. I’m grateful that Alice could come here and see this wisdom being shared, get to know her great-grandparents better.
What guidance and wisdom have you received from people you’re spending the holidays with that impacted your life?
Are there any lessons or advice you’ve been able to apply to your life this year?
Write a letter to a child or a person important to you sharing guidance.
Take a silent walk with a loved one.
Sometimes being outdoors offers such powerful insights. Let the silence offer you an opportunity for reflection, enjoy the scenery, and talk about your experiences with a loved one on the way home.
“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”
Posted on 23. Dec, 2012 by Princess Lasertron.
On Friday my parents and brother, Dave and Alice and I packed into a Holiday Rambler RV and are making our way currently (!) to Boca Raton, Florida. My mom’s parents live in Boca and my uncle, aunt and cousins live nearby. I miss them a lot and I can’t wait to spend a long holiday vacation with them. I thought I would say more today but we just parked to get some rest and we’ll be up so early again tomorrow to finish the journey. I thought I’d do a lot of writing as we drive but the motion makes me sort of nauseous when I type so I have to wait until night when we park. Alice has been doing great in the “bus.” She loves the magic beds that fold out of the side couches, the big windows on the sides, and being with her favorite people, I think. Reflecting on the entire year, and thinking about everything going on in the country in the last week makes me very grateful to be having this slow, deliberate time with the people most important to me. I’m glad we are just together. I’m just most glad for that. That’s enough to say.
How do you celebrate the holidays, and why? What parts of your traditions are from your history, and what parts of your holiday celebration have you created yourself?
If you could create a new holiday to be celebrated worldwide, what would it be?
(And why not choose an upcoming date to celebrate it?)
If you could spend the holidays anywhere, where would you go?
Today is also my parents’ anniversary. 27 years ago they got married in Vail, Iowa in a blizzard. I’m so impressed and grateful for the example they set for me growing up and the advice and wisdom they have for me now as a wife and mother myself. My mother and father have taught me that there is no “right” way to celebrate the wonderful life and exciting events that happen in our lives, because our experiences are totally unique for us. Every celebration–including this year’s Christmas trek 1,700 miles across the country–is special and awesome and just fine however we want to do it. Their spirit of acceptance and enthusiasm is a gift, and since I’m already a pretty high-strung person I especially welcome and appreciate their attitude every year during the holidays. I love them so much. I’m so happy to be on this trip with them–them on their anniversary, their kids, and their kid’s kid.
Holidays are about experiences and people, and tuning into what you feel like doing at that moment. Enjoy not having to look at a watch.
The Holidays can be a pretty colorful topic! Think about it for a few minutes today and write what comes to mind. Iâ€™d love to read your reactions and responses if you link them in the comments below!