Rebecca’s Magical Mondays #12 – Feed the Love

Greetings to the whole human race,

We’ve come to see each other again, haven’t we? We now deeply know what it is to break bread together side by side. And we are finding new pathways to nourishing community as well as reconnecting to mother nature. This week’s Magical Mondays is themed “Feed the Love” — just the way you feed sourdough starter. Let’s offer hope and take back our individual and collective power by supporting each other. 

Here are resources for this week:

  1. Chapters 2 + 3 Reading in the Woods of my novel The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship. As I write the sequel, it is important for me to go back and read my own book to make sure that I don’t confuse even the most minor details. So I figured, why not read it aloud to you? You can view the “live” reading of Chapter 1 here.

  2. Brené Brown’s new podcast Unlocking Us features a wonderful concept: FFTs – trust me and listen. It’s perfect for these times.
  3. Journey into the world of Jackie M. Wood, self-proclaimed messy painter: Jackie and I are in a monthly mastermind together which I co-facilitate. She offers some inspiring and affordable abstract mini art prints here.  I got to follow along with her recent cross-country trip via Instagram as she captured landscapes on her journey. Enjoy the gentle beauty of her work!

  4. Free Wellness Classes and Connections: Check out Creative Live’s Free Health and Wellness Classes here. Or join me every weekday with Ho’omalamalama Brown as she offers a 5-minute morning burst of exercise daily at 6:30am-ish PT to get you going. I don’t always catch them live but I do them when I wake up and it’s just the encouragement I need. You can sign up for more info here and then you’ll get the link to the private Facebook group where she streams every weekday.Then I move into my home yoga practice or have some fun with Tabata

  5. Music – Follow D-Nice and Quest Love on IG or YouTube for some amazing music during this time at home. Check out a glimpse here. Musicians like Nahko have also offered concerts where each view leads to a non-profit donation.
  6. Get Some Yummy + Support Small a Small Business: My favorite Italian Bakery in Chicago is Scafuri Bakery. I am thrilled to let you know that they are still shipping online orders of their amazing cookies and loaves. Get a discount with the code SMILE2020 for the rest of March. Pictured below is the Cuccidati, Pignoli and Chocolate Orange Ricotta Pound Cake Loaf. Say that last one fast three times with your mouth full of cake. I dare ya!
  7. Free Slow Food Live Webinars: Learn to Plant a Seed on Thursday, March 26 at 11am PT/2pm ET by registering here.You can register for the Zero Waste Minestrone webinar on March 27th at the same time here.
  8. Bethany Webster’s 3P Method: She is the world’s leading expert on The Mother Wound, author of the forthcoming book, Discovering the Inner Mother, and wrote a very helpful post called, “The Holy Simplicity of Sitting with Our Pain.” She also recently shared the following approach in her newsletter:

Here is a quick process to help you feel safer and less anxious during this time of uncertainty.

I call it the 3P Method:

Pause, Pivot, Provide tender holding.

1) Pause:

Stop in the moment and notice what is happening for your inner child. You may notice an underlying panicky feeling, a negative inner narrative, or a feeling of being trapped or unsafe.

2) Pivot:

After you pause, turn to the distressed inner child. Here you become the inner mother self, bringing a sincere, loving curiosity to her and what she’s feeling in the moment.

3) Provide tender holding:

How is the little one within you?

I invite you to consciously bring her or him lots of nurturing, reassurance, tenderness and gentle calm.

You can simply say:

“I’m here with you Little One. I can see you’re scared right now, which is natural and normal, given what you’ve been through. I’m here with you to keep you safe. All is well.”

Consider signing up for her newsletter if you like her work. She even offers a free e-book called What is the Mother Wound?

Okey dokey, I have more, but I’ll stop before Monday turns into Tuesday!  Here’s how you can help this week:

  1. Leave a note of encouragement outside a neighbor’s door.
  2. Stay hydrated with water and warm liquids.
  3. Try a new class online.
  4. Rest.
  5. Give yourself and everyone around you a break. Assume a well of good intentions as people navigate the new normal for now.

And remember, look for the magic in the everyday! There are clues everywhere!

Finding Contentment in Sadness and the Best Macaroni and Cheese on the Planet


I took you on my hike this morning and shared some of the helpful tools I’ve learned and applied in the last few weeks. I edited together all the nuggets plus a 15 second avocado meditation at the end! You can view the video here.

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Some of the resources which I mentioned are included below:

  1. On allowing your feelings to move through you (rather than burying them with social media, food, TV, alcohol or busyness): Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach is a game-changer when it comes to allowing your feelings to move through you—especially conflicting feelings. The book has been pivotal for me in terms of changing my relationship to recurring themes in my life.
  2. On forgiveness and healing: I mention this SuperSoul Session by Caroline Myss, 7 Myths and 7 Truths about Healing which can be viewed here. While I’m a fan of Myss’ work, I don’t always like her tone or delivery, but this short talk is well worth it, especially the ending. It contains that apology and forgiveness exercise which I referenced on the mountain.
  3. On letting go of the effort to control outcomes: Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead and Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender – both books are by Tosha Silver and can be found here. These books have felt like they have saved me–from my own thoughts–in the last few weeks. People tell you to surrender all the time, but she does it with such humor and great anecdotes to model it again and again.
  4. On letting go of anticipating and being prepared for every scenario: If you want to know more about the concept of hypervigilance, I really like this post titled Parentified Daughters as Female Leaders: Keys to your Emergence by Bethany Webster. The concepts also apply to sons, so if you’re a man reading this, it’s worth taking the time to click on the link.
  5. On boundaries which are essential to employ the tools outlined on my hike: I don’t mention boundaries in the video, but I did ask myself on the way home, “what’s missing?” “What else can I share to help folks test these tools in their own lives?” The most powerful tool for me has been to make boundaries, even with the people I love. Here’s one of my favorite short (6 minutes) videos by Brene Brown on that topic. 

I love you.

xo

Rebecca

 

 

 

 

Crack the Egg: Finding Joy amidst Conflicting Emotions

CrackTheEggbyRebeccaVillarreal

Lately, I’ve had some painful lessons that have manifested in the most glorious joy. I have to share some of the things that have helped me. If you already live like this, and these insights are not a surprise, I’m so excited for you! Please share and teach me more!

Here’s what I’m covering: how conflicting emotions can exist inside of you and how you can still live with joy. This, my friends, is your ticket out of the nauseating amusement park called “Guilt Shame Judgment Landia.”

If you are reading this on the go, I’m giving you the gift of access to a meditation that helped me to reach this level of happiness. Sheila Pai, of A Living Family, created it. Her work is so comforting. And she created a special page just for us! Once you provide your name and email address, you can download it. You’ll get the meditation in your email box. I enjoy them and hope you do too! (By the way, her Nurturing You book is the kindest, most gentle self-care book I’ve ever enjoyed. I credit it with a lot of my ability to step back without guilt and just be.)

Onward!

“You’ll always be too out of the box for me.”

One of my favorite blog readers wrote to me after my I Love You More Than a Boy Cheese Sandwich post. She said how happy she was to get back from church and see my email and then told me that I’ll still always be “too out of the box” for her. That was such a great gift. The fact that she is happy to read my words even if she’s not a charter member of my “woo-woo crew,” she can appreciate my love. So dear reader, it’s out of the box for us, and into the bowl!

What’s in your bowl?

So here’s the deal, it’s very, very simple: two things can exist in the same bowl. (Hint: you are the bowl.)

I’ll give you a personal example. During my son’s spring break, I was supposed to visit family. I was so excited to see everyone for Easter. And then my son got sick and we didn’t go. I was sad. And, because I have a lot going on in my life with work, the launch of my book and my impending move across country, I was also relieved.

Pretend I’m a mixing bowl: pour in sadness, relief and happiness too (because I could still be with my husband on Easter). I imagine them as salt, sugar and flour. It’s like when you are blending the dry ingredients in baking.

During this time, I was working with someone on my much deeper issues rooted in fear and courage. And when I was talking with her, I had a strong message to tell her to “crack the egg.” As we are charter members of the same crew, I had no problem telling her that I felt a figure, like a bear, leaning over me saying, “crack the egg, give it to her.” Honestly, at the time, I wanted to turn behind me with my best Philly girl self and say, “Alright already! I’ll tell her. Quit leanin’ over me!”

So I shared what I was told.

I could not get the image out of my head. I made a drawing. It sat unfinished on my floor. I looked at it every day. I pasted the dictionary definitions of “ubicada and desubicada” in the bowl for while. Then I only left “ubicada” because I couldn’t rip it off. The verb, “ubicarse” in Spanish is one of my favorite words. It means “to situate oneself” or some say, “to locate oneself.” When you feel “desubicada,” it’s like feeling out of sorts or discombobulated (another fabulous word).

Then, one morning, I finished my prayer meditation, and sat on the floor looking at the picture. I jumped on Facebook. I watched all of the events in Baltimore, Nepal and much more. And this poem came to me. I wrote it on the canvas.

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Trust the Habit of Peace

Trust the habit of peace and unraveling

there is a knowing and a flailing

you are more than the sadness and happiness in this bowl

the ubicada and desubicada

you are the light of a mother in yellow pulling her son with fury out of the fury screaming sunshine amidst the burning

there is rubble in Nepal

Po po pushing for peace

some scared

and pushing our sons

Please now

the bowl of is, and is not, is overflowing

listen

crack the egg

let it flow so we can find courage

prick up our ears

today is the Sabbath

today let us walk barefoot

and remember our piece of creation

your fingers and my fingers are the same

reach for me and let me pull you

bearhug

You can feel safety again

plant seeds, water

phosphorescent photosynthesis

and open the window of your heart

let these words bring peace

Why Guilt Doesn’t Fit in Your Bowl

It’s tough for me to explain, but if I take that bowl of dry ingredients and crack an egg in it, then start whisking the egg together, it’s actually me. It’s all of me at the same time. It’s life. We can be happy and sad at the same time.

Guess what, here is the bonus insight: you can leave out guilt! Think of guilt as the needless genetically modified chemical-filled ingredient which you don’t want in your bowl anyway.

See, I could feel guilty that my mom bought eight pounds of mouth-watering delicious cheese for my spring break visit because she was excited to see me and I wasn’t there to eat it. (For the full impact of the cheese connection, you can read this post.)

Or, I could just accept what’s in my bowl: the sadness, relief and happiness. My persistent shoulder blade pain can be relieved if I just crack that egg and whisk it all together, accepting what is, while refusing to judge it.

Did you catch that? Let those feelings move through you without judging them. You don’t have to spiral into how you are a bad friend, son, daughter, spouse, parent or human being. And that’s what Sheila Pai’s meditation has helped me to do.

Wait! This just in from the inimitable poet Terry Spencer Edwards. Upon reading this post, she added something so insightful, I had to share: “This is indeed a powerful post. I got so much out of it, my sister. And it reminded me that if you don’t crack the egg, you can never fully bake your potential…and get yourself ready to create the next confection. Forgive the metaphor, but it is powerful to remember that the dry ingredients are good, important, essential, but they change into something else once the egg is cracked…something flowing, something that can rise.”

And that, my friends, is what co-creation is all about. That is why I invited you to teach me.

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A few final resources to help you with the stuff in your bowl:

1. This radio show on Synthesis and Synchronicity by Maria Rodriguez was a major factor, as in life-changing, in the way I allow myself to receive and perceive information.

2. These resources about tribal shame, a concept unraveled by Dr. Mario Martinez in his book, The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook post about it; Bethany Webster’s article titled The Importance of Enduring Discomfort for the Sake of Transformation.

3. Sheila Pai has created a loving, nurturing space in her A Living Family site. You already know I love her Nurturing You book. I also so wish I could be at her Mindful Mama retreat on May 16. She only has 5 spots left so if you are anywhere near Philly or want to fly there, check it out! She has some a cool e-course on Mindful Communications too. I just love the way she shows up in the world with compassion and connection.

4. Scorpio Moon resources: there are some major planetary shifts going on right now, including a full moon tonight. I enjoyed Carrie Ara Campbell’s comforting post about what to expect during this time. If you find yourself over-reacting or having “old stuff” triggered, it could be that you are sensitive to what’s going on in the world. As a conceptual anchor, it is believed that Buddha actually achieved enlightenment during the Scorpio moon. I also just learned valuable information on a call today from Christina Caudill about the subject. I think you can sign up here to receive the recording of that call. (I also must credit her with the fabulous term “woo-woo crew.”)

Phew! I am going to have to keep this post as a reference for myself because I’m still learning all of this. Thanks for sticking with me.

So, from my bowl to yours, I invite you to crack the egg, baby! It’s life, it’s love and the world needs what’s in your bowl. The world needs YOU!