Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let's Talk About No Sex

This post is for all moms, single or married, who may not be sharing a bed with a man right now. Even if you are--listen in. You'd be surprised how many women are in this situation. I know a few who's husbands are deployed in Iraq, and one with a work situation that takes him away for two weeks out of each month, and also all the many single or separated mothers. Here is what you should know about sexual frustration. (Okay, some people might not call it sexual frustration. They might just call it loneliness or something else. But sex is sexy. So whatever. Read on.)

I actually put all this together after reading Lani's post Building a Better Bond. I will quote heavily from her piece and also get brazenly personal.

For the last 8 months my custody schedule with my daughter has been almost 50/50. I hate it. She doesn't love it either, but I am not in control of her destiny right now, someone higher is and He (God) is parenting and protecting her. But anyway--here's the story. When she is home, we are lovey dovey with each other and cuddle a lot and laugh and I am basically flooded with oxytocin. This is the feel good hormone that studies have shown lab animals prefer over crack, Linkcocaine, or heroin. Then when my daughter has to go away for two days or five days, depending on the week, all those feel good hormones bottom out. And without a lover or other source of oxytocin, by day two, I become like a crack addict in withdrawals. It can be physically and mentally painful, and I start looking around for a fix--and not always in the right places. This is when Satan tries to really mess with my mind. I was at my wits end when Busca's post turned up in my email inbox.

..God showed me that I needed to be loving others (particularly my own little family) better. And that means loving them not just in word, but in deed. And that means more praise and gratitude, more random acts of kindness, more hugs, more kisses, more cuddling, more massages. I was reminded that when I live a lifestyle full of love, affection, and service for those around me, I further enhance my capacity to love more deeply, until eventually I am able to feel and give “perfect” love.... makes complete sense. A person living a lifestyle of loving action is a person flooding him/herself constantly with oxytocin.
Busca received inspiration about how to build a better bond with her newborn baby by increasing her oxytocin levels at the end of her pregnancy. But it was instructive to me, because I realized that this could help me with my problem too. I realized that instead of working through the days she is away, I have to be more balanced and serve others and teach classes and go on dates.

And incidentally, this helps me re-bond with her when she comes back, because the first day back is usually a difficult transition out of work mode for me.

I know each situation is different and maybe for some moms, who have their kids 24/7 and are touch saturated, the break from sex is great. But they still feel a loneliness. In this case, a phone call to a good girlfriend may be just the right dopamine fix.

If you are not in this situation, be mindful of those who are. Evenings are usually the worst. Also Sundays. If you can, invite them over on Sundays or stop by and visit or call in the evening.

After years of suffering through lonely Sundays, I have finally found the perfect situation. Another single mom friend and I go to Love Feast. Love Feast is sponsored by the Hari Krishnas in our area and ever Sunday night they offer free vegetarian cuisine to anyone in the community who wants to come. It's delicious. It's free. It's holy. And it's served with love. This means I don't have to cook on Sunday night. I can just enjoy being with Phoebe and teach her in word and deed how we mingle and interact with other religious communities. Phoebe loves all the colorful people there. I'd say it is about half Krishna devotees (who often wear beautiful colored saris), a few homeless people, and other people from the community who are just curious or just love vegetarian food or free food. I usually see one of my neighbors or friends there and a few Mormons.

Phoebe and Aiden at Love Feast

If you are not lucky enough to have a Love Feast where you are, start one. Get someone else to do it if you are too overwhelmed. There is always someone who loves to be a host or hostess. Keep it simple, healthy, and make it about community and love. That's the main thing. And it will keep those ocytocin and happiness levels up.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why Hast Thou Thus Dealt With Us?

This week I was reading in Luke about the time that Joseph and Mary lost Jesus for a day. Jesus was about twelve. They had gone to the feast of Passover in Jerusalem and were traveling home several days journey. After a day they realized Jesus was not with them or any of their relations.


So they returned to Jerusalem and spent 3 days looking for him. If you know this story, you know that they found him in the temple hearing and asking the doctors questions. What I noticed this time reading this story were Mary's words: "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." (Luke 2:48)

I realized that even though Jesus Christ was without sin and perfect, he still sometimes caused his parents sorrow.

This is interesting to me. They felt he had dealt with them badly. He didn't understand how they didn't understand that he was just fulfilling his mission.
49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? awist ye not that I must be about my bFather’s business?

50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

Again. Interesting. This makes me wonder how much of our sorrowing over our children is just misunderstanding their mission.

For example, last week, Phoebe got up early and I could hear her messing around in the kitchen. She has been in a sneaking phase, so I though she might be into the freezer sneaking ice cream or frozen raspberries.

I was about to catch her in the act and give her a long boring lecture, but 1 second before I could she saw me and screamed, "Close your eyes!"

It turned out that she had gotten up early to make me a surprise breakfast. I was stunned and awed that she would even think to do such a thing. It was the best breakfast I think I have ever had. Peanut butter on toast. Not toasted. :)

It was a nice literal wake up call to give people, but especially her, the benefit of the doubt before I start sorrowing.

I'm sure that you also have examples of this. I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


A few weeks ago my daughter said to me from the back seat of the car, "Mom, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?"

I said, "What?"

"A prophet."

My first reaction was to laugh, but I withheld. Laughter is sometimes the unconscious mind's first response when there is an incongruity. Meaning, it was not what I was expecting to hear. I was honestly expecting "taxi driver," because I have been telling a funny story about a girl who wanted to be a taxi driver when she grew up.

I said, "That's great. Do you know what a prophet does?"


"They testify of Christ. They teach righteousness."

"Oh." She seemed to be thinking and then decided that she could begin being a prophet right away.

I tried to correct her and tell her that she was a "prophetess" not a prophet, but she had a harder time with that word. (She's not yet five and doesn't understand feminine and masculine word endings.) So she still says prophet if you ask her. It's really cute, and it's 100% sincere.

I told a few friends about it, and their first response was laughter, but then, thoughtfulness. One of my neighbors, after looking up prophetess on his iPhone to see if it was in fact a real word (he is not LDS) said, "Well, they don't come around that often, so maybe she is one."

I love that he said that. (He has his own kids, too.)

While he was reading wikipedia and his wife was looking up prophetess in the dictionary, I opened my Bible Dictionary and shared a few things with them:

"The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God's messenger and make known God's will.... He was to be, above all, a preacher of righteousness...."

I remember studying up on this a few years ago after I had a very interesting priesthood blessing wherein, one of my oldest friends blessed me with "the spirit of prophecy." I was sure he was speaking craziness, until I read the bible dictionary and this story in Numbers 11, which is now one of my favorites.

24¶And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the aseventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.

25And the Lord came down in a acloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy belders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they cprophesied, and did not cease.

26But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

27And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.

28And aJoshua the son of bNun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.

29And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were aprophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

I love Moses's response. "Enviest thou for my sake?"

The very last line of the entry in the bible dictionary for Prophet says: "In a general sense, a prophet is anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost."

Even though we are the only church that believes in a living prophet who presides over the church and can receive revelation for the church, we also believe that we can all have the spirit of prophecy. We can all preach righteousness, and uplift, edify one another, declare truth, and receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost.

As for my daughter, I can attest that she is already a prophetess. At her baby blessing my father blessed her that she would find out her mission early in life. I feel humbled, but up to the challenge of helping her remember it.

Of course, she is also still an almost-five-year-old--which makes for some fun times.

At lunch last week at the Sikh Ashram, where I like to eat yummy vegetarian Indian food, a woman came and sat by us because she said she was drawn to Phoebe's light. When she asked Phoebe what she wanted to be when she grew up and heard her response, she was not at all surprised. She couldn't believe her luck. She asked Phoebe to say a prayer that she could have a baby. She had just turned 40 and was trying to decide if she should have one of the men she knew impregnate her or if she should go to a sperm bank. She really wanted to have a child.

Phoebe said, "Okay." She turned to me. "Mom, I'm going to take a walk." Phoebe took a walk around the courtyard to say her prayer and then came back. The lady asked if Phoebe would say another prayer so that she could have 2 children.

Phoebe said, "Okay. Mom, I'm going to take a walk. I'll be right back." She took another walk and came back. "Okay. It's done," she said. "But you are going to get fat."

!!Laughter. Then, "Can you say a third one that I won't get fat?"

"Don't worry. It's just baby weight," said Phoebe.

I have no idea where she get this stuff.

So the follow up of this story is that yesterday, when I went to lunch at the Ashram I saw this woman again. She told me that prophet Phoebe's prayers were answered.

"I met the man I'm going to marry and we're moving in together and I'm meeting his parents in two weeks and we're going to try to get pregnant and plan a conscious wedding." All of this spilled out of her mouth as she showed me a picture of her new man. Cute. Good DNA. And she told me what a serving, loving person he is.

This all happened in a week. Yikes. But why I am I not surprised? For her sake, I hope she's right and that he is fabulous.

Back to the weightier matter of raising little prophets and prophetesses. This is no small task. But here's the kicker. It is not so much about parenting skills as it is about getting over your stuff--your own personal stuff and your relationship stuff--so that you install as little as possible of it in your children. That way they can find and start their missions sooner.

When I say get over your stuff, I'm not talking about the sort-of-trying, thinking-about-it, small steps you may have been taking toward positive change. Small steps are good. But I'm talking quantum leaps. These are the last days. And the fact that you are here now today parenting these children means that you can quantum leap every day. If you are not already growing and transforming and healing from your past every day, then ask God how. Lay down all your old stories, including guilt about not being there already. Just move forward. Any time a woman does something to raise her own vibration, the entire family benefits. You know this to be true. When you are grouchy, the whole family follows. When you are joyful, they also trail along like little puppies.

Ask God where to look and what to do so that you can grow more each day than you ever have before. Pour your heart out to Him. Then be prepared to follow inspiration. This requires releasing attachment to what growth should look like. Ask your children to pray for you, too. Then get ready.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Picture Your Cervix as a Turtleneck Sweater

When I did my pregnancy yoga teacher's training, one of the teachers told us, "sometimes, you only get one shot at them." Meaning, sometimes they only come to your class once and you never see them again. But you never know what you are going to say or do that might effect their birth. It was a lesson to listen to those intuitive hits we get.

Well here's my best one shot wonder story yet. I teach pregnancy yoga once a week at the YMCA. The boot camp teacher, who was pregnant, who has never been able to make it to my class, came up to me one day in mild alarm. Her first birth was a C-section and she really wanted a VBAC.

"I'm getting nervous about the birth," she said. "Can you hypnotize me right now to feel no pain?"

"Well, I teach class in 5 minutes...."

"Come on. Can't you just zap me."

"You'll be fine." (Reassuring tones) "Just picture your cervix as a turtleneck sweater. It looks like it will never fit over your child's head, but it does. It stretches easily and effortlessly."

"Ha. A turtleneck sweater. Hey that's a good one..."

A few months later, she shows up back at work with a little baby and tells me that the turtleneck sweater metaphor is what got her through pushing. I had totally forgotten by then.

She said, her husband, an anesthesiology resident, would like to thank me.

You are very welcome.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cuteness and Absorbtion

Lately, my daughter has been in a super cute phase. She is telling jokes. Or what she thinks are jokes. All incredibly funny. Here are some she told this week:

"Want to hear a funny joke?"
"Of course."
"Once there was a bunny who forgot to lay his eggs and now he's dead. HAHAAAA!"
"Oh, my."

"Want to hear a funny joke?"
"Once there was a girl named Juliet. She fell in love and now she's dead."

The last one truly made me crack up. I'm sure she has never seen or read Romeo and Juliet (she's only 4) and yet, somehow the story is in the collective unconscious. she summarized it pretty accurately. I keep cracking up about these jokes while at the same time not wanting to make death funny.

And yet. I haven't told you my favorite joke. Want to hear it?
"Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?"
You say: "Why?"
"Because it was dead."
If i am not already hysterical by the time I deliver the punch line, I then become hysterical and people usually just stare at me, which makes me laugh harder.

So, I guess my girl has picked up my sense of humor. I'm not sure how. But then again, we aren't aware of everything they see us do. And sometimes they seem impervious to the things they see us do. We think nothing sinks in. But it does. One day my babysitter, whose tendencies tend toward spoiling, told me that she offered Phoebe ice cream and Phoebe said, "If we have ice cream every day it's not a treat." Hallelujah. She does listen.

And the other day Phoebe said to me, "Mom, can you put on some nice music. I want to meditate." So I did. And I went out of the room to make dinner. When I came back she was sitting with her fingers in Giyan mudra (classic yogi style) and chanting Ong Namo. I tried to get a picture, but she told me to leave her alone. So I did. She continued for about 5 minutes, which is a long time for an almost 5 year old.

One more story. I have a reputation for being a creative problem solver. Well, the other day Phoebe was complaining about her pants being too long. Since I apparently didn't do anything about it, she went and hemmed them up with a stapler and didn't say a word about it. I only noticed later and gave her a high five for problem solving.


Of course, she hasn't absorbed anything negative up from me. (Okay may one or two). There are a few things I'm not happy that she has picked up at her other house. For one, the fact that her stepmother has never breastfed a single baby and she's about the have her 3rd. Of course, I don't know all the details. She might not be able to, but it bothers me that Phoebe went from breastfeeding her baby dolls to bottle feeding them. I have to remind her that not all babies take bottles. However, she is totally into baby wearing.

Share your stories of cuteness!


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