Sophia and the Chalice

april scs symbols

Clear blue skies and ancient mountain slopes

Despairing I search them tapping on elusive windows of hope

Another doctor, another hospital another encounter with fear and fate

Anxiety and trepidation mount in another waiting room

 

A tower rises boldly above the maze of medical buildings

In plain sight guiding like a beacon and I hear it speak

I know my journey will end there

But there are mountains to cross and miles to cover

In the dark of night I see the tower and the clear blue skies

Wearily I consider the mountains and the miles

Those that are behind me and those that are yet before me

Helplessly, I surrender to this journey

 

Searching for solace, my hands begin to craft

A full moon is rising in this dark night of the soul

Sacred Sanskrit symbols burning into the wood grain

Burning, scarring,  gaining meaning and significance

 

The windows of hope fly open and grace finds me longing

I pass by the tower reverently  lifting up mine eyes to this hill again

I see her – The Lady with the Lamp

Her voice that guided me over mountains and across many miles

 

Her lamp shines bright even amidst the clear blue skies

A solitary guidance through that Dark Night of The Soul

Sophia!

Endless, timeless holy, fount of wisdom – Sophia!

 

Sophia I called out

Sophia I learned to trust

In her bosom I rested my weary being

Sophia, her voice channelled, “You are here now!”

 

Chalice Divine, I call thee Blessed!

Chalice of life, sacred source of my blood, vessel of creation

Life and death danced harmoniously within your walls

Mother moon directing our seasons of living  and our seasons dying

 

Blessed are you Sophia

Blessed are the sacred words of the wise ones

Blessed are you chalice of creation

Blessed are you in your living and in your dying

 

Divine you must be for in your dying there is great living

Creativity flows again, a life blood through my being

The ancient one who guards the cross roads welcomes me mischievously

Adventure awaits, new mountains and new miles

 

She, who leaves gift offerings to remind me she is my companion

She, who changes form and is not confined

The one who is creation herself

This is the new season of my becoming

 

I am the creation

I am  life in all my changing forms

I am the mountains and the blue skies

I am the tower that beckons

I am the blood

I am the divine  chalice

I am the sacred words of the wise ones

I am beloved Sophia

I am the lamp that shines brightly

I am the formless ancient one at the crossroads

I am the roads and I am the traveller

Cape Town Drought Post 10

ct drought dairy post 10

SWEET CAMEO MOMENT – 3 February 2018

Sterilizing everything has become an urgent task in light of the drought. There are mixed reports of how safe our newfound water sources are and concerns about airborne yukkies. This morning as I prepared the sterilizing solution to cleanse water bottles, I had to pause for a sweet little moment.
The familiar smell and sight of sterilon sterilising solution brought back a flood of memory. Twenty two years ago I was in this kitchen sterilizing my newborn daughter’s milk bottles. Now, 22 years later, here I am sterilizing her water bottle. She is currently a fourth year psych student seeing her first clients this week. Amidst the chaos and the anxiety of the water crisis there are also these precious lil moments.
Yes, I am an archetypal mom.
#watercrisis #capetown #ctdroughtonlinediary

In my daughters’ eyes …

IMG_1998smallcropA few days before mothers’ day I am a mess of emotions, thoughts and reflections. I am not normally big on this day but this year I wrote a post on Facebook to speak up against something that triggered both my inner protector and my lover. I had no idea it would speak to so many people and resonate so much. Through this experience, I realised again how incredibly connected we are as mothers and people. The women in the mall who look so different and seem so distant really have so much in common. Our vulnerabilities are not that different after all.
Yesterday, I dedicated a song to my daughters. Martina McBride goes to the heart of my vulnerability as a mother when she sings “In my daughter’s eyes”. The mystics and the alchemists speak about the language of the world. Those feelings, thoughts and experiences that can’t be captured but we know to be true in a place deep inside of us. Perhaps this is why it is so hard to explain motherhood. It is a grand and epic mixture of courage and vulnerability and all else. At any one time we dance somewhere between these two crazy extremes.

The younger my children were the more I was a hero and my vulnerability was so easy to conceal. The older they get, the harder it is to hide my failure, shame and vulnerability from them. It’s even harder in my case with my daughter being a 2nd year psychology student. So I don’t worry too much any more because trying to hide my vulnerabilities would be an epic fail as the younger generation would say. There are times I wish I could be back in the bathroom pretending I got soap in my eyes. That was my fave! There are also times I am relieved I can look up with a face full of tears and say “mmmm just busy with my inner child here!” And what a blessing when they give me the space to do it and carry on with whatever, allowing my sadness, grief and pain the space it needs.

My anger and nastiness is also brought to trial regularly now that my girls are older, bolder and wiser. Where once there were only blind spots, I now have mirrors saying “Oh dear let’s have a look at this Miche!” I hate and I love it! The journey with my children from newborn to toddler, tween, teen and adult has been the most life changing of all my many journeys. It has transformed me like no workshop, short course, sermon or ritual ever did or ever could.

So when I sit and listen to Martina sing that soul song over and over and over I cry because all my vulnerabilities are seated in front of me. I cannot deny any of them. I laugh because all my joys are standing along side me giving praise to the Great Spirit for the miracle of being mother. All of my fears are present and mother-courage helps me to stay standing. My hopelessness and fatigue find the strength to lift me up and see this glorious light of Love. My daughters’ eyes are indeed the most beautiful place my soul has ever visited in this life.

Much Love, M

Martina McBride performing In my daughter’s eyes live

Marketing gone wrong …

Truworths Mothers’ Day marketing really leaves me quite baffled. I am really not sure what a teenager in padded bras and lace panties has to do with Mothers’ Day. There are very many mothers who love lingerie and very many mothers who are a size 30. This is not my dispute or the cause of my concern.
The idea of a child posing in the images is what I find bizarre. Motherhood speaks of a myriad of virtues, struggles, celebrations and promise. Motherhood speaks of depth and growth that comes with the conception, birthing, adoption, nurturing and raising of children. Motherhood speaks of a mature and seasoned sexuality that this little dear could not possibility have any concept of.
If you want your product to appeal to me please advertise it to me – not to my 16 year old daughter.
I assume you were trying to appeal to the Aphrodite in women. As Aphrodite is my archetype, allow me to suggest a few things you should consider. The goddess of love is best invoked through a mature woman who has come into the fullness and wildness of her sexuality. A woman who has experienced all the pleasures and deep invocations of her sexual energy (including the reproductive aspect) captures the mystical divinity of the goddess. A child that we have birthed and suckled at our breast is simply not able to invoke the goddess energy. As pictured in Greek mythology, Aphrodite is never seen with bones sticking out of her flesh. This would be entirely contrary to the idea of the fullness, pleasure and eroticism of her gifts. Lean figures would portray the warrior goddesses. I highly doubt that you were trying to appeal to the warrior in me.
Now to modern day matters where we are dealing with the epidemics and challenges of teenage and young adult sexuality. Every woman in the queue today saw her daughter in the image. None of us took kindly to the premature sexuality and motherhood loaded onto the young woman. The challenges of motherhood require it to be timeously considered. Young women need images that will trigger the desire for education, economic freedom, psychological maturity and so on. Images like the one you are using will only serve to maintain the status quo or gender inequality.
In closing, I remind you of some matters to consider when you try to market to me. Especially when you try to market lingerie. I have survived labour and cesarean sections. I have had gigantic needles poked up my spinal cord. I have had my nipples poked, prodded and suckled by men and babies. It gets more and more graffic but I shall spare you. This journey has awoken many many goddesses in me. If you want to appeal to my Aphrodite as a mother, you need to find symbols and images that can speak to the powerful force in me. Images that can match the beauty, wisdom, depth and sensuality of the mother and the woman that I am. Images that young women can look upon and know that’s who they want to be one day in the fullness of their time. Images that communicate to your customers that you know your target community ….
Ultimately, images that depict mothers as both the seasoned lovers and caring mothers we are.

Escaping the laundry for a little soul space – step into your peace

writing deskI flew in this morning after taking my youngest to school.  The mental note I made last night was “You have to start with the laundry early in the morning!”  It was accompanied by reinforcement admonishments to stay off the blog, avoid watching You tube lectures and be sure to apply all the time management rules to avoid distractions.  Well, I have only one response which I pinch from the youth … LOL – Laugh out Loud!  Here I am on the blog and much like a rebellious teenager on social media networking when they are suppose to be studying, I am feeling mischievous and somewhat rebellious. A most wonderful way to access the creative side!

The craziest part of this post is that I have no idea what I am going to write about. I have no great insight and no deep struggle I am working through.  It is just a very average time between the week that has gone and the weekend ahead.  Without my obvious promptings I myself am wondering – why am I being summoned here in what feels like a free writing exercise with no clear goal at all?  The question is even more intriguing because there are days when I have a collection of apparently meaningful prompts and I just never get to blog it.

I do not have to think too much about it though.  I know what calls me here and as the awareness comes to light I realise what the intention for this post is.  What called me to the writing desk is not a prompting of a subject or question but a prompting of my soul for a little space and a time to be.  In the time between the week that has gone by and the weekend that is to come (and the laundry that awaits) there was a deep yearning to be.  The many obligations of the week had me running from pillar to post.  I am sure you can identify with that.  The weekend will be filled with family time and the pressures of pre-exam preparation for the children.  I celebrate with deep gratitude the change of pace of the weekend and the blessings of joy and fellowship it brings as family and friends gather in our home.  For the empath, creative, spiritualist, highly sensitive person this can also be quite a hair raising time.  A time of so much merriment that makes us forget about the need for solitude to maintain our sense of equilibrium.

The beckoning to the writing desk which overlooks my garden-bird sanctuary is an intuitive call of the soul to come away for just a little while.  A time to sit in silence and observe the turtle doves at the birdbath.  A time to create and allow the voice inside a moment of expression.  A time to step into my picture of bliss and my imaginings of what peacefulness looks and feels like.  This is it! This is what it feels like for me .. ahhh! Taking this moment in the time between to be still and create is a moment of deep rest for me.  Perhaps for you it does not involve writing but painting.  For another there may not be a bird sanctuary but a meditation with Tibetan singing bowls. What matters most is that we hear the beckoning of the creative, intuitive, inner self to come away and to step into the picture of what peacefulness looks like and feels like.

We may not have all the resources or the finances to create that picture.  My writing desk looks nothing like the beautiful cover picture of this post.  That is my dream.  The desk I actually use is aaphrodite and sparrows makeshift structure of loose boards on two stacker draw units.  The garden and the birds are real but it was created from odd bits I collected at the garden refuse dump.  The birds, well I think they come for the seeds and to manifest my deep desire for their presence.  With Aphrodite being one of my archetypes it follows that I have sparrows to entertain me.  (Sparrows were considered to be the favourite pet of the Goddess)

I share this with you because I am aware that most of us do not always fill our peaceful spaces and creative areas with things that are meaningful to us.  Most often we’ve seen the interior decorating trend which is nothing but someone’s imagining of what beautiful could be or worse – what we are told to accept as beautiful.  Deeply connected to the teachings of Carl Jung I realise how much my archetypes play a role in my life and so my spaces are filled with things that speak to those aspects of my grandest self.  Question: Who represents the grandest version of yourself? Tip: Try to imagine mythological, fantasy and timeless heroes and heroines.  These will help you discover your archetypes.  They are not idols and we do not worship them.  I don’t believe Aphrodite ever existed but her character and her stories embody some of the grand imaginings of men and women.  My other archetypes include the Wise Woman like Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas and so the theme song Colours of the Wind conjures up a very grand version of me.  For good measure, I have a male archetype of the Alchemist too.  These characters inspire me and bring out the best of the best of me.  Who does that for you?  My places of inspiration are filled with things that inspire my soul rather than suit the fashion trend.

A memory of the waiting laundry just flitted through  … LOL!

It helps to have your your picture to be at least somewhat attainable so that you can step into elements of it if not all of it.  If peaceful soul time is to be sailing into the sunset on a magnificent cruise ship it may be a little hard to step into it.  I have a theory that when the picture is truly a desire of the soul and not the ego (with all its demands) we will find it quite easy to create the picture. Distinguish between the picture that will support the soul’s desires and the picture that feeds the cravings of the ego.  Creating an attainable picture enables you to have easy access to physical spaces that are aligned to the emotional and spiritual spaces you desire to experience.  They act as portals that can instantaneously transport you to realms in which your soul can find the relief, restoration,and expression it is calling for.  I just ended up on a magical trip remembering my grandest self as a Goddess of Love and Beauty, a Wise Woman who can paint with all the colours of the wind and an Alchemist with the Midas touch.  All this because a makeshift desk and a bird sanctuary, created from discarded treasures, provide me with a portal to a realm where I can step into peace. Just like the Wardrobe in Narnia allows the children to step into a timeless world where they experience themselves as kings and queens with unlimited potential, so our peaceful spaces act as portals to realms that enable us to do the same.

At some point we find the wardrobe again. We look back at the world of the soul with a smile and come back to the here and now with joy in our hearts.  With this joy in my heart, I close this post, giving thanks for the portal and the moments in the timeless world of the soul.  I am smiling as I leave to go do the laundry …

path

Discipline and conflicts with children – a minefield for the adults

back to childhoodOverhearing a snippet from a documentary on Lady Dianna, as I whisked the dust cloth over the television, I heard one of the contributors make this comment; “why do we pretend that the gap between childhood and adulthood is so big when in fact it is very tiny?”  The comment has plagued my conscious thinking today and no doubt caused a stir in the sub-conscious and shadow so aptly explained by Carl Jung.

And if we were to accept this view that the gap between adult and child is so very tiny it would follow that those pesky little critters we call triggers would have us be back in pigtails and school shirts in an instant.  After some years in the counselling room, on both sides of the couch and just from my everyday life I must agree.  It is not so much that there are many triggers or that triggers have a great mysterious power.  Rather, that this gap between adult and the unresolved child is in fact so tiny or more accurately put, so obscure, that it does not really take much of a potion to conjure up a time warp or dreaded portal that has us back in the past in a flash.

As things turned out, subsequent events in the day conspired to have me delve a little deeper into this narrowing gap.  Specifically, a conversation about child discipline became the launch pad for me to consider the question raised in the documentary.  While my conclusions are valid only in the space decorated by my brunette locks, I decided to record them here.

I am unashamedly a disciplinarian and quite resigned about it.  At least two of my siblings are the same way and we know which apple tree we have not fallen too far from.  We have at least rolled some distance I would hope but in essence the protruding root still has us know from whence we hail.  For my children’s sake, I hope that it is tempered with a balance of wisdom and the critical ingredient of compassion.

Outside of the relationship between biological parent-child disciplining another whole fascinating world exists.  A world of triggers, hooks, blind spots, tactics and age-old survival mechanisms.  Of course it all exists inside the biological relationship too.  I see and catch myself trying desperately to avoid what my parents did at times while at other times I am awfully proud to be following what was handed  down to me.  All of it completely subjective in essence … when it suits us, what our parents did was good and when it does not we declare indignantly we will never be guilty of the same and stand nobly as martyrs against those who perpetuate such evils.

Outside the biological parent-child relationship this subjectivity reaches exponential levels and reveals the reality beneath the seemingly inactive volcanoes we all are.  At every school, parents moan with teachers when they discipline children.  In every family, parents have fall-outs when grandparents, aunts and uncles admonish their children.  And sadly, many a step-family breaks apart in the name of “disciplining the kids.”

I trust that as a reader you would have the assurance that the realm of abuse is not dealt with in this article.  The abuse of children is a disease and needs to be dealt with inside the appropriate framework.    Also, the nature of the punishment and  the events surrounding the discipline are all up for discussion.  As a mother, I have investigated a number of interludes in the classroom and had a few discussions with teachers.  I have also supported many punishments and supervised the writing of lines.

I am attempting here to raise the awareness that our reactions to the discipline of and conflicts around our children are firmly rooted in our childhood experience of discipline and conflict.  While we are all aware that our offspring represent (especially in the early years) our inner child and most often the unresolved inner child, we lose sight of the extent to which we are dealing with ourselves and our past while we are in the present.  We lose sight of the extent to which others are dealing with themselves and their unresolved inner child while we think things are pretty clear.

I have observed adults and I have observed the children.  I have observed what is apparent and wondered about what is not apparent.  I have observed myself and analysed the triggers and the projections.  I watched the upsets, the tempers flairs and barriers to healing.  From the playground to the living room there is always a common thread.  The children and the presenting problem fade into background while the adults have it out.  Not long thereafter and almost always there is a breakdown in relationship between the adults – both of them doing what they wanted to do when they were nine or doing what their parents should have done when they were five.  Neither of them have the capacity to avoid slipping through the portal beyond that tiny gap between adult and child.

In the realisation of how tiny this gap really is, I recognise that the primary issue is almost never what one is dealing with.  The misdemeanour of the child in the present is hardly ever the focus of the discussion.  At best, we could perhaps hope that a high-level of self-awareness will be met with a willingness to resolve.  Realistically, we are cautioned to remember that the gap between adult and child is not as great as we would like to believe.  As such, the discipline of a child or any conflict around a child launches an adult to the world as it existed for them at that age.  And whoever it was that caused their upset then is who the other adult becomes in that moment.  This is known as projection.  Your attempts at dealing with the child are all filtered through the inner-child who perceived the world as unfair, cruel, embarrassing and not-the-way-I-want-it.  Whether the teacher, the grandparent or the step-parent, your goalposts have shifted from dealing with the child of the present to dealing with the child of the present and their parent’s inner child of the past.  It is worth noting that the child of the past has been unsuccessfully trying to change the world of then for years and you now appear to be yet another obstacle in their quest.

In considering the idea that this gap between childhood and adulthood is very  tiny and knowing how much our children represent our inner child, I am realising what we actually take on when we engage with and care for other people’s children.  It has also made me realise that a highly charged relationship between adults is most likely set ablaze quite simply with the conflict over a child – however it may look.

Whether a peaceful relationship that became tense or a tense relationship that exploded as a result of a conflict around a child, it is worth remembering how tiny the gap between adult and child is and how easily our inner child is triggered by the events around our children.

A matriachal blessing

FOR ALEXANDRA on your 13th | Michelene Dianne Benson

Words could not explain
The mysteries that women hold
Like the moon she will wax and wane
Listen carefully when her story is told

From mother to daughter we pass it on
Our knowing our power our eternal bond
Throughout the ages our perpetual song
Awaken now our enchanted wand

Held securely by mother earth
With moonlight kisses upon your face
Through my womb you were given birth
Divinely chosen for this time and place

My prayers ascend as a fragrance of love
May wisdom flow through me to you
Your purpose declared and inscribed above
Guided and guarded by all that is true

Photograph | Michelene Dianne Benson

Unto Her Hands

UNTO HER HANDS | Michelene Dianne Benson

Soft and smooth I heard it said
Hands of the virgin till her death bed
Gentle, white and unscathed they would be
To nurse and care for what she was allowed to be

All these lies I have cast out
My soul set free from the persecuting doubt
My mothers’ hands tell of untamed love and of pain
Her story is woven into the dark elephant grain

Caress me mama with henna stained palms
Your wisdom and strength are precious balms
Unto your hands we sing our praise
From the beginning of time till the end of days

Photographer | Unknown

First Published 28 September 2013

The Guilt Trip – movie moments

vintage-rocking-chairDoting mothers – come out, come out wherever you are!!

I am really not sure what gets us to be the kind of mothers we are.  Personality tests and archetypes suggest we just got put together that way.  A cumulative result of DNA imprinting and the experiences and messaging we received throughout our lives.  Whether we know why we do what we do or not, the reality is we know we just cannot help ourselves.  We love nurturing and our existence seems to depend on nurturing our children.

 

Barbara Streisand in her brilliance, portrayed us all so powerfully and gracefully.  The way we watch out for our children, the way we believe in them, the way we hide our hurting and the way we smother them.  The Guilt Trip movie brought me face to face with myself and as all great movies do – they used the very lines I am famous for!

My daughters are 20 and 16– university and high school students respectively.  Six years ago I was not coping with the letting go at all.   I considered my girls ungrateful and could not understand why they were shutting me out.  In my upset I would withdraw only to find myself drawn back in again.  Sometimes I came back in because I just could not resist like the mother, Joyce in the movie.  Sometimes my withdrawal caused a mess and they needed me back in like the son, Andy in the movie.

It is a little easier now I think.  Slowly I am finding out through lots of trial and terrible error how much is enough.  It’s never a scientific formula though.  More like a recipe you fiddle with to get an ever changing series of flops and successes.

Whether a flop or a success, its often always edible and filled with love.

How is your guilt trip through motherhood going?

Keeping Calm with the Kardashians

I started watching Keeping up with the Kardashians on and off.  Not being a person who watches TV it is more off than on.  That may not seem like a big deal but since I was the person who criticised reality shows and spoke ill of the materialistic world and slammed my daughters for wasting their time watching such “trash” I think it is a huge change.  I viciously judge rich people, fashion people, plastic surgery enhanced people and manicured people!  Some serious shadow stuff going on there but consciousness is a work in progress thank heavens.

Mason, Khloe and Kris

It started mostly because I love littlies and once or twice I stopped at the TV to watch Mason being his adorable self.  Then I sat down to watch a little more in an effort to understand what was so fascinating to my daughter, Dominique.  Then it happened – they interviewed Chloe regarding some crisis in the family and I really could not believe her response.  My self righteous judgmental beliefs were shocked as I heard an emotionally intelligent response.  I definitely had a Sandra Bullock – Ms Congeniality moment.  My surprise grew to intrigue and then I had a regular interest.  The best was yet to come.

I don’t recall which episode it was or if there were a few but Kris Jenner completely grabbed me.  It might have been the episode where they were watching a movie and she was a teary mess.  Kim turned to her and mimicking my own daughter said, “Geec mom keep it together!”  Like me, she nodded helplessly while the tears of an empath flooded her face.  I know that feeling so well where the heart is in a flow of emotion and reason is reprimanding you with all the same voices of the world outside.  Keep it together! Don’t be dramatic! Really, you crying for that!

   Keeping calm without keeping up

I don’t keep up with the Kardashians.  I don’t know why Kris Jenner always cries.  I don’t know if it’s a character she is playing or real reality.  I just know I completely resonate.  I do keep calm with the Kardashians because in a funny sort of way the identification with the person or the role helps me to let it go.  The intensity of loving and protecting you feel for your children is at least known to another.  The grief and the hurt you swallow when you realise you are too much is not unique to you.  The tremendous effort that you invest in trying for the longest time to see it from your daughters’ point of view and get to an emotionally intelligent response is a journey someone else traverses too.  It is said that people can overcome the most challenging emotions when they know they are heard.  I get that sought of relief in seeing another empath mother ride the roller coaster of doting motherhood.

Backstage behind the plastic surgery and silicone

I managed to get backstage behind the plastic and silicone and identify with the reality.  I manged to get beyond my self righteous indignation to a connection of sorts.  Whether or not there is lots of Photoshopping and airbrushing does not bother me too much.  My journey of trial and error, my mess of supporting and smothering, my fiascos of protecting and controlling are pretty much exactly the same.  As for my efforts to role model a strong woman in the hope of getting the girls to believe in themselves – yes, it ends up in much the same drama and failure as it does for the Kardashian girls.  My Kim’s and Khloe’s also find their own ways of patching up my bruised ego.  When we watch any given episode my girls spend a significant amount of the time glancing at me in a silence which speaks volumes.

The Jenner House

I smile sardonically at the iceberg roses which grace the Jenner House.  The presence of blooming icebergs in my front garden remind me of a time of opulence.  But I realise now that no matter how many iceberg roses are in bloom, no matter the abundance or lack of wealth, the grief and the joy perpetually waxes and wanes.  I don’t have my upsets in Thailand or on the Giuliana Show but somewhere in Checkers and Blue route mall.  I realise that mothers are sitting behind smudged mascara in Beverly Hills and broken curtains in Lavender Hill’s dusty roads all doing the same thing.  Doing the best they can – some have more than others but they trying and failing as much.  The dangers that face Kendal and Kylie and very different to what Anene Booysen faced. However, I am proud to have gotten beyond the difference that separates to the similarities that connect people to other people.