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Embracing the Fire

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Fire is amazing.  It is beautiful, it is wild, it is powerful, it is almost magical when you think about it.  It has this presence that both captivates and terrifies, both overwhelming and desireable.  But fire is also dangerous and can consume even the strongest tree in the forest.  Some people run from it.  Others run to it.  Some people want to put it out, because it is to be feared and could hurt them.  Others have no trouble starting the fire, moving it, carrying it, and using it for their needs.  Some embrace the fire.  Some take the sparks of life, the troubles that happen, the trials, the good and the bad things…and they rise from the ashes of what life has burned down and realize that they are now a new creature, molded through the pain.

Learning how to embrace the fire is a process.  It is painful.  Because when you embrace it, you are essentially burning off the old parts of you, engulfing yourself into it, feeling every part of your pain.  Feeling the pain, being aware of it, knowing that the pain is for your growth, for your better self…this gives you the knowledge and awareness of how to move on from it.  You have to be careful, because the fire can consume you, can create an emptiness in your soul from being too burned, too charred, too weak.

But some things, they thrive in fire…like sand.  When sand gets put into the fire it comes out as something better, something more precious, something more beautiful.  It’s no longer dirt, separate from itself even though it rests together.  Now it is glass, smoother, sharper, more savage.

Be like the sand.  Embrace the fire.  Become it.  Let it mold you, burn you, hurt you…then it will heal you into what you never knew you could be.  Be warned, though…the fire will return over and over in your life.  Be ready for it.  Be ready for the pain of growth, of change, of learning, of sadness and trials, but always knowing that the fire makes you more than what you were…it turns you into who you are.

I am like the fire.  I am strong, I am wild, I am powerful.  Because of that I need to be careful, to be responsible with myself, with my strength.  I love passionately, deeply, and with my entire self.  I give easily…until someone tries to put me out.  And when that happens…oh, there is nothing more dangerous than the sparks from my tongue.  I will consume an entire self with the words that I can use to try to destroy what has threatened me.  Balancing the fire within my soul that drives my passions versus the dangerous fire that seeks to burn others…this is a very complicated matter.  But I do like to chase the fire…to run toward the pain that I know will cause me to learn, to love, to become more than what I am right now.

Come.  Let’s embrace the fire.

 

 

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This woman

IMG_3151Look at your wife.  Just look at her.  See her.  She does all the things.  All of them.  She shuttles the kids to school and home and to games and appointments, keeps track of who’s struggling in school, who needs more emotional support, who needs more physical activity, who needs to see a counselor, again, all the things.

What a woman.

She’s pretty amazing.  She goes to work or works from home, but at the same time, she keeps the house (mostly) clean.  She can rattle off the list of allergies, fears, bedtimes, best friends, favorite songs, important events, and the cereals that MUST be in the cupboards at all times.

God.  She’s an astounding woman.

She works out.  She eats lettuce probably 95% of the time and consistently tries to keep her family healthy too, but still manages to make you muffins or cookies every so often. She does the grocery shopping, always remembering to buy that one thing that you and the kids can’t live without.  She also does this within a budget, sometimes having to resort to clipping coupons and finding all the sales.

#allthethings

Lord.  This phenomenal woman.

She calls her friends and stays in touch.  The ones she sees all the time and the ones that she doesn’t.  She makes sure that relationships are intact by scheduling double dates and barbeques and activities.  She plans for the things that will bring community to your family.

What a powerful woman.

She stays within budget.  She manages all the finances and keeps budget charts and remembers when everything comes out of the bank account.  She makes sure that the extracurriculars are in there and even enough for the occasional date night.  She throws a little something extra into that shopping cart at WalMart to make sure you know that she thought about you while she was there.

Wow.  This extraordinary woman.

She does her own thing.  She connects on a personal level to be herself at least a few times a month.  She does this with a guilty conscience because she knows, surely there is something else that she could be doing with this time for her family.  But she also knows that she has to, to be her best self, to be the best wife, mother, friend, human that she can be.

Such a remarkable woman.

She thinks about you.  How amazing you are.  Your strengths.  Your weaknesses.  She tries to find ways to support your dreams, your hopes, your goals, how can she be there more for you so that you can see how much she truly loves, respects, and adores you as her partner in life?  She struggles with this sometimes, life is so hard, there are so many things pulling for her, but she always tries to make time for you and the relationship.

What a considerate woman.

She learns.  If someone is sick, she’s quick to figure out what is going on.  She is constantly searching out ways to better herself so that she can be better for everyone else.  She learns about the world, politics, religions, current events, keeps up with CEUS, gets more educated and then she memorizes the 12 songs from that Disney movie that the toddler loves so that she can share that with them too.

The rarity of this woman.

She often cries trying to figure out how to be more, how to get more, how to create more, how to learn more, how to BE MORE.  She sees the potential in everything, in everyone…and she wants to be the force that helps them become all the things that she knows they already are.

This woman.

 

 

I Told My Daughter Not to Wait for Marriage

IMG_2736I am an open mother.  What does that mean?  It means, that since my oldest was able to talk I have been saying words like vagina, penis, vulva, sex, fuck, shit, damn it, and all of the things that many parents choose not to say around their children.  No, my children are not out running around repeating my curse words…although, I admit, I tell them that because I know they want to say them, as long as they keep it in their heads rather than out of their mouths…it’s cool.  I have also been known to tell them that they are “toilet words, use them in the bathroom.”  I have firm beliefs that by hiding things from my kids it will encourage them to seek out information from sources that are generally unrealiable, i.e., friends, the internet, etc.

I believe, no, I know, that by being open and sharing things with my children about the realities of life I am allowing my children to feel comfortable with sharing things about their world with me and I want them to be able to ask questions without feeling ashamed, without feeling small or wrong or any of the hundreds of feelings that go through a child, prepubescent, adolescent, and young adult.  I feel that by showing my humanity, my weaknesses, my whole self to my kids I am giving them space to be fallible, to break rules but admit when they did so, to learn through mistakes and be okay with it, I am giving them empowerment by understanding themselves wholly and completely (at some point).

We have talks about theology, about politics, about critical thinking, about why questioning the norm is a good thing, about kindness, equality, feminism, abortion, racism, slavery, immigration, cognitive change, self-awareness…these are standard conversation in our home.  These conversations are setting the tone for my kids as they get older to be able to be confident that their opinions are not the only opinions.  That it is okay to be wrong.  That it is good to question authority when you know there is an injustice being served.

And yes, we talk about sex. 

Cue the objections from the parents who think that talking about sex is taboo.

“But aren’t you afraid you’ll make them curious about it and then they’ll be out there doing it all the time?  You’ll be a grandma by the time you’re thirty seven!!”

No.  I am informing my children about sex, about it’s mystery, it’s beauty, it’s deep implications and the consequences, both physical and emotional, that happen from having it.  To deny that my daughters and sons will be having sex would be me living in some sort of alternate reality.  To think that by telling them to wait for marriage I am doing them some sort of service is an absolute travesty, for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my girls out there slutting it up thinking that by sleeping with someone (or someones) that this person now loves them or likes them more.  I also do not want my boys out there jumping on top of every Suzy, Jane, and Kate that they can find just because it feels good.   What I do want them to know however, are things like:

  1. Sex makes babies.  This is a fact. The only 100% way to prevent this is by not having sex with that person.  Think about that.  Babies turn into children, who turn into teenagers, who turn into adults.  You’re looking at a lifelong committment here…literally.  Babies come with bills. Babies come with screaming, not sleeping in, and fights with that person who you had sex with.  Babies are beautiful, wonderful, terrifying creatures that you may not yet be prepared for.  It’s important that you realize this before you put yourself into the position of having one with this person who you really want to have sex with right now.  Think about that…is this other person ready to be a parent?  If you’re questioning it…the answer is probably not.  If you can’t see that person changing a diaper in your mind’s eye…if you think it’s more likely they’ll be at the club…the answer should be no.
  2. Sex can come with diseases.  Some curable…some not.  Things like chlamydia, herpes, ghonorrhea, HPV, and even HIV.  Here children, look at these pictures.  Daughter, do you want your vagina to look like that?  Son, do you want it to burn when you pee?  Having sex thoughtlessly, and sometimes even with someone who professes to love you, can lead to these things.  Here…this is a condom!!  This is how to use it.  This is what it prevents, but even that is not 100% effective.  I was lucky enough to escape this…I have friends (plural) who have things that they wish they could give back…the gifts that keep on giving, if you will.
  3. Sex should be pleasurable.  Sex is about BOTH parties.  If your partner is not on that line of thinking, that may be affecting other areas of your relationship too.  Thoughtful partners are partners worth keeping.  The female orgasm is NOT a myth.  Boys, do your part.  Girls, do not undervalue your pleasure…it’s for you as much as him.  COMMUNICATION IS KEY!!  You cannot TEXT someone what you need…you have to learn to verbalize it.  If you cannot say things like, touch me here, I like that, no, your penis isn’t going there, I don’t like it…you’re likely not ready for sex.
  4. It is YOUR body.  You do NOT, I repeat NOT, HAVE TO HAVE SEX IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO.  This is for my daughters as well as my sons.  There is pressure out there for all adolescents to be “hooking up”, boys as well as girls.  For them, it’s a status symbol, it’s just what kids are doing, and they all seem to think that it’s , “no big deal.”  Yes, it is a HUGE DEAL.  If you feel, even 1% of you feels, that this is NOT what you should be doing right now or what you WANT to be doing right now, please, please my children, please stop.
  5. Speaking of it being your body, do not be ashamed that you want to touch it.  This is a normal, natural thing for both boys and girls.  You probably shouldn’t be touching it all of the time, or in public…some things are best kept private, but it is NORMAL.  I swear.  Yep.  Dad and Mom did this too.  Sound gross?  Maybe you’re not ready for sex.
  6. Hormones are involved.  And I don’t just mean the ones that get you all excited and make you want to do it.  I’m talking about oxytocin…ladies…this is for you.  We have sex and this little area in our brain just lights up with this chemical called oxytocin.  You may have heard of it.  It promotes pleasure, happiness, BONDING….hello!!!  Bonding…let’s talk about that.  Is this the girl you want to get crazy with?  Is this the man you want to feel crazy about?  I mean literally…like he is yours now.  If so, have sex.  Because that little chemical will create that bond (oxytocin is also produced during breastfeeding) and you will now have bonded yourself to this man.  Yes, you can break that bond.  But sex is something you can never get back.  Boys, I know that you don’t get a flood of oxytocin, you get some testosterone and a sense of a job well done.  But remember…she did.  And you are now responsible for that.  Act accordingly.  She’s someone’s daughter, sister, cousin…there’s a dad and mom out there somewhere who. will. kill. you.  Act accordingly.  And girls, he is someone’s son, brother, cousin.  Equally there is a mom and a dad out there who. will. kill. you.
  7. Birth control is a thing.  Please, please, please come see me before you decide to give your body to someone else.  I will support you.  I will help you.  I am here.  If not me, please see someone else who will support you, help you, and be there.  Don’t be dumb and forgo this one.  Babies are cute, however, please see Step 1.
  8. The mechanics of sex are not the best thing about it.  When you love someone and you make love to them, it is an entirely different thing than just a “hookup.”  My girls…hooking up can be fun, interesting, and you will certainly learn about yourself, but please, please, please…see steps 1-7.  Boys, you can hook up with little to no thought if you so choose, but please, please, please…see steps 1-7.  Sex can be funny, and sweet, and silly, and hardcore, and erotic, and pleasurable, but it can also be mechanical, not so fun, boring, and simple if you don’t have the person who wants to give you his or her best.  See steps 1-7 before you choose this door.
  9. Sex should not be about control.  It is not for you to use to control someone else, it’s not a promise that you have to make good by prom night, it’s not something that you withhold in an argument during a relationship, it. is.  sacrosanct.  If you don’t know what that word means, you are probably not ready for sex.

So, to end this article…yes, I told my daughter she doesn’t have to wait for marriage.  Why?  Because it’s HER body.  It’s HER choice.  I will not shame her or my other children into feeling that they are doing something unacceptable by wanting to know about their bodies, wanting to experiment, wanting to understand what is going on.  I believe that the idea of “purity” is a construct created by a man who sought to control his “property.”  Women are NOT property and a woman damn well needs to know what she wants, how to communicate it, and how to derive pleasure from an act that is so intimate, so personal, so absolutely empowering, possibly the closest thing to a higher power that we can do as humans.  As a relationship coach, you wouldn’t believe how many people (men and women) are unsatisfied in their sex life.  I do not want this for ANY of my children.  I want happiness, joy, self-worth, relationship satisfaction, LIFE SATISFACTION.  And that’s that.

 

**This article is about how I raise MY children.  I am not imposing my beliefs onto you and your family.  I do feel strongly that communication is the best way to prevent problems down the road.  Take that how you like.  Yes, my oldest is 11.  No, she is not too young to know about sex.  There are girls out there hooking up at the age of 10…pregnancy at 11, 12, 13 and up is a real thing.  I’m preparing her.

Mic.  Drop.

 

These are the days of your life

IMG_2663These are the days y’all.   You know what I’m talking about…the days where you wake up in the morning long after the alarm was supposed to go off, the kids aren’t up yet, the dog needs to get outside, whoops, I mean…already took a dump by the back door…you walk to the coffee pot to regain some sanity and you find that you forgot to pick up coffee at the grocery store yesterday.  Dammit!!

These are the days.  The days that you wonder why you even try at all. The kids don’t listen…you have to level 10 them to get them to even hear you past the sound of their newest electronic device.  Your husband doesn’t get it…you’ve given up on explaining your needs there, honestly…you’re done attempting.

These are the days that you want to run away to Mexico with absolutely no one with you…well, maybe the dog, but even he has needs that you don’t really want to take care of right now.  You just want sanity restored, a day, no…a week without anyone yelling or fighting, or messing, or school phone calls, or meetings, or work, or sexual favors for household chores, just.  Please.  No.  More.

These are the bad days.  And they come.  But what I want you to keep in mind that just like they come, they go.  And just as these are the days, there are also these:

These are the days…the days that your oldest looks at you and tells you that you are her hero, that you keep her wanting to do more, to do better.  The days that you look at her as she grows and are astounded at the beauty, creativity, and self-awareness that she has at such a young age.

These are the days…the days that your son gets to pitch at his baseball game and he does so well that he surprises everyone, including himself.  The days that you look at him as he grows into himself and gains more confidence in knowing that he is enough, just as he is.

These are the days that your toddler giggles and runs around in circles yelling, “MOMMY!!!! I WUB YOU!!!!”  You smile and stare at her silliness and know that she is going to be a game changer.

These are the days that your squirrely son looks at you and says, “I know mom…and guess what?  I actually LIKE school!!” You look at him and know that no matter what happens in his life, his mistakes and wildness will provide him with knowledge before his time, which means that your hardest days might just be right now…but there is sunshine after the storm.

These are the days when you look at your husband after having truly communicated what you need and he reminds you of all the reasons why you fell in love in the first place…no one else could see what you saw, but he works so hard to live up to all the things you always knew he was.

It’s funny, because when we look at our lives, our days, our time that we spend, it’s very very easy to find bad stuff.  But looking for the good isn’t too far either, if we just look.   Sometimes we have to put our glasses on to see past all the bullshit and the mundane realities of day to day life…but life is good y’all.  These are the days of our lives.

 

And That’s the Truth

img_2185We live in an era when everyone is afraid to speak the truth.  An era in which when people are overweight and their doctor suggests that if they lost it they might be in less pain these same people say, “Nah.  It’s gotta be something else.”  An era in which if one person says, “Abortion is something that should be safely accessible” another person will scream “MURDERER!!!”  An era in which if one person online states an opinion which differentiates from the original posters opinion and creates a need for the poster to provide some sort of evidence based information, that person is now a bully.

I’m sick and tired of being told to censor myself to cater to someone’s pity me feelings.  Seriously…I get it!!  We all have our shit to work out.  We’re all waging a battle that no one knows about.  And I can’t understand exactly what you are going through…you are the captain of your lifeboat.  But dear God…why does everyone take offense at any kind of alternate opinion?   Because, the thing is, I COULD BE WRONG!!!!  And God, I hope you think about what I said and then if I am…please~!  Show me!!!!

The thing is, y’all…we’re all different.  We’re not all the same.  We are absolutely wonderfully and beautifully uniquely made.  But in our uniqueness…there remain similarities.  Such as the fact that we are all going through our own battles!!!  When you make your plight public information, you should likely be ready to encounter some questions.  And be prepared to answer them!!  I mean, if you’re truly looking for help.

Now…if you’re not actually looking for help, if you’re just looking for the sympathy, if I’m your friend, I’ll listen.  I will still probably ask questions.  I will still probably start to stir some sort of internal dialogue inside yourself, in order to get you to probe the problem and gain clarity…for yourself!!  I’m not, however, the boss of you.  Nor do I know everything.  I am the person who will research things until I find out as much as I can, but I can NEVER know you like you know yourself.   So stop getting so damn defensive when I make you ask yourself the hard questions.  My job…help a person define a goal.  Help a person redefine that goal.  Help a person find pathways to achieve that goal.  Support, encourage, and assist that person in achieving that goal.  Don’t tell me something you want and then crap all over me trying to be a support, an encourager, a CRITICAL THINKER.  Sometimes people say they want something, but when it presents in a way that they don’t forsee in their mind’s eye, it’s not really something that they want.

Listen, I’m not trying to be a bitch, I’m really not.  I swear, I shit bullets and butterflies.   But real truth is, I care.  And when I care about something, I am passionate about it.  When I care about someone I am passionate about them. I want you to think critically, I want you to find the answers you seek, I want you to become all of the amazingness and beauty that you have inside of you.  I want you to embrace your gifts as well as your flaws, for they make you uniquely you.  No one else can give to the world what you can.  But that doesn’t mean you have to have a shitty pity party whenever someone asks for more clarity regarding your story, your opinion, your stuff.  Open yourself up to other ways.  This is the way to truth, healing, and ultimately inner peace.  Open yourself to other thoughts, ideas, ways of being.  Recognize that others will ALWAYS have different ideas, backgrounds, thoughts, paradigms, lifestyles, educations, histories, experiences…and open yourself up to that.

There is no ONE way.

And that’s the real truth.

 

Baby steps

 

So there’s a reason that they are called Baby Steps.  That’s because you have to crawl before you walk, then you take a few steps, learn how to balance, fall down a few times, and slowly but surely become steadier on your feet.  Eventually you’re running, and you can’t even remember the time that you couldn’t walk.   Until you fall on your face…but that’s another blog.

Baby steps.  That’s what I’m taking in all areas of change in my life.  I’m learning to make decisions slowly, thoughtfully, taking in all of the risks and rewards before I leap.  Which is great, because I tend to be a jumper.  This too has had both consequence and reward.  I’ve learned so many great things, made great friendships, traveled to places I never would have gone, simply because I jumped.  I’ve also ruined friendships, hurt people, challenged my career, and devastated my own psyche because I jumped.  Double edged sword much?

Relationships should be built with baby steps as well…although many times they are not.  Many times they are built without forethought, without regard to consequence, simply built based on feelings of intrigue, lust, and passion.  And while intrigue, lust, and passion are wonderful in their brief firework of feelings, they are exactly that.  Brief.

Eventually, all relationships come to a place where you will find things distasteful about your partner.  Perhaps she does not close the door when she uses the restroom.  Perhaps he is not as thoughtful as you once thought him to be.  Perhaps she is too caught up in what he is doing and not enough in what she is doing.  Perhaps he is too caught up in his work to realize that he is leaving her behind, or so she feels.  It could be something as simple as the way that they do or don’t clean the kitchen.  Seriously guys…wipe the damn counter off!!

And so, baby steps.  From the beginning…learn about your partner.  Ask questions, even if you feel like you already know what the answer will be.   Don’t move in so quickly….stumble a bit before you decide to try to run.  Getting pregnant before you’ve met their family…well, you’re just asking for trouble.  Trust me on this one y’all.

Don’t get me wrong, epic relationships have been built on less than solid foundations, but look how Romeo and Juliet ended up.  The best relationships, like your grandparents, or those little old couples who are holding hands at the park, were built over years…decades even, not weeks or months.

Passion is wonderful, amazing, astounding, and no…there’s nothing like that first time feeling.  But to able to create a life with someone, that’s the real fortune.  To have both, well, it happens, although it is rare.  And when you have it, hold it, with gratitude, and remember that you have the unicorn.  And maybe shut the door when you pee.

New Year, Better You!!

goals-wordleSo, it’s 2017.  It’s a week in, and most of us have at least thought about some resolutions. Although…I don’t like the word resolutions.  I like the word GOALS.  A resolution is something that you are TRYING to do.  A goal is something that you are actually WORKING toward.  Anyway, I love new years, new weeks, new months, new starts…it’s pretty amazing to be able to feel like you can start all over again. I mean, every day can be new for you, but the New Year especially signifies to me a time that I can really dig in and see where I’m at versus where I want to be.

For your viewing pleasure, here are my goals for this year.  I’m sharing my goals with you so that you can be inspired to put your own down on paper and be accountable to others as well.

Goal #1:  Write and self-publish (or otherwise) at least one book by December 01, 2017.

Goal #2:  Finalize and implement my group program for this business.

Goal #3:  Take on at least 10 new 1:1 clients this year.

Goal #4:  Lose 40 lbs by June 30.

Goal #5:  Be intentional in all things with my family and friends.

Goal #6: Forgive myself often when I stumble, which will be often.

So, I know that this is not as amusing or entertaining as some of my other posts, but it is my note to you so you can hold me accountable as well.

What are your goals for the year?  And if you are looking for a motivational life coach, supporter, and advocate…shoot me an email at krystie@krystiehudson.com.  Let’s talk.

With love,

Krystie