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Thursday, January 12, 2012

A moment in Motherhood

Motherhood... there is nothing quite like it really.  So natural and yet so surreal.  I mean there are mothers everywhere I look and all across the globe.  These mothers are from different cultures, they speak different languages, they might be foster moms or moms of adopted children and they might even have different backgrounds or values than me, but we all share a common bond: waking up everyday to those precious little people who call us 'mom'.  I had a pivotal 'mother' moment tonight, heck let's call it a 'parenting' moment for those men reading... either way, it was a moment that I hope that I'll never forget. 

Chephren started swimming lessons tonight.  For the first time ever.  I know what you are thinking: the DEPRIVATION!  Hahaha... the thing is, the kid is a fish and I have taken him swimming plenty in the past three years.  I just didn't see the point of paying for mom and baby lessons when I could give him that same experience myself.  Sooo, I waited.  I waited until he was old enough for an 'unparented' class.  Now, at three, I am pretty sure he was the only 'first timer' in his class.


Swimming in Maui - NOT a lesson :)

The class began in a state of complete and utter chaos... starting with 10 very young children and their mothers clamoring around the instructors trying to figure out who goes where.  Then there was the embarrassed pause by the poor teacher who didn't even want to attempt to pronounce his name (and really, who does?  It is just part of his path my friends, and YES, I am aware that I created this.  You pronounce it Kefren by the way... don't ask me about the spelling, talk to Parks Canada, or the Egyptians for that matter... but I am getting way off topic).   Anyway, the brave swimming teachers finally got the little ones sorted (it's like herding cats!) and we were underway. (phew!)

Lo and behold, what do we have here?  I think we have ourselves a waver!  What's that?  You don't know what a waver is?  Sure ya do -- it's that little kid that stands in the front row of the Christmas concert (or in this case the swimming class) and could absolutely CARE LESS about doing the proper actions because they can't stop waving to their adoring fans in the crowd (enter = me... and his beloved Grammy).  Yup, we were encouraging it.  But you should have seen the SHIT EATING GRIN on this kid's face!!! 

Truly a moment to remember!  And a herd of wild horses couldn't keep me away from this kid's first concert... and this time, I'm bringing my video camera.

Here's to parenting (and gifts from the Universe).

Marebare xoxo

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 25: Jan 2

Being present - surviving (no, thriving) despite the Lulu Lemon insanity

Forgetting that today was still a statutory holiday (since New Years day fell on a Sunday), Jody and I decided to brave the crowds in the city and go shopping (yes, I freely acknowledge that we are crazy!)  Now, it should be said (as if I haven't said it enough) that shopping is NOT my thing, but hey, it is good to push one's limits once in a while right?  As expected, it was very, very busy at the mall. 


Not my image - but you get the idea!

One of the stops that we had to make was Lulu Lemon -- which is a busy place on an average day so you can just imagine what it was like on a stat.  You could hardly walk in there!  This is normally a situation that would send me running for the hills, but given that Jody lives out of town and it was her only opportunity to get what she wanted there, it was apparent that I needed to keep my cool.  So, I found an inconspicuous spot to stand still and take it all in.  What I found is that by simply being present it allowed me to shift what would have normally been a difficult situation for me into one that was totally manageable... maybe even pleasant

Day 26: Jan 3

Chephren pushes our buttons - that's a gift right?

I literally spent most of today wondering where the heck all of my gifts from the Universe were, as a dark cloud descended on the Hasse household.  My son Chephren is a wonderful child, a true gift, but today he woke up with a mission: to make our lives miserable!  Let's just say that our day was pretty much shot when it took us approximately six hours (yes, six) to get him into his pants.  The situation was only made worse for me by the fact that my dear friend Jody's angelic vision of Chephren was shattered into a million pieces before my eyes.  And yet, the situation was entirely perfect... it just took us most of the day to see the gifts that were right in front of us!  You see, I truly believe that when someone pushes your buttons (or stomps on them as the case was for us today), it is an opportunity for healing something within.  By being present and truly aware of what is happening inside of you - and simply identifying why the situation is bothering you so much, you can address whatever 'issue' comes up.  I won't share Jody's healing bits here (we call them onions by the way), but I will say that for me, it fully helped me to address my 'worry what everyone else thinks of my parenting' onion.  By having Chephren act in this way in front of one of my best friends, and to have her still love both of us and want to be around us is a HUGE GIFT!  And that particular onion shrinks down by a few layers...

Day 27: Jan 4

If the weather was like this in Canada all of the time, I would never contemplate moving to a warmer climate!

+ 8 degrees Celsius and sunny, in JANUARY!  ...enough said.


A local media shot from today...

Day 28: Jan 5

Yesterday I drove Jody back to her home in Canmore.  We had a lovely evening poking in the cute little shops and enjoyed a lovely dinner.  I had an amazing sleep last night and after grabbing a quick breakie I started to make the journey home.  The road conditions were unbelievable, making the journey not only safe but enjoyable. 

Day 29: Jan 6

Indian food - Ayurveda

Inspired to cook in my new, beautiful kitchen, I decided to prepare in Indian Feast - Ayurvedic style!  To my surprise, my entire family really appreciated and enjoyed it, despite the fact that there was no meat involved whatsoever :)  I think that they were as surprised by this as I was!

Day 30: Jan 7

Building a yoga community

Now that I am living in town, I feel much more connected to my yoga studio and significantly more willing and able to both teach and attend classes there.  I taught two classes there this morning and have started to really get to know my students and build community.  I feel like building a yoga community is hugely important and I feel grateful at my new-found ability to do so!

Day 31: Jan 8

Best of the Banff Mountain Film Festival

Today my parents, Trent and I attended the 'Best of the Banff: World tour' - something that we have done every January for the past 7 years!  The film festival happens every November in Banff, AB and then they choose the 'Best of the Banff' films, compile them into a 3-4 hour film medley and take it on the road.  It is an absolutely fantastic event that always leaves us humbled and inspired.  This year was no exception - one film in particular touched me deeply - 'Kadoma'.  If you ever have a chance to see this film, I would strongly recommend it!



Day 32: Jan 9

Today is the last day of The Receiving Project (YAY, I actually finished something that I started!) and my gift for today would have to be the project itself.  What an awesome exercise in learning to authentically open myself to receiving -- something that I have always struggled with.  It has had a transformative effect on me -- which I believe will be a lasting change.   Thank you to the creator of this project Jo Anna Rothman - YOU are a gift and an inspiration to many!  May you continue teaching and inspiring others!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Days 14 - 24 (December 23 - Jan 1)

In the last week, Trent and I not only celebrated Christmas with all of our families and joined the masses in the overindulgence of food, drink and *stuff*, we actually managed to move.  Yes, you heard me right... I said move.  We have been in the process for a few weeks now, but on Boxing Day (Dec 26th), we made it official and moved all of the 'big stuff' - making it possible for us to stay in our new-to-us house for the first time.  I can hear you laughing about that from here... and yes, I know we are crazy.

Despite the move, and all of the Christmas/New Years insanity, I still managed to spend some time each and every day reflecting on the gifts that I was receiving.  After all 'tis the season of giving, which means that it was extra easy to receive.  Before I launch into 'the list' (I will try to be brief, I promise), I just wanted to reflect briefly on the idea of receiving in general.  What I have come to realize (through this project and through some other literature that I have been reading), is that the act of receiving gifts from someone (or the Universe) is as important as the act of giving them.  This might sound obvious to you, but I had never thought of it that way before.  A lot of people are uncomfortable with receiving gifts, my (previous) self included, and will actually reject them.  Bear in mind that when I am talking about 'gifts' I am talking in a general sense - sure tangible gifts count, but think about things like compliments, acts of service, or even LOVE.  Oddly enough, some of those people who cannot bring themselves to authentically receive gifts of any kind are the same people who are so darn good at giving gifts themselves.  You see, receiving involves being vulnerable, in that you are willing to show the giver your soft underbelly -- true gratitude.  A lot of people really struggle with this and for a variety of reasons.  For me, looking back, I think that part of the problem was a self-worth issue -- I didn't feel worthy/deserving of receiving.  Now that I can see the situation a bit more clearly, I can see how hurtful it would be to a giver if I couldn't authentically receive the gift they were giving me (for me, compliments really come to mind, as do acts of service).  A gift that isn't authentically received isn't much of a gift at all now is it?

Anyway, it is early in the New Year (it's 2012!) and my brain already hurts from all of the evolving it has been up to, so without further ado, here is my list of gifts from the past 10 days or so:

Day 14: My friend Jill brought her two girls over and helped me pack up and move most of my kitchen.  Talk about making an unpleasant experience a fun one.  Thank you Jill for this extremely kind and generous act of service!

Day 15: Time with some of my best friends: J and Jody - they had just gotten back from their 3 month honeymoon in Nepal/Thailand and it was the first time that I had seen them.  So happy that they are home safe and that they had an amazing time.  They also brought me some truly amazing gifts and I am already treasuring them dearly!

Day 16: Christmas Eve.  We actually went around the table before dinner on this night and shared what we were grateful for this year.  It was amazing and I am grateful for the fact that my family is so in touch with gratitude and the importance of it.  I myself was grateful for this new tradition, for the amazing food we had prepared (Indian food - YUM!), for my brother Erik's new-found health/sobriety and for the chance to come together as a family and celebrate being together.  It was RAD.

Day 17: Christmas Day.  Best gifts of the day?  Watching my son see with HUGE eyes that Santa had eaten all of the cookies and milk (I know, Santa is kind of lame, but I love the magic that he creates for kids), watching my parents open a gift that my husband had made: all.by.himself.!!!!!!  (So, so COOL!) And last but certainly not least, my mom writes us each a Christmas letter every year and I simply adore them.  I mount them on my fridge where I can see them every day for the entire year.  She is/ they are amazing!


Trent's Masterpiece
Day 18: Boxing day, aka moving day.  I moved into a new house today - do gifts get much bigger than that?  This was especially huge for me because it signifies a new beginning for me and for our family.  I went through some tough times out on the farm (which have somehow become associated with living out there - depression/isolation, etc.), so moving 'into town' has been a huge step for me.  Thank you Universe for helping me manifest this move and for helping me to receive this huge, huge gift.

Day 19: This is going to sound ridiculous, but my gift for today was getting up first thing in the morning, realizing that we were out of coffee, running to the store to get it.... and being back in 10 minutes.  I cannot tell you how stoked I am about the significant reduction in driving.  Again, so, so grateful for our move.

Day 20: Many hands make light work.  I'll bet that you were wondering how the heck we managed to move on Boxing Day and who the heck helped us.  Well, you see, I have the best parents in the world (I believe that I may have mentioned that before) -- and they were here for the entire day, giving up their holidays to help us move.  Today we returned the favor and helped them finish the process of moving out of their house at the farm: cleaning, hauling, packing.  More fun for the McHasses (our combined nickname!)... actually, it was fun and I am so grateful that we have had so much help and support.  Many hands truly do make light work.  I will say it again (if I have to): communal living ROCKS! (By the way, they now live about 1.5 miles North of us -- not next door, but pretty close!)

Day 21: After all that hard work, it was time to celebrate.  We had some great friends over tonight: Mark, Megan-Joy and Catherine, and we ate great food, drank wine and played games.  It was super fun and just what we needed (and more!) after such a loooong week of moving!

Day 22: More family and friends.  Today we spent some time with Trent's mom, sister and her family.  It was so great to watch Chephren play with his cousins!  Then, in the evening, we had more friends for dinner, Bridget, Richard and their son Brady.  Chephren is really starting to get 'friendship' and proceeded to prepare his toys for sharing before Brady arrived and then played really well with him.  This is no small feat for a little guy (sharing is hard) and it is awesome to see it happen!

Day 23: New Years Eve.  What a peaceful way to bring in the New Year.  Our friends J and Jody stayed with us and we had my family for dinner.  J, Jody, Trent and I quietly brought in the New Year snuggled on the couch in front of the fire, visiting and watching a movie.  It was perfect!

Day 24: New Years Day.  I managed to steal a few minutes to myself today to reflect on and be grateful for the past year as well as to set my intentions for the year 2012.  Today is probably one of my favorite days of the year.  I love the opportunity for reflection and the anticipation of the year to come.  2012 is the year of the Dragon (TRANSFORMATION) - may we all be transformed into better versions of ourselves filled with light and love!  And may we all be open and ready to receive each and every day!!!!

Happy 2012!

Marebare xoxo