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gluestick

Shut up or Speak up?

By | health & well-being, women's life changes and transitions, Written Articles | No Comments

gluestickOften seen, or at least heard by my nearest and dearest, as overbearing, opinionated and a tete-de-bois (aka stubborn), I have also been accused of being too loud, too forceful, too…….much. Not to mention that “you always think you’re right!”

That accusation was thrown at me again today…so I am bleeding a little, but have put on a tourniquet to nurse my wound as I reflect on whether I am indeed an insensitive bully, feisty femme or hard-hearted, as the accusation may suggest.  Or am I simply a woman who’s learning in this lifetime is to finally find her voice?

Should I take heed and soften the blow, remain silent or turn into a withering wallflower with no “character” or “spunky soul”?  Should I risk the backlash of someone’s ill-opinion of me, or non-value of my ideas or opinions if I were to put tonality into my thoughts?  And is it easier to say nothing and inwardly “reel”, or suffer the consequences of “stirring the pot” which for me typically turns into isolation.  Me on one side of the tennis court and a whole heap of others on the other.  This game does not sit comfortable within my spirit, but is very familiar territory.

I am loving peri-menopause for the opportunity to play with fire – emotions once buried, words left unsaid and patterns that have left me speechless, helpless and often the victim.  I love that my fertile years have shown me how to attend to society’s needs. In essence, that has meant others always before myself and a silencing of my inner and outer voice.  I love now that menopause is offering me an opportunity to attend to my own soul needs.  It is indeed time for me to meet me.  It is now time for me to cry out and request a life on my terms.  It is now time to be a change-maker, by no longer “keeping the peace’, but daring to dive into a different way of relating.

So what have I noticed in my demeanour in the process of discovering my voice?  My tone is stronger and not everyone likes that. My voice is deeper so it sounds more forceful – increasing the apparent blow.  My opinion is more fervent and is often violently opposed. My ability to stay standing, when normally I would wilt in conflict, is become stronger so I have become a boxer, rather than a ring-side spectator.  My courage is allowing me to take small steps within my inner circle to risk all – which may mean I lose them.  That’s difficult, painful and frightening, but something I am prepared to do.

So bring on the chapstick, not the gluestick.  And a little salve now and then to nurse the wounds.

 

If you would like support in your current life transition and put you first on the priority list (aka self care, self value, self love), contact me.  And if you would love a woman’s journal that will challenge you on “hearing and voicing your own needs, wants and desires, check out my book Dancing in Her Own Full Moonlight:  The Ebb and Flow of Being Fully Woman.  www.janellefletcher.com

chameleon

What’s my womb pain got to do with self-esteem?

By | self esteem & self confidence, Written Articles | No Comments
Woooooo, I am not only menstruating today, but I feel a deep womb-pain that needs to be voiced.  If there is one thing that is coming from deep within today (much like a menstrual cramp wanting attention or a contraction that is grow(n)ing me closer to giving birth), it is that if we simply be our unique, divinely-created self and be that light for one other person in our lifetime, then that is indeed valued, important, critical and appreciated.  And we are born to be non-chameleoned women dancing to our own rhythms, and not clones of a “bigger and better” machine.
 
So what is my word medicine for myself and other women today that comes from this womb-pain? Well, this ache come from a deep place of dissatisfaction and frustration and a “jeepers do we really have to operate like that type of exasperation?” And they are words of encouragement to those of you who love deeply, care extraordinarily, “turn up” courageously through the thick and thin, and who have that deep calling to make a difference, but who often don’t feel visible, validated and en-COURAGE-d or “not up to scratch” when it comes to the “big-players”.
 
Recently I attended an event where I was greeted at the door, not with “Hello, you’re special and welcome Janelle”, but a “Hello are you a VIP?” My natural and quick response was “Yes I’m a Very Important Person indeed.” No, what they actually meant was “Have you paid to be treated even better today at this event?” Ouch!
 
And I was to be interviewed for a Global summit and suddenly the organisers decided my “list wasn’t big enough” to be part of their “integrity of the summit”. Yowsa.
 
But I figure I could take those “hey, you’re not good enough, bright enough, big enough, valuable enough” or “haven’t earned your way into this “camp” yet type of stuff to burn and scald me. But instead, what I know from deep within my womanly womb-space and feminine knowingness is this.
 
The masculine tells us we need to be “bigger, brighter, better” and will judge us on whether we are “enough” or “not good enough” based on that criteria. The “feminine” whispers, “Be you and make your small but significant difference in the way only you can do”. One small act may be your calling and responsibility in this life-time.  A simple hug.   A kind smile.  A heart-felt word of encouragement that may make the world of difference to someone.
 
The masculine tells us list size is important and you are not enough if you only serve a few. The feminine tells us “Wow, the one life you saved in that moment when you were truly attentive to that woman’s soul cries, is phenomenal and such a gift.” Darling, I urge you today to continue to offer that personal attention and intimate connection with one other, so they too feel special, acknowledged, validated, seen and heard.
 
The masculine wants to spout forth the “10 greatest steps to serve the masses” or “the 3 secrets on how to…” The feminine invites us to be more intuitively-honed, gentler-paced, more personal and individually attentive. And she will certainly invite us to be less “success-driven” in the “outer word” and more soul-focussed on our own internal world so we can heal not just others, but ourselves.
 
So today if you don’t necessarily have a thriving business, maybe you don’t have much money or you have days of feeling quite “deep, dark or not-good-enough” or “heck I’m not making much of a difference”, then think again. Actually don’t think! Instead feel and know in this precious moment today, you simply being you, dancing to the beat of your own rhythms and singing your own soul song, is what the feminine longs for, and your success lies in honouring her.
Love as you do and make your impact by your own divine knowing you are “well and truly a VIP” making your difference in the world – one soul at a time and starting with you being uniquely you.
 
From my book Dancing in Her Own Full Moonlight, this poem captures some of the essence of what I have been attempting to give voice to.
 
chameleonDay 27: Shape Shifting into Self by Janelle Fletcher
 
Pushed into corners
And constraints of my busy diary
Schedules
Things to do list
And “be all to everyone” way
Has over many years
Shaped me into something
I don’t want to be
Superwoman
Not so super any longer however
Because exhaustion
Doesn’t help me
Live with vibrancy
Joy
Or actually just be me
It’s a cardboard cut-out of me
So shaped by my own expectations
From within
And without
The imprisonment of
Time
Schedule
Templating
Looking like everyone else
Succeeding life their way
That by most is seen as the norm
Desired
Or a mark of success
Is squashing me
And keeping me 2-D
But I don’t fit in those circles
Of women
Who cling onto
The next 3 secret principles
Of doing well in biz
Or the latest blueprint for
Having the life I love
I don’t fit in those gatherings
Where it’s the exclusive club
Of the latest and greatest aspiring
Entrepreneur
Biz gal or
Success-driven women
Who shape themselves into
A busy, tight diary
Workload
And social commitment
I cry for what they are missing out on
In their pursuit for freedom
That they dream will come
One Day
I stand alone often
Feeling like I’m a triangle
While others are squares
Wanting to be bigger
And better squares
My greatest desire is to be the
Flowingly
Fabulously
Fun-fulfilled
Me again
That doesn’t get shaped
By such imprisonment
Of Time
Schedule
Templating
But craves for me
In all my shapeless
Glory
That once was
To re-emerge
My desire
Is not to fill my diary
Not to be a clone
And not to be all to everyone
But to feel successful
In the moments
I take care of me and not always others
When I don’t appear to have anything
Or I don’t appear to be moving anywhere
There is true success
And contentment
Feeling peaceful
In my humblest
Darkest
And even messiest place
As a woman
Where I am not
The 2D cardboard that’s monochrome
But instead a 3-D
Mutable
Colourful
Un-shape
But it takes something to shapeshift into self
To metamorph
And know
That my greatest success is to
Frolic in the sea of difference
Not float in the sea of sameness
To flow with my own rhythmic nature
Rather than march to the beat of someone else’s drum
To love my curves of my body, my life, my cycle
And not be the straight line pursuit driven women
Who drives and strives
At the same pace everyday
While missing out on the scenery on the way
And to be messy and vulnerable
Joyful and pleasured
A non-chameleoned woman
Who has the freedom of
Not camouflaging herself
 
 
 What are you doing out of expectation that doesn’t really “fit” you?  Where is your uniqueness and how can you express that more freely?  How can you be more real and be the uncamouflaged you?
 
Feel free to purchase a copy of this beautiful collection of poetry with themes that will sing to your “feminine” and with reflection questions that will help shed light on the beautiful, amazing you. www.janellefletcher.com/shop/
 
woman leaving the nest

The pain of the umbilical cord being cut when kids fly the nest

By | Written Articles | No Comments

I am feeling the sharp and “takes your breath away” pain that arises not just with birthing our babes, but with letting go of the umbilical cord to our children who fly the nest.

woman leaving the nest

With the 5th of my 6 children about to leave home, I am experiencing this extraordinary mixture of emotions that arise. And these emotions are rolling in like a tidal wave that feels destructive, unlike my usual “calm on the water” way of relating to my family.

The nest has been prepared well, but she no longer wants to sit in the familiar nest, as it is starting to feel “foreign” or “undesirable” for her in her next stage of life.  This mother-bird has fed her young chick the “worms” she toiled to find, and the identity of motherhood slips away much like trying to hold water in your hand.  My ‘ugly” has reared her head as I observe my own reactions that have, over the years,  formed a pattern of how I deal with this kind of loss and I don’t like it. It doesn’t sit comfortably with me.  I become “not a nice person” to be around. My words become sharp, when they would typically “soften the blow”.  My connection and quality time I spend as a mother who cares a lot, morphs into me being on one side of the house, while she is on the other.  I want to numb the pain.  And as much as I have given my children the liberty and lessons to follow their own path, this allowing them to “leave the nest” on their journey of independence is damn difficult.

As two women in their own right transitioning at the same time, there is bound to be pain and grief.  So as a curvy, emotional woman and mother, how do I be with the pain, whilst also respecting the decisions of another?  How do I not turn into an ugly monster, when who I am is a loving mother-heart ? And how do I not feel offended, used and hurt, when it has actually been me that has been the over-doer, over-carer and sacrificial lamb for my children?  My sacrifice has out-weighed self-care.

My answer as I sit still and connect with my inner spirit is this:  Let the tears roll.  Nourish me.  Love her.

What has been your experience of “letting go of a family member”?  Post your stories.

 

Janelle Fletcher – Women’s Mentor, Speaker, Writer, Events – the feminine way of being.

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