Archives for posts with tag: transformation


I had a eureka moment this morning as I sat down to write. Maybe this new thought has been obvious to everyone but me! The Other Woman energy that I am trying to find this year is not ‘out there’ somewhere.

Have I been looking beyond me, as a continuation of a pattern established in dressing myself in ‘parent sanctioned’ personas throughout my developing life as a child? What came into my consciousness today, from the grace of the Universe, is the joyous feeling that I can stop trying to become some externalized vision of perfection that is created from a conglomeration of parental and cultural constructs. Naturally my femininity felt contained as I attempted to reflect the various faces of others’ ideal feminine. I’ve tried on Virtuous Vera and Alluring Alicia as a teen;  followed by Intellectual Inga during university semesters and once the summer break came, I tried on Sporty Sue or Fun Farrah. This seemed natural to me as a youth. Where else would I learn which behaviours are acceptable, which careers are worthy and which lifestyles are to be coveted, if not from my parents and my surrounding culture?   Of course I knew the sentiment behind the 70’s “Free to Be You and Me” movement, and if asked, I would have said, without irony or disingenuousness, “I am Virtuous Vera, Allring Alicia, Sporty Sue and Fun Farrah!” I did not have the knowledge that I was using other people’s reality as my reference point.

So I continued this pattern of personality and behavioural acquisition into my adult years.

In my efforts to find and keep a man, I’ve tried to be as thin as Twiggy, as full figured as Marilyn, as good a cook as Julia Child, as wonderful a home decorator as Martha Stewart, as conversationally engaging and informed as Christiane Amanpour, as athletic as Dorothy Hamill, and as funny as Gilda Radner. ..and all of this simultaneously! Sadly, this isn’t even the entire list. There was also the pressure from the Woman’s Movement, where I felt I had failed if I had not achieved a perfect balance between excelling in my career and raising my children. And ‘raising’,  meant my  children must experience as rich an environment as was provided by a ‘stay-at-home’ Mom.

Of course I never came close to achieving the level of competency any of these women attained, but the surprising part is, I continued to try. I felt an internal pressure to be as successful as a dizzying array of highly accomplished women.


As I ponder these images, another thought occurs to me! I realize I would never have expected Gilda, for example, to be a culinary marvel, nor a first rate figure skater, nor a news anchor. Nor would I have thought she should even attempt to be anything but who she truly was! So why did I expect these Super Woman feats of myself? Why did I feel I was failing at being a woman, if I wasn’t a conglomerate of many successful women??

So now I am giving myself the opportunity to reference my own soul to create within me, the woman I was born to be…a truer me… to allow my unique inner self to flourish! The conflict I have felt between my inner self and the external, created self should, in time,  cease to exist. A major recalibration is needed, as I have felt an unease with my judgements on what parts of me are good or bad and what actions are right or wrong. So to actually believe my body can shift energetically, I had to examine my underlying beliefs about how our universe operates, the Universe which includes my shoulder and my concept of me. This segues nicely into Week 9 of 52 of  The Other Woman.



Last week’s post on finding a resolution to my shoulder pain, gave me an opportunity to compare two very different views of our world’s physical structure. I have been an adherent to Newtonian Mechanics, where all of the Universe, including my body, is part of a massive mechanical system of solid, discrete objects. The chair I sit on is as separate from my physical body as I am from my computer and as all three of these entities are from you. This immutable or fixed view gave me the belief that all phenomena in my life(including the nebulousness of pain or consciousness), were the direct result of observable and measurable interactions between these separate, mechanical parts. My perception of reality is that everything exists in 3-dimentions, time is linear, and every object is separate from every other object. My heart, kidneys and lungs, or shoulder, for example, have predictable, discrete ‘functions’ so when a part breaks down, a doctor with a patch kit is brought in to fix it, thus restoring this perception. But what if this is only how we have learned to perceive our Universe, because this is how schools teach Science…the world is broken into parts. Doctors learn about the body by taking it apart, but Scientists know this is an extremely outdated and limited perception.

Mending My Shoulder Newtonian Physics Style

1.Visit Rheumatologist – get anti-inflammatory pills and pain killers because of the belief that my shoulder is a discrete joint in my body, unrelated to me, the person.

This method may give my shoulder relief, leading me to believe it is repaired, but there is not a doctor around who can help me with an abstract issue like personal transformation, and that’s what I think I need  to truly relieve the pain. Because I believe my shoulder pain comes from the burden of carrying around the expectations of the patriarchal father, I know mere pain relief will not do any thing but mask the underlying issue. This leads me to Quantum Physics!

Just like the best things in life, the theory behind Quantum Physics evolved when Scientists where trying to prove its opposite…serendipity at its finest. So as scientists were looking for the smallest, most elemental and discrete building blocks of the Universe in support of Newton’s Theory, they instead discovered that this theory is hogwash…meaningless…The Universe appears to be an undivided whole…a dynamic web of interconnected and inseparable energy patterns…a unified field. This means that matter or solids as I call them, are just ‘slowed down’ forms of energy, not separate, independent, discrete parts. Logically, there is no such thing as a part. I am not separated into parts, nor am I part of a whole…I am the whole. You are the whole. 

My shoulder is not a discrete joint to be healed separately from the rest of my body and my experiences. This belief gives me hope that transformation awaits me!

Mending My Shoulder Quantum Physics Style

1.Visit Annette, my Herbalist, who has spent years trying to pry me away from my Newtonian stance, into a belief of Oneness. In a room of people we connect physically because the air we breathe out becomes the air others breathe in… an example of how we are all The Whole as we sit separately on our chairs.

2.Visit my Myofascial Release Therapist, Maneesha Madan, who believes that the fascia is a very complex 3-dimensional structure binding all of the body together…more like the unified field theory of Quantum Physics than the particle theory of Newtonian Physics.

This was a long, hard post, but it is Labour Day!

So for Week 9 of 52, I will remember that any transformation is possible, as I am the Whole, not a part of The Whole.



2 months have passed since I began this blog in search of The Other Woman energy within me. I knew this would be a lengthy process fraught with swings and roundabouts, but I hoped that after a year I would feel my femininity to be less contained. Being 1/6 of the way through I thought it time to assess my progress towards this goal.

The dominant energy on the left side of the collage typified my experience as a woman. I had accepted my role as was prescribed in a patriarchal society where women live to visually please and behaviourally serve men. So these past weeks have forced me back into my childhood where these expectations have their roots.

After the past 2 months of work, I know that I am now able to observe, with incredulity, how confining a role this is. When I made the collage I sensed I may be limiting the depth of my feminine experience, but I could not get enough distance from this habituated state of being, to really observe it. I’ve had to peel back this familiar skin, to see inside. I find it much easier to observe in other women what eludes me in myself. But now I have watched myself defer, yield and succumb in the presence of a man. Or, if I feel agitated in this state of acquiescence, I assume the tone of the nagging, disenfranchised woman.

Observing myself  vacillate between being confined and whining about being confined brings me one step closer to experiencing a change…one step closer to being The Other Woman!



“The greatest discovery of any generation

is that human beings can alter their lives

by altering the attitudes of their minds.”

Albert Schweitzer

My left shoulder has been twitching for a couple of months. I notice it held high with tension,  creating a slope in my shoulders.

Like a dog needing bladder relief  or a child needing a hug, my shoulder needs something and has been communicating with me through the only means at its disposal…discomfort.  I’ve been ignoring these subtle communiques, hoping they would just disappear or sort themselves out. This attitude of ‘head in sand’ from a person who has been at death’s door twice because of this tendency to suppress, ignore, inhibit and squelch, surprises me.

Of course now,  my shoulder is doing what any ignored dog would do.’s peeing on my carpet. My left shoulder aches, it’s stiff and it refuses to move.  So today, I surrendered and  am attempting to communicate with it. I will use a technique recommended by the Jungian Analyst, Robert A. Johnson, called Active Imagination.

Sitting in silence, I asked my shoulder what it was upset about. Was there an emotion I didn’t want to feel, a past experience I didn’t want to acknowledge…three images came to my mind; a collection of heart shaped rocks, my father and the cross from my Eastern European Church… this was followed by a stab of pain in my heart.

The Patriarchal Cross of Eastern European Churches

That is me, the bottom sloped board, under the overwhelmingly authoritative patriarchal presence above. One interpretation of the lower, sloped board is that it symbolizes a balance scale. Symbolically, if a person abides the authoritarian Father, they ascend to heaven on Judgement Day, but if they mock His rules, hell awaits. As I allowed feelings and images to emerge, I related to this scenario. My own father expected to be obeyed and he created a living hell when his rules were mocked. I admired my brother who refused to offer our father the smallest gesture of obeisance, but was mortified at the price he paid for this defiance. I wanted to be in my father’s good graces and I did not want to be beaten, but my acquiescence  has had a price. In following his plan, I repressed my own. I contorted my self to be loved.

Learned Helplessness

Above all else I yearned to be loved for the unconventional, whacky child I knew I truly was. But instead I was accepted by my parents because I presented them with a bevy of parent sanctioned personas. According to Jungian terminology, a persona is a coping mechanism used to conceal a person’s true thoughts and feelings; a necessary adaptation to ensure survival.

As a child I played with cut-out-dolls, and liken my persona collection to this.

I cut out and attached to myself one of several parent pleasers:

1.Polly Perfect, a real crowd pleaser. This persona won me awards. Her winning smiles and sensitivity to others’ moods was combined with an ability to listen to endless adult prattle, while looking enthralled.

2.Compliant Constance, a parent favourite. This persona saved me from spankings. Her defining attribute was her willingness to put aside normal childhood defiance( skipping the personality forming Terrible Twos, Defiant Fives and the Turbulent Teens) and instead perform feats of compliance.

3.Timid Temperance, a mealy-mouthed child. This persona was the most burdensome for me to carry. This persona willingly  gave a stamp of approval to all and sundry parental behaviour. When observing deception and meanness, real reactions were stuffed, while a neutral face was presented.

So for Week 8 of 52, I will listen to the communiques from my body.

I will remember that a persona is a coping mechanism that is necessary for a child to survive in their world, but in my efforts to discover The Other Woman inside of me, I will put Polly Perfect, Compliant Constance and Timid Temperance to rest.


This past week has been challenging as I try  to master WORDPRESS, the Blog  Masters…what do I expect for free??   I mention my frustrated state of mind as a prelude to my confessions of failure in this past week’s challenge.

Being altruistic does not come naturally to me. I have failed miserably. When I decided to give to someone, without expecting a response of gratitude, the voice inside my head uttered (in a tart tone no less)…uhh…a thank you would be appreciated…  This happened when I simply held the door open for a mom with a stroller. I set out to expect nothing, in my goal of altruistic gestures, but when no ‘thank you’ was given, I got stroppy.

Another example of my failure at altruism occurred when I decided to carry my neighbour’s garbage cans back to his yard after the garbage collectors had been and gone. I did this but when I next saw the neighbour, I wanted my ‘grand gesture’ to be duly noted. It took all my effort to not tweak his memory on the surprising return of his garbage cans.

And then I had a real test put before me by the forces that want me to grow into The Other Woman…I was given a perfect opportunity to demonstrate altruism. I had made plans to drive from Vancouver Island to The Pas in northern Manitoba for the 100th Anniversary of my town of birth, in early August. My younger daughter offered to help me do this long drive, but then changed her mind as it no longer worked for her. Remember, I had planned to do this alone, and was only later given the offer of help. So in the interests of letting each person(including myself here) give whenever and whatever pleases them…I SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRACIOUS and UNDERSTANDING. But I wasn’t. I said all the right words but with an icy… disappointed in your choices …tone.

I have learned that I am closer to the behaviours of Kim Kardashian than Aung San Suu Kyi. I will continue to try to give without waiting for a nod of thanks so that I may become a less demanding woman.

I must remember that a loving gesture given freely,  feels very different from a loving gesture given dutifully.

I took the photo of racks of freshly washed dishes with a feeling of envy towards the person with this job! Later the same summer I noticed this man outside my window sailing along on some type of surf board and longed for his feeling of joyous freedom.



Having fun as  one of my week’s challenges, may seem odd to most. Those of you who know me well, though, realize this will be an arduous task … hahaha… Work comes naturally to me. My Astrological sign is Virgo… we are the organizers, we are the worker bees…and to prove my point I will quote the first characteristic I read on the first site I Google…

Virgos adapt to different people and situations by finding ways to make themselves USEFUL” 

Point made.

Secondly, my parents were from Eastern Europe. Their child rearing motto…(Ukrainian accent thrown in for authenticity)…”No foolink arrrrround”…My first 12 years had the whiff a of labour camp for children. To be fair, I have never been imprisoned in a real labour camp, and for this I am grateful. But at least there, I would have known I was being held and forced to work against my will, for some crime I was purported to have committed. But when it is your own home, one just believes one’s experience to be normal. We did have family outings, but they were purpose driven.

1. Walking on the Carrot River Dike…to pick mushrooms.

2. Hiking through the woods…to pick raspberries, cranberries, moss berries, blueberries, gooseberries and red currants.

3. Camping at the lake…to catch fish and pick berries.

4. Enjoying the garden…while picking vegetables and fruit.

This may have been an idyllic childhood, what with the constant communing with nature, but it was not balanced with a normal amount of play time…play being the absence of purpose.

I will try for the next 49 weeks to dabble, frolic, rollick, cavort or fool around at least once a day!    


I’m utterly comfortable using my pretty green cup from week 1’s change. My morning coffee is now tasty in a pretty cup. I don’t feel prettier or more feminine, but the first step into the mystery of transformation, may come from acknowledging where I am stuck…

Week 2’s challenge was to change my pyjama style.

As expected, gathering my tattered, faded, yet, oh so coveted pyjamas, into a pile to discard, caused me anxiety. If my plan had been to wear the new, but keep the old tucked safely into the back of a drawer, I would have been okay. But real change must elicit discomfort. So after staring at the pile for 2 days, I reluctantly washed, folded and donated 5 pairs of pyjamas. I did not embrace the new. It felt as though I had gone shopping with a friend and after much persuading, I purchased her recommendations. Something like the Reality Show, “What Not To Wear.” We, the audience, agree that the transformed woman looks better in her freshly chosen clothes, but I wonder if she feels as comfortable in this ‘new look’ as her smile would indicate or if once the lights and cameras are off and she is sitting in the dull light of her own room, she weeps.

My one consolation, no one sees me in bed. I cannot imagine wearing a dress with heels in public…maybe Week 52…




I have spent my life searching for love, and as that memorable song from Urban Cowboy advised, I was looking in all the wrong places.

I was looking for love in all the wrong places,

Looking for love in too many faces

Searching your eyes, looking for traces

Of what.. I’m dreaming of…

Hopin’ to find a friend and a lover

God bless the day I discover

Another heart, lookin’ for love

Being an extremely literal person in the past (only recently do I truly understand the concept of metaphor) I thought this meant to stay out of the bars!

On reflection I admit that the places I have looked for love were found in the material world of accumulation. I have sought men with money, men with looks, men with power and men with brains.

But I now think love is more than a dozen roses, a Mensa Membership or a Rolex. I have accepted many gifts in the years of my relationships. I’m not denying the value of material expressions of love but I think the feeling accompanying the gift has to mean more to me than the gift itself. The material generosity must no longer supplant the heart.

I also believed in the theory that once a relationship lacked love, merely changing the man would correct the problem. Several years, several men later, I did clue into the fact that maybe I had to do some of the changing.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. Ghandi.

So if I believe in what Ghandi says, I must be a loving person if I am to find love in a relationship. And herein lies my challenge. I have spent hours trying to understand what a loving behavior looks like. I’ve read through countless articles and quotes on love and decided for me, that true love must embody altruistic giving. As usual, Oscar Wilde says it most eloquently!

Oscar Wildequotes:

To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.

So, the new behavior that I will adopt for this week and maintain for the year of The Other Woman, will ask this of me. Each day I will give something to someone, expecting nothing in return. I have now come to believe that whenever I hold an expectation of response, I pervert my act of giving.

Simply put, I will not expect a wave from the car I let in front of me, nor a thank you for the door I held open, nor a return compliment from the friend I just complimented.

As soon as I wait for a specific response or any response at all, I am in a controlling mindset. I gave this so you must give that… a quid pro quo expectation.

I will practice giving anonymously without any expectation of reciprocity.

For I must learn that even though I love someone, there can be no expectation that they will reciprocate my love.

If I desire the freedom to love whomever I want, with the accompanying freedom to express this love as I am so moved to express it, I must then give this to every person alive.

What I want for myself I must lovingly give to others.

I chose photos of 2 women( my daughter’s ideas); one woman who seems to embody materialistic love, Kim Kardashian and in contrast, one woman who seems to embody altruistic love, Aung San Suu Kyi. I apologize to both Kim Kardashian and Aung Sann Suu Kyi for shoving you into broad, all encompassing categories to serve my own needs. No one is as unidimensional as my depiction would imply.

But when I need a visual in my quest to embody the energy of The Other Woman, I will picture the altruism of Aung San Suu Kyi.

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