I am inviting you, my dear friends, to come to a very special workshop. My friend and colleague, DuAnne Redus, and I are cooking up an event that will help each participant ask and answer the questions, “Who am I? What can I become?” We are creating from the depths of our imaginal fields, appealing to the creative forces of each attendee. Please do join us for an enjoyable, exciting, and transformative time.
November 2021 may be the month when the Covid-19 pandemic is a little less threatening. I still wear a mask when I go out in public. And, we are beginning the rebuilding of our lives around a future yet to be created. That thought excites me. As I look toward completing this 10th decade of my life, there are many possibilities. First, I am a learner–always.
Pocket Grandmother is a concept—a new idea– in your own mind. She represents the challenge of taking charge of your own growth and development, in the kindest method you can imagine. She is your internal nurturing caring grandparent, who accepts, appreciates, allows, and anticipates good in your life. She sees you through kind, loving eyes, gently being present without fear. She is that part of your thoughts that unconditionally loves you. She is your ‘Glinda, the good witch from the north,’ and she will never do negative criticism nor will she chastise you. She is always present, and she may be sometimes amused by your thoughts of lack or need. She helps you fulfill your desires.
Your Pocket Grandmother is not a goddess nor is she a guru. She is a loving grandmother with her tolerant, patient, generous acceptance of you just the way you are. Assume her to be the great Sophia, the feminine face of a loving God.
One prototype for this interior concept, your Pocket Grandmother, is my neighbor from the early days of the 1950s, Mrs. Fourqurean. She was always cheerful even when given the task of daily caretaking of her husband, “Papa Tom,” after his stroke. She would ask to care for my children, so I could take a break from the constant demands of mothering. This precious neighbor was a real live fairy godmother. And she is one possible model for your internal grandmother in your pocket, always smiling, always aware of how to be helpful, her eyes deep and luminous, twinkling with joy.
Grandmothers are inspirational; mothers are judgmental by necessity. When Pocket grandmother says, “I love you, but… that color looks terrible on you,” it feels helpful and loving. She can say, “I love you, but that guy you’re dating is a jerk.” She can say “Sweetie, that is not your shoe size.” And you feel cared about. When your mother says, “I love you, but…” it feels judgmental and controlling. As you create your Pocket Grandmother, you can notice the difference in mothering and grand-mothering. There is a time gap of one generation, allowing the necessity of the mother who is responsible for your training and the grandmother who can be your inspiration and your life-long adoring steady rock of caring and support. Mothers tend to “mold” you; Grand-Mothers will “unfold” you.
Imagine telling this new inner being your troubles. See them melt like frozen snow in warm sunshine. Feel your well-being, your worthiness, your wealth and your personal warmth begin to radiate from you—no matter what comes.
You, activating your own vivid imagination, can construct a personal, private safe haven of comfort and support. Just imagine sitting or being held in the arms of a kind and caring grandmother. Experience the absolute comfort of pure love. Relax and absorb the feelings of security and comfort; allow those feelings to become your true state of being.
This imaginary friend has cookies in her cookie jar. She has wisdom beyond your years. And, she is a relatively new model. Grandmothers were rare and short-lived up to the 1800s.
These generations of the 21st century live a lifetime beyond menopause. (Remember the blood mysteries: young women were thought to “save their blood” to make a baby in nine months. Older women saved their blood to make wisdom.)
And our life span has extended to the reality that one woman can live another 50 years beyond menopause, giving her time to create more in the outer world beyond family. (My own story includes going to work for a major corporation when I was 69 and leaving at age 88 when my husband needed me full time.)
Pocket Grandmother can be created by what she is not—admonishing, controlling, criticizing, suspicious, impatient, condemning, judging, guiding, limiting, or fearful. You can create her by using the positive side of the negative critical parent descriptors. You are the creator who can establish a different inner parent—a nurturing grandparent—your very own Pocket Grandmother. She is always there to give positive recognition, freedom from load, a witnessing spirit, tolerant, patient, praising, championing, inviting, befriending, and ever expansive, evolving, and resilient.
Your internalized Pocket Grandmother is your champion, your friend, your comfort, your support, and she loves you without conditions. She offers you warm acceptance just as you are. Pocket Grandmother, like the good witch Glinda, reminds you that you had the ruby slippers all along. Her version of “home” is your haven and refuge. She is playful and sometimes comedic, sometimes brash, always truthful and real. She is honest with no need to earn your love. Enjoy your creation!
How can you “real”ize this new internal state of being?
What is a simple way to feel the impact of you own loving, caring grandmother in your pocket?
Whenever you have a negative feeling:
Stop. Pause a moment.
Hold out your dominant hand and extend your thumb upward.
Using your vivid imagination, project yourself into your thumb. Imbue your thumb with all the bad feelings.
Now, extend the four fingers on that hand, imagining them to be your “pocket grandmother.”
Fold your thumb into the palm of your hand, and let the four fingers wrap around you in a warm embrace that imparts unconditional absolute comforting love.
Allow a sense of well-being to wash over you.
Rest and relax and receive the flood of pure joy.
You have just re-started your life. Your new life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured! Go forth and live IN JOY, which is your birthright!
1935 that is. We were picking peas, beans, and okra on a hot day in August. Watermelon and cantaloupe were growing in the furrowed dark brown loam, waiting to be thumped for ripeness, ready to harvest and place in the bed of the wagon. The wagon was pulled by our two horses, old Maude and Shorty. The setting was our family farm south of Ralls, TX, east of Lubbock. This lush green garden in the lower edge of the cotton field was called “The Truck Patch.” Mother, Daddy, and I were picking the produce, including a big green, striped watermelon. That watermelon would be placed in the cool water of the hog trough and we would have a feast later that day. My little brother, Don was not yet two years old and needed his diaper freshened, so my Mother had walked with him to the yellow farm house. That left the Model A Ford and the wagon with its team of horses still in the truck patch. My Daddy and I were the only two humans and we were at least a mile or more from the house.
November 3, 2020–another election day in the life of this one citizen.
I have voted. That is my only power. I am grateful to live in this country.
I am grateful to my friend of many years, Flint Sparks, who offered this poem for our contemplation on this election day in the United States of America. Written by Maya Angelou and spoken by her on the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations: