Personal Revelations: Thoughts on Privacy and Shame, Strength and Vulnerability

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So I guess it’s official now. I’m no longer a “private person.” In my first ever post here, I talked about how I shocked the hell out of myself by wanting to start a blog, having been amazed at the personal stuff other people were willing to share on theirs. I used to think, “Wow, I could never do that.”

I think I’ve learned why “never say never” earned its status as a cliché.

This week, I had an article published in Huffington Post about a very personal topic, my decision to give up alcohol. I thought about speaking up for the better part of a year, hesitating mostly because of the stigma often attached to issues concerning addiction. I sought advice and considered the possible ramifications from every angle. I examined my motives and reasons ad nauseam. I deliberated for so long that by the time it was published, the fear was gone. I was past ready. Continue reading

My Struggle With Alcohol: Why I Said Goodbye

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Photo credit: George Doyle

Writing publicly about this part of my life was a big decision. I thought about it for the better part of a year. Even after all that deliberating, in the end it was a leap of faith, just like starting this blog a year ago. My hope is that my story finds the right people at the right time and helps them. Thank you to the Huffington Post for publishing it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/camille-williams/my-struggle-with-alcohol-why-i-said-goodbye_b_9548494.html

© Camille Williams and Wake Up, Mama! 2016

Anger and Spirituality Are Not Mutually Exclusive

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Kali, the Hindu goddess of death, destruction, creation, fertility, healing, and compassion.

I’ve been thinking a lot about anger. I’m working with it at home in my efforts to quit yelling at my kids. While I navigate that process, I’ve also been thinking about how anger plays a role in our responses to the injustice, corruption, and violence we see in our world. Unfortunately, there’s been no shortage of material for this kind of exploration.

There’s also no shortage of pressure in spiritual growth culture to beware of negative emotions and be all about positivity and good vibes at all times.

Having the sole mission to spread love and inspire others with positive messages is one way to serve, and we need more of this for sure. And there are other valid ways of being in the world that are a little more down and dirty, but can still effect positive change. Anger has its rightful place in this realm, as the call to direct action and the generator of energy. Continue reading

Monster Mom Meltdowns: Forgiving Ourselves and Making Amends

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Photo credit: Luc Latulippe

I’m a believer in peaceful, gentle parenting. And I’m a yeller. Not from the beginning, though.   As challenged as some parents are by toddler behavior, I rarely felt angry with my children until age around age 4. Apparently, I view toddlers as cute and impulsive little wild animals, and thus have few behavioral expectations at that age.  For my first 3+ years of motherhood, I was so proud of myself for my infinite patience and obvious knack for this parenting thing.

That was short-lived, because boy, can they trigger me now! Continue reading

Belonging, Where You Least Expect It

IMG_6557By the time we took our most recent trip to India, our fifth, this radically different and magical place had become familiar to me. I am used to the color, the beauty, the tragedy and the chaos. I am used to the horse drawn carts alongside huge top-loaded semi trucks, free roaming livestock, and entire families on motorcycles all together on busy main roads. I am used to seeing roadside barbers and bicycle carts carrying anything you can imagine, including furniture, and the hustle-bustle of the street markets that photos and video can’t capture. I am used to seeing slum shacks and pigs and cows foraging in giant garbage piles in residential areas as women walk by wearing the most beautiful, colorful clothes. My husband no longer gets a sore arm from me hitting it every two seconds, saying, “Oh my God, look at THAT!”   Continue reading

An East-West Love Story’s Strange Beginning

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In 5 days, my husband, our two boys and I leave for India. This is our fifth trip, our third with kids in tow. The picture above is G and I the day we left for our first trip to India together 13 years ago.

As I make lists, run errands, and get out suitcases, scenes from previous trips always play in my mind. This time, that first trip is coming back to me the most. Continue reading