Thursday, December 23, 2010

This week 6 of my 7 children, their spouses and children are all coming home for Christmas. I wrote some limericks to celebrate.

The family is here for the Holiday.
The Children and dogs need a place to stay.
My house is so small,
We will all have a ball.
Thank goodness next season’s a year a way.

The family is here for Christmas.
Expectations, traditions are quite a fuss.
If I do enough now,
They will ask me to bow.
Then finally they’ll call me “Your Highness.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Project

My assignment is to design a project for school that has heart and meaning for me.

As I thought about what I might do I had lots of ideas. I could do something to make the world a better place – maybe start a nonprofit or work with the homeless or orphans. But what really inspires me and excites me are things that seem selfish and self- centered: create a beautiful garden to love and work in; focus on my body and create “optimal health;” explore Los Angeles; complete a list of goals that I have wanted to tackle for years; establish myself as a healer, facilitating issue resolution and emotional healing.
Selfish, self-centered – is it ok for me to invest so much time exploring me and my life? Will God approve? Will I be acceptable to my family and church community?
Being obedient and doing my part is important to me, so I have devoted much of my life to doing what I was told and putting the needs of my family and church first. Giving up my needs somehow made me feel like a “good mother.” Taking the time to find out what makes me tick has been a luxury that I have been too “unselfish” to take. So now, doing a project with “me” as the focus is stepping out of my noble box.
Rather than spend my time worrying about the definition of selfish and self-centered, I can use my project to see what happens if I take a year and intentionally focus on myself.
This can be a time for me to find out what I want and how I am going to use my gifts and talents in the future. Would I be selfish on an airplane to put the oxygen mask on before I put it on my children? Maybe “selfish” and “self-centered” aren’t the evil words I have believed them to be. Maybe if I had taken the time years ago to ask myself what I thought and what I wanted, I wouldn’t feel so lost now.
Maybe being “self-centered” is the most unselfish thing I can do. Selfish or
not, I’m going for it!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Who am I?

Who am I?

My name is Phyllis Anita Shaw Wiggins. Each one of these names has a story to tell, but I’m not my name.

I have seven wonderful children. Raising them and creating a loving home has been the main focus of my life, but I’m more than just a mother.

Grandma is something that I am called, but is that who I am?

I’ve loved my husband since I was 14, I married him at 21, and we have been happily married for 33 years, but wife is just one way to describe me.

Teacher, student, learner, quilter, cook, gardener, skier, singer, Cub Scout leader, horseback rider, reader - any one of these words can be used to describe me and what I love.

I love to philosophize and I can talk to anyone about anything for as long as they will engage in conversation. Who does that make me?

Sometimes I get frustrated and yell, curse, fight, and cry, but I don’t consider myself evil.

Secretly, I am a mystic, healer, visionary and teacher. This is who I want to say that I am, but I’ve been too scared to claim it.

So, who am I?

I am a 53-year-old woman who loves people, nature, adventure, learning and God. I do good things and I make mistakes. I struggle with perfectionism and believing in myself. Essentially, I am a beautiful child of God who is dedicated to making my truth about me harmonious with God’s truth about me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yard Stick

Today I am going back to school with my all of my homework prepared. This may not seem significant, but to me it is a liberating miracle. Let me explain.
My school is set up to attend class one weekend a month. The teachers give us a handout telling us what our homework assignments are for the month. The reading and assigned papers are broken down by weeks for the first 6 months. This gave me an idea of how I needed prepare for the next month. On the 7th month, I was able to break it down for myself. Having been shown how to break the work down, I was able to do it myself when I needed to. This is the first time in my life that I was able to prepare without being overwhelmed and cramming at the last minute.
In the past, I used comparing myself to other people as the yardstick to see how I was doing. This way of measuring myself has caused me much pain and suffering. I created a hurtful habit that has left me feeling inadequate and worthless many times. What I learned from this experience is that when I have a well thought out, realistic plan that I write down; I can use the paper to tell me how I am doing. I know where I need to focus and I can leave judging others and myself up to God. That’s true freedom!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


A few days ago I wrote this, but I couldn't post it because my blog was down. Jamie helped me get it back and running so here is my post:
Yesterday I got a text that said: “Today is a great day to start getting yourself positive for the 10/10/10 day coming up. Whatever you focus on that day- you get more!”
When I received this text it made me smile because I wasn’t even aware that there was a 10/10/10 coming. I would have hated missing out on living through something that exciting. It also saw a great opportunity to practice the habit of being positive. If I practice for 2 days, I will be prepared to be positive for a whole day, and the pay off will be big! What if I made this a habit everyday. I wonder if whatever I focus on I get back 10 fold could be true every day and I don’t need these magic numbers to make it happen. I can use these three “10’s” to remind me that it is happening all of the time – 24/7 – TEN FOLD! What would that be like?...

a) Every time I see someone living out their dream,and I feel jealous... I am reminded that I too have been blessed with dreams that I am living right now, and many more that are being created and beginning to manifest.
b) When have to drive carpool again... I am reminded how blessed I am to share this moment in time and space as a mother, with awesome kids.
c) When I don’t have the money that I need to buy what I want right now... I am reminded of the wonderful blessing of “things” that I do have right now.
d) When my husband is too busy or gone... I am reminded of how blessed I am to have a husband who is so willingly provides for me and is a man of stellar character & service.
e) When I’m at my wits ends with anxiety, frustration, lack of inspiration, fighting, low self-esteem, etc… I am reminded that my Heavenly Father understands and wants to hear all about it. He will give me comfort, guidance, inspiration and a listening ear.
f) Whenever I feel fat and ugly, I am reminded of the wonderful blessing that my body is and how well it has, and continues to serve me. I am also reminded that the way that I am looking at it may not be true.
I honestly do love being alive when a magical number like this crosses the calendar. I also love being reminded of the wonderful life that I enjoy simply by focusing on the positive part of my life.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

the easy way

I had a dream the other night where I was trying to take my kids to school on a bike. It was really hard,we were going to be late, and I didn't have the strength to get them there. I needed help and was really overwhelmed. I woke up feeling anxious. I asked what this dream meant and the thought came to me, "I could have driven my car, so why am I doing it the hard way." It made me laugh. I think that this was a good message for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I finally grew up!

It's so wonderful to be alive! I truly am living out
my childhood fantasy: Playing in the housekeeping area
with real food, real cars, real vacuums, real children,
real make up, real scissors, a real sewing machine, a real two
wheeler, a real computer, a real husband, real money,
etc. etc. etc. What a journey! When I truly honor the part
of me that likes to have fun and pretend, I find that I have
more joy than I know what to do with.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Win!

Yesterday was the third day at preschool that I worked with my new aide, Mary. She is an incredible teacher and a good person. When it was time for the other class to clear out and for our class to set up I did my usual flitting around and working on getting every area of the room set up at once. While I was working with paperwork and setting out name tags she got the whole rest of the room set up completely! I was so grateful that she had done this, it made it so nice to be able to relax and greet the kids, get the parents set up and actually see opportunities to interact with the children and parents.
Later that evening I went to Young Women's and we worked on time capsules that Kathy Sheffield had put together. We also are having New Beginnings next week and I don't have many assignments to prepare for it. It was actually a good day with lots of fun things to do and great people supporting me all around.

Well...................Later, just before I started to go to sleep I started to have a melt down. "I'm not enough!" "I am the teacher and Mary is the aide so I am the one that should be doing everything. They shouldn't pay me more than her if she is so good. Maybe I should share some of the money that they pay me with her. How can I be honest in my job if she is the organized one and the one who makes the room peaceful?" "Kathy Sheffield does everything! She is so creative and makes everything look nice. She finds great things at garage sales and always finds good deals. I just don't get how she can be so good and not know it." Blah Blah Blah.....I slept on it and I kept dreaming about being perfect and my quest to become perfect and my failure to achieve it.

For a long time I denied that I had any talents at all. Then I finally recognized that I have many, many talents--they may just look a little different than the ones that I have thought important and valuable. The past few days the question that has been on my mind is, "Are my talents valuable and worthwhile?" The experiences of yesterday brought that question to the forefront to explore.

When I woke up this morning I was feeling anxious but went ahead with my morning routine anyway. I was interrupted by a call from my sister Erin. As she pushed me I told her, through tears, everything that I was thinking. I asked her if my talents were valuable in the real world. She went on to point out how easy it is for me to talk to anyone. She called me a "pack animal" (I liked that), and pointed out how no matter who comes into my home, regardless of age, race or religion, they feel welcome and like my personal friend. Then she put her grown son Mikey on the phone and he told me that as he was growing up the highlight of his summer was when the "Wigginses" came or when he came to California. He said that he loved being with my boys, but there was more than that; he loved being around me. I was the fun mom and our home always felt so happy and cheerful. He loved being around our family largely because of me. This shocked me because as I look back at that time in my life I remember having such a hard time getting out of bed, being depressed, and yelling a lot.

Maybe it's time for me to own and take responsibility for my whole life, not just the parts that I didn't do perfectly. There's that word "Perfect." Who says I didn't do it perfectly? Who is the judge of my life? Who is the one hanging on to a view that I should have been different to be a good, fun mother? The only one that I can see who is pointing the finger at me is me! The good news is that the same one who is pointing the finger is the same one who can stop pointing it. I have a choice. I can continue to choose to believe that I am never enough or I can choose to believe that I have a great purpose on this planet and what I have to offer is not only enough and valuable, but much needed.

This morning while I was writing in my journal, I was reminded of a time when I was about 14 or 15 years old and I was involved with a ski school. In this school for ten weeks we went to Snow Basin every Saturday one a bus, had a lesson, and then skied on our own for the rest of the day. I enjoyed it all (even the bus ride), but I especially loved skiing with my friends. I could pretty well keep up with them, but I considered myself less of a skiier than any of them. The last day of the season we had a race. They set up a course and all 200 or so kids skied down it as they timed us. On this particular day conditions were rainy, wet, and difficult to ski. Many of the kids fell and didn't even make it down the course. When it was my turn to ski it I managed the whole thing and I came in first place for all of the girls in every skill level. I got a trophy. However...the win never counted or mattered to me, because I knew if the other girls hadn't fallen then they would have beat me. So in my mind I didn't win the race and I didn't deserve the trophy. I even threw it away. (Back then trophies were hard to come by and you didn't get them for just participating, you really had to earn them.) But the fact is they did fall and I out-skied all of them!

I am done pushing off my wins!!!!!!!!!! I am done thinking that the only parts of my life that are worth remembering are the parts that I didn't do as well as I would like to have done. I am done thinking that in order for my offering to be enough I have to do it all!!! ENOUGH!!!!!

Maybe what is really happening at preschool is I have a partner who will make it possible for me to do my very best. Maybe because of her talents I will be able to use my talents and be with the children more to give them a stronger sense of security in their first school experience. Maybe Kathy Sheffield likes doing what she does and is good at it. Maybe my being paired up with her at this time is giving me the space to pursue getting my master's degree, working, and being home with Sam and Brad. In the past I have been so stressed out when I have something to do, now the things are being taken care of for me and I find myself stressed out. It's time for me to own my win. To give the world the very best that I have to give the very best way that I know how to give it.

Erin told me a story about a man who was caught stealing a ham. As punishment he was required to wear a ham around his neck for a very long time. He had come to identify so much with the ham and with what it represented and how it told the world who he was, that when they took it off he couldn't deal with it and he hung himself. The ham that has been around my neck has been one of "not enough" and "I need help". I know that taking off my "ham" will feel uncomfortable and weird at first, but instead of choosing to hang myself, I am choosing to ski my best, come in first place, and win.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Here is Katelyn, posing as Mary. Isn't she beautiful!


This is Ellie my newest granddaughter. She is the very first person to be added to my blog. Go Ellie!