Welcome to the second ‘Rockin’ Mamma’ interview, featuring Deb Dane. For more information as to the hows and whys of the interviews, you can check this short video. Otherwise, grab yourself a cuppa, snuggle up closer, and enjoy!
Deb popped up on my radar late last year, when I stumbled across her blog, Home Life Simplified . What immediately grabbed my attention was Debs’ ability to combine insightful, common-sense strategies for simplifying all aspects of home and personal life, in a voice that exudes both authenticity and vulnerability.
It was only a matter of time before we connected in person, and this has culminated in friendship, and the exciting opportunity to work together (more on that later!)
I secretly call Deb the ‘Facebook Queen’. Her page is incredibly active and in January,with the advent of her 52 week HLS challenge, her community doubled in less than two weeks. It now sits at over 2000 people. Not too shabby for someone who has only been blogging for six months!
What’s the one thing you do to take care of yourself?
I try to stay true to myself and honour my own needs – I almost never say yes when in my heart it is a no and I stand by my opinions even if I am alone in them. I find that while on the surface it seems easier to just get along and go with the majority, I often find I cannot do that. Authenticity is one of my core values and I would ruffle feathers than stifle myself.
What’s one thing you love about yourself?
My natural curiosity that means I love learning and reading. I am open to new ideas and continuing to challenge myself and grow as I age. This might be why I have absolutely no problem with the aging process and happily share with others that I am turning 40 this month. I see aging as my ticket to greater growth and wisdom – the girl I used to be did not know half what I know now!
What’s one thing you know to be true about yourself?
I am very sensitive and easily hurt – I wish I had a thicker skin and did not care what other people thought or how they acted. I give too much power to the opinions of others and constantly work at filtering out that noise in my head that analyzes other people’s reactions to what I do, write or say.
What’s one thing that used to scare you that no longer does?
I have admitted on my blog that I have let fear rule my life for many years, but am changing that. This is my year of being “fearless” so I will say there are lots of things I am “less-scared of” than before. As a perfectionist and someone who wants to control situations I am a work in progress and my triumphs can be seemingly simple things like driving somewhere new or picking up the phone to call someone.
What have you overcome?
I wish my answer to this question could be a simple “nothing” and that my life has been a breeze. Instead I have survived the sudden death of my father (age 14), sexual assault at the hands of an acquaintance when I was at college (age 18) and severe post natal depression after the birth of my second daughter (age 33).
I am still standing and growing stronger every day, but these three traumas are what led to the life filled with fear. Every day I stop and say “yes” to life is one where I have overcome the traumas a little more. My faith and trust in the Universe was broken many times over, but I have also been blessed with a wonderful husband who knows all my truths and stands by me every day.
I live a life of growing power thanks to him and my two daughters who bless me with their beautiful souls daily.
What’s something that you always enjoy or never get tired of?
Reading is my passion – I could literally spend all my waking hours reading and often have three to five books on the go at once. Books are the only thing I collect faster than I use – my backlog of unread books is embarrassing.
What do you need to start doing more of? What do you need to stop?
I need to sleep more – From childhood I have never been a good sleeper and as an adult I tend to get a burst of mental energy in the evening which leads me to stay up late. I practice great self-care in many ways, but often neglect this key area.
I need to stop doubting myself. As I said I give too much weight to what other people do or don’t say or feel. I can be my own worst enemy at times.
What’s the best thing about being a mum?
The unconditional love that flows even on my worst day. It still amazes me that my children will love me no matter how short I fall of the too high standard I set for myself as their mother. They keep trying to teach me that all they need is my love, my time and my undivided attention. I am learning more from them than they will ever learn from me.
What’s the worst thing about being a mum?
As an introvert it is being needed so thoroughly. I often find myself retreating from them just to catch my breath and recharge my batteries. The older they get, the better a mother I think I can be. This was a big part of my need to stay authentically me – when I try to ignore this need of mine to be alone in order to be a “better”, more hands on mother I actually become a worse mother.
What’s the one piece of advice you would offer to help other mums?
I would say to do what feels right to you as a parent – read to gain information, but make decisions based on what comes from your own gut and from your heart even if every other person you know is doing / has done the opposite (and that includes all the well-meaning grandparents in your child’s life).
What s the number one key to happiness?
I have to include two things – Fill your heart with gratitude and let go of expectations (both of yourself and of others). For me, these 2 things bring me to a place of contentment where I feel comfortable and at peace.
What’s something you must have in your life?
Again as an introvert I need time alone every day to regroup, recharge and catch my breath. I do this as often as possible and make no excuses for needing this time. If I have too many days where I have no alone time I make up for it with a major recharge and go off for a half or full day by myself. I have never let that dreaded “mother guilt” stop me from heading out to a movie or wandering bookstores aimlessly while my children are with friends or their father.
What’s the number one thing you need to accomplish before you die?
Write at least 1 book (that people happily pay money to read) and see as many countries on my travel bucket list as possible. If I could spend the rest of my life reading, writing and travelling with my family I would be thrilled with my life.
What’s something about you that has never changed?
I will argue and stand up for my ideas and beliefs (and those people who need defending and protection) right down to my last breath! My extended family would tell you that I was doing this from a very young age and drove them crazy. They were sure I would become a US Senator or the first Female, Jewish, Democratic President someday.
What do you want to remember forever?
I hope to always remember how my children were in these early years. I am so grateful for technology that has allowed us to capture things on video so easily. I have some old footage of my father from the days of old video cameras with no sound, but there is something so amazing about playing a 30 second clip of your child in a hysterical fit of laughter that just turns back the hands of time instantly. It is such a gift!
Bio:Deb Dane encourages everyone to “find your simple” which means to find your own way to what is right for you in relation to your life and your home and trusting your own guidance system. She shares her own journey and lessons learned on her personal development blog Home Life Simplified