How to Be a Rebellious Suburban Mom of Two

Aug 2, 2016

How to Be A Rebellious Suburban Mom of Two |

The women I work with are all a bit rebellious.


Here’s what happened:


They spent their twenties doing what was expected of them.  Perhaps it didn’t feel like it at the time, but their desire to strive toward some or all of the classically-defined milestones of adulthood – to achieve certain career goals, enter into a long-term relationship, perhaps have children, buy a house, adopt a dog – were, at least in part, driven by a compulsion for external validation or belonging.

And there was no way to recognize it at the time.  No, the recognition came sometime in their thirties when they realized that, though they liked their kids well enough, perhaps, and their partner was a pretty good score, other aspects of their lives didn’t feel quite right.

And so began the rebellious process of alignment.

Maybe the house in the ‘burbs wasn’t what they pictured calling home, but it was close to schools and amenities, and had really nice granite countertops.

But the job had to go.

Maybe the kitten heels and pencil skirts started to feel a little bit too constricting…

…but those Vans looked pretty cute.


The 2.5 kids and the dog:  definitely good for a few laughs.

But forget the institutionalized school system; they’re enrolled in Forest School.

The minivan is ridiculously convenient.

But there’s nothing quite like the feeling of total badassery that comes with riding your motorcycle around town.


Not all of the acts of alignment that women engage in are rebellious on the surface:  they’re not all homeschooling motorcycle babes.  But they are rebellious in the sense that they are outside the norm.  These women are stepping outside the boxes that society (and themselves!) have used to define them, and they are finding their own path.  

Often that path is fraught with what seem, on the surface, like contradictions.  The kitten heels go so nicely with the granite countertops and the corporate job, to be sure.  But that is what we have come to expect, and women who are pursuing more alignment in their lives are living up to no one’s expectations of them but their own.

It takes courage to live a life that is completely unique.  Often that life looks confusing to others because it is different from the schema of success that we’ve come to value as a society.  To walk a path of authenticity, alignment in your values, desires, and potential, to live in your own truth, is a rebellious act.

It is, perhaps, the most important act of rebellion we can aspire to.


And “aspire to” is the operative intention here, because rebellion is not a single, unexpected, unprecedented action, but a series of those actions, a practice.  Though by definition alignment comes naturally, it does not always come easily.  And it doesn’t necessarily happen every day.  The more well-trodden path may feel alluring, despite the fact that you must walk it in those damn kitten heels.

For these times we have sisterhood.  For these moments, we learn to flex our courage.  For now, it’s one step in front of the other, in alignment.

Your turn!

What contradictions exist in your life in the name of more alignment?

What are the acts of rebellion that you are proudest of?

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!