Dear Me: You are enough.

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Be patient with yourself. The healing will come as you do the work and show up for yourself. I know some days that is really hard because you have a little one who needs so much of you but you’ve been through this before, it will get easier. Babies grow up into toddlers, then preschoolers and then five-year-olds with no patience who can do so much without your help but still need you to be the audience to their big imaginations. Then they will be 12-year-olds who know so much and have such big ideas for their lives but still want game nights and bear hugs and to show off their newest pieces of artwork, and still ask permission to put on nail polish. Then will come 19, so ready to leave the nest and live on their own but still bringing home their laundry on weekends to be washed.

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This new baby will grow up too and all too quickly you will wonder where the small, helpless babe at your breast has gone. You will regain some degree of freedom as he stretches his legs and learns to let go of your hand but the freedom comes at the cost of your sweet babe growing up so try not to rush it. Enjoy your afternoons of rocking together, his head curled tight against your chest, his newborn smell still filling your nostrils for time steals these precious moments away and fades the memories to dull aches of longing for more of those quiet uninterrupted afternoons of just dozing and rocking.

The healing will happen but there’s no need to rush it at the expense of this time with your little one. Don’t let the guilt of unwashed dishes, large piles of laundry and consecutive nights of boxed meals interfere with your healing for it’s in the raw quiet moments that you can let everything go, all the years of pain, disappointment, anger that has built up like uric acid in aching joints so that even when all is well your brain is plaguing you with anxiety and worry, wondering when it will all fall apart, just like last time and the time before that.

I have something really important to tell you, it doesn’t have to be like last time ever again.

You are learning better ways, you are finding your voice, creating your own path to a new future where you will be doing what you want to do and providing for your family while doing it. Right now is just a temporary bump in the road while you nurture and love the newest member of the family in the way that works best for you while navigating your demons from the past and not letting them get a foothold in the present, no matter how hard they might try.

You are stronger than you have ever been but when you are feeling weak know that you are surrounded by people ready and willing to lift you up and remind you that you are enough just as you are and it will be enough to accomplish everything you want to. You just need to reach out to them, they will remind you of your worth when you have forgotten.

And it’s okay to cry. It’s safe now. You’re safe now. You are loved and held. Space has been made for you to release all that pain you hold so tight like an armour around you, keeping everyone out. You don’t have to do that anymore. Let the pain and anger that poisons your soul flow out of you, let the tears come and let them cleanse you. In that cleansing you will be reborn, stronger, more beautiful and with a trust in yourself and your abilities that you can only imagine right now. Let the floodgates open, let the ink on the page be smudged with your tears and know that you are strong and you are more than enough just as you are right now. The tears are just a really long overdue cleansing.

Love yourself, because that’s important too. You are worthy of your own attention. You do not need permission from anyone else to do the basic tasks of self-care. It’s okay to get your hair done and to go to spiritual meet ups and to find time to clear out your space in the house.  It’s okay to read books, to cross-stitch, and to write. It’s more than acceptable to find time for your on-line classes and work on your future, and to purchase the needed materials. I know it feels selfish to do those things for yourself but it’s not, so make your lists, set your goals and get up in the morning and tackle them, one at a time. And if you need to, it’s also okay to ask for help.

I love you and I’m tired of being your punching bag for every little perceived wrong you have done in your life because you have also done so much right. Stop measuring yourself by your failures and start measuring yourself by your successes, and others around you will have no other choice but to also do the same.  You are worthy of your own love and you are worthy of the love of others but you must open yourself up and let them in. I know being vulnerable is really hard for you but it will be so worth it, trust me!

I will write again. You need more pep-talks, someone to remind you how wonderful and amazing and strong you are. Who else is better to do that than me?

Love yourself!

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A dialogue with my inner two-year-old

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7473064878_9df4de6a00_o2 yo: Look at me. Listen to me.

Me: No. You need to listen to me. I don’t have time to deal with this now.

2 yo: (louder) Look at me. Listen to me. (Stomps foot)

Me: Listen here, I am in charge. We have to grow up. I have things I need to do, places to be. Expectations to fill. You don’t understand so just stop this and come along. Maybe later we can talk…

2 yo: NOW! NOW! NOW! (getting louder)

Me: You’re being ridiculous and stubborn. People are watching. You’re making a fool of me. Now just calm down, we’ll talk later, I promise.

2 yo: You always say that. You never do. (sits down, crosses arms) I’m not moving.

Me: Oh damn it all! I don’t have time for this. (grabs hand to start dragging her along)

2 yo: (screaming) Let go! You are hurting me!

Me: No, I’m not. If you’d just listen I wouldn’t have to drag you. You’re just being a stupid little girl. You have no idea about real life and responsibilities. I do, and life just sucks sometimes. It isn’t fair.

2 yo: (crying harder, whimpering) You’re hurting me, stop…

Me: (screaming) Oh just grow up will you!

2 yo: (whimpering) No. I just want you to listen to me.

Me: Oh go to your room! You can come out when you are ready to cooperate.

2 yo slinks back to the dark recesses of my soul. I can still hear her whimpering and sobbing. I carry that weight with me everywhere I go. It drags me down. Every once and awhile she comes out again, trying to get me to listen but I am too busy, too proud, too wounded to hear.

I think it’s time to listen and to be heard…

Gaming Addiction – It’s a Real Thing

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5225188282_cc1c7fa459_oI had full intentions of writing more regularly after my last post but the last couple of months have tested every part of me, physically, mentally and emotionally, and the cracks are showing. My words have failed me. Part of the problem is I don’t know what is my story to tell anymore. All the stories are so intertwined. My husband’s, my 18 year-old’s, my baby growing in uteri and the filaments of each story are tangled together with the filaments of the other stories, impossible to completely separate.

I write this blog anonymously but I do know that many of my friends and some family do read this so I have to be careful about what information goes out there that has the potential to hurt the people I love. So my voice and my pen are silenced by fear, fear of betraying the one’s I love and telling too much of a story that’s not mine to tell.

In the same breath the story is one that is becoming all too familiar a story across many spectrums of society, touching so many people. To break the stigma the stories must be told, we must reach out and ask for help. In so doing we put our souls on the line, knowing there will always be those that have negative things to say. My hope is that those people are in the minority and most will try to understand and some may feel comfortable enough reaching out a helping hand.

My 18 year-old suffers with a gaming addiction and depression. It has impacted every part of our lives. It has complicated this pregnancy as I am utterly emotionally exhausted by the unrelenting barrage of craziness that has become my life in dealing day in and day out with an addicted youth. As a mother my heart breaks every day watching him suffer and being unable to help him in any significant way because he has yet to reach the point of helping himself. Options for help are so very few despite all the mental health fundraising and information campaigns to raise awareness. Where does all the money go? It’s just not enough…

It also doesn’t help that gaming addiction is a brand new addiction (no not really) and it is just becoming more recognized by the healthcare community so resources are slow to be directed towards it. Many who suffer with the addiction also suffer with depression or other mental disorders such as ADHD/ADD, or have suffered through some form of abuse or difficult episodes in their lives that like an alcoholic drinks to forget, they game to forget.

Game companies also know exactly what they are doing when they design these games, even some of the simplest ones. The designers build an element of addiction right into the games and anybody who is prone to addiction gets sucked right in. It becomes expensive and like a meth addict needing their next high, the kids look to the gaming companies to source their next hit and they find ways to get the money to pay for it. They can’t control the need or the impulse to do what they need to do to get that hit.

There is no applying rationality to the problem. We can say all the things that make sense but none of it makes sense to the addicted gamer. It’s all about losing oneself in a game, hiding from reality in a fabricated world that allows you to forget everything that sucks in your life, that you aren’t good enough, that you can’t live up to the expectations of others. The outlets into these games are everywhere now, through smart phones, through tablets, through gaming stations, and through traditional laptops and desktop computers. The companies are ruthless and far-reaching with their advertisements and their upgrades and their extra fees that keep you hooked and coming back for more.

So what do you do?

If I knew, I’d tell you. Every day I wake up to this toxic reality running my life and draining my energy. Separating my child from his gaming addiction and seeing him as a lost soul is hard some days. I can’t sit by and enable him. Since he’s not in school and has no job, we lock up the Xbox but he finds other ways to get his fix. The anger and resentment build, on both sides, and it only adds to the problem.

There is a silver lining in this story. I have found a residential treatment program for gaming addicts. It’s only three weeks long. Hopefully it’s a start. I am not naïve, three weeks will not solve everything but if all goes well, he will be admitted very soon and return in time to start his full-time summer job, as well as continue to be supported by his social worker over the summer.

Right now that’s the best help I can find and it beats putting him on the street, which was beginning to feel like my only option and my heart was breaking at the thought of having to take that step. So I am putting out there into the universe a request to anyone who feels called to do so, to hold space for my family’s healing and send us positive energy and prayers as we move through this difficult path. I have to believe there’s healing on the other side and in the baby steps along the way but through all the pain and hurt that shackles my life it’s hard to see those glimmers of hope.

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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Oops!

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IMG_2410March 18, 2015 life changed for my family in an extraordinary way.

There was shock.

There was disbelief.

Really? Is this really happening?

My husband and I were sitting on our bed. The kids were asleep in their own rooms and my husband was settling in for some TV show streaming.

IMG_20150326_112807I said, “Can we talk before you start watching your show?” and I handed him the purple and white stick with the plus sign….

I blamed my husband and all the super shakes he’s been drinking…

Without revealing too much information, this should not have happened!

Whatever and however it happened 2015 just turned into another crazy year for us. Our family is growing. Our house is shrinking. Well not actually shrinking but it’s sure going to feel smaller in November with six people and a dog living here.

Next Christmas I will have a 19 year old and an infant in arms…. That just blows my mind right now!

I am looking at this as an opportunity. An opportunity to live my business and blog about the process. Sacred Pregnancy is an amazing program and I want to bring it to women and their families here in the Ottawa area. What better way to get the word out than to tell my own story.

Stay tuned for more details, it will be an amazing journey!!!

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It is done!

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IMG_20150105_012454Every day brings new insights into my world, expands my understanding of the energy fields around me and the ways in which I can influence them. One such experience is the moon ceremonies I have begun to incorporate into my life with the Full and New Moon. The first Full Moon of 2015 was January 5 and I was supposed to go to a group ceremony but due to the weather it was cancelled so I planned one for myself.

When I began attending the ceremonies last August, I had no idea how influential and powerful they would become in my life. That 45 minutes every two weeks or so refreshes me, re-awakens me and is an opportunity to reflect, reassess and change the path I am taking in my life or simply re-affirm the path I am on, perhaps with some slight modifications to my bearings and sign posts.

The act of going inward to reflect and then to physically write down the burdens I release and the energy I wish to welcome into my world has become an integral part of my life, one that when I miss a ceremony I feel the heaviness build up as anxiety and my path before me blurs a little around the edges. I begin to feel lost like I’m drifting off course.

The night of the Full Moon I lay in bed tossing about, I could feel the pull of the moon, it was whispering sweet promises to me in the quiet of the night, calling me to come out for a chat. It didn’t matter that it was 1 am and the rest of the house was asleep. Intuitively I knew it was something I had to do and it had to be done right then. I could lay in bed fighting the intuition or get up and take care of business.

So there I was sitting in my living room at 1 am lighting a sage bundle to cleanse myself and meditating on what I needed to release and what intentions I needed to set, often they are two sides of the same coin, for example I released my dependence on sugar and set my intention to eat healthier. It can also be the releasing of a negative event, perhaps words that were said that caused pain or an action or lack of action that caused a dissonance in one’s spirit. It’s good to meditate on why the words or event or lack causes the pain reaction within us but it must also be released to make room for healing.

In my limited understanding of the energy systems, I walked myself though a grounding where I visualize my energy literally going into the earth and then coming back up through my spine and out the top of my head so that I am connected to both the earth and the spiritual plane.

I took the opportunity to bathe myself in white healing light and to send out healing energy to the friends I knew in need of some extra good energy vibes as well as to my immediate family and friends regardless of needs because everyone can use some good juju!

Having cleansed and meditated on my releases and intentions, I wrote them down on pages torn from the journal I received in my gift bag in Paris at the Relationship Retreat. I wanted to add some of the good vibes from a place and time that meant so much to me.

IMG_20150105_011453IMG_20150105_011508~2Once I was happy with the grounding and energy work and I had finished writing down everything I felt called to release and the intentions I felt called to set for myself, I put my jacket and shoes on and ventured out into the frigid night air where I was met with a breathtaking sight. The storms had passed, the sky had cleared and through the ice laden branches of the trees the moon was visible in all its power and beauty. I caught my breath and took a few moments to simply inhale the energy descending  from the sky to bless my releases and intentions.

IMG_20150105_012405First I burned my releases, and in the wind and cold, they were more stubborn than usual. I often find the release paper slower to burn, and maybe it’s because often releasing is harder than setting our intentions for the future. I was more stubborn than the negative energies and they were soon ashes.

Before burning my intentions, I spoke each aloud, sending them up to the moon, amplifying their strength and then I set them on fire and let the smoke carry my words, my intentions up to the universe with endless gratitude.

IMG_20150105_012852Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And with a stomp of my foot to seal the ceremony, so mote it be! It is done!

I returned indoors to my warm living room and regained my meditative pose, reiterating my gratitude and closing off the earth and spirit plane connection by sending my energy back into the earth and closing my Chakras like a zipper.

Then I was at peace and so I returned to bed and fell asleep almost immediately, the power of the moon still shining overhead and now within my heart as well.

I Am Ready!

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14948052391_ddb365bc4d_oI am ready to be who I was always meant to be. To let go of the pain that holds me prisoner in my past, present and future. A prisoner to a story that I’ve relied on to define me, the story of being out of control of all the shitty things I’ve been through and letting those definitions be my calling card in my present and future. Those crazy, out of control, painful events happened to me, and yes they did shape the course of my life, but they are not who I am.

I am ready to shake the mantle of descriptors like depressed, lonely, uneducated, teen mom, loner and to open myself to immeasurable possibilities and beauty that exist in the world. To take the hands of those willing to teach, to support, to listen and to help me as I learn to trust my instincts and take these steps forward into a future life that will bring everything I need; abundance, love, family and blessings beyond count.

2014 brought me to the water and in 2015 I will drink deeply from the source and redefine my life. It will be an intense process of shedding an old weary skin and filling out the new skin as I learn to wear it comfortably.

What does that mean exactly? Well I’m not 100% sure yet, I’m still in the very early stages of the process but one thing I am sure of is 2014 brought me the teachers I need: Anni and Tim Daulter, Carrie, Gillian and Jennifer. In 2014 I began to learn a lot of release techniques, and I have been exploring paganism and Wiccan traditions, traditions that have always intrigued me but with my religious upbringing was slow to investigate. The biggest revelation I’ve had since delving into these traditions is that my religious beliefs are not at odds with the more earthy and grounded beliefs of the Pagans and Wiccans. I can find my niche and embrace the best of everything that works for me.

In 2015 I’m going to delve deeper into crystal energy, Reiki healing, psychic awareness, and learn more about the earth centered traditions so I can more thoroughly adopt them into my day-to-day living practices. And most importantly I am going to document this journey on my blog, so please join me as I embark on these new adventures in 2015.

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A Paint and Sparkles Christmas

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IMG_20141225_105458The last week leading up to Christmas was a mad dash to the finish line and we crossed it exhausted and feeling a little overwhelmed by everything. The presents were wrapped but without the fancy dressings I usually enjoy adding. The tree was up but only barely decorated in time. I forgot to pick up cookies for Santa and ran out of time to make some from scratch so Santa found chocolate kisses when he came to our house. It’s what I had in the pantry! And money, or lack thereof, was a source of anxiety and the reason I was clamouring in the last 36 hours leading up to the big day to pick up gifts and even though it didn’t feel like we bought very much, our bank account still says it was too much.

With all these external stressors weighing heavily into our Christmas equation, at times it was hard to embrace the spirit of the season, to let go of any expectations and let the flow of love carry us through because whether the gifts got wrapped or the tree decorated Christmas morning would dawn with excited children jumping on our bed and waking us up from our slumber all too early.

IMG_20141224_183521On Christmas Eve day I spent the afternoon making two kinds of dough ornaments with my children, a salt dough and a cinnamon dough. I found myself a couple of times trying to control the look of the ornaments but once I reminded myself it wasn’t about the look of the end product but the memories I was making with my children as we mixed and rolled and cut out shapes, the building anxiety dissipated. Once the dough was dry came the really fun part and the part my 4 yo loved the most, making a huge mess with 3-D paints as we decorated them. His ornaments were very thick with paint and took a long time to dry but he didn’t really care if they even ended up on the tree.

IMG_20141224_194350We also made ornaments out of wet noodles, glue and sparkles. The kids loved the sparkles and I may never get rid of all the sparkles in my dining room but they will serve as a reminder to our day of tree decorating from scratch. And then there were the pipe cleaners. I have discovered if you want to keep a 4 yo busy for a period of time, give them a bag of pipe cleaners and watch what they invent. It’s pretty awesome! There were a few twisted candy cane shapes and some angels, but most of what my 4 yo crafted that went on the tree was strange and beautiful and wonderful and while he claimed one was a spider, most were just organic pipe cleaner sculptures.

I could have hauled the box of ornaments out of storage but I just had no desire to unpack or more importantly pack it back up. I was looking for simple, for fun, for some memories to make 2014 memorable for reasons other than the gifts and in the simple act of finding the time to make a big mess with my children and let their crafty sides flaunt themselves in all their glory, I created a beautiful Christmas memory for my children and I that will hopefully be remembered long after they’ve forgotten which gifts were from Santa.

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Christmas morning arrived and there were gifts for each child to open under a tree decorated with all homemade ornaments and stockings filled with treats to enjoy and share. All that my husband and I had managed to pull together was enough and everyone was happy. When the stressors were stripped away, nothing was lacking, not the Santa picture we never made it to the mall for, not the huge pile of gifts, not the homemade cookies for Santa, not even all our traditional ornaments. A reminder that there are far more important traditions than surrounding ourselves with want.

When I finally posted the picture of our tree, fully decorated, which actually didn’t happen until December 28th, one of my friends gave me the best compliment ever: “It is so perfectly you”, and she was right. IMG_20141228_205425

http://www.education.com/activity/article/spaghetti-ornament/

http://www.funezcrafts.com/Easy-Angel-Crafts-Wire-Cross-Angel-Ornament.html

http://creativemeinspiredyou.com/heavenly-scented-cinnamon-ornaments/  (this is where I got the idea to decorate with 3-D paint, not the recipe for the cinnamon dough)

http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/11/no-cook-cinnamon-ornaments.html

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Dough-Ornament-Recipe/