Goodbye (for now)….

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Tired of feeling lost, tired of letting go.
Tear the whole world down, tear the whole world down.
Tired of wasted breath, tired of nothing left.
Tear the whole world down, tear the whole world down.
Failure.
Breaking Benjamin, Failure (March 2015)

I had a really hot shower this afternoon and as I sat there letting the hot water scald my skin and the loud, angry music envelope me, I knew I was breaking and broken. My body resonated on the same frequency as the music as if it felt my pain and my anger deep down inside. I realized I need to release that anger but I need to change direction to do that and find a different outlet.

When I started this blog I had hoped it would be a cathartic experience to let everything out but it has become the shackles to my pen. So much of what I need to say I can’t even say on here because I might offend or hurt someone’s feelings, and often someone I care deeply about and don’t want to hurt but the repercussions of not letting out the anger and frustration is it is devouring me alive. I need a safer place. A place without censorship, without judgment. This isn’t it.

I know I could write just for me in a journal but having this blog here felt suffocating like every word that went through my head was being filtered through a lens of whether it was publishable or not, and lately most of my words are not!  So for now I am taking a break. I am finding a more private outlet where I can write without censoring myself but still have a few select people that I trust wholeheartedly to hold space for my breaking and rebuilding. I may or may not be back on this specific blog. Truthfully I don’t have any idea what my rebuild will look like as I must burn myself completely to the ground as a forest fire destroys a forest to make way for new stronger growth. Just be assured in some capacity I will be back.

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Thank you to those who have read my words, who have shared my words, who have taken the time to comment and to be a part of this blog as I tested the waters of this venture. It has taught me a great deal, and I have no regrets. It’s just time to say goodbye, for now….

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Introspection and Retrospection

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2456241182_d6a41cc0e7_oWhy did I go quiet last year? I had only just begun to find my words again after a long painful hiatus so why did I put my pen down and stop writing?

The words were in my head but I feared the power I could give them if I gave them substance. I still do. All the good “stuff” I could have focused on with my pregnancy was overwhelmed by the swirling craziness around me: my oldest child’s mental health issues, our precarious financial situation, the chaos of my house and even my own struggles with facing starting motherhood all over again when I was just beginning to find my own feet and carve my own path in the world.

I had all these plans at the beginning of 2015. More writing, lots more writing about Sacred Pregnancy and many other sacred endeavours, plus courses I would attend and complete with the end result being the starting of my business so that I could contribute to the financial stability of my family and our household.

By March most of those plans were falling a part and I was trying to pick up the pieces and figure out how to put the puzzle back together again without any idea of what it was supposed to look like.

I remember a day in late March about a week or so after the positive pregnancy test, I was crying in the kitchen, unable to stand up for the sheer weight of the anger, frustration and helplessness I felt due to the poor choices of my oldest child and the impact they had on the whole family, as well as my own overwhelming guilt for not being able to help my son more.

I remember wanting my mother but we hadn’t told the family about the pregnancy yet because my brother and his wife we’re due any day with their second child and we did not want to overshadow their happy time with our own news. So I sat there in the kitchen, shaking, alone and I reached out to my Reiki healer friend and my Sacred Sisters via Facebook messenger. They talked me through it and held space for me to just be angry, sad and hurt. They held space for my guilt and my pain.

But I couldn’t write about any of it.

Even after the news of our pregnancy went public, these were not words I could share with the world for a couple of reasons. My oldest child is 19, (18 at the time of these events) and many people who read this blog know him. He has enough issues stacked against him that releasing any more details of his struggles with gaming addiction was not in his best interest, which is why I continue to be deliberately vague when discussing specifics of what actually happened. It is not my story to tell. Yes, as his mother, I have a big part in his story but the main story is his and treading that oh so thin line that loops and curves and often gets tangled up with my own story was near impossible so my pen went silent. I’m still working out the parameters of what I will and won’t say and they could change every time I pick up my pen.

6045365685_3ceb314223_oIntrospection and retrospection have and are key components of my starting to write again. It’s been a year since the positive pregnancy test, a year since I sat paralyzed on my kitchen floor having no idea how to process the events and the emotions that were coming up. I felt like a complete failure as a mom and yet I was about to become a mom again for the fourth time. I felt like I did not deserve to be a mom again and yet the child that was growing within me was counting on me to provide them with everything they needed. How could I do that when I was failing so badly as a parent of the children I already had?

Those are pretty big and polar emotions for anyone let alone a hormonally compromised mother to digest. I was very lost and maybe that’s when I should have turned to my words for comfort and clarity but I was terrified of what my words might say as I worked through the anger so it was safer to put the pen down and do what I had taught myself to do over many years of extensive practicing, bottle it up, push it down and show the world a brave face.

But I was not brave.

Brave would have been facing my pain and anger and being honest about my feelings. I put my pen down because I was scared. I took the easy way out and shut down. I stopped working to take my wall down and instead worked to reinforce it. I had no idea how to process all the emotions so I just didn’t, and here I find myself a year later, with a 4.5 month old child and a solid brick wall built around me keeping everyone out, almost back where I started before I began the work of taking the wall down and freeing myself from its confines.

The difference is this time I know the path forward and what I need to do, and part of that path involves picking up my pen again and letting the words flow, working through the hard, painful emotions and facing some difficult truths about myself and my world and everything that happened in 2015. It’s time to start chiseling away at my wall again and to give myself permission to break free of it and find my way out of its shadow so I can follow my dreams and write my words and learn my truths.

It won’t be easy but it is time.

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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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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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I Feel Pregnant…

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The Beauty Of Pregnancy

I am not actually pregnant but I have been experiencing sensations as if there is something going on within my body akin to the process of growing new life.

I have been sitting with the feelings trying to hear the messages, decipher the tenderness of my breasts and delve into the warmth of my womb to investigate the percolatings, what it is that is evolving and how it wants to change my world.

3572990050_345a844585_oIt is a knot, a knot comprised of the DNA of all my thoughts, my investigations, my dreams, my experiences of the last year coming together, entwining in their awesomeness to show me my future but not quite coalesced. It’s still looking for form and shape, right now it is just raw DNA material, as an embryo at conception.

It’s questions but not quite answers. It’s paint and canvas but not yet a painting. It’s threads and fabric but not a finished piece. The building blocks are there, now I must figure out the finished piece and how I will birth it into the world. I’ve been given the tools, the people, the foundation, the love I need to blossom but only I can bear down and bring the life forward.

3468330509_db1ded1c1b_oI go in-ward, I feel the pulsing energy looking for form. The ideas and memories finding each other, connecting the dots and duplicating like the cells of an embryo growing into a fetus, burrowing down, implanting in my soul, nourished by my enthusiasm, my words, my hopes.

But there is also fear. There is holding back. There is doubt. I am learning my worth and slowly believing in my abilities, letting go of my perceptions of myself as unworthy, and developing new behaviours that when the darkness of doubt knocks on my soul’s door, I can look it in the eyes and claim my worth, my value to this world, and not let any more darkness in.

Where the darkness has already taken up residency, I am serving eviction notices. There is resistance, 20 years of pain, shame and anger does not simply pack its bags and move on. Those emotions are too comfortably enmeshed into the fabric of my soul, they believe they’ve earned the right to live there and they are filing appeals to my eviction notices and organizing demonstrations with picket signs “We will not go!”, but I say “Yes, you are. Be gone!”

I am re-writing my story, finding a new narrative, my voice has power, people are listening, hearing, seeing me, taking notice.

3971578022_fe5fd2475a_oThe fetus nourishes and grows on that evolving power and grace. It is calling to me the people and resources I need. In the last year I have come so far from the beginning tentative steps into the ways of the older religions and traditions. Last New Year’s Eve I included a smudging ceremony as part of our evening with friends, a way to cleanse the negativity of 2013 and open ourselves to the possibilities of 2014, and now a year later those ways have become an integral part of my path and I’m thirsty to learn more.

I’m not ready to label myself pagan or Wicca or whatever variance thereof I am drawn to. There is not enough that I really understand yet, but names come with birth and so 2015 is all about birthing this energy growing within me, it’s about giving this embryo bones, a heartbeat, lungs and all its senses to hear, feel, touch, smell and taste with. And, of course, a name….

As this child gets stronger, the negative gunk will have no choice but to leave. I will finish re-writing my narratives and finally leave the past in the past. The child will grow, will organize itself into the finished work of art, and will let herself be known and seen, her limbs pushing against my insides as she stretches, flexes and expands, filling every cell of my body with her newness, her power, her beauty.

When she is ready to be born, she will become me and I will become her and we will become one, ready to take on the world.

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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.