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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Holding Space

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10453309_10152753801500572_7444336559685040366_nIt was a life-altering experience.

For four days I had nothing to do but take care of myself. My meals were prepared for me. There was very little housecleaning to do. No toys to pick up. No mountains of laundry to wash. My only responsibility was learning and connecting with my soul and heart.

At first it was really hard, I mean REALLY HARD. Even with coming back to my writing this year the moments of connection I had experienced were fragmented, disrupted and often overwhelmed by a world of negativity. For four days I could no longer hide behind my excuses. I was surrounded by a group of women all there to do their own soul-searching and together we supported each other as we faced our pain, our regrets, our demons. They took many different shapes and sizes but there was no competition to out do each other or downplay anyone’s journey. We all just accepted that each of us were facing what we needed to in that space and so we honoured the journeys, held space for the stories and allowed each women to process what they were ready to process and to do so in their own way. For many of us I think that was a first.

For me I know it was a first.

To be able to talk about my pain, past and present, without being shamed, tuned out, ignored or downplayed was an incredible gift and to receive that gift from virtual strangers was even more incredible. I had never met any of these women before sharing that crazy house with them for four days and I now consider them my tribe, my safe place to find refuge when my world is turning upside down and inside out.

My plan is to take these moments of connection out to others who like me are desperately searching for them. To create circles of women supporting women without shame. To be able to hold space for the incredible amount of pain in this world that just wants to be seen and heard. And through rituals and cleansing practices support each other to let go, to accept ourselves, our stories, and realize our worth as a person, as a human being living on this planet connected to everything and everyone.

If the world could collectively exhale its burden of pain and anger, we might find peace. It starts with acknowledgment and a willingness to sit in circle with each other and hear each others stories. To hold space for every individual person to feel the peace that comes from the release of our pain and when we release our pain there is more room for love. If more people experience that life-altering love peace stands a chance, barriers will come down and we will see each other as the connected people we are.

Anni Daulter has created a sacred living movement with the ability to change our world. I am deeply honoured to have spent those four days with her, learning from her amazing zest for life and love and to now take her teachings back to my small corner of the world and help spread that love a little further.

https://www.facebook.com/SacredPregnancy

http://www.sacredpregnancy.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sacred-Pregnancy-Ottawa/492137364217191

I have so much more to write about my experiences on this retreat but these are the first real words I’ve put to paper since I got home. There will be more posts to come with more details about the specific experiences and my hopes and dreams for my personal future as well as details about how I intend to bring this movement to my community. Stay tuned.

 

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BUT….

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4234598818_5d7773c11e_oWhy don’t you say “I love you” anymore?

Are the words too heavy?

Too scary to say

when there’s too much anger inside?

When what you really want to say is

“I love you but….”

But, three letters, so powerful,

too powerful,

more powerful than love’s four letters.

BUT I want you to change.

BUT I want you to let go of your oldest child.

BUT you need to change or

I won’t love you anymore.

BUT you are too weak.

BUT your ideas are too strange,

I don’t understand them.

BUT I can’t follow where you are going.

BUT I can’t let you go where you want to go.

BUT you give too much,

you must give less,

think of us (me?) first.

BUT love is not enough.

Why can’t love be enough?

Why can’t love’s four letters

be stronger than but’s three?

Where’s faith? Where’s hope?

Is BUT stronger than those too?

How can that be…

I’m searching for an answer.

I want to hear the words.

I want to say the words

without the silencing effect

of those powerful three letters

Because you’re not good enough

Until you change

To be loved unconditionally.

That’s what BUT means.

Can you, can I, can we

let go of that word

to accept, to embrace,

to nurture what is

instead of what we want

or wish could be?

Feeding my Soul

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2683676764_8ed0b79dbe_bFriday I was in my element! I could cook without worrying about the mess. The party wasn’t at my house. I was just providing the food. So I cooked!

I planned my menu, shopped for missing ingredients, and then concocted, mixed, rolled and poured until I had enough food to feed a small army.

I always make too much.

I go above and beyond because I love to share my love of food as well as my ability to feed people well. Friday I got to do just that.

I made veggie squares, salami rolls, roasted pineapple wrapped in bacon, humus, a four layer dip, cauliflower pizza with marinara sauce, and the pièce de résistance, the chocolate birthday cake, a two layer slwpid-20140523_182940.jpgab cake with Oreo cream cheese icing sandwiched between the two layers which I then iced in milk chocolate icing with Oreo crumbs sprinkled on top. Mmmmm good!

Everything was good!

Oh I dream of a huge kitchen with space to experiment, with elbow room to roll, pound, mix, shape and create food to feed and entertain the souls of my friends and family. Room to make a mess and actually enjoy the mess, instead of feeling like I’m fighting for every inch of usable counter space.

I’ve had friends over on a spur of the moment invitation for brunch and whipped up a feast of waffles, muffins, bacon and sausages.

I love feeding people, and I’m always trying new ideas, experimenting, and creating amazing food to share. The process is inherently artistic as you are taking basics like flour and eggs and turning them into something soul inspiring.

I came home Friday night and I was still in my artistic mode, still feeling incredibly inspired so I pulled out my new beads and sat and played with them, stringing different beads together until I created something beautiful, a flower.

20140526_183906It’s all about creating beauty.

Beauty as food, as a beaded flower, as a poem, and even as the art of loving someone else. Touching them, awakening them, vibrating them. All of this is fuelled from the same creative need to fill the soul with beauty, to connect with a world on a level that is more than trudging through life and making do. It’s about stopping to hear your heart beat, to listen, really listen, to the whispers of your soul and let it free to create something beautiful.

This weekend I did all this and more. My soul stretched its wings and created food, art, words and love. Then I released my creations into the world to connect with the souls of others. This is how life should be lived, how my life should be lived. Sharing, giving, opening up, creating, loving…. If I can base my life on those principles I will find the happiness I am looking for, longing for….