Hidden Nutrition

Put your hand up in the air if you have a child who could survive off of bread and butter. Who consumes carbs like it’s candy. This explains my girls to a T. They will eat fruits, veggies we are working on but I’m always looking for ways to get more veggies in to their system.

My children see a chiropractor on a regular basis for regular adjustments to ensure optimal health so I’ve been looking for ways to support their gut health. Our Gut health and our brain health go hand in hand. There’s some really beneficial foods that can help create a strong resilient gut. Some of these things are “funny” and most kids are likely to eagerly look forward to consuming these. Ferments and active bacteria are a good way to build a positive gut flora. If I offered sauerkraut to my 5 year old there is 0 chance of her eating it. The same goes along with her eating a wide array of colours in terms of vegetables. So how do I make this happen?

Smoothies.

My girls go crazy for smoothies. I will throw in some frozen cauliflower, some grated carrots and some spinach with her favourites like strawberries and bananas.  She’s come so accustom to this kind of smoothie that when she makes her own now she always reaches for the spinach. These vegetables can easily be added to her smoothie and not effect the taste of it while still getting a good balance of fruits and veggies in to one meal. I’ll often give her one with her breakfast and send some with her to school so she is getting to chances each day to eat a lot of fruits and veggies.

But that’s not all. Fruits and veggies are a great smoothie mixture but there are some add ins you can add that really amp up your smoothie. One thing that we use is cottage cheese for protein, flax seeds for fibre, chia seeds for calcium. Once everything is blended up and portioned out for each girl I add in a teaspoon of culture coconut. Cultured coconut has a lot of live bacteria and several different strains. The measurement on the jar is per tablespoon however I start smaller to ease their tummies in to it. A bonus is that this product is made right here in Nova Scotia.

There’s lots of superfood smoothie recipes on line if you do a quick google search. It’s also fun to come up with your own to make it unique to your family’s preferences.

 

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Deb Crowe Women’s Self Care Conference

img_6747In a single word this conference was amazing. I mulled over whether or not I was going to spend the money and take the time to attend. I could think of a million reasons (excuses) why it just wouldn’t work. They were all legitimate, they were all real, but in my heart of hearts I knew I needed this for myself. That if I was to miss out on attending I would regret it. As I sat in the audience today I had so many moments that I just knew I was meant to be there.img_6748

Mayor Sandra Snow, Sherri and Carrie from Sherri and Carrie Real Estate, Helen Macdonald spoke their raw authentic truths before the main speaker of the day spoke her story. We also got a chance to do yoga, meditation, meet and connect with other like minded women.  Delicious snacks and lunch were provided along with many vendors who’s services complimented the message of this day.  The energy in the room was high and I can guarantee each woman went home ready to nurture that seed that was planted.img_6758

Self care is not selfish was one thing that was spoke over and over to us throughout the day.  Take a chance to be selfish so you can be selfless eventually. An important message for ladies to hear. An important message for the mothers in the room to process.

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When you’re on an airplane what is the one thing they tell you do before helping anyone else. Place your own oxygen mask on your face, then help the people next to you. How often as nurturers and care takers do we do this? Last weekend I had an a-ha moment  very much to point.  I was working, so was my husband. I had to do baseball registration, dance class and art class with the children. Nothing I’m not used to I often adventure our with 6 of my favourite friends. I spent the morning making sure that everyone was ready. Made sure everyone had a change of clothes. Then I packed snacks and water bottles and everything each of them would need for a busy morning out and about. 9:30 AM I backed out of my driveway, as I approached the stop sign I realized I didn’t have my water, my coffee and I had not yet even attempted breakfast. I had made sure everyone around me had their oxygen masks on but had failed to first put my own on.

This is going to be a very tricky shift for me. I’m going to have to be hyper aware of the choices and language I’m using when making decisions for myself. When I’m getting ready for my day I need to make sure I show up for myself, not just those who count on me. Without the proper rest, nutrition, and movement I’m not able to serve those around me to the optimal ability.  Without taking the time to organize and prepare my day and do the things I need to do to I’m sure for one day it won’t make much difference but if by doing that day in and day out something is going to suffer. Chances are that something is me.

I need to remind myself I do not need permission from someone else in order to take care of myself.  I need to remind myself that waiting for someone else to see me and offer me to take the time for me is going to leave me hanging in a lurch wondering why no one appreciates what I’m doing. The truth is, it’s not that I’m not appreciated, it’s the fact everyone has a different love language and I do not need anyone’s permission to take care of me. The only person that truly needs to matter to is me.

The conference today was the last in Deb Crowe’s self care conference series for this year. I’ll be following along with her on social media to see what other things she is working on and awaiting for her to return for another conference here in the future. The messages that her and the other speakers shared were so authentic in the journey and the success that comes from moving forward no matter what.  Create boundaries, cut out time for yourself,  put yourself at the table you serve.

“The only people who will be upset when you create boundaries are the ones who benefited from the lack of boundaries you had”

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Blocked

I’ve been sitting in the evenings with my laptop open and the best of intentions. However, I’ve not be able to put the letters to words, could not form the sentences. Writers block is something most people who write for fun or work often have. Times when there’s just a block. Maybe the ideas aren’t flowing freely, or the words just don’t come out right. That’s not the case with me. I’ve got lists of blog ideas, pictures waiting to put together with their explanations. For whatever reason there’s a deep seeded block that has been cast over.

After a phenomenal conference today on self care and self healing and taking care of yourself some of what is causing blinders started to somewhat expose itself.

One of the things I’m working through in my life is healing.  We all carry our baggage and if we can be mindful and honest we can unpack it and make more room for more beneficial experiences. When you think of trauma in the traditional sense I do not know that. My parents are married, both of them worked throughout my life, we lived comfortable. I was not exposed to violence, addiction or alcoholism.  That doesn’t mean that I. like anyone else, can say they made it through completely unscathed. Picking through the pieces and reasons why I do things that frustrate me most about myself means picking through pieces of 31 years of my life.  When it comes to healing and growing you have to crack everything that’s not working open and dissect it. It’s messy, and like I said to a friend earlier this week in terms of therapists and counselling, I have a growth mindset, I’m self aware, but I’m not there in my journey where I am ready to get really messy. To heal completely is to feel completely and I’m just not there yet. In a lot of ways I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. The way I see 31 years is not the same as the way my brother sees it, my uncle sees it, my mother sees it, my best friend sees it. We remember experiences from our own perspective. That’s why there’s variations to stories. We can all be in the same room at the same time and each person would take a different experience from it depending on where they are in their journey. That doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t make it wrong, but it’s something we have to maul over and accept. When we allow our ego to get out of the way and accept that someone sees something vastly different, that something burnt them when it was cooling your own soul, growth happens. Not everyone is there yet. and that’s ok.

I know that I don’t need to say yes to everyone anymore. I don’t have to stay in boxes that I no longer fit in to. I know that what someone thinks about me is NONE of my business. I know that someone responding negatively to my healing, growth and raw honesty says more about them then me. I know that it’s ok to set boundaries, but that is something I am still working on. The people pleasing, the unrealistic expectations I put on myself and the self limiting beliefs did not come over night and they will not be fixed as such either. Everything has its time and season.  I’m working through the surface, but the roots are twisted and deep. They intertwine through my soul and my spirit. Barbed with thorns that have protected my roses. Vines that have encased the better pieces of me waiting to bloom.  All of these pieces can be reflected on each relationship whether romantic or platonic I’ve been in. Bridges I’ve burned, ships I’ve sailed, hearts I’ve broke, and times I wouldn’t accept the heartbreak. All of these pieces are sharp and jagged but even as rocks on the shore edges can be rounded, softened and shaped. I’m working on that.

I can remember when I had my oldest and the late nights of crying in to the dark when those pieces that kept me safe and solid started to meld and mold. The things I thought were my armour were in fact not keeping me safe but holding me back. The unknown was scary and suffocating.  I wanted nurture and soft. I wanted attachment, I wanted to do things differently than I knew and a seed was planted. Here we are. Roots reach down in warm soils and it’s been a journey.

I’ve acknowledge the messy bits and I know it’s just about time to get my hands dirty but for the sake of those around me I think it’s something I’ll need to hash out on my own first. I do not blame, do not fault and do not point fingers.  But I do need to accept, own it and feel it to move forward. I’m thankful for the exceptional experience I had today surrounded by like minded women. Women that have been through the trenches and have trudged forward. It’s cracked open the shell of something I’ve been avoiding. Here at the tip of the chisel I’ve started to crush the block.

Book review “kids these days” – Dr. Jody Carrington

A few months ago one of my dearest friends from Alberta, Cam, told me I needed to look up Dr. Jody Carrington.  Cam told me I needed to watch Dr. Carrington’s video, that I would not regret it. She was right. That night I watched Dr. Jody’s live video and I’ve tuned in to most Sunday night lives since. When this book went on presale I couldn’t type in my payment information fast enough. I’ve since read it twice. Each time not being able to consume quick enough.

At first it’s easy to judge a book by its cover and think this book isn’t for you because you’re not an educator or don’t work in some aspect in Education. I find myself quoting this book on a regular basis in daily conversations in regard to children in my life, and people in my life in general.  Although yes, Dr. Carrington does promote her amazing program this book is relatable for just about anyone. I was not raised in traumatic environment but I found myself relating to it in ways of growing and changing in my personal life. As a mother this book really gave me delicious bites of importance in the power of connection, foundation and proximity. Dr. Jody is extremely, extremely, brilliant in the realm of child development, and child healing processes but this book is so much more than that.

As a mother reading this book made me re think the way I approach and think I should be raising my children. Remembering daily to take off my amour and be conscious of the fact we don’t necessarily need more space in order to be happy within our family. That proximity and a small home may be my own children’s advantage in terms of children these days.

Throughout this book you will be hit with truth bombs, things that will make you read it, and re read and re read piece by pieec so you can really let the message sink in. Some of these truth bombs are simple shifts in the way we think and the tone we use when we speak to ourselves. To remember to take ourselves, the change makers, as important pieces of each child’s life. The things I really liked were the direct quotes from other change makers, from psychologists and theorists who are experts in the field of child development. Not only does she quote and refer to books she’s found helpful in this realm she includes a list of beneficial resources she’s used throughout her book in the end pages of her book.

Dr. Jody keeps it real. I can hear her narrating this book in my head each time I’ve read it. The bolded words and quotes made sure you knew the key components of what she was trying to get across to the reader. At the end of each chapter there is a game plan highlight reel. This basically summarizes and reiterates the key learning pieces in each chapter. I found these especially helpful because it really helped me bite in to each key piece and digest it piece by piece. There are so many exceptional quotes, acronyms, words to live by throughout this book I caught myself saying what a great idea for a tattoo, especially her acronym for the step by step plan to have each member of your team be a part of.

Follow Dr. Jody Carrington on Facebook and Instagram if you’re not already. She’s currently travelling all over Western Canada spreading her message and amping up educators to really know the power of the magic they hold. I’ve been crossing my fingers and toes it won’t be too much longer before she comes East to speak. Her book is available online via her website and in Chapters stores in Alberta. I’ve messaged her team and it is there hope that they’ll be distributing across Canada soon as well. If you can’t wait for that grab a couple friends who you can split shipping with.

Dr. Jody Carrington is-equal parts factual, relatable and honest. She gives all the research based facts in a simplistic enough way that you can clearly relate to the message while also learning beneficial information. She gives it to you straight. If you were a kid, you have kids or work with kids this book is for you.

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Learn & Lean

I’ve seen something circulating lately that says something like “if you see someone struggling don’t tell them to reach out, or tell them you’re there for them, just help, just show up, do something “. It really resonated with me.

As deep as my roots it goes back generations to be fiercely independent. A family of problem solvers and do it yourselfers and fixer uppers. Much to the frustration of my father (the one who is responsible for my inheritance, sorry dad) my husband and most other people in my life this trait means I’m most likely to take the hard way, tricky way, the do it myself way. I’m not likely to reach out. It’s very much the reason why I struggle with the weight of anxiety and depression nearly 2 years before reaching out for help. I found ways to manage, to make my way through.

I’ve learned since having children some times you have to lean in a little. I eat my own words because I’m forever telling my friends to do just this, but I’m terrible at it. Leaning in a little gives you just enough room to take a deep breath, re center and go back at the non stop life that is being a mom. A micro manager. Learning to lean means learning to expose a certain sense of vulnerability which I’ve never been good at. Once I attempted to go to a psychic and she even told me she couldn’t really read me because I shut myself off. I’ve spent years building walls and I’ve been spending years breaking them down. But I’ve learned to lean in ways I still feel secure and I can feel as if I’m not bothering anyone.

I’ve worked on communication, self awareness and self limiting beliefs to allow myself the space to lighten the load. It’s an arduous journey but I continue to march forward. So when this meme or quote starting circling I really liked it. When I’ve said to you what I’ve needed, what I’m feeling in my soul is missing even in a passing way it’s taken great courage and a lot of work to do so. If I’ve said these things and they don’t come received I find it frustrating. If you’ve offered something and don’t follow through the person isn’t going to have a solid foundation to lean in. If a person has leaned in and been left to sway in the wind the chances are they’re not going to lean in. It takes a lot for some people to lean and so for a lot of people they won’t lean in. Don’t expect a healing person to muster the energy to come to you and ask if what they need is evident. Even if they really want it they can’t always find the air to breath the request. If something or someone is important to you do them a solid and meet them where they are. Do the things you know they need, help them in ways they’ve asked for help. If you’ve offered your time, space, energy, assistance, whatever it may be then follow through. Make your offer authentic, I can guarantee you a person who is faltering will not come back to the person that has offered to help and ask for that help. They will walk away discouraged and disappointed for exposing their vulnerability and being met with unmet promises. They’ll lean not to lean in to you, they’ll withdrawl to find their own strength, yet again. If you wait for them to come to you, or you watch them struggle waiting for them to ask when they’ve identified their needs they’re not going to accept your help. Accepting help from someone who waits until you ask or waits to see you struggle is a place where you expectations feel unmet and resentment festers and once it does it takes a lot to reel it in. Add in the other mental load the person carries, other struggles they have, the lists they carry they aren’t too likely to see that person as a solid in their circle. If I need your help, if I’ve communicated what I need, even once I will not ask you to help me again. Unfortunately Leaning in isn’t easy for me, if I lean in and I’m left to solidify my stumble I’ll just do it myself.

Expectation is the root of most evil and when you’ve come to expect the least from the ones who you need it from the most you’ll gradually start to trim away the people who aren’t really there to lift you higher. If not, you should. The people who love you the most are the ones who are supposed to have your back to your face and behind your back. If that’s not the kind of circle you have, how can you make more room in your foundation for people that will be your bottom hands. As Dr. Jody says the rest don’t score. Lean in. Find the faults in your grounding and build the best of you. Lean in, check on your strong friends, check on that friend who’s always smoothing the wrinkles for everyone else. Hold the hand of the fixers and the doers. They may not know they need you. They may not know how to set their load down and allow someone else to carry. We’ve stepped so far away from community as a society that we often forget that it is not our job to leave others hanging in the balance. We’re tapped in and plugged in but we are more disconnected than we’ve ever been before.  Reach out, lean in, learn to be vulnerable, learn to crack open someone else’s vulnerability. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Losing to Gaining

As I continue to walk toward my goals of weight loss this year after having my third babe I have a lot of goals and expectations for myself. I’ve not lost what I wanted as quickly as I thought. I’ve struggled with nutrition. I’ve slacked off on exercise. I’ve beat myself up thinking to myself if you wanted this you’d do it. The guilt weighing heavy on my shoulders. What I realized the biggest piece to this whole puzzle was my mind.

The inches, the numbers, the calories, the rings on my watch they all don’t move unless my mind is strong. Strength in my thoughts, my beliefs and the way I communicate with myself is the only way to strengthen my legs, my arms, my core. To melt away inches, and see numbers shift. It all starts with a greater shift than the one you can see physically.

You see when I didn’t have children I often tore my body apart, it’s something a lot of us commonly do. We nit pick at flaws that are only seen by us. The reason these flaws are seen by us and not those that see us most is because the flaw does not come from a materialistic feature, it comes from our mind. The cracks in our foundation are not seen on the surface. The negative thoughts we feed our soul our self limiting beliefs we’ve grown, nurtured, and came to commonly believe are deep in our soul. Deep in our mental health. It is not until we exercise that muscle of powerful thinking, let go of those limiting beliefs, and start to fuel our mind with positivity that the rest of it falls in place.

It stems from our brain and it works its way down our spine, we build our backbone, we swallow it in our core and it becomes a seed planted in our soul. When that seed is able to bloom, blossom and thrive that is when the chips don’t score. The cracks break away to show a gem inside the rock that is encased around it.

I’ve been working on this and keeping myself in check with what does losing those inches really mean. A smaller number on the scale what does that really mean. What is the common denominator in the equation?

My body is never going to look the way I see it in my head, in pictures from the past. I’ve carried four babies, I’ve birthed three. My body, this body has held me upright when my mind was broken and anxiety tried to break me. This body that carried four babies, carries three babies flawlessly up stairs, down trails, in rocking chairs when they just need me.  I can do tasks that require two free hands,one handed while holding one or two babes at the same time.  When I think of all the things I can’t, all the things I won’t anymore I shift my thinking to all the things I CAN. All the things I will with this body, just as it is right now. I will be someone’s solid rock, a foundation of ages. Even if I squish and jiggle in places I didn’t know capable.

Back to that common denominator. In the big scheme of losing weight, all it takes to get there what is the one thing I gain from losing. It is health. By losing all the self limiting and self loathing, the self destruction I stand to gain health. Within this shift, there is focus. Sure smaller numbers are great, and smaller clothes fit more comfortably but the real reason why those matter is not just superficial it’s beneficial. Everyone can stand to be healthy.

With this focus, reiterating to myself time and time again that there is no bad food, there is no more guilt trips I’m more motivated to stay on track. It does not mean deprivation and sitting out while my family eats treats. After all I am raising girls who I want to have a positive relationship with themselves and food. It means everything in moderation. It means instead of focusing on what I can’t have I focus on what I can give to my body to keep it healthy and happy.

I’ve stopped counting calories, I’ve started counting colours. Where can I get nourish. What foods can I find that are going to fuel my body right down to the marrow in my bones so I’m able to keep up with my girls today, tomorrow and 10 years from now. The short term pay off and high of the mindless and not intentional eating is great but what does it give my body. At the end of the day, doing what is ultimately good for my body is bigger and better than all the things I’ve been focusing on losing.

Wading in the deep end

Wading beside my husband I notice he’s edging further and further from the shore. I follow in eager pursuit. He leaves home every day, he carries very little mental load. He’s successful, hard working, the definition of grit. I want to join him. He’s much taller then me. I decide to match him stride for stride. Then he stops, he turns to shore. But I can’t. I’m screaming at him to help me, I scream at him how I cannot do it all on my own. I’m flailing with red hot anger. I’m cursing the ground he walks on. And effortlessly he walks to shore. He nonchalantly says “just put your feet down, you’re fine”. But I cannot put my feet down. I am not fine. I flail and flail until my body decides it’s had enough. I become buoyant, one with the water. Complacent in the very thing I fought against. Nothing matters. It’s all good. I cannot move from this spot. I cannot stop my mind from racing to resentment. I cannot get back to shore. But I do not care. So my husband drags me in again, with the rope that’s carefully tied to my feet for moments like this. We speak nothing of it. We go home. The day is done.
The next day I see my best friend. I come to her seeking refuge. From the weight that’s hanging over me from yesterday. My mind won’t stop hashing it over and over. She’s got 4 kids, an ex husband and a new husband. She’ll understand it. She’ll see that something is aloof and she’ll set me straight. She starts talking about her new husband. She starts really giving me the gears about how awful he is, lazy and under appreciative. I sigh a sense of relief. Misery loves company, I decide now is the time to finally let go of the weight from yesterday. I pour my heart out. She won’t tell me to put my feet down, she’ll be empathetic and understand the water is over my head. I let it all out. I dump out my deepest worry. This is the person who loves me and has stood by me always. Surely she’ll understand and we can move forward. She says “you’re so negative, I’m going to have to smudge this place when you leave. You’re clumsy and bad joo joo”. Then she laughs it off and continues talking about her self. Oblivious to the fact that she’s walking the talk she just set me ablaze for. I tell her I have to go. I walk out. Ready go home. But the words racing in my head become spewing hurricanes of how terrible I am, how stupid I was to think someone would actually agree with me. How crazy I am. Maybe I have lost my mind.
My husband takes me back to the water. Hell bent on living our normal life. Not phased by the protest in my voice. The hesitation. The bags I have packed and ready to run. Except today is different. I wade a little further and it becomes harder for him to pull me to shore because of the weight I carry from the conversation from the previous day. My head becomes a swirling whirlpool. Yet I still become stagnant with exhaustion. I’m buoyant but I’m weighted. Before my weight finally anchors the wind sweeps me further from shore.
And in and out and in and out. Day over and over again we do this. Toxic people, worried mind, well meaning family, deep water, stronger wind, more weight. Fraying lines that connect me to reality. The voice that confidently boomed for help becomes silent. Everything hurts. So tired. So worried. So careless, so over thinking. Over. And over. And over.
Until one day, so far away from shore now that blowing away has become “normal”. A boat sails by. Aboard is the images of the things that matter most. You see, I’ve never wanted to drown, I just wanted to be far enough from shore that my family would stop seeking me to rescue. But seeing this boat makes me realize I’m not the only one who is suffering there’s so much left at the picnic that I need to be a part of. In a hoarse voice, a frail spirit I say. “Enough”
Of course saying enough isn’t enough. I’ve carried this weight for a while. I ask the man on the boat for help. He carefully cuts the weighted words that keep me docked so far from shore. I can feel my mind start to shift. It’s still racing, but without the weight there is less worry that I might completely drown. Without the careless mind I realize I’ve known how to swim all along. The same as time took me away from shore I know it’ll take time to swim back in but slowly I make my way there. Some days I feel as if perhaps I’m always going to be treading water, I can see the shore but can’t quite reach.
I continue to cut the ties that tear the line connecting me to those who love me most. I ditch the toxic friends, I fuel my body with all the proper foods. I prioritize sleep. Instead of getting lost in my head I search and yearn for positive health. I’ve even begun holding my husbands hand at the waters edge. I no longer feel the heavy chains that used to surround me and squeeze out all my air. I no longer fear the disorganization. I have strategies to help me when I feel as if the water is just too deep. But everything that got me here has made a mess of everything that came before. Some days the mess sends me far from shore, some days the mess doesn’t matter. I’m focused. I’m working through the quick sand. Until one day the sand is like flakes of the dessert and I realize I really feel like me. Really, really feel like me. I find joy in joyous moments again. I feel thankful, appreciative. My heart has grown by 5 sizes. I’ve over come the storm, the darkness, the turning tide, the tsunami.
I’ve over overcome. Does this mean I’ll never face the storm again. No, but I’ve got tools and tricks and all the right people who will pull me to shore.
In 2015, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My daughter was almost 2 years old and I had been suffering for much of those two years. I pulled myself further and further away from my family. Never did I feel I wanted to die but I wanted to be far enough away I would no longer be a burden. I was angry, easily agitated. Exhausted. Worried about everything but not caring about anything. It was a chore to get out of bed, to eat. To function. I did not seek help. I did not understand why I always felt the way I did. I was too scared to admit that I was failing because I didn’t want to lose my daughter. I didn’t know what would happen to me if I admitted that I was not perfect. Until one clear day, my mind worked well enough to realize that I was really missing out on so much. I made an appointment with my doctor and I finally said “This dark cloud is bigger then me, and I’m ready to dance in the rain”. I was put on a low dose of an anti anxiety medication. Sent a referral to mental health and started walking forward. Dancing my way out of the storm. I’ve seen naturopaths, to help with things that were out of balance that could be contributing. I go to a chiropractor,for acupuncture and a massage therapist on a regular basis. They’re all huge things that make a difference in my overall well being. If you’re reading this and thinking my husband sounds awful, please don’t. My husband only ever wanted what was best for me. He stood beside me and stands beside me every day. He may not have known how to fix it for me. He knew me well enough to know I’m headstrong and fiercely independent saying anything wouldn’t have been any help. And I’m sure he probably did try to tell me, I probably was not ready to listen. As hard as those two years were for me, I’m sure they were just as hard for him. It’s been a journey. I really hope everyone finds someone to love them when they’re at their lowest darkest moment like the people I’ve been blessed to have and keep in my circle. The best part of the storm? It blew away all friends who were toxic and selfish and not really friends at all. Life has been so much better.
In the last 3 years as I’ve been overcoming and finding wellness there’s been really good days and really crappy days. There’s been a lot of days where I’ve dealt with acceptance of the change in who I am. Gone is the crazy, outgoing, up for Anything girl. It was hard but I was sure the person in pictures of the past would always remain unrecognizable to me. But, she’s not anymore. I’ve found something I’m passionate about and mixed it with my previous career to start a fire of excitement and happiness within my soul. Running my own business teaching and working with children I have fun every day love learning more and more. I’ve allowed myself grace and time. I finally can look at pictures and say that girl is me!
Mental illness does not discriminate. It is not something that can be paid off or bought away. It catches you in its grip and it tosses you out for the sharks. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be the person you once were. It just means you may be a different version. I’ve been wide open about my struggles since I started walking toward wellness. I’ll continue to get up on my soap box and preach. Let’s not shy away from the messy conversations that are hard and heavy. Let’s talk.

Worldly Possessions

I am a mama. That’s basically the thing I identify myself as these days. First and foremost I am a mama. I’m also a wife, sister, daughter, friend and childcare provider among other things. The thing that consumes my being, my waking, sleeping, breathing hours is mama. There is my oldest Quinn and my youngest Cooper. I’m also expecting a third girl this fall to add to the spice in this mix.
Cooper never lets me forget I am mama. She spends most of her day calling for me even when I’m sitting beside her. Reaching for me if I walk away from arms length and finding me no matter where I try to hide. That’s the thing with being mama, it doesn’t take a moments pause. Even when you really need it. I am her whole world. That’s heavy. Her whole world weighs on my shoulders. Honestly, it’s been a bit too much to carry the last little while. That is until this past weekend when I finally decided I needed to take time to be alone.
Alone I sat in reflection. Reflecting on choices, chances, patience, love. Taking time to replenish my cup so I’m able to give the best of me back to these littles who love me as their whole world. Reflecting on this summer and the changes that are coming our way. That’s when it hit me. Changes.
Quinn goes to school this fall. We have four weeks left where it’s going to be her and I at home. Then she won’t be here daily anymore. Of course I’ve said how exciting this change is and how we’re both going to be needing this break apart and it’s true. Time spent apart is great. But in four weeks her world explodes. She meets teachers, friends, classmates. She will no longer just be mine. I will share her with this world she’s so determined to master and become a part of. For four more weeks I am her world and then I no longer wear that spotlight and that is heavy. Beautiful and exhilarating, but heavy. Thinking of this change makes me realize how lucky I am to be the world to these humans. Even when it all becomes too much it is a job not to be taken lightly. They’re learning and leaning and trying and experiencing through my lead. No pressure. It can be easy to be consumed with guilt at the thought of slip ups and mishaps. Short fuses and sharp words sometimes happen. We’re all human. We all need to take the time to reflect. Lean in to the universe and let it hold us weightless while we think about who we are in this whole big world. If you wear this title of mama, let me tell you, we all see you. All the other mamas around, we see you. Loving and learning and growing this tiny humans while all the while growing and learning to love yourself and understand who you are in this role. Give yourself the grace to breath and bend. Give yourself the space to be real and fall and breath if you need to. You’ve only got so long before the world opens up and the weight you wear readjusts and becomes just a little lighter. We’re all in the same shoes as you not sure what we’re doing but sure we are screwing it up. I’m here to tell you, you’re not. The best person to love your littles is you. You know the way they like their toast, the snack they need right before bed, how they like their hair to fall on their head. All of those little finite details, you mama, you’re the only one who knows them inside and out. These sweet things, they’re your worldly possessions. Take the time to refill your cup and appreciate who you are. You’re so much more than the weight you carry. Thank yourself mama, for all you do every single day.

Waltz

Another from my old blog of random writing
She dances with the devil, across the hardwood floor, their waltz creates a heat like I’ve never felt before. Her shoes are made of leather and they keep time to the beat, legend has it if you’re not careful she’ll hypnotize you with her feet. And they’re spinning round, round and round, while the fiddle goes faster and the banjo picks up it sound, round and round they go never slowing down. The Devil he wears a smile, it’s frozen on his face, as he leads her on the dance floor I can feel my heart begin to race. I’m hot under the collar, my hands they start to sweat, I can feel the heat taking over, all cards on the table, I’m folding all my bets. The one two of their toes creates a thunder, and their waltz creates the wind, it’s the perfect storm to get swept in to and before you know it you’re never seen again. If you see her dancing with the devil, if you see that smile upon his face, you better run like hell my friend, run like hell and never make a mention of this place.

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