Build a Bridge

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I recently had an opportunity to go on retreat with myself. I escaped for a few days from my daily grind in order to let go of some internal baggage and hopefully fall a little bit in love with myself. I quickly honed in and realised that I am no longer interested in ripping open old wounds, reliving bad moments of my past or bringing up a lot of garbage that has weighed me down, only to wallow in it. I am okay doing all of that as long as I see it, identify, learn, and move on. I want to Build a Bridge and get over it.

This is crucial. This is liberating. I am open to an exorcism if I know I have some cleansing and cleaning power at the ready.

I am fortunate. I have a great therapist. I have a wonderful husband and children. Everyone is on my team, encouraging me to keep the celebration of myself going…it took a lot to get to this place , but I am proud I am here.

Since my personal retreat, I have experienced a couple of potential stress hurricanes. I was somewhat surprised with my ability to quickly access a place of calm openness and a powerful commitment to my own limitations. There is strength in saying I am at my capacity. It helps you move forward without picking up more than you can handle. I was able to listen to a troubled friend without getting consumed by the drama or hurt. I have had a habit in the past to take it on in order to help their pain…meanwhile clogging my own ability to move on. No more. I also was at work and a colleague wanted to take my time without respect or efficiency. I said no. I was firm. I stated that I am limited for time and I cannot extend myself anymore especially if there is no plan, agenda or clear objective to how my time will be used. That is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I can suffer from wanting to please or feeling that its better if I give to all…and again it leaves me flattened and furious. Not this time. I learned something crucial at my retreat: Taking on more, carrying more burden does NOT make you stronger. It can weaken you and defeat you. There is so much strength in setting limits and respecting your abilities…it is true self perseverance and love. Strength comes from love.

So yea…I am building a bridge.

June Poems: #2

I watch her sleep

envisioning the stretches

the changes

that will happen

over time.

How will she look

in ten years time?

If I am too busy

it will feel like it all happened

in a blink.

For now, I soak up

that angel skin

and soothing snore.

Take a deep breath

and pray for more.

Money talks

opposite of spoiled

I just walked away from another conversation about money, kids and savings. So let me take this opportunity to talk about a book I am reading and recommending.  It seems like recently I am going about my day and all of a sudden I find myself talking or thinking about this book.  I have been reading through it in pieces but I am now recommitting to giving a page to page read and review. In case you can get a copy before I finish…it is facilitating amazing conversations about money in my every day life. Get it. Read it. Let’s talk.

After Kindergarten Screening

I am having my lunch and reflecting on Tuesday’s exciting and emotional event. Kindergarten Screening…I was calling it Orientation but I found out yesterday that I get to go to another visit/orientation in August. This was a chance for some of the teachers and psychologists at the school to meet & greet the families. They also separate the kids from the parents to check on some skills before placing them in classes.

This did not go as well as I hoped.

I am staying positive and open to learning more about my child and our journey together. She is magical. When she was born 4.5 years ago, I knew I was on a journey of empowerment, discovery and humble love. J has always pushed y understanding of self and a women’s role in this world. Because I want to provide a healthy happy life for her, it is causing me to examine the way we treat women, girls and children.

This is all material for some other blog posts, but what I can say now is that her time at Kindergarten Screening was emotional, enlightening and a little difficult. When we arrived we were instructed to wait in the vestibule with other families. We did not have to wait long and the staff at her new school are very kind. However, immediately after being escorted into a busy hallway, we were told we were being split apart from our kiddos. They would go one way, parents another. Juliana was trepidatious about this and didn’t want to go. Understandable so as it was her first time in the building with a lot of people she doesn’t know. I had to accompany her at the start. She was shy and nervous. They jumped right in to reading a story. A story she knows by heart but she clamped down and would not respond. She is reluctant to share herself with strangers…again I do NOT see this as a detriment. However, since my little girl came into this universe, other people have made us feel that this is not normal or not ok. (Again, I will write about this again another time) We worked through a couple of sad, teary and tough moments. I was able to pull myself away and go find the other parents.

Her school is lovely. I was sure to watch the interactions between the teachers and Principal. I wanted to see if I could sense any clues as to how things really are when families are not watching. We had a great visit from the PTA rep and we were encouraged to make little cards that will be given to our children on their first day of school. It was fun. I had this little voice or tug inside that kept me connected to her. I was sending out my energy throughout that building letting her know she is loved.

They conducted some “testing” with her. I did not get to see what they did or how she responded. Chances are, if the teacher did not take time to let her get warmed up or comfortable, she may have done nothing. It is a little sad to think J will look as if she can’t do certain skills that are actually easy for her. When I was still in that room with her she was refusing to write her name. Meanwhile, she can spell and write her first, middle, and last name.

Oh well, we have to let go, right? My husband and I are realising that she will come across to others a certain way in the beginning. But on her terms, in her time, she will let the world bask in her light. She will shine.

 

Before Kindergarten Screening

It’s a big day in our house. I am taking a half day at work on Tuesday for Kindergarten orientation. I am probably more nervous than my daughter. I am actually surprised at her excitement. I would have thought she would be terrified. She is a cautious and shy child. She can transition well from place to place, activity to activity. However, transitioning from person to person is where she struggles. She is not immediately trusting of people, which can work to our advantage in life. J is very bright and loves to learn. I am hoping that this next phase of our lives is met with enthusiasm and joy. She has such a thirst for knowledge. I know that the drone of routine can be beneficial but also stifling. I want my daughter to love school. Not just because it will make life easier for me, but because I think one of the greatest qualities a person could posses is a love of learning. I know that learning doesn’t only happen at school – but if she hates school, it may turn her off to learning in general.

come in from the cold

Aside a dancing bonfire in our garden I was reunited with the warmth of my happy soul. The flames flicked and raged cutting through the bitter cold air. The logs piled onto of a snowbank with an icy trail cut around for dancing. Lounge chairs sunken into the frosty snow with a view of our semi-frozen river invited me to rest and learn to warm myself from the inside out.

It is true, I will never be perfect. Not even close and that is fine. I will be warm, I will be loved, I will love.

The people we spend our precious time with is crucial to our inner warmth and strength. I lost my way on this recently. I vowed this year to get back on track and I know I am on that path. I am dancing around a fire in the frigid night air with a smile on my face and laugh in my heart.

 

A Good Cry

She was napping. I was using that time to get things done. A common attempt in our house. I was crossing the room wondering how long she would sleep when I heard the first howl.

It was if the Banshee had entered my daughter’s body and was signaling the chariots that my glimpse of free time was dead. Over. Kaput. Yet not without an interesting lesson to learn.

I opened her door and called her name ever so sweetly. She wailed and kicked. I went to her bedside and told her I was there and that I love her. My little girl thrashed and yelled. I asked if she wanted me to pick her up and she said No. I tried to stroke her and she said go away. I left the door open and went out of the room. She continued to scream and wail. I called to her and said I am here, I love her and when she is ready I will come get her.

The yelling continued for some time, it is hard to tell how long. Any amount of time my child is in distress feels like an eternity to me. I went back into the room giving her space but letting her know I was there. She asked, Where’s Daddy?” I reminded her that he was working today and would be home soon. I asked if she wanted to get out and come in the other room. To which she screamed No and continued to sob.

I stayed and sat with her. I gave her soft soothing words, telling her of my love for her. I moved to the other room and got some cozy blankets together on the sofa and some grapes. I called to her again and said I would love so much to cuddle her. When I approached her bed she was sitting up clutching her purple blanket. She put her arms out for me.

I scooped her up still crying. I changed her diaper while she cried and yelled. I smiled and said I want to understand what she is feeling but I will wait. I bundled her back up and embraced this siren sounding girl in my arms. We sat on the sofa and snuggled into our blankets. Soon she saw the grapes and her crying slowed. She took one and put it in her mouth.

I rubbed her back as she let the tears and grape juice stream down her face. I kissed it all away as she calmed. I closed my eyes and breathed deep breaths. I continued this meditation until she sweetly said, “Mummy, I want more grapes, please.”

About two hours later we were playing and having a wonderful time. She stopped  to say, ” Mummy, I was crying.”

“Yes, my love, you were.”

“I needed to scream Mummy. I needed a good cry.”

In that moment I was overwhelmed with love and astonishment. I was so proud of her for understanding this about herself and proud of me – for not making her feel that she had to be quiet or stifle this expression. We were at home, just us – sounds like a very good time for a good cry.

How is it that my two year old has a better awareness of herself and confidence in her needs and expression than I may ever have? I alter my thoughts and feelings so I won’t impose on others. I stifle, stuff and suffocate my feelings. I over think, over explain and let others over power my needs. Here is this little person so full of self awareness and self esteem. She is teaching me and I can only hope I will be her best student.

Finding the Dragon

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I think some circumstances in my life have caused me to break down and retreat. Wait, let me go back. I KNOW some circumstances in my life have caused me to break down and retreat. When I pause today and look back, I can see a slow crumble in my passion, my self esteem, my courage, my peace of mind, my trust.

There is strength hidden inside me. I can feel it now. There is a new glow emerging from the darkness. I am empowered to find the fierce love that flows within me and release it. I can be silent, still and content and still be fierce, strong and passionate. I am all things. I am finding the Dragon. I am listening, learning and loving this release.