As I say goodbye to yet another birthday I am in awe of how fast the time has gone. Its amazing and somewhat scary. I am now what they call the big 3-0. If your one for timetables (which I’m not) this may be a time for panic. You have those around you giving you the “Its all downhill from here speeches” or the “You should be thinking of settling down speeches” and don’t get me started on the “ticking time clock speech.” My response to all these has been a big bout of laughter.
Being a typical Libra I am indecisve by nature, so I don’t do too well with agendas and plans. While most of my friends are married, and have children and appear relatively happy, I have never thought this to be my path. Not to say that path is not a good one. By nature I am fiercely independent. I love having no commitments. I’m not ruling out that it can’t happen. I’m a firm believer in that whats meant to be will be. However no rush for this lady!!!
My 20s where a whirlwind. Your 20s is the time when you will have alot of your first real world experiences such as living on your own, and establishing your career (or in my case 3 or 4 careers). This is the time when you are finding your footing. I mean a lot of things went down in my 20s. I’ve formed some great friendships, and sadly I’ve had to say goodbye to some old friends. I’ve dallied with relationships, nothing to serious of course:) I’ve dealt with the death of loved ones. I’ve made mistakes (many!!!), had a lot of failures and I’m glad to say a lot of successes. All of these things I can say have made me stronger, wiser, and more importantly OPEN. Open to possibility.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I was sad to say goodbye to my 20s. They hold some of my fondest memories. However I can honestly say that I am looking forward to my second act and what it has in store for me. Although I am still evolving and discovering myself more and more each day I feel more aware of the woman I am. Or better yet the woman I hope to be. I have a number of things I would love to accomplish but I’m going to play it by ear and try to go with the flow. I get in trouble when I think too much:) Thats a great lesson my 20s taught me.
If I could list out my top lessons I’ve learned in my 20s they would be;
1. Its ok to say No!!! (No explanation needed)
2. The word friend is a title that must be earned!!!
3. Live your life for you!!! (My approval is the only thing of real value!!!)
4. Its Ok to make mistakes (I made a lot and I’m sure my 30s will be filled with them) I give you permission to make lots of them.
5. Take Risk!!!
6. Embrace the Suck!!! At some point life is going to kick your ass!!! There are going to be days or times when you feel like crap and want nothing more than to stay in bed. Thats okay. Just don’t stay there to long!!!
7. Its okay to be vulnerable (This is something my fiercely independent self is continuing to work on).
8. Speak things into Existence!!! This really works!!!
9. Get to know you (your likes, dislikes, needs, passions!!!)
10. Have Standards (know what you will tolerate and what you won’t)
11. HAVE FUN!!! And lots of it if you can!!! (Definitely planning on having lots of fun in my 30s, maybe even more so than in my 20s)
I’m sure there are more lessons coming my way and I await their arrival!!! All and all I feel blessed to have made it to another year and I’m eager to see what 30 has in store.
This is something I think every parent should follow!!! Powerful!!!
The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto
Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and loveable.
You will learn this from my words and actions—the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.
I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness.
You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.
We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.
We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.
You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.
I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.
I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.
When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.
Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.
We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.
As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.
I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.
Reprinted from Daring Greatly by Brené Brown by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright (c) 2012.
“There’s not gonna be a big coming-out speech tonight, because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when perhaps a young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met. But now apparently I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show. And, you know, you guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo Child. No, I’m sorry, that’s just not me. It never was, and it never will be. … But seriously, if you had been a public figure from the time you were a toddler, if you had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe then you too might value privacy above all else. Privacy. Some day, in the future, people will look back and remember how beautiful this was. I have given everything up there, from the time that was I was 3 years old. That’s reality show enough, don’t you think? There are a few secrets to keeping your psyche intact over such a long career. The first: Love people and stay beside them. … There is no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life: my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, ski buddy, consigliere, most beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard. Thank you, Cyd.”—
I’ve been thinking a lot lately and with life getting so damn busy, I felt as though I had lost momentum in the only thing I find complete satisfaction. But in reality life is filled with disappointments and unexpected joys. I realised after watching a recent film that a lot of what we do can be…
So this Monday will be the last day in 2012!!! I can’t believe how fast this year has went by. I would say that the year was not as eventful as I would have liked it to be, but like those before it I have gained a greater knowledge of myself (which I guess is most important). I am blessed to have seen another year and am really looking forward to 2013.
I don’t know how to explain it but I have a great feeling about the new year. I can sense the possibility. I have so many dreams for myself and so many things to look forward to; new career, new move, writing projects, turning 30, and (hopefully) gaining an even greater since of self. My lists is endless:) I am hopeful that I will get most of my tasks complete and conquer any obstacles that may arise (as we know they will rear their ugly head).
One of the first things I plan on doing is revisting my gratitude journal. Its something I used to do all the time. I would make a conscious effort each day to focus on my surroundings and on those small moments of joy I would experience. I made sure to write down atleast five things in a day I was grateful for, whether it was a smile from a stranger or something as simple (but essential) as my morning coffee!!! What I loved about this was that by focusing on those things that I was grateful for I was able to want less and appreciate more. I loved that feeling!!!
Reflecting back on this year I have a lot of things to be grateful for; Great family, good friends (new and old), good health, a job (even though its stressful as hell!!!), INSIGHT. That insight has allowed me to learn a few hard lessons but they have been essential to who I am (a work in progress). I want to share some of those lessons I’ve leaned this year that I hope you all will take with you or try out.
My tips for the New Year;
I highly recommend you doing your own gratitude journal. It will be a great activity for 2013 and you will be surprised by what you learn about yourself:) And it will definitely change the way you see the world.
Regardless of whether 2012 was a bad year for you or a great year, I hope you have been buoyed by the experiences and are hopeful for whats to come. Make sure you dream big and leave yourself open for the infinite possibilities.
Forget those things that have stunted you and allow in those things that will enhance your growth.
The only person you need to please is yourself. You must love your own company. That means trying to gain a greater since of who you are, flaws and all.
Pick your fights!!! That means no when to engage and when to walk a way (This has been a big one for me). This also means acknowledging when your wrong.
Surround yourself with Genuine people. You will know who they are:) They will cheer for your success and really listen when your distressed. I’ve had to let go of some ppl (even those who I thought were close friends) because they did not have my best interest in mind.
Accept setbacks, and sometimes defeat. There bound to happen and we are usually defenseless against them. The key is not staying in this not to good place for too long.
I think if we can all try to go into the new year a bit wiser than before we’ve already started off on a good foot:) I would love to hear what your dreams are for yourself in the new year!!! Remember the possibilities are endless:)
"Heads up hearts strong, there’s nothing wrong with cherishing the sweet smelling flavors of memories. Memories sooth our mind’s taste/memory buds. Memories remind us of pleasant moments that we have downloaded into our memory bank for moments like this.
Gain strength from what was, as though it is now, to help you get over rough times/moments. Cherishing memories helps you to better understand the importance of cherishing your today, today! Remembering memories of past pleasant moments helps you to have a healthier and happier future driven from memories of those things you drew strength from. Breathe easy reminiscing!”
“The moment you feel you are no longer dependent on anyone, a deep coolness and a deep silence settles inside, a relaxed let-go. It does not mean you stop loving. On the contrary, for the first time you know a new quality, a new dimension of love—a love that is no longer biological, a love that is closer to friendliness than any relationship. That’s why I am not even using the word friendship, because that “ship” has drowned so many people.”—Osho (via finedineonmyvegangenitalia)
Hurricane Sandy left a wave of destruction in its wake. Far more reaching than many might have expected. Homes have been destroyed, shores have been decimated, communities have been plunged into darkness. Even more tragically lives have been lost and forever changed. I’m still reeling from its aftershocks. We are never really ever prepared for this level of tragedy (even with the best planning) or for any tragedy of that matter. After the storm, we are left sifting through the pieces of the life we knew. We grapple with those tough questions; What do I do now? Why me? Do I rebuild?
The question I found myself asking is How do I help? The enormity of it all just seems so daunting. Living in Massachusetts I was spared the brunt of the storm, but having family and friends who live in NJ, I feel their pain. I hope we as a nation, as a world all feel this pain and shared responsibility to help. Its so easy to turn away from unpleasantness, especially if we feel it doesn’t directly affect us. However my answer to that is that we are all fellows. One of my favorite quotes is from Walter Scott who says it best
"The Race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other. We cannot exist without mutual help. All therefore that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow-men; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt"
Sandy reinforces that we are powerless against certain circumstances, Mother Nature being one of them, but we can be empowered by our response to help. What Sandy has continued to reinforce in me is that amidst difficult times, there is still hope and goodness in people. It has been evident in this tragedy, through countless examples. Neighbors helping neighbors from damaged homes, strangers offering shelter to those in need, nurses and Doctors who worked tirelessly to transfer patients when generators failed, including 20 NICU babies, First Responders like fire fighters pulling people to safety while in some cases their own homes burned, Politicians putting down bureaucracy to focus on more important issues, and volunteers who have travelled miles to lend a hand and offer reassuring smiles. These everyday citizens are real heroes. Bob Riley says it best;
"Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the "hero" within us is revealed.
What will be the test of us all is to maintain that desire to help where we can. As the days continue to tick by, and the initial shock has worn off, tempers will be ripe, civility will wain and people will become restless. We must not turn a blind eye to their plight, because their plight, our my plight. I would hope to have the same kindness reciprocated to me by my fellows if ever I were in need. I hope we hold on to hope. When storms collide we need to remember that waters recede and eventually the seas calm. We have a long road ahead, a road that won’t be easy, but I’m optimistic that we will be stronger and better prepared for the next storm.
"The key to truly rebuilding our central city on a vital and sustainable foundation is people" Alan Autry
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be a Man my son!
As children, we’re trained to do what we’re told. If we follow this instruction, we’re labelled “good,” if we go the other way, we’re “bad.” This can mess a lot of things up, as time passes, and we find ourselves facing many other possibilities, alternatives, and shades of gray.
Over the course of your life, folks are going to tell you what to do… over and over again. Color within the lines; avoid risk; be a good boy scout.
Some of this will be well intentioned; many think you’ll fare better if you don’t rock the boat. Others are ass-faces who find reassurance in knowing that they’re not the only ones who chose the safe path.
The plan goes like this: study hard, get good grades, attend a respected university, find a decent job, work your way up the ladder, procreate (twice), and upgrade your home every 5 – 10 years. All of which are fine, but this is just one course amongst many.
What if there’s another way?
What if you dropped out of school and walked across the country? What if you decided grades were sort of silly, and instead read all the interesting things you could find? What if you volunteered some time in a developing country and met someone who’d never spent a moment thinking about Chandler and Monica? What if you tasted every taste, saw every sight, faced the things that frightened you, and got a couple of scuffs along the way?
You have one life. Live it as you will, but perhaps take a moment to consider an alternative path. There is a wide chasm between the ways you could pass through existence and the lame-ass lives most choose. Besides, should you fail, you’ll at least have a couple of good stories to tell.
Do whatever you want. I’m not here to prescribe life decisions. At the same time, I feel it’s worth reminding you that within 100 years you, and everyone you love, will be gone. All the shit you’re stressing out about will be long forgotten.
The swarm of convention is a tsunami that absorbs all in its way. You are powerless against it. (Until you decide you are not.)
The single greatest inhibitor to creativity is fear. Do you recognize any of these ‘voices’:
* I am afraid of typing FADE IN.
* I am afraid I won’t be able to finish the script.
* I am afraid I don’t have enough talent.
* I am afraid the words won’t come.
* I am afraid my characters won’t feel real.
* I am afraid people won’t like my writing.
* I am afraid people won’t like my story.
* I am afraid I won’t get an agent.
* I am afraid I am wasting my time.
* I am afraid I don’t know enough about the craft.
* I am afraid people will laugh at me.
* I am afraid I won’t make any money writing.
* I am afraid I won’t succeed.
I’m not a psychologist, but I know enough about the writing process to understand that if you allow these and like-minded voices to dominate your thoughts, you will have a hard time hearing your creative voice.
So the question on the table is, How do deal with fear?
I don’t think there’s any right or wrong approach — a writer will do what they need to do to vanquish or, at least, manage their apprehensions.
Some times you may be able to ignore the voice, the doubts, the insecurities — a good way to do that is to dive so deeply into your story, you drown out your negative thoughts.
Other times, you can use fear as a motivator: If, for example, you set a deadline with friends and family, whereby you guarantee you will finish this script by a certain date, your fear of public humiliation can spur you all the way to FADE OUT.
The simple fact is that whatever you do, you must do something, or else fear can devour your creativity.
Two of the greatest American writers, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald, wound their way to Hollywood and worked as screenwriters. Read these quotes below, and note the palpable sense of fear:
“I think I have had about all of Hollywood I can stand. I feel bad, depressed, dreadful sense of wasting time. I imagine most of the symptoms of blow-up or collapse. I may be able to come back later, but I think I will finish this present job and return home. Feeling as I do, I am actually afraid to stay here much longer.”
– William Faulkner
“My only hope is that you will have a moment of clear thinking. That you’ll ask some intelligent and disinterested person to look at the two scripts. Some honest thinking would be valuable to the enterprise right now than an effort to convince people you’ve improved it. I am utterly miserable at seeing months of work and thought negated in one hasty week. I hope you’re big enough to take this letter as it’s meant–a desperate plea to restore the dialogue to its former quality…all those touches that were both natural and new. Oh, Joe, can’t producers every be wrong? I’m a good writer–honest I though you were going to play fair.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald to producer Joseph Mankiewicz
Faulkner? Fitzgerald? Reduce to “I’m actually afraid to stay here much longer” and “I’m a good writer–honest?”
Are you kidding me?!
This is what fear can do – eat your creativity alive.
So here’s a counterintuitive piece of advice:
Don’t avoid your fear.
Don’t run away from it.
Rather – acknowledge it.
Let it be.
Let it breathe.
Let it take you deeper into the core of your emotional self.
You will learn things there you can learn in no other place. Emotions, memories, experiences have collected in that inner place for years, untouched because most people never go there.
If you can get curious about why you are afraid, what are the particular elements behind your fears, you may discover a deep reservoir of personal insights and, almost assuredly, great story ‘stuff’ as well.
Once you know that you can go there, experience your fears, and survive that process, what you may discover over time in going there and coming back is:
The courage to give yourself.
To your creativity…
To your stories…
Each one a great unknown…
Waiting for what you will find in your creative journey.
"Romantic love is the story of how you need another person to complete you. It is an absolutely insane story. My experience is that I need no one to complete me. As soon as I realize that, everyone completes me"
We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.
First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.
If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.
Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.
It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.
Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.
We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.
And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.
"In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest you love, you invest your life" In regards to this concept I feel that where you place your energy and time says a lot about what drives you and who your are. Who you choose to surround yourself around, The relationships you create, What career you choose. All these things are driven by passion. And to have passion one must have love behind it. I do believe we can be driven to do things and invest energy into things we do not love and for many I think this is not a choice. We must make decisions sometime regardless of what we want or regardless of where our passion lies.
Is it the giving of love that is supposed to make our lives complete? I think in order to have a full life we must have love behind what we do. It is the driving force behind every decision we make I believe and is essential to happiness.
Does love always mean you will be loved back? In the short answer No. I think to love whether it be in a relationship or friendship is essential but difficult as well. It involves a level of trust to give yourself fully and openly in those relationships. There is chance that what you are giving may not be reciprocated but I think its worth the risk. We don’t go in with the expectation that our love will not be shared but I do think we limit our expansion for connection if we don’t love honestly.
Why is it that with only friendship and romance do we expect love in return? I think in these relationships there is a higher level of intimacy because you know these individuals on a higher level. And because of such there is a level of vulnerability we allow ourselves to have with these people. I think because of that vulnerability we expect that love to be retuned because we have allowed “our walls do be put down”
Is there a different kind of love that exists in this world? How can you love a stranger or an acquaintance and not crave love in return. I think we all love differently. Doesn’t make it wrong but I do believe there must be a love for our fellow man. I want a world that is a more kinder, peaceful place. There are such atrocities going on around the world that I often feel that its too much to comprehend. However I do think we each play a part in making this world a better place. We must get involved, we must show each other compassion and often that is hard for others. To show that level of compassion is too sympathize or understand the plight of another which is hard for some. “Love thy neighbor” is what the saying states but it is difficult when we don’t really know our neighbor. We can change that however. We can make each interaction with others meaningful even if nots reciprocated. Because it adds to our growth and hopefully theirs. We involve ourselves in causes which mean something.
I look at my field of work which is in the Mental Health field and each day I deal with clients who have lived such difficult lives yet on top of those difficult lives they still have such compassion for those around them. Maybe they are more in tuned to other’s suffering or maybe they are more sensitive. I am amazed at how they love with no expectation.
How would you define this kind of love? I think its the type of love that you must wholeheartedly give. We can’t expect anything to be reciprocated. Again to truly love, one must be open and honest and one must be vulnerable. You may be hurt, or slighted but that should not stop you from loving. It should make you love more.
Change is a pretty scary thing. Its something that I’ve always struggled with accepting and I find myself never really prepared for it. Are any of us? I think what makes change so scary, for me anyway, is in its uncertainty. Change is a dual edge sword. Its something that we don’t foresee coming, something that life can throw at us so unexpectedly that there is little to no warning. We are thrown full force into the driver seat and its all systems go. And Change can be something that we initiate. It is something that we are doing on a daily basis hopefully:) Each day coming a little more in tuned to ourselves and our surroundings. This change can be equally as scary, however, because you are driving the reins. Making those decisions. In a few months I will be making some pretty big decisions. Some surrounding moving, new job, new lifestyle and all quite intimidating. This is big Change!!! I will be saying goodbye to familiarity or at times maybe complacency and stepping into unchartered territories. This is damn hard for someone like me who is one of the most indecisive people I know:) Its hard to step out into that kind of uncertainty. You don’t know if your making the right decisions, You don’t know if your were your supposed to be in life and you are left stepping out on faith and trusting your instincts (which may have not always led you in the right direction). I read this great saying the other day that said;
Whats standing in your way? Is it your own shadow of doubt, fear? Or is it the wall of protection created to guard you, now traps you?
I thought now there is a powerful statement and I think true for so many. That is my issue with change. I know I need to make these big decisions regardless of the known or unknown consequences. Fear of disapproval, non acceptance, Hurt, loss of relationships all may be causalities of the war but my happiness must remain the victor. Doubt is natural and Doubt is healthy. We have to put down the walls we built and step out of the bubble, even if that means stepping out alone. Its been baby steps in this process but I am doing the work daily to prepare for what I know I must do. Positive self talks I say:) I look at the beauty that these changes may have in store for me and I say that has to make all this mental debate worth it!!! No regrets, I simply want to embrace the change!!!
The Talk by Glennon Melton via The Huffington Post
(Something we should all be practicing as adults as well)
School is beginning. Many readers have written to ask me what our family “Back to School” traditions are. If I haven’t responded, it’s because I stared at those questions and thought: CRAP. I’m supposed to have Back to School traditions?
If any, I suppose our traditions are getting crazy excited (Craig and I, not the kids), cursing through Target on the hunt for specific brands of scissors, and MAKING LUNCHES again. Why is making lunches SO hard?
Also, this: The Talk. We have The Talk with each child at the start of every school year. Our approach changes, but the story doesn’t. The story is always about Adam. Chase knows Adam’s story by heart now, and that is the point.
Please don’t forget to have The Talk. Below is how I do it, but like Rumi said, there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade — wow.
Chase — When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me.
I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heartache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heartache. That heartache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion — be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.
Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.
Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.
Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away. That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell us. We are on your team — we are on your whole class’s team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together.
When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.
Chase — We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As. We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.
We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.
Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.
Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy… with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.
I love you so much that my heart might explode.
Enjoy and cherish your gifts.
And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.
Letter originally published on Momastery on August 28, 2011
In life we spend so much of our time preoccupied. Preoccupied with appointments, gadgets/devices, worries, & the list can go on. So much so that we forget to embrace the stillness. That beautiful quiet where we can just be. A space of no obligations. The titles are momentarily forgotten. We are no longer someone’s boss, sister, daughter, partner, mother, etc. In that stillness we can enjoy cultivating that relationship with ourselves which is so very important. We are able to check in with ourselves and ask questions like ‘How am I doing?’ I can’t tell you how rare these times have been for me lately. I realize I need these moments even if they are just 10mins to reflect and check in with Meka. I decided to get on this right away and went about redoing my morning routine. I made sure that upon waking my first actions would be to have time w/myself. Have conversations with myself. What am I looking forward to today? How will I practice self care? Than I pamper myself a bit; a cup of tea, some writing, and some reading. No noise is permitted, no distractions allowed:) Stillness and I are in alignment during these times. It’s become very therapeutic and you will be amazed at what you learn about yourself. I hope you will take sometime today even if its a few minutes and detach yourself from the routine and the gadgets and allow yourself time to just be. Make it a habit:)
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.”—Gilda Radner (via kari-shma)
After awhile you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn
That you really can endure
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.
There is great power in truth. There is great power in authenticity.
It can be comforting for a while to overlook or deny who you truly are, in order to go along with the crowd. Yet it is a false comfort that never does last.
There is no person you can pretend to be who is as powerful and effective as the person you really are. No identity you might try to manufacture will ever work as well as the identity that has always been a part of you.
With authenticity, no effort is needed to maintain your sense of self. It flows easily and naturally through everything you do, freeing you and enabling you to live life fully.
You are real and you are unique and you are of great value. It is in your best interest to mine the magnificent treasure of the authentic you.
Do not merely go along with life. Be authentic, and you will make it great.
“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. The new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable and open.”—Stephen Russell (via thatkindofwoman)