rAmbLingsFrOmPEACEmaker

I have discovered that my most productive and harmonious days are the ones I start with telling myself:

It is OK to not get all my stuff done today.

The most important thing I need to do is nurture myself and loved ones.

It is on these days when I have been baking, fixing, cleaning, singing, dancing and playing with my kids well before noon. It is sad that although these two statements seem so simple to say, my body/mind/soul has been trained to believe that I must suffer to learn… That I must achieve every action with seamless perfection. This pressure keeps pushing and pulling at me, leading to a dysregulated (i.e. physically/mentally/emotionally stressed) state. When a past trauma is triggered in this state, I mistrust my innate resources and fears rule. I resist change and even positive forces. I become addicted to my suffering as it is the…

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I don’t believe there are bad people, only people with less vital needs met and more pain to heal. Every interaction is an opportunity to nurture, heal and grow…

rAmbLingsFrOmPEACEmaker

I don’t believe there are bad people, only people with less vital needs met and more pain to heal. Every interaction is an opportunity to nurture, heal and grow…

It is bitter-sweet for me to read all the talk about “bullying.” Great that people are seeing that it is a serious problem, but I know like after Columbine, it will fall off our plate and another tragedy will take its place. I am tired of talking. I am sick of running into walls and double-edged swords. Emotionally, I liken going to school like heading into battle naked with no triage on site, and I went to a private school in a nice suburb.

This is a typical bullying scenario through my lens: If an adult is sensitive enough and not stressed or distracted by other things and catches the barrage of insults, they will call attention to the Bully. The…

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I have been learning a lot of about outer space with my kids and it amazes me how our planet is extremely vulnerable. It reminds again of the miracle of life, the dynamic interplay of all the seen and the unknown, and how precious every day is. I had first been awakened to this awareness after experiencing a few miscarriages, the last one being a stillbirth. The loss of life made me conscious of how I must prioritize and nurture my wellbeing and all those who grace my presence. I chose not to conceive again till I was fear-less, accepting that every day with the baby within could still end in death yet chose to appreciate the value of her life to help me slow me down, connect to my own rhythms and nurture myself.

When I faced my own fears of death, I discovered what scared me most was leaving my children in a world filled with fears, suffering, and traumatized souls. That they would be robbed of their mother’s unconditional love and support. It was then I made it my mission to dedicate my life to creating peace and love in the world so, in the time of my death, my children would be surrounded in the love and light I had cultivated. I believe we are all born with a unique purpose and innate intelligence rooted in love and trust. My greatest desire is to empower everyone I meet to discover their light so our universe will radiate with an abundance of resources and love. When we choose to be conscious of our vulnerability and power, every moment becomes a gift, an opportunity to connect, heal, and grow. Be (a) present. 

photo from https://quotes.thefamouspeople.com/deepak-chopra-1209.php

“In healthy relationships… the portal to integration is presence.”-Daniel SiegelWe all know that trust doesn’t just happen in relationship. Trust takes time and energy to build. The Check

Source: The Power of Presence in Positive, Trusting Relationships

 “When someone shares something of value with you, and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.” ~Chinese Proverb

I have an intense fear of sharing my opinions or experiences. I am afraid of upsetting people or making them feel that I am trying to influence them so I err on staying quiet and trusting that my actions will speak louder. Yet this proverb has given me a bit of courage to share some things that sadly I feel judged upon.  Here is a list of things that have been shared with me and my family have benefited immensely from:

  • natural, conscious, peaceful, respectful, positive, attachment, child-honoring and trust-based parenting
  • Home birth
  • breastfeeding (throughout the night and extended)
  • co-sleeping/ family bed
  • no circumcision
  • baby sign language
  • cloth diapers
  • elimination communication
  • unschooling  http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/earl_stevens.html
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • Zumba
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing  http://www.emdr.com/general-information/what-is-emdr/what-is-emdr.html
  • Individual and Couples Counseling
  • Reading self-help books
  • Mindfulness
  • the practice of Non-violence (in thoughts, actions, words) http://www.cnvc.org/
  • Vitalistic chiropractic care
  • acupuncture
  • herbalist
  • real food
  • trauma-informed care
  • neuroscience
  • epigenetics
  • essential oils
  • fasting
  • radical acceptance

This list is not exhaustive and what works for some will not work for everyone. I believe there are many ways to the same end point (equifinality) so there really is no wrong or right way. What matters most is being able to tune into your heart amongst all the noise of other’s opinions and egos, to follow your light, having an open mind, and that you make well-informed decisions that best meets your needs in compassionate and respectful ways. It’s how you do it and not specifically what you do.

What “LIGHT” means to me…

“But it will always be that the prophet is the first victim of his own message, and only later do people say, ‘Oh, now I understand.'” ~Joseph Girzone Joshua: A Parable for Today

Mmmmm….has parent changed me?

Do you want the short answer or the long one?

Based on a gloriously harmonious day or on a –stressed out, exhausted, I feel like a rag and I want to throttle you- days? …

Parenthood has defiantly thrown me to these extremes as well as everything that falls in between. So the short answer is yes, parenting has changed me tremendously from reacting with fear to responding with love. It has been the most challenging experience I have ever undertaken as well as given me a hearty dose of humility, empathy, and resilience. It has spiritually, emotional, mentally, and physically healed me.

The long answer: I was born hardwired for fear and hyper-sensitive. Experiencing or even witnessing violence, especially during the crucial period of brain development under age of five significantly affects brain development and can make a child feel scared, anxious, worried, confused, angry, and insecure. This list of feelings sums up my battles in life to a “T” and parenting triggered every one of these vulnerabilities.

You see, even with extensive experience working with children and degrees in elementary education, psychology, human development & family studies and marriage and family therapy, I still felt inadequate and unprepared for parenthood. I even had a self-imposed rule to wait till I was married for 5 years before having children. I began joking with my partner that we needed to have kids so I could have more credentials for my practice as I specialized in children and parenting issues.

After a snowball effect of interventions and traumatic labor, my first son was born 5 months shy of my 5th wedding anniversary, yet I was too tired and hungry to hold him. The natural concoction of bonding hormones was disturbed and my predisposition lead to post-partum depression. I spent a large part of his first year just going through the motions, feeling like a failure and even resentful. Then the anxiety and shame over what I thought I should be doing kicked into overdrive and robbed much of my joy.

During this time, I also worked with families involved with Department of Family Services providing in-home, intensive family therapy. After a couple miscarriages and another pregnancy, I took part in intensive therapeutic and parenting trainings that introduced me to how trauma affects brain development and regulation abilities in children. The light bulbs went off in my head like a fireworks display. So much of my life made sense and new connections made. Then I had another traumatic labor, this time ending with a stillbirth.

WOW…talk about turning your life upside down…try holding a dead baby…your baby.

Althou1935_1079097454232_8939_ngh this was extremely painful, the perspective it gave me toward life and parenting was astounding. You can read more about my processing of the stillbirth here. It encouraged me to truly process my grief, to dig deeper, try harder, and keep learning. I took more trainings on understanding brain development and healing trauma. Having a child actually gave me more compassion and understanding for the 24/7 demands of parenting and complexities of the parent/child relationship.

I chose to put my relationship with my child first and take responsibility for getting my own and his vital needs met.  I chose not to conceive again till I had no fears about the pregnancy and accepted the reality that I may never have another live birth. I did eventually go onto to have a positive and empowering birth experience with my daughter who I had a home, water birth with. I had to consciously filter out other’s opinions and outside influences to tune into my mind/body/soul connections and innate intelligence. I was better able to parent from my heart and less from my trauma.

My relationship with my children has been a mirror to my soul. The reflection is not always pretty, yet I can easily see when my intention, thoughts, feelings, and actions do not match and align them. I am blessed to have 4 angels, 2 children, a supportive partner, and a peacefully chaotic family. As the more I focus my energy on the integrity of my relationships, the more I have of the gloriously harmonious days. Now don’t get me wrong, I am human and still have those other days yet they have shortened into moments, happen less often, and are easily remedied with a hug, silly face, or a happy song. I can truly feel how every day is a gift.

This has been more like my medium answer because honestly, I could go on and on about how evolutionary principles, attachment science, quantum physics, and a love-based paradigm shift could maximize human potential and heal the world…But I’ll just leave you with my poetic version of how parenthood changed me:

lessons from my son meme

“I’m sorry that you’re hurting so desperately right now.
I know how painful the seconds, and minutes, and days can be, how long the nights are.
I understand how very hard hanging on is, and how much courage it takes.
I ask though that you hold onto one day at a time.
Just one day, and slowly this despair will pass.
The feelings you fear you’re trapped in will serve their purpose, and then fade away.
Difficult to imagine isn’t it?
Almost impossible to believe when every cell in your body
it seems cries out in agony, desperately in need of comfort.
When it feels like the only thing in the whole world that can touch
your pain and banish it is beyond your grasp.
And after all this time, the assurance that you will heal
has become an empty, broken promise.
Just let one tiny cell in your body continue to believe in the promise of healing.
Just one. You can surrender every other cell to your despair.
Just that one little cell of faith that you can heal and be whole again
is enough to keep you going, is enough to lead you through the darkness.
Although it can’t banish your suffering, it can sustain you
until the time comes for you to let your pain go.
And the letting go can only occur in it’s own time,
as much as we would like to push the pain away forever.
Hold on.
Hold on to appreciate the beauty of the earth,
to feel the songs of the birds in your heart,
to learn and to teach,
to laugh a genuine laugh,
to dance on the beach,
to rest peacefully,
to experience contentment,
to want to be no other place but in the here and now,
to trust in yourself,
and to trust your life.
Hold on because it’s worth the terrible waiting.
Hold on because you are worthy.
Hold on because the wisdom that will follow you out of this darkness will be a tremendous gift.
Hold on because you have so much love and joy waiting to be experienced.
Hold on because life is precious, even though it can bring terrible losses.
Hold on because there is so much that you can’t now imagine waiting ahead on your journey
…a destiny that only you can fulfill.
Hold on although you’re exhausted and your grasp is shaky,
and you want more than anything to let go sometimes, hold on even though.
Please hold on.
So much in life can be difficult, even impossible to understand.
I know, I know…So many of us have cried in despair, why? why? Why?
and still the answers and the comfort failed to show.
Survival can be a long and lonely road,
in spite of all those who’ve stumbled down the path before you.
And it can be a treacherous, torturous journey…
so easy to get lost, and yet impossible to avoid even one painful step.
And the light, the light at the end of the dark tunnel for so long cannot be seen,
although eventually you’ll begin to feel its’ warmth as you move forward.
And forward you must move
in order to get through the hell of remembering, of despair, of rage, of grief.
Keep looking forward please.
Rest if you must,
doubt your ability to survive the journey if you have to,
but never let go of the guide ropes,
although when you close your fingers around them, your hands feel empty,
they are there.
Please trust me, they are there.
When you’re exhausted, when all you have to count on is a weakened, weary faith,
hold on.
When you think you want to die,
hold on until you recognize that it’s not death you seek,
but for the pain to go away.
Hold on, because this darkness will surely fade away.”  ~Tammie Byram Fowles

If you or know someone who is thinking of suicide, please call 911 or visit your local emergency room (in USA)

Call 1-800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA https://www.crisistextline.org/

If outside of USA check out: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

Click here if you have had suicidal thoughts in past

Click here to learn what to do when a friend has suicidal thoughts…

Please take wonderful care of yourself… I know it doesn’t feel you can or it doesn’t seem worth it yet I know that the world needs you and what you have to offer. You deserve a safe and non-judgmental place to process your pain and discover your gift.

“Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, From despair to hope, from fear to trust, lead us from hatred to love, from war to peace; let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe.

“Still all the angry cries, still all the angry guns, Still now your people die, earth’s sons and daughters. Let Justice roll, let mercy pour down, come and teach us Your way of compassion.

“Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, from despair to hope, from fear to trust, lead us from hatred to love, from war to peace; let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe.

“So many lonely hearts, so many broken lives, longing for love to break into their darkness. Come, teach us love, come, teach us peace, come and teach us Your way of compassion.

“Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, From despair to hope, from fear to trust, lead us from hatred to love, from war to peace; peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe.

“Let justice ever roll, let mercy fill the earth, let us begin to grow into your people. We can be love, we can be peace, we can be Your way of compassion.

“Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, from despair to hope, from fear to trust, lead us from hatred to love, from war to peace; Let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world, let peace fill our universe……..Peace.”

“The core beliefs of children who have experienced secure and compromised attachments in the early years are as follows:

Secure Attachment:

  • Self. “I am good, wanted, worthwhile, competent, and lovable.”
  • Caregivers. “They are appropriately responsive to my needs, sensitive, dependable, caring, trustworthy.”
  • Life. “My world feels safe; life is worth living.”

Compromised Attachment:

  • Self. “I am bad, unwanted, worthless, helpless, and unlovable.”
  • Caregivers. “They are unresponsive to my needs, insensitive, hurtful, and untrustworthy.”
  • Life. “My world feels unsafe; life is painful and burdensome.”

“The goal of Corrective Attachment Parenting is not merely to change children’s behavior, but rather to change their negative core beliefs. This is quite challenging, because core beliefs are rigid, automatic, and associated with self-protection and survival. Your relationship with your child becomes the pathway to change and healing. Without change, negative core beliefs formed early in life remain fixed into adulthood, with severe social and emotional consequences.” ~Terry Levy http://www.evergreenpsychotherapycenter.com/memory-impacts-child-core-beliefs/

I too have been so low

Where death appears as a friend

My body, mind, and soul molten

Rationalizing this as a favor to all

Why would I want to add more suffering?

 …wasted space…

…BREATHE…

 …feel that edge…

  …see who gave you life…

Why punish her labor of love?

Through another’s lens

I am a miracle

My body, mind, and soul awaken

Trusting my innate intelligence

A safe place for all.

 

 

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