After years watching my friends start businesses, I have finally found what I have been looking for.
It wasn't cookware, or essential oils, or baskets although I have enjoyed supporting them and purchasing and filling my house with some really cool stuff.
My business is love & passion & joy & speaking our truths!
This is one of those everything in a box program that comes with human support and tons of videos.
Open the box, watch it explode all over your house and go!
I have started a jar to save up for the licensing and initial product. I need about $3000 so I am starting now to put aside any money I can and I will try to attend one of the programs to see how someone else runs their program.
Just one of those things that has been in my head for about a month now that I need to commit to so that on the difficult days when I feel lost and beaten, I can remind myself I am working towards my goals.
This is just one of the ways I will create a life where I can support myself and my children!
I feel like each day I am stepping into the reality of what I want to be when I grow up. It feels so freakin awesome! 43 years old and I am figuring it all out and it is all coming together!
I get to have the life of my dreams for several decades to come!
I am really going to try to not write 30 posts about the movie Wild, but honestly, I can't promise that.. I loved this movie. I have not felt so personally moved by a movie since Eat, Pray, Love. That movie spurred my waking up to notice how far down the important list I had put myself.
5 years ago I started working on making myself happy & figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.
I have heard Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love speak several times now about the holy quest. She talks about how every culture, from the dawn of man has had a holy quest story.
What she only briefly touches on is that there aren't many holy quest stories for women. You don't often hear about the women who set off on a holy quest. More often we hear about women making do, getting through and putting themselves last on the list. Women usually play the role of needing to be rescued or are part of the prize in the holy quest.
I am a woman who hears the beat of the drum to start my holy quest. I heard it the first time 5 years ago. I have traveled a small bit on my own prior to having children. It is so wonderful and feels so selfish. Just me making all of the decisions, from where to eat, to where to spend the day and how long you stay in one place.
Motherhood currently pushes out my long solo quest off into the future. However, I want to be able to share with my kids that I am going to answer this call someday soon. There was too much sex and drugs in the movie for me to share it with my kids now, but I will own a copy as soon as it comes out so I can watch it again and one day share this woman's story with them. I want them to know there is a beat they may hear that leads them on a horrible and fabulous journey of self discovery.
Having to wait a bit until they are all grown up gives me time to make the money needed to keep my life moving & my bills being paid while I explore. I need to start a savings jar so that I feel it is really going to happen. I don't know where my epic holy quest will take me, so it is hard to start planning, yet...
Watching the movie Wild made the drum beat match my heart beat. I can hear it now as surely as I can feel it.
There is no more denying it. I will take a great solo quest. I might even need to plan some smaller mini-quests or "bite size" as Elizabeth said in an interview with Oprah to get me through until I can really jump into a long term plan.
I keep getting the Angel card "Day Dream." This card is supposed to spur me to spend time thinking about what I want. The thought is the clearer you can get, the easier it is to create or manifest the life you desire.
When I daydream, what I see is me, just me.
I don't think I am alone. I can't imagine being alone. I don't know what it feels like to be alone. I know that I pray that I will always have love, friendship and my kids in my life. But when I daydream, what I keep seeing is me. Me. Just me.
It is almost unnerving to let that settle into my head.
Could I be really be alone? Or is what I am seeing just my personal quest?
I can't image not seeing my boyfriend, kids or my girlfriends but in my day dream they aren't present.
I broached this subject yesterday with my boyfriend, "so what would you think if I told you I wanted to go on a solo long term quest?" He told me that he would miss me of course. Then he turned the question back to me, how would I feel if he told me he wanted to be alone for a year.
Honestly, I would miss him a great deal as we have spent every day together for the past few years. Full days of working together and then living together. It would seem weird to not curl up with him at night and not share meals together. But mostly I would be insanely jealous that he was getting to take off on a fucking quest.
Maybe I could be happy if I could go on my quest at the same time, so I didn't have to feel guilty being gone or pissed that he was getting to go.
I feel a sense of guilt writing that I desire to be alone. But both Eat, Pray, Love and Wild ignite a fire in me that makes me want to pack my backs and just go.
I want to know what it is like to keep my own company. I want to know not asking permission or coordinating, just freedom.
I want the time and silence to allow my shit to float up into my consciousness.
What would it be like to have no outside stimulus? To only hear my demons and my angels?
Go see Wild on the big screen while you can. Get the book too. I can't wait to get the book and read it. Go see the movie, then send me your itinerary plan of your own epic quest so I can add it to the list of places to research.
Can you hear the drums?
As you know, I love to listen to Hay House Radio on my cell phone while I am driving to and from picking my kids up from school in the mountains. I have about a 40 minute drive both ways. I lose signal for about 10 minutes each trip, and one day I will purchase myself satellite radio so I keep the signal. Until then, I schlump my shoulders when the signal ends, and drive as fast & safely as I can to get through the mountain pass where my signal resumes.
Tuesday's after dropping off my kids I listen to David Ji and he was speaking about fear. He had several listeners on to talk about what they fear. He had a listener on who has been blogging and was talking about her fear of taking her blog from safe subjects to exposing more about her real self. As this is a fear of mine I listened intently.
Everything I write will be out there forever, like for-e-ver permanently. Each time I write something and push post, I freak just a bit. My stomach tightens, my throat feels restricted and my facial muscles tense & set. But I hit "post". Then it is done and out of my control. I know I have a message to share and I can't keep being afraid of what people will think. I can't keep being afraid of what my friends and family will think.
Initially each time I write something that really exposes what I feel my life was like growing up, I feel that panic. I don't want to upset my mom and dad and sister. I am not trying to get them to deal with my shit. I am not trying to force them to wade through this with me. I make peace with my mom, sister and dad each time I press "post" because I know that they love me and see me!
They really know me and in doing so know that so much of what has gone wrong in my life stems from trying to suppress all of these words and feelings inside. Trying to keep it all in and boxed and organized has kept me anxious, worried and fearful. Secrets will do that to you.
So, while I am not actively discussing my writing with my immediate family, I know that they support me and that they know that my hope in sharing my pain is to connect and help others. What I write everyday is my testimony. I share it because I am ready to connect.
For the rest of my extended family in a very small southern town where shame is passed from generation to generation, I have to exhale as loudly and forcefully as I can through pursed teeth & lips and remember that they were witnesses who chose not to get involved. I am an adult now and I will not be silenced to keep the peace and comfort of those who turned their eyes from children in need.
Anyhow, I digress. To the listener who called in unsure of how to start sharing more personal parts of her life, David Ji told her to just "blurt something personal out to the coffee server, next time you are in line." I am so not kidding when I say I loved hearing the rawness of that. How fucking true to knowing if you are ready to share than to just tell someone who you don't know and who's opinion of you truly doesn't matter.
Now, he went on to adjust that thought by asking her to start sharing information with friends and see what their reaction is and how you feel about their reaction. But before he made the adjustment, the thought was put out there.
There is always a struggle with what you want as your end result or what journey you are here to take. Some people blog anomalously so that they can share and interact but from the safety of no one knowing who they are. I can so understand that process and I know from talking to others that the anonymity of blogging can allow so many people to work through and work out their problems. No one ever need know who you are in the real world.
While my blog started with anonymity, I realized that I want to be able to speak with people without having to hide behind a wall or without having a blurry dot put over my face. I want to write books and meet the people who like and connect with my thoughts. My journey needs to be one of visibility. Even knowing that I want and am choosing to be open about my journey still scares the shit out of me.
Hearing him advise this listener to test the waters was good for me today. It was a reminder that I am getting more comfortable with what I am writing. I don't want to feel shame about my life and the things that shaped it. Not all of what has happened in my life is pretty, but it all happened and hiding it and denying it has created the fear monster I share my life with.
As he continued to talk about fear, he said that he loved a quote by his good friend Terri Cole, "If you are struggling, flip over and float."
Again, I love me some syncronicty in the morning. This was another perfect message being brought to me personally. I am very much struggling right now. I am stressing what I am doing, how I am doing it, what is the next step, am I still on the right path, and as always, am I doing it fast enough.
The message my Angels whispered this morning, was "Flip over and Float."
I so much believe in this message and have been teaching it to kids learning to swim for years. I am a swimmer. My children were born and raised in a pool. Summer to me means the smell of chlorine and sunscreen. When your children first learn to put their face under the water and to relax with having their face under the water, they stand in that accomplishment for about a three days. Then they stare longingly at the other side of the rope that separated the baby pool from the big kid pool.
After the whole face under water thing, teaching them to swim is easy. Time for lessons. Every morning for weeks they splash and kick and learn the technique and movements that are swimming. Then the last few days of swim lessons, they have your kids take the swim test. This test allows them the freedom they have eyed from the safety of your arms when you took them into the big kid side. They are so ready to pass this test and spend the rest of the summer being a big kid! For swimming families this is a huge first big kid milestone.
Both of my kids passed their swim tests and my easy summers of sitting by the edge of the baby pool chatting with moms changed to playing life guard and keeping a motherly eye on how tired they appeared to be getting with their new found freedom. This is when you see if they were listening to your lessons. I taught both of mine to flip and float. We practiced it every day. There is a lot of trust that goes into relaxing your body and trusting the science that keeps your body afloat. You can't do it and crane to keep your face out of the water. You really have to surrender and relax.
We would be at the pool for several hours every day and inevitably I would see one or both of them take a little time out and flip over to relax those tired little arms and legs. Much to my "mom" anxiety, I also witnessed them flip and float when they found themselves too far away from the safety of the side of the pool. I was never far away or unable to reach them in two strokes, but I had to force myself to stay still and watch to allow them opportunities to use the safety skills you teach them. It should always be in a safe environment, but children have to learn to save themselves because we want them to grown up and start their own lives.
The best skills we can teach our kids is to take care of themselves, self care. As a mom, I need constant reminders to take care of myself so that I can take care of my family. Weekly I remind myself that they rely on me and I have to find the time to nurture and replenish myself.
It is in these moments when I am so riddled with stress and doubt that I have to remember to flip over and float for a while. This very much ties in with my on going thoughts this past week to stop and listen for what the next step it. I am fighting and resisting surrendering to the unknown, the change that is here, even though I know that my battle is only making it worse.
I will try to surrender to this moment and float for a bit. I will try to relax and listen. I have to admit that yesterday's plan to listen to Day 1 of Deepak's 21 Mediation Program did not happen. I had big plans to listen to the first meditation twice yesterday and didn't even create the time to listen to it once.
I am going to create the time to listen to yesterday's meditation. I am ok with being a day behind.
Maybe in the 10 minutes or so while I wait for my kids to finish school and make it out to the car, I will soak in the warmth of the bright sunshine and close my eyes and float for a few minutes. I will feel the sun on my face, smell the chlorine and sunscreen, feel the water float in and out of my ears, and relax my neck.
I love the idea of "becoming" instead of a mid life crisis.
I am in the process of becoming. It started right on schedule prior to my 40th birthday. As much as I like to fault my body for failing me and falling apart, I need to admit that I am a well oiled machine.
I adamantly did not want to have children or be a mother until about 4 months into being twenty-eight years old. My biological clock went from ticking to tocking to gonging to full on glocking like the Munich Glockenspiel, with music, dancing and spinning! Within two months, I was pregnant.
Right before 40, I realized I had neglected my body during my mommy haze. I started walking, then I started very slow running. As things started to thin out, I added weights to add strength & definition to my emerging Goddessness!! You can do an awful lot of thinking when you are out running.
I started reading again in the evening instead of vegging out to tv. Suddenly my mind was filled with new ideas and thoughts and I went searching for people of like minds (or at least people who don't choose to turn every conversation into a debate) to share my new knowledge with and to learn from. Then miraculously, I figured out how to run at a very slow pace and talk to people.
I was very, very happy for a while with this new ability. I started running with friends several times a week. I was blossoming and becoming. It was glorious!
Then I realized that my becoming was not conducive to my marriage.
He didn't want to continue to "become". He was done with becoming and was happy with how he had turned out. I believe that "becoming" is an on-going process, that it does not stop, that we repeat this process every decade or so because we have to and because we want to.
I believe that you can stop at any point on a path, no matter how far you have gone and how long it has taken you, and change direction. I believe that it is important to stop from time to time and really look around to see if you are happy, to see if you are where you thought you'd be, to see if you still even want what started you on this exact path months or years ago.
I believe that when we stop and listen, we get either the confirmation to continue on or the nagging, pit of the gut feeling that signifies that we are not happy.
I also didn't view failure the same as he did.
We tried, and then we didn't try, but in the end it was clear that I didn't want to be required to stay the same person he felt he had known for 17 years. I didn't feel required to stay the same. I didn't feel I was changing as much as remembering who I was. I am not sure we ever truly knew it each as it came as such an awful surprise that we wanted such different journeys.
So, long story short (for once), I stopped on my marriage path, listened with my heart and soul and came to the conclusion that I needed to take a different path to continue blossoming into my most full Goddessness and to live the life that I was dreaming of. I realized that I needed the wide open space to grown unencumbered and without having to defend or debate my choices and thoughts.
I think some people can continue to "become" and stay in their existing relationships, but I think that it requires both people to have interest in continuing to move forward in life, in learning new things not only about the world, but about themselves. Not everyone in this world is interested in evolving and personal growth and that is ok, unless you are married to them.
I believe it is worth trying to drag them along for a period of time to see if they are just hesitant, which is very human. Few people actively embrace change. Most of us need a very personal reason to willingly change.
If after dragging and pulling and including, they still don't want to come with you, then you need to stop and get quiet and figure out if you feel you can continue "becoming" on your own, but tied to them. I have seen this happen and with the right person, they will watch you become and love you through every step. Love is funny like that. You meet those couples who seem so different with seemingly nothing in common, but some very strong love, respect and admiration. It is rare and bewildering to watch, but I do believe in this very special kind of love.
If after dragging and pulling and including, they still don't want to come with you, and they are asking and pleading or demanding you to stop becoming, then you have choices to make.
I wanted to find and live forever with my prince charming. Then at the time of my becoming, I realized that I don't believe that everyone meets that one person and stays with them forever. Maybe some people are only supposed to be in your life for a while, for a portion of your journey.
Maybe people who start "becoming" way earlier in life are better prepared to find someone they can stay with forever. I remembered who I was going to become when I was a child, but I was too scared to take the chances. I didn't stop and listen, I was too busy rushing and living. I let life happen to me instead of trying my hand at creating. I was so scared and I put off "becoming" for fear that I would fail.
Now I know you can't fail at becoming, there is no way to fail at being you because "once you become Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." And people who don't understand, can't matter.
If you stay on your journey to "becoming" you will meet people who are well worn, loose jointed and shabby chic'd, introduce yourself, as this is your tribe!
I have spent my life playing it small.
Fear has been a constant companion and a crazy mistress always pulling me aside at the party to tell me that my dress doesn't fit properly and is too tight, or that my makeup looks gaudy, or that everyone know I never went to college. She reminds me of where I am from, who my parents are and when I get too big for my britches. She asks me what is so special about me that I deserve happiness. She asks me why anyone would bother reading what I write, when there are real people with degrees and such who write big important books. She asks me who I think would come listen to my stories when the world is already full of self-help writers, with worse sad stories, and real success in lifting themselves out of the shit. She whispers her truths in my ears and her voice echos in my mind, even when she is not walking beside me.
I listen to her because so much of what she has told me has come true. She has foretold the end of all of my relationships. She has watched me jump from so-so job to crappy job. She has laughed at my attempts to pay my bills with what I make. She made sure I felt too stupid to get a real job when I was cleaning houses.
Unbeknownst to most, I make hard choices and decisions all the time. Life presents me with these options, forks in the road, and obstacles damn near weekly. Even when I make the right decision and everything seems to go alright, she is there with a smirk on her lips and rolling her eyes that it was "luck", not really anything I did. Sometimes she forecast that the success is only temporary, it certainly won't last.
She wears a crown that makes her the "What if" Queen and she likes to engage me in this game. It is difficult for me to break up with her, because she has been right about a lot. She has kept me on my toes when I was fighting for my children and my life. She reminds me not to get lazy or comfortable in my life. She has kept me always alert for the next shoe to drop.
I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert tell Oprah that she has spoken to her Queen and that she had to finally "mother" that part of herself by telling her inner child that it is ok, she can relax now, because grown up Elizabeth has got this all under control. I loved hearing this way of taking care of that scared inner child who has taken over the role of grown up in your head to keep you safe. I love the idea of comforting them and putting them to bed, tucking them in and reassuring them it is all ok so it is safe for them to relax and go to sleep. And as much as I have wanted to fire my inner child, in reality, she has kept me safe and she has done her best to protect me from the scary things out there in the world. She has remembered every time I got hurt and is in constant touch with the life line to reminding me of how awful it hurts.
Being able to see my inner child as a child playing mother, doing the best she can, was powerful for me. It made me realize I need to remember that I got this shit! I am a real mother and have done and continue to do a really good job as a mom, protector and provider. I have had enough small successes behind me now to not live in fear. It is so wonderful to realize that I am not broken and don't need to be fixed. I just need to put that scared inner child to bed, all tucked in and draw from my strength instead of reaching back for her fears.
I have been collecting women into the tribe that lives in my head for several years now. Kind of a panel of truly strong souls who get me deep down to my core, women of my choosing. Very different from my Queen who reminds me that playing small keeps me safe. My tribe are my constant cheerleaders and they keep a list of my successes handy at all times to remind me that I have a great success record to continue building on.
Several of my mental tribe were speakers at Emerging Women Live 2014. I was blessed that the event which costs a small fortune to attend, was streamed live for free. It was one of the best weekends of 2014 for my emotional self. The messages were so powerful and the energy was truly large.
Several months ago, I fell in love with the poet, Dominique Christina, after listening to her piece on her period. If I had just read her poem, well it stands on it's own, but to hear her speak it was unbelievable. She is so strong and on fire. She is in your face and unapologetic. She is truly fierce.
While she spoke she said, "I am absolutely all of my families unsaid shit." Dominique Christina at Emerging Women Live 2014
I am my families unsaid shit too! I am the holder of memories and mementos for my family. I am the remember-er of how things went down, colored through my young eyes. I am a survivor of abuse and neglect and while it is ugly to look at, it happened. While I still battle the worry of what my family will think of me telling my story, what price will be extracted by my ex husband, what the school and scout parents will think of me and what will future employers think of me, I hear the voices on my tribe panel reminding me it is my right to live my truth and to live my passion.
During this event Danielle LaPorte spoke, "Who has to get out of the way for you to shine?" Danielle LaPorte at Emerging Women Live 2014
My inner panel was screaming a hallelujah chorus of "Your damn self! Girl, get out of your own way." Stop playing small. Stop hiding. Stop being shamed into submission. Stop worrying about being found to be a fraud and not worthy. Stop being your own worst critic. Stop creating problems that don't exist because you are being supported in living your truth. This is what you were born to do. Literally, the pain and hurt I have endured has given me the platform from which to share.
My passion is to connect with others who have been hurt or are still being hurt so that they can see I am making it out and they can too. My passion is to stand as a guide and support and light beacon for those who need a better tribe panel of people in their head.
"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." Nelson Mandela
I am done with living a life with no passion. I am done with my children being the only proper and palatable outlet for my passion. I am settling into the most wonderful time of my life where I can carve out time to create my life passion, my Melissa passion. I am putting my own oxygen mask on so I can lean over to assist others.
I am done. I don't want to play small or settle for less than the dream that has sat on the sideline since I was a young girl. That young girl dreamed of being a writer and a reporter. The grown up in me wants to be a writer too, so I am reaching down to lift her up into my arms so we can do this together.
I have woken from my slumber and have remembered why I am here. Though my voice will quiver and my hands will shake I too find courage when I stand and say, "This is who I am."
Starting the week with surrender!
My Angel card was Perfect Timing. This is a new card for me. I need to "take certain steps before my prayer can be fully answered."
I need to Take action now, make a decision and surrender the outcome.
That is a mighty big order sitting at my feet this morning.
Miracles Now #35 Surrender Your Obsession.
MM#35 I surrender my desires and I know the Universe has my back!
I will be writing my surrender to the Universe to put in my God box later this morning.
I am surrendering my need to be successful, my need to have a secure and stable life, my worries about my finances, my worries about my job, and my worries of not being enough, and my fear of failing.
I know that "the Universe has a much better plan than mine" and that each step I take forward, better aligns me with the future I am dreaming of!
After surrendering, I need to get my butt in gear as my son is having his 14th Birthday Party today!
There are Nutella sandwiches and cucumber & cream cheese sandwiches to make. There are streamers to put up. There are presents that need to be found and wrapped.
Being a parent is teaching me surrender daily.
Knowing what I think they should be doing, and choosing to sit back and let them make decisions now while they aren't as costly to the pocketbook or their souls is hard parenting. For sure, it is good parenting, but it is exhausting emotionally giving them enough room to make and learn from their decisions.
Today, I will sit back and enjoy all the blessings of being a mom!
Happy Saturday morning! I am still tucked in bed, drinking my coffee and moving through my morning practice.
This morning my Angel card was Release & Surrender.
"The Angels bring this card to you because you have been trying to fix this situation single handedly."
Yep that sounds like what I have been doing, kinda my thing to do it all on my own. Asking for help sucks. It makes me feel weak & incapable & needy. Plus people don't do things like I want them done or on my time schedule.
The card goes on to state, "They'd (the Angels) love to help you & answer your prayers but first you need to surrender and release the situation."
OK, fine, I will put some thought into this whole Release & Surrender! Time to surrender to some breakfast!
After my joking that I needed to get a Ouija Board to help my Angels be a bit clearer, I flipped to Miracle Message #57 I Surrender All from the book Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein.
Then my Angels gave me the Trustworthy Guidance Angel Oracle Card.
I know I am on the correct path with my writing because I can feel the joy, however I have been at a fork in the road for a while now regarding how I currently earn my living. I am not sure if I am supposed to stay where I am and just keep working hard, head down, muscling through each day and pushing the success boulder up the damn mountain or if I am supposed to go down the path of getting an employee job doing similar work.
I have worked so hard here that I do not want to give up too soon, however I am burnt out and exhausted with the amount of work required to keep this machine working.
I am going to steal some quiet time today to meditate and listen some more for guidance. I am also go to spend some time listing off all of the things I need to surrender.
I will add my own specifics to the end of the prayer so I can get it all out of my head and focus on my day, but the only surrender prayer I know is the Serenity Prayer. This prayer is how I will start my day.
More and more, I am noticing how complicated my life gets because I don't seem to choose the easy path. I choose a mission, something or someone to fix. My phone is currently buzzing and flashing at me and the following is scrolling across her screen, "I told you so!" She is such a bitch!
In case you missed my earlier post with my phones nagging words of wisdom, you follow this link to the post from September http://www.strongstartingnow.com/blog/i-phone-gps
I have used Angel Cards, prayer, my opinionated I-Phone and mediation and I do not feel I am any clearer on what is the next best step for me! What do normal people do to make such huge decisions?
Most of you don't know me as a Christian. Many of you know that I haven't gone to church since I was 14, nor do I plan to. I need the safety of my own mind for another decade or two, or three. I do however greatly miss the music.
We had a rough car ride to school this morning. My daughter chose not to eat breakfast since I wanted to limit the number of Girl Scout cookies she could have for breakfast. Mind you there is oatmeal packets, cinnamon rolls, pop tarts, cereal, frozen chocolate chip waffles, eggs, tortillas for quesadillas, cheese sticks, peanut butter & toast. I am listing everything off to ease my mom guilt for letting her go to school on an empty stomach. About 10 minutes into the car ride she asks if I can take her to Starbucks. As we had this conversation at home earlier, I reminded her the answer was "no". She then proceeded in a very sweet & weak voice to let me know in advance she was very sorry if she barfed all over my car. I told her I felt very bad for her in a similar sweet & weak voice. These morning power struggles always make me weary and are so difficult for me to shake off. Today was no exception. I did not make eye contact in the mirror, nor did I initiate any further conversation so it wouldn't escalate into a pissing contest. Massive guilt swarmed me. I try to make my kids happy. However, some days it becomes very clear that I am reaping what I have sown. Catering to their needs and whims is tiring.
We made it to school and while she had to take extra time and effort to get her physical body and school supplies out of the car, she was able to find the strength to get out of the car. She also waved at me twice before entering school. I exhaled. The day stood a chance at being ok. As I was pulling out to head down to work, a song popped into my head. Totally weird and random, but completely normal for me and my angels, now that I listen for them.
To many of you, it is going to seem that I am born again. I am not. I am just settling into my power again where I can relax and believe and explore and breathe again.
My family and my faith were mocked by my husband for our entire marriage, 16 years. This was done openly in front of my children. He doesn't believe, he is a man of science. That is how his children would be raised. He didn't want me to teach our children about God, but I did.
Slowly & quietly along side of Greek fables, children's stories about the Buddha and other classic literature.
Because my ex was absent four to five days a week, I was able to help my son through his Protestant Merit Badge in Cub Scouts without protest. It brought me so much happiness to teach my son about God and share with him the stories of how to be a good person. My son loves reading and loved the bible studies in the workbook. For a while he even borrowed my bible for a time to read on his own. I didn't present it as anything other than a historical collection of stories.
It is fascinating to learn about learned hate and prejudice. Children don't come in to this world with hate and prejudice in their hearts, this is a learned skill, passed down by parents and trusted adults.
For most of the past 3 years of divorce, my son has also opening mocked people of faith. It was hard to hear and hurt my heart to hear him parrot so much of his father's belief's. While I don't feel organized religion is right for me, I want my children to understand there are bad people in walks of life and faiths. Bad people do bad things in the name of religion, they always have.
My daughter has more of her own mind in this area. I believe she has a very strong connection with spirit. She is very receptive to prayer and community.
I have tried to show my faith, more than speak of it for the past two years. I have a strong community of women who share their families with mine. I try to make sure they see us caring for our friends and neighbors in their times of need and lending our prayers and good thoughts to them too. I make them aware of the tribe of people who have taken time out of their busy lives to help us over the past few years as I have struggled to make ends meet. I try to let them know daily how blessed I feel and specifically why. I want them to be able to find something, everyday to recognize as a blessing.
I want them to know about service as more than anything as I believe that service is where our lives come alive. Service provides us opportunities to find out passion and connect.
While I do not ask them to participate in my daily spiritual practice, both of them sit with me in the mornings throughout the week and watch me read, meditate, write and pray. They ask questions and enjoy the calm of the quiet time with me. On weekend, this time has the added benefit of snuggle time too!
While it is understood in my divorce process, that I cannot, on my own start taking the children to church or force religion upon them. I can allow them to see me and my practice everyday I have them. Initially this restriction pissed me off, but then I realized the blessing in showing through my daily life, how these tools help me cope and flex and stand strong in the face of the harshest of tornado's. Every day I have something thrown at me that I am not prepared for. New bills, unexpected bills, regular old bills, school items needed, scout items needed, a quick one, two punch comment from their dad or from my kids in their dad's voice.
While my daily practice is ever changing due to my stress level, it has been a constant in my life since January. I just couldn't take one more day of stress. Stress and illness took me back down to my knees.
This is one of my favorite Oprah stories. It is one of my favorite songs.
This year one of the many struggles I have had to focus on is surrender.
This is way harder than people make it seem. Every day I have to remember to surrender my wants, fears, desires and needs. They are too heavy for me to lug around with all that I have to accomplish each day. I have asked and am daily doing the work that keeps me moving forward.
I know I will receive all that I want because I am actively pursuing my passion.
God can only do for you what God can do through you. Iyanla Vanzat Peace from Broken Pieces page 102