Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Boys in the Bubble

Right now, at this very moment, I am contemplating how to put my two boys inside of bubble. It would need to be be a big roomy bubble so they don't kill each other. They can maybe have a little separation in the middle. When I was little my sister and I shared a room, and I always used to put up various types of barriers to section of MY side from her side. I'm crafty, I could make the bubble cool...like a super neat high tech fort! I can feed them in there. They can get lots of exercise running around like hamsters in a ball and even do their homework. I think it will work!

The most recent news of the 8 year old little girl who was taken while riding her scooter in front of her apartment complex, killed and put right across the street in a dumpster has me plotting the bubble. I can't get her sweet little face out of my mind. I keep thinking about her last hour. How confused she must have been. How very very scared. How very badly she must have wanted her Mommy. I keep thinking of her parents. This isn't real to them. I wonder when it ever becomes real. I don't know how they are even breathing in and out, as I can only imagine the pain is breathtaking. My heart is broken for them and I am frickin' awestruck at how one second can change your entire existence. This of course isn't the first innocent child to be abducted. There are many young people missing right now, parents and families searching and praying. She also won't be the last. That is why I need the bubble.

It can not be my child's picture circulating the Internet in hopes of someone seeing him, finding him alive. It can not be my child who gets into a car with a "friend" of Mom and Dad's to never return. It can not be my kid who chats with someone online and goes to meet them to talk about Minecraft and is then flown away to some child trafficking compound. It can not be my boy found in the dumpster. It just CAN'T!

The last couple of years I have really been becoming more comfortable trusting the unknown and facing my fears (I am a recovering control freak). A couple of anniversaries ago the Hubs and I went zip lining because we were both afraid of heights. Facing fears is empowering and really puts things into perspective, When I feel scared by something or worried about an outcome, I've learned to release it. To trust that what is meant to happen will happen. "Every thing happens for a reason, we are meant to learn from it, we all die sometime" kind of thing ya know? I've reminded the kids on several occasions, that we are not guaranteed things in life. We have to be okay with uncertainty and have faith. But when it comes to the boys...WOW...that is so much more difficult. I don't want to let things "just happen", I want to control them! I want to control the environment around them. The people that they interact with. The things they see and hear. I want to put them in my impenetrable bubble.

I want them to experience things. In my soul, I hope and dream that they find themselves and do special things with their lives, using their unique gifts. I  know that those gifts are often found by going through the fire. I understand they will struggle sometimes. They will grow and growing can hurt. We don't get stronger or smarter, more compassionate, or more secure in ourselves by not living life, by avoiding potential danger and pain at every turn. I don't want to shelter them from growing, from being the amazing men they are meant to be. Damn it! If I put them in the bubble to protect them from harm and bad people, I also "protect them" from life. Shit shit shit!!

So here I go...taking a deeeeep breath. Refocusing my mind and my heart. Praying for faith and for wisdom. Coming back to living life now, not hiding from it. Acknowledging this world is not always a safe place for our kids. Bad things can happen to any one of us and pain is very real. But I refuse to leave my mind in fear and worry. I refuse to put my boys in a bubble (even though I still think I could make a super awesome one that would be da' bomb). I will cherish the fleeting moments we share in this life the best that I can. Yes, even the crappy ones when I feel like I want to tie one of them up and lock him in his room. I choose to live with faith. I choose to believe it's in His hands, and His hands is the best place for it to be. Tomorrow is unknown and is not promised. Still I will look forward to it with hope in my heart.

I guess I'll delete my "Bubble Planning" Pinterest board.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Knockin' on 40s Door

I'm knockin' on forty's door ya'll. Only 3 more months until the big 4-0. It's weird because I swear I was just 25. Right? Like, how did that happen so fast?! I've been feeling a shift within this year. An awakening. Like the girl inside was asleep for a while, kind of hibernating, and this year started to stir. She started stretching and wiggling around slowly. I felt her then, ever so slightly at first. Then...POW...she jumped up like a bat outta hell. More awake then she had been in years, if ever. Full of energy and fire. She's ready for 40! She's ready to kick some ass and take some names.

I don't always feel the same way. Some days, there isn't enough coffee in the world. Some days, I wake up tired, with a sore neck because I slept on my belly, and now that I'm old, I can't sleep on my belly without hurting my neck. Some days I look in the mirror and notice, all too easily, the shiny grey hairs popping out through the brown and the major luggage under my eyes. "Is it just the terrible lighting in this bathroom, or is that really ME?" My muscle tone is softer and it takes a lot more work to keep my muffin top from exploding over my jeans. I noticed the saggy skin around my knees the other day while I was jogging. It reminded me of my Nana. I can't enjoy ice cream like I used to because now my old lady stomach can't tolerate it well, but I crave chocolate on a very regular basis. I have crazy grandma hairs on my chin that I have to pluck out on a regular basis and the pimples that I spent too many years and too much money battling have reappeared. Apparently, these things are all part of "getting older" for us ladies. Lovely.

But even as I write this, I can hear the girl inside laughing at me and see her rolling her eyes. She thinks I'm over exaggerating, as usual, and being a big ol' whiner. And, as always, she is wise beyond her years. Yes, that stuff is true. Our bodies try to change, and energy isn't as easy to come by. But there are other aspects of getting older that are pretty rad, and hearing her again is one of them. She is my voice and my fire, and I'm super grateful to her for waking up from her long nap. My thirties have been so busy. I became a mom, and a working mom at that. It's been constant motion, constant energy expenditure and sleep deprivation. Constant expectations to be met (often self imposed). I have really spent the last ten years giving every last drop of myself, physically, mentally, and spiritually, and not stopping to refill. Who has time to refill when you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off? That's just another task, another thing to do. You just keep going. Perpetual motion, don't stop. Don't stop to breath, to rest, to feel.

My boys are still young. I still work outside of the home. as well as inside of the home. Life is still extremely busy. But, she has reminded me of who I am. Not just a mom. Not just a wife. Not just an employee. Not just a friend or sister or daughter. I am a soul. A beautiful loving soul. Full of life and energy and fire. Full of creativity and wisdom. I'm a giver, and I'll continue to be a giver, but she has reminded me about what it is that I am meant to give. It's not my blood sweat and tears. It is not every ounce of physical energy I can muster. It's my light. It's encouragement and compassion. It's something inside that is special and unique to me. Something that only I can give.

So 40 is upon me, and I'm excited. I'm thrilled to get to be who I am. I'm happy that I get to take care of my people and get to take care of me. To share what I've learned, what I hope for and dream about. To inspire and lift up whoever I can. The next decade is the REAL deal. I am going to live it fully and truly. I'm jumping for joy! I hope you do the same because there is no time like now guys. Now is the time to live this life with intention.

Love ya

Monday, July 13, 2015

Listen Up Little Sista

Listen up little sista, hear my words. Don't turn your head, letting what I have to say go in one ear and out the other. I know you think you know all that you need to. I know you think you know yourself. I know I may be waisting my breath, but you are worth it.

Slow down little sista. Don't be in such a hurry to "grow up". Stop to think, to feel, to explore. Travel little sista. Go places, go lots of places, and do it now. See the castles of Scotland and the cathedrals of Italy. Go to South America, to Asia, to Africa. See how the rest of the world really lives before you stuff yourself into your little box. Try new things and have adventures for life is honestly short. I know you think you have lots of time, all the time in the world, to go places and do things. You'll get to it eventually. But there is no time like now and later doesn't always come.

Let down your walls little sista. Let yourself feel. Yes honey, there will be times it hurts, times it hurts bad. But you can't truly and deeply feel the good if you are trying to keep out the sadness and fear. The walls keep it all out sis. I know you think you are stronger with your walls up, tall and wide, impenetrable. But you're not. You are stronger when you give yourself the chance to be vulnerable. When you open your heart, when you lift up the steel door that guards it.

Shhhhh, quiet down little sista. Listen to the one inside. She whispers in your ear all you need to understand for now. She knows where you are meant to be, where your gifts lay, where your soul will find it's utmost joy. She is not ready for her box just yet. She wants to sing and dance. She wants to climb and jump and run like the breeze that blows. She comes with you wherever you go, and she will be with you always, even when it is time to grow up. She will still be there, but now, at this time in your life, you can enjoy her. You can play with her and let her lead you into magic.

I know you think of the future little sista, and you feel anxious and excited to get there. But hear me little sista, you will, in time, you will get there. Enjoy now! Enjoy now, because when you do get there, it is harder than you think. Life gets more difficult, busier, more tiring. You have more responsibilities, more obligations, more people to consider. There are always "things" to get done. You will still find joy, you will still experience new things, and maybe go to new places. But it's not easy. You will still have the little girl inside tagging along, keeping you company, but sometimes you will forget all about her, all about YOU, until she can't take it any longer and pulls the rug out from under you and breaks open your box.

Remember little sista, we all grow stonger and healthier and happier through experience. Going through doors, sometimes pretty, carved, graceful doors and sometimes cracked, old, ugly ones. But learning from each one and choosing a perspective. That's right little sista, you can choose your perspective. You can decide how to look at life no matter what happens. You can decide if you are grateful, if you are hopeful, if you want see the silver lining.

Love your people little sista. Love them with all of your heart. Give them what you have to offer with joy and generosity. You are a blessing to them sis. You are a light. You are a gift. Give yourself with honesty and vulnerability and trust them to love you back.

Take care of your self, sweet little sista. Breathe often and breathe deeply. Take time to still your mind and shift your awareness to the parts of life that mean the most. Feed yourself, feed your creativity, feed your mind, feed your body, and always everyday feed your soul. They all matter, they all work together to keep you healthy, but your soul my sweet sista, your soul is your fire. Your soul is who you are. Don't just feed your soul, sista, nurture it. Nurture it and care for it with baby gloves. Grow it, strong and fierce.

Life is short little sis. Let it be a life of unfettered joy. Use everything you've got inside of you, use it all up to the very last drop. Enjoy the journey, all of it. Live a life of meaning and truth. Be a blessing, by being YOU!


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Downward Dog and Bubble Baths

You may remember reading a while ago, in The Struggle is Real,Girlfriends post, how difficult I find it most of the time to care for myself in ways that matter. I know I'm not the only one. The girl inside requires more than the 10 minute bubble bath, the solo getaway to the grocery store, or even the Mom's Night Out once a month (or every 6 months).We tell ourselves that this is our me time. We pretend to enjoy the rushed bubble bath, in which we probably just squirted in some of the kids 3-in-1 pineapple scented bath wash to make our luxurious foam. We try to look at the shopping excursion, minus the "helpers", plus a stop as Starbucks, as alone time. But none of that counts guys. Sorry to burst your bubble. None of that stuff is feeding your soul, or your creativity. None of that is letting the girl inside feel valued and alive. Those things are quick fixes, band aids. Little moments of supposed sanity in the chaos of it all.

So you might be thinking, "Well damn. I was feelin' pretty good about my bath time. Pretty accomplished, like I was taking some time for ME." Ya....I know, we've all done it sweetie. We've all fooled ourselves (or rather tried to convince ourselves) that we give ourselves the necessary care. I mean we all know we aren't doin' it. We eat last, and usually in between standing and sitting. We go to bed last, after all is settled and everyone else is tucked in tight as a bug in a rug, but wake first. We make sure everyone gets their vitamins and exercise, while we drink coffee and watch the martial arts class, baseball practice or whatever your kids' thing is. Then we get home, close the bathroom door, slip into a bath and think we are gonna be all shiny and new tomorrow? The girl inside could care less about the 10 minute me time you indulge in, it's not enough, and she thinks you suck!

Of course Chicas, we are all different. Different things feed me, then feed you. I'm not going to try to tell ya what you need to do to to let your girl know she is treasured. To give your soul a drink and your mind some rest. To feel alive again and fuel your fire. Not going to give you "The 5 most important things you can do for you" blog post. But I can tell ya some of what works for me. Take it or leave it.

I've always found myself the type of person to enjoy being outside. I'm a sun worshiper...solar powered California girl through and through. When the sun is out and the weather is warm I am at my happiest. I have no control of the weather though, I'm not that cool. But I've found that even when the sun isn't shining as brightly as I wished it were, just being outside feels so good. Maybe it's not just the sun after all, but nature. I love being out "in the wilderness", which to me is usually a well marked hiking trail. I love being at the beach. Feet in the sand, just watching the ocean, listening to it, imagining all the life so far out in it's depths that we have no clue about. Letting the sound of the waves lull me to a little meditative state. I could live there, in the sand, like a beach wandering nomad. When I can't get away, I'll even just go sit in my back yard. Sometimes I'll plant something or just deadhead my flowers. Sometimes I relax with a book, sometimes with my music, sometimes with nothing but closed eyes and open heart. Nature soothes me, and speaks to me, makes me feel closer to God. I feel things deeply in those places and am able to think more clearly.

About a month ago I decided to finally try a yoga class. I've wanted to for a long time. I've always had a pull towards the spiritual aspect of it, not to mention the physical strength it seems to build. I signed up for a beginner's course. I wondered if I would totally make a big ol' fool of myself. I've done a yoga dvd before in my living room, but never a class...with people... who can SEE me. I'm not super duper coordinated, this could be bad. I showed up to class and...fell head over heals for this yoga stuff! I'm still a complete novice and a little bit intimidated by all of the teeny tiny nuances of each position, but I felt it after the first class. I felt the girl inside smile and give me a little thank you. It spoke her language immediately.

I loose myself in books. It's funny, I kind of forgot how very much I loved reading. After the kids came, I probably didn't read anything other than parenting books and devotionals for at least 6 years, probably more like 7 years. When I finally picked up a book again, I couldn't believe how it felt. When I read, I read books. Books with paper, and covers, not books on electrical devices. Real books that I hold in my hand and dog ear pages. I love the way they feel, and smell, and the way a good story can suck you into a completely different and vivid world. I almost always fall in love with the main character gentleman, and swoon over him obsessively for a while, until I come back to reality. My current fantasy man is Jaime from the Outlander series. There are 8 books in the series and I am finishing up the third, so I suspect he will be my boyfriend for a while. After a reading binge, you can sometimes have a hard time readjusting to life as you know it. You'll feel foggy in the head, maybe a little stoned. It's okay, take it slow and enjoy the ride.

Music is magical. Music speaks to our souls like nothing else really can. It lets us feel things we are afraid to feel. It opens our minds and our hearts and enters those places that you mean to keep closed. It can squeeze through those tiny cracks in your armour and embrace you so tightly that you can't resist it. I do believe any kind of music can do this for any kind of person. We all have our own preferences, each soul with it's own song. But music is medicine to every soul. I have a hugely eclectic taste for music. As long as it makes me sing, move, and touches me, I play it. Like Bob said...

You know what things feed you inside. Which things are sweet nectar to your parched soul. Which things strengthen you and open you. Whatever it is, do it. Don't try to get away with the band aids. Don't just live malnourished, putting one foot in front of the other, in a caffeine delirium. You, my fiends, are meant for so much more.


P.S. For any of my girls close by....if you've always wanted to try yoga, do it! I've been learning at Tree Top Yoga and love it. Nicole is fabulous. http://treetopyoga.perfectmind.com.