Category Archives: Self-Improvement

How to Feel Gratitude Even When Life Gets Hard

How to Feel Gratitude Even When Life Gets Hard

I try to start my car, nothing happens.

We’re at my daughter’s school and it’s freezing. The wind is blowing so hard I can barely open the car door. My little girl is in the backseat, eagerly waiting for the heat to turn on.

I try again and again and again. Nothing.

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I bundle her up in my oversized scarf. Her school is closed, all the parents are gone, it’s about to get dark, the car is at a hydrant, and my phone is almost dead. Panic and overwhelm start to creep in. It was one of those days where everything seemed to be going wrong.

I call for help and pray my phone doesn’t fail me.

Someone arrives to give me a jump start. What should have taken a few minutes ends up taking over half an hour. He tries and tries to no avail, while standing out in the cold, with no coat on. No matter what he does, the car just won’t start.

Nothing is working, but as I watch this man, I fill with gratitude. For his effort, his time and his determination.

At this point, my daughter is shaking. I take her out of the car and walk towards her school, praying someone is still there. I ring the bell, there is one teacher left, she offers to watch my daughter while I deal with getting the car towed. I head back out in the cold, my warm scarf still wrapped tightly around my little girl.

I have no idea how long I’ll have to wait, but as I walk away, I fill with gratitude. For this teacher’s presence, patience and generosity.

I sit in the cold car, the window is all the way down and with the battery dead I can’t roll it up. My husband makes it to the school in record time so I can wait inside.

I didn’t like feeling so helpless, but as I look at him, I fill with gratitude. For his speed, comfort and protective spirit.

And for the next hour, my daughter and I play inside her classroom, during what becomes our windy night adventure…

Learning How to Find Gratitude

Life can be so hard. From simple things like a broken down car at an inconvenient time, to massive health or family issues. And it can be hard to see the gratitude. But the more you look, the more it’s there.

When I became a mother of one, I was drowning in gratitude. When I became a mother of two, I was drowning in overwhelm and exhaustion. I couldn’t see the forest through the trees anymore. I was so deeply tired and struggling far more than I could ever admit out loud.

And then a failed project helped to save me…

Family Calendar

When the holidays rolled around last year, I wanted to gift my husband with a family photo album. I imagined how beautiful it would be, carefully capturing so many special moments. But it was so much work. I had two babies and a job, and I just couldn’t get it done.

I filled with disappointment and quickly made a calendar of photos instead. It was simpler and faster. That was the best I could do.

After I gave it to him and the days rolled on I started making little notes in that calendar. Notes about the cute things the girls said or did. The funny words or antics they used. The small things I cherished but knew I would forget.

Before I knew it, filling in that calendar became my grounding ritual amongst the chaos and exhaustion of life.

With each tiny update to our calendar, I taught myself how to look for gratitude. How to wait for it patiently, knowing that it would come each day. I didn’t dare leave a blank spot on our calendar of life.

Family Calendar

This little calendar has taught me so much. It’s taught me that gratitude can be simple and easy. Just a few short words. Tiny moments captured that create huge shifts in perspective.

It’s taught me that we don’t have to wait for life to be perfect, to be easy, to be less overwhelming. We can find gratitude in every ordinary day, every hard day, every day that pushes our sensitive nerves to their limits. We can even find it in the toughest of relationships.

On the days where life seemed impossible, the demands were too much, my energy was too low and my overwhelm too high, I’d wait to find my special moments. The little moments that would save me from overwhelm and bring me back to what matters.

Because of my calendar, those moments wouldn’t go unnoticed.

Life may not always go exactly as we like and overwhelm may take over at times but the more we search for gratitude, the more it will ground and save us.

photoWhen my car broke down on a cold New York night, noticing each moment I had to be grateful for is what eased my anxiety and helped me remain calm for my little one and turn a frustrating situation into our adventure.

When I can never keep up with my endless to-do list and I have to scratch things off my list not because they are accomplished but because I just have to let them go, I remind myself that failed projects can lead to cherished treasures.

When the house is a mess, the dishes are piled high, the girls need a bath, the dog needs a walk, and I feel so stretched thin, but then my little one runs over and hugs my legs, shaking her body with uncontrollable excitement as she yells “Mama!,” it is my calendar of gratitude that reminds me to focus on how beautiful each moment is amongst the chaos.

Life isn’t always full of picture perfect moments. Nor are the holidays. But the calendar moments are always there when we look for them.

For those who might be feeling weary this Thanksgiving. For those who will sit at the table with strained relationships, for those who might even be sitting alone, perhaps you can look for your calendar moments and see where they lead you, see how they lift you up, see what treasures they unlock.

Each small gesture, each hard lesson learned, each loving moment that doesn’t go unnoticed can transform your outlook, your holidays and your life.

One tiny moment at a time.

For those who celebrate, I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Birthday photo

My daughter celebrated her 4th birthday this past weekend.

Cupcakes

Her sister thoroughly enjoyed the vegan chocolate cupcakes!

Something to Remember When Your Emotions Feel Like Too Much…

When Your Emotions Feel Like Too Much

For almost two years, I couldn’t cry. Not one drop.

The old me would shed tears over a sad commercial. The new me? A tragedy could unfold at my feet and my eyes would be as dry as a desert.

I was sleep deprived and energetically depleted. Two emotionally tough pregnancies and child rearing two little angels so close in age (while maintaining a job) took everything out of me. I had nothing left. Not one tear to spare.

I didn’t realize it at first. For a while I just assumed I was becoming less sensitive. I was hardening, toughening up. Motherhood was making an emotional rock out of me. Nothing could shake me.

I might have thought that toughness would feel like a nice break. A break from feeling so much and being so easily affected by the world around me.

But it didn’t feel nice. It felt disconnected and empty, like I was no longer tapped into the emotional electricity that connects the world.

It was odd and barren, and far less soft and loving.

The Burden of an Emotional Soul

When I was younger, I hated feeling so emotional.

I seemed to feel so much, all of the time. The insensitivity of others baffled me. I wanted to turn off my emotions and grow numb to the world around me.

Then maybe I’d feel less hurt, less disappointment and less shame.

I wanted to bottle up my overpowering emotions and seal them closed forever, never to feel pain again.

A lot of us feel that way. Like we’re too vulnerable. Too easily wounded. Too sensitive. Our emotions can feel like too much to bear.

We need to toughen up. Feel less. Soldier on.

If only we could turn off our nagging emotions, we’d thrive. We’d laugh in the face of fear!

But it’s not true. Turn off your emotions and you lose everything. All of who you are. The comforting way you give love and nurture others. The depth of your empathy. The generosity of your spirit. The beautiful light that sparks inside of you.

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Letting Your Light Burn

My three-year-old daughter has never been a good sleeper. I was constantly sleep deprived during the first two years of her life. When her younger sister came along, between the two of them there were nights where I was up almost every single hour. Night after night after night. Month after month.

Sleep deprivation took on a whole new meaning.

It felt impossible. Inhumane. Painful.

And while I love every minute of being their mama, the year that followed my second daughter’s birth was the hardest year of my life. Because quite frankly, sleep deprivation is a bitch.

And to my surprise, so is being emotionally detached from the world. Being too tired to feel all that you’re used to feeling. All the love, all the joy, all the connection. It’s like a light within you gets smothered. Smothered in exhaustion, longing for comfort and relief so that it can one day burn again.

Your soft spots harden. Your empathy fades. Your vulnerability vanishes.

You find yourself longing for the emotions that once felt like such a tough burden to bear. Longing to feel that powerful spark again. The spark that connects you to the world, deepens your relationships, and keeps you on a constant search for messages of healing and kindness.

You long for the softness you used to resent. The softness that guided your heart like a compass, and often came with its fair share of tears.

The softness that lit you up from within and made you the person you authentically are.

Tapping Back In

In the last couple of months, things have improved. For the first time in three years, I am getting uninterrupted sleep (a gift only those with kids can truly understand). And while early motherhood will likely always be full of both love and exhaustion, sleep deprivation is no longer a part of my daily story.

And slowly but surely, I feel my softness returning.

One night recently, after being lured into You Tube clips of the most emotional episodes of America’s Got Talent, I found myself crying for the first time… for two hours straight. I couldn’t stop. The floodgates fell open as I got looped into one emotional story after another.

Each tear was a gift. A cleansing. A rekindling of the light within me that is still slowly healing from all the months of exhaustion. The light that guides my life, my choices, and the person I hope to be. The light that connects me to my soul and the all the beauty that’s around me. The light that softens me, allowing me to love to my full capacity.

The light that lets me know I’m truly alive and awake as a sensitive emotional being.

Your Emotions Are a Gift

They may seem like a lot at times. And they may carry a lot of fear and pain. But it’s through our pain that we learn about love and life and relationships.

It’s our pain that deepens our understanding of the world and the goodness that exists within it. It’s our pain that helps us know who we want to be and who we don’t want to be. It’s our pain that fuels our creativity and helps us to craft what we hope to share with the world.

And on the other side of pain is all the love and joy, in emotional abundance.

As a sensitive soul, you do not need to “overcome” or “deal with” your heightened emotions, you need to honor them.

Learn their triggers and respect their limitations. Step away when they feel like too much.

But let them bring you back to you. Your truths. Your depth. Your kindness. Your gentleness.

Let your emotions be your guide as they lead you towards the life you were destined for. Let them guide your passions, your actions and your choices.

With each tear I shed now, my heart fills with gratitude. So thankful to finally reconnect with my emotional soul. 

May you always tap into the spark that connects us all and be so fully awake to the world.

xx

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How to Cope with All the Tragedy in the World

How to Cope with All the Tragedy in the World

How to Cope with All the Tragedy in the World-2


The news these last few weeks has been heartbreaking. One tragedy after another.

I’ve found myself in shock, despair and often in tears. The things people are capable of are just unfathomable. As is all the suffering in this world.

It’s easy to lose ourselves in the despair of it all. To feel nothing but helpless and scared. To completely shut down.

And if you have a sensitive nature, it can lead to quite a lot of anxiety and withdrawal.

But there are things we should remember, to empower our hearts and hopefully empower our humanity.

You are not alone.

You are not alone in the shock and confusion created by one horrific world event after another. We are all feeling it. All wondering how it’s possible for there to be so much hatred. All wondering if things will ever get better.

We are all experiencing the range of emotions, from disgust to despair, and the fears the come with it.

We are all looking for answers either within ourselves or from a higher being.

We are all praying for change. And there is power in that collective prayer.

There is far more love than evil.

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With news reports today, it’s so easy to believe there is nothing but ugliness in the world. But it’s not true.

There is far more love than evil. Far more compassion than disregard. Far more acts of kindness than acts of war. But the news plays to our unfortunate hunger for negativity, so those things rarely get covered.

Years ago I had an idea that I wish were in existence today – a “Good News” channel. A channel that only focused on the positivity in the world. How would it change our inner thoughts to see stories like that? How would it change the impact we believe we’re capable of having on the world around us? How would it change the actions we take each day?

But, perhaps a more important question is, what is it about our inner makings that instead demand the negative? Why is a focus on kindness often perceived as childish, but a focus on negativity is perceived as intellectual?

Whatever the reasons may be, it’s important to remember that love is everywhere. Evil acts may get prime time coverage, but loving acts exist in abundance.

You can create change.

The tragedies in the world symbolize an absence of love in our humanity. That absence circulates within all of us.

We cannot control the actions of others, but we can cultivate more love within and around us. The more we do so, the more power we’ll have to heal the world. 

We all have hatred and biases that live within us, as President Obama himself noted recently. We all have pain that causes us to express our worst, instead of our best. We all have limiting beliefs that cause us to shrink and withdraw, instead of standing strong to positively impact the world around us. 

Just as the tragedies of the world need to be addressed, so do our own biases and pains so that we can rise to our full potential and help to heal the world. And while the news may be particularly brutal lately, the truth is we are all guilty of too often turning a blind eye to suffering (of humans, of animals, of the world), and therefore contributing to it. So we should all ask ourselves, how can we do better? 

It’s not easy to look within. Placing blame on others is far easier. But it’s important that we look inside ourselves for answers so that we can help to create positive change, instead of just feeding negativity by pointing fingers.

There are lessons in every tragedy. We must find the lessons both collectively and individually so that lives are not lost in vain. And so that we are empowered, instead of oppressed by hatred.

We are all one.

We may live in a divided world but, as it’s been said countless times, we are all one.

We are one with the goodness in this world, and we are one with the hatred. And we must accept responsibility for that unity.

We must all strive to honor the gentleness and compassion within us, so that we can help to create a world that is full of the same.

We must all work to heal our inner pains, so that we can play a role in healing the pains around us.

We must all work to reach our potential, so that the world can benefit from the gifts we possess.  

The more we empower ourselves, the more power our collective prayer for change will have, and the more empowered and full of love our actions will be.

How are you coping with the all of the recent tragedies in the world?

Please share this post with anyone you think might benefit from it <3

~ Liz

How to Reframe a Painful Past

How to Reframe a Painful Past

How to Reframe a Painful Past

 

We spend so much time dwelling on our past.

We analyze it. We relive the pain. We repeat the patterns.

We allow it to determine our feelings of self-worth.

Sometimes a painful past becomes so deeply imbedded within us that we live in response to it every single day. It controls our thoughts and actions, our relationships, and who we think we’re capable of becoming.

We drown ourselves in pity. Why did X, Y or Z have to happen to us? Why couldn’t our life had been like so and sos? Why weren’t we loved more fully?

We can spend years in therapy trying to understand it. Picking apart the words, actions and raw emotions we experienced until there’s no mental stone uncovered, but still never feeling quite healed.

Sadly, some people stay stuck in the framework of their past forever. Never able to break free of the mental chambers it created. Never really emotionally moving forward.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

The Truth About Your Past

The truth is, there’s nothing you can do to change it. And there’s nothing you can do to change the actions or words of the people in it or the tragedies that came with it.

As unfair as it may have been, as brutal or depressing, it happened. And it can’t be undone.

But the other truth is, whatever harsh things you experienced, whatever ways you were victimized, you didn’t deserve. And if those harsh experiences are still robbing your present life, you don’t deserve that either.

You deserve far better. The past is always going to be part of your story. But it’s up to you to determine the role it plays in your future.

A New Perspective on the Pain You Carry

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What if instead of viewing your past as a tragic story of suffering, you view it as a necessary part of your destiny.

What if your past was exactly what you needed to go through, as hard, painful or tragic as it may have been, to become the person you were meant to be.

What if instead of feeling like the victim of your past, you view your past as the story that was necessary to lead you to your triumph.

What if everything in your past was perfectly engineered to give you the strengths, perspectives and compassion needed to live the life you were destined for.

That’s not to excuse or condone anything that may have happened to you. But you can live stuck in feelings of past injustices, or you can empower your future by reframing the role your past plays in your life.

Reframing your story to one of empowerment can change everything.

The Power of Perspective

You can be a victim. Or you can be a survivor.

You can be full of broken pieces. Or full of wisdom and depth.

You can deem yourself forever worthless. Or you can honor your innate worth and unique strengths.

Perspective is everything.

Whatever you may have gone through in the past, you can find a way to use it to empower your future.

Our time on Earth is short. And you have a purpose to fulfill. Your past is very likely the key to that purpose.

So accept your past as part of your destiny. Use the strengths and tools it’s given you. And allow your past, however painful, to empower your future.

What strengths have the painful parts of your past given you?

Please share this post with anyone you think might benefit from it <3

Liz 
How to Soothe Your Nagging Insecurities

How to Soothe Your Nagging Insecurities

How to Soothe Your Nagging Insecurities

I can’t seem to find the right words… 

to convince her of her perfection. 

And each time I fail, the pain in my chest grows stronger. 

I should have the words for her. It’s the very least I should have. After all, she’s my little girl. 

My three-year old daughter has wild, magnificent, big and beautiful curly hair. 

It’s hair that makes a statement. Hair that draws attention. Hair that you either own up to and rock, or you pull back and cover up. 

It’s the hair of a unique, magical, multi-racial little girl. 

And at such a vulnerable age, she’s already fallen prey to comparison. Already wishing her hair looked like her friends. Already trying to change who she is to fit in. Already doubting her innate perfection. 

I’m amazed at all the complicated feelings she’s processing, at such a young age. 

And so I search for the words. Words of praise, words of encouragement, words of love. I give it everything I’ve got, but my messages seem half heard. Through the play and words of a three-year old, her desire for something that will never be hers remains evident.  

And I wonder, if I can’t convince her of her qualities now, when my role in her life is the most influential, how will I ever convince her? 

But I keep trying, because giving up is not an option. 

The Insecurities That Haunt Our Lives… 

As a child and young adult, I struggled with so many things I wanted to change. They haunted me. And so my insecurities directed my life, far more than my strengths.  

We all face struggles like this at some point. We all have things we wish we could change. Our weight, our facial features, our choices and mistakes. 

We long for someone else’s beauty, charisma or success. We try desperately to hide our perceived flaws. We take the shame and hurtful comments others have placed on us and inflict them on ourselves, over and over and over again.  

Learning how to navigate these feelings is part of life, for better or for worse. But we can, and we must, work through these feelings so they don’t get the best of us… 

Decide Who You’ll Believe

As we stood in our building’s elevator a few weeks ago, an older woman came on. As so many do, she commented on my daughter’s hair. 

“Wow, what curly hair you have.”

I wish that statement had been enough, but she continued… 

“Man, you’re gonna hate that hair when you’re older!” 

I quickly covered my daughter’s ears and asked the woman to please not say things like that. But it was too late, her message was heard. And I wondered why someone would feel the need to direct words like that to a young, delicate and impressionable mind. Her intentions weren’t bad, but knowing that didn’t stop my heart from aching.

I wanted to scoop my girl up and erase the words from her mind. I wanted to replace them with all the love and admiration I felt for her in that moment. 

But instead, I felt paralyzed. I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t know the right response. I placed my hands on my daughter’s shoulders and waited for the woman to get off the elevator. 

When she left, I knelt down and looked into my daughter’s eyes. I told her that her hair was so beautiful, the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. 

I left it at that, as I worried about drawing too much attention to the negativity. I’ll never know whose words held more weight, mine or this stranger’s. I could only pray they were mine. 

But as the weeks continued on, her concerns over her hair showed up more and more. She wished it was “long and straight mama, just like Audrey’s” (her friend at school). 

Appreciate Doubt and Shame

For every negative comment uttered to my daughter about her hair, there are ten times as many positive ones, at the very least. People stop us in the street to remark on how beautiful her precious locks are. But I know well enough, it’s the negative comments that sink in the most. 

As I watch my little girl, so perfect in her mama’s eyes, I want nothing more than to shield her from life’s painful messages and feelings. If I could grant her a lifetime without doubt, shame or insecurity, I would. But it’s not possible. And the truth is, I’d be doing her a disservice. 

Learning how to handle hurtful words and painful feelings is part of our journey. Part of what helps us learn the value of compassion and empathy. Part of our climb towards resiliency. And for my little girl to grow strong, it will need to be part of hers.  

Find Your Heroes  

My daughter is blessed with the most amazing, loving and nurturing teachers at her school. I knew I needed more help with this issue, so I confided in them. They were so happy I told them, and said they’d do something to help. 

When I picked my daughter up later that day, her teacher whispered to me that they did a special lesson on how we’re all different and beautiful in our own unique ways. And when I dropped her off at school the next morning, her other teacher, of mixed descent, who always straightens her hair, wore it out curly for the first time. She told my daughter she made her hair curly to try and make it look as beautiful as hers. 

I wanted to hug this wonderful woman and tell her what an amazing teacher she is for caring so much and for going the extra mile. I wanted to tell her how much gratitude I felt for her kindness. But to remain discreet in my daughter’s presence, I simply placed my hand on my heart and mouthed “thank you.”

Thank you to all the wonderful teachers in this world, who spread messages of positivity and acceptance. Thank you to all the kind souls who search for words of encouragement, instead of words of shame. Thank you to all the everyday heroes who take small, often unnoticed, actions to protect and nurture the vulnerable hearts and minds placed in our care. 

Broaden Your Perspective

We are influenced by so many people and things in our world. It’s up to us to choose who we allow to influence us the most. 

In my daughter’s world, I’ve decided to replace some of the fairytale books we read at night with books written for children of mixed descent. Books about different kinds of hair, and what it means to embrace our differences.

As we were reading the other night, she told me that she loved one of the character’s curly hair. I told her that the character’s hair looked just like hers, to which she replied:

“Yeah,” sounding a bit surprised. “Mama? Maybe Audrey wishes she had curly hair just like mine.” 

“Maybe, baby. Maybe.” 

Embrace Your Inner Child

We all face our own set of demons; our own insecurities that take a hold of our lives and steal away way too much of our attention. 

As we battle those insecurities, it helps to think of the inner child within us. The innocent, vulnerable and impressionable child that deserves nothing but positivity, encouragement and acceptance. The inner child that deserves our unconditional love and healing embrace. 

As I’ve watched things unfold for my daughter, I’ve felt a softer spot for my own perceived imperfections. A knowing that I too am deserving of the kind of love I give to my daughters everyday. 

unnamed-1I may not always be able to find the perfect words, but I can try to give my little girl the right tools. The tools to respond to all that life will throw her way. 

So when given a choice, she’ll choose to focus on the words that nurture her strengths, instead of the ones that dim her light.

She’ll chose the role models that teach love and acceptance, instead of ridicule and shame.

She’ll choose to believe in all that she is, instead of all that she isn’t. 

And she’ll rock her big, wild, beautiful curly hair, like only she can.   

~~~~~~~~~

For all those who struggle with loving their own inner child,
I leave you with these final words: 

You cannot choose the words others say to you,
but you can choose the weight you give to those words. 

You cannot choose the physical characteristics you were born with,
but you can choose to rock what you’ve got. 

You cannot choose to erase your past choices or mistakes,
but you can choose to learn from them and move forward. 

You can choose to love your inner child unconditionally,
instead of letting that love be determined by your worst critic. 

You can choose to focus on your growing resiliency,
instead of your shame and regret.

You can choose to let your life be directed by all that you are,
instead of all that you are not.  

And always know that there is someone out there,
who thinks your soul is so beautiful… the most beautiful they’ve ever seen. 

If you know anyone who struggles with self-acceptance, please share this message with them.

What has helped you to soothe your insecurities?  

What We Really Need to Heal Our Souls…

What We Really Need to Heal Our Souls…

I'll hold you for as long as it takes photo


“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

The silent promise I give to my little girls. 

Their emotions are so delicate. Their tears so easily triggered.

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

I told my three-year old daughter as we stood outside the car in her school parking lot, the rain pouring down on us as she sobbed breathlessly in my arms. 

She didn’t want to go in the car. She just wanted me to stand there, holding her. And I didn’t want to rush her, or tell her to stop crying. 

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

I thought as I longed for her to feel what it’s like to have her emotions honored, regardless of what triggered them. 

Allowing for her to cry until she determined she was done, instead of trying to determine it for her. 

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

My mind whispers to them daily. Silently praying that through the honoring of both their tears and their joys, I empower their generous and vulnerable hearts. 

Desperate for them to know that no matter how much they hurt, how much they feel or how much they reveal, they are loved, unconditionally.

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

Is what I want to tell myself when time feels constantly lacking and the world of a working mother moves at a speed faster than I can fathom. 

Always searching for the simple moments when time seems to stop and I’m able to create the most delicate memories. 

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.”  

Are the words I wish we all could hear when we’re feeling shamed, lonely or dismissed. 

Aching for belonging, understanding and purpose. Allowing for our hearts to fully feel and heal before we’re forced to move forward.

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.”  

Are the words I longed to hear whenever I felt like the world around me was precarious and untrustworthy. 

And whenever I felt like the world within me was as fragile and breakable as a child’s delicate heart.  

Holding on…

Comforting arms. Love that grounds us. Work that envelopes us.  

A life full of moments we can savor, instead of to-dos and empty status updates. Relationships full of comfort and understanding, instead of judgment and shame. Perspectives full of possibility, instead of fear and doubt. 

We’re taught the importance of always moving forward, for valid reasons of course. But what about the importance of pausing and holding on. 

Holding on to the words, to the imagery, to the emotions that need to be fully felt for us to heal. 

Holding on to moments where life feels like magic, never truly knowing if we’ll get another. 

Holding on to the child, or the friend, or the spouse who simply needs our full presence. 

When I find myself lost in worrying about the future and my husband offers me solutions, I ask him to just hold me instead and tell me all will be okay. It’s in the embrace, not the planning, that I find the security I long for. 

And it’s in that holding on, that I heal and change my perspective to one of hope and possibility. 

Sometimes pausing and holding on is exactly what allows our greatest leaps forward. 

However long… 

In the work I do, I review and edit countless motivational articles. Many brilliant and moving. But I jump from one to the next, as the job demands. 

Sometimes I read something inspirational online or in a book, jumping from one paragraph to the next, knowing how little time I have to devote to any one thing. 

But what I really want is to slow down. I want to cherish the words I read and let them envelop me. I want them to call forth my tears as the emotions they trigger work through me. I want them to hold me for as long as it takes to heal the patches in my soul.

I don’t want to rush, I want to feel. 

I don’t want to find a solution, I want understanding.

I don’t want to move on to the next thing, I want to move deeper within.

However deep the passage. However strong the message. However difficult the emotions.

However long it takes, is sometimes exactly how long we should hold on. 

It takes…

It takes a will of steel to get through some of the challenges life brings us without losing ourselves. IMG_1030

Without crumbling or allowing our worst selves to surface.

A will of steel to stay whole when you feel trampled on. To stay calm when your nerves are flaming. To shine outwardly when you’re stuck deep within. 

As I go through the long hectic days of raising two young kids, while balancing a job I’m fortunate enough to get to do from home, I have to constantly channel that will. Not always perfectly succeeding, but imperfectly giving it my all.

It’s that will that pushes me to try and show up as my best, when exhaustion wants to bring out my worst.

To smile, despite my tired eyes. To brighten, when all they want to do is dance.  

It’s that will that calls for me to hold them, for as long as it takes, even in the pouring rain… 

The Power of Our Silent Promises

It’s the silent promises we make to ourselves and others that shape our world.

photo of daughters The silent promises that keep our actions aligned with our values. That push us to stay loving even when our worst would be more than understandable. 

To create those promises, we need to pause and hold on.

Hold on to the emotions we need to fully feel before moving forward. Hold on to the words that seep into our souls and heal our patches. Hold on to the vision of what life would feel like if we continually honored those promises. 

I will never be able to give my little girls all that they deserve. Their magic exceeds the bounds of my humanness. 

But I can give them my silent promises and hope that those promises always lure my best self forward. 

And so for now, I promise to hold them, for as long as it takes, and I pray that’s all they really need.