Showing posts with label Transformation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transformation. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What Can I Do?


The Orlando shooting happened this past Sunday morning. As was the case of many on social media, my facebook feed was inundated not only with posts of sadness at the world's recent events, but it was full with aggression. The combination of this horrible and tragic event, on top of all that is going on in the political world right now, spewed anger and hatred all over a feed that is generally speckled with posts from artists, spirituality websites, funny cat videos and summer vacations. They simply went away. Or some facebook algorithm pushed them so deep that even my unusually high amount of surfing today didn’t reach them. Understandably so.


The first time in my history with facebook I had to unfriend someone. Someone I hold dear. Someone I would rather keep in contact with. Someone, who like me, has suffered great illness and understands what it means to still be walking on this planet. This was very hard for me, for a number of reasons. Mostly because I care about this person, but also because I value the opinions of people who don’t think like me. I truly do. But this friend became so angry, so full of hatred, their language so hurtful that the conversation was just shut down. It no longer retained the basic characteristics of “an informal exchange of ideas”. There simply was no exchange. One view, full of anger and hatred, limited in fact and gross in overgeneralization - with an unwillingness to hear or respect the views of others. I had blocked this person from showing up in my newsfeed a while back, but today my attention was brought to something this person had said recently. Upon reading the words written, I decided that as difficult as it was, I had to do something. My passive “hoping” that the situation would resolve itself or that I could maintain the relationship by avoiding this person’s behavior was no longer a solution...if it ever was.


Feeling not well enough to really do anything physical today, I spent an unusual amount of time paging through my facebook newsfeed, surfing news articles and listening to online news radio. I purposefully read and listened to as much as I could from both sides of "the story”, trying not to get involved in sensationalism on either end (which is basically impossible, but I gave it my best shot). The Orlando news, intertwined with all the political agendas on both sides, made it intensely difficult. Beyond my ideas of why this happened or how it happened or what the solution is, lies a profound sadness and the heavy feeling of helplessness. Over and over and over again, the question in my head... What can I do? What can I do? What can I do? This sense that the world has gotten so out of control left me feeling like the only thing I truly can change is me. Overwhelmed with the bigger picture, yet longing desperately to do something. What can I do?...


Then, I stumble upon a video shared on facebook of Stephen Colbert’s reaction to the Orlando shooting. These are the words he ended on,


It's easy, it's almost tempting to be paralyzed by such a monstrously hateful act, to despair, and say, 'That's the way the world is now.' Well, I don't know what to do, but I do know that despair is a victory for hate. Hate wants us to be too weak to change anything. ... Love is not despair. Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script. So love your country, love your family, love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando but let's remember that love is a verb. And to love means to do something.


And again, as I surfed aimlessly, I found myself watching a video of the Dalai Lama at the Youth World Peace Conference. In his opening remarks he offers a few moments of silence for a time of prayer and then says,


Although some are quite skeptical about the effects of prayer, it has to come through action. Serious action, continuously, despite difficulties and a lot of obstacles, we cannot lose our determination, our courage. And on top of that, some prayer is ok, no harm. Without action, it is just prayer.


Love, in action, is compassion. Compassion, by definition, is “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate that suffering.” What can I do? What can I do? What can I do?


There was a lot hate and anger and finger pointing and blaming and judging on facebook today. So much so that by tonight I felt like I needed to sage the house just to help myself let go of it all. It hung heavy on the humidity that came rolling in with the storms. Heavy and dark. I understand these reactions. Because that is exactly what they are - reactions. And quite often, they come fast and they come heated. But one post, one very well written and brave reaction to an article describing the complicated history of the shooter, dared to show compassion for the shooter. She wrote, “While I utterly, utterly condemn his atrocious actions, I also believe we must extend some compassion to him for his own distress.” Unimaginable? Maybe. Impossible? I don’t believe so. And it really made me think.


After sitting here today, reading all the news articles and surfing through all the posts, I found myself so angry, so full of what feels like hatred to me. A justified hatred. A hatred that comes easy in light of such tragedy. A hatred that comes easy when listening to racism and sexism and rape and murder and lying and all that fills our news. We’ve had enough. And nothing seems sweeter in light of fear, than justified hatred and anger. Yet nothing is further from the solution.


Compassion must have the final word. And compassion does not mean agreeing with everyone. And it surely does not mean letting people get by with things that are harmful. Just as I had to “unfriend” someone very important to me, there are times when difficult things have to be done (to speak on an extremely simplified level) or said. Compassion is not easy. For one thing, it threatens our ego. In order to have compassion you have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Let go of what you know. Move toward the pain of the world, beyond bias, beyond prejudice and fixed opinions and open your heart to people - those we like and more importantly, those we don’t like. Compassion counteracts our tendency to stay stuck in our way of thinking and counteracts our resistance to change. Instead of acting or reacting with aggression when we are provoked, endlessly perpetuating the cycle of aggression, we trust that we can interact with others from a place of inquisitiveness, calm and caring, without feeling threatened.

I don’t claim to know the answers to all of life’s difficult questions these days. But this I do know, the answer to even the smallest of these is not hatred. It never will be. And some of the most daring work we can ever do is to challenge our own way of thinking - our fixed ideas, the labels we are so invested in, our conventional ways of experiencing things, our opinions of right and wrong. It’s not until we do this that we can move beyond bias and prejudice and actually care for people, actually make a difference. With all that I feel helpless about, this I can do.  

This I can do.  


Theresa

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What Defines You? Problem or Possibility...


                                                                                                      Photo Credit, David Ralph Johnson



Not feeling the best today. It was one of those mornings when, rather than to fight against my reality, I decided to let go and just take care of myself. As I type those words, even to me, it seems like no big deal. When you’re feeling well, do things. When you’re not feeling well, don’t do things. Just rest. You’re disabled - you get to do that. But when living with “not well” every day of your life, it can be incredibly hard to make that decision. But... today I did. And after sleeping most of my day away, I woke up and decided to watch a little Netflix…and I am so glad that I did.

To my friends out there suffering with chronic illness, disability or any life changing health condition - there is a new, absolutely fantastic documentary out there called My Beautiful Broken Brain. It’s the self documented story of 34 year old Lotje Sodderlands’s struggles, set backs and eventual break through as she relearns to speak, read and write following a major brain hemorrhage.

Prior to having this very traumatic stroke, Lotje was, in her brother’s words, “extremely dynamic, extremely social, very impassioned” Highly intelligent, Lotje was a London based film maker who loved all things intellectual and had an intense passion for reading. After the stroke, she lost much of her ability to articulate words and all of her ability to read or write. She described it as if it was like becoming a baby again, yet, intellectually and on some deeper internal level, she was still “there”.

What captivated me first, as someone who has had a life changing medical condition and has spent a lot of time in hospitals, was her ability to describe through few words and self documented video, the fear she experienced with being separated from the “real world”. Stuck inside a body she no longer understood and having little to no control over what was happening to her. Yet, if you were to walk by her on the street, she looked completely normal.

As the film progresses you see how she begins to transform that fear into a slow letting go, and eventually into an acceptance of her own vulnerability. A journey all people with life changing health conditions go through, if one is lucky enough. And as old age will have it, eventually all are met with the challenge in some shape or form.

But I think that the most poignant part of the film is where she was addressing a conference room full of therapists at the end of the film. She was speaking to them about what has been most difficult for her in regards to working with doctors. She states,

“You [doctors] have to work with somebody who is being assessed and somebody who is being defined by their limitations because that’s the only way to figure out how to make them better. And I think just the experience of continually being defined by what you can no longer do or how you are sort of limited becomes, I think, devastating."

It is incredibly devastating. For me, even more so when I was constantly dealing with my long term disability insurance. Not a second of my day was hidden from their scrutiny, either literally or in the form of my own conscience. A constant “proving”…a constant defining. It’s inevitable, and takes tremendous daily work to combat. One cannot go to the doctor weekly for seven years without it having some sort of defining influence.

Without giving the best parts of the movie away, she has a statement at the end that resonated deeply with where I am at these days. A place that still does not come completely natural and takes daily thought and effort, but a place I am so glad that I am at. She says, “I don’t need to return to my old life. This is the new existence, the new dynamic where I am not defined by my limitations, but rather about endless possibilities.”

There’s a lot of grieving that has to go on between day one and the present moment. She made this statement at the end of year one. I’m well into year seven and I’m not completely there yet. I still have intense moments of sadness. I still have those days when I know my goal, consciously or unconsciously, is to feel like I felt before getting sick. Every time I go on some sort of “maybe I’ll try this diet or this supplement” kick, I know what’s behind it for me. A longing to cure myself, to be that person I once was. A dissatisfaction, to the point of not accepting my reality in the present moment. When in reality, no one ever returns to the past. We all move forward from this moment. And in this moment, we ALL have endless possibilities. The healthy, the sick, the old. Until this moment no longer exists for us, the truth is… the sky’s the limit.

Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends upon what we think.
What we think depends upon what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.”

~ Gary Zukav, Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics 
Peace,
Theresa 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bulbs and Blank Slates

"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there within me lay an invincible summer."    
~ Albert Camus

These bulbs were given to my husband in a small paper sack this Christmas by a co-worker. In the bag was also a small note giving instructions as to how to get the bulbs to grow. It simply said to place them in water, support with sand or stones, water and wait. In four to six weeks we should get a preview of Spring. So I did exactly that. I found some of my favorite rocks (I collect rocks) and placed them in a bowl, tucked the bulbs in, filled it with water and put it up on the window sill in our bathroom. 

Life amazes me. 

I've been a bit absent from the on-line world as of late. I apologize for those of you waiting to hear how Oliver is or how Anna is or even how I am, for that matter. I forget sometimes, that the words I write are actually read by others and not just some sort of therapy for me. You remind me with your comments, honest and real. Sometimes painfully so. I am always surprised and humbled by your truth. But the fact of this matter of this absence is that it's been quite deliberate. Per the instruction of my neuro-psychiatrist, I am to live life a bit more experiential and not so much "up in my head". As someone who thrives on knowledge and strives daily toward self awareness and enlightenment, I have to admit, I can get caught up in the "idea" of it all. The bookshelf full of unread books on philosophy and mindfulness, or "books in waiting" as I like to call them, is a reminder of this "issue" of mine! I have always felt a great desire to "know". But as I am learning, to know something is quite different than what it means to feel something. And in order for our bodies to have the ability to go somewhere, it must have in it somewhere the capacity to feel that place. To have memory of it. I can know what it means to be at peace. I can know what it means to be relaxed. I can know what it means to meditate. I can know what it means to let go. But actually moving from that knowing to the experience of feeling is something that takes time and effort - and stillness. 

The problem for me arises when my brain does not work. Which, with lupus, happens quite often. When I am unable to rely on coping mechanisms that have helped me in the past - thought process that help me when I am in pain, or sad, or depressed - I find it difficult to arrive at a place of comfort (peace, relaxation,calm) physically. So the idea here is to get there more often, without so much thought, so that when crisis arises it is not such a difficult place to find. As my wonderful neuro-psychiatrist Shep says, to find it in two breaths - this is my goal. SO....not so much reading and writing and a little bit more living. 

Bedside table with iPad and headphones. My sanctuary!
The first and most important thing I have been doing in my day is to listen to the most recent recording of my hypnosis session with Shep. This was a difficult thing for me to remember to do, until he actually put it in the recording for me to remember to listen to the recording! It's been a life changer for me. I am so very fortunate to have a skilled team at the U of M pain clinic on my side. I just don't know what I would do without them. I also have a wonderful collection of mindfulness based healing talks and music - all helpful with the every day of chronic illness. To experience what it means to feel relaxed. 

Homemade gluten-free pizza...YUM!


I have also been trying to eat more healthy, especially in light of the issues I have with gluten and other food ingredients that cause havoc in my system. Paying more attention to ingredients both when eating out as well as when in the grocery story creates not only a healthier diet, but a more pleasant eating experience. To experience what it means to feel comfortably full.  





A beautiful red infant cap in the making. 
Recently I had to co-create my treatment plan with my team. One of the goals I had for myself was to work on not defining myself as a sick person. I thought I was doing pretty good at this, but the more I looked at myself, my actions were speaking louder than my words. In fact, my oldest daughter recently called me on this when I was throwing out one of my, "Oh, I'm sick and old" comments and she said that no matter how many times I said that, I was not "sick and old". Ouch. But she's right. I am. Period. I simply am. And it's about time I start experiencing what I so often talk about on these very pages. Every time my doctor asks me  how my painting is going, I come back with some excuse about my hands not working and my eyes being bad and my mind not focusing. Who IS this person? Well, this person has now learned how to crochet infant caps and if I can get one or two done, I plan on donating them to charity. Do my fingers and eyes always work? Nope. Do I care? Nope. To experience what it means to feel creative.

Tabula rasa...

























It's funny how things happen in life. The day that I created that treatment plan was a good day for me, in many regards. For starters, I was able to drive myself to my appointment. Not only does it take a good day for that to happen, it takes a number of consecutive good days for me to feel confident enough to venture behind the wheel of a car. This day I had the confidence and so I set out alone. The appointment went well. I knew we would be working on the plan so I had put some thought into it ahead of time. The effort paid off and I felt really good about where I was headed.

On my drive home I realized that I would be passing by my favorite art supply store. I can't remember the last time I went to this store alone. It's been a long time. Plus, moving off the beaten path meant possibly getting confused and losing my way. The exit approached and I took it. I just took it. I had no idea why, I had no plan for any projects and definitely nothing in the works, but it just felt right. I walked up to the door and read, "ALL CANVASES 50% OFF"!  I walked in, randomly selected seven canvases, paid for them, and walked back out to my car. As I drove home on that sunny day I had the most wonderful feeling of anticipation, of potential, of possibility. 

Oh, I would be remiss if I didn't end up in my head at some point in this note to you. I promise not to stay there long. But as I sat looking at the above photo, trying to think of how to caption it, I just kept hearing the words "blank slate". Drawing from the education recesses of my mind, I tried to remember the theory behind the words. "Blank slate" or "Tabula rasa" is one of those phrases you never forget. Now, almost thirty years later, I wonder a little deeper. Tabula rasa is the epistemological theory (theory about how we attain knowledge) that maintains that people are born without any mental "content" and that their knowledge comes from the perception of their experience. So, in essence, at birth our minds are a blank slate and our sensory experiences become our rules for processing data, or our knowledge. Hum....

I think that bulbs and canvases and I have a little bit in common. That's what I believe this part of the journey is about. Allowing myself permission to be that blank slate in order to experience that which I so long to know - the emptiness of letting go. The release of not holding on. The experience of peace on a sensory level that can only be known by having been there before, physically. And this can only happen by repeatedly putting myself in a place where this is possible. Not somewhere up in my head. Not in a book. Not in words on a computer screen, but in experience. 

I can't help but wonder what will end up on those canvases. Just like I wondered about those two small bulbs in that small brown paper bag. Just like I wonder about me. I think that Camus was right, as I find him in most cases to be.

"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible summer."   

Peace,





Oh, and Anna is doing fantastic! A few bumps in the road, a little more pain than any of us had anticipated, but she is recovering well and back at working her two jobs. She continues to wow us all. 

Oliver healed up just like new! After clearing him with the vet, we decided that it might be best if we find a home where Oliver could get a little more one on one. So we found a simply fantastic no-kill shelter called Caring for Cats and Oliver has officially been named Olivia and is awaiting adoption. We are very excited to think of the wonderful life this beautiful kitty will have. 

Life truly does amaze me. 







Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Liberate Yourself From All Your Bullshit"



“Can you question who you are? And are you comfortable with not knowing?”
~ Jon Kabat Zinn


Being chronically ill can really play havoc on your emotions. In fact, research shows that chronic illness and depression almost always, at some point or another, go hand in hand. I fought this idea for a very long long time. In my mind, it was bad enough to be thrust into the category of "chronically ill people", I was NEVER going to add myself to the list of "depressed people". This I could control. 

Well, I can't even begin to tell you all that is wrong with the above way of thinking. I also cannot tell you how painful it has been to come to this realization. Yet, at the same time, it's been each painful step that has lead to the beginning of my freedom from this suffering. How so? Well I'll tell you two very important things that I have learned.

First of all, I had to get over myself. Labeling is wrong. Period. For more reasons than I can even mention in this post. We have this habit of experiencing life and then carefully putting those experiences in categories that we label as "good" and "bad".  Had a pleasant experience at the DMV...good. Had to wait for my prescriptions for over an hour...bad. Today I heard from an old friend...good. Today no one commented on my facebook status...bad. My children spent time with me after our evening meal....good. My husband had to work late...bad. And so it goes...every day, all day long, for our entire life. We experience things, we label them, we tuck them away in our minds as facts. Some of this labeling serves a very good purpose. It keeps me from making decisions that could be harmful to myself or others. But quite often, our labeling serves no purpose at all and actually lends itself to the harm of my self or others. 

Then, without even knowing it, we make decisions based on what our minds believe to be fact. For example... if I had a pleasant experience at the DMV I may choose to tell others how wonderful my counties DMV is. I may offer to go to the DMV for my husband next time the need arises. If I had to wait for my prescriptions for over an hour, I may tell my friends how horrible our Walmart pharmacy is. I may even change where I send my prescriptions to and ultimately have to drive extra miles just to pick them up. And let's say my husband has to work late...again. I may tell myself that he does not care about how difficult it is for me to put supper on the table without him. Worse yet, I may begin to tell myself that maybe he has had enough of my illness and is somehow falling out of love with me. Which leads to insecurity, which then leads to anger or maybe even resentment, which leads to me becoming short with him or verbally questioning his motivations. 

So, second of all, what we need to realize is that our thoughts are not facts. Our thoughts are our experiences, often times hijacked by our emotions, labeled as good and bad and tucked neatly into categories in our minds. Without having to go into a lot of detail, you can easily see how our experiences can be misinterpreted. And it goes without saying that illness, medication, depression can all have a significant impact on how we label our experiences. As Jon Kabat Zinn so eloquently puts, "Stop living My Story. Liberate yourself from all of your bullshit". I simply am not the sum of my experiences. 

So then, what am I? Who am I? This question never seemed so frightening as it did once I became sick. But it doesn't have to be sickness that brings this question to life. It could be the end of a marriage, it could be the loss of financial security, it could be death of a loved one, it could simply be old age. At some point in all of our lives, the identity we cling to lets go and all hell breaks loose. Who am I if I can't provide for my family? Who am I if I no longer have my health? Who am I if I loose my friends? Who am I if my spouse dies? 

We seem to get through these losses, as difficult as they are, as long as something else remains for us to cling on to. But sometimes life takes away everything. And then what? 

I have by no means lost everything. In reality, only death can do that, as far as the physical world is concerned. But I have lost enough to struggle with the question of Who am I. And it was not that I all of a sudden thought, "Oh my gosh, who am I?" It was much more subtle than that. The question came to me in the form of depression. And this depression made itself known to me in the form of anxiety. An anxiety that every so quietly entered into my life creating havoc with an already complicated illness. And what I found out is that the only way to get rid of that anxiety is to let go of  knowing.  

We hold onto knowing as if our lives depended on it. When in reality, it is the NOT knowing that brings true life. If we are preoccupied with who we “know” ourselves to be – I am this, or I am that – if we conclude that we are only the sum of our life experiences – then who we are becomes completely limited. When we end the sentence simply at “I am.”, then who we are becomes completely limit-LESS. Liberate yourself from self-identifying and you will find that life is so much greater than you could have ever imagined it to be. You will find that instead of being "let down" or continually disappointed by life, you presented with a never ending list of possibilities. 

For me, I am no longer defined by my illness...or by my ability to run marathons, or by the wonderful mother that I am, or by being the wife of an amazing man, or by my painting, or....

I simply am. And that makes me everything. 

Peace,




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Daffodils


The Daffodils - 1802 Version

“I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”


It's a subtle changing, this movement from the joy in doing towards the joy in knowing. Letting go of the sadness and grief for the revised parts of me. The parts of me that cling to the past. The parts of me that remain uneasy with today.

The parts of me that secretly wish to run once again, wild and free from pain.  

This changing, this joy in knowing, only happens in this moment. Letting go opens my heart to find the gift of what is -

beautiful.

Joy in the knowing of all that I have had. Those moments when I too, gazed and gazed, but gave little thought to the "wealth the show to me had brought."

Joy unending.

"They flash upon my inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."

This is Peace. 












Sunday, October 23, 2011

What Defines You?


I've seen a lot of these lately, in my flipping through the many pages of facebook. In fact, that is where this one, this "Badge" or "Poster" as they call it in the social media world, came from. I promptly "lifted" (another techy term) this one right from some unaware, well meaning individual. I wish I could remember who. Even the identifying print at the bottom has become fuzzy in the many "shares" of it's life.

There's an edge to this one. I get it. I mean I "get" the intended point, which I believe is meant to be a good thing. And, in reality, it is. It's what I have taught each one of my girls and it's a belief I work on with myself. Don't base your worth on what other people think of you. But there's just something... "In your face" about this one. I imagine myself speaking these words to an actual human being. (Which, I believe we forget out there in the world wide web) But who would I say this to, and under what circumstances? Think about it. Would I say this to my husband, to my children, to my friends...to who? And if I did, even though it's a "truth" I live by, how would this declaration make the person I am speaking to feel? Really?

And then there's the question, at least in my mind there's the question, "What does define you?"
To begin with, let's define define...


de·fine

 [dih-fahyn] verb -fined, -fin·ing.

verb (used with object)
1.
to state or set forth the meaning of (a word, phrase, etc.):They disagreed on how to define “liberal.”
2.
to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of;describe: to define judicial functions.
3.
to fix or lay down definitely; specify distinctly: to defineone's responsibilities.
4.
to determine or fix the boundaries or extent of: to defineproperty with stakes.
What is the meaning of you? What is your nature or essential qualities? What is definitely you? What are your boundaries? At the risk of  making things more complicated than they might need to be (which I have been known to do) or maybe at the risk of making things too simple (depending on your school of thought) I will answer all the above questions with one answer:

Nothing.

Nothing defines me. Not even I define me. The minute I define myself, or allow anyone or anything to define me - no matter how righteous - I am imprisoned within it's constraints. It's the old reality of impermanence sneaking up on us once again. Everything comes to an end. Happy gets sad, rich gets poor, healthy gets sick, young gets old, professionals get passed by, eyes get blurry, fast gets slow, people change careers, they change marriages, they change styles, they change beliefs, they move to new cities, they grow beards, cut hair, move teeth, loose legs and find freedom in experiencing something they never dreamed of experiencing. The minute we finish the sentence, "I am..." we give life to these identities, and in doing so, become the ghost of an image that exists in one place only, and that is in our minds. We forget that who we are is not found in our minds or in any one's mind for that matter. Who we are is found only in our "Being". And with each new cell growth, with each exhale, with each blink of an eye we are changed. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe, said"Everything flows, nothing stands still." He said it's like stepping into a river - you never step into the same river twice. How true! Whether we are talking about a river, or a human being, or time itself - there is what something was - there is what something will be - and then there is the space in between. A space that cannot be pinned down, cannot be defined...THAT is where you and I reside. Always changing. Never the same.

What beautiful freedom exists when we understand this! Tragedy does not define me. Sickness does not define me. Success does not define me. Beliefs do not define me. In being defined by Nothing - I am Everything, abounding in possibility.  If I could wish for one truth for my daughters to understand, it would be this. To wake up each morning unshackled from the regrets of the past, emancipated from the definition of what "should be" and  empowered by the freedom that comes in the understanding...

I am.

This is the message, the badge, the poster I choose to share!

If you would like to "lift" one of these badges for your blog or facebook page, FEEL FREE! Or, if you are unsure how to do so, send me an email and I can send them to you as an attachment.




I wish you the peace that comes in knowing
you are everything you need to be, right here, right now,
in this very moment.