Life can be serious business.

We All Need to Heal. This is How.

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I reached a major goal this week my lovely readers. I had an article published on Elephant Journal! This is a personal piece with a universal message on healing. I dug deep to pin point the hard earned lessons I’ve learned along my own journey to heal my heart and spirit. Here’s a little tid bit of the article.

Much love to all of you. ~Dawn

There is a specific alley of healing that most walk down. I call it the check out alley. To some, myself included, intoxication is the key to checking out because it’s a way of creating a different version of yourself—a version where the “real” you leads, and the “broken” you gets to take the back seat for once. At the tale end of a buzz, greed and despair can take over, self medicating leaves one with a vacancy of pain and a temporary relief disguised as bliss. The ease of life and laughter flowing through my veins when I check out is a survivors false paradise. If we don’t figure out a way to get to an elated state of mind without first walking through check-out alley, healing will never be an option.

Click here to read the article in it’s entirety.

photo source: flickr

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Don't take life too serious., Momma has lost her mind.

Kermit The Frog Changed My Life.

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I had a co-worker once, who asked me if I planned to get my Master’s degree. With immediacy, my response was, “I have to.” At that point in my life, hearing her response, “No, you don’t”, just irritated me. What did she mean, I didn’t have to? Yes I did, so I could then do X, Y and Z.

Everything was linear. I always knew where the line started and where it ended. My ego actually took her response to be something of a challenge, as if she was doubting that I was capable of accomplishing what I said I was going to do.

I attempted and failed at grad school. I can say it was because I took on too much, working two jobs and attempting school full time; but I know that would be a cop-out.

When a person chooses to go in to the field of social work, planning to have a career helping others who have suffered dysfunctional and sometimes traumatic experiences; she damn well better make sure she has her own shit dealt with and put away. I did not.

I was triggered severely while interning under a social worker in an elementary school. I didn’t even realize what happened, until the social worker (a woman I will never forget) told me she suspected I had PTSD and that it was ok to step back and take care of myself.

So that’s what I did. I withdrew from the MSW program. It hurt. I was somewhat lost at that point because all I had ever paid attention to was getting to a very specific place in life. I never bothered to look around and actually ask what else I liked, enjoyed or even wanted to do. I got stuck.

I got back in to therapy, continued to work, started my family and was making a name for myself, within the company I worked for at the time. Once I had my second child, I was derailed again. This time though, I was the one throwing up detour signs.

At this point, I had started to become more aware of what was really important in my life. Having kids had a way of putting my ego to rest, while igniting a greater love in me.

While on maternity leave for my second child, I kept feeling these little tugs on my heart. It was a pull to walk away from everything I had worked for up until that point and choose to stay home with my kids. It was radical and a bit of an obnoxious idea at the time. It wouldn’t go away though. So much so, that I eventually had to stop ignoring it.

Again, I couldn’t help but think, “How did I fall so far off course?”

Here I was, handing in my resignation, diving in to a world that even six months prior, I would have sworn would never be me. I was a SAHM, doing dishes and playing peek-a-boo in the middle of the day. Who am I?

I started to understand what that co-worker meant, five years prior. She was trying to kindly tell me, that I didn’t have to do any one thing. Life should and can be about what we want to do. I’ve had to let go of the reigns. Life never seemed to allow me to hold them tight enough to go in the direction I was “supposed” to go anyway.

I still revert back to tunnel vision occasionally. Now, though, I recognize it better. I can see and feel when I am unbalanced and need to just let go. I believe fiercely that I have to work for what I want; but the difference is now, I’m ok with not always knowing what that is. I’m taking more notes on life instead of worrying about the test. There really is no test.

My sister used to always say, “Throw away the map.” I finally understood what she was trying to tell me, when I stumbled upon this thought provoking quote, from a very unlikely source:

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“As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you’re going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won’t be able to refold it no matter how smart you are. So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can, pull over and have a picnic with a pig. And if you can help it, never fly as cargo.” —Kermit the Frog

Those words are never too far from my heart. I try to “pull over” and have as many picnics with pigs as I can these days. I’m diverting my attention back to what’s right in front of me.

I have no idea where my life will take me. However, I do know, had I never failed at grad school, I never would have been so determined to work through my own childhood trauma. I would never have decided to become a SAHM; therefore, I never would have started writing.

Who knew Kermit was so wise?

Can you identify one event, moment or word(s) that changed your life. Do you feel like you have become a better person for being thrown off life’s course?

better one

 

Don't take life too serious., Momma has lost her mind.

A Year in the Trenches of Being Momma.

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The bosses.

It was early December, last year, that I lost my mind and resigned from my job, jumping blindly in to a gig that has consumed me, taught me, challenged me, permitted me and in a way saved me.  It wasn’t the wrong path I was headed down, just a path fueled by the wrong part of my body – my brain.  Stepping out of the working world and in to a world that revolves around raising my children has taught my brain to co-exist with my heart.  Life has started to raise me.

Sugar and Spice.
Sugar and Spice.

My daughter is a very inquisitive and compassionate four year old and is starting to notice how many layers there are to life.  She is starting to dabble in the grey.  It’s a beautiful and frightening thing to witness.  The mere minutes it takes to sit down and have a conversation with her about whatever is tugging at her brain that moment is what I have come to understand is the good stuff.  Checking stuff off my lists may ease my anxiety but it doesn’t fill my heart.  Those conversations have become my reality check lists.

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A hold on my heart.

My little guy is working his way towards figuring out the basics.  His curiosity and determined personality keeps him exploring and moving most of the day now.  I’ve learned to never trust that a quiet one year old is a safe, behaving child.  At his quietest moments, my little guy has been found sitting under an entire bag of opened sugar, sharing a jar of peanut butter with the dog, tasting chap stick, snacking on dog food, testing gravity at the top of the stairs, challenging death with a sharp object in his mouth, filling the toilet bowl with toys and that was just last week.   Silence is the enemy unless they are sleeping.

I’m so blessed, however, to have a Momma’s boy that at random times just wants to sit on my lap and lie his head on my chest.  Maybe he’ll look at me and start singing a song or have a discussion in that incredibly adorable, foreign language that only toddlers speak.  Those sweet, quiet, still moments were forced on me.  I had to learn to just STOP and have them.  Those moments when I’m snuggling with my kids has taught me that God is love.  It’s the first time in my life I have ever been able to define God in any way.

Nap time has become sacred time.  Especially since I started writing.  It’s the only time in the day I get to turn everything off – my listening ears, my kissing boo boo lips, my hands that seem to always be sanitizing or holding something, my I see everything eyes including the moments of which I wish I didn’t, my poopy diaper detector a.k.a. my nose and my mouth that just tries to keep up with questions and never ending “NO’s”.  Chores will still be there but my string of sanity may not if I don’t put myself first at some point in the day.

I’ve learned to let go in the realm of hard times.  In every avenue of my life this past year, as a woman, wife and Mom, I have come out wiser on the other side of a struggle.  Financial hardship has forced me to pay more attention to what I have and make the best of it.  I have had to better understand the difference between a want and a need.  I’ve learned to trade convenience for creativity.  I’ve learned to build more on the basics.  I’ve grown to appreciate the things that take more time instead of speed up the process of living.

I have recognized that I do have the ability to play and laugh like a child.  In my adult life, that has been absent until now.  Being in the trenches of stay at home Mom-ville lends itself to self reflection.  It has put forth opportunities to forgive my flaws and grow in areas I didn’t know needed attention.  This past year, because of all that has challenged me, I am more confident in my own skin.

wish I had an end of the year performance review coming up to be nervous about.  A stamp of approval with a visual list of things to work on is not something that comes with this job.  However, as this year comes to an end, my two new bosses seem to be pretty happy with my performance.  And NOTHING beats that!