Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mojitos, Acceptance and Exhaust Fumes

The past (almost) two months have been a bit of a ride, emotionally, for me.  I went from feeling quite certain that the goal I had been striving towards for the past over two years was soon to be fulfilled, to being filled with disappointment and rejection.
I took McMaster's rejection into this year's MEP as fuel to my fire.  Immediately upon getting the email from Mac, I began looking into other options.
I researched, made phone calls, talked about it and wrote about it endlessly, and repeated this process - non stop.  I never let not getting into Mac totally sink in.  Instead I pushed forward.

Without getting into too much of the (boring) details, I will say that I was accepted into another Midwifery program - in the US.  I was (am) thrilled!  Not even a week after Mac's email, I began sending everything to this amazing school to apply.  I had my Skype interview with them and it was amazing. It affirmed for me that this school was what I was looking for in Midwifery education.
After a lot of back and forth, I accepted their invitation as a student.  I excitedly texted and called people with the: "I am officially a midwifery student!" message that I had been longing to send since this crazy journey began.

And then reality began to set in.  I would be gone from my family for two weeks at a time.  And that wasn't even considering preceptorship yet, in which I would most likely be required to shadow a midwife, in the US.
I was listening to others' advice, words and amazing support.  Before my own instinct.  The morning after I accepted, I awoke to a loud voice literally screaming at me: STAY HOME!  It was overwhelming.  I had never heard this internal voice so loudly before.  I absorbed what I was feeling along with those words, what they meant and how I felt about them.
By mid-day the answer was so clear and I felt a deep peace.
I wouldn't be starting school in the Fall as midwifery student.  That was ok.  In fact, it was necessary.
My kids are SO young.  As a wise woman (also a midwife) pointed out to me a few weeks ago: "Midwifery will always be here.  Your children are only this young once."  While I heard and felt was she was saying, I was, at the time, still clouded with this obsession of being a midwifery student NOW.
It took me almost a month after hearing those words that I really understood.

Since the Spring, Al and I have talked about this summer.  Aubs is starting JK in the Fall and Alanna is making the leap into Grade One.  Big moves!  We want to really enjoy this summer and fill it our summer cup to the brim with hikes, beach visits, camping and bonfires.  We were saying that Alden is finally at the age where he is full of steam and curiosity and can get himself to where he wants to go quickly. Watching him chase his sisters around out back has been amazing.  And this is only the beginning.

I have written not long ago about how, going into the interview at Mac, I wasn't totally reflecting ME.  Somewhere along the road of preparing, I consumed myself with others ideas, feelings and thoughts on the interview process.  I am EXTREMELY thankful for that and will take what I have learned.  However, I need to be me.
I thought I learned this lesson back in May however now I am seeing that I didn't trust myself yet again.

When I came across this amazing school in the US, I was surrounded by the most amazing support and encouragement.  Along with that came the much respected advice.  Instead of taking those words for what they are and seeing how I felt, I once again got swept up in others views on my being a midwifery student in the US.
I needed a good strong and loud voice on a sudden Wednesday morning to once again remind me what I want.  What is best for my family.  What makes the most sense for us.  I appreciate SO much the love and support we continue to receive.  What I also need to learn to appreciate is MY instinct.  I am reminded once again to listen to that.

I wrote down a few weeks ago what is important to me, in regards of my profession.  It is something that I have known for a while and what keeps resurfacing and pulling me towards midwifery.  Empowering woman.  Unity.  Sisterhood.  Respect.  I am so passionate about instilling important and useful information into woman so that they can feel empowered and in charge, as they should.  I believe so strongly in the power and strength in Sisterhood.  In women standing together - supporting, encouraging and loving each other.  Rising each other up.  THAT is why I want to be a midwife.  Catching babies is a wonderful, beautiful, amazing bonus.

So, in reminding myself of that, I am seeing now that there are many ways that this can be accomplished. When I am talking to my girls about respecting themselves and being compassionate, I am instilling knowledge and power in them.  When I am having a deep, meaningful conversation and good cry with a friend, we are providing a deep sense of Sisterhood to one another.  When I am talking to wonderful young women who are expecting or recently have had a baby, I am (hopefully) helping to provide them with useful information and in turn, allowing them to feel more empowered.  I am doing all of these things now - thanks to all of the wonderful people in my life.
I don't need to travel to another country to do this.  It is happening now.

Yesterday after Alanna's kindergarten graduation, I sat on the deck and watched my family in the back yard.  They were taking the water from our little dinky pool into pails and watering the vegetable garden.  I sat, sipping my mojito (that's right, this happened) and was so filled with gratitude.  These "small" moments are so big and meaningful and if I am honest with myself, ones that I had sadly ignored more than I would like to admit these last two months.
I feel as though I am witnessing and FEELING them once again the way they are meant to be.

I am stepping back from the obsessing, wondering, hoping, wishing and plain ol' driving myself (and I am sure others around me) crazy and being more present.
Ideas are whirling around in my head in regards to what my next steps may be and for now, that is where they will stay.  Tucked safely away, waiting for the right moment.
I am not going to force this anymore.

I am, instead, going to sip my mojitos, hang tiny little socks and bathing suits on the clothes line, swing in the hammock with Al, watch the birds in our beautiful trees, go on more morning hikes with the family, feel the excitement right along with the girls when they see the pixie dust on the fairy house outside that the fairies left the night before, watch our bountiful garden grow and breathe deep.
Smelling the fresh summer air, I am also breathing in peace, serenity and a little bit of exhaust fumes from the kids' mini quad.
A perfect summer, indeed.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Heart, hammocks and late night realizations

I used to love dancing.  A lot.  I grew up dancing in competitions and while I don't miss the competitiveness of it, I do miss the movement with music.  And the flexibility.  Oh, to be able to drop down into the splits again.
More than anything though, I think I miss the freedom of it.
While I still dance around the house with my kids, I don't do it with the same freedom of movement.  I need that again.

Jamming to the Heart cd I just bought (with much excitement), I felt myself move around on the deck like I used to.  My 30 year old body still remembered some of the old moves, and while they may look and feel entirely different over a decade and a half later, they are still there.  My sweet dance moves having been waiting to be dusted off and brought to the surface again.

I need to take more time to dance.  Around the house to Heart, Joan Jett and maybe even some Tiffany (that's right, I said it).
I need to take more time to stretch, to lay awake at night and be in my own thoughts.

I have been doing that the last few nights and there is something so amazingly awesome about it.  I normally am one to fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow, but I have been trying to make an effort to pack 'er in a few minutes early even to just lay there and think.  And be.
It has ended up being more than a few minutes the last nights and I am so thankful for that.

I feel that in that last half hour before I fall asleep, I am really able to connect with myself.  Not only is the house finally quiet, but more importantly my mind and body is.  I am trying to be present and not let my fears or concerns or wants to take over.  They are there, I acknowledge them - but then I am trying to release them and see what else is coming in.

What, I am finding, is coming in, is true, pure and real Angela.  I am trying to dig under my hopes for the future, my goals and my desires and see what is even deeper than that.  Here is what I have uncovered so far:

*I need to stop being is such a hurry.  My dreams, my passions and my hopes aren't going anywhere.  If they are rooted deeply within me, they will still be there when I need them.  My children, on the other hand, will only only be these tender young ages once.  I have deeply consumed myself with MY hopes and goals.  While I know that pursuing these will only help myself and my family in the long run, I also need to remind myself that being present with my kids is my #1. While there are going to be times that I wont by physically present, while I am here, I can make the most if it.  I can stop rushing around with this notion that I need to have everything lined up NOW and move forward NOW.  I am moving forward.  Whether it be a tip toe movement for a while, I am still moving forward.

*I need to stop putting the "small" things on the back burner.  Things like penciling a day in the calendar to take the kids to the beach, scheduling our much deserved and overdue night away for Al and I, making (and sticking to) much anticipated dates with friends.  THOSE things I have been pushing off, in the pursuit of "bigger" things.  I laid in bed two nights ago and that reality hit me hard.  I woke yesterday with a deep desire and drive to make those plans and stick with them.  It feels so, so good.

*Reading thought-provoking books, doing yoga on the grass (I am embarrassed to admit I haven't done yoga in MONTHS!), tending to my veggie gardens, buying (and reading in) a hammock, taking impromptu hikes with kids and Al, listening to music that brings me back to the natural movement of my body, wearing long flowy skirts and used t-shirts, sitting out on the deck with Al, with a glass of wine in my hand once the kids are in bed while we talk about our dreams and hopes and the NOW. --> These things are what I deeply want for this summer.  These things I DESERVE to have this summer.
Anything else that rolls in will be a welcomed gift.

“summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. for those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. you can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. summer just opens the door and lets you out.” 
― Deb CalettiHoney, Baby, Sweetheart






Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hopeful Midwifery Student Musings (lucky) #13 - Hope, Thanks & Red Flip flops

A huge thank you to everyone that sent me such loving, kind and supportive messages, phone calls and in person hugs and chats.  After receiving the dreaded email from Mac only last week (you can read that post here if you would like), I was lifted very high by you all.
If I can be honest, my feelings of sadness and anger lasted roughly 12 hours.  I remember when I was waiting to hear about the McMaster MEP, I would say to Al that if I received a rejection email, I would most likely be in mourning for a good month.  I was/am surprised that that isn't the case - and even more than that, thankful.

I am thankful because by being able to grieve not getting into Mac and move on so swiftly tells me that I still have hope and faith in myself.  I am not blind to the fact that, becoming a midwife will not only be hard work but also may end up taking me on a journey that I never thought of only a year ago.  What I mean by that is, I am looking into other avenues that will lead me to the same end result: becoming a certified midwife in Ontario.
I am excited to explore options, test some waters and find a way that makes sense for not only me but also my family.
I feel supported and encouraged by my friends and family and my dear ol' hubby.  That man is something else.  He didn't blink when I told him that I didn't get into McMaster's MEP this year.  Instead, he gave me a huge glass of wine and listened.  He listened to my concerns, my fears and my hopes for the next year.  And not only has he continued to listen, but he is on this wild path right beside me. 
He understands (as much as he can at this point) the hardships that come along with being a partner to someone pursuing midwifery.  But more than that, he understands that midwifery is my passion.  And he told me to not stop.  To keep going until my goal is fulfilled. 
Having a partner that is willing to take the financial burden, household chores and less time in his shop in order to help me succeed means more to me than I could ever express.  And more than that, it gives me more faith in myself.

I am ready to move forward.  I am shrugging off McMaster's denial and going one step further and throwing it back at them.  I understand fully that this was not my year to study midwifery at McMaster.  Maybe next year wont be either.  Maybe I will find another way to achieve my much desired goal.
I am the only one in my life that can set limits for myself. Not a school.  And in my mind, heart and soul, the sky is the limit.  I will succeed because I am crazy enough to think I can.  And I have a whole army of people in my life that are also urging me forward.  How can I stumble back when I have these hands, this love, that is right there to catch me?  I can't.  
And because of that - I rolled out of bed last Saturday morning and smiled.  A real, deep and powerful smile.  And then I wore one of my favourite outfits and spent the day in the sun with the kids.
I had some wonderful, dream-chasing conversations that made me feel so alive and ready.
I wrote pages in my diary and the love and excitement I felt oozed onto the pages of that pink, little book.

And since then, only one week later, I am still truckin'.  I am still chasing these crazy dreams - and to be honest, I am doing so with more vigor that ever before.
Thank you McMaster for reminding me how much I deeply want to be a midwife.  By sending that lovely little rejection letter last Friday morning, you not only lost a wonderful midwifery student this year but you also reminded said student why I am on this amazing, crazy road.

Passion. Drive.  Hope.  Faith.  Pride.  Love.

I think I might buy some red flip flops.  I need to get used to wearing red on my feet - in preparation for wearing my red heels when I graduated from the MEP when it's my time.  You can never start too early.

xoxo




Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hopeful Midwifery Student Musings #12 - Disbelief

I have put off writing a blog post involving my journey towards becoming a Midwifery student because, quite frankly, I wanted to wait until I had good news to share.
I received the amazing email on March 25th that I was granted an interview at McMaster,  To say I was excited would honestly be an understatement.

So, once I got off the floor from crying in happiness and joy I began preparing.  I had a month to get ready for the interview that I once thought was just a dream from ever happening.
I connected with some amazing people - both in and out of the program currently.  I Skyped some fantastically supportive and insightful people, I wrote notes, I walked around the yard practicing and had a night at the house where some amazing family and friends came over and we practiced.  It was even recorded by my sister so that I could look back on the videos and take notes - and I will tell you this, it is HARD to watch yourself on the screen.

I obsessed for MONTHS over what to wear and ended up going on the way more conservative side than I envisioned myself.

The night before the interview I ate my favourite meal in the world, painted my toe nails red (a fun little fact: on graduation day, Midwifery students don red shoes under their gowns), I watched a funny movie with Al, and I set the alarm for super early in the morning.
I woke feeling fresh and ready.  I was a nervous wreck but ready.  I had a mini cry on the way to the interview, when I heard "I believe in you on the radio.  I could FEEL the love and support lifting me from all over the place.  I had had SO many texts, calls, messages that were so full of encouragement and I FELT it.

While I signed a disclosure and can't say too much about the actual interview questions I will say that they did not pertain to midwifery.  The MMI style interview consists of 10 mini interviews that all consist of 10 minutes. Each room as a question/scenario on the door and you have two minutes to read it.  After a bell goes off, you enter the room and answer the question with the interview for 8 min.  Then you repeat another 9 times.
I left feeling relieved and unsure.  I spent the entire week after rethinking all the questions.  I finally concluded that I did the best that I could, I felt that, besides one room, I answered thinking of many different approaches.  I truly felt that if I didn't get into the program this year, it was because I was not what they were looking for this year.

Two days ago the emails started coming in.  I am a part of a wonderful group on Facebook that consists of MANY Midwifery student hopefuls and current students.  It is a great sounding board and a wonderful resource.  I have made some wonderful friendships through this board and I can say, without a doubt, that every single one of us on there would make truly amazing midwives.
People started posting that they were getting acceptance emails. My email inbox was empty.  I obsessively checked not only my inbox but my junk mail.  Nothing.
Thursday came and went and a bunch of us were still sitting with not email.  The only emails that DID come out were acceptances.
While I was reassured that this could mean nothing, I started to feel the pit in my stomach that told me otherwise.  No one had there been any wait-listers or rejections being posted.  Only acceptances.  I had a cry, a glass of wine and went to bed.

Friday.  I can say that yesterday was a rollercoaster of a day.  I knew that this was the day I would find out one way or another.  After waiting all morning, I began getting angry that they were making us wait.  Torture.  I called the office asking for anything they could give me - I just wanted to know if they were still sending out acceptances or if we should just be expecting declines now.  She wouldn't tell me anything.
Shortly after 12:30pm I got my answer.  I saw the email sitting there and hesitated.  This was it.  This email would tell my future for the next year, at least.
As soon as I opened it, I knew.  The words that I had been envisioning for years was not there.  There was no "congratulations."  Instead I received the very generic "due to the high volume of applicants" blah blah denial.  Denied. Just like that I was being denied acceptance to the 2014 stream of McMaster Midwifery students.  It wasn't happening.  It's not happening.  Just like that, some people in random rooms that asked me questions that did not pertain to midwifery (except for one room, which I feel that I rocked) decided that I was not suitable for this year's stream of the Midwifery program.

It sucks.  A lot.  I have cried more tears than I even expected over the last 12 hours.  To all of a sudden not be a part of this process for this year is truly more to handle than I thought.  I KNOW there is next year and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be applying again.  But in the meantime what do I do?  What school do I apply to?  Will I even get in next time?  There is no guarantee and I am not sure that I can handle going through this again.
I know full well that many Midwifery student hopefuls apply two, three, four even five times before being accepted.  It's a tough program to get into.  I know that, when I am ready, I will have a supportive, amazing group that will share their stories of despair while trying to get into the program.

I know that one day, when I am a midwife, I will tell my clients or a hopeful student the hardships that I endured while trying to get into school.  I know this.  I know it's a part of bigger plan for me - I get it.  But in this moment, right this second, it sucks.
I am not going to spend a lot of time feeling sorry for myself but I will drink copious amounts of wine this weekend and feel upset and slightly angry.
I will say again to my husband, for the tenth time, "who in the heck is some random guy in a room that asks me the most random question be the one to decide if I should be a midwife?!"

The whole process is the pits.  And what is even more tough is that you can only apply to one of the three schools in Ontario that offers the program at a time.  So this could very well happen again.  There is no magic formula to getting accepted (that I am aware of - but if there is, please someone tell me).
While I could apply to schools in another province as well as in Ontario, that is not something that I want to do, for obvious reasons.  My kids are young - they need me close to home.  And while I fully understand that the Midwifery Education Program is tough stuff on anyone, let alone a mama with young kids, I am ready.  We are ready as a family.  We have talked about it a million times and prepared ourselves for it.  We are ready - and yet here I am waiting to be given the chance.

I don't even know what I could do differently next year.  I don't even know what I said, or didn't say, this year that made the interviewers think that I was not fit for the program this year.
The only thing that I know to do differently and which I am regretful of, is that I didn't truly dress myself.  Somewhere along the lines I got caught up in being professional and buisness-like.  I quickly pushed aside my vision of my long flowing yellow skirt and instead donned a suit - with my hair up in a bun.  That is not me.
When I sat in the waiting room before the interview, I looked around and quickly realized that women were dressed to THEIR style.  Yes, some were in suits, but some wore long flowing skirts and even mini skirts for pete's sake.  But they held their own.  They held confidence - they were themselves.

This post is not meant to be an angry one or one full of regrets.  I want to be able to look back on this part of me journey and see that, in the grand scheme of things, this was a big part of my journey.  I also want this to be a source of comfort for anyone else that may find themselves in this same position, at some point. That's what it's all about - helping each other.

I have made some AMAZING friendships over the past year.  I have connected with some women that not only share my passion for Midwifery but also that I have a deep bond with on another level.  I have had the deepest pleasure of getting to know some current Midwifery students, who I hope one day soon are my mentors.  I also have connected with some beautiful souls that are also on the same path as me.  I am so grateful for them.

I joked to some friends and family a month ago that when I got it, I would need to have an acceptance speech for them.  I am seeing today that, while I didn't get in this year, these amazing people still deserve a thank you speech.  While it's not an acceptance speech, it's what I can offer this year:

To my lovely friends and family:

How do I thank the people that have lifted me so high, that I often felt I haven't touched the ground in months?  How do I thank those in my life that constantly listen to me talk about Midwifery, what to wear to the interview that would change my life and what stone would help open my throat chakra? (which I didn't even wear by the way).
How do I properly express my gratitude to the people in my life whose words, even through a text, allowed me to truly feel capable of becoming a Midwife?  I hope this is a start.

When I first started telling the people close to me that I wanted to become a Midwife, years ago, I was met with nothing but encouragement and excitement.  No one told me that I was crazy or how hard it would be.  I was met with nothing but love.  When I began getting my courses done to apply to Mac, I would receive texts and calls that told me they were proud of me.  Slowly day by day, I began feeling as though I was being lifted higher.
When I doubted my ability to do what it took to get to even this point in my life, I had people tell me what I needed to hear: I was capable.

When I heard the song on the radio on the way to the interview I swear to you, I felt as though I was being carried to the interview with all the love and support that was surrounding me.

How do I thank you for that?  I hoped that getting into the program this year would be a start.  Unfortunately that was not meant to be - and one day, hopefully some day soon, I will know why.  We will laugh over a glass of wine over how obvious it was that 2014 was not my year to start the program.

But in the meantime, I thank you.  Thank you for the love.  Thank you for telling me all the things I needed to hear.  Thanks for taking the time to research questions to help me prepare for the interview.  Thank you for coming to my house with a bottle of champagne only hours after I tell you that I got an interview.  At the time I felt as though that bottle was not deserved.  I am slowly seeing now that it was - oh, how it was.

You have all reminded me, more than once, to step back and see the bigger picture.  It was only a year ago that I didn't even think I had what it took to apply to McMaster.  Somehow within that year, I not only got my grades on par to apply to Mac but I was granted that deeply deserved and sought after interview.

Looking at what is ahead for me and my family - knowing there are decisions and steps to take, I have the deepest sense of comfort in knowing that we are supported.  While I know in my heart I wont stop until I am a Midwife, it makes the process so much more bearable having people in my life that are right beside me.

I recently told a friend that I felt as though I was on a slide.  It was such a clear image to me.  I could see myself at the bottom of the ladder, looking up at the tall stairs - thinking of the work required to get to the top.  The moment I decided to pursue Midwifery.  Day by day I started up those steps, with a team behind me - helping to give me a boost up a step or two when I needed it.  I am at the top step now.  I am teetering over the edge, looking down at the wild ride of a slide.  That wild ride that is the Midwifery Education Program is close.  I can see it.  I can see people that are sliding down that slide right now.  We wave to each other and once in a while they come up to see how I am doing and then they slide back down to where they are right now, on their journey.

I am still on that top step.  I haven't gone backwards.  I haven't fallen off the ladder.  I am still here.  I am still in a state of dismay, confusion and downright anger at times, but I am still here.  I have teetered a bit but what has kept me sturdy are my family and friends.  You guys.
And I know that when it is MY time to take that wild ride down that slide, I will have this amazing support of people that are not only riding down this slide with me, but cheering from the side.

How do I thank these people?  These beautiful souls.  One day I will be able to thank you by walking across the stage in my graduation gown and cap, my bright red shoes proudly displayed underneath the gown.  In the meantime, I thank you through these words.

This year will be one full of uncertainty at times but also one that is full of love, hope and encouragement.  Thank you for that.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Self-love

Last week I was in a funk.  I was not feeling well, along with the rest of my family, and I just overall was "blah."  I couldn't shake the feeling and it felt as though I was walking around with a dark cloud over my head.
I was grumpy, irrational and unkind to myself.  It was, to say the least, terrible.

Saturday morning I awoke feeling fresh.  We drove the kids to skating, with the sun shining.  I felt like me.  I even said to hubby: "Oh my gosh, it feels so good to feel like me again!"  I could not believe how, just a few days made me feel completely out of touch with myself. And then, just like that, I felt renewed.
I am sure the glass of wine the night before helped and the much anticipated movie night with the kids.  I am also sure that feeling a bit better physically had a lot to do with it.  It was a combination of things and for all of those combined, I am thankful.

While it was not a great place to be, even for a few short days, it reminded me of the beauty in every day things.  I was once again reminded that the simplicity of a good snuggle with the kids while watching a Friday night movie is truly medicine for my soul.  I was reminded to be gentler on myself and to allow those days to happen when they need to - for they allow me to stay true to myself (we can't all have 100% awesome days every day, can we?) and that it's ok to feel "off" every now and again.
The important thing, I feel, is acknowledging those feelings and accepting them for what they are.  For truly accepting that, for whatever reason, some days are going to be more difficult than others and that's ok.  In fact, it's necessary.  Those days test our patience, our care towards ourselves and our ability to see the light in all things.

Last week was a huge reminder to me that I am too hard on myself.  I was falling asleep at night feeling angry and upset that I wasn't being the most in-tune, aware and kind mother that I should have been.  That I was short with hubby.  That I wasn't kind enough to myself.
My yoga practice was at a zero and by the beginning of this week I felt it.

Yesterday while the kids were playing, I dropped onto the living floor and fell naturally into a yoga rhythm.  It felt so good.  I had Alden climbing on my back some parts and Aubrey playing loudly in the background and you know what? I embraced it.  While it wasn't as long as I would have liked, it was enough, for that day.
At the end of it, I was in final resting pose, savasana, one which I will admit I have often skipped in the past - even though I am fully aware of the importance of it.  It is a time to allow your body to settle and calm after your practice and a time to appreciate and thank yourself.  I did this naturally yesterday and it felt great.  It was what was missing last week.  Not just yoga but self-appreciation.  I laid on my living room floor, eyes closed, kids running around me and I was so thankful.  Thankful for the day.  Thankful for the amazing opportunities that I am being presented with.  Thankful for wishes and dreams and hopes and goals slowly becoming a reality.  But mostly, in that moment, I was thankful to myself.

I felt honored in that moment to be Angela.  Not just mom, wife, daughter, friend and all of those other wonderful, fulfilling roles - but Angela.  Me.  A being that is full of light, love and patience.  That patience is in there somewhere and if I really am still, I get a glimpse of it.  Who would have thought that in the practice of truly slowing down and breathing, patience comes through?

I am making a deep effort to work on patience.  For myself mostly.  I am reminding myself to be patient and to allow things to unfold as they will.
There is something quite magical about the unknown.  And while it has the ability to drive me crazy, I am reminding myself to enjoy the process.  I wont get these days back.  So while I work towards fulfilling my deepest goals and desires, I am remembering that right now, this exact moment is all that we are ever sure of.  It needs to be respected, lived and enjoyed.

This upcoming month is going to be one that is full of excitement. Birthdays, Spring weather and deeper strides taken towards my heart's desires.  I am so excited.
This month I will focus also on being kinder to myself.  I will take more time to truly appreciate and respect my yoga practice, my body and soul and even my more "sour" moods.  They are all there to teach us and guide us.

So, wonderful family and friends - on this Thursday afternoon, I invite you to be kinder to yourself.  You are a lovely being that deserves all the best health and happiness in the world.  Be kind.

Monday, March 10, 2014

good reads, yoga sweats and kitchen downward dog.

I have been on the hunt for the perfect raw aquamarine stone to wear near my throat chakra to help open it up.

 I have been reading books that I am so sucked into, I can't wait until lights out every night to once again be immersed into them.  I just finished The Book Of Negroes and could not put it down.  It was amazing.  It's really wonderful how, when you are fully open and willing, things, people, events come to you as if they have been waiting all along.  That is how I felt about this book.  I wrote it down about a year ago, after it was recommended as a book that had a bit to do with midwifery.  That is the first reason why I bought it.  While the book really didn't hold a lot about midwifery, what it did hold, for me, was still so amazing.
It is a book that is difficult to read at times, due to its raw words and descriptions which immediately bring forth pain to anyone whose eyes fall upon them. However, as I reader, I can say that I have come out of the experience with not only more open eyes, but a more open heart.
I am currently reading this book by Wayne Dyer, and while it is quite repetitive (and I am often wondering if that in itself is intentional) there are some rare pieces of gold in there (as my dear friend pointed out).

I have been visualizing myself doing more yoga and last night I had the loveliest daydream of doing some challenging poses (for me) out in the grass this summer.
While I haven't had the money to attend yoga classes in a studio as often as I would like, I am deeply trying to do it more around the house.
I was super impressed and inspired by this amazing mama who reminded me that I don't need a fancy mat, a super heated room ( although I do LOVE my hot yoga) or certain music to practice yoga.
So, this morning, while I was feeling especially nervous and anxious, I dropped onto the floor in the kitchen into downward dog.  I did a few flows until I could feel my body start to heat up, my muscles awaken and my breath slow down and guide me.  Before I knew it, Alanna was right beside me.  She didn't ask any questions: just joined along for the 9am yoga in the kitchen.  It only lasted a few minutes but it was what I needed in that moment.  I need to do that more.  It also confirmed for me that I do, indeed, need to (and shouldn't be ashamed to) wear yoga pants every day - for you never truly know when the mood will strike you to drop into pigeons pose, and one must always be ready.

I finish off this short Monday post with this:

Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.

*Rabindranath Tagore


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A little slice of cake

I love the sight of a blank Blogger page, waiting for my words to come pouring onto it.  I recently told a friend that more times than not, I am not even entirely sure where a blog post will take me until I have written it down.  That's when I know.  When I know that I am not writing just for the sake of writing, just because I haven't in a while.  That's when I know that what I am writing is coming straight from the heart.

Gratitude

I just returned back to this post, after having to stop to get lunch for the kids and I and put Alden down for a nap.  While laying in bed with Alden, I was hugely filled with such feelings of gratitude.  As he played with pulled my hair, his breath becoming deeper as he fell into a slumber, I felt so grateful for that moment that I literally felt like my heart was the size of my entire chest.  I can honestly say that I have never allowed myself to be open to the powerful emotion of love to that degree before.  It truly felt like my heart extended from shoulder to shoulder.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I am given each and every day to show and feel love.  Let's stop and think about that for a moment.  Every single moment of our day, we have a choice.  All of us, all the time.  We can choose to truly exude love in all that we do or not.  While some things in our day may not be how we would like to spend that moment, it is our choice to still do it with love in our heart.  Love.  It's a powerful, crazy thing.  And as I am learning to truly open up my heart center (thank you yoga for the reminder), I am seeing and feeling more and more the power of being true to our heart.

I am grateful for random, joke of the day texts from dear friends. Grateful for a good chat with a remarkably strong woman.  Grateful for connecting with like-minded people online, even if it means I may never "meet" half of them.  Sharing your passion with others is truly amazing.
Grateful for new, blossoming friendships that often come when you least expect it, but which I am so thankful for. Grateful for old, deep and strong friendships that stand strong and sturdy as a willow tree.

I am grateful for mornings and nights (like last night and this morning for me) that were tough, "blah" and frustrating because without those, it would be harder for me to see the beauty in every day wonderfulness.

Awe

This simple, three letter word is another deep feeling that I feel compelled to talk about today.
I am truly, truly in awe of everyone around me.  As I sit here and reflect on every single person I know, I can type, with pure confidence and truth, that I am awe-inspired by you all.  Every.single.one.of.us has battles, challenges, and tough decisions to make.  As I reflect on even the last handful of conversations I have had, I can say that I have listened with awe of their strength, their fight, their willingness to work through things, and so on.  I find that today I am constantly stopping my current thought to think of someone else and how truly remarkable they are.

I am in awe of my kids.
 Aubrey, with her solitary kidney who will tell ANYONE that will listen about her "one candy".  She will say how she has to drink lots of water to help her "candy" stay strong.  I am in awe of where she is today, where I truly see her in the future.  She is evidence to me that some things, regardless of how it may look in the beginning, are not always bad.  They just are what they are.  Hearing her talk about her kidney is the same as how she would talk about her doll or a movie.  It it what it is.  I love that.  It is so inspiring.

I am awed by Alanna's personality that often leaves me worried - but then she shows me I don't have to be.  She is quiet when around people she doesn't know well and flushes easily when talked to by an adult she doesn't know.  It makes my heart ache for her.  However, after talking to one of her amazing teachers last week, she made it clear that Alanna, when comfortable in her surroundings is very easy to speak her mind.  I know this but it's so nice to hear it from someone else.  Today she is doing a presentation at school and she chose to talk about Boxer dogs, particularily our dog Dez. I was nervous for her but this morning she bounced out of bed, and was ready and so excited.  That truly made me so proud and inspired by her.  Here is this wise, cautious little girl who, when given the opportunity to talk to 30 of her peers about someone she loves, does so with gusto and excitement.  Amazing.

And then there's Alden.  Everything about him leaves me in awe.  His determination, curiosity and big belly laughs remind me daily to not take things so seriously.  Like when he climbs on the table.  Or on his sister's top bunk.  Or smears his sisters' lip chap all over his face.  He's pretty remarkable.

As I sit and wait...and wait,....and wait....for some news from McMaster, I am being reminded by every person that I encounter to lighten up.  I have been given this incredible life, filled to the brim with love, happiness and great health.  While pursuing midwifery is a passion of mine so deep I feel that it's literally embedded in my heart, it is important for me to stop and remember that things are pretty great as is.
Becoming a midwife is the icing on the cake.  Cream cheese icing, if I can be picky, as it really is the best kind.  And the yummy, kinda healthy, carrot cake in the middle?  That's really what it's all about.


“Those 'back burner' thoughts, the ones the brain isn't quite sure about yet, may cook the slowest yet they often manage to be the tastiest when they come out.” 
― Criss Jami