The desire to grow propels me into challenge

The desire to grow propels me into challenge.

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I didn’t have words for it before. I thought life was cruel and the world was unfair, I was in a broken boat on a raging sea. I was huddled in the bottom corner of the cabin, rocking. Crying. Expecting someone to be at the helm for me. At some point, I was not emotionally able to run my own life and it showed, in diagnosis after diagnosis, in depression and crippling anxiety in loss of my eye sight, which I fully attribute to not wanting to see the awful world around me. I wanted to disappear. And things did disappear for me. I needed help to live, I needed prescriptions and doctors and thank goodness for them, they held my hand while I navigated maybe thinking about getting out of my corner, out of pure survival mode.

The desire to grow still pushed me toward challenge. Violent ends and broken heart. Why was this happening to me? I resisted seeing any good. I was broken, was going to be broken and since that’s all I saw, that is where I propelled myself, not seeing my magic, my strength, my beauty…at all. Surrounded in self loathing and relationships that only affirmed my failure or at least kept me preoccupied from my immense inner turmoil. I was pulled into other people’s chaos to avoid looking at who I was. I cared about celebrities and how they lived their lives. I cared about what a stranger was wearing. What so and so was doing or dating. I participated in the culture of shame, at any cost, to avoid myself.

The desire to grow pushed me forward, but this time with an unlikely ally, armed with a crumbling, toxic relationship a positive pregnancy test and a healthy dose of freaking out, I was propelled toward challenge. I didn’t know what it felt like to be better. So I tried the rudimentary version of what I knew. Become the happy family, real or not. This could work, it will fix everything! But my teacher came to me. On January 6, 2012. The date that would propel me to a place I never even knew existed. My baby created a crevasse between my past and my future. Between my pain and my joy. Between old and new. However toxic your comfort zone may be, it IS your comfort zone and leaving is fucking terrifying. Life was still happening to me. I failed. I failed at having a family. I failed at love. I failed in keeping others happy. I didn’t know what was in store for me, I just knew that I was a miserable failure. The desire to grow pushed me forward.

When you ask most people why they wanted to become a parent or have children, it will be something about them “I wanted to make a little version of my husband.” Or “I wanted to make a little me.” Etc. I am sure beyond a doubt that the only reason I am a parent is because I was chosen by my children, by the souls that they are to guide them on earth. To learn our lessons, we are a perfect match, we are equals, I don’t teach them, they show me what really matters.

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There is nothing that propels you toward growth than having a soul choose you to be a caretaker. It’s a scramble to get your shit together because if you refuse to change and grow, the dis ease and dysfunction that comes from that decision is palpable.

When you know you are chosen, you parent from a place of honor, of thankfulness as opposed to ownership or thinking you know more or a place of dictatorship. But back on track…

Only in looking back do I see the steps I took that lead me here. To a place where I happen to life and it no longer happens to me. Things don’t happen to me, I happen to things. My intense desire to grow pushed me toward challenges and the moment I figured that out, everything changed for me. I was able to take the powerful position at the helm of my life. I was able to examine why I brought this into my life, look for lessons, be excited, even. At the thought of another growth spurt in not only enduring, but flowing with this challenge. I no longer wake up afraid, tired and shell shocked. I know that anything that happens to me is for my highest and best good because I will it to be so. There is no Universe to test me, there is no God to run my life, there is no Satan to torment me. There is only me and there is only you and us. I honor my fellow human beings by being me entirely, by loving and truly seeing me. By the growth I have the pleasure of experiencing. No matter what the package presents itself as, the need to grow propels me toward challenge. I am ready, I take in the world with anticipation. I am the creator, I “yes” and “no” the things that come into my life. I am the driver of this motherfucking boat.

Love to you,

Amethyst

‚ÄčJealousy and showing your children the limitlessness of love

In preparation for birth, Escher and I had short conversations about love, it doesn’t take much time, but makes all the difference.

The way we would prepare is to talk about love. About how limitless and endless it is. I would say “Isn’t it beautiful that you can love a lot things at the same exact time and make time for all of them? I love you and Ezekiel and Dada and Auntie and Nala and Ni Hao (the dogs)¬†all at the same time. It’s so fantastic that love is so big and limitless! What are some things you love?” And he would think a minute and respond with all the things he could love at the same time. This is such an important concept to grasp in order to exist. To know that others are not our competition. But they add to our lives no matter in what capacity we know them. Love is in everything, it is not special or sparse. It is everywhere, we do not have to fight or compete for it. We are love. When this clicks, the world opens. We open to the possibilities of being loved for who we were when we put our guard down and just live, feel the love. We don’t have to punch our siblings into submission and defeat them for love. We don’t don’t even have to shame our partners for acknowledging the beauty in another person (but that’s a blog for another day) We can focus on ourselves, we can be empowered, we can truly live in love and harmony with those around us, even a new baby. Because your self worth is never questioned when you know that you are not only loved,¬† but that you ARE love, surrounded by it’s limitless at all times.

Ditching Discipline

A year ago, I wrote a blog on discipline. I was going to reshare it until I realized that my approach has changed a lot. (Here it is) I had the basic concept, but as a person with no model of how I am parenting my kids to follow, I am always learning and figuring out how to parent my children based on their individual needs.
Update. I don’t discipline them. I believe that all discipline is rooted in manipulation. I believe in natural consequences and I believe that it is my job to keep -myself- in check if the kids explore in a way I would not prefer. Why would I not prefer this? Where is this “rule” coming from? Does it make sense or is it time to restructure?

I am also also always asking my kids to help me understand their point of view. Mostly with Ezekiel, because Z speaks. With Escher, I do a lot of looking for context clues because he doesn’t speak as often.

If there is something that I want them to do, it will already make sense, otherwise I don’t ask. I communicate why “Please clean your room, so you can enjoy being in there and there is room to actually play and you are respecting your things by finding a place for them to go.” I don’t ask a million times. I just put it it out there. If they need help, I help them. If I notice the room is getting and remaining a mess, we will have a conversation “Do we need to go through and donate some of your toys? I am sensing that you are feeling overwhelmed by the clean up.” And usually Z says yes and we work together to see what is no longer welcome in our space and what is not. This is teaching them to self regulate. I don’t yell over and over, that increasing my frustration and I inevitably lash out, but to know that the root cause of a messy room may be because they are feeling overwhelmed by the amount brings about a really important perspective. Compassion. Understanding. This is what we are here for. As far as rules, I only exist to enforce safety. This is safety of emotion, body, mind. Sometimes, if I sense Z may be a little overwhelmed due to exhaustion, I’ll suggest a nap, lay with them, etc. That is safe for mind and body. Not based on my anxieties “you can’t climb that slide because you may get mildly hurt!!!” No. Natural consequences. They may get mildly hurt, but -I- don’t have to say or do anything to protect them from this possible fate, when was the last time my parents telling me not to do something actually made me not do it and not the opposite? Literally never. What did though, was the natural consequence of my choice. Every action has a reaction. And if my reactions in any way made my kids recluse from my voice or touch, that is going to create problems in the long run. Children need to learn to self regulate. If a child is being told what to do all the time, they cease to self regulate knowing that their parents will tell them (over and over) what to do and what not to do, they don’t have to think of giving the “right” choice any thought.

It is hard shifting away from manipulation. “You can have this if you do this!” The paradigm that we are only “good” or “worthy” based on our behavior. I have stayed up many nights with this on my mind. Like I said to start, I have no parenting model of this kind, even gentle parenting uses different tactics to yield the same toxic results. I am starting from nothing and always learning. I do what feels right for us as a family and discipline has been one and will be one where I constantly check myself. “Why.” Why am I doing this like this, what is this rooted in? Fear? Manipulation? Guilt? Time to reevaluate and have an open conversation with the kids included. Ask for their perspective and what they need. Work as a team. Work out of understanding and love. While dismantling the oppressive, manipulative, society encouraged parenting model.

Parenting is a series of relearning or it is the continuation of an unconscious, dysfunctional cycle, ultimately you decide.

Please ask questions if you have them ‚̧

Amethyst

Choose yourself. Yes, always.

I learn a lot from my kids, that is obvious. But this perspective hit me today.
Choose yourself first. Yes, always.

You hear all the time “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

But as a parent, it is so easy to care for everyone but you. Everybody has a need from sun up to sun down and you can go a week or more before you realize you exist too.

But kids. Kids choose themselves first. If you even see a child’s reaction to not getting something they want immediately, you know this is true. They only choose themselves. And they STILL have room or make room to love so purely and unconditionally. They live and love with passion, they still love YOU. In a child’s mind, living for other people is not an innate reaction, they meet all of their needs and have no problem asking for help if they need something they cannot make happen themselves.

This is how I want to live.

With knowing that addressing yourself first, especially as a mother, is not narcissistic. It is not selfish. It is completely 100% the opposite. It is NECESSARY.

Self Care is something that we have to remind ourselves of because it is taught out of us that out needs matter too. We function out of the dysfunction that has been ingrained in us. We must give, we must be selfless, we must sacrifice. We see where this has gotten us. Depression, run down, raw, angry, overwhelmed. We ARE empty and raw at the same time. Was this the goal? Have we made it to the pinnacle of those unconscious ideals? Yes. This is what it looks like to put others first. Living for other people, no matter how good your intentions, will destroy you.

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Look at the happiness in your children. From living only from the love they have for themselves and you and chicken nuggets and their favorite toy and and and and…

 

operating out of love instead of lack, out of confidence instead of insecurity. ¬†This is how we all start, until we are lied to. That we aren’t already enough. That we must DO or GIVE to be enough.

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Love. Self. Love. Is everything. You matter, you are everything. Treat yourself accordingly and your life will be magic. Ask me how I know….by watching my kids.

What it looks like to drop expectations with kids.


Whenever I make plans with another person, I have two strategies, one where I don’t tell the children at all who we are going to see until we see them, it’s exciting, it’s fun and usually I use this particular strategy when the person is planning on coming to our house. The reason I don’t tell them who is coming over is that if plans are canceled or something comes up for the person, I don’t have to go through the disappointment of the failed expectation. The day goes on as usual, I text “That’s totally fine, see you another day!” And wish them well. Because that is genuinely how I feel
 It’s easy to get caught up in being offended when something goes different than expected. “We HAD A PLAN!” “NOW MY KIDS ARE GONNA BE DISAPPOINTED, WAY TO GO!” But it doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t have control over what other people do. We don’t have control over traffic or the weather or anything but ourselves, which brings me to my next approach:

I tell the kids where we are going and who we are meeting, but I also say “These are OUR plans, we are going to -this place- FOR SURE and we MAY see -so and so- BUT if they don’t end up coming, it’s no big deal, right? We will still have the best time, because we aren’t in charge of other people’s lives. Only our own!”

And then naturally, kids are very excited.

 We have had this happen several times where the person we are meeting had had to cancel. The kids have fun either way, Z usually says “MOM, THEY CAME, THEY REALLY DID COME, I KNEW IT, YAY” and then we have the best time or if not, Z might bring it up “I wish I could have saw -so and so-, but maybe another time!” And I say, absolutely right, we still had a good time, we can see them again soon.

This helps in a lot of ways.
I avoid having any anger at my friends, they have lives and shit happens, when I decide that it doesn’t affect me, even when we made plans, then it doesn’t. I don’t have to have any conversation that starts with “I’m sorry” or “can you believe it, they aren’t coming…” Because I don’t EXPECT either way. I love seeing my friends and when they do manage to get their brood out like I managed to get mine, it is wonderful and fills my heart. But the opposite doesn’t happen if they cancel.
 In telling the kids that we made a plan, but sometimes plans change,  I am empowering them, that their emotions and whether it’s a “good” or a “bad” day is only up to them and absolutely no one else.

Don’t place your happiness in anyone else’s hands. Only let your “village” enhance the happiness you already create. Life is beautiful when you claim your power. This is what that looks like day to day.

Amethyst

Before

Before I had my children I had the perfect body.

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Also, before I had children, I was no stranger to laying on the floor in the bathroom, ears ringing, cold sweats. Low blood sugar. From starving myself. I couldn’t do much for too long, but god damn, I looked good doing it. That’s what mattered.

After I had children, my body changed. But so did everything else. I began to give a shit about myself. And I started to gain weight. It was uncomfortable, but deep down, it felt right and that feeling of what was right was new for me, reguarding my looks because even though I was so cute on the outside, I was writhing on the inside. Self loathing. I was never sure of myself. I was the most self conscious person in any room. So much so that it triggered extreme anxiety. I would pick at my face for hours in the mirror, removing every single piece of skin and hiding every blemish. Being so mean to myself. I was so uncertain of every decision I made and uncertain.

Now I can carry 50 pounds (of any combination of my kids) for 8 hours. Now I can do one handed hand stands. Now I can do a lot of things for a long time because I am nit concerened who is staring at me, I am confident with every step, with every decision. I am strong. Because I chose to be nice to myself. I chose to make little changes, to see the beauty in myself. To see me in the way my partner does, the way my kids do. Unconditional love. Because I deserve it. And I don’t have to work for it or look a certain way or be a certain way or do a certain thing. I am free. Because I am loved for my existence.

 

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Shifting focus from the self loathing that runs our society.

Shifting focus from the self loathing that runs our society.

I see this a lot, where you know that:”Okay, obviously I know that my body created this person and that is wonderful, but I still hate my body, what do I do?” The deep seeded need to pick at ourselves prevails.
Why is it that you hate your body? Where does that thought originate? Comparison, to what? Someone else? Who you were before? Before I had kids, my body was perfect, by society standard. I was also very lonely, insecure and very very lost. I hated myself more then than I do know. Every move I made, I would question. I was miserable.

I believe hating your body is an illusion. Completley made up to keep us from our true power. What is wrong with fat? With cellulite? With stretchmarks? It has nothing to do with a marker of health or self worth. Nothing to do with happiness. It is controlled by the perception of society and why do we let the lens of others effect us so deeply? Why are we so hard on ourselves? Self loathing is a big business. And it is up to us, for our sanity, to question these thoughts and explore these ideas.

“I hate my body.”
“Why?”
“Because my stomach is nasty.”
“Nasty how?”
“It is fat and stretched out.”
“Why is that a bad thing?”
“Because I don’t like how it looks.”
“Why don’t you like how it looks?”
“Because I just don’t.”
“That is not a reason. Go deeper.”
“Because when I was little my mom would complain about her stomach.”
“Does upholding this belief serve you and make you happy?”
“No.”
“It’s time to release it, then. You are beautiful and whole and perfect.”

This will not be an instant change, this will take time, but if you explore every thought you think and decide to change your mind, it will be an authentic, permanant change that will bring you true happiness.

I replace thoughts of self loathing, with thoughts of apprecitation. Instead of walking past a mirror and thinking “OH DEAR GOD, GROSS” I will say “Oh, I’m cute.” Even if I don’t see that to to be true. A belief is just a thought that you continue to think is true, so we can change our beliefs. Am I bigger than I was prekids, yes. That’s a fact. Why is that a bad thing? I also feel more powerful and capable and a million other things after having my kids, what is keeping me from focusing on the positives? Our society runs on self loathing, and I super refuse to be part of it because we are all so much more than that.¬† Please spend time writing out traits in yourself that you admire and build your arsonal against these default thoughts of self loathing. Shift your focus on what you have gained, what makes you you, you are perfect.

Amethyst Joy