Monday, March 3, 2014

Grieving is a part of transitioning

It's been almost two weeks since we've been back from India. For those of you who don't know, my husband, son and I spent three months in India, most of that time in one place, simply living. In some ways it feels like we were just there, and in other ways we feel further away, and more settled here. The integration period has been tough, especially for Julian and myself. It showed up at first as physical ailments - yeast infection for me, sleep schedule totally off (Julian was up from 1230am to 7am one night!), diarrhea for me, constipation for Julian, nasty colds for us with congestion that doesn't seem to end,throwing up... you name it, we've been through it in these two weeks! I think our bodies are starting to settle, and for me I'm noticing more emotions coming in. To live in one place for three months, in particular one town for almost 2 1/2 months, your body, your being are acclimated to that place. You leave that place, where you are very unplugged (I had no smart phone, checked my internet like every 2 or three days, walked everywhere and didn't drive a car), where it's 90 degrees and hot and humid to a place where it's 70 degrees cooler, you drive to get places especially when cold, you have a smart phone, internet at home, you can feel the energy of being plugged in, of a culture that's constantly go go go. And you took three flights to get back, one of which was 16 hours... needless to say, it's taken some time. It's still taking some time. And did I mention I'm almost 8 months pregnant? Getting back on my yoga mat as a student has been a great help. I've taken 4 classes in these two weeks (would have taken more but we spent 5 days visiting family in NY and PA) and just breathing and moving my body or being still and being in community has helped immensely to ground me again, to let me feel what I need to feel, and to continue this process of integration back to our home, our life here. In many ways it helps that our lives here are in transition. For one, a new baby is coming the end of April (that's my due date at least) My husband is starting his own business and looking for a new job. I am not working, taking a break from teaching or working in general - something I have done, well never. Not before I left for India at least. And my son will be two this Saturday and he is such a little boy now - talking in full sentences, making me laugh and smile and giving me new challenges as well. I think because we are in transition we can't see what the future will look like, but we're living our way into it. And that helps after leaving the lives we had behind to take this trip. We are different yet we are the same. I've never felt more close to my family and vulnerable in a way that allows me to really lean into them - to put them first - to realize how grateful I am for them - my husband and son in particular, but my extended family as well. We are all more mature in a way that allows us to be more ourselves. More of myself means things I perhaps haven't shown before or allowed to unfold. Mainly my vulnerability. I was realizing tonight that the longer we spend here the more we'll forget of our time in India, in particular those 2 1/2 months we spent in Varkala making friends and sharing our lives daily with these people. I think Ian and I will remember more than Julian, but we too will forget names, faces, sounds, smells. Julian mentioned a person the other day who worked at our hotel in India and Ian and I thought "Oh yeah, him" meaning we had already forgotten somewhat, but perhaps Julian had not. It's possible he will remember more than we think but over time I do think it will fade. I found myself grieving over all this knowledge because in a sense it's like they have all died. Now I'm an adult and I know that's not the case, and I can keep in touch with some folks over the internet thanks to technology today, but in a sense, they have died. We lived there for that length of time, grew close to many folks, and now we are gone, and they are gone. I wonder in Julian's mind if it is more like death since he doesn't know as we do in an adult sense they still exist there - in a childs mind it's often, here they were one day, gone the next. Children seem to handle this transition better than adults - with more acceptance - but I can't help wondering if he too misses them. I catch him saying their names sometimes or saying a place and I think he too is trying to find out where is my home, where do I belong. So for someone who was very ready to get back to the US and to colder temps (I am loving these honestly - I had a constant yeast infection the last month in India - just too hot, no AC and very pregnant!)I find myself grieving over the people and places gone, people and places I will probably never see again. I wonder if they too are grieving and if they too talk and remember us, in particular Julian - they have all told us they will never forget him. As we prepare for the new baby to arrive, I also am recognizing I am grieving in some ways the loss of my first child. Very soon it will never just be me and Julian. As wonderful as it will be to welcome the new baby into our family, it saddens me to know the time with my little man, just us, is ending. I've had so many moments shared with him, just him and I for some time too before Ian came into our life. I felt I had to grieve the loss of that time as I welcomed Ian into our life and we got married (that time of being a single Mom for 6 months) and now I feel I am grieving the loss of my time just with Julian. I'm also letting go of a lot of the pain that surrounded Julian coming into my life as I prepare to welcome a new baby, in a manner completely different than with Julian. With Julian, I had every test, ultrasound, watched every pound, taught all my classes till my due date, kept my regular practice up (scorpion and handstand at 8 months pregnant!), delivered in a hospital. With this baby, I have not been weighed, eat what I want and don't count the pounds, no ultrasounds or tests, no prenatal care for 3 months in India, and a yoga practice that's much more restorative and gentle and not teaching since about 4 or 5 months. I do feel it's the grieving that will allow me to live and love more, to enjoy and be grateful. I think for many of us we go through transitions, whether deemed positive or negative, it doesn't matter, and we don't allow ourselves to grieve. To grieve things ending to welcome new beginnings. To grieve what we have known, what we have held onto, what we will miss, to make space for what's new. Grieving to allow us to open up to what's out there for us. So I would say I'm in a period of grief. I'm allowing the tears, the memories to come, the stories. Unfortunately because it was just my family in India, they are the ones who know these stories the most, but I can share them with you too. I will hold and kiss my little man a little more over these next 8 weeks or so, be more attentive and present, and be the one to get up when he calls mama or needs me because I know soon I won't be able to do it every time he asks. Last night he woke around 4 and I had been sleepless and restless since about midnight. I got up and went to him and held him as he hugged me, gave me kisses and said "I love you mama" and spent the hour it probably took to get him to go back to sleep. I will miss this time with him. I look forward to reconnecting with friends I haven't seen in 3 months, students who may be surprised to see me on the other side, taking a class with them, teachers whose classes I am grateful for the support and energy as I go through this process. I may seem a bit more unplugged, a bit distant, but it's only to allow myself to grieve, to lean into my family, who has given and continues to give me so much. I love them with all my heart.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How did I get here?

Tomorrow is August 1. I found myself reflecting on the past year, and how last August marked the beginning of the most challenging time of my life thus far. And a year later, everything is so different. If you had told me last August, I'd be sitting here today in love, getting married in less than 2 months (Sept. 21!), taking a 3 month trip to India with my soon to be husband and son in less than 4 months... I might have told you you were crazy. But I might of also said anything is possible! So how did I get here, to be this happy, this blessed? well, for one, not thinking the work is over. And by work, I mean this spiritual journey, this thing called LIFE. Two, by being totally honest and to see myself through no filter. Three, through self compassion and a total and deep surrender, or softening. I think when we reach a place of joy and bliss after a period of deep suffering we may ask how did it happen, where did it all come together? And often we can't lay the pieces out or connect the dots completely but we can say it came together as a result of a life fully lived, of a life that has felt both deep joy and deep sorrow. I think there's also a recognition when we get to this place that the journey is happening, life is unfolding - daily. There's a magic and wonder to it all and there's no holding on or grasping for ground under our feet. In this place, there is immense freedom. You can't see what the future is going to look like - you can't get your hands around it - but you know it's going to be great. It's going to be for your highest good because you're in a place of deep and immense love. So I feel blessed I'm here. I'm blessed the pain is gone. I'm blessed the thing I have to deal with the most is simply allowing this happiness to be mine, cause it is. To simply soften and soften into that vulnerable spot in my heart. Many of you have been on this journey with me. I thank you for all your support and love. I look forward to sharing these happy moments with you, enjoying a life well-lived, and seeing where this adventure takes me!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day. Ah, the word mother. It conjures up different things for different people but I think it embodies qualities that exist on both sides of the coin - joy, pain, raw, tender, fierce, gentle, strong, weak. I think all of us should be grateful for our mothers. I don't say this because I am a mother. I say this because if we are grateful for our lives, and our ability to live and love as we choose, we should be grateful for our mothers. Without them, we wouldn't have had the initiation into this world. And we all choose our parents if you ask me. We choose them to learn some life lessons - tough ones at times. You could say you had a mother who did a great job, or you had a mother who did a terrible job, but we all had or have a mother who is doing the best job they know with the tools they've been given. I love being a mother. It is all I ever wanted, and more. I am discovering so many hidden gifts I didn't even know were possible. I loved my son from the moment I knew I was pregnant but my love for him has grown in leaps and bounds. When he was a newborn, there was constant demand and to be honest, I looked forward to a few hours away when I could take them! Now I still look forward to those few hours but I miss him so much more. He is a little person, with a personality, who gives me kisses and hugs, who tests my patience, who has an understanding greater than I ever thought possible for almost 15 months and who is so so happy and just in the mix of it all, loving and living life. He inspires me, he makes me laugh, he brightens my day and I value his presence in my life as the individual he is. That isn't to say we don't have our difficulties. We do. I'm able to look at them with more love these days. There's a me that's unfolding that's filled with so much grace these days. After the Boston bombings, I was so angry because of how vulnerable and raw and exposed I felt. I was so angry at the realization that this vulnerability also taps me into the truth that all I love, all whom I love, will be taken away from me someday. I will die or they will die. It fucking pissed me off to be honest. We know this to be true but do we ever really sit with it? We're always trying to grasp or push it away. Grasp in the sense of being needy, clingy suffocating those we love or pushing away in the sense of being aloof, distant, disconnected and cold to those we love. Now if we could just do neither of those things, and sit in the discomfort of this vulnerability, of the knowledge of everything changing, we would know gratitude. We would know happiness. We would know joy. And yes we'd know pain too. We'd know how these things exist side by side. I find myself in this in between place more and more and surprisingly not wanting to leave. This is the dream. When you wake up, you're dead. This phrase has been in my head a lot lately after reading this quote: "Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender the past, you can live the dream that is happening right now." I am living an amazing dream. I have a beautiful son who fills my days with adventure and fun. This nice weather allows us to walk everywhere, discovering new people and places - we can walk to Davis Square, Union Square and about 6 or 7 playgrounds all within a mile or two! I have a fiance who is the man I have always dreamed of sharing my life with but wasn't sure he existed and here he is - in the flesh! I have yoga communities I love teaching and practicing in, I have friends I love sharing time with, I have a city I live in that takes me breath away and I have a wedding I am so excited for in September and a 3 month trip to India with my soon to be husband and son! Seriously, how fucking awesome is my life? I realize I have thought for a long time Ive practiced abundance but the truth is I was just scratching the surface. Real abundance is a complete faith in all being taken care of, in not wanting or needing anything more, in freely giving of what you have and another piece of it I am recognizing these days, in knowing when to say NO. I've been a yes, yes, yes girl and that's all good but when yes yes yes is not filling up my cup it's time to say no so I can create the space for that which nourishes me to come in. For love to flourish and grow. So I see my time ahead as one of less is more. Truly when someone asked me the other day what I did I told them I taught yoga, I liked to write but what I truly wanted to say to that question was "I am a mother" Cause to me, that is one hell of an important job and one that doesn't need any fillers or jargon to make it seem more important. Raising the next generation of members to this society, to this human race is damn important. If you ask me, the most important. My fiance gave me a beautiful card this mother's day that he made. It included a poem from Rumi that said Through love all that is bitter will be sweet Through love all that is copper will be gold Through love all dregs will turn to purest wine Through love all pain will turn to medicine A mother's love is the most special kind. Cherish it when you have it, nurture it in yourself if you are a mother, and if you don't have it, know that it exists and you can tap into it. It's a love that rests in that place of gratitude, of abundance, of knowing that this child, this child is more than enough. This child does not have to be anything more. Create that for yourself and you have felt the love of a mother.

Friday, April 19, 2013

There is no us and them

Wow. What a week. I feel as if I've been living my life in a dream - a bad dream. I'm sure many of us felt that way. Tonight we feel the end of this horror, but in many ways it's the beginning. I sit here tonight as I get ready to meditate with a heavy heart. I do not feel joyous one suspect in the Boston marathon bombing has been killed and the other captured. I feel instead very sad. Let me first say I do not take lightly the loss of the lives of Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu and Sean Collier, nor the hundreds that were injured, the dozens who lost limbs or the thousands who have suffered trauma as they witnessed these events, lived in a city on lockdown as a suspect was hunted, or lived in a town where gunfights and heightened police presence dominated their day. I think many of us out there at one time or another have subscribed to the idea of there being an us and a them. Perhaps even right now. We sit in fear, judgment and disconnect. I know I have. I think that many of us also on the flip side, certainly in the yoga community but I am sure elsewhere too, have come to the conclusion that there is a universal source or ONE that we are all a part of, that we stem from. If we hold this to be true, then there can be no us and them. We are all joined as human beings on this planet. And if we believe that then we too are responsible when tragic events such as these happen. No, we did not plan this attack, or put the bombs together or place them or detonate them. I don't believe that any of us are cultivating a home based around terrorism and fear. But we do form a society. A society that stretches beyond our towns, beyond our countries, our borders to include the entire human race. We then share the same human wants and needs, the same suffering, the same hopes and dreams, the same loneliness of our own minds and pain. And every time we have acted in a way that breeds fear, that breeds judgment that is any way not compassionate or loving toward ourselves or another individual, then we too are responsible for perpetuating this feeling of disconnect and loneliness and this feeling of an us and them that keeps these events happening. I recognize there are political implications often, but I do believe that on a truly cellular level we are human, we can connect with whomever if we come from a place of seeing each other, of hearing one other, of feeling on an emotional level with one other. So yes I have a heavy heart. I am saddened that another tragedy like this has come to pass and it occurred in the place I've called home for 11 years. I'm sad that people will cheer and say nasty things about these men forgetting that they too are people, they too have families, parents who are hurting. I feel sad for all the loss that happened that day at the Boston marathon and people whose lives with never be the same. And I feel sad for all of us who will go on not sitting with this pain in our hearts, using anger and blame to cover it up, and soon another event like this will happen and we will again question why. It's time to wake up folks. I am including myself in this. It's time to take responsibility as ONE human race that we are. Community is needed. Connection is needed. I am looking to foster it wherever or however. I am opening up my home, my heart, my ears... you name it. Let's talk. Let's cry. Let's heal. We'll move forward with heavy vulnerable raw and beautiful courageous hearts. All my love Boston. All my love to you all.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

We ebb and we flow

Ah post engagement bliss! How long does it last? It lasts until we let doubt step in again surrounding our fears of what we should or shouldn't do, what people think, what the future holds... So, it's been a rough couple weeks! I told my fiance last night... sometimes I just want to scream "Why the fuck did you ask me to marry you? Everything was going just fine!" Perhaps you can't relate to that statement, but I bet some of you can. He chose me! He chose me out of all the many many women in this world. And suddenly a voice inside me screams, WHY? Why would he choose me? And just like that I'm back in the pattern of not feeling worthy of love and belonging and I start to feel closed off. I don't sing out loud or dance around the house, I don't want to listen to music something I like to do, I don't want to have sex, I don't want to see friends, I don't want to teach or practice yoga, I just want to hide hide hide... Luckily I have here to write about it and thankfully my future husband will listen to anything at all I have to share or dish out - and you know what he tells me? I too think these thoughts. You aren't alone. You aren't crazy. I am engaged to a man my parents met the day after we got engaged. I am engaged to a man some of my friends have not even met yet or had a chance to really hang out with. So as one friend told me the other day, she had her reservations. I don't blame her. I don't blame any of you! It's very good off the mat yoga practice for me. I feel as if people are judging and questioning my choice to marry my fiance and perhaps they truly are - yet the person who is really judging and questioning myself is ME. And I tell you this as a girl who just got a huge tattoo (a full sleeve) all along my left arm!! A big tattoo? No biggie. Quit my job and teach yoga full time? No biggie. Surviving emotionally in the raising of my son on my own for 6+ months? No biggie. As Nike says, I just do it. I don't care what people think. Doing many of the self sufficient independent and sometimes off the wall outside the box things I have done comes easy to me. I am a passionate person! Yet choosing a partner for life who no one I am friends with knows that well, who I met in the most fated way, who is in many ways nothing like my family or the family I grew up with - that I struggle with. I struggle with being unconventional even though it's the only thing that makes me happy. I struggle with people who say when they hear of my engagement "Well that was fast" or people who say "You're going to have a long engagement, right?" We aren't by the way - we are getting married THIS September! I struggle with people who when we tell them of our plans after the wedding - to travel to India with Julian for 3 months Nov - Feb - "That's crazy! With the baby? You can't possibly be serious!" And the answer is, yes, we are serious. I struggle with putting the power behind my words, behind my actions and not getting swayed by that need for approval. I grew up wanting the approval of those I loved most, and trying so hard to please those around me. I grew up doing what I was supposed to do, what was expected, until I got to college where I *secretly* rebelled in all kinds of ways. I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing, but nobody knew - but me and my close friends. I kept doing what I was supposed to do - until I quit my job to teach yoga full time. Yoga when it came into my life in many ways was the start of me figuring out who I was and what I wanted. I will tell you this - I haven't figured it out fully. I still struggle sometimes daily to answer that question - what do I want? I know this. I want to be happy. I recognize that I am making choices to make me happy. I fully believe those around me also want me to be happy even if some of them aren't in my "yoga world" so to speak. The whatever that keeps me from my happiness lies in my palms only. So I honor my feelings. I honor that I get stuck on what Julian will ask as he gets older and knows his biological Mom and Dad aren't together and what I will tell him, what will his Dad tell him. I get stuck in that I don't feel fully resolved in the ending of our relationship because it was so sudden for me and how suddenly his Dad moved on and I feel there's a lot more to be said besides simply I'm not in love with you anymore but I see the truth in that statement and even if there was more to it would it even matter now? No. I get stuck in when people ask about my fiance and I and our relationship I can't exactly put into words what it is that makes him the man I want to marry (we're writing our own vows, so I hope to have a few more words by Sept!) but that I could speak to his actions - how he is the man who brought over food from his fridge as a gift when he first came to visit Julian and I on his own at our home, how he is the man who encourages me to tell him whatever I am thinking or feeling (I told him about my fear of him having a double chin when he gets older and how vain I feel to say that but I truly think it!) he is the man who said we should have a box in our home and a sign next to it that says need a dollar? take a dollar. have a dollar? leave a dollar. (and there's money in there folks) He is the man I meditate with before bed most evenings, who cooks and does the laundry and picks up around the house, who spends time with Julian painting, hanging out, playing music, who is authentic is his concern and compassion for others, who hung up a painting today that I mentioned Julian had scribbled all over and he said it's Julian's masterpiece! the man who reminds me to be gentle and at ease with myself the man who says yes we can travel to India for 3 months with a year and a half old and come back to the states and if our jobs our work doesn't look the same we'll figure it out... the man who believes I am enough. That being a mother and teaching yoga and just being me is enough. I know that it's me who doesn't always feel enough but he reminds me I am. So we ebb and we flow. And I can tell you this. When I am practicing yoga, on and off the mat, when I am in that state of bliss - of love and light - of namaste - he is the man I want to be with. I am enough. We are enough. There is nothing more. We are not going into marriage as a couple who's checked off the checklist so to speak - we are going into marriage challenged, and scared and blissfully happy. We are planning a wedding at the home he grew up in, in our bare feet, with a drum circle, BYOB (no alcohol), yard games like horseshoes and croquet, good local food, music, dancing, no bridal party, nothing fancy, just us, our friends, our family, a celebration. So we hope whoever comes is happy for us - cause otherwise honestly - stay home! You know I say that with love ;)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fear is the heart saying YES

On March 23, 2013, I received the greatest surprise I've received in a long time. My partner asked me to marry him, and I said YES! The engagement was a surprise, as we've only been officially dating for 2 months or so, and our relationship while very happy, has been challenging in the triggers that have come up for both of us. We communicate very effectively and have chosen to stay together, despite us being together challenging long held belief systems. I think the engagement is in many ways a way for both of us to say these long held belief systems of judgment, doubt, of not feeling deserving of love and belonging or happiness just don't work for us anymore. We are tired of doing what we think we should do, or others think we should do, and instead want to live the life we've only imagined. And we're doing it already in such a short span of time! The moment he asked me to marry him was amazing in that I had fear, but not a single shred of doubt. And a YES came out with no hesitation whatsoever. I used to believe fear was a negative. In some ways I can see how this is true when fear rules your life and holds you back from living the life you've imagined. These fears though are these long held belief systems I mentioned above - the ones you didn't choose, but were placed on you by family, society, etc. Fear that comes from the hearts desire to be free - to live and love as it wishes - is never wrong. In fact it's healthy - it's a sign of bliss! My partner and I have discussed this a lot in the time we've been together and recognize there is fear - this honesty sets us free and allows us to love and connect more deeply, and the fear to change to a deep feeling of gratitude. The fear I am speaking to comes with a smile on our face. It comes with a resounding yes in our heart, our body, our being. Doubt when we feel it is totally a construction of the mind. Doubt can cause you to live in those long held belief systems that don't serve you any longer, instead of admitting your fear about moving past what no longer serves you. When you can admit the fear, the doubt is gone. And if the doubt is still there when you admit the fear, then it's a good sign the fear is telling you that your heart doesn't agree with what the mind is trying to resolve itself to. Byron Katie says "Isn't the past kind? It's always over." We are creating a YES household, a YES life each time we admit these fears, we shut the past out of our present, we live more fully in the now, we embrace what IS and find such deep gratitude for having found each other. Doubt no longer has a place as long held belief systems are knocked down and we are living in the vibrancy of our being. Embrace fear, embrace what the heart is calling you to do. Embrace fear and know courage and joy. Everlasting joy!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Julian!

Dear Julian, Well baby boy, here we are, your first birthday! And what an amazing year it has been. There have been so many changes since you have arrived in this world! Changes in you as you've grown from a babe into a little boy, changes in me as I've grown into the role of your mama, changes in all of those who have been touched by your presence! Mama was teaching her usual back to back Saturday morning yoga classes this week at Open Doors, one of the highlights of my weekends for many years. I was finishing up my second class, they were in Savasana (you'll know the bliss of Savasana one day!) and I suddenly was struck by so much emotion. I wept as my students rested, composed myself to finish class, and continued weeping when the studio was empty and I was alone again. I wept because I was overjoyed we have made it this far and I am seeing you grow into a loving, kind, spirited, funny little boy. I wept because I am realizing a time that existed between us is ending. This time of you and I solely being each others worlds. Ending may not be the right word - it's shifting. It's clear though, that a time that was, is past. When you get older and ask when you were a babe, there will be lots to tell. This first year of your life was a challenging one for me. The challenge was not you - you were and are the most amazing gift I could ever receive. You've brought me on the most incredible journey - that of being your mama - that will last a lifetime! Your daddy and I created you, though I do believe you chose us. We created your physical form but you, your essence, has and will always be a part of this world. You simply decided that Daddy and I had something to learn by having you in our lives and let me tell you, you are an amazing teacher! We are learning everyday. I won't speak for Daddy, I am learning, but I would say that he agrees. You will probably have questions about what happened between Mommy and Daddy as you came into this world and why Mommy and Daddy are no longer together. There's really no easy answer for that one, buddy, as there are no easy answers to many things in life. I will tell you this - there always was and always will be love between your Mommy and Daddy. You were created out of love. You are precious and loved so much by your Mommy and Daddy and are lucky enough to be loved by so many in our circle of friends and family. Growth is why we are here, love. Evolution of consciousness, of ourselves. You are already a sign of that - how much you've grown in a year! So on this path of growth, things change constantly. And nothing is certain. You just have to love yourself, know yourself, and live from that place and grow from that place. Sometimes this will mean relationships with others will shift and that's ok. Nothing lasts forever. Some relationships will grow with you, and fear not, if some pass, others will come into their place. Your birth was the denouement of a beautiful journey together Mommy and Daddy had traveled. Now we are traveling this journey with you, and still learning, though just not quite as we thought it would look like together. That's ok. Life often does not look like we expected, but if we let go of how it should look, we are able to embrace the mystery of the unknown, of the NOW and the miracles that occur there. Mommy is honest, and honestly bud Mommy had reached a point where she wouldn't want to date herself, and if I didnt want to date me, certainly no one else would either! I needed some time alone, and luckily with your birth, I didn't have to do it alone. You were by my side, helping me as I grew. I will tell you also that some of the things Mommy has realized about herself as a result of no longer being with Daddy are very important lessons, and lessons that would not have been learned with him as we were before you were born. I believe in many ways you are my greatest teacher, my son. You have already just by being here revealed to me so much about myself. I am so grateful to you for that! I believe as you grow and communicate on different levels with me you will continue to teach me so much. Here is what you have taught me already: I cannot control anything. Life is in a constant state of change and flux and nothing is certain. The one thing I have control over is my choice to live in the now, to be happy, to feel worthy of love and belonging and to receive it. You daily show me that you embrace this constant state of change and you still love and life fully! Once I accept I cannot control anything, I am set free. To be me. I am working on this one daily, and I am reminded that I don't have to try so hard because simply being aware that I am working with it, is enough. That brings me to this - I don't have to try so hard. I can just be me and that is enough. You've shown me that trying so hard only frustrates me, those in my circle and pushes people away. You've shown me how important it is to find gentleness and ease within myself and translate that to every area of my life. Your mama has had to be strong for a long long time to feel safe but my son, I intend to never have you have to know what that feels like while you are in my care. You will be safe in my arms, in our home, in the people I surround you with. You can be free to live the childhood I never did and will find your own strength when you are ready, and as you step into adulthood and of course with me waiting in the wings to remind you you are loved, you have someone in your corner, when you feel that you don't. You've taught me that letting go is the greatest gift I can give you, I can give to myself, to my relationships, to my life. Letting go and that process of surrender allows me full freedom to love and to trust. You've shown me how I've spent my life trying to be perfect, trying so hard to hold it together, to be what people expect of me, to consider always what others want of me and how this has caused me to live inside of an extremely fragile shell of a person. Because of you Julian, because of your love, because you have chosen me as your mother I have blossomed. I am more authentic than I have ever been. I am kinder. I am wiser. I can look at myself and see my contribution to all my mistakes, my failures, in work, love, you name it. I can see my role in them all. I weep today recognizing my part in keeping me locked down, my part in pushing people away, my part in creating this illusion of self I had held onto. You've shown me I am enough. The Universe has trusted me with this gift that you are and with that trust has said I am enough. You've shown me love can be easy simply by showing up. You've shown me the process is the journey - the work is always happening - there is no fixing or final destination. This is it, right NOW so live and enjoy it! Worry no more, let the pain of the past go as it's not happening now. That has been the hardest one my son, as the past is quite painful, and happy memories are shrouded in a lot of hurt, but each new day with you shows me the more I hold onto that hurt, the less I get to enjoy you. And I want to enjoy you and grow with you and love you this day and every day - for always. You are my son. And with you, I am eternally blessed. Thank you Julian James Puskarich. Thank you thank you thank you! I love you Chunkadoos. May we always have cheesy smiles, and dancing, and tickles and laughter and smashing peas on our noses, and all other kinds of silliness. xoxoxo