Once upon a time, I was a mom of 4 kids in a blended family and the youngest medically fragile while I was in college, running my first business and working outside of the home.
And shit life wasn’t easy, it was everything but. It was utterly and complete chaos to be honest.
And when I made it into town and people saw me, they would ask me:
“How do you do it all? And how do you do it with a smile?”
I didn’t know how to answer any of this back then, because “I just did”.
Or in other words, I did what I had to do.
There are a few things you don’t always have a choice over but you do have a choice in the way you handle each challenge or obstacle.
We didn’t have a choice but to manage my son’s medical well-being.
We didn’t have a choice to not work, because well we needed a roof over our heads.
I didn’t give up on my college degree because I was on a mission.
I didn’t stop creating art because it gave me fuel and fire that I needed to function.
And there were days where I was angry, sad, frustrated and just thinking “shit when will this crapshoot all end”. And yes, you can do it grumpy and irritated and it really comes down to a choice of wanting more frustration or having a little bit of ease to go along with it all.
And when you do the hard things – and the easy things – it with a smile on your face, you are choosing to set an example for anyone that is around you. But more importantly, even in those deep trenches of the shitstorm where you are feeling the weight on your shoulder, there will be that small part of you knowing that all will be okay. You just got to keep going.
So, when you are finding yourself challenged in making time for your family, your business or whatever else is going on, become strategic about your time and then commit to it while still being flexible enough for the “Oh shit” moments.
- in making time for your family or your business
- in feeling just, a little bit of peace
- in knowing that you are doing the best you can
Cut out the less important stuff and focus on that things that matter. And I mean really matter. But don’t become so rigid that in the case of a situation you can’t be flexible.
Because when the shit storm happens, that flexibility will be your strength.
Yesterday I wrote about why gratitude matters, but today I am playing devil’s advocate – so much fun!
Because here is the thing, when you are down and out, hit rock bottom and don’t even know how to pay your rent, put food on the table or know how you are getting to work, it’s hard as shit to be grateful for anything.
And then, to top it of people around you tell you, you should be grateful you are alive, or be grateful for the things you do have. And therein lies the problem, it’s supported by a “Should”, and we never ought to do things that have that heavy feeling of should. And then, sure you can be grateful that you are life, but that doesn’t help if you have zero money to feed yourself or your kids. And yes, I have been there many moons ago.
And I am all about positivity and reframing thoughts and coming in from a different perspective, but fuck sometimes that shit is hard but no one wants to really talk about the hard stuff.
The stuff where you
- have a hard time getting out of bed
- where you are sobbing because you can’t see a way out
- putting on a face just so no one will bug you with “are you okay and be grateful”.
And in those moments when you are feeling all those feelings, gratitude doesn’t do a damn thing for you. Life is life and shit happens – the good, the bad and the ugly. And I am all about feeling your shit when you are in it. But I also know there is a way out.
A way out of
I know this because I have lived this – but let’s be honest gratitude alone didn’t get me out of this. Looking at where I am, where I want to go and what I can do about it, and then taking action got me out of this.
Because you do end up in the dump sometimes, and you do feel all the negativity and for heaven’s sake, feel that shit. Because only when you allow that feeling can you get clear on your vision. And while I do practice gratitude every single day, there are still days that are complete and utter shit. And all the gratitude in the world won’t change the feelings or thoughts around.
- Getting clear on your vision
- Mapping out a plan
- Letting go of the shit
- Taking Action
- Actively participate in your own change
That – that right there will change your life around.
We all want a better, improved an amazing life. Let’s not kid us around that and sometimes we are stuck in the dreaming mode because we don’t really know how to make it all happen.
And then, just like that, we get a glimpse of the steps to take. So, you make your list of all the things you need to do and you hold that vision of the end goal.
But then life throws you a curveball and everything comes to a halt.
This is exactly what happened to me 8 years ago.
I had started my art business in 2005, working from home and loving every minute of it. what I didn’t love was that my youngest was going undiagnosed with what we later learned was a potentially fatal genetic disorder. I knew it in my gut, however.
Fast forward to 2007.
I blended my family and relocated to a new area and life was grand, minus the unknown piece about my kiddo. I worked on my art business, got a job and life was as good as it gets.
But I had bigger dreams and I wanted to help people. I wanted to help improve their lives and go after their own dreams, but again I had no idea on how to make that happen.
Then we received the diagnosis for my son and we lived in emergency crisis mode because his disorder was so unpredictable that going after my dreams was tough. But it was also the life changing moment I needed.
You see, I don’t want people to wait until an accident, a diagnosis or anything else to happen before they go after their dream. And despite the new challenges of food control and medication management, I went back to college.
I’ve always been a go-go person and keeping busy because during those idle times I had too much time to think and didn’t want to feel how my world was literally turned upside down. It has taken me years to recover from the trauma that ensued through his liver transplants and the grief of not having normal (normal being relative) functioning child.
As special needs parents, we grief all the things our kiddos may or may not accomplish because we have dreams for them. We want them to go after everything they desire and want in life.
As I started to heal from the pain and the crisis removed itself from our lives, my dreams emerged again more vividly. They never really left but I just didn’t know how to care for my kiddo, maintain a happy family and go after a life of adventure and freedom that I craved so much.
In the process of my healing from grief, sadness, and the trauma, I realized I had a choice.
I had a choice to play the victim and continue to share how difficult it all has been OR I could just make a choice of going after what it is I want with confidence and courage. Because I knew I had courage, this part was evident.
I pulled up my big girl panties and started working on my mindset. I needed to believe that I can be successful, that I can have the business of my dreams and a life full of adventure.
I worked as a therapist and learned the skills and really got some insight on how other people view the world, their challenges and figured out ways how I could help them, knowing I had done all the work myself already.
I tapped into my intuitiveness and stopped being so hard on myself and just be present with each client during their own struggle. And now when I help clients in my business, this is like the icing on my cake, it feels so damn amazing when I see them act after a conversation.
But the point is, we all get curveballs thrown at us. Those are the moments testing our strength and confidence in our dream and in our vision. And if you really believe in your dream, no matter how many curveballs your get threw at you, you will make it happen.
Some will call this divine timing. I will just think of it there is something that needed to be learned before you were or are ready for the next time.
For me, it was simply just learning how to feel and love myself first and allow myself to feel confident in my abilities to help others. For you, this may be something entirely different.
Everything we go through, whether it be positive or negative, allows us to learn something about ourselves. And the bottom line is that self-awareness is the crucial part of taking the next step forward.
May you always see your dream and hold the vision no matter where your journey takes you!
So, you have this dream right, you can even see the big picture of what it will look like but someone said that it’s a piece of cake.
Well, it isn’t.
Sorry to burst your bubble here but it takes work, dedicated work because it isn’t going to fall into your lap, although that would be nice, that’s not reality. It’s why this get rich schemes don’t work and neither will the lottery, though that would be nice too.
But when you can feel your dream, like really feel it because you know what it is you want (and why you want it, opportunities to make it happen to show up).
When I had the vision of supporting my local art community, I had no freaking idea of how to make it happen. But one conversation, let to another conversation and before I know it and the opportunity arose in which I was approached to join three other women in creating this vision I had talked about.
But it still took some patience and dedication to making it all work because life has a humor and sometimes hurdles get thrown in front of you, testing you if you have what it takes to follow through. You start wondering if this was the right move or the right time and before you know it, you start questioning every little thing about this dream.
Welcome to not being an alien, though we don’t really know if aliens have feelings yet. Anyway, it can be tough to get wrapped up in the thinking that once we have it all figured out, it will be smooth as chocolate pudding. It won’t be. Ever.
Yes, you will refine your systems and find that magic formula that works for you but things change all the time. Knowing this will serve you to be more adaptable and open to change while you are continuing to take the steps forward.
Allow the struggle to exist, feel it and even honor it because on the other side you will emerge with your dream fully ingrained despite the hard times.
The best thing we can do for ourselves and our dreams is to be right in those moments, feeling them and know we are alive right here right now, not 20 years down the road.
You are at your best in each given moment, know this, feel this and believe it. Take steps every single day moving towards that dream because just when you think you have arrived, something changes and another dream comes up. Because as the world changes, we change but those initial steps of taking action will get you to achieve whatever dream you have, every single time.
Lennon has been complaining about headaches for a few weeks and I made him a long overdue eye appointment. If you have been following his story, you may remember that immediately following the urea cycle disorder diagnosis, Lennon went blind for about 6 months or so, if not that’s okay!
Anyway, the appointment was at 2:30 and we got in, registered and after 15 minutes or more waiting, we were called in a room for an eye test. Lennon was engaging, fascinated and super excited – silly boy actually WANTS glasses. Well, we went through it and back into the waiting room we went.
And about 4:30 we FINALLY saw the doctor who reviewed his history, asked me a bunch of questions and ordered two more tests.
Now mind you, we did not have the Kindle with us, nor the Ipad and my phone battery… well died. Lennon was maxing out fast with patience and it took everything I had to keep him entertained and supported as he was struggling more and more as time went on. We looked at magazines, used the bathroom and despite it all – we both began to struggle and patience was wearing thin.
And then we heard his name..whew.. ok let’s do this…
Visual test to check his peripheral sight in his eyes.. one eye is better than the other.. yep this is how Lennon rolls. This test is a mere 15 minutes but Lennon who had already struggled so much worked hard, fidgeting in his seat to hit the button every time he saw a light. I was on the edge of my seat too.
Immediately following was the dilation of his pupils and this is where he lost it and I was mustering everything I had to get us through this. The first drops went in and my 11-year-old boy flew into a rage of “hell to the no” you are not doing this again.. but it had to be done. We made it through the ordeal but Lennon was a mess and well me too and so I just held him for the longest time, questioning if this really was all necessary.
I knew it was because it had been an incredibly long time since his eyes were checked.. and well headaches, who needs them?
We waited in the waiting area – the last people there. Receptionists, residents, and other techs had already left the building.
Pictures of his eyes complete, we saw the doctor one more time and the result is that Lennon is nearsighted, and because he’s so young as he gets older, it will progress to becoming worse.. thus glasses forever… it’s not the end of the world but the visit was incredibly dramatic.
The good thing?
We don’t go back for 2 years!