LIFE IS ALWAYS SHIFTING, AND SO THEN MUST WE!

I have had so much personal growth in the last year! After my moms breast cancer diagnosis, I felt extremely lost and scared! Fear of the unknown is a very powerful emotion, and it can take over your life if you let it! The things is, it wasn’t happening to my body, so why should I be allowed to feel all the things I was feeling?! At least that was what I was telling myself, and therefore overwhelmed with guilt! This pattern of emotions were causing me to react in ways I didn’t even recognize, which was spilling over into my every day life with family and friends, and therefore wreaking havoc on my life! Once my moms treatments were complete, all the emotions I had hung on to were set loose! Some I can say, were not so pretty either! I am not entirely proud of all my actions, but I realize now they were absolutely necessary for me to cope! The thing is, mistakes often lead to important lessons and personal growth, so we must forgive ourselves and move forward. Don’t allow someone to hold you down by constantly requiring an apology for who you are, and how you handle things! Just because they may not handle it the same as you, does not make it wrong, nor does it make you a bad person! You’re just different, and no one should shame you on that one!

I am grateful for the many important and necessary lessons and experiences in my life, including the people! I knew that those who wanted to work through my darker days with me, without judgement, taking it personally, and pure honesty, were the ones I could truly count on, and trust! The people and things causing me self doubt, pain, resentment, and stress, were things I needed to let go of. I absolutely do no blame anyone for making me feel that way either. I believe that we teach people how to treat us, and when we are vulnerable and lack self confidence, others will simply and naturally treat you as such! It’s never easy to let go of the things we are familiar with either, and often times we end up digging ourselves deeper and deeper into being misunderstood! No one likes to be misunderstood, and certainly no one likes to feel that their vulnerabilities are being judged or shared with others.

I think if I am being honest, the shift in my life was happening long before I myself saw the changes happening! It wasn’t just me shifting, it was the universe. I simply felt that the responsibility was being placed on me! A shift was very much needed for everyone in my life, even though I knew I was going to end up being the one feeling very much alone! I think it’s safe to say that change is extremely hard on everyone. People often resist change, that can lead to a lot of hurt feelings! My life in that very moment made me realize I absolutely wasn’t the same person anymore, and I needed to be that change in my own life! I needed to shift my thoughts and actions, because I didn’t like who I was becoming! It had nothing to do with others, although it would most definitely affect others. I realized it was ok to change as I grew, and that others change too! It is not about who was right, and who is wrong. Who is the bad person, and who comes out on top. No one comes out on top when lives shift, it just…changes, and it’s ok! It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as long as everyone can be respected!

I am grateful for each persons who came into my life, and what they have taught me! We all need certain things during certain times in our life! I hold no resentment for past hurts! I am simply realizing now that it’s ok to walk away from something we don’t like (including our old self), speak up, be vulnerable, and want change! As difficult as it might be sometimes, life shifts and so must we! I simply want to embrace the things that make me joyful, and be brave enough to walk away from the things that don’t!

LIFE IS PRECIOUS! BE BRAVE!

Shift

Advertisements

Vulnerability!

Vulnerability is an incredibly conflicting concept for so many! Whether it is in a relationship, a marriage, a friendship, or with family! Not only do you learn so much about yourself, but you also learn a lot about the perception of others, and their role in your life. Being vulnerable is not just about being brave by admitting your weaknesses, but also by allowing yourself to be great! To accept whom you truly are, and forgive your mistakes! We cannot allow others to use our vulnerabilities to their benefit, through blame and shame! We cannot give others power and permission to label us, based on their perception of us! These labels only blind us from seeing the person that we really are. They are artificial filters, and we must not allow them to turn your vulnerability, into fear! When you give them power to label you for your vulnerability, then you have chosen smallness over greatness, and minimize yourself.

I am reading this really great book about vulnerability, but often times I am left feeling more confused then ever about how it fits into my life. I have a really hard time being vulnerable, and any time I have allowed myself to do so, I have allowed others to think they know me better then I know myself. In my own life experience, I am learning about the balance between vulnerability, and giving others the power over it! It is not a nice feeling when someone labels you, because they often hit you were it hurts, leaving you doubting yourself! Yes they have a right to express their opinion, but it is up to me to decide whether or not I believe them.

As I learn about vulnerability, I have had some extremely difficult and painful experiences! Yes my choices and actions affect how a situation may turn out, but what I am realizing is that the actions and choices of others, also affects the outcome. That my choices always come back to “showing up, and being real”, and there is nothing wrong with that! I can’t make others realize this, I just have to trust it! It is not easy to look deep within and realize that perhaps others action’s, are simply a reflection of our own actions! That perhaps we are blaming others to ease our own pain! Sometimes humans read in to the actions of others based on our own emotions, or what is going on in our lives at that time! We choose how to react, and it is not the responsibility of others to own our feelings about a certain situation! Maybe their actions are not related to you at all, or maybe they are trying to make sense of your actions! If you are angry or offended by how someone is expressing their feelings, then perhaps you need to look further at your own fears. You can’t expect someone to be honest the way you want them to be! They are likely being honest the only way they know how, and you choose how to understand them! Being angry at someone’s honesty is likely a reflection of being angry at yourself. We are all so different, and life is about conflict sometimes. You can’t ask someone to change who they are, for your benefit! You simply need to walk away if they are not meeting your expectations! Maybe they are in your life to teach you something, and you haven’t accepted that yet!

People come and go from our lives, and that’s perfectly ok! They can even sometimes go, and then come back in! We can allow them the space to be who they are without taking it personally. It is unfair to expect them to work for your forgiveness, or punish them for their choices or honesty, just to be in your life again. That is a sign that it is time for you to let go also! If we are expecting more from others in order to forgive them, then it might be time to acknowledging that perhaps we are not forgiving ourselves, and in turn blaming others for conflict. Perhaps we are not being honest that we are creating conflict because we either don’t want to let go, or we really need to move on from the lesson they were meant to teach us. Honesty about your own vulnerabilities is far superior then placing blame on others. Blaming turns into regret, and regret turns in to anger, and that is the difference! It is not about blaming others, but rather how you choose to let them affect you! It’s about being honest, even if you don’t get a great reaction from the other person, but knowing you did the right thing! All those things are what make up a truly authentic person! I want to continue down a path of authenticity, which may mean I lose people along the way, but at least I know I am being true to myself! I can’t let others dictate who I am, and how I should behave! I simply need to let them go if they cannot accept me fully, and let go of what they think….Phewf, that’s a tough one!

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable just because you face people along the way who resist you! You should NEVER have to work for someone’s love and acceptance! If they can’t accept you as you are, it’s because they have already decided their opinion of you, and there is nothing you can do to change that! Someone who makes you work for the friendship is no friend at all. Treat others vulnerabilities with the utmost respect. It is sacred to them, and no one wants only the negative things pointed out! Most people already know their weaknesses, so be their strength! We are all just trying to make sense of it all, and to be real. Open your heart to forgiveness, without any expectations of others!

Be brave, and be the change! Don’t let one lesson reflect how you go through life, because there is so much love! Remember that those who have come and gone in your life, are not bad people! They were in your life for a reason, and you chose them! It’s ok to smile about the amazing things they brought to your life, without any resentment….even those who have taken advantage of your vulnerabilities. They simply had a lesson to learn too, and it’s ok to let it go! Don’t minimize yourself for their benefit, and don’t give in to the anger of others, it’s easy to do! We all have greatness within us, don’t be afraid to be seen!

Team Courage!

DSC02526

It has been a week since mom’s surgery, and we are feeling a lot of relief with having that portion of it over with. The surgery was successful, in that they were able to remove the lump. Her recovery, both emotionally and physically, remains ongoing! As relieved as we are to have that portion of things behind us, we still have a long road ahead of us! It is just the beginning of so many things to come, and to a new perspective on life! I don’t know if we will ever stop trying to make sense of how cancer affects your life in so many ways!

Right now, we are playing the waiting game for the results of the biopsy they took during surgery! We also must wait to find out our next move, which is very much dependent on the results! There will be steps we have to take regardless of those results, which is what we are trying to prepare ourselves for. If there is one thing I can say, it’s that you can never fully prepare for any part of this journey, you just have to go with it, stay strong, and figure it out as you go!

It may sound strange for some, but my mom and I have had a lot of really positive things come out of this whole experience too! One is the importance of early detection through mammograms, and having a good support system. Mom and I are both so incredibly honoured to have so many incredible people in our lives! It is truly amazing to find out who will step up to offer support, whether through messages, flowers, food, or even just being there to listen! We feel truly blessed, and words simply cannot express our gratitude for each and every one of them for what they have brought forward in this epic journey! It’s amazing how much strength you can gain, knowing that others are supporting you and cheering you on. It’s very uplifting, and extremely humbling! I am not at all surprised that my mom has had so many people come forward to give their support! Even through all of this, she still shows her true authentic self with everything she is facing.

This journey truly is the beginning for us in so many aspects, including finding out how to continue being the best version of ourselves from now on, despite being affected by cancer! We both want to fully appreciate life and all that’s in it, whether a negative experience or positive! To embrace the wonderful things, but appreciate the negative as lessons in our journey of life!

Mom is taking things on one day at a time, and embracing every opportunity to feel, to learn, and to grow as a person! I am learning so much through all of this as well, and the journey has been life changing! Although I cannot possible know what is going on in my moms mind, I do know that talking about it helps us both on so many levels. I also know I have my own fears and emotions about it all, which are completely different then moms. However, I do know that regardless of what we are all feeling, my brother included, we are in it together and that’s all that matters!

The Journey Ahead…..

Now that mom and I have had a chance to absorb all the information from her consultation (hey that rhymes), we are ready to take this cancer thing head on (or boob on!ha!) We did find out that the cancer is in fact invasive, which was pretty scary to hear! As her appointment went on, we understood that it meant that the cancer has in fact left the cell. The good news is that they believe it is still within a small, localized area, which gave us some relief! The whole thing is really scary, but we are so very grateful for early detection! We have a very busy week ahead of us with appointments each day of the week, and her lumpectomy on Wednesday! I think the hardest part for us, is not knowing! They can’t know everything until they actually get in there to see what they are dealing with. That is the most terrifying and frustrating part by far! They are still very optimistic about the outcome, so we are hanging on to that!

In the meantime, mom and I are keeping a very good sense of humour about it all! In fact, we are thinking about taking our act on the road (just kidding)! This whole experience has really helped mom and I say exactly what we are feeling, no holding back. It was a promise we made to each other, to be honest and real! Sometimes we end up in a bit of a fight, and sometimes we laugh our asses off. The important thing is, we are talking about it!

We have definitely agreed that it is somewhat overwhelming to have everyone around us telling us to “B” positive all the time (I told her to tell them she’s O positive, I thought that would be an appropriate response-or maybe that was just funny at the time, between her and I)! We absolutely know they mean well, but both mom and I know we have to stay positive, and she is rocking it! Mom has more strength and courage then I ever gave her credit for, and she is inspiring me to be a better person! The thing is, she is also a human being with real feelings, and she is allowed to feel angry, or scared, or sad. It is all part of the process, and it’s important to recognize your feelings in order to move past them. It’s not easy to move past them when you feel guilty for having a moment of weakness, because everyone is telling you to stay positive no matter what. If you think about it, it’s pretty hard to be positive 24/7 on a regular day, let alone when having cancer. I get it though, people don’t know what to say! I myself have been in that same situation with others, so I understand. In fact, I often wonder now how stupid I sounded to them!LOL! I know every one wants the very best for mom, and they want to see her fight this! It is actually very uplifting, humbling, and incredible to see the support she has!

The hardest part for me is to balance my life with a small family that I home-school, and being there for my mom all the time! My son and his nanny are very close, and he is a very receptive little boy! He is also very sensitive, so mom and I are trying to keep his best interest at heart. My kids do not know what is going on, because we don’t want them to fear something they don’t have to yet. It makes it very hard to work everything into our schedule, so I feel blessed to have such wonderful people who have offered to help with being mom’s support system! Obviously I want to be the one who is there for her every minute of every day, but the hardest part is admitting that I can’t be. There are also times that my mom wants someone from the outside of family to talk to, and that’s ok too!

I think if someone came to me asking what to expect as a “caregiver” or family member of someone with cancer, it would be to; expect all sort of different feelings to come up unexpectedly, that you are stronger then you think, and don’t be afraid to admit you are in over your head (or to ask for help). I am very honest with mom about what I’m feeling, and she is very honest with me. The honesty has been very refreshing, and it is changing our relationship in every way!

Mom and I have always been best friends, but we somewhat drifted apart when I had kids. That’s to be expected, because becoming a mother is life changing. It takes time for everyone to adapt to their new roles. If I can pin point something positive about this whole experience so far, it’s that it has brought us closer together again, and helped us to see what is important in life. It has even helped me to be real and honest with myself as well! I am learning to accept that everything in my life, and how I view things, is changing! It’s important that we don’t resist change, but rather embrace it and be grateful for what the past has taught us. That moving forward is part of life, and it’s ok to change the way we live our lives! This experience has made me realize that people often talk to give their opinion rather then just listen, and are often not being true to their own feelings. That no one should pretend to be someone they are not, because that’s when things get awkward! We spend so much time focusing on the lives of others, whether it be through facebook, by catering to others feelings, avoiding conflict, being upset about things that don’t really matter, jealousy, and saying hurtful things that are a reflection of our own insecurities. Life is so short, and I know that I want to be a person that is uplifting to others. I am working to make changes that give me a more positive outlook on everything and everyone. To accept rather then judge, to listen rather then give my opinion, and to be honest with my own feelings without guilt for having them. I am not responsible for the reaction of others, I can only try to be honest, yet compassionate in it’s delivery! Lately I have not been the best version of myself, and I am not sure what brought me to that place. I don’t blame anything or anyone, I just know that in order to make changes, I must focus within and change the things that cause turmoil in my heart! Being with my mom right now is the most important thing to me, and I am grateful for what it has taught me so far! She is my very best friend, and together we will get through this!

Thank you mom for showing me strength, courage and about being grateful! For acceptance and dignity! You are a rock star, and I am so proud of you!Mom and Am

The challenges we face!

I find it truly ironic that my last blog was called “everything is changing”, focusing on the fact that I myself am changing! There have been so many events even since my last post, life-changing events!

A few short days ago I found out heartbreaking news that a phenomenal human being had passed. Someone who was a good friend to many, and who I grew up working with at both a rafting company, as well as a ski hill. I think the only thing giving us all peace in this, is knowing that he died doing what he loved to do, living life to it’s fullest! Even in his death he is bringing so many people together, and making us feel like we are part of something bigger in this world! Those who have not worked in the outdoor industry likely do not understand the endless bond created between a (“river”) family. Working and playing in whitewater gives ample opportunity to see people at their utmost vulnerable. It’s easy to judge someone’s weakness, but yet no one did. We all understood the fear or challenges being faced sometimes. Instead, we supported and encouraged each other! Usually followed by a massive party afterwards, to celebrate both failures and successes. No one ever felt like an outsider, we all just belonged. We all have each other’s back, no matter what, and it’s an amazing thing to be a part of! It’s a blessing! As I have grown and became a mother, I find myself searching for that feeling and that connection wherever I can. Although I am fortunate to have incredible people in my life still, nothing can compare to my river family! Marc will be dearly missed by so many, and his memories will live on forever!

Once the waters settled from the devastating news of our dear friend, I was torn apart yet again with more devastating news! I don’t think anyone is ever prepared to have the “C” word enter their world! The word “Cancer” has entered my world, and I have never been more scared! My mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and my world has been turned upside down! I am seeing things in a whole different perspective, and non of the little things seem to matter anymore! Her doctors are very optimistic that it was caught quickly, and that it is a very curable kind! I too am optimistic that my mom is a survivor, and she will kick this in the ass! Fuck cancer!

After I was able to have a very good cry the day I found out, I am now feeling very determined! I am determined to understand everything about it, what needs to be done to fight it, and to be strong and get through this with my mom. I have weak moments where I feel crushed, but mostly I am feeling strong, brave, and determined it will all end well!

If you don’t know both of us, you don’t know the bond we have! My mother is my absolute everything! She is my very best friend, and no one knows me like she does! We have laughed together, cried together, struggled together, and shared a great deal of adventures together! To me, this is just one more adventure we will get through together!

I have asked my mom if I could blog about our journey, because there is no way she is taking this one alone! I want to blog to share our story and maybe help others. I am not blogging to get attention or create a big fuss, but rather to get the support she deserves! She has given so much to so many others, and now it’s her turn to receive! I want our blogging to help us cope with those low moments, and to get through them. To help push through the challenges, and be brave through the face of all this! I felt that blogging would help us to accept things, and move forward to get through it! I am not asking for anyone’s pitty, we don’t need that right now! Don’t you dare feel sorry for her, but rather be strong for her and have her back! Distract her, and laugh with her! Don’t fear for her, for fear and anger will only feed into the negative. We will not let it define her.

My mom and I are two bad-ass chicks, and we won’t let this get us down! We are stubborn, feisty, and we are fighters! We WILL get through this, because this “c” word is simply a hurdle in this thing called life! Our journey is something to help us, as well as others, to appreciate the value of life! To appreciate the things that truly matter! Look around you right now, and decide what is important! Don’t ever let anyone bring you down, and let go of the things that sabotage your greatness! Move forward in a direction that will give you happiness, and embrace the people who are dearest to you. The people who, no matter what, have your back! Mom…..I got your back, and I love you more then you will ever know! We got this!

mommy and me

Everything is changing!

It has been 4 months since we began homeschooling, and it has been a remarkable journey in so many aspects! The bond I feel with my children is stronger then ever, the relationship with my husband has evolved, and our family has connected on so many levels. We are still very happy with our decision, and we have been exploring and learning so many amazing things each day! Don’t get me wrong, there are days I watch the bus go by and have a slight urge to throw my kids out the door chasing it! Then something remarkable happens, and any shadow of a doubt is gone!

Through this experience, I have also learned a great deal about myself. For example, if you open yourself up to it, kids can be amazing teachers too! They can teach you incredible things about who you are, and who you want to be. I must admit that this journey has changed me, or is changing me! Life is filled with challenges and we are always changing, this I know! This journey in particular, however, has created a huge shift within me. As I sit here and write, I can definitely admit that I am somewhat lost about the next direction I want to take in life. In the same sense, I have never felt so clear about what is important to me in life!

The thing that becomes difficult when you go through a change, is helping others in your life understand that it is you who is changing and moving forward in your own direction. It has absolutely nothing to do with them, and it’s not personal! I never want to hurt anyone, but I also need to do what is right for me in order to be the best version of myself for my family!

When a shift happens within me, my entire path shifts! That usually includes everything and everyone in it, which can be the hardest part. The people in my life will always be part of it in some way, and equally important! In order to make changes in ourselves, however, we sometimes need to make changes in our lives and our patterns. I use hockey as an example, because it makes the most sense to me (obviously)! If a line isn’t working together to create results, you need to change it up and try something different. It doesn’t mean your line mate isn’t part of your team, you simply needed to change the way you work together! Once you all realize and accept this, incredible things happen!

There will always be rocky roads in order to get to where you want to be, but that’s part of life and it’s what makes me stronger! The way I see it is that I always want to be a positive influence in the lives of others. Sure I make mistakes, I am only human. I also understand that people won’t always like me! As my mom says, “what other people think of you is non of your business”. Having or being a positive influence, however, can shift patterns in the lives of many. The minute anger, frustration, jealousy, or bitterness towards a person or situation presents itself, it’s a good indication that it’s time for me to change things up for everyone involved. Why should anyone have to feel that way, that is no way to live! Those ugly feeling towards another person or situation is not presenting the best version of ourselves either!

I realized that my new life as a mother was often in a constant cycle of strict routine’s (so not me), bad habits (with everything in my life), and resentment. Becoming a mother was the most challenging journey for me! Your life becomes about someone else, and it’s easy to lose yourself. It’s also easy to rely on others to justify your feelings, which can become very dangerous for any relationship if you constantly focus on the challenges in life rather then the blessings! It becomes a pattern or a habit, and it’s no ones fault! I was no longer taking risks for myself, or doing things that made me happy. I was constantly trying to please others, being dishonest about my feelings to avoid hurting theirs, and relying on others to help me understand myself in this role. This journey in homeschooling has helped me remember that no one can understand me like I can, and no can fix things but me. In relying on others for this, I lost myself. I realize that I need to break the cycle, because I can no longer use the things I relied on to find myself, and expecting that from others was not fair to them. I must move forward in my next journey, and I must take the road alone………….yoga connection 2

A must share!

I found this quote on Facebook today, and it was just too good not to share! It defy’s the reason we chose homeschooling for our monkeys! Sure there are AMAZING teachers out there, I will never take that away from them. It was the school setting that was not right for us! My kids are now surrounded by teachers of life, who will give them amazing things in their lives! I love this quote…..end blog!

best quote