Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Important Daily Themes

I like to write. I am a word person. I like mantras, symbols, metaphors, cliche sayings, "bumper sticker" talk...all of it. I enjoy writing and I also use writing as a tool for self discovery, self expression and to process all the stuff going on inside my mind and heart.

These days, I am on a journey of self discovery. I've read a few blogs lately that have inspired me. A few days ago I decided to reflect on a few words as to remind myself of their importance within my daily experience.


In addition to all of these words representing a common theme, I've realized that they are FOUR CONCEPTS that represent a way way of living - a way of being.

For me, togetherness is a word that represents a very present way of being with others. It's one thing to be together physically - in the same room, hanging out, etc...but "togetherness" connotates a very aware presence that I am being with you and you are being with me. This applies a lot with family time. I am trying to be very mindful during the time I spend with the family that I am present, aware, in the moment, taking in the experience and also giving of myself in that time. It's a mutual exchange that leaves all feeling "full."

I love this word. It's application in my life is more about a way of living...so a verb rather than a noun. I want to be a person of community. A person who is mindful of others and their experiences. I want to invite others in - not exclude them. I desire to learn from other people's experiences and to share in our life's journey. I believe that we were created to be people of community. I believe we all have so much to share with one another...if we could just get beyond all of the barriers we have built out of self protection that prevents us from doing so. I want to teach my children to be people of community. I also desire to give back to our community; again, it's a mutual exchange. I also love the idea of sharing ideas, thoughts, perspectives, etc...and believe that within a community, diversity is crucial - diversity in ALL realms.

This word is special to me at this point in my life. It identifies a group of people to which I finally feel comfortable and "at home" with - hence "my tribe." It is simple, yet has such a profound affect when you actually feel you have found your tribe. I believe we all have this longing deep within us to belong, to be wanted, to be accepted, to be known in our core and to be loved. Finding my tribe has allowed me to exhale and begin to let people in again...I am learning to trust again, to let people love me (the real me) and to be vulnerable. It's hard...and it's a process.

This is an interesting word. Growing up in a fundamental Christian home, this word was always associated with some church event. "Potluck held in the fellowship hall after service." or "Come and fellowship with our new Pastor." I always associated it with religion. I have learned to create new word associations and now I have embraced this word. At this time in my life fellowship is again, about an exchange. Don't forsake the fellowship. It's the relating, the knowing, the understanding, the listening, the laughing, the caring, the fun, the crying, the crazy, the helping, the serving, the mending, the holding, the praying, the encouraging, the "seeing" of another fellow.

So, for today, I am going to allow these themes to marinate. They represent who I truly am and what is important to me. I want to be mindful of these each day as to not get distracted by all of the "stuff." May we all find ways to seek out togetherness, to be people of community, to find our tribe (or if found, to truly allow ourselves to be known - and to know others, and to NOT forsake the fellowship.)

More to come on this journey of self discovery...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Thine Self Be True

Little T and her Cheer leading Coach, after her very first exhibition performance, where they won 3 awards and she also received a trophy. She was very, very excited.
Little T and C, all ready to go to their very 1st school dance.

I cannot believe it. The kids had their first school dance. It was a Family Formal, so we all went together; even Grandma and Grampa came along. It was still just mind blowing to watch. The social aspect starts SO early. I sat and observed as the girls, in their little groups, fluttered around the room while the boys tried periodically to join in as an opening presented itself. Our little guy was of course just dashing. He became the coveted dance partner of the evening. In the end, it was the principle who won out and danced the night away with him as he continued to attempt to kiss her on the cheek. She was totally smitten!
Sometimes I am amazed as I sit back and watch the unspoken rules of our society begin to play out at such a young age. I actually LOVE that our boy has a different perspective with his amazing autistic brain. He asks great questions...like why aren't there any boys on his sister's cheer squad. I thought that was a great question, so we asked the coach...who in turn said there hasn't been any interest, but there aren't any rules that say boys CANNOT join..(mind you, our boy is one of the best in the back of the room as he copies his sister, memorizes the moves instantly and is already a great gymnast). If it weren't for our desire to give them the opportunity to have their very own experience (as twins - this was intentional because there has recently been some overshadowing issues)...I would totally let him join. He would not mind one bit that he was the only boy. Others however, in our society where there are all these unwritten rules of how things SHOULD be....well, it might ruffle their feathers a bit. You know, I have been a trailblazer all my life...forging ahead into uncharted territory, paving a way for change without even knowing it...we all have...all of us who are different, marginalized in some way or another...TO THINE SELF BE TRUE...that is what I am working on currently in my recovery. Boy what a lesson to allow your children to live in their OWN truth...even when that means that you, as a feminist, have to allow your daughter to be a cheerleader because that is what SHE really wants to do, or you support your son to be the only boy in an all girl sport because it makes HIM happy.
Isn't that what we all want anyhow...to be accepted and loved and to be able to be known in our truth and loved anyhow? I know I do and I still struggle with giving that and receiving that...so here's to hoping I can be of service in trying to raise a new generation; full of acceptance and love.
It's amazing how our children can teach us so much about life. I am grateful to be present and I pray that I continue to pay attention.