Coming of Age

Life events

It’s finally time to sit for a moment and gather my thoughts. It’s time to reflect on this past year really, firstly because that is how long I have been dallying on getting back into writing for me, but secondly because it has been a wearisome year that has developed who I am as a mother, friend, wife, and human being in general. I’ve learnt a lot about myself this past year, and I’ve learnt a lot about my place in the world, and moving forward has been the most awkward and worthwhile experience of my 30s.

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– Me with my beautiful first-born Lauren as a baby

“…and suddenly you know…..it’s time to start trusting something new and trust the magic of beginnings” – unknown.

“Coming of age” is generally a term reserved for our children and their transition from being our child into adults in their own right. Often it is filled with excitement, but overshadowed with trepidation and uncertainty as they shift from being their mammas little girl, to a young adult with the expectation of responsibility and the ability to determine their own outcomes. I am certain that I am not alone in feeling that same sense of apprehension about letting the most precious part of me go and be her own person, experiencing and working through her own mistakes. At this moment I am living this with my eldest daughter, and although she is not yet 18 years old, she has worked hard to complete her final year of school which included an International Baccalaureate with a focus on high level subjects of theatre, biology, and psychology. It certainly has been a challenging year for both her and us, as we attempted blindly to help her navigate this education program, manage the emotional rollercoaster each term and held our breath as we awaited each results estimation, and of course the precious milestones that pepper our young ones’ last year of school.

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title til much later” – Bob Goff.

Graduation was one of the proudest moments as a parent as I watched my beautiful baby girl walk up on stage and receive her certificate, with every elegance and grace. We had already had the joy of her last day of school, followed by the iconic moments of clap out and beach swim, and I’m thrilled that I was able to have time off work to soak up every single moment with her. As a working and studying mum, every one of these special moments are exceptionally valuable to me and to my husband and ones that we will not easily forget. The day of graduation (after finishing her last two exams that morning), we drove from make up artist to hair stylist to put some extra sparkle on my already stunning daughter, before arriving home to get dressed in her gown. That moment when doing up the back of her dress and shiny gold belt, I shed just a small tear and the woman who was standing in place of my little girl. The reality that she was no longer the little girl who was small enough to cuddle in my lap was tangible and terribly scary, but proud. I can now say with certainty that she had reached the end of high school intact – my job as a parent had worked.

This past year my daughter Lauren has become a P-Plater (Provisional driver – meaning she can now drive without us), had her first significant car accident that left me in a state of panic (she is however okay now and was not at fault), and of course most recently we presented her with her first car. Her sense of freedom has exploded and I’m certain we will be seeing less of her now she has her own means of transport, but her promises of maintaining her close relationships with her family reassures me. Lastly, she has been spending time with her first boyfriend but the only thing I can share (to protect his privacy), is that he is a wonderful young man whom we totally approve of). Now her job is to create the life she wants, and we can’t wait to see the adventures she gets up to.

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Coming of age is not only preserved for our kids, I also feel that as we get older we have times where life experiences and our own personal growth leads to our own coming of age. A transition to the next stage of our lives. Whilst our eldest graduating has been part of that for us, it is a myriad of other things that has led me here also.

Currently, we are making all the plans necessary for our move to England at the end of 2018, and its been a little bittersweet. We are super excited to be embarking on this amazing journey as a family, but the sadness of the impending goodbyes is ever present. We have so many dear, dear friends here in Australia and it is going to take commitment and dedication to nurture those relationships despite the distance and time differences. I have had to reconcile myself with the fact though that some of those people in my life will fade into fond memories when we leave, just as some have begun that process now of their own accord. It reminds me that no matter how busy I am with my job, my study, and my family, the friends that are dear to me need to know that they are – they are part of the tapestry of the life I love so much.

This year our family survived not only me working lots of hours, studying, and carrying out and presenting a research piece in Sydney, but we also survived a great heartache when we lost my husbands brother, and it shook us to our core. The sadness is still with us and whilst we still wish we had made more time to go and see him, its reminded us to cherish the opportunities we get to see the special people in our lives and to not take it for granted – none of us know if there will be a tomorrow. The tomorrows we do have are going to be great, throughout it all I am beginning to really know who I am and who I am not. What I am is a kick-arse nurse, mother, and friend who is enough – it’s what I am beginning to really accept that about myself and it feels good to be more certain of that. Knowing for certain that I am enough has been a work in progress, and also means I am more confident in standing up for my boundaries and beliefs in the face of others judgement. My focus this next year to further develop deep relationships with my friends and family, become more fearless, and challenge myself and my beliefs – so that I know for sure that I am being a leader in my own life.

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– The wonderful man I get to enjoy this life with, my husband

Ultimately, getting older and coming of age is a lifelong process and whilst my daughter is figuring out how to be an adult, I am enjoying getting older and closer to 40 – and I’m loving it. I am loving caring less about what people think, I am loving the courage I have to face my own flaws and question what lesson life’s shitty little events are trying to tell me, and I am loving the life of following our wildest dreams that my husband and I have created for ourselves – and hope our children have that courage too.

 

“What we know matters but who we are matters more.”
― Brené Brown

LETTING GO

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I know this might seem like a no-brainier to some, but just recently it occurred to me that my children are in fact NOT my children. Imagine going sixteen (and nine for the youngest) years thinking that the tiny baby you carried inside your tummy for nine months, the baby you have nurtured now for all those years, really was yours only to have one of those knowing moments when you truly realised that they were in fact NOT your children after all. I know, OUCH right? But there it is, something I have known all along, something I take into account when I make decisions about my child, but something I didn’t really feel deep down in my core until recently. Is this revelation because I now have a child in grade 11 and a child in grade 4? That’s interesting – you could be right…

When we went to Europe late last year we took our children with us, 2 daughters aged 15 and 8. My beautiful 15 year old was pretty independant but still her mothers daughter in the sense that we were unbelievably close and I honestly couldnt really fathom her ever leaving home, along with the fact that so much of what I thought played a role in what decisions she made. I feel like a lioness protecting her cub after almost losing her the year before last when she collapsed in the shower and her heart and breathing stopped. My beautiful 8 year old was both shy and very hard work with her having a myraid of challenges we have lived with over the years…both my girls experience OCD, but Mackenzie also has auditory and sensory processing challenges too which have filled our days with meltdowns and 2hr long mealtimes and bedtimes and to be frankly honest I was more than a little scared of what would happen taking her into overcrowded, touristy places with unfamiliar spaces and food and cultures. What happened next really shocked both my husband and I.

Let me tell you what we saw with our almost 16 year old Lauren. Not to be misunderstood because my daughter is exceptionally more mature and forward thinking than many of her peers and I am immensely proud of how she is progressing (no she isnt perfect by any means and still has her moments of being a pain in my arse – she was never meant to be perfect), however my daughter became even more individual in her own right in Europe. She began thinking way bigger than I had ever instilled and showed a passion for experiencing life in a big way, much bigger than I could have ever imagined for myself at that age. It was as though everything became possible and nothing (not even her mother) could stop her. I have realised through this that when our children reach this time in their lives where they are starting to rebel against our ideas and wishes, and we become frustrated parents of teenagers who long for a weekend off, this is our weaning time to move through what could be a very embarrassing case of seperation anxiety and empty nest syndrome that occurs if they suddenly break free from the nest. I can only imagine the heartbreak I caused my mother by leaving suddenly at the age of 16 to go live and work out on my own – honestly I’m surprised she is still talking to me.

Im still struggling a bit with this new found individuality Lauren has found and riding the rollercoaster of emotions we are both experiencing is what I would call ‘interesting’. (Now Lauren if you are reading this, it by no stretch means I am going to suddenly change my mind about not letting you go to a house party filled with alcohol and no supervising parents – non negotiable). My husband and I have begun to talk about the possibility of Lauren going on ‘dates’ with boys, but we are undecided as to whether we are okay with her getting into a serious teenage relationship when we know she really wants to travel and experience so much in her early years, not to mention the decade of university education she is about to embark on in the very near future. I do know that she is happy at this point to wait until marraige to have sex and is in no hurry to get married and have children so we have breathed a sigh of relief on that front. I guess the jury is still out.

What I am proud of is that this new level of kick-A independence has seen her crave to work and earn her own money, she is dedicated to her studies and is working really hard at that and achieving what she wants, and is taking charge in the changes she wants in her life. I am proud – if not a little sad – that my baby is not my baby…she is an individual in her own right.

Now let me tell you about my little Indigo baby Mackenzie. Mackenzie has been a delightful handful since the day she was born and although I wouldnt change it for the world, I would be lying if I didnt say it has been an exhausting and frustrating ride for all of us – including Lauren as she has had to make adjustments and show great patience with our littlest one. Her sensory processing disorder has meant that textures, touch and experiences are a constant onslaught to her system and her only task each day is to fumble through the best she can. Sometimes a hug from mummy is just not enough, sometimes there is no solution to her troubles but to let her vent and cry, and sometimes she just wants to be like all the other kids. Her auditory processing disorder means that people misinterperet her brains inability to decipher and seperate and process all the input, for insolence and misbehaviour and distraction. She has been called naughty by teachers and family and friends, but when you try to explain it they think that she has trouble hearing so they speak louder which then sets off her sensory issues. Despite this Mackenzie is an amazingly bright, cheery girl who just wants everyone to be happy, and who never wants to disappoint anyone. You can imagine that a 6+ week trip to Europe would have been a struggle for this little one and although it was, something quite extraordinary and unexpected happened during that time. Instead of going into a permanent meltdown as any parent of an SPD kid would expect, she did the opposite! Although we had a few meltdowns and struggles, Mackenzie began talking to people, even in other languages. She climbed a volcano, jumped off a boat and swam to a hot spring, climed the top of the Eiffel Tower, ate strange foods, rode the underground, revelled in the cold temperatures in Switzerland, coped with 10 flights…and began to break the emotional safety straps she had built between her and us.

Now back at home Mackenzie is doing acrobatics, classical ballet, coping with her homework, eating new foods with only a little resistance, speaking up, making new friends, standing up for herself, carrying her school bag and……walking herself into school on her own with us just watching. She is excited about being able to do things for herself now rather than shying away from it and relying on us to be her safety net. Its amazing to see her growing up even though I long for my baby girl who ‘needed me’, but she still will occasionally ask to hop into bed with mummy and have hugs so I can deal with that. I am proud – if not a little sad – that my baby is not my baby…she is an individual in her own right.

I feel good that I have raised individual angels, and although I can feel the shift in the relationship I have with my girls, I know that this is how it is meant to be and that we are not growing apart but are growing – as mother, as daughter, as sisters. This is how it should be – they are not mine, they are just my responsibility to love, nurture and guide.

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AWAKE

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I had an extraordinary dream a little while ago, where people are just waking up. Waking from vegetative states, waking up from unawareness, waking up from disability. They have full bodily function and movement, a new peace expression in their faces. The feeling of excitement, wonder, and awe was overwhelming – even when I physically woke up and sat thinking about this dream I had just experienced. It was profound.

I believe that in life there are seasons and in that I believe that the season of knowing is perfectly timed, after all you don’t know what you don’t know until you know….you know? I do also believe that at this time in the world there is a universal shift in individuals awareness and consciousness on a very deep level.

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I look back at the last five years and it blows me away how far I have come within myself, and I feel that I have grown emotionally at a rate that could give you whiplash. Prior to this I was so stuck on being right all the time because I just could not grasp that there was no right or wrong, just different. It took a long time to understand that there are many different realities for each person and they should be respected not ripped apart because they aren’t what we perceive as our truth. I think this is a difficult concept for many people to grasp because we have lived for so long in a society who thrives on making one side right and one side wrong. Our worthiness for sometime has been linked by marketing and old thought patterns to how we look, what we wear, who we are friends with, who we are married to, how old we are, what job we have, where we live, what we believe, BLAH BLAH BLAH…………. It’s as if we have continued to give away our power like a mandatory tax.

I don’t think that way any more. There is a quote that now resonates with me deeply and I’m not sure who said it originally but it’s epic.

“DIFFERENT ISNT WRONG – ITS JUST DIFFERENT”

We are constantly evolving beings that are meant to change and grow. For me, being surrounded by people and influences that are aligned with that has really helped me with moving forward in life, and although it can get a bit hairy scary at times, it excites me to see what life holds ahead.

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What are your growth influencers? Is it a person, book, ???

Everybody Be AWESOME!

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

AUTHENTICITY, MY JOURNEY

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
― Herman Melville

“Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

We engage with ourselves and the people that surround us every day? Yes it is intended to be a question. Do do we really engage with those around us in a true authentic sense, or do we disengage from others when we should be connecting on a deeper level?

This is something I’ve been trying to work on lately to strengthen the bonds with my family and friends, with those people that add value to my life, especially because this then adds value to their lives in return.

I believe that to engage on this level with others is through heart connections, connections that mean something and without which our lives would be a little less sparkly.

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I could point out what it isn’t however I have so much more to share that adds value on this topic.

You knowing a fan of Brene Brown and she has a series of printouts that are just gold. Here is one that suggests some simple guidelines ‘rules’ of quality engagement. Are you brave enough to give it a shot? Do you have some of your own?

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WHERE I’M AT

AUTHENTICITY, MY JOURNEY

It’s been a while since I’ve been regularly present on my own blog lately hasn’t it? I do love being here I promise. It’s the one place where I feel free to say what is weighing on my soul, and scream from the rooftops all the cool stuff that excites me. It’s important for each if us as human beings to have our own forum for being heard and speaking our truth – whether it be a log, a diary or any other form. I think blogging has exploded in popularity for many people to have a voice but I wonder, are there any other cool ways to do this?

I’ve been in a process of storming, forming and norming so to speak, and although its necessary for personal growth, I don’t much like it. If I believed in past lives I would have to wonder if I was a hooligan at some point destined to learn a load full in this one. Since I don’t I guess I have put it down to me not listening to my intuition, my body or the signs everywhere on what to do and what not to do, thus my body is screaming at me in other ways.

A few years ago now I was diagnosed with a cyst on my brain but when they looked at it they couldn’t figure out some mysterious thing encapsulating it. Now for about 13 years I have had vertigo issues, but right before this thing was found I got got a real good whack in the head and since then the vertigo and headaches became ridiculous. I have had a really good run since changing my lifestyle but it appears that my body has figured out that I’ve been cutting some corners, burning the midnight oil (like now), and forgetting the fact that living that way got me into this mess last time. I’ve been putting off the self shaking I’ve needed to give myself for a while but now with the return of these symptoms, the development of a painful lump in my leg and feeling emotionally swamped – well I need to face facts. It’s time to live again.

So I’m jumping back into me again. I have been looking after my soul again by committing to Pilates each Saturday with a group of amazing women, starting writing again, connecting with people who add value to my life, and educating myself on cleaning up my system even further, and really cutting out the stuff that no longer serves me. A very respected friend of mine said to me the other day that she longed for excitement in her life again and intended on going out and getting it. I have to say that I’m with her.

So I have decided to scratch the idea of going through the whole neurologist and brain scan pathway that I know will may lead to another year or two of stress, worry or what ifs to get the same answer of ‘no we won’t operate because its too deep’, nor will I be spending time waiting for what ifs or what nexts for the lump in my leg that may or may not be anything – I’ve been on the cancer trail before and I’d rather concentrate on fixing the deeper cause.

Instead I am going to focus on living – really living, because that’s what I want, not living because I’m fearful of the alternative. I know it might appear a morbid thing but I deal with death quite regularly in my job as a nurse and the one thing that is strikingly obvious is that living is the key…not dwelling, not regretting, not fearful (working on it), not angry or unforgiving, not too proud to change your mind, not stuck. In saying that I need to acknowledge that I’m not perfect nor always right, but I do try to act on what I believe to be true at the time for the best interests of my family and my life. Doesn’t always come across that way though.

I’m taking this opportunity to put all the painful stuff away (working on it), and this includes making it okay for others to do the same. Part of this is saying – I’m sorry. I’m sorry if anything I have ever done has come across in a way that has made you feel hurt, or less, or unimportant…period. There will be one or two particular people that this really is significant to and if they think it applies to them then yes I’m talking to you. Nothing I have done has ever been intentionally aimed at hurting you so please know that. In turn I am also releasing all the things that have cut deep for me too (working on it), and allowing myself the space to heal. I look back on all the young women I nursed in their final days and I want to have the peace that they had now not just in my final days. I don’t want anything unfinished for me or anyone else – and I have a sense of urgency that now was the time and I’d best not leave it any longer.

Ultimately though I want my zest and my joy back and I fully intend on pursuing it.

Deep down do you feel that you have no unfinished business, you’ve overcome your regrets or at least made peace with them, and that you would feel your life complete at any stage because you lived it big?

A CHILD’S PATH – PART 1

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I love my children. Deeply, completely, wholeheartedly. Now for us mothers and fathers there is only one big thing we want for our kids and that is for them to be happy. But what does happy look like? When you nut it out there are specifics that we want for our kids or at least some general ways of being we want for them. For me and many parents out there some of them look like the following

What do I want for my children to grow up with?

– a sense of adventure
– feeling their fear and doing it anyway
– self respect and self love/worth
– being friends with vulnerability
– courage to reach for their goals without hesitation
– living their values

Well if I want my children to grow up with this I have to be real with myself – it doesn’t just magically happen. It happens when they see us being the example, when they see us having the same. If we want for our children we must plough head first into these things and get uncomfortable with our deepest darkest fears and insecurities – or our children will grow up only wishing the same for their children and there we have it another generational plague of insecure beings not realising their potential. It’s time for us as parents to stop hiding behind safety – behind the what ifs, don’t want to’s, I cants, too scareds, blah blah blah. It’s time for us to dare greatly and be.

So are you daring greatly? If not, why? And what can you do to move into the way of being that you want for your children. They are watching – be their compass and there light – I know you can.

THE SKIN I’M IN

AUTHENTICITY, MY JOURNEY

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‘Black is slimming’ they say. ‘Black hides your lumpy bits’ they say. ‘Black hides a multitude of sins’ they say. ‘They’ conveniently leave out the counterpoints on the colour black, and for quite some time I have grappled on the mat between both points of view. I can surely say that I’m gunning for the view against these terms of flattery at this time in my life.

It is a recent revelation to me that whilst the flattery that has surrounded voluptuous girls wearing black appears to be innocent all round, in fact it points to the opposite. The descriptions of what black is said to do for you points to the idea that there is something that requires hiding behind the shadows of a colour choice, hinting that it is something to be shameful about. Now for me it is indicative to the extra layers I’m in the process of working through (aka fat), but it can mean something equally questionable for people of any size.

Let me ask this of you, and of myself. Since when did we become so unlikable that we needed to cover ourselves up? Since when did it become okay to expect our daughters to love themselves, yet be hippocrites by hating ourselves? Since when did it become okay to put ourselves in the ‘not good enough’ box, leading others to think the same? Seriously, we are far more evolved and aware than that – or are we? Now this isn’t about health per se – because I eat well, work hard, and exercise – and self worth should not be dependant on how we look. Well I have challenged myself in this area, and called myself on my own shit!

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I have reached a point in my life that I feel the need to challenge myself and switch on the BS radar far more frequently – I’m not getting any younger and frankly I don’t want to reach my forties (not for a few more years yet phew!), with the same self loathing that has plagued my first 34 years. I’m already working on my health and I’ve come quite some way with shrinking into a new shape, blasting away much chronic disease and quitting smoking, but this self image crap needed sorting. So I’ve stepped into the light and am embracing everything BUT plain black – I’m dressing like the colourful vibrant 30-something woman that I am, and in the process teaching my girls that self love is important in the process.

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Apart from uniform style work clothes, I have not bought anything in a solid black or dark colour in quite some time now. And to top it off I am embracing wearing clothes that DO NOT resemble an over sized circus tent, but frame the skin I’m in with curves and all. My husband loves it! My kids think I’m dressing less like a grandma (horror – they used THAT word!). And my friends have commented that its nice to see some colour. In fact I think it brightens me up!

So I set a challenge to you out there whatever your shape – be bold and wear something that challenges your perceptions about ‘the skin I’m in’ – and reblog your thoughts and experiences.

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THE ART OF CARING – a nurse in crisis

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Lets face it, we are paid to care – or so says society’s conditioned perception and those black and white filtered accounts of Florence Nightingale from the 1800’s. In some circles we are vocationally entwined for eternity to this role of nurse for no pay, doing it soley for the love of it and the promise of becoming a revered saint on the ‘other side’. There are still an enormous cohort that have visions of nurses gliding through the corridors with a grace that is ever so befitting for an angel of God. Glowing and softly spoken her mere presence brings promise of good health and longevity, and you are certain that she was sent here for a divine purpose. What a perfect fairy tale that I’m about to destroy – apologies in advance if you we’re hoping for some gooey BS about nursing being a perfect way to attain bliss and an enlightened soul. Now for the real story.

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I remember looking at the nursing profession (both women and men – however I will focus this as a woman nurse because that’s what I am and I don’t pretend to be PC because this is my blog), thinking ‘Wow, what caring and self sacrificing women. I want to be that [martyr] when I finish university”. I warned you I wasn’t going to be PC. Well didn’t my perception change when I got out of my first year at university. I found a world of competitive, mostly women with awesome goals far beyond what you could dream of, and an industry that gobbles them up. That’s not to say all of its like this but I’ve seen it way more than once. If you manage to get the highly sought after graduate position that every woman and their ambition wants then you have to slog your way from being what us Aussies call ‘vegemites’ aka newbies, to someone the student nurses strive after in a short 12 months. Now I didn’t get the graduate program I had first wanted but I ended up with 3 offers where many ended up with none – palliative, medical and undecided in public and private hospitals I decided on the palliative because the others would not fit around a new found colony of cancer cells on my cervix, and I really believe I had some things to learn there. Some really tough stuff to learn.

So this glowing vision of gracefully gliding nurses soon gets a raw and real kick in the butt when reality sets in. What’s the reality you wonder? Well the reality for many of us nurses is this. We work solidly from the moment you step foot on your workplace soil, because nurses don’t start work at clock on time but in fact from the moment a potential patient or relative spot you at thirty paces in your uniform in the car park – because in the health industry nursing navy’s are like red to a bull. Then when we do finally clock on our bladders suddenly become made of impenetrable cast iron able to withstand the shock of a magnitude 7 earthquake, or at least the constant trickle of water each time you wash your hands. Lets not forget either that during a shift of 8 to 12 hours your metabolism is able to work on no food or if your lucky some snacks you left in your bag last weekend from a picnic in the park – lunch, what’s that?. Then you glide gracefully in the steaming sticky bathroom as you wash your patient, and with each step you feel a squelch in your shoes despite the well designed blue booties – and that’s a feeling you just cannot forget. I’ve been vomited on many times over the past years, in fact I think I have seen every colour and texture known to mankind or alien, and have in all honesty resisted the urge to follow suit hundreds of times. But it’s not all gore and goo, there’s all the emotional goo as well.

The emotional goo is what I know will do my head in one of these days. There is just no way you can escape the goodbyes between a young mother dying of cancer and the children who don’t recognise her and refuse to go near her. There is no way to escape the feeling of complete uselessness you feel when no amount of pain relief works to suppress the agony of another. There is no way to escape the heart wrenching guilt you feel when you reassure a relative that you will call if there loved one deteriorates only to have to call them 5 minutes after they leave to say its too late. There is no way to escape the feeling of incompetence when you make a human error, or fail to attend to every need simply because there is not enough hours in your shift to do so. But more so there is no way to escape the feelings that encompass your soul when the increasing demands of your jobs starts eating away at the bonds you have at home. You can never regain those missed awards, reading in your child’s class, school excursions or just something as simple as those first steps.

Some of you might think that I’m being a grumble guts but the point of this is to ask – who does the same for the nurse? I’m sure each of us have those moments in our nursing lives where we feel as though amidst all the caring we become invisible to the world, but it does beg an answer don’t you think? Who IS caring for those who care? Who is standing up and saying enough is enough? Who is taking their hand and walking with them through their darkest moments?

Nurses do love what they do, feel honoured to be there at those vulnerable times, and generally are grateful to be able to do what many can’t – but we are human, have feelings, have lives, have desires, have dreams, have sorrows, and have a sacred soul. This is true for me, but I have begun the process of asking myself – am I really the best nurse for this job at this time or am I being lead in a different way? A question we all should ask of ourselves.

NURSES ROCK!

RAISING RAINBOW

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I am unbelievably and undeniably in love with my daughters and all that they are, in fact if someone was to tell me that they would stay living at home forever more I secretly would not be sad about that if that is what fulfilled their lives (although with this mammas tough rules I doubt that would ever be a certainty). So considering this fact, it amazes me that I am struggling to write about my youngest daughter Mackenzie.

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I think some of the dilemma I face is that more and more my children are not mine as such, but these precious ones have been placed in my life by devine purpose, despite how much I question my sanity. I am increasingly conscious of trying not to put either of them in a box which for this little human makes describing my little one difficult – but here goes.

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Mackenzie is my rainbow baby. Although she is now 7, I think I will always consider her my sweet baby. Mackenzie is my rainbow baby because colour and light dance within her very being, you can even see it in her eyes and she has been a colourful baby since day one. When I first held her in my arms I felt an overwhelming warmth from within, however this was not that Hollywood instant mother bond everyone talks about because I just didn’t get that with my children – but that’s okay because these are little human beings I had to grow a deep relationship with and get to know. If I slip for a moment and try to make her fit a societal mould, it is then that I have the most grief with her because her truth is not mine or society’s – it is hers. It’s like a lock and key – if you try to make a truth fit into a space that doesn’t match it cannot unlock any potential.

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Since the day she was born Mackenzie has been an energy surveyor. She knows where good and bad energy lives in each of us and her environment – and will run a mile from the yuk stuff. If someone negative or toxic comes into our space Mackenzie will have trouble connecting to them, but will also then have trouble sleeping – waking up with terrible nightmares and will struggle to even settle in to bed. It’s like she feeds off energy and the toxic stuff people share taints her world. She has also always been sensitive to the spirit realm which I guess is similar to what I’ve already mentioned – and when she was younger she would giggle at her grandma whom she only knew for the first twelve weeks of her life, and even now she talks as if she knows her grandma.

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Mackenzie is thought to have auditory processing disorder, picked up by her very clever whole brain teacher in grade one, instead of dismissing her as ‘naughty’ & ‘doesn’t listen’ by her prep teacher. I like to think of her differently however. I truly believe that our children now are growing up with a much deeper consciousness than us, and just really struggle in a world that tries to make them something else. Mackenzie will sit and think very hard about what she wants to write or draw, and will then come out with something quite articulate and well constructed. She is also sensory, very sensory. Mackenzie since day one has had the need to touch everything in her reach. Life is a tactile wonderland for her and she loves nothing better than to touch every surface, every object, everything – feeling the texture of the world around her. This makes for a very interesting shopping trip in a glassware store that’s certain, probably why we don’t do it very often.

Little Miss Macca Moo delights us daily with her vivid and lively imagination, drawing us into her world through the distant giggles that radiate from her bedroom or play area. When she is in this alternate universe that dwells in her mind it is as if nothing else exists, and time stands still for up to hours at a time. Sometimes we can approach her and sit straight down beside her, all the while she continues on with her imaginary play with something as simple as a peg, some toys, or her finger characters. (Yes she has toys she plays with she just doesn’t NEED them to keep her occupied). It is only when she pauses for a moment that she may notice us there, stop what she doing, and smile her great big toothy smile as if she knows something we don’t. She does insist however that of course her ‘play friends’ are not real – although this does not matter to us because it is a joy to watch her play.

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Mackenzie is a loving little spirit too. She has a firm grasp on real love and I have learnt a whole lot from this wee one. She has to be the most forgiving and compassionate person I know, and no matter what someone does to her she is ready to forgive and move forward with fresh eyes and an open heart. But she is an emotional sponge too which weighs heavily on her quite a bit. For example if someone is upset she will ponder this and look at ways to help remedy the situation. It does however result in her also absorbing others emotions which results in abdominal migraines leaving her screaming in agony – this is an area we are especially working on to teach her how to filter others emotions and energies.

All in all I am loving being her mother and try to find a bit if her zest in everything I do. I try to keep in mind that my little rainbow needs lots of colours, textures and music in life, and try to create this experience each day for her. I am such a fierce mamma for my girls and now that my eldest is strong in herself (although I am still her safety net), I am focused on creating the same self belief and strength in my rainbow baby. Those who know her are blessed and mighty lucky in my eyes.

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Love you my little rainbow bright!

Mamma Bear xxx

VOWS

Uncategorized

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Last year in November marked my fifth year of being married to my husband, and a few more of us being together before that. I feel immensely blessed that I met him when I did, even though I had hoped and prayed years before that to meet my soul mate. I’m glad it took so long, because I don’t think I was quite ready before that. I was young, immature, emotional, and would t have been able to really appreciate the beauty in the relationship. Has it been a cake walk since then??? He’ll no!!! It’s been quite the roller coaster let me tell you. However whilst most if what we have been through could tear even the strongest relationship apart, or break even the strongest bonds, we chose to take these things as if they were like soldering joins to make it stronger. There were times of course that were near misses and made me wonder what the hell I was thinking to get married – and I’m sure my wonderful husband thought the same thing, but we have been able to recognise those times and plough through them.

I had been waiting, waiting, waiting for our fifth year to renew our vows. I had every intention of being in fit form, and at a great place in my life (aka ultimate perfection), but life had other plans. This meant that I almost left 2013 without doing what we had wanted to do – renew our vows as we stepped into the life we had now chosen. All because I wasn’t thin enough, fit enough, happy enough, successful enough…which a few days before New Year’s Eve prompted me to get a grip and realise instead how far I had come and how unrelated those things were to the connection my husband and I had and the appreciation for our journey together. So we just jumped in and said hey! we are renewing our vows on NYE and whoever is there will be there, and we will go as we are…today is all we have for certain.

We were blessed to have a beautiful woman Sandy to officiate, and it was made special because at the end of the vows our background were the 830pm NYE fireworks at Mooloolaba! I had always wanted fireworks and now I got them!!! It was intimate, it was special, it was meaningful. It was everything we wanted in it. We thank Sandy for sharing those special moments with us and the following were my vows.

My Awesome Husband Kevin.

Apart from the moment each three of our children were born, the moment we became husband and wife was my favourite moment in time. My second moment is this one. Because today we acknowledge our connectedness as soul mates from a place of awareness.

I want to show up for you, at any moment you need. I want to be seen by you and you me, because we have both embraced our vulnerabilities. Most of all I want you to feel loved in a whole new way. A way that honours you for who you truly are, for the compassion and courage that guides your path, and for all that you are to me.

I promise you that:
From today, the critics will no longer count.
I promise you that:
From today, I will give US the credit due for our part in OUR arena – for the tears shed, the heartbreak, the grief, our errors and for our shortcomings whilst striving radiantly.
I promise you that:
From today, through efforts and errors, I will with with you great enthusiasms, and through great devotion I will make US my worthy cause.
I promise you that:
From today, whether triumphing in high achievement, or failing for the 100th time – we will do so, side by side, hand in hand whilst

DARING GREATLY

So today I say YES
YES, I loke you
YES, I love you
YES, I adore you….forever, love forever.

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