Mommy & Ava Time

Mommy and Ava

I am a generally busy person. I go to school full time and usually work several jobs at a time. That left little to no time to spend with my daughter. After this extremely stressful semester, I decided I was going to take time to myself to spend with my daughter…I chose to not return to 2 of my summer jobs, left my school job (for the summer), turned down 2 job offers, and decided to only work one job at a local new Irish Pub in my hometown. My daughters preschool normally goes through the summer, but since she is starting kindergarten in the fall, and since I have more free time, I decided to keep her home for a few months.

The past few weeks we have gone on several adventures and spent plenty of time bonding! We’ve done simple things, like swimming in the pool, mini golf, and walks to the ice cream shop down the street, but our most exciting adventure was our trip to Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT. We (Myself, my boyfriend, and Ava) got ourselves a nice hotel and spent the day at the aquarium. We saw penguins, sea lions, turtles, sharks, and so much more exciting sea life! Ava even got to touch baby sharks and sting rays! We saw every exhibit and watched a very entertaining and informative Sea Lion show! Ava enjoyed her very first hotel stay and we enjoyed the pool and some local cuisine including the famous Mystic Pizza! Best pizza we have ever had hands down! We bought 3 large pizzas and a small and brought plenty home!

Since then we’ve done some local exploring on Cape. We walked to this beautiful place called “The Knob” in Falmouth. It is a piece of land that was donated as conservation land by a woman named Cornelia Carey before her passing. You have a choice of two paths on the walk, an easy & flat path, or a harder hiking trail up and down narrow, windy paths, which both ultimately lead you to a thin neck that leads to the Knob, which is a peninsula jotting out into the ocean where on a clear day, you can see New Bedford and the Elizabeth Islands. I took Ava and her friend and since I haven’t walked the paths in well over ten years, we accidentally took the hard trail. The kids handled it like champs and once we made it out to the Knob we relaxed and had a quick picnic then headed back, on the easy trail of course! It is certainly a beautiful asset to Cape Cod and I look forward to more walks with my daughter!

Today we visited the Sandwich Boardwalk, a fun little walk over some beautiful marshlands. I tried giving my daughter some educational advice on the environments in the marsh, what types of animals live there, how the tide is controlled by the moon, and why littering is so detrimental to the environment. We have explored other beautiful places on cape earlier this spring such as Heritage Gardens in Sandwich and trips to the Cape Cod Canal.We also plan on seeing many more sites such as several lighthouses, Plymouth Plantation, the Pilgrim Monument, Scargo Tower, and Cape Cod National Seashore!

Life is a never ending journey.

Infinity

I have spent years suffering in silence and it wasn’t until recently where I learned how much stress I was putting on my body due to this. Keeping everything to myself and holding all of my feelings in did nothing but cause me more pain. The past year (or more) I have had many spiritual awakenings. I have begun to free myself from the burdens of the past and my mind, but every once in a while my mind sneaks up on me and I start to lose control. This has become especially evident to me lately in my dreams. For weeks now every night I have had disturbing dreams, dreams that taunt me throughout the day. Why is this? Today I realized it’s because I have returned to my old habit of suffering in silence and as a result I have been experiencing more pain. Today is my second migraine this week! I sit here suffering in pain as I write this. I’ve always had a fear of truly voicing my symptoms to my doctor’s. I immediately write it off that they won’t believe I am in as much pain as I say I’m in, which isn’t far from the truth. I have been fighting doctor’s to treat my jaw pain for years now. I even have x-rays of a deformed jaw joint and they still don’t treat me. Today I am making it a point to fight and advocate for myself with my doctor’s. I am on the right path with them and have one doctor who will be treating me with injections starting in a little over a month. But in the meantime, I will continue to push to be treated for my pain. My pain also seems to intensify due to energy blockages created by my mind and my thoughts. When I think negatively, my body reacts negatively. If I nurture my body, however, through meditation, yoga, and other activities that make me truly happy, then my body in turn reacts positively. I am at a turning point in my life where I am freeing up energy that has been frozen in time within my body. Due to the freeing up of energy, some of my pain symptoms have been reactivated, but when I truly focus on calming my mind, the pain subsides. It is unfortunately still there, which is why I will continue to be my own advocate.

I am not a believer that things will “fall into place” in life. I do believe, however, that it takes a lot of courage to have faith that life will send you in the right direction. Even in the face of adversity, everything that is meant to happen will happen if you allow it! Today, I will do my best to believe in myself that change is not only a positive aspect of life, but it is crucial for the flow of life to be a never ending journey to find inner balance. Today I will continue on my journey, wherever life may take me.

Write

Today I have it in me to write. I have felt completely unbalanced this week so I sought out some inner wisdom and I felt an overwhelming need to just write. Some things have been troubling me lately and I am finding myself going back to one of my coping mechanisms: control. When I feel as if I am not in control I tend to try to control more, and I can feel it within every ache of my body. From my tense jaw, rigid shoulders, and tight back. I lose my balance, my vision, my clear mind… I came to a realization this week during a yoga class, that there is a difference between being present in the moment and being in control of the moment. I always thought in order to be here, to be conscience and aware, that I had to take control of the reigns. To me, this couldn’t be any farther from the truth. In order to be “here” and present in the moment, I need to be just that. I need to not think about what has already passed, and to not worry about what will happen in the future. I was told that when I am thinking about the future, or preparing myself of a future event, that I am trying to be in control. Learning to just let things be is turning out to be just as difficult as it is easy. It is simple enough as letting go of the reigns, which in turn is the hardest thing to do. Today I will focus on keeping my life in a neutral position. Just that, to just be.

On another note, I learned something interesting about my ancestor’s today. My aunt has been researching our ancestry for well over a year now and I learned that a large portion of my ancestor’s were from Norway. What makes this so interesting, is Norway has been one of the few countries I have always wanted to travel to. Something has been pulling me to see the beauty of this country and the urge to want to see Norway is now more compelling than ever. I will of course have to get over my fear of flying if this is ever going to be a reality. More shall be revealed…

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In need of clarity & guidance…

I’m currently dealing with a private family matter right now, and it has been troubling me for some time. Sometimes, when I’m not sure what to do I turn to the Ascended Masters Oracle Cards for some clarity. Today’s selection “Come Out of the Closet – Amaterasu”. This card represents my direct past relating to the question I had asked for. My interpretation of this was that I needed to reveal my true feelings and beliefs of this issue.
The second card I picked was “Yoga – Bakaji” … this card refers to my present situation and what I must work on right now. Part of the cards meaning was “Yoga’s benefits are one of the answers to your questions. Through yoga, you’ll gain increased clarity, energy, flexibility, toning, and physical awareness.” This is great, because…yes this is exactly what I need. I made a commitment last week to attend a specific yoga class every Tuesday for the summer. This class is particularly special to me because it is filled with intuitive people and the instructor incorporates a mantra into each session. I am looking forward to building my strength as well as my clarity through these yoga sessions. And on my off days, I can incorporate light yoga within my own home. Through finding clarity, it will lead me to my third card, which is the “Power of Joy – Maitraya”. This one speaks for itself, follow the path I am currently on, and I will find joy. Joy has the highest energy vibration. By living with the power of joy, I believe I can live with the power to love, heal, and forgive.

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Good News

“Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.”

Anne Frank

What a week! Now that this semester is over, I have had some time to breathe! I was able to chaperone a field trip with my daughters school (as well as check off a beautiful sight of our “summer of sightseeing”) at a local place called Heritage Museum and Gardens. Ava and I stayed after her class left to enjoy even more of the beautiful sights. We played in a place called “Hidden Hollow” where Ava was able to express her creativity through music, art, and gardening. We climbed a tree house, rode on a vintage carousel (twice!), did some soul searching while we walked a labyrinth, and even found a fairy tree! I was able to educate Ava on the importance of bee’s on our society and to just let them “bee”, as well as some mosquito protection education. After a long 5 hours of walking, our legs and our knees were so sore! We went home and spent the rest of the evening relaxing with a superhero movie.

The next day was an extremely exciting day, as it was the “Evening of Excellence,” a scholarship award ceremony at Cape Cod Community College. Both sets of my parents were in attendance, as well as Ava. Tim, my boyfriend, stayed behind with some important work projects. First of all, I have to give my daughter a lot of credit…she is 5 years old and sat through the whole 2-hour ceremony without crying or getting into trouble. Granted, she was bored and got pretty silly throughout the event and had to be hushed quite a few times, but she sat through it and she listened and she didn’t cry when I wouldn’t let her play outside even though there were several other children outside. Little did I know that my scholarship award was going to be the very last one called. After hearing name after name after name, we were all getting very tired (and hungry!). I even made a joke and said “watch mine get called last…just my luck!” Well, turns out that yes, it was just my luck…but not in a bad way. I was honored to be awarded the Wilken’s Family Scholarship, a $4000 scholarship awarded to single parents. While on stage accepting the award, the President of the College looked at me and said “You know, that’s not the only scholarship you received…” and then it was announced that I was also receiving the $1500 Accenture Scholarship. At that moment, my jaw dropped to the floor (just in time for the photo op), and I walked off stage fighting back the tears. Everything about this moment was so surreal. I have worked so hard each and every day, dedicating myself to my daughter, my education, and my school activities and projects. I have never been more proud of myself and I am looking forward to continuing to build my education and my future.

Empathy: A Blessing or a Curse?

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“Imagine being able to feel and sense everything, whether positive or negative, around you, 24/7. An Empath can’t turn off empathy (unlike someone who is perhaps ’empathizing’). It is possibly one of the most challenging of psychic gifts to master. I see it as an incredible gift to humanity.Trinity Bourne

Empathy can be both a blessing and a curse. Imagine picking up other people’s thoughts & feelings wherever you go. Now imagine picking these feelings up at a college during finals…or in an elementary school…on a Monday…

Today I have experienced fear, anger, anxiety, and sadness…and it is only 10 am. As I sit here, panic stricken, feeling as if I’m drowning, the world around me spinning … pain shooting down my arms, weight pressing down on my shoulders, with an emerging headache, I can’t help but ask myself, “Is this mine? … Are these my feelings? … Is this my energy?” The realization that these aren’t my thoughts or feelings today is extremely rewarding. During a recent transformational therapy session, I was taught how to read my body’s signals…I was taught that feeling as though the weight of the world is on my shoulder’s doesn’t come from my fears, or worries, or anxiety’s at all. It stems from me absorbing other person’s fears and worries.

Today, I am sitting on my college campus during finals, so far one of the busiest days during finals. I am surrounded by the pressures of all of these individuals. I spent this morning previewing the elementary school my daughter will be attending in the fall. While I didn’t feel as much chaos there, I was still picking up on someone’s fear…a fear of fitting in. What is all of this? What does this mean? I have only recently been brought to the realization that many of my fears, and anxieties do not stem from within at all, but it stems from my ability to absorb the energies of those around me. This isn’t something I chose, or asked for, or wanted. It just is. This is who I am. This is something that needs to be embraced. Through basic grounding and shielding techniques I am learning how to accept and manage this “psychic empathy.” When I don’t protect my energy, I have days like today. Fear, pain, confusion…heck, I even tried to overpay my rent by $400! When I center myself, and protect myself with positive energy I can be calm, at peace, and think logically.

All of the pain I have endured, the burdens I have “suffered”, all of this has led me to where I am in this exact moment. All of this is new to me, and I am in no way here to educate others on the practices of energy and energy healing. I am, however, here to walk you through my story…to show you what I have endured and how I have had to adapt and overcome through many situations. Through focus and positive outlets, I am learning how to transform this “curse” into a blessing.

 

Cape Cod: Home Sweet Home?

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-Photo Credit: Unknown

Salt water in the air, a brisk ocean breeze, ahh…home sweet home! I was born and raised here on Cape Cod, and sometimes I forget that I’m living a life others only dream about, merely by my location. For the past couple of years, I have been dreaming about relocating…starting somewhere fresh. I’ve practically planned my “move” to North Carolina, I even have the school picked out for my daughter to attend. I forget that Cape Cod is a dream destination. Recently, I was on a school trip with Phi Theta Kappa in Washington D.C. with myself, 3 other students, and our chapter advisor. The 3 of us who were born and raised here on Cape were discussing how badly we wanted to move somewhere else, anywhere but Cape Cod. As we were exploring nearby Alexandria, VA. I expressed my strong desires to leave the Cape and start a new life. Our advisor, who did not grow up here, asked us why we wanted to move so bad? To her, Cape Cod was a dream, it was her dream to move here, buy a house, and settle down. It was at that moment I realized I am living in others dreamlands. I imagined the people from North Carolina possibly wishing they could move to…New England.

A lot has happened to our peaceful “dream destination” over the past few years. A heroin epidemic has swept our region with crime, shame, guilt, and death. Cape Cod has become the number one place in Massachusetts in overdose deaths (*according to an article in the Cape Cod Times). It seems as if every other day another classmate of mine has lost their battle. Sudden death has become such a norm to me that I no longer respond to it. It doesn’t phase me anymore…that is a scary place to be. I thought if I leave here, and move elsewhere, then maybe I can give my daughter a fighting chance to avoid this epidemic. I’m even second guessing myself as I type this…I don’t know what the future holds for us, I don’t know if we’ll stay here or if we’ll move…but what I do know is that I am going to make the best of it while I am here. Packing up, and running away from this place isn’t going to fix anything. We need to stand up for ourselves, our lives, our children & their futures. Teaching my daughter to run away from a scary situation is not going to protect her, it is only going to teach her that running away from problems is the solution.

No…it is not. I am going to teach her to appreciate the beauty that is around us, in this beautiful place we call home. I’ve started a bucket list for beautiful sites to visit, right here on Cape Cod. First on the list is walking to The Knob in Falmouth. Second on the list is visiting Scargo Tower in Dennis. Truro lighthouse…Cape Cod National Seashore…Provincetown…the Sandwich Boardwalk…Cape Cod Canal. The list goes on and on. We need to preserve our futures, preserve our homes, protect our children. Appreciate the beauty in all that is around us, make a name for ourselves. I was recently asked “What will you do to help keep Cape Cod’s business young?” The first thing I am going to do is stay.

Mindfulness for Pain?

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. 

Out of a fear of the unknown,

they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

The above quote couldn’t be any more true based on my experiences with pain and suffering. Our bodies have this amazing ability to tell us something is wrong, before our minds do. There have been studies recently proving this to be true. I have personally witnessed this as a truth in my life, however, it took me some time and quite a lot of suffering before realizing this. A lot had happened in my life that took an emotional toll on me. My nervous system didn’t know how to handle everything so my mind had to switch to auto pilot. I managed to get by day to day, suffering in pain, yet I wasn’t even aware of it. I didn’t become aware of my pain until it was too unimaginable to bear. I writhed in pain. I had tried every trick in the book to treat my pain, seen every Doctor, had them run every test imaginable. Nothing worked. It wasn’t until recently when I saw an allergist for lung pain, (that is after I saw a pulmonologist who told me my lungs were perfect). It’s just a running joke with myself now…there is nothing wrong with me. My body was trying to warn me. Things needed to change.

I’m bringing this up tonight because I was reminded, yet again, how much my pain relates to my stress levels. I was taking a final at school (actually the 2nd one of the day…two more to go…woooh!)  and I had a mint in my mouth. I noticed about half way through the exam, that I was chewing on this mint, so I stopped. After about 15 minutes or so, I started to notice that my face was killing me. It hurt so bad I was nauseous. Somehow during the exam, my mind had switched back to auto pilot, which appears to be my coping mechanism for stress, and I just chomped on this breath mint for 30 or 40 minutes. Fortunately I was able to catch on to it in time and I don’t expect it to go into a full-blown migraine. When I left the exam I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation. “Grin and bear it” used to be my motto…but that’s not me anymore. I’m re-learning how to deal with everything now, particularly stress. Acceptance is the answer here. Accept every situation just as it is, as how it is supposed to be. As I walked back to my car, I took the time to appreciate everything around me. I am probably the only person walking around campus with a big smile on my face who is only half way done with their finals. I got home, kissed my family, and just breathed a sigh of relief. Life is good.

Lessons Learned from Trauma

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“This is just a fight that has to be won, over and over and over again.”

-Catherine Woodiwiss

I read an interesting article today, “A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma” by Catherine Woodiwiss. What is trauma, and who defines it? Who is to say what is traumatic to one person, is not traumatic to the next? Trauma is defined as “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience,” or “emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury, which may be associated with physical shock and sometimes leads to long-term neurosis.” I didn’t realize until recently that a trauma doesn’t have to be one single event and that it doesn’t even have to appear to be severe. I downplayed the trauma in my life. I spent 5 years in a relationship that was less than ideal. Red flags were thrown at me immediately and I ignored each and every one of them. This person had complete control over me from the very moment he laid his eyes on me. He never physically harmed me so I never realized what he was doing was actually abuse. It took years for this to come to fruition, but once I learned this, I was able to start healing. The death of my sister 3 years ago was another extremely traumatic event in my life.

I have spent the past 3 years in grief and I am finally starting to heal from this. It is a journey, and a long process, and like the above quote says “this is just a fight that has to be won, over and over and over again.” I wake up every morning and have to coach myself through the day. I fall off track almost daily, it is just a matter of how and when I pick myself back up. Imagine the feeling of fear Alice felt from Alice in Wonderland as she fell down the rabbit hole. Some days I feel like I’m drowning, or that the whole world around me is going to collapse. That is a bit of what trauma feels like to me today.

The article mentions how in order to survive trauma you need a crisis team that includes a “firefighter” and a “builder”. I have people in my life who are both. My boyfriend can be a little bit of both, he can see the panic in my eyes and hear it in my voice before I even realize I’m falling into the hole again. If need be, he can drop everything and be there by my side to pull me out of the hole. Sometimes, however, he doesn’t pull me out, but he pushes and motivates me to climb my way out on my own. My therapist is another “builder” as she is teaching me ways to heal myself. And I have surrounded myself with friends and family who are supportive in my efforts to grow and to heal.

Read the article here: https://sojo.net/articles/new-normal-ten-things-ive-learned-about-trauma

Caution: Overexerted Mom

“Love yourself first. Nurture yourself first. The rest will fall into place.” -B.P.

Today I should be wearing a sign that says “Caution: Overexerted Mom”. I am one tired mama! This semester of school is coming to an end, which means more work, and more stress as I prepare for finals. Work has been staying extremely busy, and the doctor’s visits still seem never-ending. Today, my daughter had oral surgery to get a tooth removed. She is 5, and was put under anesthesia this morning, and we had to travel an hour each way for. The appointment in itself was extremely exhausting watching my daughter being medicated, and her reaction to it was not easy to handle as she woke up extremely irritated trying to yank out the IV. The old me would have handled this situation a lot worse. I am part of a facebook community called “Choosing Love” and Sherianna Boyle, author of the book “Choosing Love” made a post today about the use of the words “I Can’t”. She advised us to take these words out of our “internal system”…to no longer use these words since they can “zap [our] abilities and strengths.” The old me would have sat in the office saying to myself “I can’t handle this, this is too much for me,” but today I got through it, I told myself we’d get through it, and we got through it together.

Now onto the the constant reminder that my life is “a series of unfortunate events”… As soon as we got back from the appointment, I rushed off to my Debate class where I had to participate in a Presidential  Debate. I was well prepared, or so I had thought, since I had done plenty of research on the topics I was going to be speaking on. I even had typed up notes, and rehearsed it a few times last week. My confidence was beaming as I stood in front of the class awaiting my question. My turn came and I had to answer the question: “If elected President, how do you plan to combat ISIS?” Man was I excited, for this was the question I had best prepared for! I looked down at my notes, and nothing made sense, it was as if I was reading a foreign language. I thought to myself “quick! do something…say…anything!” So that is exactly what I did, I grabbed a few key words, and I said them…only them. Nothing I said made sense. What did I do? I said to myself “I can’t do this,” and I looked at my Professor and I passed.

An extreme sense of urgency came over me, I became baffled and confused, my fight-or-flight mode had turned back on.This is exactly what I was told not to do. These 2 simple words, “I can’t,” brought my energy so low. My self-esteem, and confidence levels dropped, I doubted myself, I was internally beating myself up. I dwelled on this for an hour or two and tried my hardest to make light of the situation. I felt physically and mentally drained.

This made me realize that no matter what, no matter how hard I try, I’m never going to be perfect and that imperfection is exactly what makes myself “whole.” I am who I am, exactly who I am, and I don’t need to try to be anything other than that. Beating myself up over this situation is not going to erase it. I can, however, learn from it and grow from it. What did I learn from my experience today? That overexerting myself will get me nowhere. If I am unable to do something, I need to learn how to say “no…not today.” What I should have done is taken the day off from class, as I already have all A’s in this class, I shouldn’t have been concerned. Another lesson added to the book. Love yourself first. Nurture yourself first. The rest will fall into place.