To My Children, That May Never Be,

I promise to do my best for you, I promise I will falter, and know how scared I am. I am scared for your safety, I am scared for your delicate hearts being hardened. Know, my un-promised children how dear you are to me. Know that I may at times try to shelter you, remind me when I do. You deserve to know and experience the world. It has many harsh realities, my job is to protect you from them, but never to shelter. As you have questions, that become deeper as you age, I will be here to offer advice, no judgement, just love. As you ponder many things I am here to listen, and to love. I do not and never will know everything. Know how excited I am to learn from you as well. I will share my story with you little by little as your heart and mind are ready to hear it, this I hope will also allow you to see, no human is perfect, and I, as your mother am here for you, no matter what the conditions. I never want to hurt you and when I do, please my child, hold me accountable, extend me Grace, and if you can’t just yet, know that I am deeply sorry, and my love for you will continue to abound.

Know the desire for you has only grown, I have met and watched over many children, I have wanted to adopt, and felt I have abandoned one little boy in Uganda. The timing was not right, I learned then I needed to surrender his safety to God. Recognizing my own limitations.

If you are biological, know that every day I have struggled. Your mother that loves you so dearly was hurt, and allowed herself to be hurt. Know I have spent days in self pity and confusion. I am terrified of passing my genes onto you, Those experiences, and fears, I promise to not put on you. I will not treat you as if you are me, for you are your own being. I respect that. You better believe that adopted or biological when struggles arise, and believe me, in this fallen world they will. I will be there. I will love you, try to understand, and be your earthly rock.

I want you, my beautiful babies to experience the world, I want to be apart of expierencing it with you, though I know I will need to surrender my protective nature and allow and encourage your own experiences, because those are what create insight and help you to develope your own passion.

Already, even without knowing I respect the path you will take, and the decisons you make. College, careers, whatever it may be, I support you, and respect and embrace your individuality. May I introduce you to many religions, many ways of life, may I share my thoughts and beliefs with you. My parents aloud me to,find for myself what beliefs I hold in my tormented, beautiful mind. For you I will do the same.

Together we can learn a lot about many people places and things, and I hope to be there to open your eyes to possibilities, but never force them upon you. I pray that the parental decsions I WILL have to make will be the ones best for you, and if they are not I pray that together we can find a better solution, or path. My child, please never hesitate to share your day-to-day stories with me, never hesitate to come to me. Vulnerability is scary, I have learned, and I have valued. Let yourself be vulnerable to me, so that as you grow up you may learn to be vulerable to others, allowing them to share their stories as well.

I do not know if I know your father yet, and I do not know the role he will play in our lives, though I pray for a loving father and husband, no matter what, you have me, and I have support. Reality is hard, and experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn.  I do not know the joys and struggles you will face, I know up to date mine, but I promise you, dear one, I will never pretend to understand fully what you are going through. Trust me if on nothing else I already love you, and when the time comes, if it does I want to understand you, and will be your biggest fan and will always believe in your potential.

I write this letter to you, with Love and acceptance that you may never be granted to me. Though I deeply pray you will, and am excitedly terrified for the journey that lies before us all.

PEACE

“The Condition of An Open Mind is a Surrendered Heart”

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As I have been getting deeper into my meditation practice I have had some realizations. Realizations that I believe doctors, friends, and family have been trying to help me understand for a long time.

Let me start with something my loving amazing father said to me after I was having a rough time, “Tara, you tend to put on an act that nothing can bother you, that you don’t feel, I think you believe it too… Really though, you feel so deeply, and so much. So you find ways to numb…” 

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That struck me, I try my best to be genuine and real, and with many I am, but with myself, no, facing and feeling is hard. Memories, pain positions I have put myself in, things I have seen, done, experienced, and a brain that challenges my ability to handle feelings and emotions.

There is a lot about me I have to accept, I love people I care about the world, I AM AN EMPATH. 

I want people to be happy I want to be a light and source of joy in people’s lives, my friends, strangers, everyone. I understand pain, so deeply and desire to allow others to feel it and be encouraged when they are struggling.

The memories of travel, the things I see on the news, the hospitalizations I ended up in, the care I tried to refuse, the events out of my control, and those I had control over. I feel them all. I feel nature, I love it, and I can be reduced to tears at the sight of people trashing each other, and our planet. I can be reduced to tears because of my mistakes. For all that I judge myself.

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Many people in my life accept me where I am at, and where I was at, for that I am eternally grateful. 

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I have been blessed with Drs. that care, that want the best for me and want to see me not only be function but to excel. I used to feel selfish thinking I had any potential at all. I don’t think that anymore, I learned that I need to harvest my strengths, ideas, and compassion. Great things can happen and do happen to me, and through me for others. I’m learning to accept compliments, listen to advice, and accept what people notice, whether good or bad about me. I am human.

A human with human emotions, human mistakes, and human love, for all things. Something came up the other day, I compromised my morals, and agreed to compromise them further. You know what though? I took action. I saw the path I was heading down again and took the steps to help myself and get help out of it. I was honest with friends, and doctors, and even my dad, who I respect so much and want so desperately to please. The thing with love is, it’s unconditional, those who love me and care for me want to know the real me, good and bad. These loving people meet me where I’m at and recognize how far I have come, they support me. Judgement free. That’s not to say worry free. I felt sad that I had a slip, a backslide, but I did not allow it to be a total regression. 

Instead I accepted it for what it was, HUMAN. 

We live in a fallen world. We all go through ups and downs, and the downs often offer insight and the ups help us realize how incredible we are, and how much we can accomplish. Allowing feelings to come and go, and refusing to self medicate is difficult, especially for me. That is why I am grateful for my God given strength.

I realized I believe, I believe there is a God, I believe it. I never thought I could own that or fully trust. However, in so many ways I see His provision in my life. A life I didn’t want to sustain. He has opened doors for me, and used events to actually open up space to be there for friends when they needed it most. He has provided and amazing support network, and people that are genuine and I can trust, and love equally. Here is an example:

Yesterday I broke, I had one of the worst days I have had in a while, mentally, and got into a big pickle and was ashamed, scared, overwhelmed and angry with myself. I was off work today, I had time to reflect. I needed that and God provided it. He put the people in place for me to get help and be safe yesterday, and check in today. I had coffee and Lunch with my Dad and one of our favorite cafes, and after he left I saw a favorite customer of mine, (I work at Starbucks) He is an elderly man, knows nothing of my struggles, but sees greatness in me, he was running early, and joined me for coffee. We enjoyed a half hour of good conversation. How random, how encouraging, how beautiful. My best friend is coming over after she is off work today, I was granted a day of comfort, support, and time to relax. Thank you, Lord. He helped me stand my ground today and turn things around. He gave me the courage to show my feelings and ask for help. I did, and how wonderful this is. We all have setbacks and they don’t have to dominate us. We all have feelings that we don’t need to label, we all have experiences, we all are a work in progress. Being honest with ourselves, following our morals, self-care, and care for others and the environment, I believe are some of the best things that can be done for everyone. 

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I suppose this post is a reflection for myself, and a letter of sorts to anyone reading, to remind you to keep pushing forward, and have grace and compassion on yourself and others.

Let your heart be filled with love, and open your eyes to the beauty surrounding you, trust me it’s there. 

Even my dog, we call him my therapy dog, he isn’t registered but having him has helped me more than I can say, connection helps me, and responsibilities and structure are, at least for me extremely helpful. I’ve grown as a person and I first realized this when I got a concussion (three actually) that used up my savings and took me out of work for 7 weeks. That was money I wanted to travel with. Maybe now just isn’t the time for that, I said and BELIEVED. I am in a whole new season in my life and am motivated to keep staying motivated even when I want to give up. 

Norman my Dog, and Bear, his snake friend!

Norman my Dog, and Bear, his snake friend!

PEACE

She Let Go

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

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She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

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She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

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She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

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Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

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She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

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She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

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She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

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She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

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She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

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She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

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No one was around when it happened.

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There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

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There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

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It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

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A small smile came over her face.

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A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

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Poem by: Rev Safire Rose

PEACE

This Is What I Know

I know I’m not where I ought to be. I know that I am trying, God do I know that. I also know that I AM broken. I know  that I am a work in progress, slowly mending a broken heart. Gently allowing knew light to shine into an otherwise dark mind, ever so cautiously I am rediscovering who I am. I know the past cannot be changed. I also know that it is a valuable teacher. I know my experiences, the people that have entered, and even those that have left my life, ultimately have guided me towards a higher consciousness. I know death is a reality, yet I’m convinced my soul has lived lives before this. I know my dreams are outrageous, I know focus is difficult. I know nothing great is accomplished without a lot of dedication, and that first small step. I know I am hurting, I also know I am not alone. I have been abandoned, I have tortured myself,  I have felt what it is like to have no feeling at all. I have experienced the dark. I have seen glimpses of a light so sublime, and even still chose to be numb.  I know I am starting to feel again, and I know that is a terrifying prospect for me. I know that all of this, all of the pain, all of the suffering, all the bad decisions, all of the fear, all of the darkness, and all of the joy, ambition, dreams, excitement, ALL of the energy, the sleepless nights, all of the confusion, motivation, and  knowledge, ALL of it, well? IT IS OK. I am a work in progress, we all are, and we ALL have a story. I know love is powerful, I know peace deserves a chance, and I know releasing judgment takes a great deal of mindfulness.  In the end, through it all, I know my biggest truth is this:

I AM my soul, NOT my demons.

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PEACE

The Power of Breathing

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Lately I have been trying something new. Breathing. It sounds so simple, something that doesn’t or at least should not take thought. Breathing. It’s a sign of life and helps us cleanse. In fact our bodies are designed to release 70 percent of it’s toxins through our breath. INCREDIBLE! Now bare with me on this post, it started as talking about breathing and how great it is, but I soon realized my breathing and meditation are completely intertwined. 

The Goal:

Now the challenge I set up for myself was  to take time everyday to breath, meditate rather. In through the nose as my belly goes out, hold, slowly exhale as my belly goes in, repeat. No distractions, no phone, no people, just me. Anxious, uncomfortable,  twisted me. My goal was, simply put, to become the master of my own breath. 

What I do:

Sometimes I have calming meditative music playing or incense burning, sometimes I’m outside, it doesn’t matter. For me sitting down for long periods of time, especially without distractions is not a comfortable or easy task. I allow myself to think, and when the thoughts are overwhelming I ask my brain to refocus on my breath, on the very moment at hand. For the time being focus only on now, when I’m calm again, or feel ready I can revisit the thoughts that seemed too much to handle. I let my body and mind decide when it’s time to stop. Some days I really have trouble doing this for more than 5 minuets, and you know what? That is OK! Some days I’m so anxious and have so much energy I think I need to tire myself before I take time to do my breathing. That is when I challenge myself the most. These days I work to calm my mind and body and sit with the feelings of uncontrollable energy, anger, excitement, fear, whatever it is, and just breath. 

What have I learned:

  • It can (and really should) be done EVERYWHERE. Now if you know me, you know exercise is important to me, and something that has helped me a lot.  I like being outside, I love the feeling of the sun on my skin, the freshness of the air filling my body, the creatures, and plants I come across. We live in a beautifully broken world. While I walk or bike I breath deep, and think a lot. I process in my head a lot. This isn’t always the best though because I have a way of talking myself into circles. 
  • Writing is something that helps me find clarity. It’s important for me to do often, and to get everything out on paper I can organize my thoughts freely and come to new realizations. Now in order to let myself write freely I also let myself, not always but often destroy what I have written. It may sound odd, but for me it works.
  • I have learned how to compartmentalize
  • My brain, when left to it’s own devices is well I’m going to be real it’s a dark and scary place.
  • my soul, at its very core is beautiful, though at times very idealistic. And it’s OK for me to say that. 
  • I often lack motivation, and easily become frustrated and overwhelmed.
  • I have a lot to learn, and honestly I’m still not in a very good place, but I’m certainly better off than I was even just this summer.
  • Yoga is great for WAAY more than just exercise
  • More and more I’m realizing how much this little guy means to me:

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What I hope will come:

I want to continue healing. More mental clarity, and I really want to get deeper into my yoga practices. Since it’s winter and I struggle to tolerate cold I do a lot more hot yoga classes. 

The Next Step:

BREATHING. Consciously breathing when I’m working, walking, typing, panicking, always. Until eventually it is second nature.

Here is a gallery of some pictures I’ve taken while walking, they are all camera phone photos so try to imagine how beautiful everything is in real life ;)

 Ultimately the goal is 

                                                     PEACE