Be Brave Enough To Find Your Inner Destiny….

Call me late, but today my youngest daughter and I watched Brave. The Disney movie about Merida, the Scottish princess, who wants to break the betrothal tradition of her kingdom against the wishes of her mother, the queen. Merida meets up with a witch and ends up turning her mother into a bear. I will not give away the whole thing for those who have yet to see this gem. But there is a quote at the end of the movie that struck me.

“Our fate lies within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it.”

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I am at a time in my life where I feel great turmoil inside. I desperately want to change some major aspects of my life, and this movie, this day, at this point in my life, brought a tear to my eye. I found myself asking why I have not been brave enough to look inside myself to see my fate. I have no answer. I just have not, and I know it has been out of fear. Fear of failing, fear of being attacked from outsiders. Fear of failing my kids, my self….mostly my kids.

Now you may be thinking, it is a Disney movie, let us not get too carried away. Merida’s mother turned into a bear for goodness sake. But the symbolism there was that she turned into something completely different but a creature of instinct, great strength, and often time incredible tenderness. I am reminded of the way people refer to mothers going ‘mama bear’ when protecting their children.

Today I have committed myself, during the movie, and now by posting it here publicly, I am going to face my fear, and be brave enough to look inside and see my fate. I am ready to find my inner bear, and let her loose. Now, if I could only get some red, curly, crazy hair like Merida’s.

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FOOD Glorious Food!!!!

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Do not let the name fool you, I enjoy my food just as much as I do my coffee. I am often looking for new healthy, quick and easy recipes for meals or snacks. I threw this together for breakfast the other day. I not only thoroughly enjoyed it, but it really kept me well fueled and full for a while. Here is the recipe:

One sliced banana
Three sliced strawberries
Handful blueberries
Handful trail mix which includes: cashews, peanuts, cranberries, and raisins
Honey drizzled over the top

I love this, my kids love this, and we will certainly be making it again, along with several variations we came up with while enjoying this bowl. Eat healthy, and keep your body happy.

Pins and Needles, Needles and Pins……

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How many people nowadays suffer from anxiety? *Raises hand* In today’s society it feels like so many people, young and old, suffer from anxiety. It can be triggered by pressure in school, work, home, relationships of every form. Anxiety is a universal thing that everyone has felt at some point in life. Although, some people handle anxiety far better than others. Some of us tend to be high strung and react negatively when the pressure is on, while others thrive at the thought of it and actually excel quite nicely with a little anxiety motivating things. In some people anxiety can trigger behaviors such as substance abuse, alcoholism, or health problems. Regardless of the effect, anxiety is something that has played a role in everyone’s life at some point.

My 13 year old daughter suffers from anxiety. Her father ceased visitation with her about 6 months ago, and since then her anxiety and now depression have increased exponentially. My gut reaction, aside from wanting to throttle him, was to put her in therapy. I experienced something similar with my father, and I spent years in therapy. I do not want to see her struggle through the teen years like I did, not because of this issue. She is slowly learning techniques and being given tools to manage her anxiety. She is utilizing things like guided imagery to help calm the constant flow of thoughts in her brain.

My 4 year old also has anxiety issues, can you see the trend here? Her anxiety stems from a different place, but a similar one as her oldest sister. Helping a young child deal with anxiety is rather difficult I am finding. First of all, I have had to tap into patience on a level I never knew I could be capable of exhibiting. I try to understand her reactions, as irrational as they often seem. More importantly, I try to be proactive in preventing an anxious meltdown, and react well when they do occur in order to return her to normal as soon as possible. Regardless, it is something we deal with regularly. Although with the younger child it is more difficult considering she cannot just be told she is anxious and how to handle herself. She requires lots of age appropriate conversation and guidance, and that patience I mentioned earlier.

Anxiety can be beneficial to a certain degree as well. My oldest daughter as an example, loves to be challenged academically. She thrives on the pressure of achieving grades and winning academic competitions. It drives her immensely. In this way, anxiety serves her well. It seems to me that when anxiety comes in small doses it gives a controllable amount of adrenaline that works for us, but upset the delicate balance and we find ourselves hyperventilating and unable to stop the hamster running in the proverbial wheel in our minds. Easing the pressure while maintaining the drive, that seems to be the ultimate goal.

Taking Back Control…..

All too often I have given my power to other people. Whether it be to my parents, my friends, or my spouse. I have become such a people pleaser that I no longer have a certainty of what makes me happy beyond making others happy. I have wrapped my self worth into the idea that making others happy adds to my own self worth. Instead of sitting back and giving others the power to control whether or not I feel worthy inside. I have come to the conclusion, today, that this is unacceptable. In all honesty, I had come to this conclusion long ago, it is only today that I feel strong enough to take back my power, empower myself.

Now, you may be asking yourself, what exactly does one do to empower themselves? How does one cease the pattern of people pleasing, and return to acting in an authentic way? Or you may already know, in which case I would be curious to hear your answer. In my case, I believe I need to focus on making my self a priority again. I need to maintain my body, mind and soul, without looking to others for acceptance and acknowledgment. I need to be comfortable in being the real, true me while continuing to work on self growth.

This means exploring avenues of career potential, finding my spiritual happiness, and maintaining a healthy body. I frequently talk about loving people where they are, and it is time I love myself where I am. It is time I allow myself the same acceptance I afford to others, and stop acting in a selfish way, almost narcissistic in nature. Holding myself to a higher level than I hold others. Expecting more of myself than I do those around me, offering forgiveness to others while punishing myself.

Today I signed up for free online writing workshops. I am also looking for photography workshops as well. Just to reopen the door to these hobbies that I feel passionately about in an effort to really decide what I want to do when I grow up. I feel there is so much inside that I could be great at, but yet, I feel so lost as to how to get there, and what path to take.

I invite anyone reading to join my on my journey, and to share your journey with me as well. Grab a travel mug of coffee and let’s find our path together. Or, if you are firmly planted on your path, I invite you to share your experience so that those of us that are traveling can learn from the experience of others. Either way, it is bound to be an exciting journey.

Just Keep Swimming…..

I have often wondered what I want to do when I grow up, and if I will ever grow up. I find myself feeling disconnected, unable to focus and keep myself moving forward in one particular direction. I have a wealth of hobbies I enjoy and yet never move far enough in any of them to make them more than hobbies. I enjoy writing, yet I do not have a writing career. I enjoy photography yet I am not a professional photographer. The only arena in which I have maintained consistency is being a mother. Unfortunately, the power company does not accept love and praise as payment for the bill. I have considered many different avenues as I think about what direction I would like my life to take. Ultimately, I still feel lost in a fog. How do people decide their life path in college, high school?!?! How can they be so certain and focused on one area of life that it becomes a lifelong passion? I do not know this feeling outside of being a mom. How do I translate that into a successful career? As I mentioned, hugs, kisses and love do not pay the bills.

I once thought of becoming a realtor, as I love real estate, house hunting and helping people realize a life dream of home ownership. The amount of time needed to really have a good career turns me off to this option. My kids need me to be available and I find it difficult to juggle everything required of a successful realtor and still maintain the level of involvement in my children’s lives that I enjoy. Basically, there is more change required than I am comfortable with at this time in my life.

I thought of starting my own home daycare, since I have daycare experience and clearly love caregiving. That bubble burst when I thought of being at the mercy of other people’s schedules, and the impact to my daily routine. Again, more change required than I am willing to accommodate. I could go back to working in daycare, but I quite enjoy being home, and would like to work from a home base.

I have also explored the areas of photography, health coaching, and personal chef. I even thought about becoming a life coach. Can you feel the irony of that one?!

Freelance writing is the next option on my plate. I have been doing this off and on for a few years actually. I was more active a few years ago than now, because the one source I was writing for all but disappeared. Writing is a passion of mine, and has been for quite a while. I have thought of signing up for online writing workshops and such. The key word there being, “thought.” I have not, as of yet, followed through with this. Perhaps today will be the day I follow through. Freelance writing seems to have become a flooded market. In order to succeed one must really devote the time and patience to seeking out reputable sources of employment and fight the rat race to obtain decent writing jobs. This avenue has always seemed the most appealing to me, although I have not devoted the time and energy to really trying to make a go of things.

What empowers people to devote themselves in arena forever? Why do I not feel that drive in one particular direction that is so deep and powerful that I am willing to claw my way to the top regardless of what it takes? Do I not have that genetic disposition to succeed in a career? Do I have adult ADD? What is it, and how many others feel the same struggle as myself? Can those who are not struggling help those who are?

Answering all of the above questions is my search at the moment. I feel like I need a mentor, a guide.