Having It All

my attempt at a home office

I was flipping through a magazine while waiting in line at the grocery store the other day and saw yet another article on women and “having it all”. Nope, I didn’t read it. Because I can’t stand this debate or any more of these articles.

My issue is, isn’t “having it all” a completely personal and individual thing? Don’t we all have our own goals and ideals? And even just different things in life that make us happy? What might be a dream situation to me could make someone else completely miserable and vice versa.

The other thing is, I feel like some of these articles can add to setting yet another impossible standard and making women feel like they are not doing enough, achieving enough, being enough, etc.

Is there something always lacking?

I don’t know about that but I do believe the picture of perfect portrayed a lot of times is bullshit.
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What The Prom Girls Taught Me About Self Love

Love Every Bit Of Yourself

Love Every Bit Of Yourself

For the past few weeks, there has been a big increase in activity in the formal dress department at work due to all the school proms coming up.

Although it’s a lot of work, I’ve enjoyed working these departments. The dressing rooms get trashed and you have triple the amount of clothes to straighten, hang and get back out on the floor but it’s been really fun watching these girls come in and model dresses for their parent, friends and selves. Even better, the look on their face when they walk up to the counter with “the one” slung over their arm, ready to make the big purchase.

One of the happier things that surprised me from the shifts I’ve worked so far is the amount of fathers bringing their daughters, patiently waiting on big couches outside the dressing rooms and the kindness of some of the comments I would overhear as they gave fatherly opinions or even vetoed a dress as soon as they saw it.

I know what some of them were thinking, “Yea, I remember when I was a teenage boy and you are not wearing that dress!” aka too short, too revealing, etc. I don’t blame them at all.

It almost brought tears to my eyes, hearing one of the dads I had been helping earlier, when he reminded his daughter, “we have plenty of time. Remember, you need to really love it.” Mind you, this was after the sixth or seventh dress she tried on. My own heart swelled.

Unfortunately, the other things I heard were far less happy, loving or kind and came from the girls themselves.
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The Beautiful Truth

The other night, I caught a headline about a model who gave an interesting Ted Talk on beauty and the modeling industry. Of course I was curious and had to watch it. If you have not yet, here you go!

While it’s not my favorite Ted Talk, I really appreciated a lot of what Cameron Russell had to say and especially, the pictures she shared of the way she looks in real life next to her modeling pictures.

So much of what we see is illusion, so much of what we are told is untrue, stated as fact to sell a product or trigger a reaction.

You need this new product so people will think you’re pretty and popular because if you’re pretty and popular you will be happy and never have any problems and will always feel loved and adored.

Sadly, a lot of these lies and illusions have been seemly integrated in to our society and subconscious as a reality and truth.

And in my opinion, they do nothing but cause pain and break us down. They can even deny us the peace, happiness and contentment that is our natural state and right.
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Compassion In Times Of Tragedy and Loss

On Friday, after I picked up my son from preschool, we went to Dairy Queen for lunch. It’s one of his favorite lunch places because of the toys and play area they have and since I was going to be working all weekend, I wanted to do something fun with him as a little treat before I handed things over to dad.

The news was on the big t.v. above all the tables so it was there that I learned about the horrible murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School as my son ate and played, oblivious to what was being reported on the screen.

My reaction as far as addressing this online was, no comment. I stayed off of Facebook and Twitter and had not planned on writing anything about this here but something I read earlier today has been gnawing at me, demanding a response (internally at least) so here’s my message.

Death, shock, tragedy, disbelief – all things felt regarding the school shooting, are processed and expressed different by everyone. Maybe based on your personal experiences with loss, because of your own personal and political beliefs or just the fact that we are all unique individuals.

Some shout from the mountain tops, angry and needing to be heard. Some are more sad and subdued or subtle in their expression. Some go radio silent.

I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to express your feelings about this kind of tragedy but I do hope we can remember to be respectful of one another and respectful of the families dealing with loss at this time.
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Compassion In Times Of Change

word cloud - compassion, politics, understanding, change, love, freedom, election

I don’t think I’ve ever talked politics on my blog before. In fact, although I am passionate about my beliefs, I usually keep things pretty close to the vest.

Not because I’m afraid or ashamed to share how I feel or what I think but because these can be touchy conversations.

Our core values and beliefs are incredibly personal to each one of us. They are important and precious to us, we all have our own reasons for them. So as a result, sometimes hearing an opposing viewpoint touches a nerve and can even be infuriating.

Especially online, where it’s become so common place to vent, complain, attack and bemoan.

And because there is little to no real back-and-forth to the conversation and no face to face interaction, it seems at times that this has also created an atmosphere lacking sensitivity and compassion toward others.
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What Really Matters

picture of a buddha with a quote from the Dalai Lama

When I first read about Kristen Stewart’s affair with her married, “Snow White and the Huntsman” director, several thoughts went through my mind.

How stupid can they be?

What? His wife is a model!

Why is this so common?

Because as we all know, Hollywood affairs seem to happen all the time. It’s hardly news anymore. In fact, a famous couple still going strong after several years – now that’s news.
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Fruit Smoothies, Banning Soda and Healthy Hearts

As a mom, I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to get my son to eat more fruits and vegetables. I admit it, I sneak them in any way I can. My most successful approach to date – the fruit smoothie.

homemade fruit smoothie

one banana, handful of strawberries, two pineapple slices, orange juice is optional

Although he really likes them and even insists on helping by tossing fruit in the blender, he often asks why I want him to drink them.

I explain that eating fruit every day is good for us, especially important for growing boys and since smoothies taste really good too, they are kind of a treat.

My intention is to make eating healthy something positive he enjoys instead of a chore or something to dread. I try to give options and teach him about food choices but also don’t outlaw anything.

Because maybe it’s just me but there is nothing I want more than whatever you tell me I can’t have.
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Creating The Way

What if we saw the pain and fear in others and tried to help?

What if there was no shame associated with asking for help of any kind?

What if living a life of kindness, generosity, integrity and joy was more important than how much money we made or what we drove?

What if your family was hungry so your neighbors feed you, sent you home with leftovers and invited you back the next day?

What if, when someone lost their home, for any reason, their community helped them establish a new place to live and helped them move?

What if fast food commercials were replaced with where to shop at and ways to support local farms and markets?

What if doctors managed ailments or concerns with diet, exercise, therapy and stress management instead of another pill?

What if we supported and helped each other face our fears, insecurities and heal pain from the past?

And what if, in doing this, we wiped out domestic violence, sexual crimes, verbal and emotional abuse?

What if we could see how we are all connected and our survival, even our daily peace and happiness, is dependent on how we treat each other and how we see the world?

What if we viewed all children as a glimpse in to our future and truly understood, the way they are treated and valued, educated, abused and neglected or loved and well cared for today is like looking in to a crystal ball and seeing the future of our our neighborhoods, communities, society and world as a whole?

Believing in something and staying open to all possibilities – creates the way.

head of a buddha statue

Everything Matters

infant holding mothers hand
Image from javeria.wordpress.com/

There were several things that made me take the leap and start this blog. One of the reasons was a desire to share a book I’d written in response to the growing number of child abuse cases in the news. I wanted to share some of the information I’d found as well as my own opinions and beliefs on caring ourselves, our families and most of all, our children with love, compassion and understanding.

If you’ve been here before, you may know that earlier this month, I shared my own story of abuse as part of my efforts to raise awareness and encourage positive change for April being Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month.

I am incredibly grateful and touched by the amazing, supportive comments I received and was feeling really hopeful and good about posting more information about abuse and prevention this month.

Then, I hit a wall.
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I Have My Reasons

Did you know….April is National Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month.

I’ve been called a few nanes in my time.

Overprotective, paranoid and hovering to name a few.

I’m often not understood, even by people who know me well, when it comes to my sons. I check and double check on daycare centers. I call, make surprise visits and try to observe everything, including signs from the kids that something is not right. I don’t use babysitters except for grandparents and almost never have. But I’m ok with that.

Although I’d like to be more relaxed about things, I have my reasons.
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