Living Vicariously

My daughter is a rock star. Seriously, she sings in a rock band! And she does it with such confidence that I can't imagine I possessed at age 10.

I think my son's a rock star too, band or not. He can't wait to join big sister on stage. Below is a pic from his violin recital.

What inspires and blows me away is their willingness to put themselves out there. They are both natural performers. As the kids of two parents who don't really love being in the spotlight, I marvel at where it comes from. 

But I secretly always wanted to perform. I hung out with people who were much more out there than me. I got to experience the thrill from the audience or from backstage or from being close to the person who was willing to get up there and sing.

I lived my own version of 20 Feet From Stardom, which, if you haven't seen, I recommend you check out right away.

Watching that movie I couldn't help but see it through the lens of motherhood--especially my version of motherhood which tended toward self-sacrifice. Seeing those extraordinarily talented musicians and singers not quite making it was both inspiring and heartbreaking. It helped me see how much my own habit of holding myself back for the success of others has not served me at all. 

Maybe it does help those you sacrifice for. But does it really? Does sacrificing for your child help them grow into someone who learns to take care of themselves? Or does the child learn to deny their own needs for others? Of course there's a level of sacrifice that's just the normal path of parenting. When it's too much though, everyone suffers. 

There's a part of me that enjoyed staying smaller and being the cheerleader. It's less risky! There's no fear of failure! It's safe and comfortable there. But...

That happened to me.

And while it may have been easier to not put myself out there to start a business dedicated to supporting women to stop holding themselves back, it started to feel really wrong to not share what I've learned. 

It's probably why it thrills me so much to see my kids on stage. It gives me the sense that they're confident and will never shy away from shining their inner light.

My wish for my kids is is that they maintain this confidence and that they never lose the sense of creativity and the joy of expressing that, in whatever form. 

We all have our brilliances. Sometimes we hide those parts of ourselves away to protect them, to not risk failure, to protect others we think need to shine more.

As a mother and a human I want to continue to take risks. To show my kids that it is worth it. And that their voices are worthy of being heard. So is mine.

 



Loving What Is...

The month of February is infused with hearts and love and I appreciate the reminder to be more loving. I also love the chocolate.

Both of my kids wanted heart-shaped boxes for Valentine's Day and I was more than happy to oblige. Here's a pic of their two boxes: an interesting dichotomy of the light and dark sides. (Yes, we're also big Star Wars fans).

These two images speak to me because this whole notion of self-care and treating yourself as lovingly as possible includes loving your dark side. I get that those parts of ourselves that are not so easy or pretty or kind are much harder to love. But, if you're not loving your whole self, then what? It's as if you only love your kid when she's happy. If we only love the sweet parts then we are denying the full experience of connection and of life.

Believe me, there are times when I don't enjoy my kids. Each one one of them has the ability to send me into an intense rage. But it's usually because they're reflecting a part of myself that I don't like. Talk about gurus. What are our kids here for but to teach us who we are?

Here's an example of learning to love myself. I can be pretty hard on myself when I look in the mirror sometimes. I'm getting older, I'm getting wrinkles, my weight isn't exactly where I want it to be. If I was only willing to love my thighs when they were thinner, then what are they doing on my legs every day except feeling bad? I still need them to carry me around and to get me from place to place. If I only think about how I don't want them to be then I never get to appreciate how strong they are and how they allow me to walk around my beautiful neighborhood every day. Thank you, thighs!

I've done a lot of work in the past couple of years on learning to love myself completely. And it's not easy and I still find myself walking around muttering “I'm such an idiot” on occasion. But, as I'm becoming more aware of those tendencies toward self-hatred, I'm learning to let them go. And to be gentle with myself. And what's actually happening is that I like myself more and therefore enjoy the people around me more as well.

It's like my heart is expanding like the grinch's!

What if you wrote yourself a love letter. What would you say? What if you wrote a letter to that part of yourself that you think stinks?

What if, for one day, you chose to really honor that part of yourself that you really don't like. Or that part of yourself that you truly hate? Can you allow yourself to shine the light of love there? And see what happens to that unloved part. Maybe it gets healed.

 

 

Happy New Year!

I know this time of year is a loaded one. Lots of energy toward new beginnings, fresh starts, resolutions, cleansing, and getting back to neglected parts of life. There can be a lot of pressure to do better and to make resolutions to make up for the past failures. The new year gives you a sense that you can start again. And well, you can start again. Anytime.

But how can you do this in a way that acknowledges what you've done in the past without beating yourself up? And how can you set some intentions for the new year without feeling like a failure by February? I know it's already January 5th but for me, the new year energy can last this whole month. Maybe it's a rationalization for not getting going until this week, but really, what does it matter what day or time you begin?

So, rather than resolving to make your life or yourself better, what about setting an intention, with the knowledge that you can always shift as the year goes on and as things happen?

Here are some practices that I go through at the beginning of every year that help me feel more present and conscious with my choices. I do this so that the year doesn't just fly by again with no goals accomplished and more guilt to carry over for another year.

Make a vision board. For the past few years my kids and I have made variations on vision boards or intention boards that have been really fun to make and something that brings us together. We started out sharing a big board that we wrote our intentions on and then we progressed to individual boards.

I have to admit I've often struggled with the whole idea of a vision board. It sometimes seems hokey, I don't feel artistic enough, I can't find the right words or images in the magazines I choose. And if I've ever done it in a group, I get totally caught up in comparison mode. This year's versions are presently still sitting in our living room floor waiting for completion. But the energy is still percolating and having taken this step is starting my year in a positive way.

Celebrating the past year. I sat down with my journals from 2015 and read through them. My entries were not always unicorns and rainbows and I was reminded of some things I'd set out to do that never happened. But ultimately it was a relief to see the work I had accomplished—on myself, my business, my relationships. 2015 was a year of foundation laying. And acknowledging this helped me to see how far I've come.

Recognize the obstacles overcome. Life is not always easy. Curveballs are thrown and we get knocked off kilter. Looking back I see the many ways in which I persevered—despite some real challenges. I have suffered from a deep sense of unworthiness that has held me back in so many ways. This past year, as my focus was on establishing a solid foundation of self-love, I've expanded my work and my sense of myself.

Grieve. Letting go of what didn't happen, what disappoinments occurred, what patterns were still present. I honor those failures and assess what went on – without beating myself up – so I can then move on. One of the things I'm grieving is not writing as much. For the past few months I stopped blogging and I stopped writing newsletters. I found a blog post that I'd written in Septmenber that for whatever reason, never got posted. So, I put it up. I'm moving on.

Set intentions. This is not a tattoo, this is a statement of my desire and what I want to bring into my life in the new year. This year I chose a word that can be my constant reminder of my intention. My word for this year is expansion. Because last year was all about foundation building, now I have the solid ground from which to expand. And I see this coming into play in all aspects of my life: continued work on self-love, business growth, and deeper connections with loved ones are 3 primary areas I'm choosing to focus on.

If you haven't already done a new year ritual, here are some specific journaling questions to help with your 2015 reflection and 2016 intention setting. I recommend you set aside some time for yourself. Create a quiet space, light a candle, take some time to feel your breath and your body. You can even do this with a friend. Sharing this experience can help solidify your intention.

  1. What did you bring in to being in 2015? Some of you might have birthed an idea, a book, a new job or even a baby! What did you create this past year? Acknowledge that. So often we don't allow ourselves to truly celebrate our accomplishments before we're on to the next one. Take some time to make a list or free write in your journal about all of the things you have made happen. Think big or small, inner and outer.

  2. What challenges did you face? What were obstacles that stood in your way that you actually were able to get around. How did you handle these with grace? What practices did you put into place that helped you deal? Think about any small or large thing that you were able to get through and the specific actions you took to make it.

  3. What is there to let go of from 2015? What do you need to grieve about? What didn't go so well, and what can you learn from that? Honor the past so that you can move forward.

  4. What is your intention for 2016? What are you ready for more of? What's a word or a phrase that represents this intention for you and for your life? These words will help you manifest what you want to bring into your life.

I'd love to hear how this exercise goes for you. Post in the comments below or on the CoreBirthing Facebook page. I'll keep you posted on how my expansion is going. In the meantime, here are some pics of our past family boards.


Reflections on a Decade of Mothering

My daughter turned 10 in September. The past decade has been an amazing adventure and a time of intense growth and challenge. Being a mother has brought me to extremes -- joy & sadness, rage & peace, worry & acceptance, and fear & love. I have learned a ton about myself. Here are a few of my biggest discoveries:

You can't give your kids what you don't have. I got this from Brene Brown and I'm so grateful. Of course you can give them material things, but confidence, empathy, and values are learned. It's nearly impossible to teach your kid to have a good sense of themselves when you walk around feeling unworthy.

Self care is so much more than going to yoga and getting massages. It means caring as much about yourself as your kid. It means valuing your needs as much as anyone else's. It means looking at yourself and feeling love and kindness rather than only seeing your faults. It means accepting yourself as you -- a perfect imperfect human. Self care is what allows you to refuel so than you can be the person you want to be.

Support comes in many forms and is essential to feeling alright. It can sometimes feel easier to power through on your own -- then you never have to reveal your vulnerabilities. And you probably can do it on your own. But having help can simply make life a little easier. 

You will probably say things your parents said to you that you swore you wouldn't. As you're saying it, a part of you will recognize its happening but you might not be able to stop it. It may actually help you understand your parents.

it is both heartbreaking and wonderful to see your kid grow. When they're at a challenging time you might wish for time to speed up. Then you just want it to slow down to savor every moment. Each new age brings delight and frustration. Staying present will allow the savoring as well as the trust that things will change.

if you're partnered you may not always agree but it helps to be on he same team. Disagreements are normal and showing your kids how to resolve conflicts is key.

You won't know what kind of parent you'll be to a 2 year old until your kid is 2 -- and so on for every age. You'll be growing right along with your kid.

There will be things about your kid that have nothing to do with you. They are their own unique beings and that's both scary and a relief. They can be influenced by people and things that you have no control over, but you don't have to be solely responsible for their happiness and success in life. 

When your kid pushes your buttons it's more a reflection of your own internal wounds than their issue. What can drive me crazy about my daughter are the things I see in her that are like things I don't love about myself. When I'm judging her and feeling critical it's because it's a reflection on me and my own fears about who I am. This knowing has helped me stop my judgement of her and to focus on loving those parts of myself and her.

Having 2 kids isn't harder than one, and it isn't easier than 1. Having kids isn't harder than not having them. It's all hard and it's all doable. We do what we can with what we've got. 

You're not alone. 

This learning was inspired by my decade of mothering and of living. Getting older has given me perspective. And I look forward to continuing to learn and grow.

First Days!

Yesterday was the first time in 7 years that I didn't shed a tear on the first day school. Yes, I'm usually that mom—the one holding back tears and wishing they didn't have to go (but also glad to see them happily moving on). It's bittersweet for sure.

I took the requisite photo (see above) in front of our building, documenting this transition and growth. Jonathan, thinks it's cliché but I'm loving scrolling through my Facebook feed and witnessing the first days of so many of my friends and family.

We were all up early—by the kids' request. It was hardest on me (I got really comfortable sleeping in til 8am every day) and I wished for at least another hour to sleep. But the kids were ready. They had their snacks made the night before, got ready without my needing to prompt them, then they happily gathered their things and carried them off. They were looking forward to the new teacher, seeing their friends, and the new experiences of their next grades. How can I make this energy and participation and joy last?!?!

While my family and I love the first days of school, I know that before too long our mornings could devolve into rushing around, raised voices, frustration and tears. That was a pattern for too many years than I'd like to admit. (Apologies to the series of young couples that lived next door and moved away that I always felt we drove away by our crazy morning chaos. Hopefully if they have kids one day, they'll understand).

After a summer that felt like the perfect combination of structured time (a few weeks of camp so we could work), movies, travel, free play and togetherness, this fall feels like a real opportunity. It's a fresh start and one of the reasons I love this time of year.

But, after school things had already shifted dramatically. We had conflicts almost immediately and I thought, “that was quick!” and imagined what the rest of the year would be like with whining, crying, door slamming (usually me) and fighting. Yes, I'm that one, who goes immediately to the worst case scenario. And it made me really sad.

One of the hardest things is that I blame myself. I am more than willing to take responsibility for my family's unhappiness—and then blame them for my feeling shitty. It's a vicious cycle.

When I heard Jonathan telling the kids they had no right to make me feel so terrible, I woke up. I realized I'm playing the victim and making them responsible for my feelings. And really, they're not. Really really not.

Remembering my last post about choosing, I thought about how I wanted to feel. And I knew I had a choice in feeling victimized by the demands of my family and life, or not. I was still feeling down but also ready for a fresh start the next day.

This morning was better. Tomorrow will be another day...


Starting from Now

start

It's been a while since I've written. You know when you intend to do something and you keep putting it off and putting it off until you finally feel like it's been too long anyway so why bother? Well, that's kind of where I've been.

And yes, life's been full so I've been busy. But that's no excuse. I've thought about writing hundreds of times. I've started posts and even finished several and never published them. For whatever reason—fear, doubt, inertia, distractions, downright laziness—it hasn't happened.

Here's my list of blog ideas that have been collecting in my phone for years:

  1. Resilience
  2. Crybaby
  3. When things fall apart
  4. Power of belief in healing
  5. Comparing ourselves
  6. Life is messy
  7. Betty and Veronica
  8. We're nicer in public (sometimes)
  9. Kickboxing and birth
  10. It's a matter of perspective—poop smell
  11. We drove another childless couple away
  12. How we talk to our kids I'd never talk to anyone else
  13. My depression as a mom
  14. No one prepares you for the loneliness
  15. 20 feet from stardom
  16. Crying baby subway ads—what makes people so angry?

I see some good ideas. Most of them I remember exactly what I wanted to say. Others, not so much.

My biggest hurdle, and I know I'm not alone in this, is that I'm afraid no one wants to hear what I have to say and that what I'm saying has no value. Or that others have said it better than I ever could. Recently, Elizabeth Gilbert put a photo on her Facebook page with a quote: Your Fear is the Most Boring Thing About You.

LG quotepic

She goes on to say that it only has one thing to say and that's STOP! Stop trying, stop moving, stop growing and stay safe.

I like safety. I've historically enjoying being in the background in a supporting role and cheering people on. It's why I love the work that I do: from helping pregnant women get in touch with their strengths; to helping moms with newborn babies navigate the tricky terrain of the postpartum period; and finally, to coaching women who have a deep desire to live a life with intention and meaning.

I've also always been drawn to leadership—teaching, nurturing, inspiring.

I get to witness transformation. And I am honored to do this.

So, when I'm crippled by fear, I have a real motivation to push through; to model for my clients and my family that I won't give up. It's not always pretty or easy. Sometimes it's pretty awful.

But each time you push through a fear, you learn that you can do that thing, right?

I'm sharing this list with the hope that by putting it out there I'll have some accountability. With you as my witnesses, I can get to my writing.

I'd love to hear which topics pique your interest. And also, what helps you when you're stuck? Please share your comments below. And thanks for reading!

Failure is (Not) My Friend

failure is my friendYears ago, when my husband and I had our yoga center, we sold t-shirts with some original aphorisms—things like “there’s no I in yoga”, “no peaks without valleys” and, by far the most popular one, “failure is my friend”. Jonathan could wear that one proudly but me, not so much. It’s not that I don’t agree with the sentiment. When we can befriend failure, we can learn from it and we’re not so afraid of it. But since I’ve become a parent, this feeling of failure looms large. And I’m really not friends with it at all.

Failure as a learning opportunity makes sense—I’m open to exploring what led to failure, what things I could have done differently, and what other choices I had. I get that making mistakes happens all the time and that I’m not actually perfect. But on some level I still think I should be a perfect mom. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.

At my self-care workshop for moms last summer failure came up a lot. Pretty much every woman shared the experience that they had so many responsibilities, so many balls in the air—kids, partnerships, work, home, friendships, creative pursuits, etc—but that they put so much pressure on themselves that they felt like they were failing at all of them.

These were moms who I know are loving, attentive, responsive parents who feel like failures. Because they messed up, because they lost their temper and yelled, because they forgot about their kid’s school event, because they struggle with feeling angry or resentful of their kid or their partner, because they aren’t living up to the perfect image they have of the kind of mom they want to be.

I spent most of yesterday morning feeling like a huge failure as a mom (and as a person) because I lost my temper and yelled at my daughter to get her socks on since we were late for school. My fear of failure keeps me from writing this blog and from growing my business. It feels safer on some level to stay small and invisible. But really, small and invisible isn’t how I want my kids to see me either. I want them to see me as imperfect and loving myself anyway.

When I fail as a parent I do sometimes wallow in it for a while. I can carry around a pretty sick, guilty feeling for hours. But then I try to use it as an opportunity to teach my kids about failure—that if we befriend failure we’ll grow and learn and move on without getting stuck in feeling like we’re not allowed to fail.

I’m working on my relationship with failure. I don’t want to marry it. I’m frankly much more interested in cultivating my relationship with my finances. But if I truly believe that failure is my friend I can learn from those moments—not in a “I hate myself and I better not ever do that again because I’m such a terrible mom and my kids are going to be ruined by my terrible behavior” way, but rather by actually owning it, apologizing for it, and moving on without guilt. That’s what I want my kids to see—not my self-flagellation but my self-acceptance even when I fail. So failure will never by my best friend, but I can accept that it’ll come around once in a while. And I’ll do my best to say hello and see what it has to teach me rather than run away or avoid it.

That takes practice—and I’m sure I fail at that a lot of the time! Here are some tips for working through that feeling of failure as a parent:

1. Awareness—actually noticing the feeling of failure and the thoughts that go along with it. What are you saying to yourself about yourself?

2. Acknowledge/own it to yourself and your kids if necessary.

3. Apologize and admit to making a mistake—shows your kid you don’t need to be perfect in their eyes, thus encouraging them to be unafraid to fail.

4. Allow your kid to have feelings around it and share them with you—they might have a good reason for feeling angry or disappointed. You listening to them shows them it’s ok to have the feelings.

5. Release the guilty feelings and move on—this might be the hardest part but it might happen just from doing the first 4 steps. Maybe it takes some journaling, prayer, exercise, therapy or a warm bath!

6. Practice self-forgiveness—the key word here is practice. The more we practice, the more we can ultimately feel and live it.

How do you handle failure?

10 Things I Love About Being a Mom

being a mom 10 Things I Love About Being a Mom.

Last week my daughter turned 8. I have some lovely friends who always make a point of congratulating me on my kids’ birthdays. It’s such a sweet way to be recognized. So, in celebration of my 8th anniversary of becoming a mom, I’ve put together a list of the things I love about being a mom.

This is not to say that it’s always sunshine and rainbows. Of course I’ve struggled. But that struggle has made me who I am. And had helped me to learn and grow. And since I have long had the habit of sharing the things that are hard or going wrong, I wanted to take a moment to actually see for myself and show others the things that are actually great.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but some of the things I love most. There are so many big and little things that matter.

1. Snuggles! There’s nothing like getting hugs and physical loving touch. It increases oxytocin—the hormone of relaxation, well-being and love—and it feels great to be held by someone cuddly. Waking up to a snuggly kid is one of the best feelings in the world!

2. Unconditional love—they see me at my worst: physically, emotionally, and fashionally. And yet they still love me for who I am. Somehow they see me as the most beautiful, smart, capable woman in the world (for now at least—we’ll see what happens when they’re teenagers!) and I try to see myself in their eyes and accept myself for who I am.

being a mom

3. Creativity. I have friends who are artists and I never thought that was my thing. But having kids has allowed me to get more comfortable and have more fun making stuff. One of my favorite things about having unexpected down time at home (like snow days) is getting out the art supplies and unleashing our creative juices. I love to watch them make their own art and join them in the process.

4. They are my mirror. I thought I knew myself pretty well before I had kids. I was 37 when my daughter was born. I was introspective, had been to therapy, was interested in self-awareness and self improvement. But boy has motherhood really shown me who I am. Not only do they parrot the things that I say but being a mom has brought emotions to the surface that I never knew existed. Not only intense love but intense rage and fear and worry too. While I haven’t always enjoyed revealing parts of myself that aren’t so lovely, I’m glad to have gotten to know those parts so that I can be honest about who I am—an imperfect human, doing the best I can.

being a mom

5. Being a better person. Similar to the one above, because they are my mirror, I have to really pay attention to how I’m behaving, what I’m saying, who I am, because they learn from it all—including the appropriate use of swear words! I’ll never forget the time my then 4 year old daughter said to a man who’d just pulled a crab out of the Hudson river, “what the fuck is that?” While I was shocked and dismayed and worried about what they would think, I was also proud that she’d at least used it properly. I still curse a fair amount, but I am more conscious about how I talk about the world. I want them to see us as all connected to each other and to recognize that we have a choice in how we relate to the world. I try to choose the positive outlook as much as I can and to show my gratitude for what we have and who we are.

6. Seeing my husband as a dad and having him as a co-parent. Admittedly, Jonathan was a reluctant dad. He’s written about it here. But when I got pregnant with my daughter, he embraced the process and was so excited about birth and parenting. We talked a lot about what kind of parents we wanted to be, we read lots of books and we still talk endlessly about it. We truly work together to do the best that we can.

being a mom

7. Witnessing their relationships with friends and family. Seeing my kids find love and connection with the other people in our lives is amazing. They are able to be themselves in many different contexts and to feel loved by lots of different people. Watching them come into their own is a beautiful thing.

fitzcousinsgordoncousins

8. Self-confidence. I know myself better, I know what I want out of life and I know how to take care of my kids. I know for the most part what’s best. Well, that’s not totally true, but I know that even if I make a choice that isn’t the best that I can change my mind and keep working on it.

being a mom

9. Watching them play. This article in the Huffington Post talked about the thing college athletes liked to hear most from their parents was “I love to watch you play”. Until I read that article I didn’t say that much, but I know I feel it constantly. Watching the joy that comes from playing, singing, dancing, reading, jumping, makes me swell with love. And now I use those words to tell my kids that.

10. Silliness! I'm a big fan of not taking myself too seriously and being able to laugh at myself. I'm sure I will be terribly embarrassing when my kids are teens, but for now, they love it when I get silly with them. We laugh, we dance, we play. It is fun!

I wrote this as a reminder to myself—on those days when it’s hard to be a mom, when I feel exhausted and overwhelmed and really unsure about what’s right. Those days do come! And when they do, I will reread this to connect back into what I really love about being a mom.

What do you love about being a mom?

Stiram Sukham Asanam

 

ImageI’ve been thinking a lot about the balance of effort and surrender in life these days. In my yoga teacher training we studied the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the one that has stuck with me all these years later is Stiram Sukham Asanam which loosely translates to the following phrases: the asana must be steady and sweet, or stable and joyful, or a balance of effort and surrender.

 

The effort part I get. It’s doing the things we have to do all day—getting up and dressed, making food, feeding the family, going to work/school, exercising, grocery shopping, more cooking, talking, emailing, writing. It’s concrete. You can make a list of all the effort we have to go through each day and can see the accomplishments of a day.

 

Surrender is the trickier part. It’s the thing that goes along underneath all of the effort. It’s what can make the effort feel more or less effortful (exhausting!). There are these moments in life (or maybe each day) where we don’t notice the clock, where we are less in doing mode and more in being mode. It feels more relaxed and calm. That’s the surrender part—the letting go of outcome, the trusting that even though we can’t completely control what’s happening, we will be ok.

 

As a childbirth educator it’s the thing I’m trying to impart the most to my students—birth is a balance of effort and surrender. There’s the huge effort of coping with labor and getting the baby out. And in the midst of this, somehow letting go at the same time. Surrendering to the labor, to the process. But how?

 

One way to be more conscious about surrendering is through practice and developing awareness.

 

I encourage my students to practice whenever they can—not only in class. We have opportunities to practice letting go all the time!

 

Here’s an example: you’re on the subway commuting to work, and the train stops, and you’re already late because your alarm didn’t go off, and you have a really important presentation first thing. Is your heart racing already? Mine is just thinking about it! The effort has already happened—getting up, dressed, fed and to the subway. Now that the train is not running, it’s out of your control. Yikes!

 

Now, eventually, the train will start moving, you will probably make it to work, you will probably get to your meeting and do your presentation.

 

But what happens in between, while you’re on that train? Do you start freaking out? Sweating, gritting your teeth, going into catastrophic thinking mode (I’m going to miss my meeting, I’ll lose my job, I won’t be able to pay rent this month, I’ll die!) Ai yi yi!

 

It feels that serious in your body and your mind because the lizard part of your brain that’s being triggered in this moment doesn’t know the difference between being stalked by a saber-toothed tiger and being late for work.

 

It doesn’t know the difference between being a life-threatening situation and getting your kid to school on time.

 

For me it’s about recognizing the triggers. And when the response gets set off—usually it’s fear or anger—figuring out how can I settle into surrender mode. It’s pretty much a daily practice for me. Some days I’m better at surrendering than others and I can find the feeling of flow as I move through my daily activities. Some days I surrender at the end of the day by curling up on the couch with a pint of ice cream watching the Bachelorette.

 

Where do you practice effort and surrender?

Happy Birthday to Me!

casey 5 It’s my birthday!

And I thought it would be a great day for my inaugural blog post.

Welcome to CoreBirthing! I’ll be writing about birth, parenting, and life from my perspective. I’m a mom to two amazing kids, wife and partner to Jonathan (founder and creator of CoreWalking), childbirth educator, postpartum doula and life coach serving women in NYC and beyond. I’m so excited to share this with you!

I am now 40 years older than I was in that picture. I took it from my mom’s house because I wanted to remind myself of that feeling and the feeling I always had when I looked at that picture growing up.

I am happy.

I am strong—(and dirty and sweaty from running around outside all day!)

I am loved.

Along the way, those feelings ebb and flow—some days I feel more loved, some days I am decidedly not happy, sometimes I feel weak and afraid.

But I am reminded of what a strong little spirit I was and I am when I look at myself at 5. And when I took this picture from my mom’s house my intention was to place it somewhere I could look at it every day to connect into those feelings.

My parents used to tell me something similar—they wrote it on cards, said it to me when they kissed me goodnight, they were attempting to bolster my sense of self.

You are great

You are strong

You are loved, they said.  I didn’t always believe them but I was glad to hear it.

Now it comes from my own voice. And it feels great!

I found the picture where I’d placed it that day—tucked into a flap in my journal. I kept it hidden. Forgot about it, got too busy, didn’t feel those things. I’m sharing it now because I’m ready to remember. For me, for family, for my friends, and for the families I serve.

I am happy.

I am strong.

I am loved.