I'm going to be honest with you. My son Gabriel is going through a very challenging time.
We're right in the middle of it, so I'm not ready to share more now. But, I'm learning a lot as I navigate this. And of course I'm doing my best to stay connected, communicate, and support him through this time.
It's not been easy. I've broken into tears more than once. It's overwhelming at times.
I even had a day last week when I just wanted to put my head under the covers and not get out of bed. That hasn't happened in a long time.
But I didn't.
I got out of bed. I faced the day.
And that was the day that I had a major shift. I went to sleep that night more peaceful inside than I've been, maybe ever, and that sense of calm has stayed with me.
"Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, noise, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart."
Truth is, this may appear to be a sudden shift, but it's the result of re-committing daily to my choices, my values, and my practices.
There are two things that have been the most supportive in not only getting me through this time, but making it a time of growth. I hope that in sharing them, it may help you, too.
The first is Gratitude.
I cannot stress enough how gratitude has truly been the foundation of so much positive change in my parenting. The kind of gratitude I'm talking about is profound, deep, heartfelt. But it began several years ago with a simple decision...
My marriage was in shambles, I was basically single parenting, and I noticed that every morning when I woke, I was dreading the day. My heart would sink into my stomach and I would think, "Really? I have to do this again..?" One morning I decided I was going to think of one thing I was looking forward to that day, just one good thing.
That was it. That was the decision. And I've been doing it every day since. There's much more I could say about gratitude, but this was my beginning.
The second support I am deeply grateful for is community. I honestly couldn't get through this time in tact, and growing, without my community. When I simply don't know what to do, I pick up the phone and call someone in my support network. Someone I know will listen, reflect, and help if I ask (and not if I don't :))
So, as we move into this holiday season, I invite you to do these two things: Create a simple daily gratitude practice (use mine if it resonates for you). And, identify your trusted support network, people who you can rely on to provide what you need when you reach out for help.
Start small now, and watch as your sense of calm grows over time.
Wishing you and your family love and peace.