Sitting on the porch this evening as the sun was going down, we were bringing a very long day to an end.
My daughter opened the screen door and asked if she could just talk to me for a bit. I secretly love these moments, for the teenage years are fast approaching and time for mom is not always a need anymore.
She began just talking about her day. As I listened to this amazing young woman sitting before me, I marvel at her and wonder when she grew up. I have a hard time putting my emotions into words, by what came out of her mouth in the next few moments.
I preface this by sharing it is safe to say that it has been a rough few months, though clearly that is an understatement. Looking back on the last several years, you would know this truth for our little trio deeply as many do. I am not a perfect mother by any means. In fact, I question myself daily in all that I choose for my children.
I have never believed that life was meant to be an easy road to journey. The lessons, the gifts and the self-discoveries within us are the best part of waking up in the morning. Though, not a day goes by, I don’t wish I could take back some of those struggles my children had to face so young. Their one job should only be, to be a kid.
As a single mom, with very little financial or hands on support from their father for several years, it falls on me to get our needs met. Sadly, my children understood the reality of rent, they could appreciate the luxury of heat in the winter and never did they take for granted the food before them. We always had our needs met, sometimes with a little help from our friends, and we learned valuable lessons along the way.
So, when my daughter begins to tell me that in class this week, they were asked to write an essay on their hero, never did I expect the following sentence to come out of her mouth.
Her hero is me, her mom.
I did my best to hold back my tears as she explained to me why she chose her mom, what she has learned from me on our journey and how she is so grateful for all that I add to her to life. Inside, I kept thinking, ‘But, I messed up so much!’ Yet, this little girl all of twelve, understood how we got to where we are today.
Her face lit up as she told me how she was able to tell her friends that she only needs to search google to find a photo of her mom, since she was a published author. She is so proud of me, faults and all.
So, today, I am going to savor that moment. I am going to remind myself that it is not about perfection, but rather love. When you begin with love and end with love, nothing is ever wrong or not enough.
What Bernadette doesn’t realize is that she is my hero, for the awesome young woman she is turning out to be. I may not always get it right, but I wouldn’t take back one second of being mom for anything in the world.
Thank you, sweet girl, for allowing me to be your mom.
(*Important Note: I have an equally amazing son I feel I need to share, so as to not completely ruin my 'five minute good mom' status in one article! Ha)
As we begin to walk into the new year at the darkest time of the year…it’s an ever-changing journey of uncertainty in so many different ways.
Is there really ever a normal?
Are things ever completely how they’re meant to be?
I’ve never been convinced of this…
So while each of us face whatever darkness it is for us this time of year, remember that the light of the season will come upon you.
Sometimes things feel like there will never be a crossing over, but the truth is, it will never come if you don’t open the door.
December marks a monumental moment for me. Today is my 15yr Recovery Anniversary from Anorexia and Body Hatred. I struggled for 14yrs, and this year I surpassed this number in recovery.
The recovery journey is not a perfect one, it doesn't always look as one would expect. There are lessons along the way each day that I hold on to in moments where I doubt.
But, today, I am proud of the journey I walked. I wouldn't take any of it back, for each step gave me blessings that make me who I am today. My book, my motivational speaking and my retreats I lead are my greatest way to share my story and help others along their own path. That is my greatest work and I wouldn't take that back.
I am grateful to countless people who never gave up on me, for they are the reason I am here today. Thank you, once again for your friendship and belief in me. The journey is always beginning.
If I had spent so much time on waiting to become whole before I shared of what my journey has been, I would never be where I am today. I would not be as far along the road as I am in this moment.
The journey is a constant learning tool, we all need the courage to embrace it!
Once we embrace it, we need to manifest how we can share it with others.
Our experiences help others on becoming whole.
How can you share your journey today?
How will you honor what it means for you to become whole?
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What lights you up?
Think about it...
Your purpose is in front of you, but you must be willing to see it.
Sometimes it may feel so self-involved to follow what brings us joy.
But, maybe, just maybe that purpose is what is going to have us live fully.
This season itself is about waiting...waiting for the Light.
It's a time of giving without expectation of receiving something for a good act. It's about being an active part of that Light!
How will you challenge yourself this time of year to BE a part of the GIVING?
How will you walk out of the darkness?
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Do you let yourself cry?
Do you let the tears flow freely whenever they are called to you?
A dear friend once said to me that tears were blessings from the soul. I truly believe they’re blessings, they release, they heal and tell a story that needs to be told.
I’m here to tell you it’s OK.
"Prayer is not introspection. It is not a scrupulous, inward-looking analysis of our own thoughts and feelings but it is a careful attentiveness to the Presence of Love personified inviting us to an encounter. Prayer is the presentation of our thoughts— reflective thoughts, as well as daydreams, and night dreams—to the One who receives them, sees them in the light of unconditional love, and responds to them with divine compassion. This context of thinking in the Presence, of conversation and dialogue with Love, is the joyful affirmation of our gentle Companion on the journey with God (Higher Power/Goddess/Spirit) who knows our minds and hearts, our goodness and our beauty, our darkness and our light." - Henri Nouwen
I love this photo...it reminds me of the countless prayers people ask daily or put out into the universe. It reminds me how diverse prayer can be for each person. You may not define yourself by one religion or direction, but you can still pray, offer up intentions and give positive energy to those in need.
How do you pray for others?
Can you stop in your day to see what others as asking of you and be that prayer?
Do you pause to acknowledge your own personal prayer requests?
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I took more years than I care to admit to discover my Voice, but once I did there was no turning back. What does that exactly mean? Well, for most of my life I let others words, choices, opinions, views and criticism become my own. I never gave myself a change to define my journey from the very beginning. I took them as they were the bible of life and lived them thoroughly until all of my life came crashing down before me.
We live in an age where every voice you could possibly imagine is shouting out via one social media scenario to the next as an absolute truth. Young men and women are having a hard time daily defining who they are in this very moment for everywhere they turn they are pressured to be or say one thing or another. How could they possibly discover what their voice wanted to shout?!
All my life, I quietly sat by and let others around me speak for me, using their voice in my journey allowing for much to go on that wasn’t always healthy. I never really knew I had a voice as loud as it is inside of me until Anorexia broke me after fourteen years of an undeniable hell. I walked through healing with this emerging voice now demanding to be heard!
How many of you have silenced your voice at any given time on your journey? You are in a store and a mother will say something to a child that is just so awful you can see the life draining from the soft eyes of this little person...but we think it's not our business to get involved. Or in any given political debate where you have an opinion, but think you are not educated enough to offer up a suggestion? You silently nod or agree to whatever is being said knowing you do not. Or your partner and you are simply on two different pages, but the fear of stirring the pot is greater than your words. Then the worst of all, when you allow for an ad in a magazine, on television or in social media to tell you what you are or are not. A little piece of you dies inside in each of these scenarios until there is no life left.
When that goes on for a long enough time, the consequences can be irreparable. It is so important to express ourselves on every level. It allows for the uniqueness to thrive in our world and remind all those listening that diversity teaches a brilliant story. It allows for ONE voice not to be the majority. It allows for people to stop and think for themselves, to ask questions and constantly change the direction of the journey bringing it true beauty and fulfillment.
Today my voice is often loud, the quality of my life is richer for it. The friends and relationships in my life are of those who walk with me in such passion that they can only support my life's journey and make it stronger. Consider how rich your life would be if you were honest with yourself and others along the way.
I share this since I believe inside there is a voice aching to shout out something new in each one of you. A voice that can only add to the world. I write to remind myself of the importance of never letting the silence return. I write to challenge anyone reading this to use your voice in a way you may have not otherwise thought to do or had the courage to do so before today.
Watch the life that will thrive after you do so! Watch a child come to life! What people start to mirror your voice! It’s infectious and it will make everyone around you shine!!
What do you want to say today?
"Maybe the reason nothing seems to be fixing you is because you're not broken Let today be the day you stop living within the confines of how others judge you or define you. You have a unique beauty and purpose; live accordingly." - Dr. Steve Maraboli
Most often when we are walking through struggles in life our brokenness feels bigger than us. Others seem to have a harder time with allowing us to sit in that woundedness or brokenness feeling the need to fix the situation.
On my journey I have realized that healing comes when you take the time to embrace the brokenness not fix it. There are lessons to be learned from every single thing we walk through… We’re not necessarily broken as much as we are experiencing pieces that bring a wholeness and a fullness to the continued journey.
How can you be authentic within your own journey?
How do you live through your brokenness not allowing it to define you, rather letting it bring a new life to the steps you are walking forward?
How can you put aside other's judgements of your journey and simply step aside?
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.