Sunrise: reflections and insight

Today I awoke at 5:30 am feeling refreshed and recharged. Looking out the giant window as I lay in the comfortable bed, I was able to remain quiet and calm and go within. I have learned that I use music to help me focus and to restore my energy. Music is healing

Silence is golden

I often resist quiet meditation time. My sweet husband has reminded me often how important it is to have time in the quiet. I know that in theory and believe it. Yet, I have used excuses as to why I don’t do that. Who has time to sit and be quiet? For me, it isn’t even about the time. It’s more about my mind being so busy with thoughts, often anxiety, that I have needed music to quiet the inner turmoil in order to focus.

Time alone is essential

I have discovered many things about myself over the course of the past three days.

I enjoy:

Walks on the beach without a plan or time frame

Reading while in my beach chair at the water side as my chair slowly sinks deeper and the water rushes against me as the tide comes in

Walking along the boardwalk at sunset

Walking on the beach at sunrise, something I already knew

Watching people

Talking with random strangers and learning about their life

Having casual conversations with the employees at the pier store

Connecting with someone because she has a dog and is standing alone

I have learned these things that either I didn’t realize or had forgotten:

Talking to people gives me inspiration for writing

Having an adventure by myself makes me giggle and also gives me writing ideas

I really do not care what other people think about me

I enjoy video blogging, even if I’m not yet good at it

What is good enough?

I like order and having a plan

I also love spontaneity and the freedom to do whatever…

Drink from the carton with the refrigerator door open

Leave things messy and fall asleep without changing

It is really cool to sit on a bed and be able to view two televisions and to be able to watch two shows at once

And I don’t understand why anyone, even an actress in a movie, would cheat on Richard Gere!

Watching Harry Potter movies by myself is not nearly as fun as watching them with my kids.

Watching feel good, uplifting movies inspires me to write

Stepmom is an amazing movie and makes me cry,while sitting in my pink bath

When I am depressed, I don’t feel real sadness

Depression and sadness are two very different things

Being on the 20the floor with an entire side wall of windows, in the heart of Myrtle Beach and being able to view the city and the ocean, is…

THE MOST AMAZING GETAWAY that I could ever have asked for.

I plan to make this a yearly pilgrimage and I want this very room each time.

I will be happy with any room with a side view from the 20th floor, or the 19th, even the 17th would be high enough for a beautiful view, right?

I like consistency and the idea of coming back to this very room to have memories to inspire me to write even more.

I also love change and variety and know that I will be inspired to write from any floor of this building, yet being up high is the most amazing.

My fear of heights is also exhilarating…

Standing at the edge of the balcony looking out

Looking to the ocean doesn’t really bring fear, but when I turn for the city vie, that’s when my heart races and my chest tightens

Maybe there is a message in that

Or maybe my fear is more about falling into traffic and landing on concrete

I do have some claustrophobia discovered when standing on a narrow hallway with no windows, on the 20th floor of a glass building, and reading the sign that say, “in case of fire, use the stairs, brings scary things into my mind that I had to shut down immediately to enjoy myself.

And maybe that’s the difference with someone with obsessive compulsive disorder and myself. I have fears and even obsess over ideas somethings, yet I have the ability to shut down the thoughts quickly. I knew that OCD involved the inability to shut down irrational, unhelpful, scary thoughts. Yet thinking about standing in the hallway reading that sign and how easily I was able to shut the thought out AND how easily I was able to NOT let it stop me from enjoying myself. Sure, it entered my mind each time I saw it, but I quickly moved on and didn’t obsess about it when I wasn’t standing there next to the sign.

I am always amazed at the clarity writing brings me. I had no idea when I sat down to write that I would talk about the sign and discover insight into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, an illness that invades my children’s lives.

We won’t be staying on the top floor next month when I bring my family to North Myrtle to celebrate my 50th birthday. And that is ok with me.

I will stop and listen better to them, knowing that sitting with the fear is what they need to do to overcome OCD, and also that they don’t have to sit with all their fears, especially when on vacation. There is a difference between their fears stopping us living our lives, and minimizing being in fearful situations so that they can relax and have an enjoyable time while on vacation.

I could sit here all day on this balcony.

It’s 7:30 am now and I just remembered I wanted to take a picture of the sunrise for this post.

I can leave today, knowing I can come back here with points and also without points.

I can stay longer next time.

I can leave here today, looking forward to coming back in three weeks with my family with the thought of all five, and hopefully six of us, will be together on the beach.

We have a tradition of family vacations at the beach and that is something they will take with them for the rest of their lives. And even after I am gone, they can come to the beach and think about me, remembering our time together.

I need to go home and find the pen drive with the journal entries I write for Jason’s journal. I have Harrison and Abbys’s on paper in my bedroom closet. I likely have more entries for them as well on those pen drives or stored somewhere on a computer.

My post had moved from inspiration to a to do list….

I will capture my picture of where I am now and move forward.

New Year: If not now, then when?

I enjoy inspirational messages.

Sometimes these messages arrive at the perfect time and it feels like the universe is speaking directly to me.

I receive a daily message from Neale Donald Walsh as well as a weekly question from Paul Clark. (Learn more about weekly question here).

Today the two messages coincided with such relevance to my life right now and for all families looking to live more consciously, connected and respectfully with their children.

Today, as I began to write this post, the stars aligned perfectly with the universe speaking to me loud and clear as Kenny Loggins, “Conviction of the Heart” played.

If not now, then when?”   

On this day of your life

Gina, I believe God wants you to know …

… that as you start the first full work week of the New

The point of your activities throughout the day is not to

make a living, but to make a life; not to ‘work’ but to

create joy. If you are doing what you are doing merely

to ‘pay the bills,’ you will have missed the major reason

for All Of Life.

 

The purpose of life is to know and express Who You

Are. If you do other than that during the days and times

of your life, you will have not used those days and times

in a way that profits your soul. It is soul profit we are

after here, not body profit.

 

This first week of the New Year is a good time to

contemplate that, yes?

 If not me, than who?

Are we making a life or just a living?

I know I am working to pay the bills and I have enjoyed my work as an Occupational Therapist for the past 26 years, yet, my inner passion calls for more.

Life can be cyclical.

I found Occupational Therapy in a catalogue of careers in my high school guidance counselor’s office in 1986. I read the description and discovered a field I never knew existed an that fit with my interests of psychology, special needs and teaching.

In college, I envisioned my OT career would be working with socially and emotionally disturbed children. I had a summer job at Allentown State Hospital with the inpatient children’s program through the Occupational Therapy department and felt impassioned to help children with social and emotional issues.

In 1992, I completed my required internships, two 12 week “fieldworks” as required to complete my degree and before I could sit for the board exam. The second fieldwork was a Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown, PA. I discovered adult rehab and in particular brain injury rehab and followed that interest. It was magical, all I loved about psychology and the brain combined and amazing progress seen working in acute physical rehab. The patients began in a coma and left walking and talking!

Flash forward, 26 years later, I have realized my intention to work with socially and emotionally challenge children did come to fruition, in raising my own children. I take that comment seriously and with true intention.

Now, in my blogs, I am using my skills as an Occupational Therapist is a new way, Writing about my experiences with mental health issues in myself and my family and reaching out to help others. And this includes my work in growing a new business with my husband, Don with Focused Healthy Families and Collaborative, Conscious and Respectful Parenting.

What are your dreams?

In order to help and support our children, we need to be an example of following our own interests and passions and living the life we choose and not the one we feel “we have to do, to pay the bills”

I will leave you with those thoughts and the words of Kenny Loggins…

Where are the dreams that we once had?
This is the time to bring them back.
What were the promises caught on the tips of our tongues?
Do we forget or forgive?
There’s a whole other life waiting to be lived when…
One day we’re brave enough
To talk with Conviction of the Heart.
And down your streets I’ve walked alone,
As if my feet were not my own
Such is the path I chose, doors I have opened and closed
I’m tired of living this life,
Fooling myself, believing we’re right, when…
I’ve never given love
With any Conviction of the Heart
One with the earth, with the sky
One with everything in life
I believe we’ll survive
If we only try…
How long must we wait to change
This world bound in chains that we live in
To know what it is to forgive,
And be forgiven?
It’s been too many years of taking now.
Isn’t it time to stop somehow?
Air that’s too angry to breathe, water our children can’t drink
You’ve heard it hundreds of times
You say your aware, believe, and you care, but…
Do you care enough
To talk with Conviction of the Heart?

Collaborative, Conscious, Respectful Parenting

CCR Parenting

Because I love music and well… I find the name catchy.

Have you ever seen the rain coming down on a sunny day?

R.E.M. sings as I write, “everybody hurts, sometimes”, “when you feel like you’re alone”

I became a mother over 20 years ago. When I returned to work when my baby boy was 12 weeks old, I had a new mission, to find a way to work from home.

Somewhere along the journey, as I grew into motherhood with my child, I envisioned a Conscious Parenting website, I called it, “Mommy Daddy STOP” because my son loved road signs and I saw the symbolism with road signs and parenting and messages.

I have notebooks of material and ideas for that website and I even created the site at one point.

Mommy Daddy STOP: Consciously parenting our children, our parents and ourselves

In 2010, I began my blog, Gina’s Life Journey. And a few years later, Child-led Learning.

Here I am now in 2018 and Don and I have given our first Parenting Conversations talk. The conscious parenting website idea is alive and well again and growing into a business.

Why collaborative, conscious, respectful parenting?

Collaboration

I see a family as a team. A group of people living together and therefore need to function together. Parenting is a relationship and like any relationship there needs to be give and take, a sense of doing what works best for all.

Businesses spend time on team building, good business do. Families can also learn from team building exercises. We need to learn communication skills and we also need to have fun!

Respect

Over the past 20+ years as a parent, I have decided if I had to pick one word to define the most important part of parenting, that word is respect.

I vividly remember being out at a restaurant with my husband and oldest child who was maybe 2 1/2 at the time. We were in SC and had gone to eat, I believe after attending a Unity service in Columbia, SC, near my parents house. There was a stranger, a woman, who came over to us and told us that she liked how respectfully we were talking to our young child. Before she said that, I am not sure that it had occurred to me that the manner in which we talked to our child was “respectful”. That message, her compliment, became a gauge of something I always wanted to have in our parenting relationship.

I never used “baby talk” with my kids. I spoke to them. I described what I was doing, what I saw in the world as we walked, and I shared what I was thinking. I spoke to them like I would speak to another person. As a baby, I spoke to them like a person new to this world, “those are trees, and houses and look mailboxes and the mailboxes have numbers, there is a 1 and a 4 and an 8… ”

I took walks with my oldest child with him in the stroller and had this ongoing monologue with him about the things in our neighborhood. I described all the road signs, first the name, and then the color and shape. This is where his love of sings, in particular, STOP signs, originated. He found the bright red octagon fascinating and luckily our neighbors lived on the corner and we would walk to their driveway every day to visit the STOP sign. And then I made one for him to have inside, incase it rained or weather did not permit us to visit the stop sign outside.

STOP became a reminder to me as a parent, to stop and pay attention to the world and to my son. To STOP and slow down, to look, listen, feel and experience. To be in the moment with my child.

I write about collaborative, conscious, respectful parenting as a reminder to myself. It is a journey, one I am still traveling. Always working to improve my parenting and be a better version of myself to best help my children.

I close with these beautiful words by Colbie Caillat:

Low

When you’re feeling low

And you just don’t know where to run to

Broke

If your heart’s been broke

And you feel like you’re all alone

If you need something to believe in

If you’re looking for a light to guide you home

Just look inside

You’re light a shining brighter than you know

You should know

I’m never gonna let you down

I’m always gonna build you up

And when you’re feeling lost

I will always find you love

I’m never gonna walk away

I’m always gonna have your back

And if nothing else you can always count on that

When you need me

I promise I will never let you down

Laugh

I will make you laugh

If you ever feel like crying

Close

I will hold you close

You won’t be alone anymore

If you need someone to believe in

If you’re reaching for a hand to guide you home

Just take my hand and I won’t let you go

I hope you know

I’m never gonna let you down

I’m always gonna build you up

And when you’re feeling lost

I will always find you love

I’m never gonna walk away

I’m always gonna have your back

And if nothing else you can always count on that

I’m never gonna let you down

I’m always gonna build you up

And when you’re feeling lost

I will always find you love

I’m never gonna walk away

I’m always gonna have your back

And if nothing else you can always count on that

When you need me

I promise I will never let you down

Ain’t never gonna let you down

If you need something to believe in

If you feel you’ve reached the end of the road

Don’t be afraid, I’ll always guide you home

You should know

I’m never gonna let you down

I’m always gonna build you up

And when you’re feeling lost

I will always find you love

I’m never gonna walk away

I’m always gonna have your back

And if nothing else you can always count on that

I’m never gonna let you down

I’m always gonna build you up

And when you’re feeling lost

I will always find you love

I’m never gonna walk away

I’m always gonna have your back

And if nothing else you can always count on that

When you need me

I promise I will never let you down

Ain’t never going let you down

Ain’t never going let you down