Wednesday, 3 December 2014

I'm wishing you mist

The Internet is a funny thing.  I've made the most amazing friends on Facebook and Twitter in the last few years. Friends I miss when I haven't chatted to them for a day or two, friends who are there when I need them, friends who give cyber trolls a verbal beating on my behalf.  Friends I have never met. And most probably never will.

One of these friends is Lisa-Marie. Lisa's husband passed away suddenly, and very unexpectedly recently, leaving everyone devastated. I've never met Lisa but through similar situations, we're kindred spirits.

The last few days Lisa has been on my mind constantly.  I try and understand what she must be going through. My heart physically aches when I think of her and her little girl.  I look at the photos she puts up on Facebook and I feel angry and sad and pissed off for her.

Last week she posted that she'd love for friends to phone or message her. So I popped her a message asking for her number, and double checking whether it would be okay for me to call or message.  And she responded immediately with 'I'd love that!' Since then I've called once but whatsapped a few times.  Our chats vary but are often just Lisa and I throwing profanities back and forth,  leaving cyber space a little blue.

Tomorrow it's the love of her life's memorial service and I wish I was there. I don't know why. I just do.

There's nothing I could say or do that will make her pain go away.  There are no words that'll comfort her at this time, or for a while to come. I might be able to make her smile for a minute with a silly message or emoticon but it will only be for a minute.

But what I'm wishing for Lisa tonigh, tomorrow and for as long  as she needs it is the mist I once felt at the shelter. I've blogged about it before so I'll quickly recap. It was the weekend of 67 minutes of kindness and the shelter was packed with people dropping off items, spending 67 minutes with the babies and playing with the older kiddies. I was there visiting Emma and 'shooing' anyone away who wanted to hold her.

As the morning got busier, with more and more people in and out, I moved to a quieter area with my daughter.  And that's when I saw the mist. I checked to make sure it wasn't condensation from the washing machine or tumble dryer.  I sniffed around to make sure it wasn't smoke.  There was nothing.  Except this mist. And then I asked Eleanor,  who runs the shelter, what it was. 

Now trust me , I'm not a religious person. And had anyone else told me this, I would have poo-pooed them. But I was there. I felt it and I saw it. 

"The mist", Eleanor explained, "appears often. It's here when there are a lot of people, or when one of the babies are very sick. The mist is also here when a new baby arrives, whether through the moses basket or with a social worker.  It's like Jesus is here.  He's the mist. It's comforting and we feel like we're getting one big hug, all embracing, all the time. The kiddies, when they see it, even shout out, Jesus is here! "

So Lisa I'm sending you the mist. I'm sending you the comfort and serenity I felt in that moment.  I'm sending you that huge all loving, all embracing hug.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Your Body talks

Yesterday I took Emma for a Body Talk session. The process, and practitioner, came highly recommended by a friend I trust and respect.

I think I did it a few years back. And a few weeks later I ended up in rehab for depression and an eating disorder.  Coincide? Possibly. The breakthrough I needed? Definitely.

But back to Emma. Emma eats a lot. For a five year old.  For a girl. And while she's eating, she's asking for the next plateful, slice, treat. We keep telling her to just enjoy what she has in her mouth at that moment. But it doesn't work.  She has an insatiable hunger that can't, or won't, be satisfied.

Mark worries about her weight, from a health point of view as well as a societal one. I do too. I was a fat kid growing up and I hated it. But because I'm so sensitive to the issue, I rather tap dance around it.

We also don't know her genetic makeup.  Her biological parents could have been BFGS.  So she could be genuinely hungry and we end up starving her.

Body Talk, if you Google it, works on a cellular level.  During the appointment there's a lot of mention of chakras, chis and energies.  There's balancing and aligning as attention is given to the physical and emotional levels. If you're a sceptic, and you're allowed to be, you'll roll your eyes for the rest of this post, but I can tell you that before our appointment he asked me to write down concerns around Emma and highlight them on a drawing of the body. He didn't once look at that document and he was pretty spot on. He also got her to fall asleep in two minutes.

On a physical level Emma's body isn't absorbing any nutrients and minerals. Her iron levels are low, as are her various vitamin levels, all necessary for a body to function properly. She battles to sleep, is often constipated and possibly is lactose intolerant, hence the eczema on her body.

On a deeper level Emma is in a constant state of fright or flight. Mark and I often comment on how she seems to 'overreact' when she's moaned at or we tell her we're not happy with something she's done. And (apparently - see what I did there? im covering my bases for those who think I'm a loon) it's because she's  needing approval, stemming from her abandonment and rejection issues from early on. Emma (apparently ;) feels that if she isn't performing at her best with us, we too will give her away.

My little girl, who is wise and mature for her age, is battling with her identity.  She feels as though she doesn't quite fit in in our world, nor does she fit comfortably in a black culture.  And apparently is letting her visit Esther in Cosmo and go with Primrose to church on Sundays really is food for her soul.

Emma's self worth is very low and on some level she questions why she wasn't good enough for her BM to keep her, to want her.

When he 'cleared' her heart and head chakras, she relaxed, and literally fell asleep. Gone. Out like a light.

Of course I've simplified this because I actually don't quite understand it. But to sum it up, Emma eats because she is hungry. Nothing will satisfy her for as long as her body isn't absorbing nutrients. And she's relying on sugary things for the energy that healthy vitamins and would normally give her. Emma also eats (at the moment) to fill a very real gap she feels. She eats to fill a void, that right now, she's battling to fill emotionally and spiritually.

We've got another session in 6-8 weeks and I'll let you know how that goes.  In the meantime I'm booking sessions for Mark, Ben and myself.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Thursday, 23 October 2014

I used to pray for world peace. Then things changed...

To survive in an ever evolving world you've got to be good with change.  To move with the times you've got to be adaptable. To be a mom means changing constantly. Minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.  To not adapt to your circumstances as a mom is to die...a slow painful death. Okay.  Not really. Not literally.  But figuratively definitely. 

We went from a twohumansfourdogs household in a matter of weeks. Before we knew what had hit us we were parents to a three month old little girl. Things changed so quickly I didn't have time to read any books on child rearing or raising. I winged it. In fact, I still do.
And just as we were settling into a routine of a household with two and a half humans and four dogs we got an sms that would change our lives forever. Again.  It simply read "are you guys still thinking about adopting another baba?"  And so things changed without any warning, or shopping time. Within 72 hours we had a baby boy.

I wasn't big on change.  Growing up we lived in the same house for 20 something years. I moved from my folks' house only when I got married at 26. My then husband and I lived in the same house for four years until we got divorced. I like liked consistency. Now I ebb and flow like the tide. Sometimes I'm like a tsunami.  It changes all the time. It depends on what the situation calls for. The only thing consistent about me now is that I change. Consistently.

Perspectives change. Opinions alter. Goalposts shift further away or move in a lot closer. I used to pray for world peace but then I became a mom and now a squabble free dinner is a score.  Saturdays and Sundays were lazy days spent in bed or on the couch. Leisure time was getting through an entire book in an afternoon. Now a bowel movement without any interruptions from an ankle biter is considered free time.  I loved arty farty movies and analysing them with friends. Now I know who Swiper and Boots are and can count to ten in Spanish.

Before Emma and Ben arrived a quickie was a quickie was a quickie.  Now a quickie can mean anything from a shower to popping out for a haircut or cigarette.  And my husband and I speak in code. A wink means there's a chocolate in the kitchen. Two winks means I'm going to eat mine quickly in the laundry room. Circles of friends have changed and because we adopted two munchkins of colour I get to hang with some incredibly colourful people, like Kagiso Msimango, who shares her experiences of motherhood with Thing 1 and Thing 2.

I loved my life BC (before children) but I love it more BC (because of change). 

Are you a budding writer? Then #LoveChange and win!

BrightRock loves change and now, they’re looking for your big change story. Share your story about your experiences with one of Life’s biggest Change Moments – whether it’s Landing that Job, Tying the knot, Starting a Family or Making a Home – and you could win R2 000 in cash and the chance to become a regular contributor on BrightRock’s exciting Change Exchange 
It’s an asking, learning, sharing, changing space – packed with tips and tools to help people live through, and even love, life’s greatest Change Moments.

Here’s how to win:
Submit your #LoveChange story – of no more than 650 words via the “Your Story” tab on the Change Exchange . Feel free to upload a pic to go with it, or include a link to an Instragram pic or YouTube video. 

You’ll find all the competition rules on the Change Exchange. But get writing now because the #LoveChange entries close 31 Oct 2014. Ts & Cs apply.

I can't wait to read YOUR #LoveChange story xxx