Giant Turtle

My husband and I bought a giant stuffed turtle for our daughter this past week. It’s kind of a mix of a blanket and a pillow, and a stuffed animal and it is incredibly soft.

We brought it home and opened it up and laid it on the floor in our living room. She walked into the room and walked directly over to it like it had been there all along, and she crawled on top of it laying her face right in the middle, and then summoned us to join her. So there we lay on the turtle in the middle of the living room floor, all three of us with our heads side by side. After a few seconds went by she simply got up and directed us off the turtle and onto other activities.

It was one of those moments as a parent of a toddler where a few things run through your mind consecutively; 1) Apparently she likes the turtle, 2) How precious that she wanted us all together on it, 3) It would be weird if someone walked into the room right now, 4) Why don’t we pause and do things like this more often?

For those of you who are not parents, I ask for forgiveness for all the analogies and life lessons share that I am learning as a parent… But there are many and they are layered and they are mind blowingly life changing.

 What makes me write a blog entitled “giant turtle”? Well as I thought about what I could share with others about my angle on life, this giant turtle just kept staring at me (literally). And the reality is that everyday since we bought this turtle a week ago, she has done the very same thing, laying herself down on the middle and then beckoning anyone else in the room to join her for a brief pause…. So what started out as a fun animal for her playroom, became this family bonding, perspective giving turtle.

 Why is it perspective giving? Because it makes me wonder what’s so special about this object and what allows it to draw us together in a way that our couch does not. And I wonder what goes on in my daughters mind as she goes about this ritual each day.

 It makes me pause and be present, quite literally as I lay my head down beside hers and look over at her or up to the ceiling, I am nowhere else but right there on that turtle with my daughter. So why does this stand out to me? I suppose it’s because it is rare that I am present right here in this moment, and not drawn elsewhere in my thoughts.  In our house it is also rare to lay still, we are not what you would term “laid back” kind of people.

 So what is my take away? What is the point of all this? I think it’s that we all need a giant turtle… or at least some equivalent of.  We all need a space that we can pause in, and be present for ourselves and for one another, and we all need the ability to connect, even on the simplest level or form.

I don’t know what your space might look like or what exactly will bring it about for you. But I’m encouraging each of us to create a space, however small, however unique. A space to pause, be present, be still and just BE. With the hope that this short pauses will bring meaning and purpose to all the other long and arduous ones!Image

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Find your Song and Sing it

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Ever just find yourself incredibly frustrated with your own lack of follow through on something that is so unbelievably important to you, but you just repeatedly sabotage your own efforts? How is it that we can want something so badly, and yet thwart our own efforts so precisely that we often can fool ourselves into thinking that it’s not possible to accomplish the goal itself?

 At the end of a very long day of therapy sessions, I found myself spun up, impassioned and simultaneously irritated with the seemingly universal experience of the cyclical pattern of self-sabotage! I ask these questions and make this statement without judgment of self or others, but more with a very exuberant expression of “come on people, we have to figure this out, and get out of our own way”…

 I will be completely candid; It is incredibly disheartening that there is such a global experience of lacking self-acceptance… in addition to having ongoing feelings of discontentedness, and lacking the self esteem to push through and fight for something so worth fighting for! How is it that we have become such a lost and fragmented society of individuals that feel so alone and so inadequate? The world is quite literally at our fingertips and we have very little to hold us back from living life, aside from ourselves… yet so many of us are wrecked with feelings of “I’m not good enough”.

 I say this without judgment and instead with much grace and a hope for strength to push past the negative inner voice of “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t have anything to give” and instead, give like you have THE WORLD to give! Cause you quite literally do have so much to give- to yourself and to others!

 It might sound incredibly cliché, but the reality is that sometimes we have to fake it till we make it…. I don’t intend to say that we should stick our head in the sand or ignore any realities about our lives, or ourselves, but we get so caught up and stuck in our negative spirals of self-doubt and chaos that we miss out on SOOO much potential to actually live our lives!

 The way I see it, the goal should be to live as genuinely and authentically as possible. If there is something that is getting in the way of that for you today, then figure out how to get rid of it or push through it, because it is causing you to live a stunted and unfulfilled life.  A life in which you are held back, restrained and confused when you want to be able to be passionate, engaged with others and interactive in your world.

 If your inner voice is asking you to shrink, or disappear, to be quiet or to hold back, then perhaps it is time to tell that voice to shut the hell up, and show yourself just how present, loud, and alive, you are capable of being.

I have a 16-month-old daughter who just so happens to be really good at letting her presence be know, her opinions and what she would like to contribute. It’s just so natural for her, that we actually designated the song “Roar” by Katy Perry as her theme song. If you haven’t listened to the song, perhaps today is a good day to put it on and turn it up loud and dance~ But regardless of whether this is your song or not, my challenge for you this week is to Find Your Song and Sing It!