Motherhood=Surrender

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Motherhood is teaching me sweet sweet surrender in every moment. What a lesson in impermanence. Where there is growth, there is letting go while trying to hold on.

Motherhood is teaching me surrender. Everyday as my daughter grows, transforms, and changes instantly, I am faced with impermanence. The sacred lesson of the divine feminine is that of surrender. As women, we learn the subtleties of letting go when we give birth, love, raise children, and as our bodies transform with every cycle of the moon. We intimately know the workings of the divine feminine.

Indira has taught me surrender. She’s the greatest teacher as every child is. My daughter’s condition Tuberous Sclerosis Complex has also taught me surrender. Honestly, it would be easy for me to worry every minute of the day about Indira– worry if she is going to have a seizure, or suddenly regress, or start to have behavioral issues, or grow skin lesions on her beautiful face, or be diagnosed with Autism. Yes, that is all possible. I worry she will have a seizure in the middle of the night, or when I am not near her. It’s part of being her mother and a mother. You worry. You cry. You laugh. You practice patience. You let go of trying to control. I surrender to the moment. The moments that are incredible, beautiful, and sweet as well as completely uncomfortable and incredibly challenging.

I feel so deeply that when we allow ourselves to surrender we create space for the present moment to unfold. We allow it to be all that it can be and possibly more.

P.S. Today, I am grateful and feel blessed that my daughter is miraculously beating all the odds. She’s doing well, and is seizure free. She’s smart and engaged in all of life. She’s happy.  I’ll pray for that daily. Blessed be.

Healing Indira

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I am happy to report that I am launching my new website today–Healing Indira. Healing Indira is inspired by daughter who has a rare genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. You can learn more about it on my website. She is my hero and greatest teacher. She is an inspiration to all of us.

Sometimes our greatest challenges in life spark our purpose. May we all spread love, kindness, compassion, and share our gifts with the world.

(You will still find me here writing this blog.)

Ready, Set, GO!

Indira Slides

Indira waits at the top of the slide. Excitement builds in her eyes. Ready, set, go– she flies down the slide. Full of smiles and complete joy. She is ready to go down again. She doesn’t have fear. She is free.

She didn’t plan how she was going to get down the slide. She didn’t think of every little curve or detail of the curve. She didn’t write a detailed plan. Nor, did she sit at the top of the slide waiting for the perfect moment.

The perfect moment is the one you are in.

When we are standing on top of a mountain slope, on the edge of a high diving board, or on the ledge of a trapeze platform ready to fly, or a metaphorical bridge we may stay there awhile contemplating if we are ready or not. Most of the time you can turn around, otherwise, there is only one way to go—down.

We may not ever be ready. And yet, what if everything you have done in your life was guiding you to that perfect moment? What if you are ready? It is scary to take giant-boundless-leaps a là Hanuman.

Lately, I feel stuck on top of the slide, because I am scared—scared to go. I make a long list of excuses. I hole up and hide out. I believe the stories I have created about failure and success. So, I wait a little longer. This is not my normal. Normally, I just go for it, and I am meditating on an abundant result. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t.

Either way, I trust that I am in the perfect moment and a lesson is woven in the waiting to be ready.

We are all READY. We are all in that perfect moment. Ready…Set…Go!

***Coming very soon is a new coaching endeavor I will be working on to help children and families with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Autism. ***

Notes on Healing

As I dove into the energy of the new moon the other day, I realized I wasn’t on time with my blog post. I’ve noticed the synchronicity of my blog and the moon cycle, and I missed it. Life has kept me in its busy flow.

In my own experience and in working with clients as a Reiki Master practitioner, yoga teacher, and health coach the healing journey unfolds. This journey takes us inside ourselves as we begin to unravel and uncover our deepest selves.

A list of reflections came to me over the past few weeks, and I share them with you along with a video of the ocean for all of us ocean-starved.

  1. Our body, mind, spirit, and emotional being want to heal. Our truest nature is vibrant and healthy. Our cells want to thrive and continue thriving. Our DNA wants to be full functioning.
  2. The question, “Do you want to get better?” is often asked. Personally, I like “What part of yourself are you not loving?” When I ask myself this question an answer usually arrives. The question then is what do I do with that answer. This is where actions come in, such as taking more time for myself, asking for help (not easy for me to do by the way), or rewiring my thought patterns.
  3. When we begin to take steps towards loving ourselves, we begin to heal ourselves.
  4. Illness has a purpose. Sounds crazy, I know. When we are tired of being sick, we become empowered to start taking care of ourselves by changing our lifestyle, and learning to take care of ourselves. Being sick is a wake up call to our higher selves.
  5. Healing is like peeling back layers of an onion. You start with the outside and go deeper. You may heal the symptoms of your condition and for many that is huge. However, there are many layers that go beyond the physical symptoms. We also must look at the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects.
  6. The more you identify with your sickness and continue to create a life around that sickness, I believe it continues to live on and perpetuate. By saying, “I am sick” or “I am X condition” we lose ourselves to it and become powerless to our disease.
  7. Get in touch with your body. Listen to it. Settle into it. Learn what it needs. Learn what makes your cells spark and ignite. Learn a practice to ground you into your body—like yoga or qi gong.
  8. The love prescription. I feel deeply that having love in our lives is an important aspect to our healing.
  9. Healing takes time, and often we lose patience with the process. Healing may take years or it may take a little bit longer.

As I finish writing this I am struck with the truth that it may take my adrenal glands years to heal from 2-years of sleepless nights from my daughter not sleeping through the night. And, so it’s time to practice yoga. That will help.

Healing is a process. We all are on the journey together.

2015 in the NOW

Every New Year brings new intentions, and lots of manifesting. Each year, I would craft my manifestations and envision them happening. Why not try to manifest all that you can, right? We create our reality, and we do that moment to moment. Then, the unexpected happens. What’s not written in our yearly entry are the lessons we need to learn, and the parts of our journey that are unexpected and unexplainable. My daughter was my greatest lesson in the unexplainable and unexpected this year. Typically, we ask for awesome experiences, because that’s what we want. Yet, if we only had awesome experiences would we ever learn what we needed, would we ever know light by going through some challenges? My experience has shown me that we learn light through shadow. Light must penetrate the darkness for truth to be revealed.

What if we stopped manifesting and actually started living in the NOW-moment. It is from the present moment that we can create our reality.

This year, I have learned hard lessons, and at times that is incredibly exhausting. I have made a choice to NOT manifest my 2015, and live more in the present because that changes my entire experience.

May the light shine on.

Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate you.

Moving to Acceptance

“We need to learn that obstacles and challenges may always prevail in our lives, but we do not have to hurt.” Sri Swamini Mayatitananda (Maya Tiwari)

Denial seems to be built into the consciousness of our families, our society, and our conscious reality. We would much rather ignore than embrace. We would much rather not accept than accept. Somehow this seems to be much easier, because it requires no work at all, whereas accepting and embracing all of it takes deep inner-work.

Living in denial is not accepting some part of your life that you don’t like or want to be different. Life is miraculously imperfect and perfect.

When your child has something wrong, has an incurable condition, or genetic condition it is extremely difficult to accept. Actually, it is very painful and heartbreaking to accept. How do you accept that your child has a rare genetic condition? I will tell you that accepting that my daughter has Tuberous Sclerosis Complex is a daily practice. I share my story because I know that other parents are facing similar situations. This is not limited to my particular situation. We all at times are in a process of accepting the most challenging parts of our lives.

I have come to the conclusion that being in denial is not helpful for anyone, especially my daughter. If I deny that she has Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, I am not accepting reality and or prepared to face what she may experience with presence and compassion. I have to be present when I sit at the doctor’s office with her, give her vitamins, be attentive when she swims, gets an MRI, and watch her grow into the person she will be.

If I accept, and embrace all of it then I can work with her. I can fight and advocate for her, and work to support, and nourish her. When I accept the situation, I am ready and willing to meet what happens fully. Then, I can do everything in my power to help her heal. Yes, heal. There is no cure for this condition, yet there is a way to change the expression of her condition—I believe.

Some days more challenging than others.  I pray and wish that she didn’t have this condition, and I worry about her daily. I have a choice. I can worry, and deny reality or accept it. Most days, I choose acceptance as challenging as it is. Deep breaths, prayer, meditation, asana, and mantra—it all makes a difference.

The blessing is that my daughter is doing well. She is making progress. She is seizure free, and her lesions have not grown as far as we know. She is strong willed, independent, fiery, and determined. She is not her condition, and none of us are the conditions that we have.

If we are willing to step into empowerment, we can transform our suffering and denial into the light of acceptance where it all can be healed.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you would like to know more about Tuberous Sclerosis, please visit the Tubersous Sclerosis Alliance’s homepage.

The Reminders

sf sunsetApproximately six-months ago we were facing our deepest fears as our 7-month old daughter was being admitted to the hospital. We had no idea what was going to happen. We were scared, bewildered, and traumatized. And, when we received a diagnosis we didn’t understand and only heard the words “rare genetic condition” and “tumors” you can imagine our shock and trauma.

Trauma leaves a reminder. A reminder that rests in you until you can find a way to face and heal that trauma. Some traumatic experiences we may not heal in this lifetime; however, we can begin to unravel and evolve from them.

The reminders for me appear in an empty crib my daughter refuses to sleep in due to her own trauma, the emergency seizure medicine in my purse, the bi-monthly appointments with a development specialist, her ash leaf marks (white skin pigmentation), the supplements, the actual thought that she has benign tumors in her brain, the neurologist appointments, and the yearly MRIs she must endure. For some parents of children with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex they face daily complications like regular seizures, autism, developmental delay, and behavioral issues.

I write this post for everyone that has experienced trauma and other parents in similar situations. My daughter’s diagnosis still remains as a trauma I can’t deny or forget. I have begun to scratch the surface of facing my trauma, and this begins the healing process. I thought that I wouldn’t ever actually write this post. Healing is a private journey and process for many, including myself. The challenge here is that no one can do this healing for you. You have to heal your own trauma. Of course, if it’s too daunting seeking support is best. Honestly, I didn’t want to face the fact that I haven’t even begun to heal and need more time.

Trauma has a way of keeping you in a place of continual fear, and fight or flight. We want so deeply to heal and to completely erase it from our being and memory.

What if we had the ability to transform and evolve from our trauma? What if we became empowered from these very challenging, and traumatic experiences instead of hiding out or feeling victimized by them? I know it’s possible. 

I have watched my daughter at 15-months transform her condition from something potentially debilitating to becoming a healthy, determined, manifesting fire-child. She is making progress daily. Every day that she does well and continues to demonstrate progress, I am grateful, heal a little bit more, and have unwavering faith that my daughter will thrive. She keeps me in grace and in believing that miracles are possible.

Divine Irony

Now, I am at the other side of the table signing paper work, discussing a plan, progress, and goals. How did this happen? Nervously, I laugh and say to the Development Specialist, “I didn’t think I would ever be on this side of things. I used to be the one doing all of the paperwork.” I used to be a special eduction teacher, and now I am the parent of a child that has the potential for developing a developmental delay due to her medical condition (Tuberous Sclerosis). How did this exactly happen? I call this divine irony. I did not know when I signed up to be a special education teacher years ago that all of my skills, training, and experience would lead me to my own kitchen table working with my own daughter.

Honestly, it was the most challenging meeting to be in because this time I was on the other side. I was the parent full of questions, fears, what ifs, contemplating unknowns, and wondering will my child be okay. We are walking directly into the unknown. I deeply know it’s going to be okay, and that she will grow and thrive as best she possibly can. Yet, reality has a way of reminding you to be present. No checking out here–only checking-IN.

I am sitting with divine irony. Divine irony is an unexpected lesson we didn’t foresee coming. We make choices, and take steps in a direction and yet we never truly know where exactly it will lead. I now have one student, and she is my greatest teacher, my heart, and the most precious.

I write this for every parent. Every parent that trusts, loves, supports, and knows the potential of their child. We have to stay strong, courageous, full of conviction, and have faith for our children.

The Why(s) of Life

Bleary-eyed I am pacing the hospital hallway at 3:30AM chanting quietly to myself and sobbing. Children are crying in rooms with closed doors. My baby is one of them, while the doctors put an IV in her little arm.  I am wondering why is this happening.

As a mother, there is nothing worse than your child being sick, hurt, or in pain. Nothing. Why is this happening? I kept asking every being I ever prayed to—why? Only to realize the answer to that why is another why with no definitive answer.

The back-story is that my daughter was having infantile spasms. At first, we were unsure of what she was doing and why. We took a video and went to the doctor. That night we were driving to the hospital. I don’t like hospitals. I don’t buy into Western Medicine. However, Western Medicine serves a purpose at times especially in this case. After many tests, ultrasounds, an MRI (I think this is by far a harrowing experience. I sat in the room with my daughter, and when I came out of there I felt like my entire being had been electric shocked and I was shaking. Maybe the best part was for the techs watching me do pranayama, braid my hair, bumblebee breath with full on digital actions, and try to not go mad in 25-minutes.), Visual EEG (They all probably loved that as I would curl up in the crib to breastfeed my baby. It was full on acrobatics.), EKG, and numerous doctors visiting until we finally received a diagnosis. My daughter has been diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis, which is a rare genetic condition that causes benign tubers or tumors to grow. Hers are in her brain causing seizures. Why would this happen to an innocent child? Why? Honestly, I am still struggling, because it is very unfair and I can’t seem to understand. Yes, I am pissed off at the divine for this happening to my little girl.

We have all been there before. Trying to find answers to why something horribly terrifying and heartbreaking is happening.  Sometimes we receive an answer and other times we do not.

My friend called with the answer. The most perfect answer at that moment. This is a divine orchestration she said, and part of your daughter’s path and something for all of you to learn.

Divine orchestration. I sat with that in silence listening deeply.

The next day my father gave his wisdom, “Love trumps all.”

In these moments it is hard to think that suffering can be divinely orchestrated. We may not know and ever be able to understand why something happens. What I do know is that no matter what happens love helps us to overcome adversity and that adversity strengthens us.

All we have is TODAY and it is divinely orchestrated.

**Prayers for my baby girl and our family are welcome. For it is the power of prayer that has gotten me through as well as breathing, mantra, pranayama, practice, chocolate, the love that is overflowing from our community, and my daughter’s smile. **