Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's that Time of the Year

I am so in love with the holiday season. This time of the year makes me feel so warm and at peace. I gaze at my Christmas tree every time I walk by it. I always think that my tree is more perfect and beautiful every year (even though I am quite sure it is always the same). I light candles in my house daily that fill the air with a comforting scent. I start decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. Not because I am in some sort of time crunch, but because I truly want an entire month to enjoy the decorations.

I hate shopping which is probably the only downside to the holiday, but I enjoy giving presents. It is probably the only time of the year when I am mildly content visiting stores and braving longer than usual lines. My favorite part of the gift giving is the wrapping. There are few things I find more enjoyable than wrapping a present and tying it with a ribbon or bow. While I am often criticized for my "tough to unwrap presents" (I use way too much tape), I still wrap each gift with the same amount of attention and detail...OCD? :)

It is also the time of the year when I am most happy to be a teacher of young children. They bring the spirit of the holiday season to the surface. I love watching their faces as I read classic Christmas stories such as my personal favorite "The Polar Express". While I have been fielding the "is Santa real" questions since December 1st (the official start of Christmas if you are in first grade), I still bask in each day and feel rejuvenated under their excitement.

There are so many aspects to this time of the year I wish I could harness and bring to the other eleven months. Maybe that will be my New Year's resolution (see previous posts for my feelings on resolutions). I will light candles more...decorate for other with less animosity...the possibilities are endless. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008



You have to...

trust in the unseen,

remember the good times in the bad,

read between the lines,

have faith in others,

rely on your honest heart,

put down your guards,

realize your past is not your present,

go blindly forward,

Hold on to HOPE,

and embrace your dreams. must take the quantum leap to where life's true beauty lies.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In the Womb

Through he multitude of readings I have done on birth and fetus development, I have always been amazed at what a baby "learns" in the womb. Language development begins, a baby can "listen" and possibly later recognize music played frequently, and can find comfort in the voices of his or her parents. While I know that much of a child's personality is genetic, I have always been curious whether a mother's attitude or outside experiences while pregnant influences the baby's personality. For example, a mother going through emotional times while pregnant may have a very needy child, or an extremely active mother may have a baby that is strong and independent, while a laid back mother may have a baby that is easy going and more accepting of change. So, when one wants a question answered, where do they turn? To the wealth of information resting at my fingertips on the web.

The information I found was not plentiful, but was interesting. Even the studies on animal development were intriguing, such as that if a male mouse is positioned between two female mice in the womb then he tends to have a higher sex drive than if he were between two males. As for humans, it is fairly common knowledge that a woman's stress affects her pregnancy, but to what degree? Other than the potential health factors, it can also lead to a baby developing a level of receptors that make them more susceptible to stress later in life. Also, stress during pregnancy can lead to learning problems and anxiety issues.

But, other than stress, I didn't find much research on personality. I truly believe that there is a connection between a mother's personality during pregnancy and the influence it has on a fetus developing everything, including their own little personality. Is there anyone out there that has read or heard of anyone studying this phenomenon that could enlighten me? Even better, any mothers who believe the personalities of their children match their personality during pregnancy?

Friday, October 24, 2008


The word "trust" is a five letter word that holds so much significance and meaning. Sometimes it is used not from the heart, but rather as a word people need to hear. The Webster dictionary definition of trust states that it is "reliance on the integrity, ability, etc., of a person or thing. A confident expectation; hope". The words that struck me in that definition are "integrity" and "confident".

Trust was a big issue with me in the past because I could never really trust anyone. If it were a guy I was dating, I either didn't trust him to remain faithful or I did not trust him with my heart. I remember talking to my mom many years ago about jealousy and trust, and she told me that it just has to be. In my young mind I could not understand how it could "just be". I felt that trust was ever evolving, adapting, and changing with time. Trust with me was so difficult to gain, and so easy to lose.

Alas, my mom's wisdom has overcome. You can not be with someone without trust. I am no relationship expert, but after a slew of bad relationships and a failed marriage, I am bound to gain an amount of my own wisdom along the way. I trust Justin with everything. I know this is the first time I have ever honestly said that, and meant it. Many times I have said "I trust you," and I wasn't lying to them, but rather lying to myself. I have learned that things will either happen or not happen, and it is not within your control. An outsider can not force things to not occur.

I am so much happier now, because I have finally "let go." I am confident about the integrity of the person I am with, and that has made all the difference.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Heart

My heart is straining

to hold

all the LOVE

I have

for YOU.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Light

Chasing the Light

If I were a moth
I'd fly to the light
that I see within you
It's the only light
I know that
will never singe
my delicate wings.

-Liz Flynn
Grade 10

From: Ten-Second Rainshowers

I hate the fact that I know my past still brings me down. I know there is still a fear in my heart that boils to the surface every now and then. While I am aware of its presence, I am unable to pacify the feelings. I hold these fears close to my heart and in the back of my ever-wandering mind. But, there are times when that light shines through. I was confronted with one of my latent fears, and it brought about hope and an immense amount of comfort. The words exchanged put my queasy heart to rest. One of these days I know that my past experiences will no longer influence my present. He has proven, time and time again, that he won't "singe MY delicate wings".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I HATE this kind of Day

When I went on a winery trip in July, I spoke with another teacher during lunch. She also taught at a title 1 school, but was desperately trying to go somewhere else. I told her that there was no other type of school I would rather teach in, and her comment was "well you must be the type of person that doesn't let things get to you". To be honest, her statement angered me. But, I know that only a certain type of person continues to teach in low income schools, and that is because they love it.

I thought about that statement today as I was leaving work. I had one of those days that I just hate. I work in a transient area where only about half of my class from last year actually returned to enter second grade. Unfortunately, I am used to not seeing my former students. In my own mind, I have created a better life for them. I imagine that they have moved on to better things. That is the only way I can be...hopeful. Today is one of those days when my imaginary world took a hit of reality. I spoke with a principal of one of my former students who was desperately seeking information. The news I received from him was disheartening. My student was doing worse...much worse. I actually wrote about this student in a prior post because I was so fearful of what his future would hold.

It is times like this when that woman's statement affects me even more. My heart just crumbled at this news, as if everything that was accomplished last year was for nothing. I wish I could just take a half day and go there. Maybe seeing me as a piece of a "better" time will not make him feel so lost and alone. It also infuriates me that this child or any child has to deal with an unfair life...a deck of cards they were dealt for which they have to try and make work. He has so much potential and I can just see it all slipping away.

There have been children like him in the past, and I am sure there will be more in the future, but it does not help to ease my frustration on this kind of day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Think about this Quote...

He or she "never suffered from the trajedy of perfection". from "Dexter"

The Art of Belly Dance

I started belly dancing five months ago to get out and try something new. I had no idea at the time just how much I would enjoy it. Belly dancing is like no other type of dance. It combines tradition, a good work out, and a celebration of womanhood. While the dance may appear sexual in nature, its purpose goes much deeper. Women learn to feel more comfortable with their bodies and a firm inner confidence begins to build. The dance is difficult, and I never thought I was a good dancer, but I am on the verge of entering the intermediate class. I guess dancing in front of the mirror, in the car, while cooking, and brushing my teeth has its benefits!

My instructor assists in hosting a live belly dance show once a month at Positive Vibe Cafe. I watched my first show there a week ago. The atmosphere is incredibly warming! The restaurant prides itself on healthy living and training those who are mentally and/or physically challenged. The dancers moved among tables and chairs in full belly dance dress. It was very intimate and the crowd was very interactive. Upon leaving I was so wired and could not help but move my hips. :) I recommend that everyone who has an open mind, an appreciation for dance, or a communal with women to attend. Not only are you supporting a great cause, but also experiencing an ancient dance style reborn.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Doula in Limbo

This is officially my hundredth post. I feel like I should be writing about something incredibly significant and life-altering, but I guess I might have covered that on my 99th post. :) Anyway, I am writing because I feel like I am in a state of doula limbo right now. I completed my certification in January, but have not attended a birth since December. I did have opportunities, but while finishing my master's degree, I could not accept any clients. Now I am finished, and the feeling of being in between my calling is weighing on me. I have tossed around various ideas such as becoming a childbirth educator, but I am unable to afford the training right now.

I had previously joined a Richmond Yahoo doula group in order to network, and read about current issues in birth. The group has left me fairly disheartened. They started charging an annual fee to belong to the group. While the amount is not much, it is the principle that bothers me. The main point of the fees is so women who need or want a doula for their birth, but can not afford one, will be compensated through a joint doula fund. I really find this ridiculous. I have actually never charged for my doula services. At first it was because I didn't feel comfortable charging without a lot of experience, but then it turned into the fact that I could not refuse a client my services if they wanted a doula but did not have the money. I just can't understand why other local doulas couldn't offer a free birth every now and then to also support women in the area in lieu of a fee? I was approached by someone who is looking for doulas to do volunteer births. This organization provides services to women who would otherwise be alone for their birth. I really feel like this is more of the path I must walk. The informational meeting was pushed back until October, so hopefully the meeting will shed some extra light.

My other dilemma is with my family's birth stories. I have been working on them for a couple years now, and finally got back into making final changes, and doing some of the suggestions made by Penny Simkin. The purpose of the stories is to provide each contributing woman a copy of our family's stories for preservation. The only issue I have is whether to leave the project as that..a family birth memoir or also pursue other suggestions such as submitting them to a mother's magazine. I am still just as interested and intrigued in birth and my work as a doula, but I am facing some confusion as where to take it. I know I only have a few readers, but any suggestions or guidance would be appreciated.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Universe

I have always believed in the saying that "everything happens for a reason". That people come into your life for a reason, and every event has a purpose. I am not a religious person at all, but I am extremely spiritual and have faith in the unknown and unseen. I think back to the random nature of events in my life, and how they have now perfectly aligned themselves.

I have hit a new wave in my life where everything difficult or hard has resulted in much happiness. I am witnessing the frayed memories of my life being sewn together in a slow, yet purposeful manner. The emotions I am having are so new to me that I am not even sure what to do with the feelings I am having. I have gone through such a long road where I began to anticipate every pothole in my path. I never saw the "road crew" out to mend the bumps, and I worried that I would only experience more downs than ups.

But, I was wrong! I am living a life now that I have always wanted. Personally and professionally I have blossomed, and yet smelled each rose along the way. I find myself sometimes turning around amazed at the brighter path I am now on.

My deepest "universe connection" of the moment has been with my doula work. My friend Patience welcomed me to attend the birth of her first daughter. The experience itself was life changing, but the carpet had only begun unrolling. Patience suggested that I look into the possibility of becoming a doula. I was drawn to the art of birthing, and the service of a doula. I attended several births along the way, but worried that I may not have enough births to complete my certification. Then my dad mentioned my name to his pregnant hair stylist. She ended up accepting me as a client. She had a beautiful and touching birth, and we remained in contact long after. She was the one that introduced me to Justin. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, it was completely wonderful and random. Having met someone as amazing as him is one piece of the happiness I am experiencing.

The "universe" is a wide-open space where infinite hope and possibilities lie. Goals settle in with the stars, and nightly dreams are achieved. During part of my life, I felt as though I was only treading water to stay afloat, and now I feel like I am floating.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

White House Babies

I was laying in bed with my boyfriend while he showed me all the features of his new phone, when an option for "today in history" appeared on the screen. We began reading about all the events that occurred on September 9th. One blurb caught my attention, which mentioned that the daughter of President Cleveland was born in the White House on that day in 1893. I am fascinated with birth, and homebirths especially, and I had never really thought about White House homebirths before. I have read and researched about the history of birth, so I should have assumed that because of the time that all babies were born in whatever "home" the woman lived in. I am not quite sure why this concept is so thrilling to me, but it led me to further research.

I could only find one article dedicated to White House births which was originally published in 1908. Esther Cleveland was the only baby to be born to a President within the White House. I am sure this is because of the typical age of most Presidents, but the rest of my findings were equally interesting. As of the article's date, there had been less than twenty births in the White House during its one hundred and eight years of existence. The other babies born within the White House were actually grandchildren of the Presidents. Presidents such as John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, General Grant, and Andrew Jackson were among those in attendance for the births of their grandchildren. Imagine entering the world in the Exectutive Mansion among hisorical greatness!

The White House has always felt like a sterile, yet historically signifigant building that I could never really consider a "house" or a "home". But, the idea of families coming together through a birth, even in the White House, made me feel differently. No matter who you are, where you live, or what station in life you find youself, childbirth is still the raw and emotional connection that binds people and families.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Beginning of a New School Year

Unless you are a teacher, I truly do not believe one can understand the amount of stress associated with the beginning of a new school year. Last week I was panicked that my room would not be ready, and I would not be fully equipped to accept 20 new students into my classroom. I had my mini-breakdown on the phone with my boyfriend. I know it was something he had not seen from me before, and I truly didn't understand why I was so emotional, but I knew I had to release it. This week has left my body exhausted like I have spent every day competing in a triathlon. As soon as my mind is able to shut down for the day, my body just goes with it. I am not sure why a new school year is so difficult, and I know after my years of teaching that everything will plateau in a month, but October seems so far away right now. It might be because of the intricate details I must attend to such as teaching them how to line up, walk through the halls, and use their pencil box properly. It is trying to figure out what makes every child tick, and how I can relate to them, and better instruct them for the rest of the year. So far (fingers crossed) I have no major behavior issues in my class. This is the first year in a long time that I have not had either a clinically psychotic child, or a gang member in my class (all joking aside). I find this so refreshing, but I am afraid to get too excited because the population of my classroom is forever changing. I have an adorable group of children that have so much personality and so many gifts that will help to make my year a unique and special one. I look forward to their hugs each day, and their smiling faces when we are doing something enjoyable. I also look at the first students I had at my current school, now in third grade, always saying hi to me and giving me hugs. I feel so much older when I see how grown up they are. I know that next week will be better, and the weeks after that will improve once we all figure things out. So, if you see a teacher today, give her a reassuring smile because she is surely in need of an energy boost.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My inner child

Everyone has an inner child that still enjoys the things they did when young. I personally loved art and coloring, and recently had a strong urge to color in a coloring book. I watch my students color all the time. I sometimes can't understand why they just scribble all over their pictures, because coloring was always my favorite part of the work. I actually received a couple coloring books for my birthday, and one was Cinderella! :) Today I had free time (since I have no more school work) so I sat down and began coloring a picture. I swear I spent a couple hours trying to stay in every line, and fill every nook and cranny with color. I love taking a black and white drawing and filling it with whatever colors I desire...much like painting the world through my eyes. It felt amazing when I finished the picture! It was truly therapeutic for me to reconnect with my inner child. As corny as story lines for coloring books usually are, I loved what it said on the picture I colored, "She found true love with her prince because she had always kept a beautiful dream in her heart". How incredible is that?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Seeing the light

There are many things for me to be thankful for right now...finishing my master's degree, my loving boyfriend, and the kindness of strangers. I went to see Dave Matthews this weekend, and it was an amazing experience! I had never seen them live before, and I am eager to see them again. With the thousands and thousands of people there, the concert still felt like an intimate jam session that you were lucky enough to attend.

Reeling from an excellent concert, I was very excited to return, and finish the last of my school work and revel in FINALLY finishing my master's degree, the day before my birthday none-the-less. But, fate decided to throw a bit of a wrench in my best laid plans. I was in a car accident Saturday night. It was my first when driving, and a scene that I had previously imagined in what-if scenarios came true. Of course, my car had to be towed, and I am sitting here at my house with no transportation...waiting for the claims handler to call me back (LONG WAIT). But, the accident could not have been more comforting. Nobody was injured. The police officers were gentle and helpful as I stood there shaking like a leaf. Many people stopped to help by calling the police, and being witnesses to the accident not being my fault. I felt so blessed to have the support of complete strangers. Justin came to the scene to pick me up and help out as much as he could. As soon as I saw his truck pull up, I felt safe and not so alone. He has been such a blessing in my life, and just when I needed him the most, he was there without hesitation.

When everything seems to be going perfectly, it is hard to stay upbeat when a curve ball is thrown. But, it was easier in this situation for me to "see the light" because of the kindness I felt first hand. No matter what negative signs of humanity are on display in the world, I was witness to the beauty humanity still brings, and for that I am thankful.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Healthy Dose of Disorder

I guess I have always been an organizer, or rather effective at time management. Especially in the past two years, I have had to plan each week just to get everything done. I didn't realize how much the organization had seeped from my professional to personal life. Routine and remedy in the times of chaos. My boyfriend, while organized, lets a little disorder shine through. I will perfectly place the pillows on his bed, he will watch me and then roughly dismantle my assembly. All I can do is smile. He recognizes my compelling urge to straighten and have things in their correct place. He makes a point to draw attention to my analness, and redirect my focus. Personally, I love it! :) While it may seem frustrating to some, it is exactly what I need. It is difficult when habits form, and routines are established to break away and just let go. Most of the time I do not realize what I am doing until it comes apart. He taught my "old" dog a new trick, and it seems that he is teaching me one as well...the art of healthy disorder.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I feel...

like I have the walls of Jericho...

Embracing the White Flag

It was in that moment,
when the crickets mingle with
the night
that her feelings were revealed.
To her heart alone,
the quiet stillness
in turn
She listened,
as the sweet music
grew louder...
She no longer could ignore,
the naked state
her heart lies in,
so vulnerable and exposed.
Realizing her protective guards have left,
she reluctantly surrenders.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Love this Quote...

One of the challenges I face as a teacher is dealing with prejudice among my students. They come to school filled with the "knowledge" their parents/siblings have imbedded in them. One of my greatest joys is teaching them otherwise...

"Prejudices, it is well known,
are most difficult to eradicate from the heart
whose soil has never been loosened
or fertilized by education;
they grow there, firm as weeds among stones".
-Charlotte Bronte

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Magic of Weddings

I was in my first wedding as a bridesmaid this weekend, and while stressful, was so much fun! I was lucky enough to have a wonderful friend getting married, amazing bridesmaids to enjoy the festivities with, and the best date ever. :) I have to admit it...I am a sucker for weddings. Not in the "every little girl dreams of weddings" way, but because it is magical. In the crowd, married couples reminiscence about their special day or share a tear when "their" song is played. People smile much more, laugh, hold hands, and let loose. Weddings are warm, and a celebration of the most powerful

My friend had much turmoil leading up to her wedding, so much that I worried the wedding may never take place. My heart went out to her with so much faith that everything would align in the right way for her. I must admit, I had my reservations...but in that moment when she walked down the aisle and I saw her soon-to-be husband's face, I melted. You could feel the love radiating from the two of them.

My friend Pache is an incredible "feeler" and always seems to know the pure emotional nature of people and situations. She attended my wedding, and later...after the separation admitted to me that something was missing from my wedding. In abbreviation, she explained that the "love" could not be felt and I have to agree.

As a follower of love, I picture my next wedding to be very different. I know that it will be intimate and loving and everyone in attendance will feel it. People will share in the happy aura that can not be avoided, and the magic will begin.

Monday, July 14, 2008

So this is how it feels...

I have written many posts about my trials and tribulations of dating. It was hard getting back into the dating scene after my separation and divorce. I felt like a fish out of water, still trying to figure out what was missing. The men that I dated were other way to say it. Some worse than others, but each time I felt like finding that someone I could connect with would be impossible.

I had pretty much sworn off dating when I received an email from a past doula client with a subject line reading "I want to introduce the two of you". The email said, "I just had the 2 of U, POP in my head @ the same time, while I was dosin' off just now ! PLEASE give the other a few e-mail's back & forth @ least !"

I had never been fixed up before, so I was pretty hesitant. But, since I had never been fixed up, I thought I would give it a shot. I was pretty surprised...actually, really surprised. Our first date was on a Sunday, I thought it would be a dinner thing and that would be it...but we ended up playing pool until the place closed. The conversation was incredible, and I felt those butterflies that I thought had disappeared. We have been dating ever since...

While this is a new relationship with so much more to learn about each other, I feel like I have already been taught many things. I now know what was missing...missing from my marriage, and my subsequent dating experiences. Being with him has made me realize what I should have been looking for the entire time. There are aspects of our relationship such as open and honest communication, respect, understanding, and trust that (upon pondering) were absent in my past relationships entirely. So now I know how it feels...when the "walls" come down.
Ironically, my client's new beginning also led to my own.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Celebration of an Introvert

While I know that I am an introvert, and appreciate that aspect of my personality, I have always been a little envious of extroverts. I appreciate their ability to strike up conversation with anyone, anywhere, and at anytime. It actually amazes me...But, I recently read an entry on a birth blog about a book called "The Introvert Advantage". While I do not have the book, I did some research for articles that may summarize the is part of one of the summaries I found...

"Granted, extroverts are in the majority, but sixty percent of the intellectually gifted, including Albert Einstein and Bill Gates, are introverts. A society run by introverts wouldn't be such a bad place: it would probably have shorter workdays, more emphasis on contemplation, less interpersonal conflict, greater scientific advancement, and leaders who actually reflect upon the long-term effects of their decisions before they make them".

Hmmm...sounds pretty darn good to me! So today, I am going to do a little introvert celebrating! :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Under the Surface

I went on a wine tour this past weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday. During the picnic lunch there was small talk conversation as to how everyone else knows the birthday girl. I said that I teach with her, and then one woman said, "I am a teacher too," we started chatting. She immediately began talking about how much she wants to leave her school, and how tired she is of teaching "those" type of children. Then she remarked how my school is also a low income school and questioned my take. I told her that I love teaching "those" type of children. She commented back that I "must not be one of those people that lets it get to me". Official end of the conversation...

I thought back to everything in the past six many times I have cried, how my heart swells at their words spoken, and how much I miss them even just after a weekend. I know I am not one of those people where things don't "get to me". Those of you who read my posts know the many entries I have posted about teaching. I also began analyzing what the differences in us as teachers could be where one would love it, and one would hate it. We both got into the teaching profession because we love teaching but, there is truly a difference in the teachers who teach at low income schools and those that do not. My idea? I think it is because the teachers that do know they are helping the children more by being there than by not. Sure it breaks our hearts on a consistent basis, but sometimes we are the only bright spots in a child's day.

If you were to step into the teacher's lounge during lunch with my teammates you would overhear us talking about our students, parents, and sometimes administration. I must admit, if I were an outsider I would question whether we liked teaching at all from our conversation. But there is a hidden understanding there. Teachers who teach in low income schools, especially for over three years, understand what each other is feeling even if the spoken words are not matching. We all care for them so much that by mini-venting, and joking we are able to alleviate some of that stress. Most conversations turn into light-hearted discussions, and that is our refuel for the rest of the day.

In my very biased but accurate opinion...I think some of the best teachers can be found in low income schools...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My inner Empath

I believe that everyone has a special gift that is their own. It is something that if harnessed can add so much beauty to life. I have been blessed to see some of these "gifts" in my friends and family. As ridiculous as this may sound, I swear that I have a little empath in me. I will get feelings when something just isn't right. I will have dreams, and wake up knowing something happened. I feel other people's emotions in the pit of my stomach. In fact, when the emotions of others pile up, it almost brings me down.

I want to help those who are hurting, and assist in fixing anything that may be wearing on their hearts. But, sometimes I just can't, and I find that so frustrating. Since my last post, one of my friends sent me a letter like no other I have received. He has always been a rock for me. One that I never imagined could break, but he broke down in the letter. I can't do anything directly to help because of his current circumstances. I could feel his pain through the paper, and I just started crying. Another of my close friends called me today, and it is as if her whole world is crumbling. I tried everything I could to give her focus and peace, but my words could not bring her comfort.

I have lit my hope candle more times this week than I have since I purchased it. The candle has been an extension of my heart, when I just can't bear all the weight. I know that some of you have a candle of your own, and I would love for you to light it for my dear friends who are suffering right now.

Whether I have an inner empath or not, I know that the ability to feel and empathize with other people is a raw and amazing aspect of human nature.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Duel Blogging

Please understand that my blog is meant for a variety of things. I use it to talk about my joys, recent events, my work, passions, and occasionally to vent. I have always been more comfortable as a writer than a speaker.

Well, I wrote a while back about someone that wrote a blog entry on their MySpace page about me, basically cutting me off as a friend because I wasn't returning phone calls (the friendship was briefly mended). I am the first to admit, I am terrible with calling. I am not sure why, because I think about it and my friends pretty much every day, but I get so consumed in life's little tasks that I do not call as much as I should. But, with that being said, this person it not one of my close friends. I think that he wanted more out of the friendship than I wanted. For various reasons, we would never work out together, and I think my opinion on that left him a little more bitter.
It seems fairly hypocritical that I am writing a blog when that is what bothered me, but at the same time, this is where I lay my emotions to rest.

Anyway, he struck again, this time deeper. I know that I should ignore it, and not let it bother me, but my heart is pretty sensitive, and things like this hurt. He did not use my name in the entry, but it still feels like he put me on display to publicly humiliate me. Why not send it in an email? If he really needed to get all these feelings off his chest, then do so...I understand that, but why in a blog entry where he states that he knows I am probably going to read it (I keep up with all my friend's blogs).

Here is a brief exert from the lengthy entry:

"It sucks, but the way she handled it made it very clear the value she places on our relationship, whatever is left of it. She won't return my phone calls, won't respond to texts, etc. She was full of excuses a couple of months ago about being busy; I just hope I never get 'too busy' to not return my friends' phone calls".

Those who know me, know what type of person I am. My close friends have always remained next to me, without even a question as to the quality of our relationship. I may be terrible at calling, I may be delinquent in answering emails, and I may be "busy" but, I am not a person who does not care. I am not a person that hurts someone else in order to make myself feel better. I am sorry that he felt the need to write, and I hope that now he feels better, and finds the peace he desires.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Refueling the Spirit

I traveled to Cumberland, VA today to do some sunbathing and have some much needed R&R. Last night I was reading through my International Doula newsletter, and in the back a woman wrote an "Ode to ME" mostly about the emotions and feelings a doula has after leaving a long birth. But, after a long school year, and because of my mounting anxiety for the last 6 weeks of my master's program, it felt relevant and beautiful.

"I realize that today is a time dedicated to me so as I rest today, I will again journey inside my heart to refill it with joy and love, first for myself and then to share with others when the time is right".

I think everyone...and some people in particular...need to take time for yourself and "refuel" your heart.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting on my Soapbox

I tend to talk a lot about birth, pretty much to anyone that will listen. :) Says a lot for someone that has actually never given birth, but I am passionate none-the-less. I was checking my email the other day and saw a headline from the American Medical Association (AMA) basically slamming Ricki Lake for her views on home birth and her movie "The Business of Being Born". It has fired up the AMA and the OBGYNs so much that they are now trying to pass legislation against home birth. Please see this link to their resolutions (number 205)... Of course, there was an eloquent response given by Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein, and Jennifer Block here
The response touched on this issue, but I want to vent a little more. I believe that women have the right to be informed and given choices when it comes to birth. If a woman decides that a hospital birth is right for them, then that is perfectly fine, this is not about hospital bashing. It's as though the AMA is trying to "control" choices that are not theirs to make. Women have the right to try and have the birth experience they want to have. It saddens me that big business is trying to take away yet another thing that cultivates the human experience. I have not been blessed (yet) with having children, but from seeing a home birth first hand I know what a phenomenal experience it is. Maybe the doctors should pay a visit, and see how powerful birth can be!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...right now :)

As a different time of the year unfolds, I find myself finding peace, comfort, and enjoyment in various things...these are my current favorites.
  • Indigo Girls Live (outdoor concerts in general)
  • The sun (on a low humidity day)
  • Belly dancing
  • Talking to an equally busy friend
  • Grilling
  • Long showers
  • Candles
  • Cards
  • The smile of a child
  • Popsicles (slightly obsessive)
  • Tomatoes and mozzarella
  • The outdoors
  • The visiting butterflies
  • Wine
  • Hanging out with those people that warm my heart

I hope each of you are finding your summer pleasures.

Monday, June 16, 2008


It's that time of the year again, when school lets out for the summer. It is always a mad dash to the end, so I rarely have time to reflect until I am taping that last box or covering that last bookshelf. I spent the day finishing packing up my room because I was very behind this year. I became frustrated when I saw that some of my students had not cleaned out their desks, after being asked multiple times. I look at those children and sometimes wonder if I had any impact on them through the course of the year. After six years of teaching, I have roughly been part of a hundred children's lives. It's amazing to think just how many children will walk in and out of my classroom door over time. They move on to another grade, another teacher, and another piece of their life, which has basically just begun. I get very nostalgic at the end of the year, because I know that my time with them is over, and a new school year waits. Every year is so different, because every day brings something new.

They leave with so much potential, and so much vitality for life. They are strong and resilient, and carry such a deep amount of love in their hearts. On the last day of school a little girl wrote me a note which said "I am like your daughter". That is how I always see my students. In ways they are a product of me. My ability to teach and coach them through life's experiences, as well as helping to instill values and morals do shape a part of them.

So, as I sat in front of those messy desks, I wondered what their future desks would look like. Will they learn to listen the first time? Will they become more organized and responsible? I may not have been able to develop those characteristics within them this year, but I am hopeful that the seed was planted.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Doula Birth

I recently had a conversation with one of my friends about a doula being present during labor and birth. Most, who are familiar with a doula's profession, understand that a doula is not meant to be there in a medical capacity. Doulas provide the type of care that is absent in most hospital, attention, and compassion. I have been reading The Birth House by Ami McKay, and shortly after the conversation with my friend, I stumbled on this passage...

The conversation was between a doctor and a midwife during the time when midwives and homebirths were being replaced by hospital care...

"The danger's in forgettin' who's really in charge. Science don't know kindness. It don't know kindness from a cabbage," Miss B. interrupted.
The doctor raised his voice. "Science is neither kind nor unkind, Miss Babineau. Science is exact."
"Exact? Exact don't do a woman no good when she's wailin' for her mama."

Doulas help in providing that kindness...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Cheese to my Macaroni

I watched "Juno" tonight for the first time. I absolutely adored the movie, and even shed a few tears that rarely surface because of a movie.

It made me think back to my previous "prince charming" posts. I have never pictured my perfect mate to ride up on a white horse and sweep me off my feet. I don't believe in perfection, as the imperfections in a person can be so sweet. I picture my "prince charming" to be more like the movie stated..."the cheese to my macaroni". The person that completes me, and always sees me for me.
The father in the movie gave an incredible dialogue sequence that sent me running for my pen and paper...

"Find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty..handsome...what have you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That's the kind of person that's worth staying with".

Let me introduce you to the PERFECT definition of my true prince charming.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Orgasmic Birth

I received this message through my doula network, and am quite excited to see this aired...

"Exciting news! On May 16, “20/20,” the acclaimed ABC-TV news show is dedicating it's show to Orgasmic Birth as part of its Mother’s Day program. Debra Pascali-Bonaro, producer/director of the new film Orgasmic Birth, will be interviewed, as will women’s health advocate Christiane Northrup, MD, ( Mother-Daughter Wisdom and Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom), and Amber Hartnell, whose orgasmic birth is featured on 'Birth As We Know It' and 'Orgasmic Birth.'

I first heard of orgasmic birth while reading "Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina May Gaskin. There were stories and pictures related to orgasmic birth that made me a pretty firm believer in the possibility. I also ran across a youtube video of a birth that is a pretty good visual representation of an orgasmic birth, but also how beautiful birth can be.

I have included the link to the video here. Please be warned that it is a graphic birth video (black and white, but no censorship). But if you are a birth junkie like me, brave, or just curious...I would check it out!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Quote Me

I have been obsessed with quotes for some time now. In the past...I bought multiple quote books, searched for quotes to go with my poetry, and found inspiring quotes to go with my family's birth stories. Now, I am eager to rip off my daily calendar to discover what hidden quote treasure lies underneath.

The other day I was driving home from work, and I heard the tail end of a song on the radio. I had no idea who the musicians were (I also didn't care for it), but the song ended in a quote that really struck me. I tried desperately to remember the quote word for word, but by the time I got home, only bits remained. Finally, yesterday I heard the entire song, and raced to get my pen and paper so that I could document the quote. The song was by Danity Kane (must be why I didn't know it), and I believe that the quote is spoken by none other than Sean "Diddy" Combs (if I am not mistaken).

The line said:

"Sometimes you have to go through the pain to experience the joy".

Right's all about the JOY!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Self induced peer pressure

Still on my "hopeless romantic high" from a couple posts ago, I decided to watch "Enchanted" on Sunday. I heard so many amazing things about this movie through word-of-mouth and on a friend's blog. I made a pack with myself that I would finally get around to watching it when it came on demand. I must say...I throughly enjoyed myself. It was the definition of a "feel good" movie with several cute lines that made me smile from the inside out. The movie not only brought back the whole "Cinderella vibe" for me, but it also made me think a lot about past relationships. The "feeling" you get when you are interested in someone is like no other. The movie highlighted that feeling, and made a point to express the significance of its existence. Sometimes that feeling is just not there, while other times people can push the feeling aside with excuses. Of course, that did not happen in the movie, because in all good fairy tales, they must live "happily ever after". It is not the type of movie that I would usually watch, but I am glad that "I fell into" the movie by self induced peer pressure.

Not sure how long I will continue on this "so optimistic about the potential for love" kick, but the movie did make me think of the song "Realize" by Colbie Caillat. I would post the lyrics, but the last time I went searching for song lyrics I downloaded a million, if you haven't heard it, I would suggest listening to it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Heart

The pounding beats of emotion.


An African drum
dancing with each breath.


Keeping time with the moment.


to the sweet stillness
of my heart.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Hopeless Romantic

A recent conversation got me thinking...

I want to preface this post by telling a story...when I was teaching kindergarten, a student asked "Miss Pack, what is the thing you wanted most as a little girl?" I thought about this question, and remembering my obsession with Cinderella, I said "to find my prince charming." Weeks later, the same little boy colored and cut out a picture of a prince, and said "I just wanted to make sure that you would get your prince charming." Of course, I melted.

I have never lost my desire or hope to find my prince. My dating and marriage history has been pretty disastrous to say the least. I truly have every reason to swear off the process of finding a soul mate, but I haven't. I sometimes wonder what keeps me going, and what makes me think that there is someone out there perfect for me. I KNOW what I want, but knowing and achieving are two different things. I can be such a wuss at times, but I have never been afraid to put my heart out there time and time again. I am a risk-taker when it comes to dating. I am willing to at least try, and see what happens. Sometimes, a wonderful relationship can be lurking under one's nose, or waiting around the next corner, and ignoring it could be yet another missed opportunity.

As the saying goes..."it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved before". I agree fully. Remembering those feelings of first meeting someone, and the happiness of a new relationship, aides in my determination and drive. Not all relationships are going to be good, but the end result has the potential to be so magical. I would rather try, and get hurt time and time again, rather than never experience the emotions of love and intimacy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Poems for my Mood

"The lost child cries, but still he catches fireflies". -Ryusui Yoshida
The Sun Pulls the Weeds
A lonely Coke can lies forgotten
in the grass;
the sun pulls the weeds up over
its rusted body.
A pine tree stands nearby,
its branches like outstretched arms;
it serves as a perch for a misplaced robin,
who calls for its mate.
The breeze blows over me,
lifting my thoughts to the days ahead.
-Christopher Lenat (1970-1991) Grade 12
The Explorer
The traveler in me awakens
As I sleep at night
Without burden of my body
My soul can wander
To faraway and distant places
Within myself
-Tia Witherspoon Grade 9
There's a feeling inside
me that has no end.
There's a feeling inside
me that never began.
-Pia Wright Grade 8

Monday, March 31, 2008

Amazing Strength

I am writing this post because I need an outlet. I have been crying off and on since I got home from tutoring today. These tears are not for myself, but instead because I am so angry and sad. Before spring break the parents of one of my students were reported to social services. I support reporting families 100%, but for some reason I was very nervous about this one. I came to the decision that I was so anxious because I would not see him for ten days, and the parents ALWAYS know how the information got to the schools. I worried about him all of break, and was actually pretty eager to get back just to make sure he was okay.

The guidance counselor came to my room this morning and said that social services did investigate, and the claim of child abuse was founded. Then the little boy didn't come to school today. I've had a knot in my stomach since this morning that just won't go away. I love all my students dearly, and after over a hundred days of school, my students are like my own children. As soon as my resource came, I went to the guidance counselor for an update. She said that the parents came in today, and claimed that they didn't need to show proof of residence because they are moving to another school! My heart just sank...

This child has been in and out of homes, and motels for some time now. He would spend hours sleeping in my classroom, and I would let him. He has so much potential, and against all the odds, went from a 4 reading level to a 12 in just 9 wks! It just hurts me that children have to go through so much pain, and yet they remain so resilient. The last day before break, I overheard him tell another child "I don't want to go on break, I wish I could stay with Ms. Dolan". How I wish I could have taken him home with me!

I don't know what is happening, and I do not know what is going to please, say a prayer for this little soul.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Analyzing the past

I have never been the type of person that lives in the past, but I am a firm believer that one should learn from their past. So, in that way, I tend to reflect on major occurrences in my life, especially when similar situations surface. I would never change anything good or bad in my past, because it has shaped me into the person I am today. I know that if some of the hard times in my life had never happened, then I would not be the empathetic advocate that has been able to help others along the way.

But, there are other times when I think about the small changes or alterations that could have happened that may have changed the entire course of events. Its like when my dad and grandfather just missed being involved in the bridge collapse in Point Pleasant (shown in the movie "The Mothman Prophecies") because they were running late. Its amazing how one little tweak in a plan can change everything. So, I have been thinking about the thing that feels so right, but is not working out which I wrote about in an earlier post. There were a couple of times that if I had changed the course of events slightly then it could have brought about a completely different outcome. I can't say that the end result would not have been the same...hence the butterfly effect...but I do harbor a little regret in my decisions.

While everything does happen for a reason, I constantly question how much "free will" plays a part in the decision-making process. There are so many things in life in which a person can stop, and choose to head in another direction. I just wish I had that choice now, another avenue to try, instead of the slide I am on where there is no other direction to go.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Imprisioned Wisdom


He speaks to me in the crowded room,
unable to say anything, but the truth.
Looking right into my eyes,
he is able to penetrate through his understanding.
He has the ability to see inside me,
like a humanistic superman.

He grabs hold of my heart,
as I know his pure intentions.
Always holding me up,
and keeping me afloat in rough waters.

I am continually amazed,
at his deep perceptions.
The words that escape from my mouth,
can not hide the true feelings resting behind.
I leave, walking the concrete pathway,
lost in the inner wisdom I have just gained.

It’s amazing how much he can see, without being me,
while others remain in a fog of their false realities.

"Eradicate poverty one bead at a time"

My cousin spent some time in Africa on missionary work. She bought a lot of beaded necklaces from the local women as support, and also to spread the message back home. The necklaces are made by impoverished Ugandan women as an opportunity to earn a living. The beaders are women living with HIV/AIDS, as well as, refugees displaced by the devastating civil war. Each bead is handmade from colorful recycled paper. To find out more about this great cause, please visit

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where is it leading me?

I have always stood behind the theory that if you truly follow your heart, then you can never be steered wrong. Even if it ends up being a poor decision, you don't have any regret because the feelings you had were that strong. I question EVERYTHING in life, and have a difficult time coming to a decision I can fully support. I am not the decision-making type. I constantly question what I do or say.

BUT, sometimes I feel in the depths of me that I must follow a certain path. I don't question, but instead proceed. I knew that being a doula was right, so I jumped right in, and never looked back. It was the same with teaching, and eventually my master's program. ALL of me felt it was right.

Now I am faced with something beyond my control, that feels right, but isn't working. Every part of my heart believes it is the right path, but life keeps throwing debris in my way. I have never questioned the strong feelings that I am having right now, which have always led me to great happiness.

But my question to the universe is WHY? Why isn't everything coming together? Why is the envisioned path not smooth and tranquil? Why am I having these strong feelings if it is not meant to be?

My confusion continues to mount because I am beginning to question what I have always trusted...myself.

Friday, March 14, 2008

All in One

So, this may be a random post..but aren't they all? I am resting in a sea of wine filled bliss after a LONG week, and am happy to finally be allowed some time to myself. I have narrowed the tattoo choice to two quotes, and would appreciate any input. The first is "penitus vires quod decor" or "inner strength and beauty" and "veritate el virtute" or "with truth and courage". I can't decide, and I am probably going to go and get this some time over my spring break. Like I said before, I do NOT take this lightly, but I am hoping to come to a final decision some time soon.

This week was such a terrible week...I am blaming the time change and spring fever, but it is hard to say. I LOVE my students, but when they seem like they are regressing instead of progressing, I worry. There is still so much time left in the school year...

I am also trying to tap into my creative side, and think of a good party for my students. They have become so interested in the Magic Treehouse books, due to my immersion, and we just completed the 12th chapter book. I feel like they should have a party to celebrate our "travels", but I am having a hard time thinking of things that would be appropriate. I LOVE to foster the enjoyment in reading, and I have already succeeded in that, but I also want them to celebrate with me.

Anyway, it is late, and I have not written in a long time, but I wanted to express emotions I am having right now. I hope that everyone reading this is swimming through the same bliss as me right now! :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

First Paying Client Meeting

I must preface this post by saying that it was nothing I thought it would be. I spoke to the potential client, and she was wonderful on the phone (they both were also wonderful in person). She gave me her address, and we planned a meeting for tonight. I took the address to school and printed off the directions, and then it all came back me...

This neighborhood was not a good one!!! I recognized the area, and on the way I could feel my "out-of-place self" trying to act tough while driving. I spoke with my friend Scott later, and he said "Pack! What the hell were you thinking??? We actually went down there bounty hunting, and a bondsman just got murdered not too far away the night before!" Okay, so he was right. It was not the right place for a young, white woman to be, but (in my defense) a pregnant woman felt safe to be there!

The interview was strange, and I was caught of guard multiple times. The husband asked all the questions not related to birth, for example "where do you see yourself in five to ten years?" and "explain how you got through a difficult time in your life". But, I had my "OH CRAP" moment when he asked "what is your religious affiliation?" I mean, are you kidding me??? Of all questions to ask me!!! Then he went on and on about the presence of Jesus Christ, and finally the paper quotes taped on the wall ALL over the house made sense. Those of you reading this, know my take on organized religion. I NEVER expected a religious discussion during a doula interview. I told them the truth, and that coupled with my divorce (yeah they asked that too) probably didn't seal the job or me. But, as I told them, I deal with things by saying "everything happens for a reason". So, not getting this job, could be a blessing in disguise. Her worry was that if she needed prayer during labor, that a non-religious doula may not be comfortable with that. Trust me, if I can handle all the other aspects of labor just fine, a little prayer would never hurt me! :)

So, this is another one of those experiences that I can log into my memory bank as adventurous and a learning opportunity.

Monday, March 3, 2008

What comes around...

A close friend of mine recently reminded me that bad things always come in threes. Well, my grandmother is in the welcome to my three. But, at the same time, three good things have come to pass. A student of mine left for another school. I am usually not happy that a student would leave, nor am I proud as a teacher to think this way, but I am relieved he is gone. I just didn't know what else to do with him, and administration was not supportive.

Today I received an email back from Penny Simkin (read previous posts to know the significance) in regards to my birth stories. I am so happy that she took so much time to read them and give me a lengthy response with wonderful suggestions. Hopefully one day I will get the stories together and present them to the magazine for publication as suggested.

Finally, I received a call from a potential paying doula client tonight. Of course, she is delivering April 30th, but the prospect is thrilling for me!!! I am so crazy busy right now, but a part of me enjoys the business because my mind can not wander to petty things. Whew...

I tried to write a previous post that did not publish due to the amount of new viruses on my computer. But, the post was about an addition to my current tattoo. I have never been one to become addicted to the tattooing process, but I have recently felt the need to add something. I am thinking about adding a Latin quote to my butterfly tattoo. I have been tossing many ideas around, and I will publish the last choices for reader's opinions. I NEVER take what I put on my body lightly, so I have already done a lot of research, and have put a lot of thought into the quote. It has been 7 years since I got a tattoo, so in my mind, I have had a lot of time to think about it.

Sorry for the randomness of this post, but I had the extra time, so I thought I would just keep writing. Life is currently giving me a lot of hits, but at the same time is bringing me to higher ground.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Jimmy Kimmel's Rebuttal

Pretty damn funny as well, but it may be a toss up for me...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I am no technology superstar...

I have been trying for two weeks (half-assed) to upload a video. I hesitated putting it up at all, because I am SURE that most people have already seen it. I have watched it more times than I am willing to admit because it is just that freaking hilarious! So...since I am unable to figure out the magic key to video downloading...I am posting the link. ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In Honor of Valentine's Day...

I was reading a friend's blog, and you have got to check out this YouTube video. Funny, yet so very is guaranteed to warm your heart today.

Shihan (This Type Love) Def Poetry Jam (Scroll down)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Little answered prayers

I apologize for the vagueness of this post...but, I got something in the mail today, and it was just what my heart needed. It's amazing how I keep quiet thoughts in my mind, and those silent prayers still get answered. Thank you!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Filtering through your dreams

I have always believed that one can learn a lot from their dreams. What one thinks in a subconcious state says a lot about what a person is feeling, or what worries are plaguing someone in their life. I sleep very heavy, and rarely remember my dreams, but when I do, I look them up in my dream dictionary. Of course, the analyzation of dreams is a tricky thing, because how do you really know if the definition is an accurate one. Well, I put all the pieces of my dream (from Tuesday night) together and this is what it said...
  • There is an aspect of myself that is unknown, and I am looking for wisdom and knowledge.
  • I need to understand and deal with my emotions, cleansing away the past.
  • I had difficulties confronting a situation or relationship, unable to take charge.
  • Part of my life is out of balance.
  • I have unfinished or unresolved issues, and my last relationship awakened those issues.

Regardless of whether the people are correct or not in their interpretation, I do see a close resemblence to what my dream said and what was going on in my life when I had the dream. Sleep has always been a good thing for me, and each night when I go to bed, my subconciousness must be sorting through the anxieties in my head. I do feel much better after confronting my issues head on, and taking charge of my life maybe my own self always knows what's best, I just need to listen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How to get your mojo back...

I have kind of been in a funk lately, and really didn't know how to get out of it. Well, I sought the wisdom of a close friend and the suggestions were fairly ridiculous but, I am always one to try. I bought pepper spray. (Funny how many questions you get asked at a police supply store). Next I am going to sign up for self defense and belly dancing classes. Its crazy how well someone can know you that they suggest things you never would have even dreamed of...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Power Songs

I spoke of doing this in an earlier post, but I finally got around to compiling the list. Again, these are my "power songs" the ones that can get me going no matter what. One of these days I will finally get around to putting them all on the same CD....

Wyclef- "The Sweetest Girl"
Eminem- "Lose Yourself"
Better Than Ezra- "Desperately Wanting"
Kanye West- "Stronger"
Trik Turner- "Sacrafice" and "Friends and Family"
Nelly- "Ride Wit Me"
Bon Jovi- "Livin' on a Prayer"
Juvenile- "Slow Motion"
Usher- "Yeah!"
R Kelly- "Ignition" (Remix)
Travis Tritt- "It's a Great Day to be Alive"
Tori Amos- "Raspberry Swirl"
Indigo Girls- "Closer to Fine"
Shakira- "Hips Don't Lie"
Sean Paul- "We Be Burnin"
Wreckx-N-Effect- "Rumpshaker"

Makes you want to move, right????? :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two Years in the Making!

Its official!!! I received a call from the certification doula with DONA, and I am officially certified!!! It has been two long years, and lots of worry that it may never happen, but today is the day! I can not express in words just how happy I am right now. I had four goals to complete within three years, and one is now down. I am a planner, and an organizer (in my head) so when I can complete any project I feel so accomplished. The last words she said to me was "you will receive all your certification materials in four to six weeks, but as of today, you can put CD(DONA) behind your name". Let me tell you...those little letters couldn't mean more!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Poet Rising

The anchor of my past holds me down,
as the sun inside me tries to break through the clouds.

My hope candle is lit, as I look for peaceful shores,
only to feel swept away by a current too strong.
I am my own strength, and I know the hole I’ve crawled out of,
yet at times I crawl back to the beach or the table.

Too strong to admit my pain,
but too weak to face my realities.
I settle on mediocre feelings, because I won't drown in the pain.
Fulfillment I find in every outward bound.
I know that my soul needs the truth,
but my heart is not sound.

The knight I seek will sever the wound,
and heal my faith once again.

The Process

I got upset with something that happened at school today. It had to do with a parent and an email I received...the parent was obviously attacking me in the email. I go through a process when something like this happens. First I reread the email to make sure that it says what I think it says. Then I try and analyze the words, and figure out the emotions behind it. I tend to get lost in these thoughts where I can't seem to concentrate on anything else. When I can't find the rationale, I cry, write, and then work out. As you can guess, I am in the writing portion of the process.

I do not know why I take people's harshness so personal. I sometimes wonder if it is because of my perfectionist nature. I am already so hard on myself, that when anyone else is hard on me, it feels so overwhelming. Or maybe it is just because I am too sensitive, and I need to toughen up, and grow a thicker skin. I just try so hard to do my best at anything I do, and when someone feels I am lacking in an area, I take it to heart. I was so hurt by this parent, that I didn't want to respond right away. I really need to get the emotions part out so that I can think more clearly. I already thought I had responded appropriately, but it wasn't good enough.

I do what I am told when it comes to work, and now I feel like I am paying the piper. I am being ostracized because I did what was asked of me. The parent can't know all this, nor would they understand it...these are the things that go behind the scenes in a school.

Anyway, now that I have the writing portion of my process complete, I am going to work the hell out of my emotions.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Male Doula"

I received an email through my Richmond Doula network about a new movie that is being made starring Vince Vaughn. He is a comedy genius in my opinion, and I have liked pretty much every movie he has ever starred in. Well, evidently, if the rumor mill is true, Vince came up with the idea to star as a male doula in a comedy film! Can you believe it? The concept of a doula going so mainstream, and promoted by a male at that, is really surreal to me. I am so used to saying I am a doula, and then people saying..."a what?" I doubt that would be the case anymore if this movie is actually released nationwide.

I have no problems with a comedy that pokes fun at one of my passions. I just hope that this is done in a tasteful way. I think its great that doulas could get more press, but I would like for them to be represented well overall. Any thoughts???

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Chemistry of Anger

I am generally a very submissive person. I encompass a range of emotions, but one rarely ever surfaces, and that one is anger. Throughout my childhood, I had a father who could be very explosive. Sometimes you could predict when he would lose his temper, while other times it seemed to come out of the blue for very insignificant reasons. I spent many years walking on eggshells trying not to unleash the firestorm. As I got older, I gained a lot of experience dealing with other people's anger. Through the restaurant business, customer service at Kohls, and while teaching, one learns how to manage and diffuse situations. None of these situations really muddled my heart like those years with my father. He is a different man now, and does not have the same temper he once had. It could be attributed to him getting older, or the fact that I have been out of the house. :)

There was one point in my life when I felt like I was turning into him. I would anger very easily, and say things that I didn't mean. Once I recognized where I was heading, I did a 180, and headed in the other direction. I am now probably too submissive, and not assertive. Although I would like to have some of those characteristics, I would never want to be unable to control my temper. As many things in ones past influences the future, my attitude towards someone having a temper is no different, especially when they are close to me. I find myself backing off, and freezing up when confronted in a hostile manner. Most of the time it really isn't a big deal, but because of my past I just don't handle it well. As I approach people with patience I truly expect the same in return...even though all people are different. I am not the type of person that would ever do anything intentionally to hurt another person, and I would think that anyone that knows me would take that to heart under all circumstances.

I am who I am, and that goes for others as well. We all deal with situations in different ways, and I would never fault someone for dealing with something in a different way. I just know that my sensitive, yet strong heart, needs to be handled delicately.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

About it all...

On the way home from work, one of my favorite songs came on the radio. I started contemplating all my "power songs". For those of you that may not know my definition, power songs are the songs that you listen to when you need to clean the house, exercise, or get psyched to go out. I thought that I would write a blog about my songs and where they came from...

Then I got distracted...

There was a knock on my door, and I usually do not answer, not because I live by myself (although that is usually my excuse) but because I am a total sucker. Whether it is the kid who is always selling crap to stay off drugs or the people who are constantly trying to upgrade my windows, I always get drawn in and can't say no. Well, because of the unusual type of knock, and the fact there was actually a car in the driveway, I thought it was someone I knew. Well, low and behold, it was a big black man selling meat. :) Anyway, I got suckered again...even though I was proud of myself that I talked them down to a third of what they were asking. I am still sure I got ripped off. So, I have a freezer full of meat that I am not sure I can ever eat...steaks anyone???

Then I checked my email...

I finally got an email from my lawyer, and the first sentence in her email said "you are up for divorce this Saturday". Really? This Saturday? I knew it was in January, but the date really snuck up on me. As relieved as I am, I had a slight moment of panic. Not because I don't want a divorce, because trust me, I have never looked back. But, soon I will officially have the label...DIVORCED. Seems so much worse than separated like its my "scarlet letter". I am thoroughly happy to embark on my new life, and leave the old one behind, but sometimes words can be so powerful.

I guess this blog is just a little about everything since I just couldn't decide what to write about...but, on a brighter note, I guess I can begin planning my divorce party...make lemonade out of lemons.

Side note: Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr! Thank you for all the gifts you brought to this world.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Unexpected rewards

There are many people that feel blessed every day just because they were able to see the sun rise. Unfortunately, I have never been one of those people. I tend to get caught up in life, and sometimes forget its pure simplicity, and the beauty it brings. I logged on to write a post that was sparked by a "Charmed" episode I just watched while working out. It dealt with selfishness (can you believe that M. C.) and the thin line between not losing oneself and actually being selfish. I planned on writing about my own feelings of selfishness, and my constant battle to be fair, but not sacrifice myself in the process.

I decided to check my email before writing the post, and I received one from the client I had in August. We had lost touch, and I had sent her an email to reconnect and check on her. Her birth was a hard one, and not one aspect of her birth went the way she had envisioned. Throughout my doula training, they always told us that we were "the keepers of the birth memories". I really took that to heart, and tried to write birth stories for each of my clients that reflected only the wonderful aspects of their labor and birth. I never really knew whether or not I had succeeded in that goal until I read this part of her email:
"Oh yeah, I did get the birth story and it was absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for capturing those moments because they were all a blurrr to me. "

I immediately started crying, even from those few words. I have always felt amazing attending births and supporting mothers and fathers in this way. That is rewarding in and of itself. But, just like connecting with the child that you have been trying to reach, this was the confirmation that my heart needed. So, for as selfish as I may feel at times, I do know that some of what I do is solely for the love of others, and for that I am blessed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

To Be or Not To Be

I recently had a conversation about personality types. I know that many people, through at least half of our lives, try to find out who we are. Some turn to psychics (RIP Betty), some turn to astrology, while others seek meaning through friends and family. I had a get together at my house a couple years back, and conversation turned to the Meyers Briggs personality test. I had never taken one before, and being the usual skeptic that I am, I questioned its authenticity. Evidently pretty much everyone at the party had taken the test, and raved at the results. They spoke of how "dead on" the results were, and how beneficial they might be when getting to know someone or trying to understand the way someone is. So, I caved and took the test. The results showed that I am an INFJ. For those that do not know this personality type, I recommend a google search. I too was impressed by the results. It didn't give me new-found clarity, but it did put some aspects of my personality into words. It is rather difficult to describe your personality... sometimes a plethora of non-descriptive adjectives just doesn't cut it.

I do believe that people's personalities change over time, but some core values always remain the same. We are who we are, and as life takes those famous twists and turns, how we handle each situation depends on the type of personality we have. I do not put all my eggs into the Meyers Briggs basket, but it is an actual online test that is not as pointless as some (ex. true love quizzes). :) Some of us will constantly examine and reexamine who we are throughout our lives. We know ourselves best, even when the occasional denial sets in. I have found that the most important aspect of soul searching is to always be true to yourself, and what you want projected to the world. If you are not projecting the person you want to be, then be or not to be your best self.