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...