Monthly Archives: December 2016

Leaves Footprints in your Heart

I consider myself a friend to many people, whom I will stand by and always give my love, support and gratitude.

I choose to spend my time with those who genuinely listen to me, who love to have great meaningful conversations about life and the world.

Those who can dig deep beyond the surface of life.

The conversations are two way with both of us sharing and caring for one another’s likes, dislikes and differences.

I love sharing my time with people who want to try new things, who are courageous in uncovering their truths:

Choosing people who are honest yet kind, vulnerable yet strong, have an energy and force to reckon with yet are peaceful in heart and mind, reliable and steadfast.

If these are the things that you value, then seek friendships with this integrity and balance.

You don’t always get to choose when it comes to the people in your family or work.

It is in these areas the importance of learning to rise above the indifferences: Understanding that it takes all types of people to make the world

However You do have the ability and available intention to have in your life, the people with the qualities mentioned above.

These are the people whom to share and where you will spend your time and energy.

You will place distance and set firm boundaries with the people who have negative attitudes, toxic behaviours, whom have closed minds to new and positive experiences.

Who don’t want to share with you their dreams and aspirations or listen to yours.

Beware of people whom live on the surface of life without giving it any real depth or meaning as this can pull you down, leading you to focus on the sadness and contemptuous areas of life.

Allow yourself to be fed with people who have dreams in their hearts, kindness in their souls, healthy habits, having a mindset of abundance, healthy hobbies and habits:

Strong and Positive Relationships: Who have open minds to all that is good, to have the courage to face their challenges with the peace and happiness to understand them.

Choosing friends because they help you to feel and be a Better You: Not to base friendships on age, status, looks or for what they can do but because they are good people carving out a positive life.

During a lifetime many people come and go, there will be a few treasured one’s who leave footprints in your heart. This is the sign of a Great friend.

The Decision to Foster Adopt

Parenting any child, biological or otherwise, takes patience, love, and commitment. However, foster parenting can be a bit more challenging and require an extra effort to exhibit each of these qualities at times. Foster children have frequently undergone conditions of abuse and neglect, and often show signs of the negative effects it has had on them. Beyond providing food and shelter, there are many ways to change this around and effectively influence the life of a foster child for the better.

Whether it’s simply lending a supportive shoulder to cry on or opening up your home to foster adopt, foster parents will find that the following actions make the most positive impact on children in the foster care system.

Offer a Listening Ear

Many foster children need the services of a professional therapist to help them process what they are going through, but they should always feel comfortable enough going to their foster parents as well to share feelings of both happiness and concern. It seems like a simple task, but taking time out of your busy schedule to just sit down with your foster child and listen to what they have to say about their day can make a world of difference for them in knowing someone cares.

Provide a Routine

Children need structure and stability to help promote the growth of healthy relationships and an overall well-adjusted life. Sticking to basic daily routines that involve things such as mealtimes, bedtimes, quality time, etc., can go a long way in supplying the consistency a foster child has most likely lacked with their biological family.

Get Involved in Schoolwork and Encourage Interests

Showing you care about their successes in school and other various interests, gives a foster child the encouragement they often need to do well and excel in their development. Nurturing them and getting involved in these areas gives vital support for accomplishing future goals.

Maintain Boundaries and Don’t Be Afraid to Discipline

Foster children may come with behavioral problems after all the hardships they’ve experienced. It’s important for foster parents to find a way to appropriately discipline and set limits while still showing love and respect for the child during tougher times. With discipline should come praise and recognition of good behavior as well.

Work With the Biological Family and Child Welfare Agency

It can be difficult for loving foster parents to understand the actions of other parents, but it is crucial to work cooperatively with the biological family and child welfare advocates in order to make certain the child’s needs are being fully met and they are receiving the best possible care from all parties involved. Allow child welfare agencies to be a form of support for your role as a foster parent, take the steps necessary to cultivate constructive visitations with biological parents, and do your best to uphold neutral feelings towards them no matter the situation.

Forgiveness is great ideas

On my 30th birthday, I received the gift that every girl dreams of, well ok maybe not every girl, maybe just this girl and a few others I know. It arrived on that unusually sunny February morning in England, gift wrapped in an airmail envelope. I must have sensed at some level that its contents were of a rare and mystical quality, because I opened it as if in possession of the holy grail itself. Inside the envelope, shimmering in all of its golden, legal pad glory, was an agenda free letter of amends from my ex-boyfriend, containing 2 A4 sides of pure, unadulterated accountability for his part in the demise of our relationship. It was poetry, and it made me feel good for exactly half an hour.

It is no coincidence, in my opinion, that this man subsequently met his soulmate and is now happily married to her. He had done his work and was cleaning house from a place of genuine remorse, free from inappropriate shame, but without even a whisper of justification. I could feel his heart on the page. And it is for that same reason I believe, that my emotional high that morning lasted for a mere 30 minutes, because my house was still cluttered with ungrieved loss, unresolved wounds and the absence of any real clarity or accountability for my own part in what had happened between us. It took another 3 and half years for me to return the favour, and I’m sure even then, I came nowhere close to doing justice to the letter I’d received. The sense of liberation that I felt however, in writing those lines of heartfelt remorse, was a lesson I have subsequently carried with me like a treasure. The lesson that any unresolved pain I carry in my heart can never be liberated by another human being. Even if the scenario in question is a place where my role was entirely that of being a powerless victim. Recognition, accountability, and even an apology from the so called offender in question will never set me free. Because forigveness doesn’t come as a result of my offender’s awakening, but only as a result of my own.

A couple of years ago, my understanding of why and how forgiveness works in this way deepened, when a dear friend turned me onto a life changing book called Radical Forgiveness. Overnight my perception of everything transformed from 3 to 4 dimensional. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone in the clutches of unresolved hurts or a painfully insistent cycle of being or perceiving themselves as being victimized or persecuted. But in the meantime, here’s a blundering attempt at the premise. In a nutshell, the author proposes that everything is happening for us, not to us. The book suggests that our souls have made agreements with one other to act out what we need to experience in order for us to evolve into our whole, actualised selves. So when your boss routinely passes you over for that promotion, you have, according to Radical Forgiveness, at some level agreed that they would do this for you, so that you would learn something about your role in this reoccuring pattern. Maybe you need to learn to value yourself more, to speak up or to risk leaving for a new job elsewhere that is a better match for your skills. Or perhaps you are learning that climbing the career ladder is not a reflection of your worth, or a match for the emptiness you feel. Or maybe you have somebody in your life who repeatedly through word or deed implies that you are worthless, of low value, unloveable, not good enough, in someway faulty or wrong etc. Through the lens of this same premise, they are consistently offering you the opportunity to begin, in word and deed, to refute those implications, and to out-grow and heal the origins of those beliefs.

I cannot tell you how many times the following scenario has happened to/for me. I have an unconscious belief that is making my life miserable and blocking me from receiving or feeling joy, abundance, love, or any of the good stuff. And I know that I don’t have the good stuff, but I’m not conscious of the belief that is blocking it or creating the circumstances I’m feeling stuck in. So, as if by magic, a character shows up my life (when the student is ready, the teacher appears), and starts speaking, and or acting out my shadow beliefs, and they do it with complete and utter impunity. Usually I either fall in love with them or I can’t stand them or a little of both depending on the severity of the belief. But always, at some point, they become intolerable to me, because in truth what is happening is that they are making my own dysfunctional beliefs conscious, and they are giving me the opportunity to start rejecting them. But first, and I think this is true of most of us, I reject the person or the situation that is bringing the consciousness alive for me, because I don’t want to own that I’m carrying it and that I feel powerless to change. So here’s a better idea (I think), either they should change, or shut up or go away. But that never works. Because if they do, like clockwork, a new character shows up with the exact same script. Or I keep running the script that the character I amputated was running, round and around in my mind. And on it goes until I, myself, become clear around the beliefs that are no longer serving me.

Individuation and Crying Over The Wonder Woman Trailer

Ok, lets get the trailer out of the way. Because this isn’t a postcard about feminism, this is a postcard about masculinism. And the fact that spellcheck doesn’t even recognise it as a word goes a long way to making my point. But first, in order to really make my point, I need to vent about that trailer. So strap yourselves in for a couple of paragraphs, because I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy about it.

I can’t tell you how excited I was about that movie. The Lasso of Truth and indestructible Bracelets of Submission for heaven’s sake. How much material for awesomeness do you need? And then the trailer began, and within a minute my heart was sinking as I watched yet another portrayal of a woman’s power being defined by her capacity to reject her femininity, embody masculine energy and to wear a sexy outfit as she uses destructive weapons to fight and brutalize men. Now excuse me while I get out my soapbox and megaphone, because I need to yell this part. A person’s power does not come from diminishing the value or power of the opposite sex, making them redundant, or from putting them in their place. That’s just fear and unresolved pain plus the exertion of will. A woman does not need to become a man in order to defend herself or her equality. Women’s bodies are not supposed to be ‘tight’ and excessively muscular or kicking anyone’s ass. Feminine power is fluid, creative, intuitive, nurturing magic. And believe me, if you think that physical aggression is power, that any kind of kicking ass and taking names behaviour is power, then you have never messed with a woman in full possession of her magic.

I am incredibly lucky to be part of a group of women who meet every other week to challenge, support and celebrate each other through the trials and victories of life, along with all the places in between. We often laughingly refer to ourselves as a coven, and we are only half kidding. I cannot begin to tell you the hardship and darkness these women have lived through. And they have risen, not by fighting or exacting revenge or staying angry, but through their capacity to process deep rivers of pain through grief, forgiveness, making difficult choices, and ultimately by returning to love. That, my friends, is power.

But while the Wonder Woman trailer may have been the inciting incident that brought me to the page, I’m not here to write with an exclusively pro-woman agenda. So let me explain.

As I mentioned in my previous postcard, I take time to process my experiences. So on November 8th last year, the only thing I felt was surprised. 24 hours later, I sat down in a dark, candle-lit temple in California, and cried…for an hour. My heart was hurting so badly, that I’d needed solace. But what healed me that night wasn’t meditation, or another woman sitting with me in solidarity. It was watching a young man, maybe in his early 30’s, performing his spiritual ritual. Dressed head to toe in white, his dark hair shaved to nearly nothing, he sat in meditation in front of an altar until after maybe 30 minutes he stood, cleaned the altar, and left. It was all I needed. An experience of an aspect of true masculine energy as the perfect balm for a dark, dark time.

So men, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we women are becoming pretty vocal, active and insistent about our place in the world and the way we want to be seen and treated, and I’d like to invite you to join us. Because I can spend the rest of my life becoming an empowered woman, but if you aren’t healing with me, then half of my heart will never be quiet. Because we are not separate or divided, this isn’t us versus you, so I need us to do this together. But I need you to start taking a stand too, not for us, but for yourselves. Because as far as I can tell, here’s how YOU are being portrayed in popular culture, most of the time, with varying degrees of severity…

Apparently, your true nature is to be either aggressively violent, or to remain perpetually adolescent, always looking for a ‘get out of jail free’ card to renounce responsibility for your relationships, homes, children, and adulthood. They say your truest desire for connection with women is to have as little accountability and commitment as possible, to use pornography, visit strip clubs and generally to objectify women. Apparently you have no desire or capacity for authentic intimacy. In fact, what you really want, is for the woman you have your primary relationship with to be your mother, the one who emotionally supports you and will always be there. The person who keeps a home you can come back to at the end of the day, weekends, or just whenever you feel like it, and that other women outside of your primary relationship are where you place your fantasy life, just as you did when you were 16. Also your obsession with women’s bodies or sleeping with as many of them as possible without any degree of intimacy or commitment, a healthy part of an experimental phase of adolescence, is actually your true, fully matured nature. Essentially you are developmentally challenged teenage boys, trapped somewhere between puberty and adolescence, without an innate desire or even capacity to progress into maturity. It is a profoundly disrespectful portrait, and I can only imagine deeply frustrating.

Intimacy and Connection in a Struggling Relationship

Why do couples struggle to stay intimate?
This is a question that baffled me when I started working in this field. Many women would say to me “what do I do when the feelings in a marriage are gone?” or men I work with to save their marriage would share “when a marriage is over to one person can you get it back?” I wanted to know why when the feelings in a marriage are gone can they not be restored with focus and effort. The good news is they can, the problem is 3 main things stop couples from reconnecting which I will explain in this article.
Most people if asked: “Is intimacy in a relationship important to you?” Would answer yes absolutely yes.
Yet I found individuals and couples don’t even focus on it when they think the marriage is over!

Individuals need intimacy is it one of the basic human needs according to many psychologists and wellness experts. This is supported by Anthony Robbins who studied universal human needs and in the basic 4 needs was a need for love and connection. Dr Stonsy PhD claims that intimacy is also crucial to normal human functioning and can help ward off depression, aggression, and calm anxiety.

A relationship needs intimacy, otherwise it will slowly wither and die. Sadly I see this time and time again when individuals or couples come to me with their marriage in crisis there is always a break down in intimacy. Divorce statistics support this, lack of intimacy and connection is often to blame.

What amazes me is if we all value intimacy in a relationship and recognise it as important for a lasting loving close relationship. Then why aren’t couples able to restore it in relationships once it has been broken or lost?

There are 3 main reasons I have found for why couples struggle to get back their intimate connection when a relationship breaks down. I will outline them and give you some tips.

Men and Women View Intimacy Differently

One of key reasons why hetro-sexual couples find it hard to get intimacy back is because
men and women have differing views of what it means to be intimate. Having helped countless couples save their marriage now, I often ask men and women separately what does being intimate mean to you? On average here are the answers (of course there are always exceptions).

For men intimacy is:
A physical connection
Foreplay
Holding hands, hugging and kissing
Physical time alone together
Sexual intimacy
Doing things together

For women intimacy is:
An emotional connection
Sharing important issues
Listening to things about their husband’s day
Being able to cry about emotional events and experiences together
Being emotionally aware when feelings are hurt
Knowing one another’s hopes and dreams

Men tend to associate intimacy as being physical, touching and sex and for women it is more about talking intimately face to face. Helen Fisher PhD claims that this is a “behavior that probably evolved millions of years ago when ancestral females spent days holding their infants up in front of them, soothing them with words. She found similar to me that Men, often regard intimacy as working or playing side by side”

2, Fear
Fear of intimacy play’s a huge factor in couples struggling to restore intimacy or even establish it in the first place.
Fear of getting hurt and being vulnerable can block emotional sharing and trust in a relationship.Fear of rejection can stop a relationship from being physically intimate again. Fear of failure or disappointment can prevent us from sharing our desires, dreams, hopes and expectations, so we settled for less. Fear of abandonment can prevent someone from being truly engaged. Fear of being engulfed and losing yourself in a relationship is another common reason men and women avoid intimacy. According to Hal Shorey Ph.D. Psychology today fearing intimacy and avoiding closeness in relationships is the norm for about 17% of adults in Western cultures.

Whilst we have these fears most marriage counsellors don’t address these fears, they will suggest “talking about your problems over and over again” which often ignites more fear. Which is why I always avoid having a couple sit together and go over the past problems, to save relationships you need to be focusing on establishing the connection, focusing on the future. What works is practical guidance and support on how to move forward and be intimate despite fears.

Changes Lives For the Better

Foster parenting is a term that almost everyone has heard of, but few realize what the steps are to becoming foster parents and why people decide to do so. If you have ever wondered what foster parenting means, here is a glimpse into this amazing world.

What is a Foster Parent?

In certain special cases, the state or a social service agency deems it would be in the best interests of children to be separated from the custody of their biological parents. This situation is temporary until the children and parents can be reunited at a later time once certain conditions have been met.

Foster parents fill the gap during this leave period by providing for the needs of the child through emotional support and care.

But the role of foster parents is much more than this.

They become a lifeline to children who are seeking genuine love, care, acceptance, and protection during their time of need. But as many foster parents can attest to, the experience is priceless due to the good that is generated towards and from the children they are caring for.

How Do You Become a Foster Parent?

First and foremost, prospective foster parents have caring hearts. Foster parenting is typified by acts of kindness and compassion towards children who find themselves in unfortunate situations that are beyond their control.

If you feel a prompting to help as a foster parent, the next step is to contact a local foster care organization to express your interest. A representative will meet with you and provide an overview of the program philosophy, mission statement, and the history of the agency and their commitment to children.

After these preliminary meetings, you may sign up for classes, which are offered to potential foster parents. The classes provide training and advice on the care of foster children. Once these classes are completed, an official application can be submitted, and the process of candidate evaluation begins.

A Rewarding Life Experience

It is said that giving is more blessed than receiving. This statement becomes a reality with foster parents and foster children. Close bonds can be formed during these times and the joy of helping young children reestablish their lives is fulfilling. And in the event that a child cannot be reunited with their biological parents, the process of adoption can possibly be made available.