How could I not have known how worthy I am of receiving?
How could I not have seen my true light and value?
How could I have spent the last 36 years without constantly honouring and bowing before the divinity that moves through me, that I am?
May I remember to bless myself, to love myself, to nurture myself and to honour myself.
May I eat food consciously and with gratitude.
May I stretch my beautiful body and feel the strength and grace in my muscles.
May I thank my mind for all the beautiful thinking it does for me.
May I appreciate my joints for bending and staying healthy and lubricated.
May I honour the tremendous amount of work that my organs, skin and bodily systems complete, without ever taking a break.
May I look at myself in the mirror and know that my body temple is magnificent and that it houses my bright and shiny soul who wants to come out to play and to love and to dance with all of creation.
May I remember to thank my heart, for beating and for leading me into this new territory of being open and vulnerable.
May I celebrate the fierce passion arising within me, the one that makes me feel like I have the power to ignite that same fire within the bellies and hearts of all.
May I honour myself so much that I never once question whether I should be authentic or not.
May my heart be light and may I nourish myself with love, healthy food, prayer, chanting, nature, dance and wonderful company as never before.
May every choice I make and every breath I take be rooted in love and gratitude and reverence for the being that I am.
May I always remember that I am worth it and that it is never a sacrifice to stop and take better care of all of my precious self.
Namaste and Wohoo, all at once : )
Note from me: I listened to the Guided Meditation for Conscious Eating from Ramdesh Kaur’s meditation CD called the Body Temple. It opened me up to all the ways that I could and wanted to honour myself more deeply. It was a deeply transformational experience that led me to hearing the words above in my head.
I sometimes look back at my life and wonder how it is that I never felt like I was a blessing or that I was special or that I was a gift to my parents, to the world? I’m starting to think that is how it “should” be as we live here on this planet, that we feel loved and appreciated by those closest to us, and if I can be really bold, by everyone. Aren’t we all special, unique and beautiful? Aren’t we all so much more than the wounds we carry, from this life and others past, so much more than our bodies, than our families, than our jobs, than our perfect lives? What about the connection to the heart, to our true selves? That is where our true beauty lies and I’m starting to see, as I evolve and open, that we are all truly grateful and full of love at our core, and once we can even get a small glimpse of our truth, then gratitude flows from there and so does the wonder, love and appreciation of life.
I remember when our daughter Zara was born in early 2009, I was holding her, I was so full of love, so in awe, as so many of us are when we first have a child. I remember thinking she was such a blessing, such a gift and that I was so grateful she was born, that she chose us as her parents. I have kept those feelings for her although I have lost touch with them in some of my darker moments, when I was fighting the darkness within me, the pity I had for myself, for never feeling like I was as loved as I was loving her. Somehow though, I knew that those feelings weren’t where I wanted to be living, I didn’t want that darkness to take over our beautiful lives together. Thankfully, I read some amazing parenting books that helped me overcome some of those feelings and I’ve since been working with an energy healer to get to the core of them and to release them so that I’m not having to fight those thoughts off, they have just disappeared.
So now, I truly feel like I am almost always in awe of her and grateful to her for being in our lives. I love the sound of her feet running through our house, I love her giggles, I love watching how fearlessly she cries when she is upset (I always hide my face, I want to get to a point where I can express an emotion without feeling like I need to hide it or my face), I love snuggling with her, reading stories with her, playing with her, watching her pick up worms and dig holes for them, see her unloading the groceries, watch her make new friends and try new things with her homeschool group or at her swimming lessons. I love being with her. I feel like I have given myself permission to be her mom and to be me too, instead of just only being her mom, trying to “over-love” her and “over-protect” her so she would never feel as sad as I did inside. Now that I know it is impossible that she will feel that way, that same sadness, I have (with some amazing coaching from our family’s energy healer Jean Brazeau, some brilliant support and coaching from my husband Robbin, and lots of love from my own heart to me) given myself permission to be me and that has allowed her to be more free from me and to learn more about who she is. As such, I am truly grateful to her and I love her dearly. Through her joining our family, Robbin and I have found personal freedom, greater love and gratitude and so much more fun and enjoyment of life!!
That leads me to wonder why I grew up not knowing that children (including myself) were awesome, that they are fun and giggly and so full of love? I can’t possibly be the only one!!! There must be others like me who thought that kids were just there and not much else? And to those who are/were like me in their thoughts and beliefs about children I say where do those beliefs and thoughts come from? We are all born as brilliant beings of light and love, it is impossible not to see this in a newborn child. The only reason we lose that light is because it is not nurtured, for some it is stamped out until there are no traces of it. We are all brilliant, the light still burns deep inside, it can be re-ignited. I feel like I can say this because my own light has been re-ignited and I have watched others go through the same processes with Jean and they now see so much more of their own power, their own truth, just as Robbin and I are.
What can we do about the children and how we see them and how we treat them? Let’s make sure they are loved, not because they should be, but because we want to, because it is nearly impossible not to love them. As we love them and nurture them, we will nurture ourselves and it will empower us to move beyond the darkness that is not us, to a place of love and gratitude. I read this fantastic book called The Five Love Languages of Children (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/learn-the-languages/the-five-love-languages/)and it explains how all people have a love tank and that each person has different needs to fill up their tank:
acts of service (sewing a patch on a favorite pair of pants, offering to clean up when you see they are too tired to do it)
gifts (they recommend limiting this, but really putting effort into the gift because they love the thought and preparation and even the wrapping of the gift)
touch (hugs, kisses, rubbing, physical contact)
words of affirmation (compliments, I love you)
quality time (full attention for a period of time)
It gives tips on how to recognize your child’s love language so that you can respond accordingly for filling up their tank. I read this and I immediately recognized my love languages (touch, quality time and words of affirmation) and I realized that I wasn’t touched as much as I would have liked (I remember my mom saying I didn’t like hugs, maybe I didn’t, but I needed them!!) and the words “I love you” weren’t used much in our house. So there you go, this seems like a pretty easy solution to providing that love that children so desperately need and it can also translate directly to your relationship with your spouse (there is another book for adults too, although I think you can just read one and apply it across the board). Maybe if we all spent a little more time realizing what our own love needs are and those of our immediate family (spouses and children), then we might just live in a world full of more love and gratitude that flows naturally. Maybe if we can focus on our children and on our selves, and meeting those needs, we will laugh more, feel better, see the love in the world and just maybe, we’ll actually think to say, “thanks so much for being part of my life, I love you so much.” I made up this song for our daughter, a long time ago now, even before I had opened up my heart to the full potential of love and it is like this,
“Thank you Zara, thank you Zara, thank you Zara, for being a part of our lives.” I made up the tune, it actually sounds pretty sweet (tee hee, I think I made it up, but chances are it’s a modified tune from some kids song we were singing at the library!!!). So I sang it to her before she was 2 and she said, “you’re welcome mommy.” Enough said. Love and gratitude. A amazingly perfect and beautiful combination, even if you don’t have kids, there must be someone you want to thank for being a part of your life. Step out from behind the wall and say it. Know that the wall around you isn’t real, you can step beyond it and still be safe in this world. Love and gratitude. Could it really be that simple?
I love my girlfriends. They have taught me so much in my life and I will always keep them close in my heart and surround them with love and light and gratitude.
For them, I write this ode:
My dearest friends, I love you.
For all the times I was shy, closed off, scared, negative, judgmental, you showed me the way, you lifted me up, gave me a hug, and showed me another way.
For all the times I thought I was unloveable, unworthy of attention, you stood by me, supported me, and showed me unconditional love, when I wasn’t even aware that it existed.
You are all beautiful. You are all pure light. You are all so special in your own ways. As we grow and our relationships change, I love you, and I am here for you. It is now my turn to be there for you, because now I can, from a place of healing, from a place of love, from a place of grace, instead of from a place of hurt, from a place of longing, from a place of judgment.
To my friend Davis, who had the courage to say to me when we were in university, “hey you’re pretty judgemental, eh?” when I didn’t even know it. That was the start of my journey of letting go of needing to make statements about others that didn’t match the feelings in my heart. That was the beginning of the end of the suffocation I felt inside about judgement.
To my friend Val, who taught me how to be a friend. She brought me ice cream when I was locked in my residence apartment, between studying and basketball practice, when all I really wanted was to go out and play outside.
To my friend Carla, who is more wise than anyone I have ever met. To Carla, whose depth of soul astounds me, whose courage is so deep and so strong. To Carla, who is inspirational and so giggly and fun, and who loves to dance as much as me.
To my friend Steph, who asked me how I was doing many years ago and I hesitated to answer and she said, “you know Bradlee, it’s okay if things aren’t going well, it’s okay.” She gave me permission to be me, instead of the perfect person I always thought I needed to be.
To my friend Margo, who is so open, so sensitive, so bright. She is so inspiring, so dedicated to being her true self, to honoring herself and her children and her family. I am so glad to have met you and to have the privilege of being your neighbor!
To my dear sisters, Alka, Dionne and Robyn, who were my first real sisters, who showed me that we can debate about work things and still be close. I didn’t realize at the time that if we argued about how a policy document should be done, that it didn’t mean we were friends anymore. They were my first Ottawa friends, and therefore my family. I will always love them! They each contributed so much to my life, with their openness, their generosity and their caring.
To my friend Teresa, who is so kind, so considerate and so compassionate. She supported me and was just as excited to talk to me as I was to her on the phone, and she always makes me feel special and loved.
To my friend Cathy, whom I lost touch with. She first connected me to the universe, to my own strength and my own soul. She was the first person I trusted, to be able to call up out of the blue to make plans. I was so scared to be abandoned and rejected that I always had a hard time initiating the making of plans. She was my first new friend, outside of school, that I felt safe with and I realized at the time how huge that was for me. And when I shared that with her, she embraced me instead of mocking me.
To my new friend Amanda, who is so open, so engaging with her daughter, who from my perspective, seems cool with putting herself out there and trying new things. I have learned over the past few months, as I heal, that I can do this too, that I just needed to let go of some hurt, some feelings of lack of control, and to give myself permission to be me and to try some new things!
To my friend Diana, the entrepreneur, who never seems to let anything stop her. If she has an idea, she figures out how to make it happen and then she does it. She inspired me not to get caught up in energy dramas, and to just go for life. She is a gentle soul too and I will always look up to her.
To my friend Joanne, who is so my opposite, who challenged me in every way when I first met her because of it, but who showed me another way of being, being calm, thinking before speaking (tee hee!! for those you know me!!), and that planning can be useful.
To my friend and cousin Patrycja, who is so deep and so wise, whose generosity knows no bounds. She inspired me to be the parent I truly wanted to be, despite outside pressures, despite internal conflicts I experienced.
To my dear friend Natalie, who taught me about fun, and how to tap into my true self. I fully let go while living with Natalie, she inspired me to eat Doritos when I wanted, to do what I wanted, to scream and laugh loudly and to be true to myself. I’ll never forget the day we went walking together and we were talking about our boyfriends and I said, “they don’t know it yet, but they’re going to be dads at the same time.” A few years later, I was right! To Natalie, who is true spirit and depth at its core.
To my sister Susan, who needs to write the in-law part anyway? From the moment I met Susan, she was open and full of love and she continues to be that way. Her relationship with her children has been such an inspiration for me. I had never seen a 12 year old snuggle up to their parent before and when I saw it for the first time, I knew I loved her and that I wanted to create a safe and loving environment just like that for my future child!
To my friend Mary! I remember when we used to share a cubicle wall but we were both shy and we didn’t chat much. I remember a few years later how we’d stand in the kitchen at work and chat and chat. She is such a bright light and she has so much love in her heart.
To my friend Jean, who has helped me connect with my true self more than I ever thought was possible. The gratitude and respect I have for you is immeasurable and thanks for teaching me about chai lattes! If you hadn’t helped me with the food healing, I could never have had one without it having lactaid milk which just doesn’t froth the same:)
To my friend Anjali, who is a world traveler and an inspiration. She goes for life, she doesn’t wait for it to come to her, which I always felt like I was doing. Thank you for opening up to me and trusting me and sharing with me.
To my mom, Tilia, who was always my best friend growing up. She taught me about so much, so much more than her mom ever taught her. She was the coolest mom, the most fun mom, and she guided me to be the fun Bradlee I was while growing up, and now I’m guiding myself to find my true self, so I that the true happy Bradlee is always there, that I am always living from my heart.
May you all realize your true greatness.
Of course there are more friends, old and new. I love you all, even if I haven’t included you here. You have all contributed so much to my life. Today, I celebrate you all and send you love and light.
I sit back and reflect on my 31st year and what a crazy journey it has been!
We moved into a very peaceful home.
We found food freedom (please see My Healings: My Food Healing).
I started healing and discovering my true self.
I have learned that it is okay to do things for me.
I have learned that the sun is always there, behind the clouds.
I have learned to celebrate life, breathe and be grateful, truly grateful, for my life and all the circumstances that brought me here, closer to my true self than ever.
I have learned that I can sing loudly, dance boldly and in a big way, that I can tickle my daughter and be spontaneously fun, that I can cook pretty well, that my body can take in what it needs and let the rest pass through, that I can let life come to me instead of forcing my way through it, and most importantly, I have gotten in touch with the love that I truly am, and I can now see it in all people, instead of walking around with judgement, with wanting to be different and to hide, now I see the love, and I feel the love. What a blessing.
So tonight, I celebrate the freedom I have found on this healing journey. I celebrate that I can eat Doritos and read Harry Potter while my husband is out of town and our beauty daughter sleeps. I celebrate that I can sit here in my underwear typing this and that’s cool (instead of having to hide my body). I can celebrate that my life no longer has an undercurrent of sadness and negativity, that I am growing, and shining and finding my bright light, and living my true life.