Ruby Slippers

The Way Back Home
“You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.”  Glinda, the Good Witch  The Wizard Of Oz

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For most of my adult life I searched for inner peace outside of myself. I looked for it in relationships, in education, in jobs, in books, in workshops, in exercise, in food, in alcohol, in this, in that, in the other thing.  Did I mention baked goods…???

I searched and searched for the magic bullet, the ruby slipper that would take me home to my essence, my joy, the happy life I so desired. Although I often felt like I was on the edge of greatness, my paradigms always managed to keep me stuck in my story, in my circumstances, in my regrets from the past and my fears about the future.

There was a shadow or two residing deep inside of me that held me back. That kept me from experiencing the peace, joy and happiness I sought.  There is an odd comfort in staying in the darkness.  We know it, it is familiar, we can relate to others because of it.  And, honestly, it may be an epic story.

My Highly Sensitive Child, my greatest teacher, taught me a lesson about staying in my story. That staying in my story kept my loved ones in the story as well.  He taught me that I really did have the Ruby Slippers I so desired.  All I needed to do was put them on.  Trust in the magic and I’d be on my way back home.

Life is not perfect, I am human. I am perfectly imperfect.  I sometimes lose track of my Ruby Slippers, think that I’ve lost them, but they are always there for me.  They always fit.

You have a pair too! Try them on.  They may feel a bit awkward at first, but I promise you will find your own way of wearing them.

Wishing you well.

Tracy

Need help finding your ruby slippers?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit: sequined red slippers on dark tile© Vclements Dreamstime

Helpful or Hurtful?

Pause and Ask

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

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As a teacher, there were unlimited opportunities throughout the day to ask a child “Is this helpful or hurtful?” in my efforts to keep the peace and the tattling at bay. Asking this question of a child can empower them to come to a conclusion themselves and also to get them to really think about their words and actions and how they might affect others.

Is what you are doing helpful or hurtful?

Is what you are saying helpful or hurtful?

It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized just how important this question really is. I still find myself asking my children this but now I realize the importance of asking this of myself.  In addition to asking myself “Is this helpful or hurtful?”  I might also ask:

Is what I’m about to say necessary?

Why am I saying it?

Can I say it another way?

If I must say it, can I soften it?  Keep it from becoming front page news?

Our words are powerful, so taking a moment to choose them carefully before speaking to our children, our spouse, the check-out person at the grocery store, especially if we are emotive, can be a game changer. It is perfectly acceptable to remove yourself, take a “time out”, ask for a moment before responding or simply pause before speaking.

So, pause, ask yourself this simple question. Is this helpful or hurtful?

Wishing you well.

Tracy

Need help pausing before you speak ? Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit:  Daniela Spyropoulou – Dreamstime

A Grand Entrance

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It is a story of transformation, of metamorphosis.  I share this story in hopes that there is a Mama out there who needs to hear it, that this story can help her in some way.  This is a very condensed version of what transpired.  I have gone through an incredible transformation since then and although I wouldn’t wish the pain of it on anyone, I would most certainly wish the growth that has occurred because of it on everyone.

My son made a “grand entrance” in August of 2007.  He was born prematurely via emergency C-section (my birth plan said that I was going to have a natural, Bradley Method birth so this was quite unexpected) as a uterine infection caused my water to break.  He spent most of the first month of his life in the hospital.  Half of this time was due to his prematurity and the other half was because he turned blue in my arms and stopped breathing while at home in between.  After much poking and prodding they found that the breathing episode was caused by an odd UTI but they were never able to assure us that he wouldn’t stop breathing again.  Thus, I spent most of his first year of life awake, afraid that it would happen again or having nightmares that it did.

After my husband and family returned to work I was on my own during the day, feeling completely exhausted, overwhelmed and alone. The next challenge involved nursing a premature baby and consisted of weighing, nursing, tube feeding, bottle-feeding, weighing again and then pumping every 2 hours for the next month.  It was brutal but he became a champion nurser around his due date and also a champion screamer.  He literally woke up when he was due and cried almost non-stop for the next 7 months.  He was unable sleep longer than 2 hours at a time and required constant movement.  To say that he was colicky was an understatement.

His baby sister was born when he was 17 months old and he was in the height of what we soon learned was sensory processing disorder. Anything and everything startled him.  He was sensitive to light, sound, touch and movement.  Everything was over-stimulating and sent him into fits of crying.  Nursing baby in tow, we started seeing an OT who prescribed a “sensory diet” for him that included 6 weeks of sensory brushing every 90 minutes during waking hours.  He has been in and out of OT ever since along with periodic check ins with various specialists for other preemie conditions.

When he was around 4 or 5 I noticed that my son, who was seriously born at least 40 years old and is a highly sensitive person like me, was mirroring my least favorite negative traits and I realized that I needed to make some important changes in my life, to create a new legacy. I needed to learn how to love myself, take care of myself, live my truth and model empowerment for my children.  I then began breaking apart my life, dissecting it piece by piece, healing what needed to be healed, changing what needed to be changed.  I learned that nothing brings up your unhealed “stuff” like parenting.

I realized that a story is just a story.  It can be changed, retold, given a new twist.  The story does not define me.  The circumstances of my life have not changed but my perspective has.  The chaos of parenthood is still there, my past is still my past, what happened still happened, but now I can honestly say that I love and value myself, that I am living my truth.   It has been this “brutiful” unfolding (as Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery might call it).  I now embrace my perfect imperfection, warts and all.

One Foot Up was born out of my experiences, what I most needed in my darkest hour.  So many little miracles happened along the way and I am grateful to be able to share what I have learned with you.  It is my wish that I may help you in your darkest hour, that my words will give you the glimmer of hope you need to take the next step.

Discover. Empower. Balance.

Be Well,

Tracy

*I am incredibly grateful for the support of my husband and all that he endured, my family for staying by my side when I was coming unglued, my friends who supported me even though they didn’t know what to do with me, my tribe who started showing up as I began my transformation, the life changing kindness of strangers and the “angels” I met during this time who gave me faith and hope in mankind.

Do you need help telling a new story?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit:  butterfly perched on wildflower horizontal © Scott Pehrson Dreamstime

Yes!

Choosing You 

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.  Robert Louis Stevenson

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There has been a lot of buzz as of late about choosing a word of the year. Usually I have many but this year I chose Yes!  Actually, I have been dabbling in Yes! for several years, since I started breaking apart my life, but this year I’m all in!

At first it may feel a bit selfish to say Yes! A bit unnatural.  But once you get the hang of it you will wonder why you waited so long.  Yes! is exciting and terrifying all in one.  Yes! opens doors, renews relationships and frees you to be you.  Choosing Yes! gives your children permission to say Yes!  To be authentic.  To live their truth.

This year I say…

Yes! to my health.

Yes! to my family.

Yes! to my dreams.

Yes! to abundance.

And

Yes! to No!

If you haven’t yet, watch Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday interview with Shonda Rhimes, creator and producer of the award winning series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal to name a few.  She recently wrote a book called Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person (now on my must read list). She made the bold move two years ago of saying Yes! to her life and it changed her in ways she could not have imagined.  Her year of Yes! lead her to some incredible experiences she would not have otherwise had, losing weight, letting go of what no longer served her and most importantly, showing up for her children as the empowered, present mama she is.

Thank you Shonda! For being brave, sharing your story with the world and being you!

Wishing you well.

Tracy

Do you need help saying YES! to yourself?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit:  making choice © Eduardkraft  Dreamstime