Self-care is such a necessary practice…

The past two weeks have been hard. Flexing of the faith and resilience muscles were of paramount importance. And being gentle with myself through that was a very necessary practice too. Hence the quiet…

What led to the messiness of the last two weeks, in a nutshell, was poor self-care. I suck at self-care. And this was a jolting reminder that self-care is as important as the care I give to my girls. If not more so… Because if I am not okay, are they going to be okay?

But what does self-care look like and feel like? For me? For you?

I had to and continue to do some deep reflection around this. Because it is also very strongly wrapped up with self-love, self-acceptance, self-worth, self-respect, boundaries, vulnerability, courage etc etc etc

During the week of being booked off – one of my tribes women sent me a lovely reminder about self-care, written by Brianna Wiest, read here

It is a gentle and easy read. What I really needed to think about was ‘… And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do. It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.’

And the courage it takes to do so…

Let’s practice falling in love with ourselves. More. Deeply. So that we can practice taking better care of ourselves. More. Deeply.

With love,

Ray

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You are allowed to be a mess…

I came across this post earlier in the week. It was such a reality check. Thank God the reality checks keep on coming!

It feels messy at the moment.

I am not sure how effective my parenting skills are at the moment. Truth be told, I think the messy is clouding things. It feels like it has affected how I show-up with my girls. They have had a very brave conversation with me, in such a loving and clear way. It feels like it has affected my relationship with my eldest girl. Whom I think is very grateful to be spending this weekend in P.E. with her friend and their family!

And the juggle feels exhausting.

And still, I show-up. They are fed (miraculously), clean (another miracle) and have been writing exams and have been doing pretty well.

My point is, it’s okay to feel messy and still show-up and be the parent they need. Those things are not mutually exclusive. And sometimes, I tend to forget that.

I need to keep reminding myself that they need a #real #authentic mother, who show’s-up. Maybe not always in the right way. She just shows up. With her messy.

And that I keep giving myself the permission to be the #real #authentic mother and woman. Not just for them. For myself too.

I hope this encourages you to do the same…

With Love,

Ray

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Compliance… Is it wishful thinking?

Let me start with the definition of compliance. As defined by the Oxford dictionary – The action or fact of complying with a wish or command.

Now, some context.

Last night, at about 21.20, I caught myself blurting out – ‘If I don’t get some compliance right now, I am going to lose it!’

After I said it, I caught myself thinking – Wow, that is a pretty big word this time of the evening! My next thought was, wishful thinking… Compliance – at this hour!. And then, how is it that I am still talking to little people this time of the night!

It was one of those evenings when everything just ran late. And then when I was ready for everything to settle, they were not on the same page. Does that make them non-compliant? Not necessarily. That moment was not going to be what I needed or wanted it to be. So, I should have just taken a breath and just rolled with it. Instead of causing myself and the girls some irritation.

Some moments are just going to be what it must/should/will be. Not what we hope/need/want or wish. And that’s okay.

This evening – we will roll the way we need to. Hopefully, without me asking for compliance… [grinning]…

With Love

Ray

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Oops! I did it again…

A little cheesy, I know. It is how I feel right now though…

Two weeks ago, I posted about going quiet. Read more here.

And I have done it again.

This moment feels very familiar. It mirrors the same hopeful time of 2012, which also brought me to a place of practicing faith, trust and patience.  Patience! Yah, not so easy.

I am here. Feeling hopeful and I will keep connecting.

Thank you for being patient with me.

With love,

Ray

 

 

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The Strength of my Woman Tribe…

To the women in my tribe…

We see each other daily. We see each other often. We see each other less frequently.

We message each other daily. We message each other often. We message each other less frequently.

We have been friends for many years. We have met more recently.

Do you know how deeply you are loved and appreciated?

I thank God for each of you, everyday.

That no gesture, message, phone call, coffee, lunch, school run chat, dinner, laugh, cry with you is taken for granted. Not for one moment.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

May we continue to weave love around each other, and invite other women to do the same.

With my love and appreciation,

Ray 

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Truth Tuesday…

I know it has been a while.

I very nearly did not post this note today, feeling terrible about being so quiet. I mean, who goes quiet after just launching their blog.

Mmmm, I did!

It has been a time of deep reflection and facing some hard truths, and needing to make decisions that aren’t easy.

And honestly, I did not know how to navigate that process and share it with you too. And then I remembered, mmm, Ray, that’s why you started the blog. To encourage and to be encouraged.

I hope you understand. And know that I am going to try to get better at sharing, especially the hard stuff. Which is not always easy for me. Just ask my family.

Thank you for allowing me to share this truth today…

I want to keep connecting with you all, I hope you are happy to as well.

With love,

Ray

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Flashback Friday… Look how far we’ve come!

‘Last night my girls and I spent our first night in our new home. Dinner, popcorn and Thor! All is right with the world. #Grateful #LifeWithLittleGirls’…

This memory popped up on my Facebook feed this morning. A memory from 2013! And it forced me to pause.

We have come a long, long way.

I needed this reminder. Today.

When I get focused on what lies ahead, the decisions that need to be made, daily. The juggling that needs to happen, daily. Where I think we are in our lives, the frustration that arises if it’s not where I had hoped we would be. And then the next rabbit hole is how to get us there. Quicker.

This reminder!

We are getting there. We will get there. Look at how far we have come.

One of my tribes-woman :), is a yogi and shared a wonderful encouragement her instructor uses during their classes – ‘Slowly, slowly and everything is coming’

So, today I hope that wherever you find yourself, whatever you may be thinking about your journey thus far, be gentle with yourself. Pause for a moment. Look back – to remember how far you’ve come.

And feel the gratitude that arises.

God Bless,

Ray 

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It’s Monday, but it’s ok…

Monday!

I had such hope!
Okay. It’s not been totally awful.

Couldn’t find the house keys. Rehearsing a grade 1 mondeling. And this before 7am!

Deep sigh….

The keys were eventully found… In the dvd cupboard. Don’t ask.

So, we could get to school on time. Only to realize that the grade 1 mondeling flash card was left at home. Drop two girls at school and rush back home with youngest girl to get the flash cards.

Thankfully, we made it back to school before the second bell… All while wearing my grey gown and hair in a messy bun. Because hey, it was that kind of morning!

Deep sigh…

And then off to work…
It’s the boss’s birthday, so chocolate cake with strawberries and a cup of tea for breakfast!

It’s Monday, but it will be ok. And it will be ok!

With love,

Ray

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Feel the Feels…

‘Feel the feels’ is usually associated with excitement and happiness, butterflies and all those good vibrations.

As I write this post, which is two days overdue, the feels I’m feeling are those others.

Exhaustion, frustration, annoyance and loneliness. A little, maybe a lot, sorry for myself. It comes after a week of sick kids, work demands, catching up on homework, dishes, washing, nagging and.. and.. and.

Initially, I hesitated to write and publish this post. Considering we’re still getting to know one another, you know – in the wooing phase.
And then I realised, this is life! If this is true for me then it could be true for so many others.

And so here I am. Saying, these are my feels right now.

It felt like this last night, it feels like this today and will probably tomorrow as well.

One of the valuable lessons from my journey is to feel ALL the feels. Because they’re all valid and necessary.

The trick though, is not to get stuck there. Which is easier said than done sometimes.

My practice that anchors me again, is flexing my faith muscle†
Talking to friends & family. Listening to music – Lianne La Havas will be on repeat! And trying to find some ease and rest. Practicing better self care.

To remember to take it one day at a time.

And to be gentle with myself.

God Bless,

Ray

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When LiFe happens…

Life happened this weekend. And it has spilled over to today.

All the girls are down. It ranges from a bad bout of tonsillitis, to migraines, to chest infections and growing pains.

And today, they are home. I am too. Trying to work from home as well as nurse these monkeys.

As much as I am deeply grateful that I get to do so, I am also so acutely aware that I would rather be back at the office… You know what I mean.

The kitchen looks like a bomb has gone off (I need to pluck up some more courage before I share that pic) AND apparently there is nothing to eat in the house.

As I write this post, the three younger girls are sitting next to me. On our two seater couch. I would like to add, there is another three seater couch as well as two single seater chairs in my lounge.

The starved teenager is somewhere rummaging for food!

And me, I am about to pop open a bottle of champagne.

That’s my Monday! How is yours going?

With love,

Ray

practicing being gentle with myself and the girls during the mayhem

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