This Family of mine…

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.

The hustle has been gross!

Yesterday, I posted about the sense of gratitude, in spite of the daily grind and everything it brings.

I am incredibly grateful to, and for these humans!

Introducing – from the left 🙂

Aunty Cara, Uncle Andy (baby brother), Ma Filly-Babes, Pa Ceddie-Boy, Aunty Nielle and Uncle Justy (baby brother)!

Being a single-mother is not easy, not by a long shot. Having a family like this, at my back, is everything!

They show up.

And the girls see that. And they feel that.

And it feels right to show them appreciation.

Thank you, family! ♥

With LoVe,

Ray

P.S I commit to suntanning this summer!

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Single-parenting. Positively

Hello tribe!

it’s June already! I hope you are pausing in some way, to take a few breaths.

I thought I would share an article I read in the April/May 2018 issue of the Cape Town’s Child Magazine, Positively single (read here).

The title may feel like an unthinkable ask – especially if you’re a newly single parent and trying to find your feet. It’s an honest yet gentle piece about the realness of the journey of single parents, particularly single-moms. The stigmas. The challenges.

The article touches on key aspects of the single-parent journey – your mental attitude, understanding how your attitude affects your children, the quality of your tribe, moving through your pain, not getting stuck in your story, self-care, persevering and hope.

If I think about my own journey thus far, these themes kinda continue. What I realised while reading the article is that it’s a daily intentional choice that I have to make! To keep my mind strong and positive. We rely on it. And you have to persevere – it’s the only choice really, because the alternative is harder to overcome.

Helena also provides a survival kit for single moms and dads. She starts with forgiveness. I strongly echo this invitation. One of my mantras whilst making my decision and then going through the divorce process, was a definition of forgiveness I had heard on the Oprah show (of course!) a few years prior and it stuck! ‘Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different’. I remember this almost daily still.

Forgiveness allows you to open yourself to all the possibilities of your future.

Remember – you are braver than you think.  Take it one day at a time.

Have a wonderful weekend, magic makers!

With love,

Ray

be gentle with yourselves…

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The magic of the Pause…

My last blog post of 2017 was about self-care and what a necessary practice it is. Read more here

My first blog post of 2018 is about the magic of pausing. The definition of the word pause is to – interrupt action or speech briefly. I feel that if we allow ourselves to pause it helps us practice better self-careTo stop the action and the speech and just take a breath. One of my tribeswoman has the word ‘selah’ tattoed on her wrist. It is the biblically used word which means to pause. She chose the word to remind herself daily to practice pausing. Love that!

I have been doing a lot of pausing. The past few weeks have brought some challenging moments. I alluded to it in my previous post. What stopped me in my tracks was being booked off with burnout. It was a hard time. I was forced to stop. I was forced to rest. I was forced to look at how I got to that place and reevaluate. I had to pause. And in doing that, to choose myself. I had to get still and consider the next right move for me.

I wanted to start the year with this reminder – to remind us that it quickly becomes a slippery slope when we don’t pause and when we don’t practice self-care.

So while I don’t have any firm resolutions for 2018,  I am very clear on self-care and pausing. I am clear on being intentional and practicing consistency. And trusting that. And always trusting Him†

I hope that 2018 is all you hope for, need and deserve. May it hold love, hope, joy and every blessing for you and your family.

With love,

Ray

 

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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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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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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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Feel us at your back…

 

Five years ago, as I waited for my case to be called at the Wynberg Divorce Court, I received a message from a work colleague. Part of that message read – ‘Feel us at your back.’

As I sat on that hard, uncomfortable bench – waiting to publicly say why I was filing for a divorce and to hear whether or not the judge accepted my reason, those words struck such a cord.

‘Feel us at your back…’

What that meant to me, in that moment, was that I was being held.

I straightened up a little. Thinking to myself – you’ll get through this moment. Without shame. Without judgement.

I just received the strength and energy of those words.

I also realised how vital it is to have a tribe that supports you in this way, when your life changes so drastically.

Creating this space, this blog, is my way of being at yours.

I hope the feeling deepens as we get to know each other.

We need to hold each other up… Don’t you think?

With love and understanding

Ray

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Love + Understanding

‘Love and understanding. I like those words and the power they carry.’

My closing thoughts to my first blog post, published last week, read here

As I reflect on the last five years in particular, whether in a moment of gratitude – exhaustion or preparing a blog post, I am reminded of how empowering this principle has been to me.

Love and understanding has carried me this far. Giving me the courage and permission to do this journey, warts and all!

I’ve received it from family, friends and work colleagues. From unexpected sources. I receive it still. Daily. It has not been easy accepting it. I’ve had to learn to do so, graciously. Am I grateful that I have!

Giving it to myself – is my continued practice.

His love and understanding anchors me†

My hope is that you find your trusted sources of love and understanding.

You need it. You will continue to need it. You deserve it.

Remember to gift it to yourself too.

Actually, let’s also practice giving it to each other. More. Freely.

With love and understanding,

Ray

Be gentle with yourself

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A little more about Us

As you may have read in our ‘about us’ message, I have four daughters. Yes, four! As you and I get to know each other, I’ll share about how I got to that number…

I’ve been married.

For the past nearly five years, I’ve been learning to be a single parent. I’m still learning.

There are days when I feel like I’ve got it, and there are days where I would like to run off to an island – cue the Brazilian helicopter pilot from Inside Out.

My decision to be a single parent was not an easy one. Deciding to go it alone, start over with four girls – 10 years old and younger at the time – was one of the most terrifyingly hopeful seasons of my adult life.

I’m okay with my decision. We’re okay.

Again, as we get to know each other I’ll share those stories. I say this because I know some may think that being a single parent is not a choice that anyone would be happy about. It comes at such a price. I understand that. For my little family, it was the right thing to do.

The journey has not been and is not always easy. It’s been painful, stressful, sad and exhausting. It is also hopeful, fun, strengthening, love and grace filled and more.

All we can do is one day at a time.

All we can try is to be gentle with ourselves and each other.

It’s not always easy.

I think that’s why I started our blog. In the hope that our story would encourage others. For us to be encouraged by others. So that we could support one another with love and understanding. Because I know that’s what I need. Daily.

Love and understanding… I like those words and the power they carry.

God Bless,

Ray

Be gentle with yourself

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