because you are strong enough…

These are some of my favourite words.

To be honest, I wrestle with them. Often!

Sometimes it feels like too much of an ask. It feels unfair.

The juggle. The challenges. The demands.

There is also an invitation in these words. It feels challenging. Asking us not to settle. To keep pushing through. And I get it. Sometimes that feels like too much of an ask as well.

The thing is, whether we are aware of it in the moment or not, we do keep pushing through. And we keep showing up. Inspite of the juggle, the challenges and the demands. On auto-pilot a lot of the time 🙂

So when next I take a moment and read these words, I am going to be gentle with myself. And give myself a high five! I hope you do the same, magic makers!

Love

Ray

because you are strong enough…

 

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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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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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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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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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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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