be the outstretched palm…

Tribe!

I just love these words from @iamhertribe.

Recently, I’ve been seeing posts by newly single-mom’s. The start of that journey is so hard. And painful. And feels lonely.

So I reached out.

I would like to invite you to do the same, please?

‘be the outstretched palm that allows someone to be seen. heard. and not so alone today.’

God Bless,

Ray

 

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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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Mmm, let’s talk about love!

I have thought about writing this post for a while, especially during Valentine’s month 🙂

Because boy, was the pressure on during Feb! My girls, God Bless them, are so ready for me to start dating. And remarry! #Jesustakethewheel

And they have given it some very serious thought. They had a serious list of reasons why they thought this would be a good idea. One of my favourites being, ‘so that you can have some help’. Like I live alone!

I appreciate their concern for me, and that they are looking at the right reasons – for the most part – for me to explore a relationship. I think they worry that I may be lonely or that I will always be single. What warms my heart is that they are okay. They understand that my relationship with their Dad has a different context now, and they are okay with that.

They feel safe and secure enough to be this open with me, and make their ‘concerns’ known.

It also reminds me of how important love is. For all of us, especially single-Moms.

So, to the magic-making-single Mom’s out there, let’s keep reminding ourselves that we deserve that love too.

Now – all that’s left is for me to pluck up some courage!

Love,

Ray

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How to kick the school runs arse!…

Tribe,

I was tickled pink when I saw this image! It is such a truth for me! Particularly this week.

So I will confess..

I do the school drop-off in my gown. Most mornings! That’s right. And I could excuse it by explaining that every morning by 6.20am I have already dropped off the teenager. Then when I get back home, it’s time to get the three younger girls ready for school. To their credit, they pack their own lunches. And, you know how it goes that time of the morning.

By the time we are ready to leave the house at around 7.35am – I have just about neatened (noted not brushed) my hair. Enter – my lovingly worn grey gown. A gift from my brother, Andy and his partner, Cara 🙂 #forevergrateful

Said gown does what it needs to, no questions asked, no chatting back, and it does it so well. How could I not show it some love! And you would think there may be some embarrassment or shame on my part! You would be mistaken! I wish you could have seen the surprise and wonder on the face of one of my friends, Letishia, when she realised I was in my gown! It was perfect! She came around though, noting that a gown should be a mandatory issue when embarking on the journey of motherhood!

There is a point here. And it is – I ‘dala what I must’ to make the magic happen everyday! 🙂

So Mom’s, keep doing what you must – in the way that makes it work for you and your family – as you continue to make magic happen!

With love,

Ray

 

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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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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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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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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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