"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands." -Robert M. Pirsig
Being All Zen is for moms walking the path towards self mastery. Equipped with the right information, tools and practices, we all have the potential to gain the self awareness and control needed to live and parent in a responsive, rather than reactive way.
By developing our own capacities to self regulate and act from a place of intention we become the empowered leaders our families, communities and the world so desperately need.
As a community education specialist, mom to young children, wife and full time homemaker I love to share about the ways we can integrate mindfulness into our everyday lives and how we can build a peaceful planet -starting right in our own homes.
Join me in making modern life more peaceful, compassionate, purposeful and enlightened.
One thing no one warned me about when becoming a mother, was that I would be revisiting each stage of my own childhood as my child progressed through theirs.
While I enjoy a number of privileges, from my white skin to my cis gender identity and financial stability, these were not things that shielded my nervous system from the number of adverse childhood experiences of my very early years. (They have however allowed me the time and opportunity to educate myself and embark on a path of healing that I do not take for granted - which is why it is so important to me that I share what I learn here).
My mother waited to tell me until my early 30s that my biological father had tried to make her miscarry me, which helps to explain why they separated and divorced shortly after I was born.
Growing up in split custody, I would travel between a loving and safe environment to an unpredictable and volatile one.
My father’s family was made up of alcoholics, with a history of incest and abuse.
At the age of 12 I was legally allowed to choose whether or not to be with my biological father and this is when my interactions with him became increasingly sparse.
I always excelled in school and did well in sports and other activities. For the most part I was a very typical teen and young adult, but my predisposition to substance abuse was made clear by a period of incessant black outs and an eventual DUI.
It was in my court ordered outpatient therapy where I first experienced meditation, but at the time saw it as a con of the counselor to eat up session time.
Shortly after my time in group therapy I had the good fortune of traveling to southeast Asia where I was introduced to the idea of mindfulness.
I had an intellectual grasp of the topic, but stuck in my ego I failed to fully experience it and understand it in a visceral, real way.
I eventually graduated from college with a degree in Community Education, but before I made any substantial progress in my career I became pregnant, a wife and luckily enough for me - a full time homemaker.
Having dove head first into domestic life, something I had always dreamed of, I wound up overwhelmed and insecure when motherhood turned out to be so much more than I had expected.
After a traumatic birth and with a highly sensitive baby, I struggled to trust myself, lacked self confidence and was lost in a sea of intrusive and sometimes suicidal thoughts.
I suffered in silence, afraid of what others would think and ashamed of my assumed failures as a mother.
Broken by attempts at sleep training and isolated without the support of a village I finally reached a point where I knew I needed to make some changes.
Just before having my second child, while my husband spent two consecutive months away for work, I hit my limit (more than once) and reacted to my toddler’s developmentally appropriate behaviors with anger and aggression, scaring myself and her.
I was not being the mother I had always envisioned myself to be. I was not following the very clear and logical guidance offered by the books I had read on attachment parenting and brain development.
I was stuck in the patterns of my own upbringing, something I was determined to change. So I embarked on a path towards truly becoming the calm, caring and conscious parent I aimed to be.
Being All Zen is the collection of the wisdom and knowledge that supports me on this journey. What I have found again and again is that the deeper I go on healing myself, the more and more that I pour into my own cup - filling myself with the loving energy that I so wish to share with my children, THAT is what has the most profound impact on the way I show up as a mother and the positive ways I interact with my children.
I hope that by sharing here and offering the tools and insights that have helped me to grow into motherhood that I can help other moms who may have had less than ideal childhoods and that together we can raise a generation of mindful and peaceful people.