F is for Flexibility

(Excerpt from my book, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” – published 2012)

Flexibility, fun and faith . . . that’s a trio I definitely want in my life!

There are times in our lives when fun does not fit in with what’s going on! It’s not possible to always have fun, or find the joy in every situation. However, it is possible to be at peace with the experiences life deals us. To be at peace is to be in a state of acceptance, and be present and attentive in the here and now. Once we have achieved the place of acceptance it is easier to see the joy, humor, and fun in the everyday happenings of life, and ultimately have faith.

With each passing day acceptance becomes easier. I am more attentive and present when Thomas and Lillian are talking to me. I am really listening to what they are saying. Sometimes, I must admit, it is just plain funny! One morning Thomas, Lillian and I had a conversation that each of them are actually aliens from Planet Mercury. They told me they are just here visiting and will have to go back home soon. We had a thirty minute conversation about their home planet. I told them I would miss them so very much when they go back home. They said they would miss me too. After breakfast they began packing for their return voyage back to Mercury. Not your typical Saturday morning breakfast, but we had tons of fun using our imaginations. I choose to stimulate their imaginations instead of discounting what they say. Being able to call upon their imagination is a skill I want them never to lose.

As often as possible, I attempt to create an adventure out of as many minutes, hours and days that I can. It may sound like a lot of work, but really, it doesn’t have to be. Adventure is what one makes it. If we remind ourselves to be flexible and think simplistically, it isn’t hard at all to create adventures. I find great fun in turning a simple task or event (something we are already doing), into an adventure.

Something as simple as going to the library can be made into an adventure by having a scavenger hunt for certain types of books. One day, I had Thomas and Lillian make a list of about five places or things they wanted to see, or find. We had a great time driving around all day to parks and stores finding the items on their lists. We didn’t buy anything, but I marked their success by taking a photo of them in front of the place, or with the item they found (you can see some in the photo gallery).

Being flexible decreases stress, and allows us opportunities to be creative. Flexibility also serves us in releasing our attachment to rigid expectations. When we choose to be flexible rather than rigid, it is much easier to accept change when situations do not turn out as we may have planned.

Flexibility is a characteristic that serves me well as a parent, definitely as a mom to a child with special needs, and in life in general. I am sorry to say that the old Camilla was not a very flexible person. Things had to be done my way, or someone was going to pay! I cringe when I think about how rigid, and inflexible I used to be.

The awakened Camilla has learned the wonderful quality of being flexible. To some, it may seem like indifference when I shrug my shoulders, or turn the other cheek, but through practice, I have learned to be okay with whatever happens.

F is for Fear

I could not let this chapter be complete without mentioning fear. Fear is something that every parent experiences. In fact, everyone has fears. Parents of children with special needs have an entirely different set of fears, and then some, compared to parents of kids who develop typically. Fear is one of the stages we move through when we first learn of our child’s diagnosis. These fears can get the better of us if we are not managing our thoughts in the present moment. For instance, we may take one little comment from a doctor, nurse, parent, or friend, and let our mind run away with it. We fabricate in our mind what the future would be like; what about the next time …next week…next year…from now to when our time here is over? I am not saying we shouldn’t make plans for our family’s future. Make those plans, get everything lined-up, and set in the best way for your child with special needs and their siblings. Just remember not to always play out future events (school, friends, sports, marriage etc.) in your mind.

Learning to have faith in myself, and the decisions I make has absolutely helped me along this journey. Even though I still experience moments, days, and even weeks, when my faith in myself gets weak, I never ever fully lose sight of it. Having a rock solid faith in ourselves, is the foundation for the journey we are traveling.

Tip for the Journey:

Learning to be flexible comes with patience and practice. Choose one situation a week to be flexible about. Then take it to one situation per day. Each morning when you wake up, say to yourself with love and joy, “I choose to be flexible today.”

Developing the habit of having consistent, strong faith in yourself and your choices will only come with time and practice. To battle being your own worst critic, put sticky notes on your mirror, in your purse, in your car, and wherever else you need them, with reminders that you are amazing, you are perfect the way you are, to have faith in yourself, trust your path and trust your intuition. Choose whatever phrases or quotes are meaningful to you and put those on the sticky notes also. It can be hard to keep faith in ourselves; but the more we practice being kind, the quicker we will pull ourselves out of those times when we lose the faith.

Heartfuly Inspired,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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The Year of the Present Moment

My Theme for 2012 . . .

It’s the time of year when many people make resolutions for the New Year. I can’t remember that I’ve ever made resolutions. It’s never been appealing to me. What I have done for the past few years is to have a theme for the year. I then use this theme to help with decision making and to have as a vision for the year. I create a vision board to go along with my theme and vision for the year. This gets framed and hung on my wall where I can see it every day. Last year Thomas and Lillian joined me in doing this also and we had fun as a family putting our boards together. Each of their boards is hanging on their wall also. This method has worked miraculously for me so I thought I’d share it with you. Maybe it’s time for a change from the “old style” of resolutions . . . Maybe it’s time to do it different!

Each year my theme and board have gotten more simple. In fact, everything in my life has gotten more simple over this past year. I find that I like and crave simplicity and life is so much easier to enjoy when I have simplicity. Usually I choose two words for my yearly theme. The 2011 theme has been Clarity and Faith. I had a vision of Team TLC being the foundation of 2011. If you’ve been following me, you know that Team TLC was born this year and has blossomed into something wonderful. I sensed how important it was for me to turn my focus and attention on my little family and that all things good would flow from my attention to our Team. I then had four quadrants that stemmed from our Team TLC Foundation. Two quadrants were health and weight. I have lost twenty six pounds and am more aware of the foods I and we eat. Still working on the other two quadrants. So for now, I’ll keep those to my little ole self! 😉

2012 is The Year of the Present Moment. The foundation will be to Focus on My Purpose in the Present Moment. To make more of an effort to be aware and really truly there for whoever I’m with, talking to, conducting business with or focusing completely on whatever I am doing or whatever event I am attending. I decided to choose three theme words for 2012 and they are Kindness, Knowing and Gratitude. Kindness as I enjoy spreading and sharing kindness and I believe it doesn’t stop with the person I share it with. I also believe we attract what we authentically put out there. Knowing as a reminder to listen to my intuition and gut. Even when I don’t know why I’m being pulled in a certain direction or how I am going to “do” whatever it is. Gratitude as life is less stressful and more joyful and peaceful when I am thankful for all that I have and thankful for all that I will have . . . grateful as if I already had it.

My four quadrants for 2012 are ME, Team TLC, Thomas and Lillian. In keeping with my simplistic theme, I have two words for each one of these. My quadrant is about creativity and patience. Team TLC is about a beach vacation. The Thomas quadrant is about coping and respect. The Lillian quadrant is about math and communication.

I have made many shifts this year. I wrote a book, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance, lost twenty six pounds, made a complete change in my career and purged and decluttered my house, garage and life. The book is in the final stages of being edited and cover design. I have three modules left in obtaining my certification as a Special Needs Life Coach. Here’s a little tidbit I learned about purging household/kitchen items . . . Be ready to explain when your Mom visits for Christmas and you got rid of some of the things she gave you!! Oops! No worries y’all, I didn’t get rid of anything of sentimental value . . . just a few odds and ends. I figure if I only use it once a year, I don’t want it taking up space in my life!

Here’s what my vision board will look like when I’ve got it completed. It’ll definitely be much prettier though! Now, what about it? Will you do it different in 2012?