July 30, 2014

#wholeheartedjournal collective: 22

When I stop to realize there isn't a right or wrong way to be a mother-- that there is no particular definition I need to fall in line with-- I am able to fully surrender into a blissful (yet momentary) parental peace. Ahhhh. I'm only human though, what can I say. Sometimes I slip up and need a good 'ol reality check. Luckily for me, life gave me a prime example of that just this week...

There I was, finding myself challenged yet again; life speeding past like lightning while the monotony of daily work drags on. I've pushed myself too hard this time and have the self-depreciating internal chatter to prove it: you're too distracted. put away your phone. no need to yell, just be calm. get back to work. make time for your friends. why is the house a mess? No doubt becoming a mother is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. In truth, however, learning how to parent, to discipline, to push through in the face of toddler adversity has been a tad more difficult. Just when I begin to feel overwhelmed I remember a quote that helps put things into perspective - these beautiful greyscale images from our growing #wholeheartedjournal tag were the perfect accompaniment:

“When I was a little girl, everything in the world fell into either of these two categories: wrong or right. Black or white. Now that I am an adult, I have put childish things aside and now I know that some things fall into wrong and some things fall into right. Some things are categorized as black and some things are categorized as white. But most things in the world aren't either! Most things in the world aren't black, aren't white, aren't wrong, aren't right, but most of everything is just different. And now I know that there's nothing wrong with different, and that we can let things be different, we don't have to try and make them black or white, we can just let them be grey. And when I was a child, I thought that God was the God who only saw black and white. Now that I am no longer a child, I can see, that God is the God who can see the black and the white and the grey, too, and He dances on the grey! Grey is okay.” ― C. JoyBell C.

I'm making it a point to 'embrace my grey'.


All images selected via the #wholeheartedjournal tag on Instagram. Thank you for your beautiful submissions. 

July 28, 2014

week twenty two

Baking with a whole lotta love.
From grubs to hugs in a matter of minutes.
What big sister carefully constructs, baby brother gleefully destroys. One by one the animals were dropped to the floor, accompanied by his attempts at their respective noises...Most of them just said "rah"!
Making a game of hopscotch in her room... with books.
Amidst all the chaos of daily life… I'm always watching you. x

July 24, 2014

wholehearted wisdom: enjoy today


By: Jen Hatmaker


You will never have this day with your children again
Tomorrow they will be a be a little older than they were today
This day is a gift
Just breathe and notice
Smell and touch them
Study their faces and little feet
Pay attention
Relish the charms of the present
Enjoy today

Images: Louise Buma

July 23, 2014

#wholeheartedjournal collective: 21

There's something magical about the sibling connection. I see it in my own children and I feel it between my sisters and I. I can't quite describe it in words, but I know now, as a mother looking in, that bond is like a secret club. I won't know everything said between them, I won't know every game...it was this intangible bond between brothers and sisters that caught my eye this week.

"To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each others hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time."- Clara Ortega


All photos were selected via the #wholeheartedjournal tag on Instagram.








July 21, 2014

week twenty one

Good friends hold your babies. Wonderful friends grab them out of your arms so you can drink a coffee while it's hot.
If you look closely you'll see white walls scribbled with purple crayon. Her room is her favorite place to be -- and clearly marked with pieces of her everywhere.
The simplicity of a sticker brings much delight.

This moment…

He decided to read Elijah's bedtime story, a book he had once bought for himself some years before with a curious keenness to decode the words that filled the page.  Neither of us knew then of the challenges that would prevent that from happening… at that time anyway.

I cannot fully explain the joy of hearing him fluently string the words from this book together. x

July 18, 2014

A Journal Entry: 'My Son Has ADHD - But It Doesn't Define Him'

Today's journal entry is a heartfelt recollection of moments shared between a mother and her son; memories of joy, tears, fear and everything in between. For one of our readers, Kate, telling the story of her son's ADHD diagnosis seemed impossible to put into words. We think she couldn't have said it better. Please open your hearts and minds to this mother's incredible journey. ~Kate

“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.” ---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Hello...my name is Kate and I'm a mum! 

Hi my name is Jack, I like sports, skateboards, music, cooking and snow. I'm 13 and I have ADHD! Yes, I have ADHD- its real. I don't completely understand it and sometimes it makes me 'really angry'! 

Now back to Mum...

When Tamara asked me to tell my story I said sure, not a problem...but it was harder than I thought! Actually mission impossible!! 

How do I articulate to the world my story, my tears, my joys and my fears?

How do I tell the world without fear of judgement?

How do share views and thoughts on a topic that has some many opinions attached to it?

How do I tell you without attaching a label to my son? 

All ask is that you listen. Open your heart and mind. 

My son was diagnosed with ADHD in 2010. After years of trying to understand how he viewed and negotiated his world, a doctor finally slapped a label on him. 

Kindergarten was great! Then school entered our world. Learning became tough. New concepts where coming at him fast and puzzle wasn't coming together. 

By grade three he referred to himself as the dumb kid! The stupid kid! The 'CRAZY' kid! I will never forget the day he came home from school, we had commenced homework and suddenly, a simple misunderstanding of a concept turned into hell!

For the next hour he threw pillows and books, banged wall and screamed, "You just want me to die! Everyone thinks it... I know it. I'm just the stupid kid!" At that point I picked up my phone and recorded 'the hell'. 

The next day I emailed the recording to the school welfare officer and within the hour I was in his office. Emotional drained and exhausted, I questioned...was someone really going to listen to us and our story? 

So, I guess this is where our story began. Doctors, psychologists and education assessments became the norm. During these times sport helped to him to remain upbeat and motivated but the battle continued! THEN... we hit rock bottom. We had tried fish oil, vitamins and a doctor had even suggested 'Mountain Dew' for breakfast ( according to research the high levels of caffeine in the drink help's calm the nervous system). We burnt oils, played music and ran big baths. I wrote notes, read and kept journals. Finally, I rang my doctor in tears, shaking I asked for the medicine! The most talked about drug in the world; ADHD medication! I still remember the moment my doctor turned to me and said "it's not your fault, he can't control it, he will be okay". 

Of course the first drug had the reverse effect...He went nuts! I withdrew, cried in corner and convinced myself he didn't need any medication! What was I thinking? "It's me, us, bad parenting and so it went on"! A few months later, I was back in the doctor office with new script for a new med. Again, no luck but this time I went back, more educated and came out with another new script and bingo we had it! Within a year, Jack came out of learning resources, he had caught up academically and had been asked to train with Red Bulls youth development squad. The drug never changed Jack, he was still cheeky but what it did was slow him down enough to enable him to unpack information, take it in, put it into practice and retain new skills. But most importantly our household was no longer in crisis and nor was he. 

My son has ADHD but it doesn't define him! He is great kids with an amazing future. Jack is quirky and 100 percent lovable. I'm a good mum but I'm not perfect. We still have the battles, we try to block out the stigmas...negative chatter but its hard, we have caved, taken Jack off his medicine and hoped that it was just moment... And then our family nearly fell apart! To drug my child for behaviour is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do! I judge myself, everyday... "I'm a teacher, I manage a class of 24 students, WHY can't I manage one child? It hurts and everyday it nibbles away at my emotional bank account. There is very little support out there for parents with kids who have ADHD. A lot of us withdraw and fight the battles alone, we fear the stigma. Silence is easier! 

What does a ADHD moment look like... For us "it's a grown up toddler tantrum"! Its sudden, fast and generally over nothing much... it can last for a moment or hours! You want to scream, respond, run away and hide... beside him I sit, waiting for the battle to end and then we chat x

This my story and I hope it helps. x

July 17, 2014

wholehearted wisdom : the winter of listening


No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous
Silence and winter
has led me to that

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

David Whyte

Images: Belinda Kypriotis

July 16, 2014

#wholeheartedjournal collective: 20

The wonder in all these images sparked a curiosity in me, wanting to know more of each each persons story. My imagination was transported - I am thankful for everyone that shared their #wholeheartedjournal images. ~Belinda

All photos were selected via the #wholeheartedjournal tag on Instagram.

July 14, 2014

week twenty

Caught red-handed stealing her sister's yogurt raisins (and looking rather cute about it!) They will forever be taking things from each other; clothes, shoes, boys... the teenage years are going to be an experience!
This is true friendship: someone who drives a five hour round trip for an afternoon play date, so Sunny (who's been unwell) and her bestie can hang out. The joy of being together really was the best kind of medicine.
Hello yoga. It can feel so familiar, yet I can feel exposed and vulnerable at the same time. 

'Each woman must develop her own organic relationship with herself to weave together the threads of her body soul and mind.’ - Sara Avant Stover
There is a spirit amongst women, amongst mothers… a magical thread - like a secret where no words were ever spoken; to deny its existence is to deny a part of yourself… and to embrace this truth is to surrender to a beautiful relationship that exists within yourself.

Belinda and I met physically of the first time this past weekend… drawn together initially by each others view of our family; our world and our life through our imagery many years ago… our connection made stronger as we shared our stories; our joys and our vulnerabilities though private conversation - heart to heart.

I am filled with gratitude. x

(Image credit: Belinda)

July 10, 2014

wholehearted wisdom: on love

“Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” -- Ursula K. Le Guin

July 09, 2014

#wholeheartedjournal collective: 19

Changing our perspective can open up our eyes to a lot of things in life; often when I find myself stuck in a rut, either creatively or personally, I will look at things from a different angle to remind me of the abundance that is overflowing in my life. These beautiful moments were all captured from vastly different perspectives and all uniquely wonderful in their own way. Memories captured by "peeping in" from far away, up-close in the middle of all the action, down low to meet the eyes of a child, up overhead taking it all in... truly a beautiful way to look at the world.

All images were selected via the #wholeheartedjournal tag on Instagram.