Christmas is here, lights are bright, trees are festive, fires are burning and the smells of chestnuts are everywhere! December is my happiest month and my saddest month.
I love seeing a fresh new snow fall…. it is so beautiful to watch from the bay window and it’s flakes fall onto the tips of the evergreen trees. You hear the birds chirping in the early mornings and you feel the crisp air on your swollen cheeks. The tip of your nose slightly red… just like rudolf! The homes have beautiful decorations, flowers, and props. It just makes you smile as everywhere you go looks so festive. The streets of downtown Toronto are full of people, tourists and seasonal activities! The distillery has the Christmas market and the decorations are stunning. There are such unique shops with artisans creative work that make such great gifts. The smell of hot chocolate is everywhere you walk. You see parents, children, couples and friends stopping to enjoy a drink and some food. You hear chatter and laughter and all is so bright!
“It is a gift to see so many families wrapped up in each other during this holiday season!”
I sit with my eyes close and absorb all the sounds, smells, and conversations. Everyone around gives away free smiles, small conversations and helpful gestures. It is such a beautiful time of the year!
It’s a time many connect with their faith, celebrate and give to their communities! It’s a time of gathering with friends and families. You share food, drinks and memories with all those you love. You take a moment to stop and actually enjoy/share time with those you love. It’s a time we stop work, distractions and actually listen! Children/ youth are playing, sharing and so excited to be around their family & friends. They notice the adults are attentive and not stressed! Music is playing Christmas classics and it’s such a beautiful ring tone to my ears! Christmas movies are on the TV and the Nutcracker is in the theatres again! Christmas has always been a time for families to get together and make new memories.
Though in saying all of the above… December/January is some of the saddest months! As I know there are many people suffering and during these moments becomes a reminder of what they are missing. I have mentioned to you all, I have worked as a Child and Youth Practitioner… so throughout these 27 years I have seen the sadness that is hidden in Ontario.
This article is to provide tools and suggestions to help cope through any difficult moments this holiday season can bring up… and a reminder for those who are much more fortunate to help others.
During these months of December/January is when many children are feeling abandoned as they witness others with families and enjoying dinners at different homes. There are youth in the system that have families that they spend time with but this leaves the homes empty for the others left behind. There are elders that do not have families around anymore, lost loved ones, significant others have passed. We have individuals living on the streets that witness the festivities which reminds them of their situations/loses/loneliness. This is also a time that many services give out meals, clothing, sleeping bags, gifts, groceries, toys and the list just grows! This allows so many individuals to get through the winter months. Please take the time to read these strategies if you are in need, if you are not… please be kind to those in great moods or not… as we do not actually know their struggle! So your smile could actually be saving a life!
Hi everyone I am actually going to share a personal story with you all… a bit melancholy, heavy hearted but with a peaceful ending!
Since I was a child I dreamed of getting married and having 4 children, YES, 4 children! Well I conceived NONE!
At the beginning of my 20’s: I entered into the field of Child and Youth Practitioner. I have always wanted to be a positive influence on our youth of the world. I feel grateful in having been able to make an impact on so many youth throughout my 27 years in this Field of work. I have no regrets… ever… I have always gone beyond my job and helped in many different ways. I did this work from love and came from the mind frame that you should think of these youth as your own. Of course always keeping boundaries still in place. I decided to wait to have children of my own, as I wanted to give all my time into helping our communities, such as; volunteering my time, going the extra mile with youth I worked with and being reachable off work times. It is how I see the work and still believe when you decide to work with children and youth it has to go beyond the job itself. I have too often met people in my line work that I believe should have never entered into this field. You have to love the work and at times it comes with a sacrifice. That is my opinion and always will be.
So then the day came that I decided I am ready to have my own family so I begun teaching my philosophy to other Child and Youth Practitioners to dedicate their time through love! So I could slowly let go but not completely!
Well, life does not always go as you plan! I will say this… I had a true love in my teens that lasted for almost 10 years but things got messy and I got my heart broken. Unfortunately, the things that young man did, were not forgivable…. we all have these stories! It is a part of our journey! This is the time I decided to be on my own and dedicate my time to community!
Then I arrive at my early 30’s… I begun a new relationship that lasted for 5 years. Now…. this relationship after the first year… in my heart I already knew… it will not work but I went against all my spiritual energies. I tried to make it work…. why…. you say? Well I got caught in the need to have a family, I wanted a family and how am I going to have a family if I do not make this relationship work!!!!! My biological clock was ticking loudly… I started to panic… I want to have children! Well I had to leave that relationship and in the end I won’t stay with someone just because…. so now what do I do? I am now 35 years old and my heartbreak begins.
I did meet someone that I love and am still with today. I had made a decision I am not going to rush into this relationship because I want kids, as relationships are a process and sometimes it just clicks and other times it takes time. So when we begin to try to have children I was now 40, my thoughts were I should start by connecting with a fertility clinic. Only because it was not that common in the generation before me to have kids so late. For me… this is where I went wrong!!
Well the process of doing fertility was not something I ever imagined and I had no idea how this works. I did ask friends about it but it was not something that was really spoken about.
Well, I learned on my own… and my community of supports became very small.
Here is how it begins: I would be scheduled an appointment for 7am but only would be seen by 9am, IMAGINE that, they packed as many women as they could within that time frame. How do you get to work on time? You have to come to these appointments once a month and you become anxious all the time.Well I did not do well at all in this entire process. I felt like a cattle waiting to be poked by so many strangers and during the process these nurses do not explain anything. When I would ask questions it is explained so quickly and you feel uncomfortable to state that you are not understanding the information given. I was so overwhelmed and felt so alone. Also these environments were so cold, robotic and had a lack of compassion. I am aware today things are better and there is a lot more support being offered to women who have trouble conceiving.
Well as the time passes and no baby, I was now turning 43. I was emotionally drained, depressed and angry… so I stopped everything. I decided if it happens on its own it will happen. I ponder about that decision….. I am not sure if it was the right one but for my mental health it had to be.
On a s quick side note, our world is dedicated to families and parents. Everywhere you look it is about the ideal family unit: in commercials, holidays, statutory holidays, news, movies, radios, within your circle…. if you have no children, WELL, you start to feel like an outcast. Think about this for a moment… imagine walking in those shoes and now pay attention to the world around you…
It would not be a very kind world for those who were not able to conceive and wanted a family. The reminders are everywhere as you try to come to terms with this information or choice.
The topic of adoption, WELL, my partner is not open to that option and that choice you can not force unto others. I also am not going to end my relationship because of that!
Also your intimacy completely changes, you only want to engage in sex when it is time to ovulate. Oh boy, if you miss having sex during ovulation….. you are so angry and hatred builds! As now this is being forced and being timed. This has a huge impact on your relationship and you start to blame each other. Within your own relationship you begin to feel isolated. This is when I started to build anxiety, depression and isolation.
I would mention my feelings to friends and family but everyone goes quiet or do not have much to say. The older generation kept saying…. “ Ah, do not worry, you will get pregnant. You are young.” That would be the end of that conversation.
I also discovered that some friends had gone through this but this was a taboo topic, so you were pretty much left on your own to figure it all out.
The women who initially struggled but fertility becomes a success, WELL, their intentions are good but their sympathy is the hardest. As they feel they have a right to share all of their experiences with you and let you know they understand and can relate.
What those individuals do not understand is that those feelings become different as joy, love and peace now kicks in and that changes everything. FACT they were able to conceive a baby…. I am not! No one can understand unless they are walking the same shoes as I am! It is no ones fault but a tough walk!
I was left to wonder why would this happen to me… I did become bitter, envious and full of anger for some time. I never really knew what these feelings felt like and boy are they ugly. I did not like the person I was becoming at all.
Well I don’t have an answer for that and nobody ever will. It will always just be unknown and for me my body failed me. I have come to accept this and have learned to love life without a biological family.
What stays in my head are what people did say: HERE is the LIST of things said from too many people; both to myself and my partner!
Statements were: Well, what fertility drugs did you do? Well maybe you didn’t try hard enough. Well you guys have been fighting a lot. Well why don’t you guys just adopt. Well I know how you feel as I went through the same feelings. If you really want kids then you shouldn’t be selfish and think of adopting.
Lucy you gotta try everything to conceive or you will regret it. There is no other feeling like it. HELLO, of course I would have no idea I didn’t conceive and I was trying. Famous statement: this is a miracle baby, and GOD has blessed me with this child. They never took a moment to acknowledge who they are saying these statements in front of… I have come to realize when people become parents, they truly became wrapped in a dome bubble! The rest of us must watch what we say about their children… I am sure I would have been the same in some ways.
OR statements as these: you just do not get it as you don’t have kids….. no shit sherlocks! I even came to know that my partner was told; well get a younger girl, if you leave her you can still get a child…. I told him I didn’t want to know who said that to him, as I’d HATE these people who I most likely have fed at some point. IMAGINE it’s assumed that the women is the issue when in fact you just actually do not know that. This part really hurt my feelings and I just thought, wow humanity can be cruel…. well look at all the suffering all over the world and what people have done in war… truly it should be no shock.
See what I mean by, you are left to mourn your loss on your own! Unfortunately, this experience has isolated me and I tend to spend more time alone. This actually made me realize that we live in a superficial world, most people do not care and you gotta be your own best-friend, always!
My heartbreak became about humanity as I have always gone out of my way to be there for others but that is just who I am. I am glad to be that person and have accepted that not everyone will be that way. I am not going to change that about me as I like that about ME. I also know kindness in the end wins and sometimes for the most part… really people do not know how their friends/family are really doing. Hence the rise of suicide, we do not pay attention or listen enough.
Lastly, why you feel like an outcast, well you are no longer invited to parties that include kids or any birthday parties unless it’s your immediate family…. it would have been nice to have had the option to attend or not attend as some years were easier then others. This all created some detachment and distance. Today, I am nor here or there with attending these events.
In sharing all this does not mean I do not adore my friends and family, as I do and always will. It just opened up my eyes and made me tougher to battle disappointments! I have also forgiven all these hurts and let it all go. I never confronted anyone as it was not intentional and I concentrated on me.
On the positive, my sister and sister-in-law all have kids. So I did get nieces and nephews that I adore to the moon and back!!! I have 1 niece and 3 nephews. I spend as much time as I can and attend all of their events! My sister-in-law is a wonderful soul as I get to tuck the kids into bed, help them with their homework, watch movies with them, attend their shows, when they were little change them, help educate them, and it has been a gift to be so involved! My sister, well that goes without saying, she is my little sister and would have no choice but to have me involved!!! She had her own struggles so I do not invade any special moments! This is her first child so it’s a little different but he is the most precious little munchkin! So I have been fortunate and you have to find every moment as a grateful moment! There are a few others in my life with kids that have me involved with no expectations! I look forward to guiding them, loving them and seeing them grow into their characters! I will always be here for them and involved in their lives!
So the good stuff… How I recovered….
To all the support systems please remember this…
Coping skills I created to get through this heart break so I could live a happy life:
I have always struggled with moments of depression throughout my life and more recently with anxiety. I made a treatment plan for myself as healing and happiness has to come from you. You have to be invested in yourself! I still use lots of my coping strategies and have moments that I get sad about not having children but I have recovered and accepted this reality.
I am learning to live a different life by meeting new friends, older friends, and being open to new things. I enjoy me through writing, sharing, painting, scrapbooking, travelling, reading, making cards, volunteering, working and so much more. I learned I am important with or without children. I learned I need to live my best life and want all my friends to be involved in my life, as well as my family. Allow yourself to cry when you need too, accept your emotions and then move forward. I hope this story reaches those who need it!! Please read this entry of mine with kindness!
Here are some links to my clinic where I see my natural path, and journey therapist: https://itsallaboutyou.ca
“Everyday brings new discoveries, so take a moment to enjoy them!”
Below add your info and stay in contact with me, if you need support please leave a comment! If you know someone who would benefit from receiving letters please let me know!
Below is a link to products, books on fertility through amazon. Please take a look as you may find some of these products useful.
Hmm… first a cup of coffee with the design of a heart… to me signifies 💗 and loyalty.
I have been sharing with you all my love for coffee and essential oils…. today I am going to speak about the essential oils I use and their benefits.
Essential oils have beautiful aromas, are from our earth and have medical benefits. Herbalists have been around for centuries, in some centuries they were even accused of being witches and often burned to death.
Many individuals are wary of implementing herbs, and essential oils that have so many natural benefits but we are more then willing to take pharmaceutical drugs, that often come with side effects and can be highly addictive.
Did you know this earth has created an abundance of remedies for all of us to use? Here is an example, prior to me jumping into which herbs help with anxiety and depression…
The poppy flower which produces poppy seeds and has been harvested for thousands of years. The poppy seed has many natural uses: it’s where we get our pain medicine from, used in foods, opium and honey mixture to calm crying babies are a few of its remedies. Yes…. the seeds can be manipulated into heroin through a traditional, labor-intensive method of obtaining the latex, which is to scratch (“score”) the immature seed pods (fruits) by hand; the latex leaks out and dries to a sticky yellowish residue that is later scraped off and dehydrated… which is then made into heroin….. AGAIN…. this comes from our earth!!!! Which actually makes our pain medicine such; morphine.
So here are essential oils that I use in a diffuser and as home remedies:
Also there are many different uses of essential oils. You can add essential oils to a carrier oil and be becomes a massage oil. You can add them to your creams. Many help different symptoms with the right special blends. I will share a variety of their uses throughout my different blogs!
I hope you all have a wonderful week full of love, laughter and joy!
“The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are”
With lots of love,
I enjoy watching the water below a bridge, seeing the consistent flow of water travelling among trees, shrubs and rocks. I have always found this to be calming and relaxing. I enjoy the sound of water and seeing the change of colours through the changes from day to night.
It is important to embrace what makes you happy, calm and at peace. I enjoy being among nature and embrace these moments every chance I can. Honestly… I am able to genuinely allow the views of nature to sip in, when I am travelling. This is when I am able to grasp each moment with purity. I am able to see, hear and touch with all my senses. I don’t miss anything as I am not distracted with thoughts, work, tasks, events and so forth.
It is truly breathtaking when you are able to enjoy what is in front of you without distractions. There are moments I can clearly hear the sounds of the birds, crickets, a cat meowing and the sounds of the rooster. These moments are extremely soothing to the mind, body and soul.
We often do not take the time to see what helps soothe us and we all should. I invite you to take this moment and think about what helps create a smile, laughter, create inner peace and help calm your nervous system. In mindfulness the goal is to feel the moment by moment as it unfolds.
Here are a few suggestions to help open up your senses:
1. What’s your routine? Do you walk/drive the same route to school or work? Try changing one of these routines and experience the feeling. What was good about it or what feelings did the change evoke.
2. Pick an object such as; picking a flower, a rock, a pinecone, or leaf. Take a moment to smell it, feel it, touch it, and describe what senses you felt.
3. This should then help you to pay attention to your surroundings. Take note of what you see and how you feel.
4. Listen to the sounds of the birds as you walk outside. As you pass by flowers, bushes or trees enjoy the smell that often times you haven’t noticed. Notice the sky and watch the clouds move. At sundown take a moment to go outside and watch the sunset.
5. Have a daily walk with yourself, a friend, a partner or dog. Enjoy how you feel, conversations you are having, and the laughters you are sharing.
6. Get outside and exercise. Go for a walk, run, biking, or hikes. Enjoy a picnic, dancing among the trees, or swimming in the lakes.
7. Go to the park and take up a new hobby such as; blogging, reading, knitting, painting, or colouring. Doing fun tasks among nature brings out extraordinary emotions.
8. Take pictures of the changing seasons and document what you notice.
These strategies help create a balanced routine and decreases symptoms of anxiety. It helps create a sense of gratitude, love and appreciation for your life.
Recommended essential oils to help manage your stress and anxieties are: Patchouli which is produced in India, Indonesia and Philippines and Bergamot which is produced in Italy. A few uses are taking a bath with 2 drops of Patchouli and 4 drops Bergamot. Also place 5 drops of both Patchouli and Bergamot in a diffuser, which helps create a calming state in your home and helps with sleep.
Enjoy your day and some of these recommendations! Please let me know how it works for you and send me an email with any questions you may have!
“ Every day I look for ways to express my appreciation” “Peace begins within, if you are not peaceful inside, the world will be chaotic.”
I love grabbing a cup of coffee, my journal and heading out among nature. The moment I find a bench, I sit and begin people watching. Have you ever done this? Hahaha… We all have, humans are so interesting to watch due to their many unique traits.
Well, as I sit on my bench... what I enjoy most is having someone notice me, and within that moment... we both smile and share a friendly smirk! That small interaction changes your entire day. I notice that I will have a bounce to my walk, a smile on my face, and a positive attitude for that entire day! If only everyday started this way, RIGHT?
Well, we all know that this is not always the case, there are moments when we wake up with ANXIETY and oh boy does that change the day! So lets talk about anxiety; at times it can definitely make us over-react, have negative self-talk, feel anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, uneasy, isolate ourselves, worry, make tons of assumptions and this list just continues to grow as the day proceeds. WOW, in saying all this, out loud it makes you realize how tough ANXIETY can be.
So before I continue I want to TELL you, please be KIND to yourself and realize living with anxiety is by far an easy task. Hey, if this is you, well of course you wake up exhausted! You are dealing with an invisible struggle, that our world is at times unkind about. We live in a time that states to us all that we must be HAPPY, well, that is not always so easy to do. With social media always lurking, RIGHT, it even makes it that much harder. I don't know about you but social media always paints such a pretty picture, which influences our thought's at the beginning of our day.
Today, this is an added stressor for too many of our young people, they have a lot more pressures to deal with and this is a consistent reminder of how unperfected their life really is. Today... I am glad I didn't grow up with social media mainly because it eliminated one less problem to worry about! As the journey of life is a beautiful one but not an easy one!
This is the fun part, I share with you some strategies: take a break from all social media platforms, start with an hour, two hours, 4 hours, 8 hours and then a whole day. Pick up a good book, call a friend, go for a walk, get outside, watch a show/movie, take a bath in Epson salt and lavender oil, listen to meditation music, try yoga, do some breathing techniques, colouring and paint. Here are some suggestions to increase happiness: do things that increases your happiness, get sleep, eat well, exercise, forgive yourself, enjoy the small moments, do not compare yourself to others, and give to others your kindness/compliments/help. I ask you all to try some of these strategies. These strategies help calm the brain and nervous system. It helps distract your thoughts and helps your mind to begin to feel positive, which in fact decreases your anxious feelings.
The key is you have to try, make the changes and see which ones work. I continue to make changes all the time and I have become use to change. I do not like change but I love watching the positive growth more. My goal in this life is to achieve happiness and I am now willing to try anything that helps to make me feel better! I encourage you to start somewhere... at least you start. All change truly starts with us and it takes a lot of work. ARE YOU NOT WORTH IT, the answer is YES you are!
“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”
“Music comes from an icicle as it melts, to live again as spring water” -Henry Williamson
Music is medicine for your soul, take a moment and try some calming melodies throughout your day!
I like my coffee a good dark roast, mocha colour with no sweetness! That explains this life journey at certain moments, at times not a lot of sweetness comes with it!
I have worked as a Child and Youth Practitioner for the last 27 years. That is a life time of stories to share with you. I wanted to share my expertises in mental health from the perspective of a frontline worker watching from the outside of an individuals journey in.
I also have my own road with many curbs, hills and bends. It takes many tries, tools, strategies to help maintain a happy human!
We are living in a moment in time with so much BUZZ to it, so much NOISE, that at times your mind feels so CONFUSED without having even walked out the front door of your home. We all need the tools to help quiet our mind even for a minute! Well that is my hope in creating this journey! I will have many goodies to share with you all in this new exciting travel with you…… which is something I love to do!
The interesting fact about this picture is; it occurred this summer on a road trip out to the St. Lawrence River. I set out with my partner, whom I have had a disconnect from for the last 6 months, for a variety of reasons, on a side note….. commitment as anything else in this life journey takes a lot of work! It’s in this picture and road trip that I found my smile, laughter, and the child inside of me again! The wings to me represent nature, growth, and the peeling into a new skin! When you feel the world is lonesome: think of what you are grateful for in that moment. It helps us to see hope and get through another day!
I am grateful for the power of thoughts, words and writing. Welcome to my adventure and please join the ride with me!
With love Lucylu!