In bowling, the area of the lane where balls are thrown is called a track. On both sides of the track is the gutter. When kids bowl, parents who eagerly want their kids to have a fun experience, or who want to avoid meltdowns at all costs and have thirty minutes of peace (this is me) can ask for a bumper to be installed to keep the balls out of the gutter and on track.
In our game called “life”, most of us are like kids; we need bumpers to stay on track. For most of us (and sadly our kids too), our corrective bumpers are competition, comparison and metrics. We compete for grades, market share, medals, recognition, varsity teams, jobs, and a spot in a top school. We compare products, features, people, candidates, companies, policies, slogans, parenting styles, schools. We keep track of money, salary, revenue, results, followers, calories, pounds, email subscribers, and GPAs.
In his daily blog, Seth Godin’s recent question “What are you competing on?” made me pause. I’ve always been overachieving, ambitious, competitive, and driven. Not so much because those were qualities I consciously chose for myself, but more so because those were the bumpers that were deployed for me growing up by my mom, or teachers, or within the environment in which I grew up. I’m not judging, but simply stating what is. Competition is so much a part of me that I don’t pause to observe or examine it. It’s a bit like flossing my teeth without looking in the mirror. I can feel my way around with my eyes closed.
When a swimmer competes, her every day goal is to beat the time she set the day before. When a martial artist competes, he pushes to make every kick faster, more controlled, and more precise and impactful than the kick before. But what happens when you take a close look at yourself and realize that what you’ve been competing on sucks the life out of you?
My whole life I’ve competed for significance. Everything I’ve done has been to prove to others and to myself that who I am and what I do matters, that I am lovable, worthy, and important. That what I do has merit, power, impact, endurance, and that it can withstand the test of time. That, no matter what, at some point in the future, that one pebble I throw in the Universal pond, would create a ripple that would somehow withstand the test of time, and would keep on creating ripples. And of course the insanity of it has always been that the more I tried to be significant, the more insignificant I’ve felt. No matter how hard I worked, I would still fail at pleasing someone, whether a customer at work, or my kids or my honey, or inevitably myself.
There are life experiences, fears, or stories I’ve created about those experiences that are at the core of my quest for significance. Fear of being left behind, abandoned, forgotten, voiceless, disconnected, and the fear of the inevitable end itself. The fear of being insignificant pushed me to compete every day towards significance. And when that is at the core of it all, comparison and metrics are the worst corrective bumpers. Because to compare one’s significance is a sure way to end up in a dark rabbit hole with no end, and to measure it, is in itself a prescription to slowly dying. What is significant? Having touched the lives of my children, or other people? How many people; one, two, ten, one thousand? Living a financially rewarding life, volunteering my time, giving of myself and my resources? What quantity, or number soothes the fear of being forgotten when gone?
Shortly before I turned forty, my life hit a wall. My mother died quickly after a six month battle with cancer. I was so afraid of dying, I was afraid to go to sleep. So I didn’t. I would ask my husband to hold me in his lap while I was sleeping, and would ask him to wake me up if he thought I was falling asleep too deeply. “If you think I’m dying, please wake me up”, I’d say.
The work I did to crawl out of the dark hole of anxiety and fear is the subject of another post. It took therapy, prayer, meditation, reading, journaling, support from generous friends, an immensely loving and patient husband and son, and the birth of my daughter. I adopted a personal mantra Let Go, Find Wonder. I gave myself permission to worry less, let go of perfection, and attachment to certain type of outcomes or results. I tried on the idea that, in the long term, I am and will be insignificant but that in each moment – now – I am hugely significant, to myself and to my young children.
I’m not completely transformed. Not yet. I still catch myself comparing something I do, something I write, or draw and questioning whether it matters or if it will ever matter “enough”. But that moment of inspection is brief and powerless.
I’m still extremely competitive. But I’ve changed my game. I now compete on Faith and Self Acceptance. When I compete on Faith, every day I ask what else could I do or who would I be if I had more faith than the day before? What would open if I had more faith in people, moments, intentions, God? And how can I accept myself just a bit more than then day before?
If you also compete on significance and you are ready to find a new game, here are a few suggestions from my journey:
Seth Godin writes, “In any competitive market, be prepared to invest your heart and soul and focus on the thing you compete on. Might as well choose something you can live with, a practice that allows you to thrive.”
I’ve finally chosen something that delights my soul. How about you?
“This situation here is terrible,” I heard myself say. My finger was pointed and making broad circles towards the big pile of things that my son was asked to put away repeatedly this morning.
The problem was that he was sitting in the middle of the pile and my finger was more or less pointing at and around him.
“I’m not terrible”, he said frustrated and clearly upset. His reaction baffled me.
“I never said YOU were terrible. I said THIS was terrible,” I said defensively and taken aback.
I straightened up and walked away.
“Not ok,” I squeezed in, feeling like I had to have the last word.
Since that morning’s encounter, about a year ago, I’ve been hard at work connecting to the “me” in that moment. It’s not that I’m still frustrated, or that I’ve not stopped hearing Brené Brown’s voice in my head teaching about shame, and the importance of separating behavior from the person, or that I truly don’t like conflict. It’s not even that I’ve needed a lot of time to let go, process, and make decisions about how and what to auto-correct for the future.
The truth is that I really don’t know where I was in the moment. My honey was trying to run out the door already late for work, baby was hungry, breakfast was on the stove, and we were running short on time, and looking like we’d be late to our first morning school appointment. Looking back at myself, I think I was impatient, irritated, agitated, authoritative, unyielding, and rigid. Also, I must have had a big frown, and my voice was strong.
There are days when I want to hold the power button on my iPhone and ask Siri, “Where the heck am I?” I tried it and, as expected, it showed me my precise location on the local map.
I also asked, “How am I feeling today?” Here’s what I got:
You seem ok to me.
You are great.
Hmm, let me think … Ok I found this on the web.
I don’t know what you mean by how am I feeling today.
I found an article on Wikipedia about feelings, would you like me to read it to you?
(Ok, that last one made laugh out loud.)
In my tough moment with my son, I desperately needed an activated emotional GPS tracking device. I needed a blue dot to move from Mildly Irritated Avenue to Now I’m Pretty Annoyed Street. Ideally it would have had some kind of alarm when I turned into You’ll Regret You Said This Dead End.
All this made me wonder, what is my emotional map, and how do I launch my inner GPS?
Most of us hang around within the same predictable geographic radius on a daily and weekly basis. Most of us can tell with accuracy where we’ve been – home, work, after school activities, meetings, doctor appointments, and grocery store.
The same, however, is not true about our feelings. Ask me how I felt two weeks ago, or even yesterday, and I can’t remember. That’s why we say things like, I’m doing fine. Or, I’m feeling stressed. Fine and stressed are the all-encompassing words that mean, either I really I have no idea, or there’s so much to say, I don’t think I can summarize it in one word.
I suspect, however, that if we kept close track of how we feel on a regular basis not only would we be more present, and better equipped to handle each moment, but also we’d be able to build a pretty comprehensive, detailed, and intricate map.
One of the benefits of not liking conflict is that I pay attention to it very closely. I generally know my triggers, but once in a while I notice my emotional reaction to something new. I’ve become very curious and interested in noticing deeply. I pay attention to sensations, vibrations, heart beats, tone of voice, environment and situation. I can tell when I’m being triggered or whether the person I’m talking to is. This gives me choices. I can either choose to acknowledge or choose to ignore. I’ve done both, and dealt with the consequences both ways. What’s noteworthy is that I generally feel I have a choice. I don’t have to be swept up by my triggers.
I used to be extremely hard on myself. When I felt irritated, or unappreciated, or felt I was being treated unjustly, I used to feel like I had to pull myself together fast, and be tough, strong, firm. I used to get very quiet with people I don’t know, and very loud with people who are close to me. The problem with that is I never liked the way I felt. Now, I’ve gotten to the point where I generally try to be open and honest about how I feel. I notice my physical reaction, my heart beats, my shallow breathing. I am able to tell myself to breath deeply, notice and fully feel my emotions. I’m still working on making this feel easy and graceful, but I’m working on communicating how I feel clearly in the moment. Shutting down, putting up a barrier, and a tough face have not served me well in the past. My approach now is to communicate openly. I work hard to use the precise words that closely describe my moment. I don’t shy away from saying things like overwhelm, confusion, sadness, angry. They may not be words we frequently use in our “well put together, professional way”, but I’m embracing them fully. I also embrace delighted, enchanted, joyful, and inspired.
I have a standing date with myself. I like to spend some time digging in deeply. I ask questions like, how did I feel, why did I say that, what’s really bothering me but I’m too embarrassed to admit? What do I not want people to know, and why? I sit with the chairwoman of my board – my inner wise self – at a coffee shop and I lean in.
You know me! I believe deeply that the secret to figuring out just about every challenge we are going through can be unlocked through movement. Whether it’s taking a walk in nature, or playing a fun tune and dancing in my kitchen, moving my body unleashes torrents of positive chemicals in my body that make me feel happy, present, strong, and confident. I believe five minutes of squats and wall pushups can be miraculous. I believe that a super tough argument with a kid can be solved while walking, running, or throwing a ball. Action talk is profoundly more impactful than stationary alternatives.
I am a big fan of Danielle LaPorte’s Core Desired Feelings (CDF) as well as David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD). Fridays, when I do my weekly GTD review and planning for the next week, I first take a look at my CDFs. I look at how things went, what new feelings came up for me, where I want to be next week. I try to make adjustments, schedule clean-ups (emotional ones), and celebrate successes. Roughly once a month, I include my kid in this process. We make a date of it and get ice cream together. I make it fun, and he rolls with it.
To me, this journey is about small steps. Don’t get me wrong. I am still a work in process. I have great weeks, and I still have pretty uninspired and energy draining moments. These steps have served me well.
How about you? How do you activate and fine-tune your emotional GPS?
With love and appreciation,
While I’ve taken it to heart as a mantra and find myself saying it with my daily affirmations (alongside Marie Forleo’s “everything is figure-outable”), I’ll admit I’m the last to want to start anything before I feel fully prepared. My perfectionist, anal side often just does not let me. (I’ve waited seven years to have a second child, mostly because I didn’t feel ready. See what I mean?)
I’ve mellowed out a bit over the years, mostly because of necessity, and have taken leaps – literally at my third degree black belt test and figuratively just about every day. (This blog is one good example!)
But starting before I’m ready is still hard for me. I always wonder: how? What is the actual process that allows someone to jump off a cliff, without the guarantee that some kind of safety device will activate to prevent a major catastrophe? Can someone just show me what it looks like when you do something when you’re not fully there?
Two weeks ago, I got to see how it’s done. I went to see John Leguizamo’s new stand up comedy show, Latin History for Dummies. It was artful, funny and inspiring.
John Leguizamo walked on stage and straight to one of the two props in the room, a laptop computer (the other prop was a blackboard). The computer was on.
What?! You’re gonna read your jokes? This is going to be interesting …
John told the excited audience that he was preparing his show for Broadway, and he would be reading most of his material to us, as he was still perfecting it. He would welcome our feedback.
I think someone actually said “What?” or maybe something more obscene. John made a joke about the Oscars, told us not to worry, he would make the reading worth our time. And he did!
For over an hour, John read (but not really because he already knew most of the material) at times a brilliantly funny, and at times a biting and cynical, yet real, informative, and soulful recount of history, as most people don’t know it. A couple of times he cracked himself up, and a few times he actually messed up (as in he stumbled through a few words).
The show was hilarious, and I laughed my heart out. But the biggest reason why I loved it was because I got to see how a pro does this thing called, “start before you’re ready”.
In the process I got to see – really see the man – Mr. John Leguizamo, not because of how I watched or listened but because of how he showed up: open, vulnerable, and fully present.
Here’s what I learned that evening:
Have a vision
Yes, John had a laptop for facts, numbers and some of his material. But the vision started way before there was ever a file on a computer. It started with a dream of what he wanted people to know – the untold and uncelebrated side of history – and how he wanted the people to feel; all people.
Use my tools
If a pro like John is not afraid to use notes on stage, what excuse do I have? Really?! There is no shame, no fear, and no embarrassment in using tools. Pay attention to and let go of the voices in my head that insist I memorize, perfect, fine-tune a blog post (a document, a program, or a speech) because that’s what pros do. Stop listening to those voices.
An audience in one room is not the whole world. It is just that: one audience, one moment in time. Include the people in the room fully, by not only letting them enjoy or participate, but also by giving them a way to shape and mold the experience – if not for them, then for the next revision.
Under promise over deliver
John walked on stage and said he would read his jokes, right off the bat. I knew what to expect. During the show, however, he walked away from the laptop, a lot. In fact, I forgot all about the laptop. I was intrigued, mesmerized, entertained. It was magical!
Make people feel good
Know what I want people to walk away with. I walked away feeling light, happy, smiling. I appreciated John’s comedic genius, but also my life, my time to see the show, the people that I love who saw the show with me.
I’m totally energized to ask: where am I holding back? And where am I waiting to be ready?
What kind of mom, entrepreneur, world-changer would I be if I stopped holding back?
Here’s Steven Pressfield’s full paragraph:
“Don’t prepare. Begin.
Remember, our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.
The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.
Start before you’re ready.
Good things happen when we start before we’re ready.”
I’d love to hear from you. Where are you holding back, and are you waiting to be ready? Leave me a comment below, and hop over to my Facebook page to find out my answers.
With love and appreciation,
P.S: I recommend the show whole-heartedly!
Of all the varied skills I’ve taught over the years to youth of all ages, the one that I find most challenging is learning to let go. While we all have a tough time with this, it is especially difficult for kids with developing and learning differences. For example, a child who has ADHD, who hears many times in one day to stop moving, pay attention, focus, and control her body has a particularly hard time letting go of repeated reminders that she is not doing what she is supposed to. In today’s video, I’m excited to show you three ways to practice this important skill.
Create a time for family check-ins where you notice, acknowledge and air out the heavy feelings. In my house, this is our Sunday ritual. This does not have to take a long time. Twenty minutes goes a long way.
Simply ask, “what has weighed you down this week?” At first, kids may not know how to answer. You can model by answering honestly. Pick examples that are easy to understand. Don’t be shy to present difficult moments. Just be mindful of the words you choose. Stay safe and positive.
Here are some examples.
A. You have a difficult situation at work. You have too much on your plate, not enough help or support. You feel stressed out, tired, and overwhelmed.
You could say: what is weighing me down is feeling like I want to do a really good job at work. I have so much work to do, sometimes I really feel I could use some help. But right now it feels like there’s no one around who can help me. I feel alone and sometimes frustrated. I want to acknowledge that I feel frustrated with how much work I have to do.
B. You have had a difficult argument with your child at home. You were forceful with your words, loud and irritated with your voice.
You could say: what is weighing me down is the argument we had at home. This argument made me feel like we are not fully connected. Sometimes I feel like we have this big car called family, and each one of us has an important job to make it run. I sometimes feel like I’m trying to keep the car running but it can’t happen without everyone’s help. I would have liked to have more patience and be less forceful with my voice.
The kids and you can write these feelings on pieces of paper, or big rocks. If your kid loves to draw, let him. You can use chalk and write on the pavement. If you have young kids who don’t write (or talk) yet, try do this anyway. Take one minute, hold a rock and say what you are willing to let go of this week. The kids will pay attention (even if it seems they aren’t), and after a few times, they’ll look forward to seeing what you have to say. By the time they are old enough to write, they will feel excited to participate.
I believe it is extremely important to ground our learning in some kind of physical movement. Whether it is crumbling the paper and throwing it in the trash, flushing it down the toilet, washing the rocks with a sponge, or hosing down the concrete, letting go is a physical practice.
Although it may seem silly at first, the practice of letting go, is simply that: a practice. The more we do it, the more we learn to associate the physical movement with a much needed sense of lightness. We want to feel as though a weight has been lifted (or washed off, tossed in the garbage, shredded, ripped) off of our shoulders.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a favorite way to practice letting go? What works for you and how does your practice work inside your family?
Thank you so much for being here.
With love and appreciation,
“What is your relationship to anger?” my teacher, Roger, had asked me out of nowhere.
I was on top of Cloud Mountain in Santa Barbara, at a week-long Qigong and Tai Chi teacher training, ten years ago. I felt serene, peaceful, and full of joy. I was alone, doing something I had dreamed of for a long time. My body buzzed with warm energy and my cheeks and hands felt uncharacteristically warm. My only nuisance was a persistent headache on the right side of the back of my head with which I had arrived, five days before.
“In Chinese medicine headaches have a lot to do with the liver, which has to do a lot with anger”, he continued.
“Tell me about your anger.”
The memory of this conversation was running through my head as I was speeding down the freeway. My son’s teacher had called and requested I come early to have a talk with her before the end of the school day. My heart had not stopped pounding. My thoughts were racing. What had he done? What was so urgent she couldn’t wait and tell me at the regular pick up time? Why couldn’t I just let go, breathe, and wait to get there?
Letting go has never been my forte. It’s not only anger, as my Qigong teacher pointed out, but also all the feelings that drain me like fear, anxiety, and disappointment to name a few.
What has become glaringly obvious over time is that my kids reflect the energy of my feelings back to me. If I am happy, joyous, calm, they are too. If I am agitated, frustrated, angry, or upset they multiply it … exponentially.
I deeply want my kids to find peace in their mother, our connection, and in their surroundings. Mainly for this reason, I gave myself a new challenge at the beginning of the year. I would stop to notice where and when I don’t let go. I would create my own practices for letting go and I would use then as a map to navigate through fear, anxiety, worry, and overwhelm.
As we get close to ending this year, I can’t help but gasp at the intensity with which I find myself, face to face with my life’s biggest challenges.
When I picked my theme for 2014, late in December of last year, I had no idea how this intention would unfold for me. All I knew at the time was that I was willing to take on a giant self-healig project. I would become a crusader of self-love, I would stop to pay attention and take note. I would stop to breathe.
#LetGoFindWonder was born from a deep desire to be intentional about my work to let go.
What I’ve learned this year, as I look at the loads I’ve carried, is that my life is far from homogenous. Rather than white or wheat bread, my life is more like a multi grain loaf, full of seeds, swirls, and nuts. Even when I seem to be anxious or frustrated, when I slow down to notice and pay attention, the feelings I experience have complexity. They have shape, texture, hue, and tone.
For me, letting go is about discovering the granularity of daily moments. It’s about stopping long enough to notice what it is I’m feeling deeply. It’s about taking some of what I teach to kids, and teaching my own inner child.
Here’s what I learned this year, and how you can practice letting go.
1. Close the chapter.
Be done – as in complete, closed chapter, nothing else to say or add … done. Make a list of all “loads” you still carry. What needs to be completed? Is it something you did, something you said, something you did not do or say? Whatever it is, do you know what needs to happen to feel completely done? Reach out, communicate, forgive. Make peace. Close the chapter.
2. Conflict has no meaning.
Make friends with disagreement. Notice when and where confrontation and conflict show up. Look at what you are doing. Understand your relationship with confrontation and conflict. Notice the underlying concern it brings forth. Don’t give the conflict any meaning. Wondering why this conflict is happening to you, will not offer peace. Conflict has no meaning. It simply is a present force in your life. Acknowledge and see it as it is.
3. Love your vulnerability.
Appreciate the parts of you that allow you to be vulnerable. Celebrate them, and celebrate you. Create a practice to anchor your vulnerability. You could talk to someone who knows you well, who loves and supports you. Loudly express that you feel vulnerable. Create a writing practice. Journaling is a powerful tool for reflection and self-discovery. Be honest with yourself and admit to feeling vulnerable.
4. Reset your awareness clock.
Are you haunted by “shoulds”? You should finish your work, should volunteer more. Should spend more time with your kid. Should go on more dates. Should be more patient. Your kid should do a better job in school, should pay attention, should get more sleep, or should play less on the computer? Who do you have expectations for, and what exactly are those expectations? At the heart of an expectation is a desired future outcome that you hope you’ll get. Expectations are not rooted in the now. Be in the now, with whatever it brings forth.
5. What do you get out of not letting go?
What is NOT letting go worth to you? For example, perhaps letting go of an argument with someone in your family is difficult because, like it or not, it’s the only way you and that family member can stay connected. Or perhaps, it’s the only way to avoid disappointing more members of your family. Be honest. Why are you not letting go? What’s your payback?
6. Love and adore yourself.
Where is your self-love rooted? Trace back to the time when you first noticed how much you love yourself or, if that has not happened yet, then start today. You are magical, beautiful, perfect, on time, and on track. Everything is as it needs to be right now. You are love. My mentor, Louise Hay, has a powerful practice. She looks at herself in the mirror and says: I adore you. I love you. Give yourself some LOVE.
7. Practice, practice, practice
Give yourself permission to make mistakes, and be proud of yourself for taking a step towards letting go. Create your own practices and rituals for letting go.
8. Find wonder.
It all started here. If you let go, what will you find? There is magic in front of you when you practice letting go. You need to develop a keen willingness to be curious and open, and fine-tune your ability to read your feelings. Learn to notice how you feel in the smallest of moments: when your kid gives you a hug, when you sip your warm coffee in the morning, when your cat purrs in your ear, when the sun shines on your face, when you move your body. Join me on Instagram and post a picture of your wonder moment. You’ll find many of mine under #LetGoFindWonder.
With love and wonder,
“Each day is a little life” – Schopenhauer
The magic dust of New Year excitement has settled. It now takes longer to see the sparkle in the midst of preparing lunches, attending meetings, and doing life every day. I recently caught myself evaluating how I’m doing by analyzing my output thus far, which inevitably led me to feeling like I’m not doing quite “enough”, and like I’m already falling “behind” (whatever that means). Feeling behind, in one word, feels: Yuck!
Depending on the study you read, it takes 21, 28, or 66 days to build a habit. This is why we have 21 days cleanses, 28 days diet plans, or three months to a 5K programs. Most of us put our best effort forward for those days, and then, admittedly fall off the band wagon again, and again, and again.
Here’s my interesting non-scientific observation both of myself and my students: it only takes one failure to take down our meticulously built tower of confidence, one mean glance to make our delicate self-esteem shatter into million pieces, one limited belief to make our teeter-totter balancing self-worth lean to the side of insignificance.
That’s just c r a z y!
Sure it can take one day to stop a healthy habit, to postpone our dreams, or to make ourselves and others miserable. But by that same token, it takes only one day to get back on the inspiration bus and on the unstoppable action route to dream-your-big-life land. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling that “not quite enough and totally behind” feeling:
1. Shrug and Flush
I’ve learned to say “oh well” even though I know my seeming indifference to the issue at hand would drive my mother mad (as it makes me too). As I tell the kids: you don’t stand there and look at your poop in the potty, do you? You flush it! Flush the mistakes, the mean words, the sour looks. Flush, flush, flush. (I use the toilet brush too when necessary).
When I was a dancer I was taught to smile in spite of the blisters on my feet inside the pointe shoes, the tight hair bun giving me a headache, the long rehearsals. One of my favorite mantras is: no matter what, smile!
3. Get an inspiration infusion stat
I get my inspiration from walking in nature. I have a special spot where the pelicans come to hang out at the Bayshore. I love watching them organize themselves for long trips, and take flight. I go there to listen to my thoughts and to talk to my inner spirit. I go there to pray and say thank you. Whatever it is that inspires you – music, art, reading, watching movies, exercising, a TED talk – take one hour off and indulge yourself.
4. Do the Work
Sometimes the best cure for the yuck feeling is blocking out time on the calendar with your Chief Executive You, turn off email, phone and any other interruptions and get the work done! In a favorite book of mine, Do the Work, Steven Pressfield says it well: “Resistance is a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.” You hear the man: Do the Work! (Read the book if you need to add another source of inspiration to your infusion above.)
5. Take a Siesta
Sometimes the truth is simple: we just need to take a break. We don’t do it more often because we feel we should be doing something more productive instead. Why would you waste this precious time taking a break? My Qigong teacher, Dr. Roger Jahnke calls this “napping Qigong”. A great many things happen when we rest; our body restores and replenishes. Our mind relaxes and declutters. Our spirit performs jumping jacks and blissful cartwheels.
6. Start with Thank You!
It sounds cliché and yet here it is: be grateful for what you have. Here is the full extent of the quote at the start of this post:
“Each day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth; every fresh morning a little youth;every going to rest and sleep a little death.”
Knowing that you have one more special gift to have a full life today, what one person, dream, place, thing can you be grateful for and how will you show it?
With love, for the joy you bring to my life, your generosity in reading this blog, your persistence advocating for wellbeing for yourself and your kids.
I thank you!