Okay so Jessica started a blogging game to help campaigners get to know each other. If you’re playing, post 10 facts about yourself and then put a link to your blog in the comments below.  Happy campaigning!

1. I am the oldest of four siblings and there were times I let that power go to my head.

2. This year I found out I can’t eat gluten, so cupcakes and pizza have turned into sparkly, shiny things I sometimes can’t look away from.

3. Yesterday I went to the grocery store, Target and the library before I realized I was wearing my jacket inside out.

4. Fall is my favorite season (can’t wait to break out the fleece).

5. I think TV is awesome.  Gilmore Girls is a fave, I could live in Stars Hollow.

6. When I pull up to the drive thru at my library I inhale deeply when they slide back the window because I love the smell of books.

7. I think mushrooms are way too chewy to bother eating.

8. I like board games, especially Scrabble and trivia, but have been told I am like Monica from Friends when I play.

9.  When I was a kid I thought it would be cool to marry Godzilla.

10. I’ve lived in the same house for the last 16 years, but before that I moved 16 times.

Looking forward to getting to know you! 🙂

Not long ago I had a dream that really stuck with me. Usually my dreams slip away unnoticed, but not this one.

In it, I was standing on a beach with my son (a much younger version of him). It was nighttime and the waves were numerous and way too big to consider a dip. Well, that and I am scared of the ocean.

It’s more of a yin yang fear and fascination with the ocean (my mom blames Jaws). You see I am curious about it, I find it beautiful (especially those tropical oceans), but for the most part I view the ocean from a distance, or the shoreline. Pictures, TV, movies, books or if I’m lucky a beach towel or hammock are all acceptable vantage points. I will even go on a boat, and if the water is clear enough I may brave a toe dip, but for the most part I fear what lies beneath.

Still, in this dream, the water beckoned and so my son ran to the waves, and immediately they swallowed him up.

Now the water was dark and beyond scary, but when my son made a dive for the water, I had no choice. I didn’t even hesitate. In fact, my fear of the ocean was not even on my mind, not at all.

I followed him, pulled him out and then when he was safely in my arms I stepped back and that’s when I saw them . . .

Whales.

They were everywhere. The moonlight spotlighted them and I saw them breaching the waves, rolling on the water. It was a curious and beautiful sight, and the ocean no longer looked scary.

The dream moved me so much, that I felt compelled to research the significance of whales when I woke up. Captain Ahab aside, I found that whales symbolize motherhood, calmness, the depths of our conscience, and endurance.

Most of all they represent power and strength.

I know that a big part of my fear of the ocean is the unknown, but it’s interesting to think of these amazing creatures swimming beneath. It reminds me that we also hold strength, a power deep within ourselves that is ready when we are to breach our fears, to allow us to do what we want to do despite being afraid. Of course, in my dream, the only thing on my mind was my son’s safety, so it felt like a no-brainer.

But still, I believe that power is within us, swimming in our own depths. I think it’s a matter of making what you want a priority, making your goals a no-brainer in the face of fear.

whale tail

 

 

“I can’t remember anything!”

That was what my usually confident daughter whispered to me right before heading to the stage during a piano recital a few years ago.

She was nervous.

So I reassured her, gave her a quick pep talk and then she walked up to the grand piano on the tiny stage and began to play the opening chords.

I released the breath I was holding and then paused.  Was that the opening chords again?  She’d practiced the song for weeks, so I knew what was supposed to come next.

Uh oh.  My heart pounded as she once again played the same notes.  She was stuck.

Still, I reasoned, it would be okay, because like the eleven pieces played before hers, her song was not a familiar one. Only we (and her teacher) knew that she was stuck in the beginning loop of the song.  She could fake it, right?

Wrong.  Paralyzed by her mistake, my daughter couldn’t see past her defeat at all. So much so that she stood up from the piano, took a bow and APOLOGIZED!

Then she practically leaped from the stage, looking for a big hole to swallow her up, because she was disappointed in herself, and completely bummed by her mistake.  (Ironically, the title of her piece was “Consolation.”)

Later that night the piano teacher called to tell my daughter that she got so many responses about her.  No one mentioned failure.  In fact, everyone wanted to comfort my daughter, lift her spirits.  They didn’t want her to feel bad.

Because we all know the feeling of failure, the pain of embarrassment.  We even know the self-recrimination.   Which is why we don’t go around kicking people when they’re down, we build them back up, we encourage them.

We wouldn’t want to be around anyone who did otherwise, right?

So why do we accept the negative thoughts from ourselves? Why do we beat ourselves up about our mistakes?  Why is it so easy to lift other’s spirits but not our own?

We are taught to treat people the way we want to be treated, but sometimes we forget about ourselves.

So include yourself on your list of spirits to lift today, because in order to move forward we need to believe in ourselves too.

 

“Today I had a battle, the fight was hard and long;

 My opponent was so stubborn, and I knew him to be wrong.

 We didn’t need a referee, because, when we were through,

 The decision was unquestioned, nor did we start anew.

 I never did like fighting, and yet I fail to see,

 How I could help but cheer a bit, when I had conquered ME.” 

— Hazel V. Wolfe