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Showing posts from 2015

Holiday Elf...

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This fall has been filled with some dark times...times where I am peering over the top wondering if the light will come in and others where I am standing on the edge grateful that I am not at the bottom. Today a ray of sunshine arrived at our door...well, technically she arrived at the United Cargo bay from distant Puerto Rico. This sweet girl, being renamed Leia, has brought joy to my heart already. She is a part of my bid to get healthy and fit (can you say morning and afternoon walks?) and bring love and joy to my heart. Maybe not everyone is totally in love yet, but I am in love...and have hope that this is a sign of a new beginning.

I'm taking things one day at a time. I realize that I must create my own happiness and quit expecting things to come to me...I am hoping that, in time, she can be trained as a therapy dog or a companion dog. This will be a win for both myself and Javad.

Today, this sweet face is starting the steps forward...2016 here I come and I am bringing my ow…

Memories like razors in the mind...

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Recently I was asked to submit a story for a book around the subject of parenting a medically fragile child. I have been mulling around the story ideas for a few weeks and, frankly, I should have gotten my submission in some time ago. The focus of this book will be to give perspective to medical professionals as well as to parents, which helps to give a focus for my story. When deciding what to write, I realize that there are many events over the last fourteen years that I could write about, but trying to focus on one has been the challenge.

Clearly Javad's most recent episode is the one most prominent in my mind...it is the one that has made the most profound impact on our lives. So, today I began writing...I didn't realize how much everything is still in the forefront of my mind, even after nine months. It is almost profound what the mind can do, remembering the smallest of details. I mean, it took me over a month to learn the names of my students this fall and yet I can tel…

Javad, the giraffe, and the MLS Championship...

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This has been a crazy few weeks. For those who know me, you know that I love soccer. I met my husband playing soccer, met some of my dearest friends from soccer, and, this year, have made many new friends through soccer.

Last year, on March 16, our world changed forever. Our sweet boy, who had beat so many odds, had his first ever seizure...one that was so big that it stopped his heart for almost four minutes and nearly cost him his life. It has been a year of lowest lows...Javad's seizure has blown a cavern through our lives. For the first months (maybe the first five), our boy just wasn't there. Snowed by drugs and the trauma of (let's review here...) a seizure, four minutes of CPR, three days of cooling (yep...a Javadsicle), then two days of thawing, two days of double the seizure medication, then three more weeks of sleeping. We brought him home after a month and had no idea what might happen. He was barely conscious and was being evaluated using the coma scale.

I was …

The power of passion...#RCTID

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Let's just start this out with the fact that I love soccer...love it. Although I didn't play as a youth, I began playing as an adult and totally found a niche. Although I don't play anymore, I love to watch it.

Today, the Portland Timbers won the Western Conference and are on to the MLS Cup. This is the big one, the one for all the bragging rights. Next Sunday, they fly to Columbus, Ohio and win their first championship.

There have been many times during the season where this did not seem possible...many times when we were barely at the redline or above the redline, but then something happened. Maybe it was the third kits, the retro green and gold that I fell in love with the first time I saw them, maybe it was the Timbers Army, the fan base that is so incredible in Portland that people talk about them around the world, or maybe it was that the Timbers are just a second half of the season team, but I believe that it is more than that...it's passion and desire.

When you…

Three gates...

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This last few weeks I have really been focusing on saying what I feel and what I believe. I have been working to be more open and honest with myself and my friends. My hope is that a time will come when openness and honesty will be available in all areas of my life.

Part of this is being able to regulate not only my thoughts but what comes out of my mouth. Sometimes this can be a challenge. The last few days memories of my childhood have been brought to the surface. There were some rough times, times that I believe, helped to form the person I am, good, bad, and otherwise. Growing up the idea of the three gates was rarely considered. I often wonder if my mother had thought about the three gates how different things may have been. Kindness and gentleness was never a consideration, but power and control was.

When I am under stress, my sharp tongue comes out. My ability to regulate it is sometimes compromised. I think that this happens to many of us. Stress can be the things that sets us…

Unbecoming what's not you...

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As I am working to write each day, I am looking at it as a process of changing and adapting the person I am with the person I want to be. I am trying to meld together two beings, which should say to others, that regardless of your age and experience in this life, there is always room to grow and change and, maybe in this case, discovering who you are and unbecoming who you are not.

The journey to become who you are is ever changing, ever evolving. It's the beauty of being a human, you can grow and change over and over. There is a not a limit to changing, nor should there be...the evolution of the human spirit should be one that molds and adapts rather than being stagnant.

So, along this journey of yours, the challenge is to whittle away at the parts that aren't you...the real you, and find the elements of your being that are the person you were always meant to be. This is when you will find joy and happiness and finally be content. It takes bravely and strength, but so worth i…

Thankfulness or appreciative?

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So many times over this last eight months, I have struggled to find joy, be thankful and yet here we are, on Thanksgiving when I am supposed to reflect back upon what I am thankful for. Isn't that what we are supposed to do? Be reflective?

I am trying to find cheer, find gratitude. One some days, I'll be honest, it can be difficult. So today, this day of thankfulness, I am going to focus on those things that I can unequivocally say that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my family. There have been ups and downs and, even through the rough times, they have stood by me. I am thankful for my children...all in all they are good people and I am proud to have been a part of their journey and continue to be. I am thankful for Javad's spirit that, despite everything, he continues to approach life with a smile. He has all the rights to be angry, be sad, be frustrated and he still smiles. I am thankful that on that fateful day last March, his fighting spirit came through...because…

#LivesMatter

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Yesterday's blog, "Teach Peace" spoke of how we should be approaching the world with peace and love rather than hate and fear. It seems that our world just can't listen and needs to be pushing against the good.

At a #BlackLivesMatter rally in Minneapolis, a small group of White Supremacists came and shot five people protesting. This, my friends, is equivalent to domestic terrorism, if we want to throw the word around, the kind of hatred and fear that is causing lives to be lost. We must stop and reconsider what we are doing. It is time to rise up, humans together, shoulder to shoulder and say that we have had enough. We want the human race to move forward, in peace and harmony. If you are white, as I am, stand with those around us that are being persecuted. We live in the "Land of the Free" and shouldn't we ALL feel free?

This continues to be a concern. In the 1940's, we had a war that cause massive loss of lives. The Holocaust, driven by hate, kill…

Teach Peace

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This is from my @houseofmashinchi Instagram account with an update for my blog...

I know that there are many who do not agree with my stance in welcoming refugees from Syria and other nations into the US and Oregon but I will continue to stand in the place where fear of the unknown does not rule my life.

The reality is that since 9/11 we have become a country ruled by fear...fear that is reinforced and encouraged by the media. We are teaching our children to fear. 

At some point we must rise above and NOT assume the worst about every single person we meet that is different because that's what it boils down to...difference. We must become a nation of learners...a nation that is curious about the sameness of those around us rather than the difference. Tolerance and peace should be prevalent not hatred and fear.

Consider where your feelings come from and examine them. It's ok to have fear...not ok to be ruled by fear. Consider the message you are sending to our children. I want my st…

7 rules in life...

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As I am making movements in my life toward change (whatever that means)...I am always surprised when things pop up on my social media that I am pretty sure are there for me. I realize I am not the only one on the planet who is struggling, but it is nice to feel that there are secret messages being given out by the universe
just for me.

Today this popped up...the Seven Cardinal Rules for Life. So much wisdom here...so much that I need to take to heart. I think that number 5 and 6 are so prevalent in my life right now...I need to quit thinking so much...my brain is on overtime all.the.time. I need to breathe and give myself some space. I don't need to know the outcome of everything...I just need to give myself the space to think.

I also need to remember that no one is in charge of my happiness except for me. This is a rough one believe it or not...If I am in charge of my happiness that means I need to make conscious choices and decisions toward that happiness. That is both empoweri…

One day at a time...

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This has been a busy week...Friday snuck up on me. I participated in Challenge Day on Wednesday and mostly just reeled from all the hatred that has been spewed this week. I think that I need to focus on the good that is happening around rather than focusing on the negative. On Thursday, I had a student come into my room and hug me...random student who happened to be in the same Challenge Day. My heart soared a bit when  she was walking out of my room. I want my room to be a place where students feel safe...this small gesture made me feel that I was making inroads in a school that at times needs havens.

I am going to try to look at the positive...look at the good that is happening...that is the only way to keep my head on straight.

Refugee?

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Change from fear to hope...

"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons or the wind, but you can change yourself." ~Jim Rohn


Today I participated in Challenge Day at my school. I have written about this before...it's an amazing experience where students and adults alike get to see themselves are part of a greater community rather than separate from others. I teach at a school that has become a minority majority. I have been told that about 65% of our students are minorities. In this time...since Friday, it is even a more pressing statistic. Many of my students are Muslim, many of my students are immigrants, may of my students are refugees.

Our school has almost three thousand students and is a mix of cultures and ethnicities. The world is a place filled with fear and hate. So many decisions and comments are being made from a place of fear and hate...I have students that are being called "Terrorists" but students who walked next to them, without…

One hundred percent...

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I have challenged myself to start writing again...regularly so it begins that I am participating in the House of Mashinchi 30 Day Writing Challenge for Change. This is about personal change, emotional change, finding strength. I am challenging you to participate...whether you are a blogger, a diary writer, a writer on napkins for yourself, do it.

Respond to the insanity of the world right now, yell at the mountain top about who you are, make it so! For thirty days, commit to a few words about you and the power you have to bring!

On that note, remember that life is a journey not a sprint.  Remember that it takes time to muddle through all that is in your way. Healing can't take place overnight...it may take days, months, years. As I am struggling though my own healing, I am reminded that patience is a virtue.

I am not notoriously patient...I want the solution...now, but I am trying to recognize that the world does not work in this way. Part of my journey it to recognize that I need…

Lessons Learned...a view from the bottom of the pool

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This has been one of the strangest falls I have had in years. So much has gone through my mind in the last months but I have been unable to write consistently mostly because writing is like opening the wound. Twenty years ago I experienced many of these feelings...trying to stay afloat. I am finally on a path where I feel that I am starting to find my footing, beginning to feel human again. Only looking back on the past few months do I see how far I have come.

A wise friend told me earlier this fall that I have always kept myself busy as a way to cope, but now that business just seems overwhelming. It has been true. Somewhat like turning a Rubik's cube, hoping to put the same colors together, I have been slowly turning the dial, hoping that things connect.

Sometimes the loneliness can be unbearable...something I have not experienced in a long time. It is amazing how one can be fully surrounded by others and yet be so alone. It's a process. Somehow it doesn't make it easie…

A wave of relief...taking large gulping breaths...

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This has been a rough few weeks. I have reached a low of lows...one only rivaled by a low I experienced almost twenty years ago when I returned from California. This last few weeks was a bit frightening in my heart of hearts because I recognized that place I was approaching. Being older and wiser helps, that's for sure, but I still recognized the signs. This prompted me to take action.

I recognize, as Newton's Third Law say, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, which means that for each decision I make there will be some response from another place. I am okay with that because at this point no movement means no progress. I am ready for some movement in some direction so here I am...taking small positive steps in a (hopefully) better direction, knowing that the ultimate outcome is unknown.

Isn't that the way life is? When you are up against the wall between a rock and a hard place something has to give. I realize now that Javad's seizure in Mar…

Just keep swimming...

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I received a gift today...from a few friends from far away...this is a place where I am able to open my heart, my soul. I know that this is not just me, but this is the me that I don't really talk out loud about, the person who reveals cracks, the place where I can admit that I am not strong. This is not an easy thing for me...I like to believe that I am one who can handle things so that way things are right now brings an extra level of vulnerability...I try not to equate "not being strong" with being weak.

So, the gifts from afar helped my soul. Two special messages that renewed my spirit. It reminds me that, even when I feel like I am alone in the ocean, there are floaties nearby.

Underwater....

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Sometimes it just seems like life is not running in your favor...As I stated on Facebook the other day, "I feel like life is coming at me like a firehose to the face." I am usually the strong one, the one that can handle it. Right now, I am feeling underwater. My cup is empty and I have no reserves. There is only one other time in my life when I have felt this way and it was long ago. That time in my life wasn't a good one, one where my grounding had fallen away and I was floating aimlessly through life.

Now, not to panic, I feel like work is definitely grounding in many ways...at least I have much to do, lots to keep me busy, but I still feel that I am floating around in the space of my life. I am reaching out, probably too much, trying to find those around me who will help me keep my head in the right space. I'm not going to lie, it's a struggle to keep my mind in the space where it belongs. I have many amazing things happening in my life, I don't want to s…