Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Tag: self-care

Love and Loss: Some Healthy Things To Consider When Life Goes Wrong

(contributed post)

You have always considered yourself to be a positive and outgoing person with high prospects for your life. There aren’t many things that could hold you back from being the person you have always wanted to be. You practice self love religiously, and you have a caring family who is always there for you through thick and thin. But what happens when the amazing things in your life crumble right before your eyes? Whether you lose a loved one or suffer an unexpected break-up, there are many healthy ways that you could approach these life-changing situations. Follow each of these ideas below to help get your life back on track quicker than you could ever imagine.

Dealing With Death

The phone rings and you receive the news that you have always dreaded. Your close family member has died suddenly, and you are completely shocked. You don’t understand how this could have happened. If it is natural causes, you wonder if something could have been done to avoid it. If it is an accident, maybe you feel it is the result of someone’s negligence. If your loved one has died wrongfully you might want to take legal action. You can learn more about it here and explore your options when it comes to pursuing your case.

Grieving Takes Time

A legal battle can take several years to conclude, and it can be very difficult to grieve whilst you’re in the midst of it all. Don’t rush the grieving process, as it is going to take a while to learn to live differently. Find a healthy way of grieving that works for you, whether that involves counseling, talking to a friend or taking some time off work to recover. You will be able to come to terms with what happened, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Love-Life Loss

When something takes a drastic turn for the worse in your love life, it can be truly crippling. You never expect things to go wrong, so when they do, it can be very difficult to come to terms with. Dealing with a break up is much like dealing with death. You can’t ignore that it happened, but you also can’t let it consume your life. Start to do things that make you truly happy, and you will be ready to love again one day.

Positive Thinking

Whatever kind of tragic loss you have suffered, try to remain positive at all times. You will be able to move forward in your life quicker if you try to maintain a positive attitude.

Wallowing in self-pity will never allow you to deal with the awful problems that life can sometimes throw at you. Face the issue head on and know the right way to deal with it. Try not to dwell on the past too much, but don’t let your loved one slip away from your memories altogether. Allow yourself time to grieve and heal; think about the happy qualities this person brought to your life and re-channel your outlook into a more positive and upbeat one.

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Motherhood: How Can We Be a Good Parent and Yet Be Fulfilled as a Woman?

Today I welcome Wendy Brown-Baez, author of Catch a Dreamwho is on a blog tour with  WOW! Women On Writing! She has written this wonderful guest post below on motherhood and also being an adult with feelings, desires, and passions. What she says below is what I feel like I struggle with constantly and somewhat the same message that Brene Brown had in her latest book: Braving the Wilderness. Please read and comment, and then look at the information after the post about Wendy’s book!  On June 3, I will post my review (which I have been working on during the pre-summer reading challenge!) so stay-tuned.

by Wendy Brown-Baez

In Catch a Dream, Lily struggles with balancing motherhood with her own desires, although not at first. As she travels with her best friend and their children, she describes their lifestyle like this: “People ask why we don’t put the children in school while praising their intelligence, their savoir-fare, their knowledge of their world, their innocence and wildness…They are loved, so we don’t feel that they lack for anything.”

Later, she admits: “Jonah never knew his father and has been yearning for one.” The profound link between Levi and Jonah is a thread through-out the obstacles between Levi and Lily in the book. Jonah’s anger at their separation is the start of his rebellion and soon he visits Levi behind her back.

At what point do we stop and consider if our choices for ourselves are the right ones for our children? I think this is the crux of parenting. My parents wanted me to go on to college, but I was a wild child; I wanted to experience life, and school had stifled my creative spirit. As a parent, I wanted my child to be free and to explore the world, but all he ever wanted was the security of the middle class lifestyle I left behind.

Relationships are both exhilarating and painful, and it is normal to go through misunderstanding and hurt as well as passion and exulted joy. Children feel the repercussions in our behavior and moods. It’s hard to be cheerful when our hearts are breaking. It’s just as hard to be steady when our hearts are rejoicing! It is not easy to wait until our kids are grown to follow our hearts, so we take a step forward. Sometimes it leads to forging a new family, and sometimes it is heart-breaking.

There was an incident in Israel that I don’t write about in the book. A rock was thrown at my son’s head. We had to go to the hospital for stitches and x-rays, and I describe it in a poem as “the longest hours of my life.” A few days later, we walked past the rock-thrower, a young Arabic boy. This was during the uprising, so tensions were high, but I scolded him, instinctually fierce: “Don’t you ever do that to my son again!”  I think of my audacity in defending my child. It never crossed my mind that my life might be in danger.

On the other hand, there were plenty of times when I trusted my son to make good choices while I was occupied with my own thoughts, dreams, creative projects, and love affairs—and wish I had been more present. Was Lily a good parent? She tried to be. Do we ever stop evaluating ourselves or second-guessing ourselves as parents? Probably not.

Catch a Dream:  (ABOUT THE BOOK): A woman’s healing journey begins in a country embroiled in relentless turmoil. In Israel, the first Intifada has just begun. Palestinian frustration for a homeland erupts in strikes, demonstrations and suicide bombings, and Israel responds with tear gas, arrests, and house demolitions. Lily Ambrosia and Rainbow Dove arrive in Haifa with their children on a pilgrimage to sow seeds of peace. Lily’s fascination with Jewish culture inspires her to dream she can plant roots in the Holy Land. She falls in love with the land itself, with its people, and with Levi, a charming enigma, dangerous but irresistible. Eventually she is fully immersed in Israeli life, earning her way as a nanny, hanging out in cafes with friends, and attending Yom Kippur in the synagogue. Her son rebels against the lifestyle she has chosen, and war with Syria looms on the horizon. Will she be able to stay? What does she have to give up and what will she be able to keep?

BIO: Wendy has facilitated writing workshops since 1994 including at Cornerstone’s support groups, the Women & Spirituality conference at MSU Mankato, Celebrate Yourself women’s retreats, All About the Journey healing center, The Aliveness Project, Unity Minneapolis, El Colegio High School and Jacob’s Well women’s retreat. Wendy received 2008 and 2009 McKnight grants through COMPAS Community Art Program to teach writing workshops for youth in crisis. The project at SafeZone and Face to Face Academy developed into an art installation
showcasing their recorded writings. When it was noted that students’ reading scores improved, she was hired as Face to Face’s writing instructor.

In 2012 she was awarded a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant to teach writing workshops in twelve nonprofit arts and human service organizations. She continues to teach at Pathways: a healing center, in MN prisons, and in community spaces such as public libraries, yoga studios, churches, and cafes.Wendy has taught memoir at MCTC continuing ed and through Minneapolis community ed.

In addition, Wendy has managed shelters for the homeless and visited incarcerated teens. She is trained as a hospice volunteer and as a facilitator of Monologue Life Stories. Wendy studied alternative healing, ceremony, and spiritual traditions with Earthwalks for Health and lived in Mexico and Israel. She has collected wisdom teachings from these diverse cultures, as well as written memoirs of her adventures.

You can find Wendy Brown-Baez at:

Website: www.wendybrownbaez.com

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Round-Up: Self-Care and Emotional Health Top 5 Articles

Self-care and emotional health are two very important topics to me. I recently saw this quote on a quote calendar I own:

“You must love and care for yourself because that’s when the best comes out.” ~ Tina Turner

So true, right? And as we all know, it is not always easy when you’re a parent, especially. So here is a round-up of the top 5 articles on my blog that have to do with self-care and emotional health. I chose this round-up thanks to everyone who took my poll on what topics readers would like me to focus on next. So here we go…

Life Is All About Your Reaction and Your Tribe (This post is about surrounding yourself with people who make you better and how you can’t control others, but you can control your reaction!)

Parents: Taking Time For Yourself (This post is about a trip I took with my girlfriends and why it is important for all parents to fill their well.)

The Thing About Change and Not Giving Up (This post was inspired by a book I read about ways to NOT become unglued and making imperfect progress toward goals.)

5 Things I Learned About Living In 2016 (From “balance is key” to “parenting is hard and give yourself a break”, this post shares my personal experiences while trying to improve my emotional health.)

Make This the Year You Start Taking Care of Number One  (Three tips for taking care of yourself and why you should! )

 

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Make This the Year You Start Taking Care of Number One

(contributed article)

Most people are incredibly concerned with looking after the people in their lives. This is an amazing thing, and it really is one of the very best things about human beings. However, a lot of people end up taking this too far and spend so much of their time worrying about the other people in their lives that they don’t manage to pay close enough attention to the things that they need. It might be something that you’re not all that used to, but taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of all of the people in your life. With that in mind, here are some ways that you can make this the year that you finally start taking care of number one!

Take care of your health

The first thing that you need to start doing is paying closer attention to your health. It’s crazy just how much people tend to ignore their own health in favor of focusing on other things. People can go years without a doctor or dentist appointment, let alone anything more specific when it comes to their health. Make an appointment for a checkup with your doctor, and then do the same for your more specific health needs. Look up dentists, dermatologists, and ophthalmologists nearby. Think of your body as a car; you need to get each and every part of it checked over if you want to avoid something going wrong.

Understand your emotions

Emotions are a tricky thing at the best of times, but it’s crucial that you’re as tuned in to your emotional health as you are your physical health. There’s a lot of stigma that surrounds mental and emotional health, but it’s always a good idea to pay close attention to your emotional well-being because otherwise, you could end up in some serious trouble. Pay attention to your emotions and think carefully about why you feel the way you do about certain things. Increasing your emotional intelligence is one of the best ways to improve your entire life.

Know what you’re worth

One of the hardest things for people to realize, and also something that makes it incredibly easy to put others needs before their own, is that they have worth. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do for a living, or how much money you have in the bank; you have worth because you’re a person and it’s important that you remind yourself of this fact every single day. If you forget your own worth as a person, it’s going to be that much easier for other people to take advantage of you.

Self-care might seem like a fairly new phenomenon, but the reality is that it’s been around for an incredibly long time and most people simply aren’t going to be able to function properly without it. It might seem selfish, and to a degree it kind of is. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, if you can’t look after yourself, how can you look after the other people in your life?

 

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