It’s been awhile. A long while. I’ve been thinking about you lovingly. Starting to write again. Where to begin? And then today happened. And I’m bubbling over. My family is in Rome. We are on a 9 country, 14 city, 67 day world tour (#9country14city67days on Instagram to check it out!) We have a lovely little apartment, and a wonderful community that has embraced us with (italian speaking) open arms. Interestingly, we find far less English speakers in Italy than in Bali or Thailand… Go figure. But oh, the food and the people are SO amazing.
However, where ever we go – Bali, Australia, Thailand, Norway, Italy we hear a lot of strange and interesting words and sounds, and as soon as they realize we are American we hear the same word repeated over and over… Trump? I mean, what can you say? You can simply shrug and laugh and nod and keep ordering your pizza. And then, this morning, against all odds, he won.
Today, as I walked the streets of Rome, purchasing art supplies for the kids and fresh mozzarella (ok, and a bottle of wine… I mean I am coming from Bali, the land of NO decent wine…and it is election day) I see people looking at me as I speak my broken Italian, and whispering. And I hear the words through the chatter,….english… americano…. Trump…. And I feel my cheeks burn with humiliation. I want to tell them I’m sorry. I’m sorry he said mean things. Awful things. He sounds like a real jerk. I know.
And what do you tell your children?
And as I was drinking my profoundly awesome Cappuccino I remembered this quote:
And I wonder, what if we all stopped thinking of all of the awful things this man has said and done. I mean, he’s the president now, so what’s the point obsessing about all the bad stuff. What if we just sent him blessings? What if we focused on all of his positives, the reason so many people believed in him? His business experience. The fact he is not touched by politics. What if we forgive him his ego, and remember we have all said stupid things in the spotlight. We have all been a little ego drunk at times and woke up sick about something that came out all wrong? I mean, what harm could it do to find a little forgiveness? What is possible, if we all chose to see the most beautiful parts of this man? What could it turn into? What if we chose to create a miracle? All of us, together?
I surely don’t know the answers. But it seems like there is already an abundance of fear. I can feel the tidal wave from Italy. What if we all just switched to the vibration of love? What is possible?
We arrive in America on November 19. I’m afraid of the fear. So, I choose love. I will teach my children forgiveness and love. I will focus on all of this man’s most positive attributes and I will trust in a bright future.
Yes, it will be harder for some of us than others. But we are strong people, we can do hard things. At least for a few moments in time, who knows, maybe we can change the world? Maybe we can create something beautiful and magical, that sounds like forgiveness, and looks like hope?
Never hurts to try to find the Sunshine…because what if? What if it worked?
Parting words from one of my wisest friends as I left for Bali, “open your heart, lead with it, be in your heart, this is what you need”.
I’ve been “in my head” so long, I could hardly contemplate what it means to open my heart. I’m kind, isn’t that enough? I mean, I try to be kind. Occasionally, I’m not. But it’s my intention… I’m a thinker, I think things through… seven different ways. I analyze every possible option and second guess every decision…. at least 4 times.
Except this, Bali was a move from the heart. It makes no sense in any way except the heart.
When I got here, I see what she meant. You can’t NOT open your heart in Bali. Mine just cracks wide open at least once a day. I’ll just be walking along, and smell the incense and see the most beautiful flower dropped on the sidewalk and something happens to my heart. It’s like a little quail egg in there with the most fragile shell, and the smallest move sometimes will shatter that shell and spill my heart out in the open. It usually ends up flowing out my eyes after it’s made my chest all warm and heavy. And there I am, a white tourist woman, walking down the hairpin corner in the grass with vines hanging down and touching my head, single file with my family, sobbing.
At least now that we’ve been here two weeks, the kids are used to it. They just hug me and keep walking. It was quite startling to them the first few times it happened.
You know, I used to be an “open heart” person. I spent my youth with a heart like one of those liquid filled pieces of chewing gum. You know the little squares of sweet, firm, gum that when put in your mouth explode with an oversweet syrup? Yea, like that. Only not so firm on the outside. I spent my youth crying tears of heartbreak, that no one liked me, that I stubbed my toe, that there wasn’t enough kindness in the world. I cried a LOT. And it wasn’t just crying, it was heartbreak every time.
So I guess, over the years, this shell grew and grew over that little bit of liquid goo in there. And I forgot what it felt like to let it spill out into the world. That although it hurts sometimes, there is goodness in it. There is truth in just being who you are and feeling how you feel without worry that others will judge you for it.
Here I am, vulnerable, open heart. Crying tears of joy every day. The little shell gets thinner and thinner as it cracks open each day. But it hurts less. The joy feels like white light from heaven, invading every pore of my body. And it is enough. I am enough. It is good.
This is what I want to teach my children, not to be tough and create a shell that covers all of your preciousness so it doesn’t get hurt. I want to be brave, and show them how to let it spill out. The joy is so intense, and yes, when heartbreak comes it will be intense too. But better to live a life of intensity and joy, then a safe, overthought life without it.
Create your sunshine life, by letting the goodness spill out. Figure out how to open your heart. It could change absolutely everything…
We have been in Bali 6 nights. And these are the things I’m grateful for:
My kids are sleeping through the night for the first time in their lives. (and my daughter is 8). They are sleeping straight thru. This has never happened to us. Ever.
We have befriended 3 local families. Their love here is such that these wonderful people are going out of their way to pick us up and take us to drive to look at long term homes, helping negotiate prices in the local language, and taking us to school with our kids. Our children are playing together, and we hug when we part company.
The school is everything I could ever dream it would be. It’s a Buddhist/Neo Humanist/Unschool. It’s totally radical in the best way. The only anticipation I had, is that it is Vegetarian. My kids need a lot of protein or they turn evil. And they really dislike vegetables that are cooked. Hugo won’t eat anything if there is green anywhere touching it. But I said a little prayer to all of my travel angels for the Most Benevolent Outcome. We arrived to pick them up yesterday and a little tug at the back of my momma heart worried I would see tear stained faces. Funny Momma Bear. They were laughing (OK Avani was telling people what to do, so she was in her happy place) and cleaning up the goat pen and feeding goats. It was 4pm and they didn’t want to leave. They happily chattered the whole way home that it was the single best day of their lives. Avani is learning to play guitar, Hugo… well I mentioned the goats didn’t I? They start they day playing in the dirt gardening, then yoga and meditation. Then a bit of studies. Then more time running and playing outside. There are long silk scarves hanging from the ceiling – you know the ones in the acrobat ballet? The kids can climb and swing.
We laugh here. We swim. We listen to bugs and roosters (at 4am). We eat well. We have family.
It’s true, when you trust the universe, visualize, and jump – you can make way for some pretty phenomenal magic. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Create your sunshine life by trusting the Universe, requesting the most benevolent outcome, and jump.
Two days ago, my family moved to Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. We just did it. We sold our cars, our furniture, our worldly “stuff” and bought 4 one way tickets to Bali. Crazy, I know. But I laid in bed for two years visualizing it, and then, it just sort of happened. It was like the momentum of the universe and the dreams just took over. And we’re here. And you know the craziest part? It was easy.
I was really worried about the 5 hours flying from Austin to Seattle. The 12 hour flight from Seattle to Taiwan. The 5 hour layover in Taiwan (what would my kids actually eat?) and then the final 6 hour flight to Bali and a two hour DRIVE to our home. It’s insane. But it was easy. When I looked up at Tom during the long flight and told him “only 3 hours left” he shook his head in disbelief and told me I must have the time change wrong. But it was that easy. Flying isn’t like it used to be. Comfortable chairs. Great meals. Tons of movies. The kids were in heaven. I’ve never let them watch 9 hours of movies before! I think the RedEye from Seattle was a great start. Getting up at 2am was hard at the time, but it all fell into place. I also found a rockstar deal on Premium Economy seats on EVA air. Which I HIGHLY recommend. And then, we were here.
We love it. IT feels like home. The incense burning over the beautiful flower offerings in front of every home and business soothe my soul somewhere so deep it’s cellular. And the people, Avani says “Everyone here is so NICE”. It’s true. Although the traffic is completely insane and there is a lot of honking – it’s more of a friendly beep like “here I am, watch out I don’t want to hit you” vs the angry revving and beeping and aggressive driving we had started to see in Austin.
We eat fresh fruit bowls with cashew milk yogurt for breakfast. I know we are overpaying horribly for it at $4 a bowl. But it’s a close walk to the house and a treat for our first few days here.
Our goal in Bali is healing. Loving. Moving more slowly. Spending more time with what is important. I’m hoping for a miraculous healing for myself. And I visualize it every day. A miraculous healing for my children. And an opportunity to slow down and enjoy what is right in front of us, to savor life, to drink it in. I want my children to know that anything is possible and the world is a large place, filled with people that are wonderful.
So, I”m finally inspired to write again. The roosters wake me at 5am, and it’s a blessing. I get up and lay in our outdoor living room and watch the sky change color. Listen to the serenade of the insects and the song of the rooster and my heart is so full it could burst.
Create your sunshine life, by moving to Bali, if you must. xoxo
It’s been awhile… I’ve been digesting life. Slowly.
I wish I could tell my daughter things to make her life easier. I wish that I could sit down with her and catch her eye and she would hear me. Our relationship isn’t quite like that. She doesn’t enjoy eye contact and sitting still for more than 4 seconds is a very, very challenging task. So heart to hearts don’t come easy.
I wish I could tell her that it’s all about Love. Everything. Everywhere. We go through so many years of pain and drama over wishing people would love us, love us more, love us better. We change who we are, what we think, what we dream, so maybe people will love us more. We yell and scream and hurt others, because we’re AFRAID they don’t love us. We miss so much magic, and beauty, and wonder within ourselves while we’re trying to make sure someone sees us in our glory.
If I could just teach her she’s amazing, enough to fill her tank…. If she could find that confidence and love herself and her brilliant ideas and her frustrating quirks and worry less about the world …. it would be a sweeter life.
Yet, after 37 years of doing the same myself, it’s a hard habit to break. Schoolyard whispers still claw at the back of my thoughts, should I have said that? worn that? done that? I mean, I’m better than I used to be. After frantically asking myself several times I can usually actually remind myself that it doesn’t matter now. But the first voice is the one of doubt. How much practice it takes to change that. I wish, I could help her find that sweet voice while she’s young, and hear it first.
Because if you are truly comfortable with loving yourself to pieces, and you act from love towards others, what else is there?
Create your Sunshine Life – by Loving yourself to pieces first. xoxo
Friends! This is amazing. I have finally finally had time to properly place my nose in the most amaze-balls book and it’s blowing my mind. So of course, I’m ready to share! I’ve been looking forward to its release for months, and then life happened and it’s been sitting on my Kindle waiting for my vision, and time, and sleep patterns to align themselves! And here we are.
If you have a child, and you know something isn’t quite “right”. If your “mommy alarm” is going off, even if there is no firm diagnosis, read this book! If your life is just harder than it seems it should be, you’re not alone.
She discusses everything from food sensitivity, antibiotic use, vaccines, genetic mutations, tests and doctors and support options. This is an amazing manual from a mom that has done it, and done it very, very well.
We have been getting deeper and deeper into genetic data and the results are mind blowing. Granted, it’s a little overwhelming to go back to chemistry and remember RNA and DNA and atoms… but, when it’s related to your child and how they feel it’s EVER SO MUCH MORE fascinating than it was in college! orrrr maybe I’m just geeking out.
Last night I handed my husband the chapter on Oppositional Defiance Disorder (yes, it’s a real thing) at 11pm. I mean, how could I NOT? We’re 10 for 10 on the “you might have this if:” list. And there is some reassurance that it’s not just us, our parenting, our discipline. It’s not just that we SUCK as parents. There is a real, valid, understandable reason for this behavior. It’s not an easy fix mind you, there is no pretty yellow pill that makes it all go away, but there is a roadmap. And if you stop to pay attention to it, it all kind of makes sense.
Gosh, we’ve been to so many doctors, and healers, and specialists, and … everything. And never found real answers, but now it’s all finally falling into place. So grateful. Just keep going, don’t let anyone discourage you.
Now I can’t wait to get all of our tests by 23andMe and our Igg Food Sensitivity test!
I leave you with a lovely quote from my dearly departed friend. xoxo
Create your sunshine life, keep going and loving, and believing.
I use Facebook much differently than many people. The cool thing about FB is that it is smart and figures out what you look at, and brings more of that. I used to pay attention to the drama of people I knew decades ago, or the endless pictures of kids (which I still do) but now I use it more as an educational and inspirational tool for myself when I need a quick recharge.
Here are 5 of my favorite Facebook feeds – if you’re here, there’s a good chance you may also enjoy:
1. Healing ADHD & Aspbergers without Hurting – This woman is incredible. It’s a great feed to follow for ongoing recipes, tips, nutritional supplements and new studies. Hugely informative. If you look to the right there is a link to go straight to Amazon and purchase her amazing book.
2. Tut – Mike Dooley – Total uplifting, happy, lovely reminders of how wonderful it all is. Every messy moment.
3. Wake Up World – Great “news” feed for alternative news. Nutritional information, health suggestions, and new inventions to save the world. Wonderful perspective.
4. TED – Ted talks. Go there. Follow these beacons of hope. Take time to watch the talks, they range from 5 – 20 minutes and are always worth the time. Great place to reset, find perspective, be curious and fascinated with the world around you.
5. National Vaccine Information Center– I know it’s controversial. But it’s life. This site isn’t against vaccines so much as it’s pro-education. As with anything regarding my family’s health I always check multiple sources before believing anything. But it’s a great place to stay informed of the newest information.
And one to grow on. My favorite. Liz Gilbert. I love her because, well… she’s REAL. She’s a real person. She’s candid about life, hope, flaws and love. You may know her as the author of EAT, pray, Love. She’s also been touring with Oprah on the Life You Want Tour. She’s a cool cat and does her own posting on FB so it’s worthwhile. (oooh and her new book, the Signature of All Things is amazing!)
Enjoy. Spice up your time a the computer with a few things that make you grow. In knowledge, in love, in peace, in hope. And for heavens sake, hide those drama queens that make your stomach flop. (it’s really easy and they will never know you did it – just click the little arrow in the upper right corner of a post and it will drop down and ask if you would like to hide all posts from this person ).
Create your sunshine life, everywhere you look. Leave little traces of magic for yourself to find when you least expect it (Mike Dooley feed).
Oh So many things. Sooo many things to share. It’s been Forever.
Today, my daughter asked me for advice. Real honest, loving advice. Not eye-rolley, or snotty, but lovely – GRANTED it was how to win at Candy Crush, but hey, beggers can’t be choosers. I’ll still remember the day forever, except in a few months I will change it in my mind to something probably a bit more poetic, today I’m honest. It was Candy Crush.
My learning with Methylation and genetics moves forward. I feel a bit at times like I’m lost in the Matrix. Deep in data with numbers and studies all around me and I forget where I am. It’s a process, but a worthy one. I can’t wait to figure it out and share with all the mommas and daddies out there searching… It’s like a fast track back to college. Chemistry and ick. But it’s a new goal when it helps your kids. So I just stick with it.
In the meanwhile, as we’ve been so diligent reducing our diet, any small infraction causes huge upset. Last week I made a roast chicken for my husbands birthday and as a “special” treat I tucked an onion inside the bird as the kids had another meal planned. We haven’t been able to cook with onion or garlic in months due to my sons sensitivity, and it felt like a special occasion. However, when we boiled said chicken for broth we forgot to remove the cursed onion. My son drank the broth last night and was sick all day today. Poor little guy.
I’m going to start researching an aggressive digestive enzyme therapy to begin to start to build tolerance to these sensitivities. We’ve had it out of our diet for over 3 months and drinking bone broth and grass fed gelatin like it’s going out of style and the sensitivity only goes stronger. The problem foods are like the “one Ring to Rule Them All” (geeky Lord of the Rings reference) where the attraction and impact only grows stronger with time.
We are making it. Each day. I’m up more than I used to be. I’m trying to come to a calm and loving acceptance for my new way of life. It isn’t what it was before the accident, but it’s better than it has been. Perhaps I need to focus on patience for awhile. I’m working on getting IGG blood tests for both kids to assess food sensitivities and continue to work towards understanding the mutations we have and how I can heal them nutritionally.
I haven’t lost hope. Sometimes I even still dream of Bali. You know, if I could make the flight and all of the stars aligned.
Somedays It’s not any more exciting than one foot in front of the other. And that’s enough.
Create your Sunshine Life. One small Step at a Time. With patience.
I’m continually stunned and saddened by the state of the health of our children and the overall lack of concern by the population. The rates of autism increase daily, not to mention Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, and a whole mess of other similar neuro illness with names like ODD, OCD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc. Our kids get sicker and sicker.
I can’t believe how many people that have not yet been touched by autism (or any of the other Neuro conditions), cannot muster compassion for those that do. The only explanation is that it is so terrifying, people can’t bring themselves to contemplate the reality of what that looks like. What it feels like.
The growing population of educated moms learning to help their kids is awe inspiring. But they cannot do it alone. We have to help each other, sharing what works, sharing grace, acceptance and non-judgement when we experience these wild little creatures in our world.
If you run into a “naughty” kid in a public place, or a child trick or treating without a costume, please remind yourself not to judge. These parents and kids are dealing with more than most people could ever imagine and sometimes just surviving another day is all they can hope for.
Their nervous systems are on overload, neurotransmitters are out of balance, and many are sickened by regular day to day activities.
Whether these disorders affect you now or not, they likely soon will. With the increasing vaccine schedule, toxins in self care products (shampoo, soaps, lotion, toothpaste) gmo’s in our food supply and artificial colors that have been proven to be neurotoxins, fluoride in the water, and lack of sunlight and fresh air – these kids are all jumbled up.
SO please, have grace, send love, give encouragement if you see a stressed mom who’s child is melting down in Target. Read ingredient lists. Learn what is in your food, your water. Become educated about the world we live in and support others doing the same. Take time to learn about initiatives such as GMO labeling, and reducing the toxins in your home.
Because it does matter.
These are our people. This is our planet. And we’re screwing it all up under the guise “that’s someone else’s problem”.
We work our jobs, take care of our kids, go to college, do homework, all the things that society says we must do. But we missed all the important stuff. We missed empathy. We missed personal responsibility. We forget to care about what we eat and trust a mess of politicians to do it for us. We must learn to care about our world and our people – all of it.
So please, the next time you think to yourself “that kid needs a good swat” or “that mother is doing a terrible job” consider to yourself that perhaps that mother is trying desperately to heal her child. Maybe she hasn’t slept in weeks. Maybe the child hasn’t either. Maybe someone gave her sensitive child a sucker filled with artificial coloring and high fructose corn syrup without her consent (happens all the time at banks and grocery stores) and the child is having a hard time processing. Maybe what they both need more than anything is understanding. Compassion. Respect.
Perhaps that Momma Bear is a warrior, studying late into the night, getting her very own personal online medical education with no goal other than to save her children and the children all around her.
Create your Sunshine Life – by sharing the Sunshine with someone who really needs it.
We haven’t had cable TV in about a year. It just was an excessive expense with the accident, and the chaos so we cut cable and occasionally rent a redbox or find a movie or documentary at the library. Which means, we don’t watch the news. Yes, that’s right folks. WE DO NOT WATCH THE NEWS. Proudly.
Now of course, if you know me at all, you know I’m an obsessive researcher. I research everything from vaccine statistics to healthy eating, leaky gut, nutrition profiles and genetic abnormalities (not to mention I could hold my own in a conversation with top neurologists about CSF leaks!). I research water shortages in California and kickstarter campaigns with salt water filtration systems and crazy impressive solar power. So it’s not that we’re out of touch with the world. We’re out of touch with the fear mongering.
Recently, my husband had this brilliant idea to get an antenna ($8 Amazon.com) so we could pick up local programming, the occasional guilty pleasure. Greys Anatomy or some fun cooking show. We were totally and completely unprepared for the wild advertising, consumerism and fear mongering. HOLY COW. You don’t really notice when you watch it every day, but after a break and some perspective it’s appalling!
A new drug to help with occasional depression but side effects include kidney failure and death… but look how happy we are now! New gadgets and gizmos that no one on this planet actually needs but it’s being shoved down our throat as they next thing to make life easier and it’s only $19.99. All I can see is how many will soon be in landfills once people realize it’s just one more gadget for their kitchen to find space for and use once a year.
The other day I turned on the tv to watch a documentary with the kids and in the two minutes it took me to switch over from tv to dvd, some daytime talkshow (like The View-although I’m not sure that’s what it was) was showing clips from YouTube about some baby laughing when its dad coughed. THIS IS DAYTIME TV? With all that is happening in the world, with a new 17 year old winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, with all of the amazing inventions to save the planet, with all of the beautiful wonderful things in our world – you are using TV time to show me silly clips of someone’s baby from the internet??? Even my 5 year old son looks up at the TV (as they replay the clip for the third time) “ya, ya, we got it. This is ridiculous mom”. My thoughts exactly. What a lazy, greedy, excuse to sell commercials and take up TV time.
As someone who spent a good portion of her career in corporate marketing and advertising, I have a fairly good handle on the how’s and why’s for television commercials and the subtle techniques used for a “win”.
Don’t even get me started about Ebola. Does no one else think it strange that there are no positive public service messages to strengthen your immune system? Wash your hands? Get enough sleep. Consider a daily probiotic (proven to increase strength of the immune system). Ebola doesn’t kill everyone it comes in contact with. Survivors typically had a strong immune system. No. It’s about creating fear. How scary it all is. How many people have died. How fast it is spreading. How the CDC has everything under control. No wait – maybe they don’t. It’s no big deal – but it is deadly. It’s a roller coaster of emotions that the public is being drug through. And that is as scary as anything else. What about some confidence, strength, education, leadership?
Down with the fear mongering. Don’t drink the kool-aid. Fear makes people stop thinking. It makes people stop trusting their own intuition. It gets people to hand over their power to someone else as it’s just too overwhelming to decide ourselves.
Lets lift each other up. Find strength, education, confidence. Talk to those whose opinion you value, and have an educated conversation, debate is ok – you don’t have to agree – the goal is to learn. And keep learning. Trust yourself.
Raise your vibration. How about believing in miracles? Faith doesn’t cost a thing.
Create your sunshine life. Ditch the fear. Be your radiant self instead. Learn something new that is beautiful about our world. And for heavens sake, turn off that fear machine.
xoxo ~ Clover Sunshine