Balance.

Day four of Kindergarten is in the books. Sadler couldn’t be happier right now in these moments of her life.

 I’ve had all the feels this week about this whole starting school thing.

Filling out the form, using only 5 words to describe my only 5-year-old…my baby. I had never truly thought of words to describe her before. Just last week as we rode in the car, Reid and I gave our input on who we saw our daughter to be; I was filling in her name, and her strengths and weaknesses, and her “hot buttons”. It was heartwarming to come up with the best five words that we thought described our girl, together: STRONG-WILLED, KIND, TENDERHEARTED, LEADER, INTELLIGENT.

As I wrote the words in the paper, I began to cry. Who were we talking about here? Sadler, or me?

It’s so hard as a parent (at least for me at this place in my journey) when you see things in your children, qualities about them, similarities in their behavior, predictability in how they’ll answer questions…and you feel like you’re looking in the mirror.

I’ve coming to learn and accept that I am my own best teacher, but this little girl runs a real tight second. She teaches me things about myself, and I try to teach her things about herself because I just know how she sees life. Sometimes it’s as if we share the same eyes.

She speaks my language. She gets me and I get her. I feel so incredibly lucky that she is mine. 

But I want her to find her way in her way. I don’t ever want to be a tug of influence, but rather a beam of guidance that just leads her there, on her own.

She’s a 1. I’m a 1, too. 

So I know for her, it can seem like we are the only ones with the only way. Our hearts are protected yet open, and our ideas are bigger than us it seems. Yet we know we can always push harder. 

It’s been a struggle this week. Finding balance between being a good stay-at-home-mom and a servant leader/CEO to my newly-blossoming essential oil business. Can’t I do both?

Time-blocking. When I have (let’s be real, when I make) the time to actually block the time. It happens sometimes. We’ll call it 50 percent.

Meditating (actually just discovered Light Sourcing by Rebecca Campbell in her INCREDIBLE BOOK, “Light is the New Black”). My mornings have become my favorite time of the day for more reasons than this one. 

Hot yoga when I have someone to watch the girls (aka – when Reid gets home from work or really early on Saturday mornings). I’d go every single day if it were possible. It’s my sanctuary. 

  Lots of oils. I love and find comfort in knowing than whenever things get heavy, I can count on my oils for safety and solace. They usually change the game for me so profoundly that I’m moved to tell someone or make a Facebook live video about my experience. 

Affirmations. Written on a whiteboard, to be repeated each morning. Out loud. Because I know the power of the spoken word. 

Lots of deep personal development through books. Mindset transformations about money and budgeting.  Journaling.

I’m doing so many of the things. I’ve created so many positive habits. Yet, I still find myself feeling out of balance. 

Unsteady. Ungrounded. 

Flailing. 

I’m learning to soften into who I am. We all need to. 

I’m so worried about getting it all done that I can’t lose sight of what I’m doing it all for. 

I’ve prayed for answers for quite some time now. Shortly after (and sometimes during), I look up to see a squirrel balancing along the power line right in front of me. It’s like he comes out of thin air. I see that as God telling me to keep my footing, just one in front of the other. Slow and steady. 

Because as the old Chinese proverb goes, “Be not afraid of going slowly; be only afraid of standing still.”

And So It Is

I’ve debated deleting my Facebook account. It’s too painful.

You think that sounds silly. Roll eyes. Think to yourself, get over it Candice. 

But that’s just the thing, I can’t help it. I feel EVERYTHING.

I feel it when people talk nasty to one another. I feel it when people bash the President (any of them). I feel it when people take jabs at each other over differing views about racism or politics or what color a dress is.

When I am in the presence of others, I feel things, too.

I feel when people are sad. I feel when people are embarrassed. I feel when people are angry.

I recently saw a lady belly dancing at the park in front of hundreds of people, many who were making fun of her. I could feel her joy and passion as she danced, and it made me cry (looking back, it was a bizarre experience because my tears came out of nowhere).

I feel when people are lying to me, and that’s one of the toughest to withstand. Having someone you genuinely care for tell a flat out lie to your face, and you just know that they are lying, because you just know…well, it sucks.

This shift has brought some people on my path closer to my heart, and into my life with deeper meaning. It has also repelled several people in my life away from me. They don’t think I can tell, but I can feel it, too.

Being able to feel  everything isn’t anything new to me. I just didn’t know what it was before. I chalked it up as tingly legs, or a lump in my throat, or a migraine. I’d reach for medicine or take a warm bath or go home from work, because I felt physically ill.

My throat has a lump right this very second, and I’m sure it’s because my ego is trying to tell my brain to tell my hands to stop typing. Stop telling these things about myself, so as to not risk the ridicule from those who lack the ability to understand. Don’t risk putting yourself out there on the internet for the world to see and talk about you behind your back.c288cb1769375e3fa6264d51f15a902b

You see, I don’t write things like this for recognition or for likes. It’s truly none of my business what anyone thinks about my writing. Don’t mishear me, I am eternally grateful for the unexpected following I’ve gained, and for the overwhelming gratitude I’ve received from so many of you who read my story. It’s a deep honor to be a part of the space in your day.

Writing is my calling. I have enjoyed writing since I was a small child, and it has been a part of me all throughout my life.

Even down to the name of this website, every part of this blog has been driven by my inner voice, or intuition, or the Holy Spirit. Each time I’ve sat down to type, it’s been in response to something that’s moved inside of me. Something I’ve prayed about and waited to hear an answer to. Lots of times, something bubbles up and the urge to write is powerful! Urges that I don’t question, because they feel 100% energetically aligned with where I am that day. I have to usually stop whatever I’m doing to get my words out.

I truly believe that there is a worldwide shift taking place right this very minute, and people around the world are learning about themselves what I’ve learned about myself. This month marks a year since I “woke up”. And since then, the rest has happened rapidly. I’m still peeling back layers of self-discovery.

And I have been called to tell my story.

To make sure that if there is even one lonely soul out there who feels that something in life is maybe just a touch off kilter, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is. There are so many of us out there, and I believe we are called to shine our light bright into the world so that we may light up the path for others. For those who cannot yet see.

In all of my life, I have never felt so sure of who I am as an individual. My body has never been so supple and so strong. I am whole, in mind and body and spirit. Because it’s all ONE. And we are all ONE.

Here is an interesting thought to ponder. Look at these two words:

Is it ALONE?

Or ALLONE?

What if we’ve become so programmed and brainwashed and fear-mongered that we’ve lost our sense of ONENESS along the way?

We are all one. We are all energy, and all flow through the universe.

I used to hear “energy” and think only about physical movement. If someone was “high energy” they were just hyper. Couldn’t sit still.

In reality, high energy means high vibrations – GOOD VIBES. Low energy, or low vibrations are typically not good vibes (not for me, at least). Every person and thing on this planet is made of energy and we “vibe” with frequencies that are similar to our own. Hence, the icky feeling you get when certain people come around, and the amazing sense of still waters you get when you certain others come around. Your vibration won’t lie to you.

There are days in which I question the process, but I’m learning that questioning things is part of the process. Gone are they days where we can walk blindly through life with our heads in the sand. We should be questioning everything.

Thinking for ourselves. Loving FIERCELY. Forgiving quickly.

It’s what’s lies inside each of us that we are looking for. We are the teacher, and the best one at that.

I am thankful for my yoga practice, as it keeps me reminded of the importance of just breathing. I notice my breathing throughout the day in a satisfying way that fills my soul with joy. To know that my practice is seeping into my daily life reminds me that I’m on the right path. I will forever be grateful for the art of yoga and for the amazing instructors I am guided by. Yoga is life for me, because it’s taught me how to meditate and how to be still.

Being still lets me listen. Not only to those around me, but to my body. And my mind. And to the Holy Spirit when it speaks to me.

Let us hear the callings of our soul.

Let us LOVE.

Let us be ALL ONE.

And let us fly high, lifting one another up with grace and courage.

This is my story. May yours be written, too. Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amen. Namaste.

img_1134-1I grew up in church. It was a Southern Baptist church; the pews were wooden with fabric cushion. The hymnals were blue, and they were sporadically placed along the backs of each pew in attached wooden shelves. There were little pencils in little holes next to bigger little holes that were there to hold your communion cup. There were cards for first-time guests to fill out, and there were envelopes for tithing.

Church was a place we just automatically went. My great-grandparents and/or grandparents generally took me along with them on Wednesday nights. First we would go eat at either K&W or the O’Henry Grill, and then I would go to the Youth service while they went in “big church”. I remember being shy in youth group because I was so little in comparison to the “big” kids.

I remember years before that attending Vacation Bible School and making crafts out of popsicle sticks and coloring pictures with Bible verses written on them. I remember being in a play as a 7-year-old and thinking I was the coolest kid on the planet because I was acting. I remember around this same time, singing a solo on Sunday morning and being terrified when the time came in the music for me to start, and instead of singing I ran straight off the stage and into my cousin Sissy’s lap as tears rolled down my cheeks. I remember lots of softball games on Friday nights watching my dad play. I remember covered dish lunches in the Fellowship Hall and that I always had to find what Mama Dot or Granny brought because I knew it was likely one of my favorites. I remember laying across Mama Dot’s lap during the church sermon and getting some of the best back scratches the world’s ever known. I remember being baptized by Pastor Bud and even remember what I wore that day.

I have lots of memories of church growing up, but none of them really include much about God. As I grew into an adult, I drifted away from the familiar place church offered me and my family. I found myself choosing sleep over sermons on Sunday mornings, often to nurse a hangover or just catch up from being exhausted. People in the church “family” started to ask questions. Gossip set in. My parents (finally) divorced. My life fell apart… and church didn’t make the cut for what was important to me at that time.

As I went off to college, not much changed. I made good grades, held sometimes two jobs at a time while taking a full-load of courses at NC State. I made some great friends – some of whom are my very dearest friends today – but church and God wasn’t something that was talked about much in my circle of friends. If it was, I don’t remember. Which only tells me it wasn’t impactful if it did indeed happen.

Almost a year to the day after I graduated from college in December 2006, I went on the first date with my husband. We had known each other since 1994 but never dated throughout high school. Our first date turned into moving in together, which turned into engagement and marriage and 2 beautiful daughters. But at first, church wasn’t something we did together. It wasn’t something we did apart. It wasn’t anything that we even talked about — at first.

We would go to church with my grandparents for the Easter service once in a while, and I recall attending his niece’s christening about 7 years ago. But we didn’t have a church that we attended regularly and we didn’t spend a great deal of time talking about our plans to change that. We were content in our lives with what we had and what we were doing and who we spent our time with. We didn’t pray. We didn’t talk about God. We just lived our lives.

It wasn’t until this past Fall that I made the connection. I decided to read a book called The Power of Now that was a turning-point in my life. This book talked about being present in each moment that we are living and breathing, and to actually pay attention to each breath that we take; it was a reminder to “stop and smell the roses” sometimes. This book was so much more for me than I can even begin to describe here… I remember not being able to put it down, and I had not read a book from start to finish in almost a decade. I remember wanting to tell everyone about it, and I tried. But I quickly learned that it was not something everyone wanted to hear. Not everyone wants to hear about a riveting self-help book that I read. Have you lost your mind, Candice? was the translation of the look on their faces when I shared it with some friends and loved ones. But that’s just the thing, I felt just the opposite: almost as if I had found my mind. Or at least myself.

I have been visiting an incredible hot yoga studio for about a year now and was able to relate to the points the author made about paying attention to your breath. Each time I would go to yoga after reading this book, I found myself channeling deeper into my awareness of my breath, and it became easier each time. I started noticing my breathing while at home sitting on the couch or cooking dinner. I started to notice when I had found my innermost feelings of peace and stillness. I noticed and embraced the quiet in my mind and in my body. I was thankful for the yoga teachers I have been led by in my practice as of late who have reminded me to just breathe.

I realized that the feeling I felt of warmth and white: that was God. And it was then that I began to connect the dots between my version of universe God and church God.  I realized that they were one in the same. I realized that the inner stillness I had found and recently tapped into was God within me. I started to literally see things differently, with more color, and with more appreciation of the beauty within everything around me. Once a lens that only reflected black and white images, I now see so much color.

Toward the end of last year, we visited a new church and my heart was open to accept everything that it had to offer. I found my inner stillness and peace and tears streamed down my face as my sweet friend poured her heart out through song on the stage. The walls were black, the lights were dark and the spirit of God was in that room. I was so moved. I was inspired to keep digging within to find God within me, and I am happy to say we’ve been back several Sunday mornings since this fist visit and not much has changed. Same tears. Same stillness and peace. Same good music that makes me cry every.single.time.

This week marks the one-year-anniversary of my return to work after maternity leave when Everly was born. Only one year ago I was in such a different place spiritually and emotionally. I couldn’t (wouldn’t) even engage in conversation with you about God. I didn’t want to. I was going through the motions to earn a paycheck and daydreamed about what life would be like in another version of it. I looked happy, but I wasn’t. I knew there was so much more to be gained but couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

Today I am happy to tell you that I fully accept that I am nothing without God. He is at work within me and I rest my case in arguing that I have a better way to do this. I am at full mercy of  letting go of fear and worry and anxiety in order to live fulfilled and am in awe of what God has planned for me. I start each day with personal time devoted to my relationship with God and appreciate the difference it has made in my life.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”      

Proverbs 3:5-6

I hope and pray that I may always be able to stay mindful of something as simple as breathing. I pray that I can teach my girls to slow down and enjoy life each day rather than being busy in the process. May you find the color in your world and see it brightly. Namaste. And, Amen.