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You Are Braver Than You Believe

“Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

When we are hurting, these words from Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh are easy to forget. At some point in our lives, we each need reminding. It is in those moments we find ourselves leaning into another person (a friend or sometimes a complete stranger) who in their compassion and love reminds us.

We ARE brave. We ARE strong. We ARE smart. No matter how fearful, weak or broken we may feel in that moment.

Sunshine After The Storm

Sunshine after the Storm: A Survival Guide For The Grieving Mother strives to do just this, sharing honestly and with compassion the journey of a mother’s heart after the loss of a child , be it to miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant loss.

The book is free on Kindle until October 17th, 2013 and it’s authors would love to see it in the hands of as many people as possible. Mothers. Fathers. Spiritual leaders. Medical professionals. This heartfelt and inspiring collection is for anyone who finds themselves in the midst of loss.

My essay in Chapter Three, “The Things People Say”, is born of my personal experiences with repeat miscarriages, my struggle to ask for the things I needed, to forgive and to receive. In all, the book offers more than twenty “survival tips” and thirty unique perspectives from moms with both shared and varied experiences of infant loss and healing.

You may never know which of your friends this book is meant for, as in loss, most tend to hold their hurt close to the chest, which is why I am asking you to help us help others feel less alone in loss by sharing this link far and wide.

Thank you from the backside of my healing heart for passing this along, that another mother (or yes, another father) in their loss might feel less alone.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

xo

—–

When we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here because motherhood (and life) is better when we’re holding hands.

Related Posts:

Miscarriage and Loss

Waiting

“How to explain the inner workings of a mother’s heart who just knows there is another child waiting to be born to her?”

You do not need to have lost a child to know what it is to question God, to doubt yourself or to hope against all odds for a miracle.

This is my story from the magical day that was May 11th, 2013… Listen To Your Mother St. Louis. I hope it speaks to your heart in some small way. More than anything, I hope listening to this story and the others shared that day (youtube playlist) encourages you to ask whatever it is that is on your heart, to listen and to follow — even if (especially if) it doesn’t make “sense” to your head.

What is on your heart today? Do you know what it is to wait? What questions have you been asking and what, if anything, are you hearing in return? I know it takes something to share, but I’d love to hear from you below.

About Suzanne

I write about discernment and the spiritual journey that is life after loss at In The Face Of Loss. You can find me on Pinterest and Twitter as well. I write here and on My Mommy Manual‘s Facebook page about the connection we are, reminding myself and others to look inside for instructions.

Related Posts:
Growing in Motherhood

Rainbow Babies

Magic Sprinkles

Listen To Your Mother St. Louis 2013

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Believe Anyway


“Your baby did not make it.” The doctors said this and left the couple to grieve, baby on mom’s chest, skin to skin. For two hours this grieving mother and this grieving father held, soothed, comforted, talked to and loved on their son.

One hundred and twenty minutes, loving, bonding, tuning in and following their intuition. When their baby started moving and breathing, the doctors brushed the parent’s reports of signs of life off, not even returning to the room, but sending in a midwife to tell these grieving parents something along the lines of, “these things happen, these sorts of breathes and movements, but your son is gone.”

For two hours these parents believed anyway, against all reason or logic, holding and loving their child back to life, despite hours of being told what they were seeing… what they knew to be so, was not to be believed.

Their baby was alive…

The miracle is two fold. That the baby revived to life… and that the parents trusted their intuition over cold, hard facts and medical know-how.

I love this story on so many levels. The power of loving touch. The power of believing. And I am reminded by this miracle baby, this mother and this father, once again, in matters big and small, that I can look inside of myself for instructions. That I am best served (in mothering and in life) when I keep my heart higher than my head, despite what anybody else has to say about it.

xo

—–

When we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here because motherhood (and life) is better when we’re holding hands.

Related Posts:
Connection and Baby/Kids

Smallest Teachers

I taught baby massage, like I do every Friday, but today, as I loaded up my things in my car, I realized I was leaving class feeling — what’s the word? — lighter.

By lighter I mean something about class today has me walking just a little bit slower, smiling just a little bit wider, thankful just a little bit more.

Why? I’ve been thinking about this for the last two hours, and the only answer I have for you is this:

small teacher

Starring into these eyes. Lying my hand on this ones head as he starred back at me. Breathing. Sharing stillness. Holding and soothing a sweet, little baby girl, just weeks old that came to class, crying from tummy pains/gas minutes into her massage.

These babies.

The peace of the present moment I am pulled into when I am with them. They are to blame, I’m quite certain of it.

Today, if you have little people lying, rolling, crawling or walking around you in the house, take a moment. Stare into their eyes. Breathe. Hold their gaze just a little longer than you normally would. Share a moment, still… together, no matter their age (even if you risk being called weird by your tween/teen.)

I promise you, you will walk away transformed. And likely, they will too.
xo

—–

When we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here because motherhood (and life) is better when we’re holding hands.

Related Posts:
Connection and Baby/Kids

Return To Zero: Ready To Grieve Out Loud?

RETURN TO ZERO is a movie based on the true story of a successful couple preparing for the arrival of their first child. Just weeks before their due date, they are devastated to discover their son has died in the womb and will be stillborn.

After their loss, Maggie and Aaron attempt to go on with their lives,  but try as they may, they can not escape their grief. Their lives have been forever altered. They try to cope in a myriad of ways — through denial, escape, and alcohol — but when Maggie ultimately discovers that Aaron is having an affair, she decides to end the marriage.

Just when Maggie believes she has started a new life, she learns she’s pregnant, the baby a result of a last ditch ‘save the marriage’ getaway to Vegas. With the help of her empathetic doctor who had experienced a similar loss years ago, Maggie finally grieves for the loss of her son. Through a turbulent and terrifying pregnancy, Maggie and Aaron reunite to see their child, a daughter, safely into the world.

I am for any movie that deals with grief and loss in an open, truthful way and for this reason, have become a Return To Zero Local Leader.

BREAK THE SILENCE. 

Join me in bringing RTZ to the big screen by simply pledging to see this film opening weekend. Help make an opening weekend for this movie even a reality as the director and producer need to show Hollywood that there is an audience for this film which has already been filmed and stars the talented Minnie Driver.

Stillbirth is a subject that deserves be told in film and in theaters everywhere. Take 18 seconds and make the pledge. Add me, Suzanne Tucker, as your Local Leader on the form or consider becoming a Local Leader in your area. Together we can bring this movie to the world and help others know, it is OKAY to grieve out loud.

Watch the Video and Sign the Pledge 

Become a Local Leader

More Information 

xo

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Join me and other moms on a spiritual journey with grief and loss here, because life’s better when we hold hands.

Related Posts:

My Intention

Hope After Miscarriage

A Mother’s Bedtime Poem

Hadley bedtime poem

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When we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here, sharing the stories of our lives, because motherhood (and life) is better when we hold hands.

Little Ears

colin w mmm logo 5.2013We were driving to dinner and my three year old son asked, “Mom, can I have an E-F-H?”

Dad and I look at each other. “A what???!” “An E—-F—-H…” he repeats in a do-you-pinky-swear-you-won’t-tell-anyone?!?! sorta whisper. And with that, I get it and interpret for my husband. Our child is attempting to spell out a cool-secret-thing he wants, just like he’s heard his big sisters do.

“Mom, can we have some I-C-E -C-R-E-A-M?” or “Mom, can we go to the P-A-R-K when Hadley and Colin nap?”

Things not meant for three year old ears lest they want it too, get spelt out in our home and our little guy had cracked the code. He just didn’t know how to spell. But why let that stop him, right?

They may not always do what we want, when we want… but do not be fooled.

THEY ARE LISTENING.

—–

When we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here, sharing the stories of our lives, because motherhood is better when we are holding hands. 

The Day My Daughter Shaved Her Head

phonto

It was only a week ago that my 12 year old daughter first asked me, “What if I shaved my head?” to which I immediately responded, “What? Why?!?”

She replied softly, “I don’t know. I was just talking about it with my friends.”

I took a deep breathe and thought about her question for a minute before replying a second time. And though still not thinking she would actually shave her head, I began to feel the question was not as hypothetical as I’d first imagined.

“Well, if you did, you would rock it.” I said, which was received with a smile.

“Yeah,” she said, “that’s what my friend said.”

Over the next few days, the shaving the head idea picked up steam. She asked her dad. She asked more friends. And with each person she told that did not find it to be the craziest thing they’d ever heard of, the idea became more real.

“What if I shaved my head?” quickly became “When can I shave my head?” followed closely by, “Who will I give it too???” Each question brought with it a new google search. Soon she had all her answers.

She saved an inspiration photo on her ipad of a cute teen girl (not a star, just a girl) sporting a t-shirt, killer smile and a buzzed head in all it’s glory.

She found a non-profit that would not charge the child receiving her golden locks on the other end when a wig it became. She read about the organization and the medical conditions that caused children her age and younger to lose their hair. Fuel to the fire.

This. Was. Happening.

I texted my hairdresser for reassurance:

photo 26

We went to the dentist the next day and when they asked us what’s new, my daughter told them, “I’m going to shave my head.” I loved the way they received this news. “It’s only hair!” and “It grows back” and most encouraging of all, these words from the the office manager, “Good for you! Will you send us pictures?!?!” I could see my daughter’s confidence growing.

Once home her google searches still read “donate hair” and “buzz haircut girl” while mine still read “girl pixie haircut.” Evidence of my resistance filled my iphone camera, pictures of longish short hair cuts for girls. I told myself they were for “just in case she gets half way in there and changes her mind…” but they weren’t. They were for me. ”Well hey, look at this one of Gwyneth Paltrow with the cute little bobby pins holding back easily five inch long front hair locks. This would look nice.”

Screen shot 2013-05-01 at 4.23.58 PM

The day after we’d made the hair appointment, I panicked. Had I been doing my job? What if as “mom” I was supposed to be the one resisting the idea? What if moments after her hair was cut into two 12 inch ponies wrapped in rubber band after rubber band, she looked at me, her eyes filled with disappointment? Disappointment from a decision she’d made without me throwing detours or nary even a road bump in it’s way?

The next day we were alone, driving in the car. Reilly was talking about her future buzz which I seized as an opportunity to fulfill my maternal obligation to offer her pause. I asked her, gently, “What if you don’t like it??? What do you want me to say to you if you cry afterwards?”

To this my daughter, without getting defensive or taking this to mean I didn’t believe in her, answered “Just remind me that it doesn’t matter what I look like. Remind me I helped someone.”

I smiled.

“Okay, sweet girl. But that’s not going to happen, is it?” I thought.

I grabbed for her words, saying them over and over in my head, so I would remember them.

“It doesn’t matter what I look like…”

My daughter knows what is important and what is not, I thought.

The next day, she fearlessly sat in the barber chair with a smile spread ear to ear as long clumps of hair left her head, only stopping to furrow her eyes and scowl at me, now and again for taking too many pictures.

My kids have always taught me plenty, but this time, I felt like I was getting a reminder of not only what is important in this life, but what gives it meaning.

                  “I helped someone.”

phonto 4

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When we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here, sharing the stories of our lives, because motherhood is better when we are holding hands. 

Related Posts:

How To Be Enough

How To Be Vulnerable

Listen To Your Mother: St. Louis

 

 

How Can I Forgive

Photo Credit: Wise-Living.com

Photo Credit: Wise-Living.com

There is nothing like parenting to pull those old wounds to the forefront of life to be healed. Who, me? Triggered much as a mama? You bet-ja! Having and raising children is like jumping on the super highway to healing old hurts – the kind I don’t even consciously remember and the ones I do.

When I was newly wed, my husband and I were taking on personal growth and healing like it was part of some advanced college-credit course. We were in a committed, loving relationship for the first time in our lives (not just a serious relationship but REALLY committed, like for life) and that was all the safety we needed to start taking on our demons. We were both doing this independent of one another before we met but we picked up the pace a notch after getting hitched. There is nothing like being in a loving relationship to really open ones heart up to healing. And we got right into it, looking together at the the really gunky, ugly stuff that gets stuffed way down deep in one’s soul over decades of living.

The retreats we took both separately and together at Heartland, a retreat center in the Ozarks founded by Dr. Michael Ryce, were heaven sent. As newlyweds, we unearthed things about our-selves that before had been buried to deep to be handled. The retreats we took together, sometimes for weeks at a time, helped us acquire tools to navigate the murky channels inside ourselves that we were now in touch with. We each brought bags of pain (Michael calls this “garbage”) into our marriage. It may not sound sexy, but it’s true… and we all do it, anytime we start a relationship with another person. Matching bags of garbage. (Dang resonant energy.)

We did alot of living those first three years of marriage and it wasn’t all a bed of roses. When we finally did reach our third wedding anniversary, I remember my husband saying, “WHAT? It’s only been three years?” before he realized this was probably NOT the most romantic thing to say to one’s wife on one’s third wedding anniversary. But I completely agreed. Yep, not sexy (I told you) but hugely forwarding. And now that I think of it, maybe it IS sexy, but in a different sort of way. This is the stuff true love can be built on. Now four kids and fourteen years of marriage later, I get down on my knees and give THANKS for those early pre-kid years of intense personal growth we took on as a couple.

Today, parenting twins plus two children together and owning our own business, getting triggered or being “in pain” is not what I would call a rare occurrence in our home. But our upsets don’t throw us like they might have had we not taken on a very important belief early on in our relationship. It’s a belief we picked up at Heartland. This single sentence has guided us threw many a rough sea. It’s one I am thrilled to live by as a mom. It’s a simple statement, just seven words in all. What is this magical statement?

If I am in pain I am in error.

That’s it. Seven words. But these words have forever transformed my life, my relationship with my husband and our relationships with our kids.

When I first read this I completely disagreed with the statement… until I redefined what error meant. Now when I read the sentence, instead of thinking “wrong” which I used to equate with error, I now think “off the mark”. I look at the pain I’m feeling as a sort of red flag, a tip off to myself to think, “Wake up and watch yourself Suzanne!!!” because if I’m triggered (in pain) I can be sure there is something in the situation for me to heal (i.e. let go of, learn and/or grow) from. Error does not mean that the other person or circumstance in the situation is right and I am wrong. Not really. It’s just an invitation for me to look at something a bit closer from my past. Most likely, if and when I do, the thing that has me triggered will cease to hold so much power over me. Here’s a story of how this looks from my life. A “bad” situation that delivered HUGE rewards when I took on the idea that “if I was in pain, I was in error.”

There is nothing like parenting to make life a-parent. I get opportunities to heal things from my past all the TIME delivered to me by the four little master teachers (all under ten) that live with my husband and I.

If I am in pain I am in error. Take a moment to say it over in your head. Let it rise to the top of your consciousness the next time you feel your blood boiling because your two (or thirteen!) year old just will not listen! See if you can recall these words the next time motherhood or life is driving you insane.

These seven words have the power to transform your parenting reality. Here are two links to help these words live even more powerfully in your home. The first is a simple, seven step forgiveness worksheet created By Dr. Michael Ryce. When I started using it, I set a 30-day challenge for myself, committing to taking on seven small or large irritations a day for 30 days. This exercise proved to be a powerful one. You can do that as well or you might want to start slowly, simply committing to using the worksheet to process your feelings the next time you are parenting and feel yourself getting triggered. (Note to self: be sure to take on the small triggers first and work your way up to the doozies. Rome wasn’t built in a day…) This next link is a chapter from Dr. Michael Ryce’s book, Why Is This Happening To Me Again?!, where in the midst of telling a story about a guy named Richard who is learning about the power of forgiveness, he explains how to use the forgiveness worksheet

Thank you Dr. Michael Ryce, for giving my husband and I (and the world) your insightful perspective on forgiveness and the gifts of these tools. The relationships I have with my children and a large part of my approach to parenting in general is built upon the personal work I did before, during and after the weeks and months my husband and I spent in the Ozarks.

I hope these seven words and the forgiveness tools above bring you closer to yourself and to your family. Tell me what you think. How does the statement, “If I am in pain I am in error,” sit with you? What about life or parenting has been upsetting lately that you might be up for *forgiving*?

By Suzanne Tucker, mom of twins plus two, co-creator of My Mommy Manual and Yoga Parenting.

 

What If We All Entered The World To This Sort of Love?

This. This is why I teach baby massage. This is it. It is all here in this video.

 

A peace-filled, conscious connection possible with our hands, telling our little-est people that the world around them is a safe and nurturing place. Telling them it is okay to trust and that they are loved.

Who would not want this for themselves, for their children? (Can someone please do this to me?)

xo

Suzanne