Living is a thing you practice

I saw this quote recently and I started to make a post and stopped.

I was going to share it and comment how I started this blog (and Facebook page) to share resources and our journey … success, practical, mundane, but more importantly the challenges. Not as vents or complaints, but as a way to let others who felt alone know that there are others on this path. I may not have answers but I can shine a light.

I try to balance it. Because life is not one thing. There are sites and pages and people that spread only positivity, and they have a place. And have value. I love positive messages. I use positive affirmations. We can cheer people on and celebrate their success and wins. We can also use their success or quotes to be inspired and strive to meet our own goals.

But my life isn’t positive every day. Some days it sucks. Most days it is somewhere in between. But that doesn’t mean I’m broken. Nor is my daughter. Even if I could, I could never pretend I was whole when I wasn’t.

I do understand the message in the context it was presented. But what is whole? To be broken we need to be all the same. And we are not. Therefore I’m not broken because I struggle. My daughter isn’t broken because she has FASD. I don’t ever want her to think she is broken. We struggle. We have challenges. But we are not broken.

I do agree that pretending everything is fine when it isn’t does not help anyone – most of all myself. Seeing how others navigate in those moments teaches me skills and connects me to them and common humanity. And that’s what I try to do. So I created another quote to reflect what I believe.

I didn’t post it though. I doubted myself. I’m doing a lot of that lately. I go through phases. This one seems to be lasting longer than most. I came off a high of the Caregiver Routine Reset we did at the beginning of the year. I had some positive feedback from participants that found real value. I also used it to reconnect back to myself again. And then it all came crashing down.

I have had a few significant losses recently and processing those with other grief and loss in life has me feeling disconnected. When I try to be open and vulnerable it quite often backfires. Leaving me feeling worse than I did before. That seems to happen a lot to me. And it did again. I stumbled. So I straightened myself back up, dusted myself off, and am moving forward. Recalibrate and recalculate.

A line in a post I read about developing practical life skills, just before this last incident came to mind. It said: Living is a practice. It was talking about executive functioning type skills. But I asked myself, isn’t all of living a practice? And that practice involves a practice we are not taught in school. And if it isn’t taught at home, we have to teach ourselves.

This is what I came up with:

Life is practice. 
A practice of living everyday.
Some days the practice is light. Some days it’s heavy.
I am a work in progress. Progress takes practice. Everyday.
Change, growth and learning something new takes practice.
Breaking patterns requires practice.
Doing something that amps up my anxiety takes practice.
Being vulnerable and trusting takes practice.
Learning not to blame myself takes practice.
Learning to forgive myself takes practice.
Releasing or changing expectations takes practice.
Learning to take care of myself takes practice.
Learning to be confident and take up space takes practice.
Learning to pick up and move on each day takes practice.
Living is an everyday practice.

So I created another graphic to remind me that as long as I am practicing I am living. And living is an everyday practice.

I returned to practicing a Metta Meditation I first heard about the last time I was going through a tough spot. It is also called a Loving Kindness Meditation. I made a PDF for the Caregiver Routine Reset, but thought I’d share here in case you feel like this is something you would find useful.

It is during these times that it is really important to treat ourselves with self-compassion and practice loving kindness. The word I chose this year to centre myself was healing. It kept popping up. So I thought it was a sign.

And I’m learning healing takes practice too.

3 thoughts on “Living is a thing you practice

  1. Ab says:

    I’m very sorry for your recent losses, Yvonne. Sending you and your daughter much love and well wishes.

    In the moments that you doubt yourself, please know that the light you shine out into the world is warm, radiant and helps others such as myself (and many others) on this challenging journey of life and life as a parent of children with FASD.

    I find much inspiration and hope through your blog and Facebook page and your recent Caregiver Reset project (and wish you luck with being able to build upon it).

    Hang in there and keep building those bridges, step by step, because it helps many people cross through their troubled waters.

    • our sacred breath says:

      Thank you Ab 💛 your comments are well received… in fact I copy some of them for my down days. So thank you. I love your blog as well and am so glad we discovered each other. Your blog is one I wish I would have had to read when N was young. You are inspiring too ✨