Redemption of Hope

Redemption of Hope

The heaviness of my heart lands on my fingertips today.  I begin to move toward clarity yet the message that calls to be written hides behind a veil of obscurity.  

So many times confident words leave my heart driven by the power of a story I tell myself.  At times, this story is crafted as a wish for you as well so that you may not get caught in the sticky web of regret.  Memories of my past indiscretions forgotten by most observers live violently free in a world created by the harshest critic, me.

Yet the redemptive power of the word saves my soul.  Each word painstakingly chosen to craft a story of hope.

Hope is the answer for redemption.  Calling on deliverance, writing can move shattered hearts in the direction of a lifeline.

Your words and mine may intertwine to reach the same objective, to free people to be who they were created to be.  Dwelling on a hurtful past does not bring a good future.  And the work of my spirit today is to share hope.  A hope that carried me from harmed and harmful (to self) to helpful.   The pain of the past does not need to build a wall.

Breaking down the barriers between harm and help redeems us all. 

©Erika K Rothwell

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Garden of Hope

Garden of Hope

What is the story you are telling yourself today?  

Are you facing anxiety because of a job that sucks life’s energy out of you?  Do you feel stuck in a bad relationship?  Or are you facing a difficult health decision?  Do your steps feel heavier as each day of the week passes?

You may feel suffocating sensations come to the surface as you face an endless cycle of forced obligations and nauseating habitual motions.  Your breaths may likely become shallower, you may neglect your basic needs, and you may develop a gloomy outlook as you forget to look for the sun each day.

As the sun rises, a promise is extended for a new day to make the necessary changes, to accept growth, and move in a direction that complements vitality.  Yet, so many wither in the repetition of monotony on an endless treadmill of dread.

Walk with me in the “Garden of Hope” for a moment.  Consider that we need space to breathe, water and food to thrive, and sunlight to grow.  At times our environment works against these necessities.  

So what do we tell ourselves at this point?  Do you hear yourself crying, “Nothing will ever change.”, Or “I have no choice.”  Mental mantras drive our actions and build foundations for tomorrow.  Why not instead focus on words of affirmation powerful enough to destroy the amplified barriers we place in our own way?  

“Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration.” – Erika K Rothwell

Change the message, walk through a “garden”.  Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration.  Don’t give up on your dreams.

We cannot let the weeds of distraction and hopelessness choke out our will to thrive.  When we remove the unnecessary overgrowth of negativity and self-imposed expectations space opens granting us breathing room, hampering the weight of anxious thoughts and giving us an opportunity for growth.

Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan.  Plant the seeds of tomorrow in your imagination today.  Daydream for a moment.  And if you are a list person, write a bucket list and fill it with everything your heart imagines, no matter what the hurdles may be.

“Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan.” – Erika K Rothwell

As flowers need rain to soak their roots and make them stronger, we also benefit from the washing away of the old story to gain deeper insight into our desires. After the storm, let us be motivated to look toward the sun, as it shines its positivity on us and helps us set buds of change for tomorrow’s bloom.  

And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.

“And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.” Erika K Rothwell

As soon as we embrace our freedom to choose genuinely and share our unique colors by following our passions, a refreshing array of authenticity will fill drab spaces with joy. 

And that’s the beauty in the “Garden of Hope”.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Don’t Wait Until You’re Thirsty to Drink

Don’t Wait Until You’re Thirsty to Drink

It strikes when we least expect it. For the most part, we are content with life, and yet there is a longing for something out of our reach, a mirage on the horizon, a thirsting that can no longer be ignored.

Days pass with normal rhythms of life, often without a second thought given to ourselves. As mothers, serving others often becomes the priority.

Undeniably, motherhood is a rewarding profession. Watching babies grow and blossom into young adults and then on to parenthood is joyous.

So why does it sneak up on so many of us?

Feeling out of balance and running on empty startles us into facing a reality we strive to avoid. We are thirsty. We can no longer function at a high level, and what do we do? Instead of drinking the needed water, we work harder while ignoring basic necessities. We push away the first warning signs, by prioritizing our family’s needs as first and using our last bit of fuel, only to stall at empty.

Conflicting advice exists about whether to drink before you feel thirsty or when your body tells you, you are thirsty. Either way, if you disregard signs of thirst, you will eventually become dehydrated which can lead to a state of imbalance or worse, immobility.

When signals of nagging thirst call for your attention, ignoring the warning is the wrong strategy.  Overlooking your own needs, physical or emotional, is tantamount to self-neglect.

Do Not Neglect You

Unfortunately, once you begin following that path, it becomes extremely difficult to turn around.

My tears fall, today, for all the moms out there that work tirelessly to support their families in every way possible, and then beat themselves up for not doing enough or being good enough. The following is an excerpt from my journal written some time ago exemplifying my own struggle with the same.

Not good enough. Not skinny enough. Not smart enough. Not successful enough. Not enough. When is enough, enough? The standards that burrow into our psyches and souls define us or destroy us.

When did I stop feeling that sense of true accomplishment? That overwhelming feeling of “I did it!” So many “dids” yet so many “I’m not good enoughs”, “I need to do more”. Wow, I’m tired. Tired of trying to be everything to everyone. Tired of dressing to impress. Tired of sacrificing my sanity for someone else’s sake. Yes, I’m trying too hard.

When I can accept me, I will have accomplished enough.

– Erika K Rothwell

You Are Good Enough

It is clear from my experience, once you neglect your needs…the result is a “not good enough” theme song that plays repeatedly in your mind. The moment actually calls for self-attention to survive, yet that is in direct opposition to everything you’ve built your foundation on…putting yourself last. This is when emotional exhaustion takes hold.

Working mothers are most susceptible to this malady as they just run out of time. The planned end-of-day self-care turns into end-of-day collapse.

Empathy motivates this recognition. Not too long ago, I walked in those shoes. And I forgot to grab ahold of a crucial lifeline. So, I implore you, drink before you get too thirsty.

Define Your Needs  

Make some time for yourself, pour yourself a glass of water.  In that refreshing space, you will be able to see things clearer…then write it down.  Follow your definition as a path to rejuvenation.

You deserve that attention. It’s time to accept an embrace of compassion. You are made of love and you are made to love. Now, allow yourself to be loved.

I love you,

Mom

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – 2019 – Daily Posts

Hope – 2019 – Daily Posts

Renewal has turned to hope. This first day of the new year with its call for resolutions reminds me of the accomplishments of the past year.  Allowing myself to open up to others through my writing brought renewal.

Recently, a question was presented to me, “how do you stop agonizing over the past? My answer was a window into my motivation for sharing my writing publicly through the creation of my blog, as I responded “Embrace the moment, celebrate what you know now from what the past served to you.  Accept your wounds as a badge of honor.  Help others heal.”

Thus begins my personal journey of hope.  I once heard an acronym for hope as “help one person every day.” There is no quicker way to move from a state of sadness, irritation, or any negative emotion than to reach out and look for an opportunity to help.  The world needs helpers and I need hope.

We all have something to give, and even if not always easy, my goal this year is to find a moment every day to do so.

I will share my 2019 hope journey each day with a brief post chronicling my life. You can see the most recent by clicking on the menu or scrolling down to the bottom of the page for all days. I will also continue to post my longer essays as well.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Writing to Kindness

Writing to Kindness

Writing makes me a better person.  How do I know this?  The holiday season is filled with activities that take me away from my writing.  And in the magnetic pull of seasonal revelries and necessities, kindness appears to dissipate.

What normally draws me in and captures my attention and the resulting analysis is missing as I find myself showing true colors of stress and time starvation.  Ricocheting reactions, unthoughtful responses as I often neglect the feelings of my receiver emulate the result of forsaking my writing as it waits patiently without demanding my attention.

The love I have for writing is wrapped around the fruits of its labor.  The time I take to review and untangle deeply entwined messages offers me the opportunity for revival, and a renewed aspiration to be a better human.

It is easy to critique another’s words.  It can be more difficult to allow those words to move you in the direction you need to go.  The definition of inspire is, “to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”  So I find myself inspired by the words of dear friends and family as they share their days in words.

I was once told a story about considering the receiver when you speak as misinterpretation can easily change the intentioned meaning and be taken derogatorily.  It can also be humorous when you are caught in this precarious situation.  Albeit, possible projection, the receiver may manipulate the message from a set of biased lenses.  How much of that is our responsibility?  Words that escape from our lips cannot be reeled back in.   And words that are written are a permanent record of our thoughts and cannot be erased by any amount of time.

The message today brings me back to intention.  What is my intention for sharing these particular words?  Am I trying to heal from an unintentional attack from another’s chosen words?  Am I considering how my ill-timed or careless words affect others? Or am I simply inspired by others to “breathe in” (as the second definition of inspire) and take steps toward kindness, forgiveness, and renewal? 

Maybe it will never be clear.  What is transparent, though, writing helps me be a better me.  My hope is that you also find your solace in an activity this holiday season that renews your spirit.

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