Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Through the Eyes of a Child December 13, 2013

eyes
(As some of you may know, I am a regular, contributing expert on divorce for several online publications. The below post, is actually a copy of my most recent submission, so the “voice” of the article may sound a little different than what you are used to here. That said, I think it’s an important topic, particularly at this time of year, so I thought I would share it here, too.)

“Sorry I couldn’t give you that game console you asked for, if your dad paid his child support on time, maybe I would have been able to afford it.”
“It looks like it’s just you and me for the holidays this year, your mom is so wrapped up in her new family, she doesn’t have time for us.”
“Is your father going to do anything at all for the holidays, or does he just expect that I will do everything, just like I always did when we were married?”

When you read words like that, you may think, “I would never say such a thing in front of my children, even if I was thinking it” and if that’s the case and it never happens – then great! You are doing well, with something that is often very difficult to “master” in the wake of a divorce, particularly, if it was a contentious one. But for many it is hard to not let your feelings and frustrations bubble over, particularly at this time of year, when added responsibilities and financial pressures can make you feel squeezed beyond your normal tolerance level. It’s hard, it’s really hard and sometimes even with the best of intentions, we may vent in front of our kids often in an effort to explain away what we are a experiencing as some sort of inability to create the holiday memories for our children that we had wanted to. But clearly, allowing ourselves to let these sort of comments, slip out can be a lot worse for our kids than whatever it was we were trying to justify or explain away in the first place.

Have you ever really thought about what your child hears and feels when you say something like this? Chances are, it is not what you intended.

It doesn’t give them a better understanding of why there are less presents under the tree. It doesn’t prove to them that you are the parent who has their best interest in mind. And it doesn’t benefit anyone to have them “choose a side”. All it really does is – hurt.

This is their mother or their father that you are talking about. Children need to know that their parents love and care about them and undermining that, doesn’t really just undermine your ex, it undermines the very foundation of a child’s self-worth and self-confidence. It is true in some circumstances, the other parent may be disengaged, non-supportive or even abusive – but driving that home isn’t really the best message you could be giving your child; not at the holidays and frankly, not anytime.

If you need to vent, write in your journal, give out a scream when you are driving alone in your car, talk to your family, friends, therapist, coach or support group – but leave your kids out of it. The best gift you can give your kids this holiday is: yourself. Let them know, you are there, that you love them, are proud of them and a grateful to have them in your life. We can all go without “stuff”. One more video game left on the store shelf due to lack of funds, pales in comparison to the warmth and confidence of a child who knows they are valued and cared for. Do not let your disappointments become theirs. It’s not about the stuff, it never has been. Look through the eyes of your child, take a moment to see the world as they see it – and then give them what they really need. It doesn’t and will never come in a box.

 

Am I Talking to Me? March 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 5:54 am
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Throughout your life there will be many people who influence and inspire you. There will also, of course be those people who’s words cause you pain, self-doubt, and difficulty. There is no underestimating how powerful the words and influence of others can be on our lives, think for a moment about all the people who have had a powerful impact on you over time. Now ask yourself – if there is anyone missing from that list? Did you remember to include yourself? Because really who has your ear more than your own inner voice? The impact of others is an obvious given, but the person with the greatest impact on your life is you, who else could have 24/7, lifelong access?

When you think about that voice – how does it feel to you? We can most certainly be our own greatest champions and our own biggest nemesis, and largely our influence over our own selves goes greatly unnoticed even sometimes for the most self-aware of people. Ours is the voice that we hear most often, and when we need a break from our own words, it is not like we can hang-up the phone or walk into another room and leave the voice behind. So the question is do you tell yourself the things that help you along your way or are we harsh critics of our own lives? Likely, there is some sort of combination of the two, mixed in with a decent dose of benign musings, fanciful daydreams, inspired moments and rote assumptions. We get the smorgasbord of messages, the Pu Pu platter of ideas and the full gamut of impact.

So what I was thinking, was this, given that our voice is the most constant one in our lives, wouldn’t it serve us the best if the words it shared were of the supportive, encouraging, understanding and positive variety? Words can be powerful even before they break free of your mind. It is important and I would even say imperative that we treat not only others as we wish to be treated, but ourselves as well. Self-care, self-worth, self-confidence and overall sense of self depend on our ability to be gentle and loving to our own selves. That doesn’t mean you can’t challenge yourself, you certainly should and we will not always be proud of everything we do. Nonetheless self-care is imperative, be gentle with that one soul who is most fully under your control; no one else has a bigger impact or more control of how you experience your life.

 

Get Your Mojo Workin’ March 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:34 am
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Mojo – you know it when you got it – and you feel it when you don’t.  When you are on – you feel energized, attractive and confident. Your step carries a certain swagger, bounce and lightness. If people are looking at you, you don’t mind ‘cause you know they are doing so with interest and attraction. But when it’s not on – it’s as if a light has been shut-off inside of you. “Nothing to see here…” The low energy light is on and nothing of significance is being emitted. Though there may be times when we are all happy and willing to “fly below the radar” I think most of us prefer the positive vibe that comes when our “mojo is working”.

Now I can’t say for sure that it is all our choice as to whether we have it or not – but I know we have an impact on the final outcome. There is many a day when we awake and look in the mirror and the face staring back at us is that of a tired, low-wattage soul. The weight of life can be a heavy burden at times and finding that place in ourselves where we are feeling light and energized just feels like one more piece of work. But I can say from personal experience that tapping into that well of excited energy is not as daunting as it may feel.

It’s almost like hitting a simple reset button on our energy-meter. “Okay that’s not looking so good, let’s try this again, “click”, lights on.” Finding that place inside yourself where the switch resides isn’t always an easy task but once you’ve found it, it seems to stay where you can access it again. Not everything in our lives is going to support our feeling energized every day – there are a lot of drains out there and they are seemingly unavoidable, heck, there are even days when it is preferable to fly lower than others but if we want to, most of us have the ability to control this internal light if we want to.

So take a minute as you start your day today – to find that effervescent force. Take it in, turn it on and put it out. Take a moment to find that magical amulet that gets you going, it’s in your virtual treasure chest somewhere, you just have to discover where you last set it down. ‘Cause when your mojo’s workin’ life doesn’t just happen to you, but because of you.

 

May I Have this Dance? February 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 7:31 am
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I don’t have any shades on my living room windows. When I had it repainted last year, I took down the old shades and curtains since they didn’t go with the new paint colors. My intention has been to replace them with something else, I have a picture in my mind of what the new shades should look like, but I haven’t gotten around to buying them yet. It just isn’t a priority, not for my budget or my time – so the windows remain bare. It’s an old house, about a hundred and fifty years, and it has a full-sized window in the front and then a bay window which includes a French door to the side porch, plus the front door window and side-lights. The result: a lot of window, a lot of light and a lot of visibility – both out and in.

Being in my living room is kind of like being in a fishbowl. It’s not a very active street, and the angles are such that if you are standing in the middle of the room you don’t really have a direct view to any of the neighbors’ windows – nonetheless there is a sense of exposure. There are many folks who like to walk (either themselves or their dogs) down the street and the house is situated relatively close to the sidewalk. It’s also a street that some folks like to use as a cut through, it is situated in the classic historic district of a downtown New England town.

So what all this means is – when you are in there you can’t help but to be aware that other people could see in – if they were looking. This morning as I was sipping my tea and listening to my music – a song came on that made me want to dance. (This happens rather often actually but I don’t always give in to the impulse.) But today I did, and really the living room does have the best floor space on the first floor. So I danced, by myself, in my open living room, to music that inspired me, and though I hadn’t witnessed anyone seeing me – I was aware that they could. And it made me laugh to think of what people might think if they saw “the crazy woman flailing around in her living room” as they passed by. But I continued anyway.

I like being that person; the dancing lady in the living room fishbowl. I think it is important to be yourself – give in to momentary flashes of inspiration – to risk being exposed – and to take chances both big and small. My dancing may not have changed the world, but it sure was enjoyable, and if you can’t be yourself (even in the relative privacy of your own home) then when can you be? Okay, enough said, gotta go, a good song just came on and my feet are tappin’.