Know Yourself, Honestly

September 6, 2014

Apart at the Seams CoverWelcome! This post is part of Apart at the Seams blog tour that began yesterday. I was invited to take part by my friend Lori Holden, author of The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption. Frankly, while reading Apart at the Seams late this summer I scratched my head through much of it.

The main character is Arianna, a woman who, I feel, does not know herself or what she wants. Her live-in boyfriend Ethan provides great sex and part-time child care for her son; his ambition is less than acceptable, according to Arianna. There is Rachel, Arianna’s best friend, who is also Ethan’s sister. Um, complicated. Then there is the tantalizing fresh meat, Noah, who is a television writer for a wildly popular TV show; Arianna is drawn to him like a moth to a flame.

So why did I, someone who pretty much writes, speaks and educates others about adoption, parenting, tweens, teens, and special needs, take on a non-adoption book for my site?

  •  Because it is important to know yourself and what you want in relationships and life, and you owe yourself and others an honest examination of why. Everything else ripples out from there—your path, the boundaries you set and adhere to, and the expectations you have of yourself and others. It is important to mindful, especially when parenting a child. I feel it is hard to function in our complicated world if you don’t have a clue. In Apart at the Seams, Arianna doesn’t know herself or why she wants what she thinks she wants. What will become of her son Beckett because of her lack of knowledge?
  • Because the main character of Arianna contrasts with what adopting parents are asked and expected to know. People who are adopting are asked, in a myriad of ways during their “vetting” process, for an honest accounting of themselves and their motives for adopting a child. They are also encouraged to do the same with others close to them. I found myself upended by Arianna’s lack of introspection, and honesty. I finished the book, seeing problems ahead for her and Ethan, and indirectly her son Beckett.

As part of the tour I have been asked to answer three questions from a generous pot of possibilities. I selected the three below, with my answers. I’d love you to share your take on them as well.

After Arianna is initially rejected by Francesca, she wrestles with the idea of telling her co-worker and friend, Rachel, about it. But then she confesses to herself that by revealing the criticism she may also be revealing a weakness about herself. “But if I tell Rachel about that conversation, then I’ll also have to admit that I don’t have a clue, and that maybe, just maybe, I believe that there’s some truth in Francesca’s fears.”

I felt Arianna was one of the most maddening characters I’ve come across recently. I couldn’t know her since she didn’t know herself or, therefore, what she wanted. She did not want to own her entire self—only her strengths. Arianna seemed to be unaware that some of the biggest growth comes from assessing and overcoming our weaknesses and addressing our failures. Hell, she read Rachel’s blog to discover what Rachel assumed about her, to gage her relationship status with Rachel, and to discern what Rachel’s thoughts were about her relationship with Ethan and her fascination with Noah. How immature, and how avoidant. What’s wrong with a conversation, true communication between friends? Her communication skills were poor, at best.

The first thought that came to my mind was: IMPOSTER SYNDROME. Is this unique to women? Have any others in this book group felt this way?

According to psychological studies, up to 70% of us feel like frauds, doubt our abilities (impostor syndrome) at any given time. The syndrome occurs with men, too, arising out of the pressure to achieve.

Did Arianna really have an affair? Does an emotional affair weigh the same as a physical affair? More? Less?

Gosh, this is a tough question. I’ll answer it this way. I feel that an emotional affair can equal a physical affair because we can become deeply invested, turning us away from our spouse or partner, as Arianna did when she became jealous of Noah dating, when she reacted to the sensation of Noah’s breath tickling her earlobe. Why was she jealous? Why did she note how she felt about Noah’s breath on her earlobe? Her emotional affair with Noah became inappropriate.

For discussion: Even if you haven’t read the Apart at the Seams, you can still participate by commenting on the above questions. Please do!

You can further participate by commenting on the various blogs involved the tour. The participants will often be answering different questions than I have answered here. (You may decide after reading the various stops on the blog tour that Apart at the Seams is well worth your time, when you have the time to read.)

Comments are much appreciated by members of this book club. To continue to the next leg of this book tour, please visit the main list at LavenderLuz.com or click on the links of the Apart at the Seams tour participants below, as well as an interview with Apart at the Seams author Melissa Ford.

September 4, 2014:

September 6, 2014:

September 8, 2014:

September 11, 2014

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Motherhood and Mindfulness SummitI was asked to participate in a summit on motherhood and mindfulness by Australian mom and intuitive coach Carla Wood. To speak about motherhood via intuition within the realm of parenting adopted children.

The focus of the Motherhood and Mindfulness Summit is to help moms discover their inner genius and ignite the extraordinary in their families. Parenting is demanding, the most challenging job you will ever have. Adoption can make it more so.

I know and work with so many moms who are deeply committed to being a sensational parent, a “Super Mom.” You might be one of them. But sometimes, even though you do and say the right things, you might find yourself dissatisfied, or unhappy. You might feel as though you are floundering and disconnected. You might find that you question yourself.

Why? Possibly because you have forgotten you. You have left yourself out of the equation because you are so wrapped up in parenting your child. Possibly your energy is depleted.

Have you ever felt this way? Sometimes? Often?

So, what if you let go of “Super Mom” and replaced her with your own unique genius and wisdom?

The Motherhood and Mindfulness Summit has been created to show you that motherhood can be as magical as you dreamed it could be. Discover how you can:

  • Use mindfulness to connect with your unique inner genius
  • Implement practical strategies and easy mindful techniques for busy mums
  • Guide and support your children to be their amazing selves
  • Deepen your relationship with yourself and your family members
  • Find your magic

The Motherhood and Mindfulness Summit runs from June 30th through July 20th and can be accessed online for free through this link.

My interview is July 8th, and while I hope you will tune-in and listen to my interview with Carla, I encourage you to tune-in each day to listen to each of the 21 women listed below to hear a remarkable tapestry of personal stories and topics that will inspire you, including:

  • Connected and conscious relationships and communicating
  • Leading edge child development and self-awareness tools
  • What intuition and inner genius feels like and how to recognize it
  • Mindfulness for all moms including specific strategies for single moms and moms who parent adopted children
  • How your family is the best self development and spiritual tool you can have
  • How to move through and let go of “common” but harmful parenting beliefs
  • Igniting passion in ourselves to keep our children shining brightly in our world
  • Connecting to your inner health wisdom, for you and your family
  • Mindful communication strategies

Motherhood and Mindfulness Summit Speakers

 Jeanne Ohm. Jennifer Barham-Floreani. Sandi Schwartz. Laurentine ten Bosch. Lori Petro. Jessica Rector. Michelle Barr. Heather Chauvin. Vicki Savini. Jill Hope. Stephanie Pedersen. Judy M Miller. Sharon Silver. Rosina McAlpine. Elena Lipson. Shelley Lefkoe. Carolin Hauser. Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova. Lisa Bogel & Kaya Jongen. Karina Ladet. Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.

In reality, we all have our own beautiful offering as moms. We are in a unique and powerful position to make change, for our families and ourselves.

Are you ready to show your brilliance? Step into your own power as a mom.

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A Conversation with Friends about Adoption and Multiracial Families

June 27, 2014

It has been quite a while since I have posted. I have been busy with “projects”—producing and directing Listen To Your Mother, preparing for and presenting at a national conference, preparing for an international summit on motherhood and mindfulness, and working on my new book, Writing to Heal Adoption Grief: Making Connections & Moving Forward. […]

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Parenting the Adopted Child: It’s About More than “Heart”

February 13, 2014

Adopting parents often ask me how they can build a strong parent-child connection. They are nervous and excited about “getting it right.” I believe that building a strong parent-child connection comes down to several key points that must become lifelong commitments. Be proactive. Educate yourself by reading adoption books and websites. Create a library of […]

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I Believe…

December 31, 2013

Amidst winter’s flurries and the waning hours of 2013 I reflect on what a year it has been while looking ahead to the coming days, weeks and months of 2014. I believe: Children are our future. Children possess clear voices and are astute observers of what goes on around and involves them. They are mirrors […]

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Open Adoption Bloggers Adoption Interview Project 2013

November 12, 2013

“You have wrecked me. In the most beautiful, scary, miraculous, terrifying way, you have wrecked me.”  ~ from Lindsay’s letter to her son Hunter, December 2012 I am excited to once again participate in the annual Open Adoption Bloggers Interview Project, to raise awareness about adoption and to also share perspectives from various key participants […]

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