I'm finishing a few books right now and one of my new favorites of all times is now "Kitchen Table Wisdom" by Dr. Rachel Remen.
Although I have practiced christianity my entire life, it is only in the most recent years that I can say praying has brought me the most quiet and holy of moments. Times when my fear and joy are held in the most taught equilibrium and I feel the entire world has fell silent. I pray when thankful. I pray for people. I pray for knowledge and discernment.
"Each person is born with an unencumbered spot, free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry, an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God. It is this spot of grace that issues peace. Psychologists call this spot the Psyche, Theologists call it the Soul, Jung calls it The Seat of the Unconscious, Hindu masters call it the Atman, Buddhists call it the Dharma, Rilke calls it Inwardness, Sufis call it Qualb, and Jesus calls it The Center of our Love.
To know this spot of inwardness is to know who we are, not by surface markers of identity, not by where we work or what we wear or how we like to be addressed but by feeling our place in relation to the Infinite and by inhabiting it. This is a hard lifelong taks, for the nature of becoming is a constant filiming over of where we begin while the nature of being is a constant erosion of what is not essential. We each live in the midst of this ongoing tension, rowing tarnished or covered over only to be worn back to that incorruptible spot of grace at our core". -Mark Nepo
When I am troubled by difficult decisions, fearful about how my choices will effect the future, worried or anxious... I try to rub the tarnish off my core of grace. And I am reminded that I love unconditionally. That I trust in processes. I can see and I can value everyones perspective and input and help.
In "Kitchen Table Wisdom" she reminds that simply trusting process has a great power. An example is given of a mother present at the birth of her grandchild. When her daughter is calling out for her help and in great pain of childbirth, the soon to be grandmother is reminded that all she can do is hold her daughter's hand. Your experience is impotent as a mother in moments where you can only trust in process. You simply must trust that the process of childbirth will reach resolve. Without trusting in the process, all of our actions are driven by fear. Fear is the friction in all transitions. Having been in conversations with our local school about supports to Tommy for his education, I have been reminded to trust in the process. Simply hold my son's hand, talk to the people in my path and be present in those conversations with the discernment needed.
At a recent open AA meeting, I accompanied my daughter a recovering alcoholic, and listened to a very gifted speaker who talked about humility. He spoke of the ability to visualize humility in ourselves as being the "eye of the hurricane". Even though we have pieces or are part of the swirling world around us, we need to center our hearts as the quiet in the center of the hurricane. Because in the end, if we really involve ourselves too much in the process, too much in trying to influence others... we become prideful, anxious and fearful. If we visualize ourselves as the center of a storm, we can more easily allow others the dignity in their pieces of processes and their own success. Which creates the most powerful form of grace.
As with my own daughter and her road to recovery and addressing mental health concerns, I can listen. Listening is powerful. Showing your attention and caring is a source of healing to someone. Sometimes, often (ha ha), I don't get a single word in when she wants to talk. And I remind her, and sometimes others that I meet as new parents to childrens with disabilities or just people that I meet in everyday life, if they want to talk to me there is probably nothing that they can tell me that would surprise me or make me feel (more or) less of them. There isn't a life experience that they couldn't share with me, no fear that I couldn't somehow understand, no pain or suffering that I wouldn't remember somewhere in my own lifetime. I am human too. So filled with mistakes and feelings and thoughts...we have so much in common with each other. It is so important for us as community to connect with each other. The human experience is so much more fulfilling when we actually listen to each other and meet one another in a place of humility.
After meetings to further some supports for Tommy's kindergarten education, I put together my first "video". That's in quotes because you will soon see I had no idea how to edit a video. But, it's a collection of his kindy photos for the first three months of his education. Of course he had two and a half years of early intervention preschool. But this is kindergarten. It's big stuff. He has a wonderful team of highly skilled educators. An amazing paraeducator, the Tommy whisperer. A life skills teacher that is genuine and cares about Tommy, and has a total of 17 kids under his teaching. A skilled SLP that is piecing three modes of communication together for him. An OT that is designing a more specialized program for his sensory diet, and it will benefit more than just his little self. And an administration that is listening to our needs. We are trusting the process. And grateful to God that has gifted our family such a wide smiling, toe headed, hurricane of a human being.