Ally

About last night….
I was invited to represent Free Mom Hugs on a panel,  Allies for Equality, at Grant Thornton in Chicago. I have never done something like this and the corporate world is a foreign concept to me but I stepped outside my comfort zone.
I spoke to the need for us all to listen, make mistakes and be vulnerable in our journeys as allies. I spoke to the need for us all to create safe spaces for all to experience kindness, feel seen and just breathe. I spoke of the power of a simple (and not so simple) hug.
Before and after the panel I listened….I listened as people shared their stories with both my son and me. Yes, my son accompanied me on this adventure. He is one of the main reasons I began this journey with Free Mom Hugs.
One man came up and said, “I love you and love everything you said but have to share what will stick with me…..I looked over at your son as you were speaking and saw him taking your picture. His face was so tender……”
I smiled and blushed, “It is usually me that is taking the photos of him….”
Later that same man came up to both my son and I and said, “I told your mom that what I will remember is the moment I saw you taking her picture…it was so sweet…”
“She is always the one taking my picture so it was my turn now…”
My son and I stayed, hugging everyone more than once…it was as if we could not hug them enough. When we finally left and walked to the car I was emotionally and physically spent…but in the best way possible.
Remember Ally is a verb NOT a noun, always be kind and NEVER underestimate the power of a hug.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Hugs

Saturday I went to Pridefest.
I got in line to get in and the girl in front of me looked and said, “Are you here by yourself?”
“Yes why?”
“Wow! I would never do that. You are so brave! Are you gay?”
“No”
“Oh wow……” she looks at my shirt and then my hat….“Would it be ok to ask for a hug?”
“Sure….. “ and we share a long tight hug.
“My mom hasn’t talked to me in years…. Since I came out”
“When was that?”
“When I was 18….. I’m 24 now. I’ve been on my own since I was 18.”
“That must be hard…” I say and the line begins to move.
“Yea….. but it’s better. I like living my life as me and not as someone else.”
“Well then. You are the brave one.”
We continue to chat as we make our way in. She says “happy pride” and skips off as we enter.
After that I was stopped so many times.
“Can I have a hug?”
Some people just walked up to me with open arms. I heard older men tell me that they had been disowned years ago, that their moms had died without acknowledging them, that kids had left home rather than hide in the closet….
As I was watching a performer, I looked over and noticed a Woods ring! The girl had just graduated! We hugged and then I decided it was time to go.
As I was waiting for a light to change, a couple walked over.
“Can my girlfriend have a mom hug?”
“Sure!!!”
As we hugged the girl that asked said “she misses her mom but her mom says she is dead to her…”
I held on until the other girl pulled away. Her face was wet with tears……
”I miss my mom so much. Thank you for giving me a piece of her for a minute.”
We three hugged together and cried a minute.
“You are loved and you matter.” And we parted ways.
I walked 2 miles back to my car and enjoyed every minute of that walk.
Never underestimate the power of a hug.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Clarity

“Because the truth is, even when divorce is literally the best thing, when it gives you back to yourself, when it returns you to your highest space and delivers you to the second half of your life, whole and healthy and good…..even then, divorce is traumatizing. It just tears some things apart that we’ve spent our adult life building and putting together. And it affects so many people.”
“You’re struggling in any way in your marriage, whether you’re admitting it or not, is a profound loneliness.”
“I created a version of our marriage in my own mind and convinced myself it was enough.”
This podcast episode is everything!
Like Jen Hatmaker, I chose my steady stable marriage over what was true. I was a master shapeshifter, human spotlight and clean up crew for over 20 years and even after I was divorced. The shame too much for me to bear. I made myself smaller and smaller until I didn’t recognize myself. Over time, my people pulled away and I could not understand why. It was not until years into my divorce process that my people had the courage to tell me they pulled back because they didn’t know me anymore and had no clue how to help me. I don’t fault them. Back then, I didn’t know how to help myself either and I would not have had the bandwidth to accept the truth and the help.
I’ve said before that women don’t like to talk about the difficulties in marriage, however Jen breaks down the reasons (and the shame that surrounds it all) so eloquently. She also gives voice to the power of connection. When we are vulnerable, honest and true to ourselves, we allow others to connect and share space with us in a nonjudgmental way.
It has taken me years, lots of therapy and work on myself to find my way through this dark tunnel but the light I have found on the other side is so bright and beautiful!
Listen to the whole episode here!
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

2s-day

Today is 2-22-22.
It is such a magical number and an even more magical day!
It falls on a Tuesday!
It is a palindrome date (same backwards and forwards).
And I am the #tutulady!
The number 2 is an angel number (Angel numbers are recurring sequences of numbers that have spiritual significance, according to numerology). The number 2 represents balance in nature as all life is about balance. The number 2 also represents opposites such as left and right and up and down. When we are balanced, we are in harmony with life. Seeing the number 2 repeating is a gentle reminder that I need to work on balancing some aspects of my life. I mean wearing a tutu and running/dancing is all about balance!
The number 2 is the most feminine of all the numbers, and its vibration resonates with the vibration of joy, balance and peace. It relates to the desire for love, health, harmony and happiness within all relationships. People who see this number regularly are authentic, artistic, creative, tolerant, emotional, highly sensitive, loyal, devoted and intuitive.
2-2 is my angel number. I see the number 2 a great deal. I need things in pairs or even numbers in my home and in my life because I crave balance. Anyone who knows me knows I surrounds myself with the word peace and symbols of peace! And joy? Have you met me? I live my life from a place of constant joy!!!
This special 2-22-22 Tuesday is one that will not appear again for a long time, thus we need to make the most of it! As it is a day of balance, peace, and joy, let’s make the most of it!
Make a list of 22 things that bring you joy! The items on the list can be grand or minuscule….just put them on the list! They will be powerful reminders to look for joy today and every day.
Then make a second list of 22 people that bring you joy. Take a moment today to reach out to each one of those people with an email/call/text and thank them for bringing you joy!
Let’s celebrate the number 2-22-22 today by sharing peace and JOY!
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace