Redesigned….with you in mind.
Redesigned….with you in mind.
What do you think of the most?
What burns inside of you every day?
What makes you flow like the ocean?
What makes you light as air?
What makes you – YOU?
Ask these questions and the answers will come to you.
LISTEN to what’s calling.
Have you ever had that feeling of something nudging you from deep within?
Nudging you to do something different?
Nudging you to step outside of your comfort zone?
Nudging you to get excited or to move on?
Nudging you to push you to grow and expand?
A gentle encouragement or an abrupt sign – listen to what your intuition is saying.
Take action to listen to these nudging feelings to interpret something meaningful.
Even if the feelings are uncomfortable and scary, or exciting and moving –
The outcome of these deep-rooted messages is to encourage growth.
Take the time to LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND.
Only then can the actions be taken to leap to your next step!
Thank you for this given Grace
To switch my perspective and my face
That the bigger picture is what stands
No matter what the circumstance
Trust that all will be good
Is what needs to be understood
Even on a heavy downer day
Keep going, don’t lose your way
It will feel lighter
Even on a different day
Keep working on continuous
Mind, Body, and Soul
Lessons from all experiences
Ready to unfold
Tell your story. Live to tell.
This letter is for all parents and caregivers but mostly for the moms that I’ve built close relationships with:
As I delve into play with your child, you give me your trust to seek out their strengths and honour their personalities. At the same time, your wall is up keeping guard, waiting in defence to protect your special needs child. Not wanting to hear the things they cannot do but waiting to hear the highlights of what they can do.
I will always give the good highlights to ensure that I am nurturing their full potential, as well as yours. I give ideas on how to successfully incorporate strategies that may help strengthen the communication between you and your child.
Specifically things you’re wondering about or have never thought about. I will big up your ideas that you’ve already been doing to make sure you know you’re on the right track. I will also acknowledge that it may be difficult to incorporate new ideas as life may already be too chaotic for change.
I want you to feel like you can share your story and receive support for who you are as a family while you take in some of my insights and clinical experience. I see you in your homes as I work to engage your little ones to communicate in play. I take your family dynamic as insight to develop my approach.
I share other parent’s experiences as resources for you to let you know that you are not the only one with a tentative night schedule or extraordinary meal plan. I want you to hear some of my personal parental experiences mixed in with clinical because ultimately, we are all parents and protectors of our children.
I want to hear your stories too.
I customize to your family’s needs and concerns in the moment. I hear your concerns about the future for your child as you may have some challenges with tasks of daily living but I want to ensure you that we need to focus on what we
can control in the moment.
Let’s take one step at a time, starting with what’s right for you and your family and how we can add or change elements to elicit balanced communication.
I want you to have the information that you need on the challenges that parents have shared with me regarding the community and the school system. I want to be a support system in your life as I understand that having children with special needs is not always the easiest journey but encourage you to share their successes big or small so we can celebrate them and educate the world.
I honour being unique and point out these qualities even though it may not look like what you expect.
I want you to know that I am a shoulder to lean on, a friend who can laugh at the insane stories, a friend who can cry at their first words and accomplishments, a friend who can be mad at the world with you, someone who can help advocate for special needs as it can be a jungle out there.
I want you to know that I understand outside of the box. I recognize your child’s strengths as huge celebrations and appreciate for a lifetime. I encourage you to share your trade secrets as it could help someone else in their day to day.
I want you to be a part of the bigger movement. You are exactly where you need to be. You can help teach us the relevant steps. I want to super-step awareness and get to the ‘How To’ part. Awareness is the first step but next we need to know how we can help.
How can we help each other in our day to day that will increase our knowledge of what other parents may need, if necessary, in a common setting like the park or a store? Or what life is like during a pandemic being stuck at home?
Everyone’s story is different but may share the same themes. The main thing is the love for your child. How to make them safe, strong, and independent.
Embrace each child’s abilities and learning style to teach concepts to be absorbed and expressed.
You have given me the gift of empowerment as you allow me to share my ideas to further your child’s development. You lead extraordinary lives, my special needs families, with your hard work, day in and day out. I am encouraged to see your happiness with every step your child makes to succeed.
You have given me the power to keep sharing knowledge that will also empower others. There will be ups and downs but knowing that your child is the reason why we empower is showing the whole world that being unique is special.
It’s time to embrace and connect to uplift and change this world a little bit faster than expected so that everyone can understand the true potential of a special needs family. One that has strength and value in my heart and soul.
Don’t let ANYONE ever make you feel ashamed of your beautiful eyes.
Embrace your Asian eyes – as slanted, chinky, slit-like, almond-shaped, exotic, beautiful – as they are. Especially when you smile.
Story of my life. If we had the internet growing up, I probably would have googled ‘How to round slanted eyes’.
Yes, it was because of ugly remarks from the ignorant white kid at school who called me a ‘chink’ and didn’t let me off the monkey bars. The boy in class who thought he ruled.
That’s when I became so conscious about my eyes. And that it may not be appealing to others. The day I didn’t want the world to look at me.
The day I didn’t want to be seen.
I’ve experienced racism at a young age until now. It didn’t stop at that boy. What about the group of teenage boys in University, yelling from across the street, asking if my clothes were clean from the laundromat – to go back where I came from – ‘chink’.
All the different layers of how it impacts my life – as a child, as a student, as a professional, as a mom, as a wife, as a person.
Too many stories to count. Too much anger to rant.
Honestly, I haven’t quite fought against it either because we were taught to use our Canadian birthright and education to fit in – like it’s supposed to save us from ignorance.
Every minority in the world experiences racism. There are even minorities within minorities. The cycle is vicious.
This moment serves as my right, as someone who has experienced being called a ‘chink’, to expose those for the wrong energy they breed.
Inspired by the #StopAsianHate on social media, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, I’m speaking out now to break the patterns.
I’ve been a target of discrimination because of my eyes. I’m Filipina Canadian with very slanted eyes and very fair skin. I can pass for every Asian because I look Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Tibetan, so I’m told.
I’m the nicest person in the world but if you want to call at me with your racist slurs then bring it!
My slanted eyes will cut you so deep you’ll understand the mysteriousness hiding behind them.
It doesn’t matter what background you are, you shouldn’t be discriminated against!
It matters because my children’s views of an innocent world are being tainted with the dark layers of the world with events in the news, in schools, within our city, and abroad.
They never knew what the word ‘racist’ meant until a year ago, even in our bi-racial family.
My son asked me if ‘racist’ was a bad word when he heard a video gamer say it online. I responded that it wasn’t a swear word but as soon as it came out of my mouth, I quickly changed it.
Yes, it is a bad word for a bad person. He had never heard of the word, so I explained to him.
It’s when a person doesn’t like someone because of the colour of their skin and their cultural background. He didn’t understand.
I began to role-play: “I don’t like you because you’re Filipino or Jamaican”.
He gave me this flabbergasted look as he scrunched his face in disbelief.
I just tainted his view of the world.
It matters for them. And how they have to learn to armour themselves with thick skin to deal with bullying, racism, and discrimination – which I thought was not so prevalent for their generation. How NAIVE of me!
Last year when the virus was getting out of hand in China, the impact was in the news. I didn’t even consider how it would impact me from across the world.
I was in the local bookstore where I was browsing for a long time. Back and forth with a lot of items in my arms, sweating buckets in a winter jacket, standing by the art section.
The sales lady glanced at me a few times. I didn’t think anything of it.
I usually don’t like when salespeople bombard so it was fine that she didn’t offer any kind of help…but no greeting…no smile?
Until an older man walked up the steps towards us, not even two feet, and the lady immediately smiled, approached the man, and said, “Is there anything I can help you with today?”
Guess what hall pass he had?
My blood boiled until my eyes sank right into the depths of my soul. I took all of my things and headed towards the front cash at the other end of the store. When I passed her, she asked, “Find everything you were looking for?”
F@(King Biyatch…. “Yup”. I forced myself to mutter as I stormed off.
I should have told her SOMETHING. I should have done SOMETHING!
The same baggage followed me a few weeks later when we travelled to Cuba for a wedding. I was targeted at the Cuban airport by the staff and at the resort by some French-Canadian tourists.
My 10 year-old daughter witnessed this behaviour and instinctively knew what was going on. Tainted.
It was all in their eyes and their ignorant behaviour acting like I was Covid – all week long. Meanwhile, my husband who’s usually the target for being black, was fitting right in with the Cubans, oblivious to what was happening to me. Rightfully celebrating not having to worry about the colour of his skin while on vacation.
I am not a virus. Hate is the virus.
I shouldn’t have to be in this position in this century. I shouldn’t have to taint my children’s vision of an innocent world where I have to explain why I’m targeted at the bookstore, airport, or on vacation because of how I look.
I shouldn’t have to explain that there are some people out there who hate on people’s ethnicity.
I shouldn’t have to keep upping my family’s pride for being Filipino-Jamaican-Canadian just because other people decide to degrade out of hate.
We are proud of who we are with our ethnicity, our families, our children. We have culture. We have stories. Nothing to hate here.
It’s time to eliminate the hate. It’s harmful, it’s toxic, it’s FUCKING ridiculous.
I’M TIRED OF BEING ANGRY, I’M TIRED OF THE FUCKING IGNORANCE.
I TRIED TO WAIT UNTIL I WAS IN A BETTER PLACE TO WRITE WITHOUT THE ANGER ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.
EVERY NIGHT IN MY HOUSEHOLD, WE’RE ANGRY AFTER WATCHING THE NEWS, ANGRY IN HEATED DISCUSSION.
ANGRY WAKING UP TO MORE NEWS. ANGRY THAT WE CAN’T CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE’S IGNORANT ACTIONS.
ANGRY THAT THE WORLD IS ALLOWED TO BE THIS WAY!
Keep your hate to yourself. Don’t let it spill over to someone who has nothing to do with you. Fix that shit or Karma will come for you.
It’s time to Let Love Rule, like you hear in the songs. Listen to songs, listen to people, read books even if you don’t quite understand them. Let it move you. Shift your focus on worthwhile things (Thought Catalogue).
Learn to understand someone other than yourself. It’s in everyone, even if you have to dig deep to find it. This is where the power is. Change is for the better.
I believe it’s in there. There’s nothing to be afraid of… unless you cross a mother.
Make the wise choice.
I wrote this to myself after I jumped ship, shortly after 9/11, from a corporate software company where I wrote software manuals. I found another position to maintain graphical user interfaces and write engineering processes.
No, this wasn’t doing it for me either.
It was the third page of my new journal that I committed to writing to figure out answers for my next steps to finding a balanced work life – meaning a work life where I was not always so bitter!
I didn’t want to have that constant cringing feeling every day going in to work. I only lived for the weekends. Was there something more out there?
I recently gave it a title in the summer of 2020, when I re-searched myself to start cataloguing content. After a deep conversation last night, this one’s for you:
I feel good when I accomplish
No stress, no frustration
That’s where I’m my best
When I’m equally balanced
And things are handled
Not left to be abandoned
Deal with things as they come
Work until the deal is done
Clear the aura without the huff and puff
You gotta take the shit when it gets rough
But when it’s over, it’s smooth sailing from there
There’s a clear sense of aura in the air
There’s a way to accomplish peace in your life
Try not to be bitter and do what’s right
Only you can justify your actions
Don’t blame the world
For ignorant reactions
It all starts with you
And how strong you are
If you believe in yourself
You will get far
Reach for the top
See how far you can soar
See what you can accomplish
Then you’ll be bitter no more.
You offer Inspiration, even if you didn’t know it.
Your energy has uplifted me in some way.
Strong, Resilient, Beautiful, Confident, Creative
As you Are.
You go Girl.
Keep doing You.
It helps me be Me.
Everywhere I’m turning
Nothing seems complete
I stand up and I’m searching
For the better part of me
I hang my head from sorrow
State of humanity
I wear it on my shoulders
Gotta find the strength in me
Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Even when I’m a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
I’m a Superwoman
For all the mothers fighting
For better days to come
And all my women, all my women sitting here trying
To come home before the sun
And all my sisters
Say yes I will
Yes I can
‘Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Yes she is
Even when I’m a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
I’m a Superwoman
When I’m breaking down
And I can’t be found
And I start to get weak
Cause no one knows
Me underneath these clothes
But I can…
This is a tribute to you for giving me a dose of inspiration.
Thanks for your gifts of beautiful blank journals to encourage me to keep writing. I’m telling the story of how your gifts helped me to harness mine:
It was Christmas 2017. We were working at our old building site of the children’s treatment centre. It was our last year there because we were moving into a new state of the art building within a few months. As ghetto as the building was, our team made it the best of times.
It was our first Secret Santa since I’ve ever worked there. We were all getting emotional because it was our last Christmas as a small group before amalgamating into an even more corporate structure.
We wanted to make this one different.
My gift was already on my desk waiting for me when I got there in the morning. I took out the pretty, off-white journal from the bag. It had a pretty image of a bare tree that had hints of snow on the edges of some of the lower branches.
I’ve never had a journal with regular sized pages. So much space to work with. Oooh so pretty. It goes well with the coffee card and scented candle. So me.
I knew it was you as soon as I entered the second-floor office. When you saw me and looked away but you were smiling with your eyes.
The feeling of endless creation of whatever I want, whenever I want, is what I feel every time I see journals, pads of paper, pens, markers, post-its, white-boards, and so on.
It’s exciting to open the book to a blank page! Every day. I write the date and go! Cluster, list, paragraph, prose…whatever goes.
It’s exercise for the mind and soul.
Which is what I hope to provide to others when I pay forward the gift of journals.
A blank canvas of space waiting to be used in any way purposeful. All together with a few good pens (YES, it matters)! Powerful ways to effortlessly use your mind to coordinate whatever moves you.
That same week, I got another surprise. When I saw you standing there, I was confused, “For me?”, I thought when you handed me a gift of appreciation with a message in a card that read, “Thank you so much for going above and beyond. You were a life line for me when I felt like I was drowning. Your support and efforts in his success is truly appreciated. Happy Holidays”.
That message kept finding it’s way into my hands every time I opened my journal (where I kept the envelope). It confirmed for me every time that I was still on the right path as a Communicative Disorders Assistant or Speech-Language Assistant but now realizing a little bit more. It inspires me to document the formula of my approach and share the handouts of information.
Years later, we reunite to where I can do therapy up close and personal (before Covid). You gifted me a beautiful black journal with an image of a mom and baby elephant with cool trunk designs. Who doesn’t love elephants?!?
This one was there for me during the beginning of the pandemic and throughout. It holds research, quarantine recipes, reminders to self, homeschool scribbles, numerology, prose, doodles, ripped pages, content brainstorm, emotions, mantras/affirmations, lists, things I did and how I felt.
Empowerment is what I love to teach because when we teach families how to interpret their child’s interactions with one another, the ultimate goal – no matter what – is to get the best back and forth with everyone happy. Finding ways to advocate that is part of the journey. These are all the teaching moments.
I continue to write in my Book of Inspiration where I’ve committed to a writing routine that keeps me going. Hyping myself to share because it IS about the back and forth that makes connections so real and encouraging.
No matter what the connection is, appreciate the value. It’s special when explored.
Exploring feeds curiosity, expanding our minds when ready to transform. When we help transform each other, we serve so much more! Dump your heart and soul into it. Journals shouldn’t be left ignored!
Be open to the tools of wisdom to keep heightening, expanding, growing, wondering, imagining, creating, and inspiring!
From you to me, now from me to you, with lots of gratitude. Inspired by all writers who need readers, and by readers who need writers. This is a good cycle to be in.