Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Spend Time with a Mentor.

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Abby with her mentors Rose and Robin.

Girl Warrior. Spend time with a mentor. If you don’t have one, find one. Chances are, this person is already in your life. Chances are, you’ve already engaged in a mentor-mentee relationship. Chances are, you may not recognize that you are connected in this way. Chances are, you are close to this person.

Take a look around you and ask yourself these questions.

Who is the person you admire most? Who is the person who teaches you things in a manner that feels natural rather than professorial, purposive or patronizing? Who is the person who leaves you feeling uplifted after spending time with them? Who is the person who challenges you to think beyond what you know now? Who is the person who encourages you to grow fully in every capacity – physically, spiritually, intellectually, emotionally? Who is the person who has your best interests at heart? Who is the person who tells you the truth in a way that doesn’t hurt or harm? Who is the person you want to be like when you grow up?

Girl Warrior, take a moment to write down the name of a person next to each of these questions. Chances are, this is your mentor. If you’re lucky, more than one name will crop up. But even if it is only one person, consider yourself blessed.

Now, go to that person and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life. If they aren’t physically close to them then pick up the phone, text them, email them, send them a letter or a “thank you” card. Do not put this off. It is imperative that you acknowledge whom your mentors are and that they know how much you value their presence in your life. Let them know now that the world is a better place because they are here. This is the very personal gift that you give back to them.

Once you have done this Girl Warrior, take a second look around and ask yourself this. Who can I mentor?

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Melissa with her mentor Boo.

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Leslee with her mentors Kathleen and Char.

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Sher with her mentor Marion.

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Catherine holding the initials of her mentor BK.

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Jennie with her mentor Dave.

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Aimee with her mentor Boo.

Boo + Silk Mentor

Boo with her mentor Silk.

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone.

4 Kings on a Wall

This morning

While I was sitting here drinking coffee

In the silent stillness and stifling solitude

Of my writing space

My mind drifted lazily

Back

To when I was a young woman

And my two oldest kids were still my kids

The time of two cats in the yard

Where everything was loud and noisy

Gritty and grating at times.

 

I was obsessed

With cleaning up my messy life

Which was actually

A deliciously divine messy life

But I didn’t know it at the time.

 

You see

Back then I believed

My messy life wasn’t good

And certainly not

Interesting

Beautiful

Virtuous

Or worthy.

 

It didn’t fit

Into the glossy pages

Of a coffee-table magazine

I would never ever be

Wife or mother of the year

But oh how I longed

For that impossible

That implausible

That unattainable

Distinction.

 

I thought

So foolishly

It’s laughable now

That this messiness was a problem

This glorious domestic chaos

And magnificent uproarious thunder

Racket and tumult

This callow tender tackiness

Of everyday life

Was something to be fixed.

Aimee + Tom Xmas

Halloween Aimee the Crayon + glum Tom

Halloween Aimee the Crayon

Polaroid Pictures Mom + T + A

Polaroid Pictures T + A Xmas

Tom + Aimee + Oona + DeeDee in Orange Chair

Tom + Aimee + the TO Gang

tom + aimee on bikes

Tom + Aimee on the steps of 402 Northcliffe

tom + aimee with cats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Don’t Be a Shrinking Violet.

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Girl Warrior. Don’t be a shrinking violet. Ever. No, not ever. Not for any reason. Not for any person. Not in any situation. Under no circumstances or conditions.

Do not make yourself small. Do not diminish, draw back or decrease in any way your presence on this planet. For it belongs to you as much as it does any other. You have a place here. A position to defend. A stand to take. A clear and resounding voice. Let it be heard. For it is utterly magnificent.

Don’t back away from the good fight. Don’t abandon your convictions. Or betray your beliefs, ideologies or principles. Don’t let fear or any other false fabrication of your imagination prevent you from being the big girl that you are. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too big for your britches. That’s impossible. Stay vigilant and ignore ludicrous comments designed to keep you in your place. Or worse yet, keep you down.

You have big things to do Girl Warrior. Brilliant things. Bright things beyond your wildest dreams. But doing these things will require you to step out boldly and bravely into every arena as the formidable force that you are.

So put on your big gutsy pants Girl Warrior and show the world what it looks like to be too damn big for your britches.

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sher with snake

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Respect Yourself.

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Girl Warrior. Respect yourself. Yes you. Hold yourself in high regard. The highest, in fact. For you are a prized and precious and perfect person. Exactly as you are now. Exactly as you always have been. And exactly as you always will be.

This does not mean you won’t change and grow. Refine, reshape and rework your life. You’ll edit, emend and evolve as you go. There will be times when you press repeat, rewind or even pause. And that’s okay. You’ll learn new things. Astonishing things that will blow your mind. You are free to try on different roles and responsibilities along the highway or dirt road of your one-of-a-kind odyssey. Abandon what doesn’t feel right in your skin. Keep all that speaks to your truth and honors the brilliant Girl Warrior that you are. For this is the essence of self-respect.

Respecting yourself is part and parcel of loving yourself. It all starts here. You unwrap them together. They are hand in glove and should not be separated. They will act as your guide, your touchstone and spiritual litmus test for everything you think, say and do. But they do ask that you think well of yourself at all times. That you hold yourself in such high regard and esteem that you wouldn’t think of causing harm to yourself. Not physically. Not emotionally. Not intellectually. Not spiritually. Not ever.

There are no exceptions Girl Warrior. Your standard is set high. It is golden. And so are you.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Foster Wisdom.

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Girl Warrior. Foster Wisdom. Seek enlightenment, illumination and insight at every turn, every opportunity. Grow your intuition and awareness of the world around you and the one within. Fine-tune your instincts and your vital sixth sense. Follow your hunches and listen closely to your gut feelings. For these are the essential bits in the Sage’s toolkit.

First you will need to take a journey inward. You will also need to open your mind to all the possibilities that abide there. You will be opening the door to the unknown, the unexplored, the unfamiliar, and above all else, the uncertain. You will be knocking on the door of mystery and magic and all things mystical. The prospect of this may frighten you. Don’t let it. Open the door and walk unflinchingly through. This is a big step and a brave move on your part. But it is a prerequisite on the path to true understanding.

It is here that you will begin to know the difference between the accumulation of information and knowledge and that of wisdom, knowing and genuine insight. It is in this pilgrimage to the deepest corner of your soul that you will discover the Universal Truths, your highest self, your eternal being and your infinite connection to the Divine. It is from this vantage point that you will do your best work.

It is both exalting and humbling. And when you get there, Girl Warrior you will know.

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Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Fairy Dust and the Heartbeat of Oneness.

Halloween Mel as Princess

Do you ever wonder why some things in life appear as though they’ve been sprinkled with the enchantment of fairy dust? Why do some people, places or things touch our hearts in a way that is utterly ethereal, inexplicable and mystifying?

What causes this heart connection?

It could be anything or anytime or anyplace when this connection occurs. You’re watching one of those ubiquitous television programs like America or England or Japan’s Got Talent and some awkward kid comes on stage and starts singing like an angel. At that moment, we’re touched by the kind of grace that only The Divine can deliver. Not only is our heart affected, but our spirit as well. Our emotions are fully engaged. Quite simply, we feel like better people for the privilege of witnessing this singular moment in time. We know intuitively that we are part of something much grander than ourselves.

We are all breathing in tune to the Heartbeat of Oneness. This is the transcendent flash. Our knowing. The sudden awareness that our prosaic humanness is also magnificently divine. We get a glimpse into the soul of another. And what an honor this is.

You can’t force or manipulate these things either. You can’t define them. Direct, determine or describe. There are no words that are truly adequate. Impossible to articulate, communicate or enunciate. For if you could, then the magic would turn to vapor and disappear. There would be no fairy dust.

For this is the beautiful inherent intangible, the essential enigma, the precious paradox.

boo ballerina

Aimee Prima 2.

baby abby in white dress (1)

Abby on stool in purple

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Snapshot of Mel at Four.

Mel Reading Cat in the Hat

Melissa sat in the brown Rubbermaid laundry hamper hugging her knees. She was wearing her over-sized blue sweatshirt with the Dalmatians on the front and purple leggings. Her feet were bare and pale.

She had pulled the hamper out of the closet and placed it in front of the television in my bedroom. Her petite body was fully contained with only her head peering out of the top like a sprung jack-in-the-box.

I don’t know if it was something she saw on TV, something someone said perhaps. I don’t recall. But she turned to me and said, with the simple unvarnished directness of a four-year old, “I believe in God.” In that moment, I saw her ancient soul. The one that had been around since the beginning of time.  The wise One.

And in that holy moment, for it truly was divine, I was envious of this sweet wide-eyed child of mine. Because at four, she was so resolute and confident in this elusive thing called faith.

And I was not.

mel on play tunnel

mel and dd

Mel hugging Teddy