Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mentoring Moment:: Who's Learning The Most?

Last night, when David and I went to pick up my mentee (whom I will call Eliana for this post-not her real name), there were cop cars right next door and the cops were running through the yards after a suspect. According to my mentee's mom, right before we arrived the suspect ran through the yard - with the kids playing outside - with a gun.

We picked up Eliana so that I could work with her on her math and we could hang out. She hadn't eaten yet so we had a dinner of tortellini, sauce, bread and butter and veggies. She ate 2 helpings of everything! It was as though she hadn't eaten all day and for all I know, maybe she hadn't. I think that what I will do from now on is to get a backpack and send her home with a a backpack of food that can be shared amongst the kids. I can't stand the idea of them being hungry.

So we worked on her math, with the lessons being punctuated by banging the drum the number of times for the set of five that we were multiplying. For example: 3x5=hitting the drum 3 times and so forth. I think she got it. We'll see when I see her tomorrow and review again.

When we took her home, that was a little odd. We were about 10 minutes early and mom was nowhere to be found. Eliana's siblings said she left for a little bit and they thought that she went to the grocery store. None of the kids knew how to unlock the door and said that mom told them not to open the door even for someone they know. That knocked David for a bit of a loop. So we waited in the car for mom's return and let her go. David said, "The whole family dynamic and walking into a potentially dangerous situation was very odd." I told him that I knew when I began mentoring kids who have incarcerated parents or who are very high risk, that I would have some interesting (uncomfortable) experiences. The important thing is to remember that we don't know everything: we don't know what her dad is in jail for, we don't (yet) know what the food situation in the house is though I suspect that a single, unemployed mom w/ 5 kids struggles, and we can't judge because we don't know the full story. All we can do is to try and help. All but one of the children has a mentor (he's on a waiting list), so I don't want to step on a lot of toes.

I expect to grow and learn a lot through this experience and it will inform my decisions about CASA (court appointed special advocacy), family law and the juvenile justice system. These experience will guide those decisions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Lovely Spot on the Web

I think that I am going to start a new Monday tradition here on Knotty Musings. Each Monday, I will spotlight a blog that features positive thoughts, beauty or helpful information. We could all use more peace and beauty in our lives, so today's blog is The Garden of thoughts by Dodinsky. Check it out here and if you are on Facebook, check out the lovely page there as well.!/thegardenofthoughtsbydodinsky

You will find a link to the blog in the blog roll at the right as well. Please tell your friends!

Back From the ER Side Trip

It is 8:45 here and I have not yet been to bed.

I just got home from 6 lovely hours at the ER. They did labwork to rule out any appendix/gallbladder issues, etc. They sent me home with Percocet and a recommendation to see the ob/gyn in the next 1-2 days to be checked further and to see if the surgery date can be moved up. I will call her later today. It's going to be a long day I think. The dr. told me, "It's all about managing the pain until you have your surgery at this point." I was somewhat surprised that they didn't do an ultrasound to check on the ovary, etc. I will be calling my gyn when the office opens at 9 to see if I can get in and to speak with her about moving the surgery date up.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What I've Been Up To

I have been pretty lax about blogging lately: Too much work, school, and community involvement.

Hmmmm let's see if I can catch you up without making this post exceptionally long. School is going well. I am taking Sociology this quarter. It is the pre-requisite for juvenile justice, a particular area of interest for me. I am taking the winter quarter off.

I have to have a hysterectomy on November 2nd. I have been struggling with endo for the past year (had one ovary removed last year) and none of the treatments have worked, so it is time to end the pain and bleeding and move on. I have begun the anti-candida way of eating, a mostly vegetarian, sugarless, soy free, dairy free and gluten free diet. The challenge of endo is that it usually combines itself with a trio of conditions: irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, and the endo itself. I hope to keep the endo from implanting itself again after surgery through proper nutrition. It is a healthier way of eating, so there will be benefits no matter what but I can't say it isn't challenging.

On the community involvement side of things, I had a very interesting meeting with 2 Supreme Court justices the other night to discuss juvenile and prison reform. I met with our NE Chief Justice and US Supreme Court Justice Thomas. Dinner went well and after grilling me and playing devil's advocate, both said that they were quite impressed with my arguments. Justice Heavican stated that life without parole began at about the same time that Supreme Court challenges to the death penalty started. The legislators realized that they needed a plan B. The problem is that plan B has become the norm. Justice Thomas stated that the feds imposed the sentencing rules and they have been most strictly adhered to in conservative states. They both feel that it is time for more rehabilitation and stated that the change has to occur on the state level with efforts such as the Coalition. Very exciting meeting. They both took my contact info, so we will see where that leads.

Other than that, I have been busy with the Neighborhood Accountability Board, a restorative justice program for non-violent offenders, Amachi mentoring (I mentor children who have a parent or sibling who is incarcerated) and working with my state senators to change the laws regarding life sentences without parole for those who commit their crimes under the age of 18.

I am, however, looking forward to the 6-8 week forced sabbatical that is the recovery time. It will be nice to only do what I want to do (other than checkups) during that time.