A Lesson in Love

A Lesson in Love

I believe a universal truth is that people’s greatest of strengths are rooted in their deepest of insecurities.

When my first son was about a year and a half, my insecurities as a mother really kicked into high gear. I felt like every mom around me noticed and I hated that. Sam at that time was not quite playing the way his peers were playing and that frustrated me. It also scared the heck out of me as we were having a hard time checking off every box of each developmental milestone. And so, for a brief time I so desperately tried to get him to conform to the standards set around him. Well, as all of you high vibe people know, as soon as you push something too hard and TRY and make something happen, you are basically doomed for failure as well as a strong need for something else. I JUST wanted him to play with the trucks the same, or build with the sand the same, and follow the status quo. Because of my own fears about how all of this was playing out, there was a brief time when I pushed Sam too much when we were in these social scenarios. I started to see his resistance to me build and his heels dig in deeper. I took a long deep breath. I looked at my son. And I knew what I needed to do.

There is a jewelry shop near my house where you can design your own pieces—strange non-sequitur I know, but there is a connection. I went in one morning as the shop opened and I chose a gold coin (always been a huge fan of yellow gold as it’s a part of my heritage) and a long gold chain. On one side of the coin is an image of a woman looking fierce and on the other side, I had two words engraved. Those words are written in a font that is somewhat childlike, and those words I hold close to my heart every single day. They say TEAM SAM.

TEAM SAM is a clear and powerful reminder for me to always remember whose team I am on at any given moment. I wear this necklace almost every day and especially on days when in moments of social mom panic I know who I need to get behind. In conversation with other moms, or at school, you will see me sometimes reach up and hold this necklace as a physical anchor. I wear the words against my chest—they are just for me- and they instantly ground me.

TEAM SAM for me means — 1) that the most important job I can do as a parent is to get behind the person that my son is and support him fully. 2) to remember to get on my own team —to support where I am at as a mom and know that what I have to offer is more than enough. And 3) that my instincts are almost always right—-and if they weren’t...so what. To be clear the same holds true for my beautiful second son Levi—who is his own little man and also needs a mom who is always on his side. In short, TEAM SAM means team “my boys” and team “me”.

As a kid, I had these very entrenched ideas about who I should be. I would look to the outside world and to the people immediately around me and try and take on aspects of what I saw. I think this is probably true for a lot of people and is a part of growing up. And even though I thought I was past the stage of desperately wanting to fit in, motherhood stirred all that up again. Mom insecurities are par for the course. As much as many of us want to and say we support each other, there is a LOT of judgment that goes on as well.

Today, Sam and Levi sit very happily in their own individual super powers. And I hope that always being able to see a mother living her own pure truth will keep them knowing what team they are on. That TEAM SAM and TEAM LEVI become just a natural part of who they are. Unconditional love in its truest form should be about that. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to watch your children experience an unconditional love of self? I believe that is out there.

Where I sit with this as of now is that the realization of how to love my boys was a realization of how to love myself. A realization of how to embrace my own feelings around all of this and accept those feelings so that I could move forward. The most beautiful thing about letting go of an idea that you held on to so tightly is that you can finally take off that armour and stand completely vulnerable in a place of stillness—where the air around you is easy to breathe and the song in your heart so easy to hear.

For What It’s Worth,
Anna xo

Posted by Anna Silk in Motherhood

The Path

Yeah, that’s pretty much how it happened.  Except maybe the whole desert part. Today is my birthday and I can’t think of a better starting point from which to go on a journey.  It is one that involves all of my roles in life - as a woman, a mother, a wife, an actor, an activist, and maybe, one day, as a visionary.  It’s a journey of self study and comes purely from the inside. And it’s one I feel deeply compelled to take.

I know that this is an opportunity that I am deeply privileged to take and that I have a level of freedom given to me that is not something other people on this planet, particularly women, can even imagine.  So it is with this full awareness that I move forward.

Every day at 1:30pm a reminder comes up on my phone asking me “What am I grateful for?"  And every day I usually have the same answers—my children, my husband, this sandwich…

But I would like to answer this question more fully.

I am GRATEFUL for every single part of, and person, in my history.  GRATEFUL for all of the people who have inspired me by being fearless and strong or by being fearful yet still moving forward and having an unwavering belief in themselves and in me.  GRATEFUL for those who have been living examples of a life well and fully lived regardless of its length. I am GRATEFUL for the experiences of giving birth to and raising two boys that teach me more about life than anything I have done or will ever do.  I am GRATEFUL I got to fulfill a dream and play a character on a show that touched and inspired so many people with her bravery, fierce loyalty, and strength.  GRATEFUL for an upbringing of pure creativity and possibility. GRATEFUL to all the incredible mothers around me who I learn from every day.  GRATEFUL to have a husband who brings me more love and joy than I could have hoped for. GRATEFUL for discovering the immense wisdom of my body that ALWAYS knows what it needs.  I am GRATEFUL for all of the opportunities I have had in this tremendous life I have been given.  

But I have come to be GRATEFUL (probably even more so) to those whose energy I struggled with.  Those whose actions or my perception of those actions put doubt in me.  Those who have inched me closer every day to living my truth.   I am GRATEFUL for finally realizing (and continuing to realize) that it is my own limiting beliefs in life that can, at times, keep me motionless and that simply by changing my focus, new blossoms are in bloom at every turn.   And I am GRATEFUL for the chance to embark on a journey of self-study that is not meant to manifest a new life but to dig deeper into the one I already have.

I have dealt with (sometimes crippling) anxiety and worry my whole life.  I was a super sensitive child and that foundation is still often rocky for me.  I have great fears about what goes on in our world and that those things to fear creep closer to me every day.  My insecurities run deep—just ask anyone who really knows me.  There has been a distant drum beating in me for change and even more than change, for transformation.  That beat is getting louder every day.  It is from this point that I take this journey.

What will it look like??  I have no idea—well, I have some idea—-but I do know that I have felt so rigid in my thinking too often for the past few years.  This rigidity has fixed me in place while life is flowing around me.  I want to jump into that flow, and frankly, sometimes I am in that place and feel divine.  I actually LOVE the fluidity of life, I just want to experience it more often.  I want to feel fully tethered with my feet on the ground but with a mind that can easily move. The greatest mirrors for where I am at on any given day are my children.  If I see them experiencing anxiety or doubt I know I need to anchor myself more firmly, and I do.  

This journey for me feels like journaling in public—why would I choose to do that??  Maybe it’s accountability or a creative outlet I so desperately need, or maybe I just want to put things more clearly out into the universe. A time will come for all of us when we die/leave this planet/disappear into a black hole/become one with the universe/go the heaven, and we don’t know when that will happen.  The question that I have been reflecting on lately is “how do I want to spend my time?”

This journey is a big part of how I want to spend it.

So, after a lifetime of anxieties, countless lessons, immense laughter, crying and more crying, loving, being loved, breaking, and building back up and breaking again, it’s time I start writing some of this stuff down….and sharing it, for what it’s worth.

Anna xo

Posted by Anna Silk in Reflections
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