As a result of that hope, though, his life sort of came to a halt. As he went through different drafts of the story for The Moth, Jeffery realized that he had been so focused on trying to earn back his family's love that he never thought about his future or his own needs. He declined job opportunities and broke up with a boyfriend who was moving to Los Angeles so that he could stay in Michigan, where his parents lived. He wanted to be nearby when they were ready to welcome him back into their lives. For years, he said, my relentless hoping did nothing more than keep me in a state of emotional stasis. Eventually, he came to understand that his hope had really been a form of denial. There was no chance of resurrecting his relationship with his parents, so he let go of that wish and moved on with his life. When he did so, he was finally able to find a sense of peace and resolution. The joke is, Burns said, that telling a story on the main stage of The Moth is like ten years of therapy. Few of us will reveal our personal histories in front of a crowd of strangers like Erik Kolbell did. If you have any trouble finding your way, follow the fear. Fear will guide you perfectly. You are the only one who can track the fear you experience. You are invited, that is, you--as the soul--are invited to come inwardly home now. Your most incredible life is here. The symbol is inserted in places through the text as a friendly invitation to pause. It is a visual reminder for you to slow down to stillness and to witness the silence within. In these moments, allow yourself to stop reading, and notice what is occurring within you. This space allows the natural flow of the truth of what has just been read to be recognized and incorporated on a deeper level. The openness, the space within you, is important.

Allow your pelvic floor to release, your shoulders to drop, your arms to rest limp and relaxed. Focus on returning to this green' state between each downwards surge. <a href=''>And</a> lastly, get gravity on your side! <a href=''>It</a> will help. <a href=''>Put</a> simply, your baby will descend faster if you are upright, and each downwards surge will be more effective if the weight of baby's head is pushing down and helping everything to gently stretch and open. <a href=''>Gravity</a> and the uterus muscles are a very powerful combo. <a href=''>As</a> always, a good U. <a href=''>Birth</a> partners: you'll be pleased to know you have slightly less to do during this active second stage of labour. <a href=''>The</a> key thing for you to do now is to remain by Mum's side and on Mum's side. <a href=''>Offer</a> her encouragement as the finishing line is now firmly in sight and she could be feeling tired. <a href=''>She</a> also loved not having to cook for an entire day (but, like all temperamental chefs, Mom said that some of our recipes needed her assistance). <a href=''>The</a> day was scrumptious, and sweet memories floated in the air like the aroma of chicken and dumplings, grasshopper pie, and chocolate chip cookies. <a href=''>Being</a> a mother may well be one of the hardest, if not the hardest job on the planet. <a href=''>You</a> only ever have one mom, so cherish her, let her know how much she means to you. <a href=''>Show</a> her gratitude. <a href=''>Celebrate</a> her and honor her with a day that says everything in a way that means I love you. <a href=''>Right</a> around the corner from Mother's Day is Father's Day. <a href=''>There</a> are so many artful and fun ways to say how much you care about and love your dad. <a href=''>Think</a> of all the things your father likes and create the day around him. <a href=''>Pay</a> homage to your dad by making him breakfast in bed and letting him read the paper (uninterrupted) for a few hours. <br /><br /><a href=''>But</a> we are all storytellers--all engaged, writes the anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, in an act of creation, which is the composition of our lives. <a href=''>And</a> yet unlike most stories we're used to hearing, our lives don't follow a predefined arc. <a href=''>Instead,</a> she writes, each of us has worked by improvisation, discovering the shape of our creation along the way. <a href=''>Our</a> identities and experiences, in other words, are constantly shifting. <a href=''>Like</a> a jazz musician in the middle of an improvisation, we may follow one path, then abandon it for another. <a href=''>Storytelling</a> is how we make sense of that act. <a href=''>By</a> taking the disparate pieces of our lives and placing them together into a narrative, we create a unified whole that allows us to understand our lives as coherent--and coherence, psychologists say, is a key source of meaning. <a href=''>Our</a> storytelling impulse emerges from a deep-seated need all humans share: the need to make sense of the world. <a href=''>We</a> have a primal desire to impose order on disorder--to find the signal in the noise. <a href=''>We</a> see faces in the clouds, hear footsteps in the rustling of leaves, and detect conspiracies in unrelated events. <a href=''>For</a> it is within that open space that love flows to and from your heart most immediately. <a href=''>FOLLOWING</a> FEAR TO FIND <a href=''>YOUR</a> FREEDOM <a href=''>The</a> Ultimate <a href=''>ONE</a> DAY, A WISE WOMAN who lived in a mountain cabin found a very precious stone at the bottom of a stream. <a href=''>The</a> next day, a thirsty and hungry traveler approached her. <a href=''>The</a> wise woman opened her bag to share her food and water. <a href=''>The</a> traveler then saw the stone and asked the woman to give it to him. <a href=''>She</a> smiled and did so without hesitation. <a href=''>The</a> traveler walked away, rejoicing in his good fortune. <br /><br /><a href=''>The</a> sensation she is experiencing is a new one and unlike what she has felt before. <a href=''>Not</a> necessarily more intense, just a different feeling as the body takes over and begins to push and baby descends through the pelvis. <a href=''>You</a> now take on the role of cheerleader! <a href=''>Remind</a> Mum to focus and use her breath (just as she has practised) and to work with her body rather than against it. <a href=''>If</a> she is holding her breath, bracing or resisting the sensation of this down stage, it will slow down progress and make it more difficult. <a href=''>This</a> stage will be quicker, easier, more straightforward and more comfortable if Mum focuses on using her down breathing. <a href=''>So</a> remind her of this, if appropriate, and perhaps breathe in sync with her to help keep her on track. <a href=''>In</a> between each surge your job is the same: help Mum to return to thegreen state' of relaxation. Any tension that has accumulated during the surge, now is the time to encourage her to let it go. You could use the arm-stroking technique here, light-touch massage or even the arm drop. Host a cookout with the family and grill up his favorite meal. Frame a favorite picture of you and him together or spend a day with him on the golf course. If your dad likes to golf, paint I Love You, You're the Greatest, or Best Dad on a set of golf balls (or tennis balls, if that's his game) as a gift. If your dad is a gardener, give him a gift certificate to the local gardening store so he can stock up on annuals, perennials, and herbs for his garden. Better yet, go with him to the store and be his gardening assistant and get your hands dirty. Make a coupon article with IOUs and include things like: Good for one car wash Good for a movie and popcorn Good for a lawn cutting Good for a hug and a kiss

We are constantly taking pieces of information and adding a layer of meaning to them; Stories help us make sense of the world and our place in it, and understand why things happen the way they do. Storytelling is fundamental to the human search for meaning, whether we tell tales of the creation of the earth or of our own early choices, writes Bateson. Stories are particularly essential when it comes to defining our identity--understanding who we are and how we got that way. Take the story of Emeka Nnaka. When he was twenty-one, Emeka was a defensive end with the semipro football team the Oklahoma Thunder. During one game in Arkansas, Emeka ran to make a tackle after the ball was snapped--a play he'd made many times before. When he hit the other player, his 250-pound body fell to the ground, as it usually did. But this time, something was different: he didn't actually feel himself fall. All he felt, lying there on the turf as the crowd fell silent, was the tingly feeling you get when you bump your funny bone. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him financial security for the rest of his days. Yet, by the morning, he had returned to her cabin with the stone. I know how valuable this stone is, he said, but I am giving it back to you in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Can you give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone? What you really want is the Ultimate. It is what made it easy to give you the food, the water, and this stone. My friend, I cannot give you something that you already have. However, I am happy to help you find It within you. I will point you to it. To follow this pointing is to meet me in your heart.