My daughter, Tiana turns 21 today. It’s been far from a smooth ride of motherhood and one of the extremes.
At the same age as her, I was a mother. Naïve, controlled and scared. The ‘safe place’ I had created to protect her, collapsed upon me as she became a teen. The journey, has at times, been dark, and poignant, leaving deep scars that sit as a reminder of the experience we shared, the lessons I’ve learned and how sharing our stories give rise to healing.
Transforming challenges into triumph; all that I give (Holistic Hikes) aims to help others from the limiting narratives we hold in fear mindset, and into a future that they’re excited about. Hiking has had such a profound effect on my outlook on life, that I want to guide others to a better future.
This is Holistic Hikes. This is my why.
An Open Letter To My Daughter
You rushed into this world just before midnight on Saturday 8th June 2002, 2 weeks before you were due. No time for drugs to dissolve my fear, deep breaths, and intuitive trust in my body, and in you, that we could move through it together.
I was so in awe of you, I still am. This little human had eagerly pushed through my own body to enter Earth, where I too was so juvenile. I had no sense of what adult life was, naïve to the dangers and yet I was entrusted with your care.
So, I did.
As a baby, you hit your milestones sooner than expected. I couldn’t slow you down. A young child myself, you upon my hip, learning the ways of the world together.
Learn, we did.
So curious as a toddler, your hustle never diminished, nor did the cheeky spark that you brought to every interaction, regardless of friend or stranger. Beyond your years, I struggled at times to know how to mother you, just merely surviving myself. Little did you know, we relied on each other for survival.
Survive we did.
Our journey took many dark turns, I couldn’t navigate it alone. Family and friends held strong when I needed a crutch, fighting to endure. My own kin, my sibling, a father to you when your own was absent, stepped in to guide, support, and nurture your growth – as he did mine, just years before your arrival.
Together we began to heal.
New adventures took us to green places; nature held, heard, and spoke to us. Together, we heard our united voice, a little shaky but continued to speak without fear. Words and stories, our own, grew strength and together we forged a new life.
Together we grew.
As one, we lived our lives in freedom and fun. Along came Shan and a family we become. Two new baby sisters for you to dote over and a father to love you the way you should be loved. Together, all 5 of us, were how a family should be.
And a family we are.
Never did I imagine my greatest heartache would be from you. Your teen years were so turbulent, I was thrown violently from my course. I longed for the pain to end, in self-preservation, willing to sever my own tie. Moving forward held such conflict, with you lost in your world of disillusion and defiance.
Dislocated we were.
Our relationship has given rise to such polarities. Both love and pain have driven our worlds with such passion – I wouldn’t know the depth of this human experience if it were not for you. I’ve been to the far reaches of hurt, accepting that you were no longer my little girl. Surrendered all that I was as your mother, for you then to return to me.
Together again but both hurting.
We’ve walked the path forth to connect and heal. Both beckoning for the other to see each as we are. I see you. My greatest love is you. You are a piece of me. A mother’s love is like no other, it takes from every cell in your body and then more, if not willingly then of possession without compliance. As mothers, we are met with the most beautiful and challenging aspects of ourselves, reflected in our children.
And I am still.
I know who I am now. I know who you are too, even when you don’t. I see her, the naïve me that lives within you, scared and clawing her way into the world. Let’s love her together. We don’t always align, nor find ourselves in balance, however, I understand now that what we are is always in flux. A mother’s love sets aside her own opinions, needs, and desires to allow her children to develop theirs.
And I do.
You are my greatest teacher. Our experiences, good, bad, ugly, and all the little things in between have made me reflect on my own initiation in the world, where I too was once juvenile and taking uncharted psyche paths. With courage and determination, I let die the values and beliefs that were not my own, and which could no longer sustain me or us.
I did that for us.
I was a baby, raising a baby and I am in awe of the woman who stands beside me today. I am so proud to call you my daughter. The outspoken, vivacious woman with a big heart. A woman who isn’t afraid of her voice. One who will not let anyone dim her shine or hold her back.
You are fierce.
You’ve reached the age when I birthed you. You’re so much more experienced, wiser, and aware than I was. You’ve always wanted to be an adult. You fought for it since you were a child. You’ve arrived. But the work does not stop here, you are merely beginning to unpack, move forward and experience the richness of life’s adventures. Do not stand complacent with ego in hand, believing that you know. We always have work to do. To grow
My wish for your future.
Even when you can't hear my voice, I am always here.
As you navigate the trail ahead, there will be many moments when it is dark, and you can’t see your way. Trust your intuition, and have faith, as blind as you may feel at times. Discover, delve deep, and practice the things that will bring you peace, an abundance of kind love, and rich adventures in your life.
Be open to changing your mind. Learn from people who disagree with you. Never assume you are the only right person, it's all a matter of perspective.
Invite challenge into your life to grow strength and resilience physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Slow down. The warriors need their rest too. Make space for and prioritize calm in your life or risk defeat.
Find Softness in the world that tries to harden you. A soft approach and heart-led conversations are the most impactful for yourself and others.
Show compassion (and a smile) – more so to those who don’t deserve it. Perhaps they need it more, we never really understand another’s life events or journey they’re on.
Embrace vulnerability. Reflect, listen, and learn by exposing the depths of who you are to the ones you love. It is the most liberating feeling to release pain and suffering. Don’t hide behind anger or excuses. Own your shit and unpack it, and embrace vulnerability.
Know your worth and foster self-loving practices. A healthy heart-led confidence (not ego), yields healthy relationships, friendships, and self-worth. Kindness reflected outwards is relative to the kindness we show ourselves.
Forever be inquisitive and open to adventures that are before you.
Travel will teach you about culture, people, and places beyond what you can ever imagine.
Never stop learning, growing, and developing your sense of self, and help guide others when their light is dim.
Love deeply & kindly,
Live adventurously & courageously,
Laugh generously & frivolously.
“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories... water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves