Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

The value of support when pursuing meaningful goals

In the past days I’ve felt stuck and heavy, unmotivated to do the work that will move me towards the goals I set at a time of great self-expansion and inspiration.

I distracted myself from this feeling by intensely focusing my attention on the outside: The week-long drama surrounding the U.S. Presidential election provided a great excuse to stop my work and tell myself it was okay to take a break.

But the break came to an end, and while the drama is still available out there, I have decided that the fate of this country is not for me to fix, control, or track. So I gently told myself to get back to my real life, to my work, to face my current limitations.

What I notice is happening, has been happening for several days—maybe weeks. I’ve watched the disempowering narrative unfold, and because I am currently engaged in the Rise Above program, I’ve been quick to use inquiry to tackle the self-sabotaging patterns that have emerged. I’ve explored the limiting thoughts that my fearful self is struggling with, and have discovered some of the beliefs that have been fueling my discomfort. And yet, up until yesterday I still felt stuck, confused, and unmotivated.

Yesterday, I was to meet with one of my Rise Above peers to share with each other our weekly assignment.

One of the many gifts in self-help programs is to connect with like-minded people. Specifically in this case: To receive the support of someone listening to my issues in the way I know is most helpful (i.e. present, non-judging, without agenda but holding the intention to help me find my own clarity). So I asked: Can I tell you what’s going on with me, so you can ask some helpful questions and reflect an empowering perspective to me?

I told her my current story, and found myself articulating thoughts—my own observations—that I had thought I was aware of, but shone like rays of bright light as I heard myself say them out loud. I spoke for a while, and when I paused ready for her reflection, I was already halfway seeing what she told me:

It seems like you’re putting all these road blocks on your way. You’re confusing and tripping yourself with conflict that stops you from following the steps you so diligently laid out for yourself.

Why are you stopping yourself?

I am stopping myself!
Why?
I sat with that discovery and continued to unearth more.

Her attention and intention to be a supportive presence, helped me realize some of the components that held the maze I had created, and in which I had lost myself. I didn’t need to have a perfect diagnosis, sequence, or picture of every disempowering thought in my mind. Just becoming keenly aware of a couple was enough to generate sparks of energy again.

Yesterday, after that exchange, I was able to sit with 100% focus for several hours and finish designing, writing, and packaging a collection of support services I want to offer as a mentor to Son-Rise Program moms, new autism moms, and autism parents pursuing an experience similar to the one I’ve lived. This morning I find myself full of energy and excitement, ready to continue working on the next steps of my business plan.

Rise Above will be over tomorrow, and with that I’ll lose the community, structure, and ongoing practice that has supported me for several months in stretching to reach for a new meaningful long-term goal and project for my life.

So I’m thinking: What about creating some way to keep that structure, accountability, and ongoing support system for myself?

I already have a Wise non-physical mentor whom I consult on an almost-daily basis—I call this practice “being in conversation with Spirit”, but I want a physical supportive presence as well. I want a trusted private community that can support me now, which is when I most need it because I am in the beginning of an important life transition, and this is when I’m building my conviction and structure to stabilize in a venture still new and at times out of my comfort zone.

This is the reason why I believe that offering a custom ongoing mentoring relationship to parents of autistic children can be extremely helpful to them (and to myself!):

  • When I began my life as a Son-Rise mom, I used support generously. Every dialogue and consultation helped me move towards stability in my new experience, learn more deeply how to do what I was doing (running a therapeutical program for my son), and learn the tools for how to help myself in the future.
  • Eighteen months into the journey, I needed a wave of support again. I had adopted some beliefs that conflicted with some of my experience, and found myself tempted to quit. I needed to shift my perspective to regain purpose in a way that felt joyful again.
  • Four years into homeschooling, I found myself lost and depleted. I hit a bottom, rose from my ashes, and immediately knew that I needed to bring onboard a trusted co-pilot to navigate back into the light and ease I once knew. She walked along with me for a year, and it was a magical year.

Support matters.
It matters in all lives, but specially in the life of an autism parent.
There is so much value in reaching for support when pursuing (or stuck on the way to) our most meaningful goals.

Sometimes all you need is a single conversation; sometimes you need a longer and ongoing supportive presence. Sometimes you need a volunteer, a consultant, a coach, a course, a book, a guru, a therapist, a community…

Maria Stultz, autism parent offering peer support services to Son-Rise moms, new autism moms, and homeschooling mothers of autistic children

I am very excited to announce that, if what you think will be most helpful to you now is the kind of support I offer—guidance and mentoring by a parent who has lived and accomplished what you are pursuing—I’m ready.

Whether you need a single conversation, or a few; peer guidance for a Son-Rise program, special needs homeschooling, or for autism life that has evolved into something else; attitudinal support for one time, one month, or an interest to bring me along as a consistent and ongoing supporting presence for a while… I’m honored, and finally ready to share my offerings with you.

Reach out.
Allow yourself the support you need.
Tell me your story, and let’s see if—and how—I can help.

Welcome to my parent mentoring service

Hello, you extraordinary mom of an Awesome autistic child.

If my experience and words speak to you... And you’re looking for guidance, or wishing for a mentor's support... Welcome! I invite you to connect with me.

Intentional parenting, development, and education for our children is my passion, and I’d love to help you thrive—not survive—as you reach for every outcome you dream of for you and your child’s life.

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