Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Greatest Achievements: Healing Ourselves and Others!

We were honoured to attend the Saskatchewan Book Awards on November 28th and be among our Province’s most talented writers and poets!

There were 83 entrants in the category of The Readers' Choice Award, and, although, we did not win, we were delighted to be among the eight books, shortlisted! Thank you to all our Ambassadors who, again, supported The Smiling Mask!

Our achieved goals have far surpassed our grandest dreams to educate and connect with empathy.

We realize that we are "pacifist activists" in the truest sense of the words. Together, along with our Ambassadors, we have destroyed the stigma of PPD. The message of healing has allowed us to heal ourselves.

With that said, here are Tania's reflections, before the evening even began. We hope that you enjoy this entry!

I am so proud of the three of us. I am pleased that Elita agreed to write and did not delay in her response. I am pleased tha,t Carla, after four years of struggle, found it within herself to heal, thrive and be well. I am pleased that we have been able to talk in front of groups rather effortlessly, candidly and easily.

I am pleased that Elita is following a lifestyle that provides her with more energy and vitality - it is inspirational.

I am pleased that Carla can watch Cameron by herself, even overnight, which I know took tremendous courage and conviction. I am pleased as I witness us parenting our children, with grace and ease.

I am pleased to watch Carla come into her own with confidence, self-esteem and worth. I am pleased that all three of us took risks, felt the fear, and did it anyways.

I am pleased at myself for pursuing my dreams and desires and not accepting the norm - the traditional way of life.

It does not matter whether we win this award or not. It does not matter if we speak ever to a crowd of families and women, again, or not. It does not matter if we ever write again or not. It does not matter....what matters most is that we accomplished this with integrity, being true to ourselves and brutally honest. What matters is that have we have healed from the crisis of PPD and now are healing ourselves, fully - mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally. What matters is that our friendship has moved to a place of real and unconditional acceptance, love and empathy. I admire each of us for that.

So, if we win, we win. If we don't win, we win! Let’s take this evening to celebrate on the past year of accomplishments, both as entrepreneurs with a mission to heal others and more importantly, personally.

In love and light,
Tania Bird

Friday, November 20, 2009

Give Every Mother the Gift of the Four Es: Education, Empowerment, Encouragement, and Empathy

On Wednesday, November the 18th, 6 years almost to the day of my own son's birth, I became an Auntie! I am so excited and, more importantly, proud of my sister.

After a long and grueling labour, she has begun her journey as a mother! While I waited with anticipation to congratulate her, I thought about my own experience. Although, I endured severe Postpartum Psychosis, I healed after writing The Smiling Mask and am now able to see my experience as a gift to help other mothers. When I actually spoke to my sister, I told her all the things every mother should hear...

"I am so proud of you!"
"You're an amazing mom!"
"You are so strong!"
"I love you!"

All mothers deserve and need the four Es. Give these gifts first before flowers: Education, Empowerment, Encouragement, and Empathy!

I am tickled pink to have the new role of Auntie, and excited to be there for my sister!

Carla O'Reilly

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gratitude Journal

The choice to be healthy, ultimately, lies within you. Anyone can heal themselves, although, if someone would have shared this revelation with me four years ago, I would have ignored the advice.

One lesson I have learned, is everyone heals, differently, and on their own time. In order to help others, we have to allow the person to grieve, and just be available to provide support, empathetically. And, we can only help others as much as we've healed ourselves.

As the three of us used different tools to heal, one that has helped is the feeling of gratitude for all that we have. A suggestion that is therapeutic, fun, and freeing, is to begin a gratitude journal. Jot down notes at the end of the day of everything that you are grateful for. When you look at everything and everyone with love, you will only receive love, back.

Journal, pray, and dream about the world you are grateful for, and your healing will begin.

Carla O’Reilly

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Moose Jaw's Mom's Wellness Group

To create further support for mothers in Moose Jaw, we have created a Mom’s Wellness Group. Our mission is to educate, empower, encourage and support mothers who may be struggling with Postpartum Depression.

WHERE:YMCA KidsFirst Family Center at 679 Hall Street in Moose Jaw, Sk
WHEN: The 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month from 1:30-3:00.

One of the misconceptions of PPD is that you have to be diagnosed, and that it must be severe to seek help. The Smiling Mask Team’s mission is to encourage mothers to seek treatment and support from the medical community and join a PPD support group where they will find empathy from other mothers.

The most important step towards becoming healthy is to forgive yourself, and use your voice to ask for help!

As a circle of sisters we need to surround and support each other. Encourage your friends to visit

Carla O'Reilly