Thursday, December 6, 2012

Letting Go Of Discord

Prompt 1 #Reverb12

How are you starting this last month of 2012?

Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel...

... in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart? 

December came quickly. The week ended and boom: Better be prepared for a new month as well. Sometimes I really miss that 31st day. But all in all, I am ready to keep moving forward. My feet are unstuck, no more dragging in the mud. I feel adaptable and ready. 2012 has been an amazing year and I can't even begin to embrace the possibilities for 2013. I'm ready to sit and really work with what I want from 2013 (personally and professionally), but I've not done it yet. There's always a bit of resistance to planning because what if the plan fails? I have to remind myself how many times I thought I was going one direction and ended up in another, and how difficult it is to recognize this as something positive in the midst of the process. One thing I've learned this year: Changing course does not equal failure. Fluidity. I'm looking forward to this month carrying over into 2013 and moving forward in a fluid manner.

My body is anxious. I have an injury from 2009 that is yet to heal completely and It's holding me back and I've finally had enough. I cannot fathom my athletic days being behind me for good. Nope. But only I can make that happen. Stretching, lunges, movement... a commitment to change and work on fixing that torn ACL from a soccer injury. Starting something new always stirs a fear of failure... but my advice lately seems to be all about momentum. Any movement, even if my knee starts to get cranky for a while is better than no movement at all. 

Mind: I'm still embracing a few things. Letting go of discord has been huge for 2012. I've figured out a lot about what it means to belong (my word for 2012), and how important it was to find my tribe. People go around feeling so lost at times when really we are only creating that divide for ourselves. My mind is in a completely different place than it was a year ago when I was in the midst of temporary defeat. What a humbling experience. Part of learning where I belong was learning where I do not, and accepting that as well. Things have become so much clearer this past year; it's hard to grasp how drastically my world has changed.

My day job: Oooh. What an opportunity. I have been with this contract since March, shortly after returning to Savannah. I chose to temporarily leave behind my Interior Design pursuit as the job hunting for four years had me burnt out. I'd spent my time networking while trying to work my way into the industry. I was exhausted. The networking gave me momentum to get where I am today. It's been a challenge learning time management working from home since I'm used to being micromanaged. We need to teach competence so our workforce can be more productive and less concerned with what everyone else is up to moment to moment. We need to teach it so we can believe in our own abilities without an ongoing daily struggle. My world has changed drastically, and I'm okay with leaving the Interior Design behind for now. Maybe one day this will all come full circle. I am no longer concerned. I don't think our generation will ever be afforded the job security of generations past. But at the same time, job 'security' sounds rather boring. I can't imagine doing the same thing for the rest of my life. I'm a creature that needs to evolve with the world around me. I love seeing glimpses of going somewhere deeply meaningful in my life's work. I'm ready to define this more. I cannot quite wrap my brain around the fact that I have finally arrived and, of course, I fear losing this momentum. I fear missed opportunity as well as fearing being so close to opportunity. Sometimes our response to things makes no sense. (I definitely need to write about this more.)

My creative life ebbs and flows. I have moments of creative outbursts, and sometimes weeks will go by without much creativity. I need to keep that faucet flowing and make a point to allow a creative space in my world. I have so many resources around me for creativity it's easy to pick up where I left off, but I start back rusty. Again, I'm seeking fluidity for 2013. 

My heart. My heart is content beyond belief. Of course, in my humanness, I'm seeking someone to join forces with me, to be my copilot in life. I am happy as me and I am actually quite content alone, but I still would love there to be that special someone with whom we share the specialness of our day. But the truth of that longing is: I actually already do have people who care about my day. I have my tribe and they care about me and my moments of happiness as much as I need them in my life (and, oh god, do I need them!). I spent the first 19 years of my life not knowing where/how/if I belong. Not knowing if I'd ever find a place I want to settle. I'm done seeking, and I'm finally being. I'm present and alive, no longer cautious and small. I have big things to say, think, share, to dream into fruition in this world. I was taught to believe in myself, but for a long time I began to doubt whether that belief in myself even mattered. Now I see it does. It was only through my stubborn perseverance and a strong refusal to be jaded (though I wasn't always sure why) that I made it to this point. 

All in all... My heart is grateful. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Maybe Baby continued...

In February, I was honored to win a space in a 6 week course with Randi Buckley called Maybe Baby. Here I was given a safe space to attempt to understand some of the roots of my deep seated desire to become a mother.

It wasn't that I was trying to change my mind, it was simply me trying to understand how I could feel as strongly as I did on an instinctual level, and an attempt to merge my rational understanding. I wanted to learn an openness within this no-longer-unspoken conversation.

I was in a relationship at the time where this topic carried a heavy weight. Just as my exploration began to take flight, my relationship appeared to go into an early labor. It was stillborn.

This appeared to be too much for my rational mind to handle, and sadly I had to neglect the beautiful process I'd begun. I watched from afar as best I could, and even that proved simply too painful for my stolid heart.

Amazingly, a peace had already begun to sprout within me. There was this new seedling aching to be nurtured, this new sense of accepting this unknown to be something greater than I might be able to imagine in my current place of understanding.

Mothering comes in so many shapes and sizes; I was humbled (and honored) to learn this decision isn't as straightforward as it may appear. Who am I to deny myself the litany of opportunities to experience the joys I associate with mothering today and again tomorrow? In just two weeks of guided exploration, I began to trust this unknown instead of loathe it's weighty existence.

I can now smile along with that ache; I understand more deeply that I cannot know the origins of this desire, nor where it will take me. Some things cannot be put into words. This unknown finally has an element of excitement to it, instead of being drenched in dread and fear.

Randi, dearest Randi, I cannot thank you enough for this delicious taste of peace.

Monday, March 19, 2012

On Wholehearted Living

If you've ever known a thing (or twenty) about vulnerability, or feeling disconnected... please, please, please take a moment to bookmark this video until you have some time to sit with it and give it your full attention. 

It is so worth watching, so worth soaking up the wisdom, so worth feeling this connection. 

I plan to return to this again and again to remind myself why I am me: why I prefer to be an open book, why I choose to share my stories no matter the underlying fears of judgement. 

She has affirmed my being to my core, and I believe she can do the same for you, as well. 

_ _ _ _ _ 
I'd love to hear your thoughts: 
Did you have a chance to watch it or at least bookmark it for future viewing? What was your favorite part of the talk? Did you sense, at any time, she was maybe talking about you? Did you learn anything new watching this discussion? Does it prompt any other questions or explorations for you? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Word Reiki: Chakra Writing

From the beginning: I was sitting in the shower (yes, I sit sometimes) thinking about how blogs differ, and how writers choose their content, and ultimately: what sense do I want to portray in my blog writing?

I had a thought: I immediately started looking at some of the blogs I follow, and aligning them with a specific Chakra - to see if it was doable. It works.

Not to say that these women (yes, all women here so far) don't blog from a multitude of sources and/or resources, it is just the overall sense I've gathered having followed, and possibly conversed with them in some way. I do hope to add to this post over time, this is just the very beginnings of this exploration. And I will be including some beautiful imagery I have already dreamed up. Stay tuned... oh yeah! (Accountability, no?)

So! Next time you are in need of some Word-Reiki, align your needs with these (and other) Chakra Writers... and feel your energy begin to flow. xo

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(Crown Chakra)
Pure Consciousness: Sahasrara's inner aspect deals with the release of karma, physical action with meditation, mental action with universal consciousness and unity, and emotional action with "beingness".*

Amy Oscar "I am a Soul Caller – a human being, emerging into the flow, aligning with and connected to Source, feet firmly planted on the ground."

(Third Eye Chakra) 
 Ajna's inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. Mentally, Ajna deals with visual consciousness. Emotionally, Ajna deals with clarity on an intuitive level.*

Picsie Chick at Photos You Feel "....where small things of beauty are held up for you to see, virtually every day."

(Throat Chakra)
 Relating to communication and growth through expression: Physically, Vishuddha governs communication, emotionally it governs independence, mentally it governs fluent thought, and spiritually, it governs a sense of security.*

Ronna Detrick "I help women tell the truth. It's hard. It's risky. It matters!"

(Heart Chakra)
Key issues involving Anahata involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being. Physically Anahata governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.*

Julie Daley at Unabashedly Female "Do all of what you do with the great love that you are."

(Solar Plexus Chakra)
Key issues governed by Manipura are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex. Physically, Manipura governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually, all matters of growth.*

Wholly Jeanne at The Barefoot Heart "Stories help me make sense of things, so whether telling them in cloth, clay, or chirography, stories are my oxygen, characters my blood."

(Sacral Chakra)
The key issues involving Swadisthana are relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure. Physically, Swadisthana governs reproduction, mentally it governs creativity, emotionally it governs joy, and spiritually it governs enthusiasm.*

Kelly Diels at Cleavage "Cleavage is about sex, money and meaning and how those intersecting realities shape our ideas and our lives. I’m talking about intimate, mundane, thinky, cosmic stuff."

Michelle Lisenbury Christensen at Loving with Power "...take me up on this dare: pour your passion into your monogamous relationship, demand that it excite and nourish you as much as any affair or adventure, and let yourself be transformed by the process." 

Heather Plett at Sophia Leadership  "At Sophia Leadership, we explore creativity, leadership, spirituality, and community and the many ways they intersect."

(Root Chakra)
Muladhara is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality. Physically, Muladhara governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security.*

Dominique Browning at Slow Life Love "The thing is, I want to feel vulnerable. I want to be open. I don't mind feeling a bit lost, adrift, I tell myself. I just don't want to be buffeted around. I want grounding. So what's bothering me? That's when it hit me: I've slowly, insidiously, carelessly, lost my regular practice of Slow Love." 

Jenn Gibson and the Tribe at Roots of She "This is a gathering place made for connecting with other women who are walking along this path beside you."

Happy International Women's Day!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My final thoughts:
This was a Labour of Love (click for some Frente tunage!) and appreciation for the aforementioned lovelies who continue to inspire me daily, as well as answer a few of the callings in the song I've linked. Thank you for sharing your wonderful gifts... with me, and the entire world.

*All definitions were taken from this wiki link: Chakra. All excerpts of each writer (or tribe) were quoted directly from their sites, to which I've linked. Enjoy!!!

UPDATED: 03/10/2012 - "Chakras" image (no, this is not my dreamed up imagery just yet) and the inclusion of Sophia Leadership.
_ _ _ _ _

Do you see what I'm on to here? Do you wish to add your blog to a certain Chakra list? Would you categorize any of these writers differently? Should I add a section of lovely writers that just don't fit the mold I've created? Please let me know your thoughts and feelings, including those of you I've included! This was really a really fun project for me to explore; thank you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Protector

I once told a man I loved never to protect me.

He decided to keep something from me, thinking it would only hurt me to know. That couldn't have been further from the truth.

When I finally learned this, I warned him, "Don't you ever try to protect me again. I know me and I am strong. If we're in a relationship, your pain is my pain, your hurt is my hurt, your joy is my joy, and vice versa."

I told him I want a companion, a copilot, in this life. "Let's do this together," I said, "through thickness and thin." I don't expect perfection; I expect your truth on the table next to mine, the salt with the pepper, the honey with the lemon, the bitter with the sweet. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Time passed. Our relationship morphed. I trusted his word, his joy, his frustrations, his pain. One day I learned, he had done it again. He thought he was trying to protect me, out of love, nonetheless.

"If you love them, let them go."

Yet, he wasn't protecting me at all. He was protecting himself, from his own truth.

My realities: my love, my trust, my honesty... remain.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Stream of Consciousness

Today while writing my Morning Pages for The Artist's Way, I noticed something interesting happening. I can't say it's the first time it's happened, but it's the first time I really took note, with pause, and then truly allowed it to come forth.

My inner child/artist, the girl I've named Sophia, started speaking to me. I guess you can say I was cheering myself on, lifting myself up. But something about choosing to allow this to come forth, these words, this encouragement, felt like something more... powerful. I've had this happen repeatedly with my inner critic, Maude, who I've given a name for the same reason: clarity. And while, at times, I let her speak, I often just smirk at her insults. Hopefully.

Sophia's words to me this morning:

"I see beauty everywhere and it is constantly reflected upon you. Embrace this. 'You is smart, you is kind...' you is wonderful. Don't ever let another human being's actions tell you any different. I can keep going if you wish. But I want you to sit with this. Really sit with this. Sprinkle these words atop your oatmeal and devour them."

I thought this was so beautiful. It's a vulnerable thing for me to share. Maybe you think it's strange, or maybe you really get where this comes from. I hope, the vulnerable me hopes, for the latter.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Forgiven Forgiven

My demons are my friends;
I taught them how to love.

We sit together.
Observe together.
Learn together.

Together, we understand
"Kill them with kindness"
Comes not from revenge,
But the deepest recesses
Of love.

We will not allow
Your demons to impregnate us.

For we are happy
And whole
Without you.

In the words of Tara Brach,
"Forgiven, forgiven."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Moving Through Tears

God I hate them
Keep them away
Haven't I cried


With and without him

"Just let go, my dear
They won't last forever"

So I cried the tears
That disappeared

Before I had time
To hate them

Monday, February 27, 2012


A Moment's Past

My mind wanders
To moments passed:
Your touch, your smell,
The warmth of your being.

Hold. Grasp. Don't let go.
Alas, it is fleeting.

 For I am here,
With my frigid thoughts,
And nothing more.
A chill lingers in the air,
An emptiness.
I wait.
Silence. A ticking clock.
Then, the faintest smile.
"There, there, now. You are home.
You are here. You are enough."

 Like a wolf howling in the distance,
I can still hear the darkness calling.

Written on January 10th, prompted by how moved I was by Julie Daley's Until I Inhale.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Talk to Your Bones

My heart is knowledge
My mind a beast

I return to my heart
And feel me
Know me

But the sadness
The loss
The aloneness
My heart knows
all too well

Go deeper
Take it to the bones
Talk to your bones
They are the deepest
Most unchanging
Core essence

Without feeling

Talk to your bones.

(Thank you Jeanne!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Truth Exposed

You led me by hand
Into the night

You told me to stay
"be right back"

And there I stood
So excited to see

As a chill
Swept across my neck

I waited
You called out
"I'm coming"
I stayed

I drew in the sand
My name and then yours
I believed in your presence
Claiming the smile
That is mine

I grabbed my sweater
And drew it close

I returned to the sand

But when I looked up
Days, months had passed
You never came back

You left the truth exposed

And Then the Sun

I cried five tears for you,
Yet my heart had walked away.

No, these tears are not for you
You led my love astray.

I continue to stare
Off into the distance,

For understanding
That shall never come.

Tearless. Empty. Torn.
Vulnerable. Exposed.

And then the sun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Disdain

With the abundance of love, I also see so much hate for Valentine's Day. While I understand the disdain for it's commercialization, I don't think this is what we have to give in to.

Instead, we should allow it to be a tender reminder, in case we have forgotten in our busy lives, not to take our most near and dear for granted. We should give in to renew the vow of love we established in the first place. By giving in, we allow our hearts to reopen; an equal opportunity for both men, and women, single, and taken.

It is a day of equality in love. Don't fear failing on this day; simply recognize the desire/need to love from your heart. And then give the love you have to give, generously.

Don't pay attention to the commercials making men feel inadequate in love and women inadequate in love-making, pay attention to your heart. Be called to pay attention to and serve the ones you love today. Be deeply grateful on this day, and let that be your guiding force.

Don't feel you have to run to the stores for their latest and greatest, and grab non-gas-station roses or be damned, lest ye forget. Yet if it helps you to express your love, or makes your beloved feel loved, then certainly utilize that vehicle. I encourage you to learn the love language your beloved speaks, as it may be different from the love you know how to best express.

This is not a day of shame. This is a day of celebration. This is a day to re-explore what it means to love, and to revisit the expressions of love. The more recipients, the better.

Here's to a loving Valentine's Day next year, for you and yours. 

 _ _ _ _ _
And last but not least, this post was, in fact, inspired by a male friend of mine who recognized this very thing while working at a restaurant on Valentine's Day. Thanks, Sean! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Make It Work: For You

I just finished reading Chris Brogan's article on Skrillex. "Okay, enough," I hear myself say.

It's about time I learn about this guy, Skrillex that is, since I continue to see his name all over the place. I know he's music related, but I had no idea what the scene is surrounding him.

Pretty cool. Here's a guy working a brilliant business platform, as Brogan points out:

                    "None of them have time to hate.  
                    Here’s why: because the connection will carry you. 
                    The connection to your community is what each of 
                    these people used as a main gauge."
"The connection will carry you."

So true, yet so simple. 

I started thinking about the advice I overheard given to someone publishing their first book: "Don't read the reviews!"

I dislike book reviews. As a reader, I dislike book reviews. There's no context given to guide these perceptions, so I'll come to my own conclusion, thanks. I couldn't imagine publishing a book, then having someone tear it to shreds, again, without context. What an unfounded waste of time. Again, no thank you. 

I'd rather bask in the love and support of those who love and relate to what I do, who know and appreciate the painstaking work it takes to write laboriously, to hear myself speak the words "I did it" again and again, and not be exposed to the negative energy.

I think this directly relates to this new-found inner fire and sense of belonging I've acquired synchrosporadically this year. Yes, that would be: two parts synchronicity, one part sporadically.

Yet, my inner critic, Maude, is stepping in. She can't handle all these feelings of belonging and connectedness. 

"People are going to think you're weird."
"People are going to think you're nuts for associating with this stuff." 

And loudest of all:  
"By defining yourself in this way, you are secluding yourself from people who can't relate."

If you know me, you know I'm familiar with being well-rounded, as my mom called it. But as I start to find a place in this world that is a little more defined, I feel a slight threat to my well-roundedness. Yet, I sense this threat stemming solely from fear: from the recognition of difference, change, the unknown

So you know what? I'm going to continue stepping forward into this unknown. I'm going to continue defining my community and using that as my main gauge, instead of using everyone I know, because I think that is what will work for me, too.

As for Skrillex, keep doing what your doing, man, and keep feeling the love. 
_ _ _ _ _ 

Are you familiar with Skrillex and his business skillz? Do you agree this post is about the success that can be found in not caring what other people think? Do you struggle with this as much as you did when you were younger (relative to your age now)? Do you have a strong opinion on book reviews? Have you ever feared a sense of belonging or a sense of something new, even though it still felt right? Does your inner critic speak as harshly as mine? Any words of wisdom?




Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Maybe Baby Scholarship (too good to pass up!)

Here is my 'application' for the Maybe Baby Scholarship: a conversation 
amongst women about our deepest biological confessions.


Oh, Randi. What an important conversation for so many women. Thank
you for putting it out on the table and striking down the taboo that
keeps so many of us in silence.

I grew up thinking everyone wanted to have kids. It wasn't until my
later teens when friends started voicing their ambivalence. It caught
me off guard completely. I didn't scream from the mountaintops that I
want to have kids, or HAD to have kids, I just saw it as the way my life is
supposed to happen. I feel it in my gut and my heart. I want to have that
experience... No, I am 'supposed to' have that experience.

What I didn't know: with those thoughts and feelings, a life 'plan' was
developing, an expectation, one that would create much anxiety, fear,
uncertainty and painful guilt in my future.

Truth: sometimes I wish I didn't want kids so deeply. I feel like
it would be so much easier if I could just go with the flow and allow
it to happen or not. The 'what ifs' creep in. What if I fall in love
with someone and much later find out one of us can't have children?
What would that mean for us? What if I don't ever find that person?
Or my current situation: What if I meet a soul-mate, someone who
already has 2 children, and is open to but unsure if/when they want
to have more? How do I deal with that uncertainty?

How do I know if I'm aligning my action (or inaction) according to
these fears vs. my many other true-heart desires?

And despite being able to rationalize this, how do I fight
the worst truth/fear BEAST of all: What if I am being punished
for something and I'm never given the opportunity?

All this ambivalence costs me the freedom I need to LET GO: to be
in the moment, to enjoy myself and my independence wholeheartedly
for who I am NOW. It costs me the freedom to embrace my amazing
relationship as it is NOW without feeling like I am waiting for an answer,
or guilty for needing 'check-ins' regarding this conversation.. or just being
too damn controlled by this biological tic-toc I've felt getting louder and
louder the last few years.

It costs me the freedom of feeling whole.

Knowing my truth would give me the peace I need inside my heart.
It would allow me the certainty of my actions instead of fearing
taking a step forward in any direction (related or not!), or fearing
the Butterfly Effect: that I might make the wrong decision, be it
ever so small, that may impact my future opportunities to have
children with someone I love deeply instead of ending up in
the dreaded place of desperation.

It would allow me to have this conversation freely with other women.

I want to let this go. I want to feel whole NOW. I want to let life happen.
I want to be free from this tug-o-war in my heart and embrace the truth
of what is meant to be and trust the unfolding process without ambivalence
toward action.

Thank you, so much, for this opportunity in a time when I could not
otherwise be a part of this transformational experience.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Growing Up Female

Though I haven't seen the film Miss Representation, this is a subject near and dear to my woman-heart. I've taken the pledge and want to thank Ronna Detrick for her call to respond.

Here is a part of my personal story on growing up female. Grab a cup o' tea and join me in my journey to uncover.

On Body

I was tall for my age, had size 8 shoes by 3rd grade, and my body began changing rapidly, before nearly everyone else. I didn't quite know how to handle this; I couldn't share my experience with my friends because they weren't experiencing it yet. The boys in my class noticed. The girls definitely noticed. The adults in my life noticed, including family, friends, teachers. My parents noticed. And I noticed their noticing. And I had no idea what to do with it.

Luckily I played sports from a very young age. I was able to tap into that deep wisdom that my body was a strong vessel. I look back on the power I felt on the soccer field more than anywhere else. I felt myself ease into this body and begin to secretly like it. I liked the power I felt on the field.

But then I began to notice something: my body had this unyielding power off the field as well. 

My parent's friends told my dad to lock me up until I was 18. Though I knew what they meant, my innocent mind truly had no idea the half-spoken truth behind their words.  I secretly naively reveled in this attention. I remember rollerblading around a campground once and someone yelled out to me from their campsite.

I stopped. "Hi." I said, half-aware where this was going.
"How old are you?" the guy in the beach chair asked me. I noticed the beer in his hand.
"How old do you think I am?" I asked, more out of curiosity than flirtation.
"I don't know... 21?"
I smirked. "I'm 12." And I sped off.

On Mind

I was a smart kid. I got mostly A's and an occasional B, and I flourished in school. I loved being smart. My friends on the playground were often different from my friends in the classroom. Except for a few, the ones I played sports with were not the ones I'd share grades with to see who did better. It was a healthy challenge. This gave me a chance to be friends with everybody. I liked being more of a 'floater', as I called myself, than part of just one clique that wasn't always friendly to everyone else.

Then I noticed something. Everyone seemed to have that one friend, that best friend, and I really didn't. There was that one girl everyone wanted as a best friend. I didn't want to play that game. I didn't think there was something necessarily 'wrong' with me, I just started to not like being 'different'. I'd talk to my mom and she'd tell me I had an 'old soul' or the kids were just jealous... and while that helped a little, it couldn't take away the hurt.

In high school, I followed the same path: friends with everybody, feeling outcast here and there but knowing ultimately I was doing what I wanted to do with what I had to offer. I took hard classes instead of extra gym credits. I knew at this point I had an uphill battle with proving myself as female, and if you hand me a challenge I'm damn well going to beat it. That's how I approached this time in my life, wholeheartedly.

Despite loving it, I dropped my AP Art History class when my course load became too overbearing so I could prove myself in Physics and Calculus.  

This is the exact moment I think I began confusing what I want with what I need to prove as a female.

On Spirit

I played well with the boys. Almost better with the boys than the girls because they could be so feisty and overbearing at times. I was the one playing touch-football instead of jump rope. Or better yet, I'd do both. I loved the flexibility of this lifestyle. Until one day I didn't. It was ultimately a very lonely place to be; I did not having that one place to return to where I knew I belonged. It just made me so confused.

I struggled for a long time with understanding the power I knew my body had (looking closer to 20 than prepubescent),  and the calling I felt from the boys and the distance I felt from the girls. For a long time I relished in the calling from those boys. Well into my 20s. It became the only comfort I knew. I was seriously lacking some tools. While my ultimate optimism never fully disappeared, I was alone and confused and not feeling completely respected, by others, but more importantly myself.

On Unity

It is only now that I can put this all in a better perspective. I see now how I slowly neglected my body, and the powerhouse it can be, so that people would see beyond that. How cliche. I hate it. I hate that I felt I had to 'tone down' my physical strength and beauty to be seen as whole. My naivete was gone. I felt uncomfortable in my skin.

I long for that beautiful, strong body again and, more importantly, I long to feel SAFE in it. My spirit is very solid these days; I've finally learned the type of people I want in the front row of my life.

But, ultimately, I'm still fighting for unity between this body, mind, and spirit that I am.

- - - - - 

So what's your story on growing up female? Are there any similarities? How does your story differ? If you are male, how do you respond to this? How can we protect and change the story for our daughters of the future? Is there something I missed that you think about often?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Too Dark, Too Deep... Too Real.

I think best in the shower. I swear at some point in my life I will give in and get a waterproof voice recorder to keep in there with me. So you may have noticed I haven't posted in a while. This seems to be a reoccurring theme, and I hate it. (Maude loves it.)

Do you want to know why I stop blogging time and time again? (...Or do you maybe already know from experience???) It's not that I fear what you think, what you'll say; I encourage and embrace that wholeheartedly.

It's what they think. What they'll say. You know, the people who just don't get why someone would ever be so open, so honest with any of this... stuff. Them. And while I hate to create a divide, I can't deny coming across this continuously in my life. And while it's never so black-and-white, I'll digress from explaining myself more. (Humor me here.) I also gently encourage the thems to explore anyway, for fun, and really go there every now and again for a hot minute to see what treasures they may find.

Truth: The apple seems to have fallen from an orange tree in this case. 

'It's too dark, it's too deep, it's too real.' My super-sensor-social-media-aware-watch-your-back critic tells me.

'Okay.' And simple as that, I shy away.

But every time, I return.

I always kept a journal as a kid and teen... and well, I still have one. But as time went on, I'd berate myself over and over again so much that the writing, the opening up, came to me with less and less ease. Why? 'Because you always say the same damn thing' Maude tells me. 'No one wants to hear about your crap, what's going on "insiiide" you and it's just plain depressing.'

She's so harsh. So glad I can smile at her these most days and turn away. She's not talking to me. She's talking to anyone who will listen. Frankly I've had enough of her.

This is where I belong. I want you to hear my voice. I want you to feel my words resonate, to hear my words and say, 'Yes, I've felt that,' and know it's okay to think and feel the way you do. It's part of the human condition. Why can't we collectively embrace that? It is my hope to give you a safe place to relate. It is my hope to nurture that part within you and me, for I have so longed for that place to belong. I sense maybe some of you can relate.

And now that I've found it (for the millionth time), I'm claiming it. It is mine. I don't want to let it get away again.

Today I claimed, 'I am a writer, and an artist.' This is me.

A New Year (a Little Late)

(Hi there Maude... I see you've been back at your game. Now it's time for me to get back at mine.)

I've had an amazing January thus far, prompted mostly by the simplest action: choosing a word to guide me in 2012. I've never given this concept much thought (maybe it never came up?); I've always stuck with the process of pondering resolutions. Instead, I let the words roil in my head, one by one. I remember grasping for a few, but I knew better to simply trust. Strangely, I don't remember where or when this word came to me, but it hit me strrrrong.



Give it the space on your lips it deserves.


Let it sink slowly from your mind into your heart.


There. Within just a few days of entertaining myself with this new word (which I immediately fell in love with, of course) I sensed something shifting within me. I sat smiling with that strong, solid feeling and let it know I am here listening, waiting. Patiently as ever.

I've always been the type to jump at the chance for a fresh start. I've always felt so grounded in those moments: the start of a new school year as a child, a new season for sports, a new quarter in college, a new class, a new friend, a new year in my life, a new YEAR for the world. I thoroughly embrace the clean slate concept.

I smirked silently to myself during a conversation my mom led at my Grandpa's 94th birthday last Saturday. I knew it was food for thought.

"So does 94 feel any different than 93?" she asked.
"Nope!" he responded cheerfully. Simple as that.

But that's just it. There is nothing tangible changing. It's an invented moment: purely man-made. It's nothing more than a chance to feed on the newness of that moment.

I will take that chance.

BELONG. I (re)realized in the past 6 months... I never felt much like I belonged in my hometown. Last August, I returned here for the first time in 10 years, down to the exact month I'd left. It sucked. My (poor) brother drove me home all the way from Saint Louis. I was a mess the first half hour. I cried again 5 hours later (probably right when I woke up). And I broke down hard the moment we pulled into the driveway wondering, "What the hell have I just done to myself?"
But that was 2011 (Phew! See what I mean about the clean slate?), and I've grown accustomed to trusting the process. Now, here I am ready to pack my car and leave for Georgia on Monday. Freedom. A place I belong. And even better? What has ALL OF 2012 been about? Belonging... Even. In. My. Hometown. WOAH.

Not that I'm meant to stay, but that was all a part of it: recognizing I don't belong and being okay with that regardless of how others feel. My friends and family who are here have filled the past few weeks with so much love, and I've let them. I've even asked them to. (Gasp!) I don't even think, okay I'm not going to have enough time to see everyone. The reality: feeling welcome and belonging aren't quite the same thing. So why couldn't I see it? Why couldn't I let myself belong for the past 5+ months?

Because I never have. Some of this goes deep, and it hurts (when I let it). But I see it, and I'm so solidly okay with putting this swiftly behind me. I'm finally learning, in 2012, just 6 months shy of turning 30, how to belong in this world and IT. FEELS. GREAT.

I can tell you in all honesty, in pure happiness and without desire for pity, that for the first time in a long while I'm actually waking up and feeling like these days are mine to have and to hold. I wake up thinking, "I belong to this day."

So simple yet so ridiculously profound.

(There will be more on this topic I guarantee.)

- - - - -

This post is dedicated to the many people souls I've learned belong in my life...
Zak - for gently urging me to keep writing (thank you), and patiently reminding me again and again of the amazing comfort another human being can offer...
Margaret - for sharing the journey of The Artist's Way and so so so much more...
Kara - for leading me to The Artist's Way, and understanding with me sometimes it is the only way, for without it we are lost...

And the soul-full women I continue to connect with online with whom I want can't wait to learn and share so much....
(list and links to come!)
Enhanced by Zemanta