Regarding my passion project Molly- a true crime analysis: 2003-2016 was all about researching, drawing, accumulating, writing, collecting. 2017 was all about creating an online weekly draft, telling the story with images, words and music in whatever way it unfolded, sharing it openly, publicly. 2018 has been all about allowing others in, and letting go of control, and hiding the project and process away so that those others could take a run at it. The outcome of all this is still unknown. I admit it feels odd and strange.
But what has been brewing inside me is another version of the story– one that only I know how to tell. And I keep pacing about it. It’s not that I don’t know what to do. It’s that I KNOW what I am supposed to do and it somehow scares the shit out of me.
2019– I am ready.
Keeping a “don’t know mind” is important during this time as you may be somewhat confused and in a state of not knowing. Let spirit and your inner truth, wisdom and intuition sort it for you. Let go of any attachment to how it is supposed to look, who should be in the picture and how it needs to unfold.
There is freedom in trusting that everything will land where it should so take some time and enjoy your life, enjoy your community, enjoy the outdoors and enjoy your unique talents and creativity. Worry and obsession about whether or not you are “doing it right” will only rob you of your sleep. Let the energy of TRUTH assimilate into your being without any effort or hyper-vigilance. The word of the week is TRUST.
I am writing you this as I sense you need a reminder.
I am writing to remind you that it is OK embrace what you are realizing right now: that the older you get, the more you will recoil from complexity.
It appears that when you face complex chaos, the fatigue and anxiety that arises is because you are growing up, and that all the complexities and life markers and chapter changes you have experienced to date have helped you develop a better filter. That is pretty amazing.
Maybe think of it this way- when fatigue and anxiety arises, it is a warning sign. A sign to say to yourself, STOP.
IT IS OK TO STOP.
Admit it– you crave simplicity.
I have noticed lately that you are daring to take a moment (or many), that you dare to pause. I have noticed that you need to speak your truth, and that you are trying your best to do that and that you are trying your best to establish clear boundaries.
I remind you it is ok to fail, it is ok to not to buy into other people’s drama, it is ok to pause before saying yes, and it is ok to put yourself first.
And if you find yourself feeling guilty for needing to rest, for declining invites, for taking your time etc., I remind you that- YOU HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO NOT FEEL GUILTY.
Remember that page in your graphic novel where somehow you keep working on your passion project, year after year?
Not despite of it. Because of it.
But now, my sweet, let’s forget about all that chaos for a moment. For you to be able to enter fully into the new chapter that is unfolding, you need a clear head. You need to be smart. You need to keep craving that simplicity.
You need to remember that you, my darling, are FREE.
Let’s face it– you have been of this universe for eons, made up of recycled, reprocessed, realigned bits. You have been of this particular flesh bag of yours for 56+ years. From birth, you have been (and continue to be) a lovely, caring, humble, bitchy, strange little creative troll. And holy shit- somehow you are still here. You were formed in Mamma’s womb. And I sense that when your time is up- in your current form- your last word (probably inaudible, probably on that last breath) will be: Mamma.
How simple is that?
So embrace simplicity. What can you do less of today? Hold the concept in your heart.
Go ahead now. Pull an angel card- let me know what it says.
When I read something that really needs to sink in- I mind map it out. My whole brain is engaged and I can then look at the mind map throughout the month and be instantly reminded of the lessons.
This morning was all about the Power Path- taking some quiet personal time for a coffee, house to myself (except the ladies of course) and a therapeutic check-in.
Thank you to my soul sister, Patti Henderson, who first connected me to this powerful resource.
Evaluate all the structures that have formed your foundation and restructure what is needed.
My biggest takeaway from this month’s forecast:
Allow a new project to fit you rather than you trying to fit the project.
“As you approach your life with creative pragmatism, you may need to cut something loose that has been holding you back. Attachments to patterns that keep you small and hold you hostage to old ways of thinking as well as outdated perceptions about what is possible will only get in the way of you moving forward. If you find yourself saying “I can’t possibly do that”, question this belief. Practice saying “I could do that”. This gives you the choice and the possibility of something new instead of shutting the door before you give yourself the chance to see what is on the other side.” – The Power Path August 2018 Forecast
I have been slow all day– I am trying to allow myself time to stop without guilt, to allow this feeling of weariness, this reminder that sometimes it is OK to do less.
What is this weariness? Yes, I am recouping from a flu and yes, I have many multiple projects going at once, yes I have a long to-do and commitments, but is not physical, no, it is this familiar feeling of saudade.
Saudade is a unique Portuguese word that has no immediate translation in English. Saudade describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return. It’s related to the feelings of longing, yearning.
Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again… It can be described as an emptiness and the individual feels this absence… In fact, one can have ‘saudades’ of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.
I look at my to-do lists and I sigh. I walk to the kitchen to make myself some coffee and it is an overwhelming feat today.
I have a precious day at home alone to catch up, but I really just want to sit. To sit in this emotion, hang out with my parrot, and feel nostalgia. To go inward, to regain some energy to move forward. To embrace missing as a gift/reminder to rest.
I tried though- went back at my computer, preparing to write a letter, and as I was searching online for something specific, I came across an old blog post I wrote in 2013. And I knew, this old post was a reminder again to stop today, to allow the feeling of saudade.
Look who is saying hello in that old post!How precious to see my dog Tobey (who passed away Dec 23, 2015), walking in the forest.
A walk in the forest August 31, 2013.
A GIFT. So I share this here, pack my bags for tomorrow and STOP for the day- for sometimes it is OK to do less.
“About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star.
The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air. Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.“
I also use mind mapping when I ingest information. It is a way to take non-linear notes, engage the whole brain and create one easy visual that allows me to remember what I read with a single glance at the completed map.
“Normal linear note taking and writing will put you into a semi-hypnotic trance, while mind mapping will greatly enhance your left and right brain cognitive skills.” – Tony Buzan
As I start to read, I write down main points and let them interact with each other, one leads to the next, one might direct you to another area etc.
Once I get the overall main points, then I add more detailed notes (this can evolve overtime), and though from your point of view, the result may look chaotic… for me, the map makes sense to me as I remember physically creating the whole map. In one glance, I can recall ALL the material that I read.
Then I gather related material to develop and enhance.
What does self-care and self-compassion mean to you? How are they different? How are they the same?
Inspired by conversations of late, I am intrigued by the differences between SELF-CARE and SELF-COMPASSION.
In health care, self care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. [source]
Self-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. Kristin Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components – self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. [source]
CARE implies an action, a verb: effort made to do something correctly, safely, or without causing damage, things that are done to keep someone healthy, safe, etc., things that are done to keep something in good condition…
Taking good care of yourself means the people in your life receive the best of you rather than what is left of you. ― Lucille Zimmerman
Don’t ever allow yourself to forget how incredibly special you are, even for a single second. Without you, the world would not be as magnificent. Let yourself remember to love again, starting with you loving you. ― Miya Yamanouchi
Self-care implies a to-do. That can trigger. Exhaust.
Self-compassion is immediate.
But hey, both important.
I am getting better at self-compassion. Self-care will take some more work. In my own time. In that statement lies self-compassion- take your time.
So I will continue to practice self-compassion first (immediate), then self-care (commitment).
This post is dedicated to my self-care/compassion soul-sisters:
Laura Mack, Patti Henderson, Beverley Pomeroy, Cher Thorsen, Maud Kerzendörfer, Cat Webb and Emma Varley…
and to Frida Kahlo.
We could also say that this month is all about love; transforming fear into power through love, transforming doubt into confidence through love, transforming old emotional wounds into great wisdom through love. It is an opportunity for us all to learn our lessons through the tough love of spirit and to finally begin to love and cherish ourselves deeply and unconditionally… Make sure this month to take time for yourself in the area of self-care. How can you best support your own priorities? How can you take better care of yourself as your own most valuable possession? Remember to have compassion and forgiveness and to be in love with yourself. – July 2016 Forecast, The Power Path
I was down and dark in January- been down and dark before- but this time I was dipping down a little too low. I am blessed that I was able to communicate that to my nearest and dearest and have the difficult conversations and be met with love and support.
I want to be here. To LIVE- fully. To be fully PRESENT. To be gentle, detached, full of love. To bear witness to LIFE/DEATH and all in between. To enjoy being part of the evolution and unfolding of my children’s and extended family’s lives.
But, hey, certain struggles continue- tempt me to dip down.
I found out yesterday morning that my three grant applications for arts based programming were denied.
So what do I do with that?
I acknowledge that my own fears and internal voices come up around the NOW. Tap, tap, tap. Let’s take that dip. How do I make this work? What is wrong with me? Spin spin spin. Block, block, block. Resist, resist, resist.
Well- I refuse this time to let that be a reason to attack myself. It has been my pattern all my life. And I am sick of it!
So instead- I celebrate the heart of those three grant applications and the process spent writing them. And I celebrate the incredible programs that did receive the grants and the life-changing programming they deliver.
And I honor that Universe, spirit, magic, life, whatever, is continuing to steer me in a new more powerful smoother path.
And I can no longer allow myself to block the path with old habits of self-criticizing. So I am getting out of my own way.
IF I RESIST THE “OBSTACLES” THAT WE HUMANS CALL IN, THEN THEY PERSIST. BUT WHEN I EMBRACE THEM, WHEN I SURRENDER TO THEM AND LET THEM BE, THEN EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY CAUSE MORE SUFFERING, THEY WILL INEVITABLY ALSO BRING WITH THEM THE MEDICINE.- Terry Tsipouras
I am allowed to dream, think, plan BIG! Allowed to not just hope I can do this; I am allowed to state I CAN DO THIS. I DESERVE THIS. I AM DOING THIS.
I am on a path- MY PATH. And I am walking it now, surrendering to it, not blocking it.
With the help of some tools of course.
Like the Power Path monthly check in (introduced to me quite awhile back by Patti Henderson, my sweet soul sister). It is a beautiful tool that empowers you, gives some nice simple advice and just helps gather your thoughts.
I revisited Brideshead Revisited last night and was struck, more deeply than usual, by Waugh’s opening line:
“Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…”
Why did this opening line stand out? I’ve been trying to find the right quote, the right words to help me reflect on my current dip into anxiety after the vulnerability hangover took over a while back. It’s not letting up.
My body has rebelled, or more accurately, my chakras are screaming! Or even more accurately, or what comforts me to focus on, is that my sacral and throat chakras are in dire need of attention apparently!
My lower back was thrown out last Friday and refuses to ease. Ah, it’s the old dance injury, familiar worries about money, embracing transitions, change, re-experiencing triggers. And my old wound is acting up (an old left parotid gland/facial nerve tumor issue)- so scratching my left ear feels like I’m scratching my cheek. Running my tongue along my upper teeth on the left side, pausing at the missing tooth, is interpreted as my lower jaw. It’s all familiar. It’s nothing new. Benign. But important. Just old friends encouraging me to pay attention.
So why does the Waugh quote feel like the right words?
“Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…”
What does it have to do with aches and pains and anxiety?
The quote brought me right back to my 39th birthday, when I began to be old. It was the turning point. I experienced an intense, earth-shattering betrayal. The wound was deep, great, painful. It was different from other losses and experiences. It attacked the very core where my innocent inner self was housed.
When a strong trigger strikes now, it opens that wound in the heart.
It’s a falling back into darkness. It’s the place I am forced to go, to huddle and shake and decide how to utilize this in my personal journey.
On my 39th birthday, truth came out and I was exposed.
Vulnerable, raw. I began to be old. Of course, so much more has happened before and since, but that experience stands out as the turning point into adulthood.
It fascinates me that as I look back on my journals and see where my anxiety/depression is at its height (or my energy at its lowest if you will)- it is after I have been exposed. Or am exposing myself to the world.
Risking. Risking failure. Thus the vulnerability hangover.
We all struggle. And I send out love to all who are struggling right now.
Check out articles shared on FB:
Thank you, Patti, for this one:
Thank you, Margot, for this one:
There, at the age of 39, I began to be old.
And I have journeyed through. I accept my struggles, accept that life is a rollercoaster of triggers and emotions. But I am HERE. Strong, vulnerable, able, fragile, triggered, achy, anxious, a woman trying her best, a very very human being.
What do I do with all this info, lessons, tools, self-care, evaluations, experiences, wisdom etc.?
Well, here, at the age of 53, I decide I am wise. And ready.
Yes, today is a new day. I’ll wrap up the old wounds. Lengthen my spine, listen to the birds, and revel in the theme of of this month [thepowerpath.com].
The robin brings a fresh new perspective to situations that are otherwise foggy and unclear. Try calling on robin energy for clarity when your judgement is clouded or when you need light shed on an issue.
The red robin reminds us it’s time to shake the sleepiness out of our head (both figuratively and literally), get alert, get moving, and start enjoying life! Spring has sprung, tides have turned, and no matter how crummy or grey our world has been it is time for new beginnings! Enjoy the bright road ahead because it’s only going to get brighter! [source]
PART 4 OF 7: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting
So once you have spewed out your thoughts all out onto your large paper:
Color code the bubbles— don’t overthink this. Just circle the items that seem to relate to each other. Just very loosy goosy…
Start drawing arrows to items that relate to each other more… How do they CONNECT? This is a “thinking out loud” exercise as you pay attention to what part of the map excites you, what part you know needs priority, what part is a distraction…
Now redraw the map as it reflects the REORGANIZATION of your stream-of-consciousness one…
Make “out loud” notes onto your map. Converse with yourself. Be honest. What is truly your passion? Essential PRIORITY? What can be removed? What is the BIG PICTURE?
Now strip it down. CONSOLIDATE to the top three categories.
CONSOLIDATION requires getting rid of excess. Some of this excess is not anything definable but rather energetic information both useful and non-useful that has been collected and stored in the energy system waiting for integration. Too much psychic information can feel like a burden; overwhelming, unfocused and irritating.
The badger symbolizes aggressiveness, reliance, self-expression, holding ones own, link to the underworld and the magic and mystery of creation, link to plant and animal spirits, fearlessness, boldness, braveness…
The power of the badger lies in is its aggressiveness and the readiness to fight for what it wants. On the flip side, the badger is also about healing – they are the keeper of Earth’s healing herbs. Badger will persevere in finding a cure. People with this power animal are often healers and have the guts to use unconventional methods…
They are fearless and fierce and if driven into a corner badgers will go at it tooth and nail and fight to the death! Very unsociable badgers are, so those with this medicine may find it hard relating to others, sneering at authority and holding their own in any given situation. One of their biggest tests would be being able to express themselves clearly.
Being amazing diggers, badgers are able to get below ground with no difficulty, linking them to the underworld. This is where the mysteries and magic of life and creation is held. Also, this is symbolic of a powerful link to animal and plant spirits, and can show badger people how to get in balance and alignment with above and below ground.– Ina Woolcot
Strangely, this all relates to my current direction these days.
The need to isolate to create,
the new-found confidence to say no,
to say yes,
to align myself to focus
to create more impactful work
to do less
so I can do more,
to ride the wave,
to dig deep and protect my cave,
to embrace the magic of life and death.
To aggressively embrace my new sense of worthiness.
When there is a possibility for a new alignment there is tremendous potential for having things be very different in a positive way. This is your opportunity to dream bigger and to move beyond the limitations of what you always thought possible. This New Alignment will affect finances, relationships, creativity, the physical body, mental health, and success in projects, work, study and play.
Mr. Badger- Gruff and solitary, who “simply hates society”, Badger embodies the “wise hermit” figure. A friend of Toad’s late father, he is uncompromising with the disappointing Toad yet remains optimistic his good qualities will prevail. He lives in a vast underground sett, part of which incorporates the remains of a buried Roman settlement. A brave and a skilled fighter, Badger helped clear the Wild Wooders from Toad Hall with his large cudgel. The Wind in the Willows