By nature I’m a loner. An introvert who would rather find one or two people at a party to talk to, squirreled away in a quiet corner, away from the noise and bright overhead lights and small talk. (Especially the small talk.)
Big groups, a day in town, a day spent with my family, all need to be counterbalanced with alone time.
My circle of friends has always been small but close; one that I once begrudgingly let people into after they’d proved themselves – that’s my “everyone will eventually leave me, so I won’t let too many people in, and I’ll make the ones that do prove themselves” story.
Spending time with myself (and I count Rupert in here; he’s pretty much another – fuzzy, unfortunately rarely bathed – appendage), is one of my greatest pleasures and deepest needs. Solitude vs. alone-ness. I’ve never been someone who needs friends or a partner to live: I love and treasure them, but my life doesn’t revolve around them. I’m not sure if that ties back into my fear of getting too close to people (again, the “they’re going to end up leaving me” thing) or if I’m that much of a solo artist. Both, probably.Read More...
But this is human life: the war, the deeds,
The disappointment, the anxiety,
Imagination’s struggles, far and night,
All human; bearing in themselves this good
That they are still the air, the subtle food,
To make us feel existence. — John Keats
(Talking about Keats’ poem above) This is the “goal” of the soul path – to feel existence; not to overcome life’s struggles and anxieties, but to know life first hand, to exist fully in context. — Thomas Moore
I’m going to blame my absence on being a perfectionist. OK? It’s kept me a busy bee for January and February (oh, let’s be real; and every other month of my life), even though I’ve consciously spent the past two and a half years trying to take the ferocious edge off this mostly destructive tendency.
(But, interestingly, and I’m trying to take the heat off us perfectionists again, someone wiser than me once pointed out that perfectionism really points to the things that are most important to us: we perfectionists laser-focus our energy there. So I’ve come to realize that the focus isn’t bad, but to soften the edges so it isn’t as consuming, caustic and self-tortuous… When I remember.)Read More...
Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door. Emily Dickinson
It’s the fifth day of the year, a swelteringly hot, sweaty Sunday. Since New Year’s I’ve already had seven swims, some in the ocean with an unwilling Rupert to cool him off, who starts moving his fuzzy paws, paddling in the air, before he’s even hit the water, and some in a shaded swimming hole at the bottom of a tiny, two meter waterfall. I’ve made raw chocolate with cacao paste, dates and dessicated coconut and eaten it all. Been asked out. (!) Lost Rupert for a panicked hour when he went on a surprise exploration, forgetting he’s partially blind, and, when I found him at the top of a very long and steep driveway at the neighbor’s, was hugged repeatedly as I cried in relief. Welcomed the year, with more openness that I realized I had, after a few particularly tough years and even as I continue to figure out what I need to heal. Ate chocolate chip porridge, with cacao nibs and coconut butter.
Sometimes, often, I sit down to write to you, knowing there’s something to say but not knowing what the exact words are. Not even knowing the general gist of it. Days like today, I have an urgent sense of wanting tell you everything but nothing comes out of my fingers. Usually, when I hit this point of stuck-ness, it’s simply because I’m resisting telling you the heart of it all. The truth. So I feign confusion – there’s too much to say and I don’t know where to begin.
But really, here at the crisp beginning of a new year, when it feels like life has exploded into a thousand (seemingly) terrible and beautiful points of light over the past few years and I wonder, cautiously and curiously, but mostly genuinely excitedly, about this (thing we call a) year, I do know where to begin. So here is a note to myself, and also to you.Read More...
Sometimes, I get tired of trying so hard. Trying so hard to create a life that means something to me, every cumulative layer requiring work, whether it’s polishing or excavating or healing. Relationships and career, or as I think of it, work I love. Health. Personal and creative expression. Day to day life – juicing, smoothie-ing, being mindful that what I eat each day covers all the bases, getting enough sleep (especially when your dog snores). Just being with what is, which has been a LOT this year. All of this. It feels like running in sand. You’re on a beautiful beach – I think of one of those whitewashed Northeast beaches, lined with bleached dunes and shingled houses – and you know it, but you’re concentrating on plowing through the sand. I suppose I’m frustrated by not “arriving” in any of these areas of life, even though I know that this IS life, an evolution, an uncertainty, a long, beautiful beach with sand that can, sometimes, keep you head down, putting one foot in front of the other. Is my life richer and more meaningful than it’s ever been? Yes. But is it hard, hard work? Yes. Right now, anyway.
I don’t always feel like this, but I like to share how I’m feeling in the moment. And this moment, I’m cranky and tired and frustrated, wondering why life isn’t a little bit easier.
Then I wonder – in my contrarian way – if I’d really want life to be any easier. If you can find depth and meaning without the hard slog.
Maybe I’m just particularly tired today, after Rupert’s five AM wake up call. Everything seems more overwhelming on less sleep.
Maybe it’s the hard slog of the past few years catching up… Or me allowing it in, even if just momentarily.
Maybe it’s New Year’s angst. A natural time to review what’s been and what will be. And so much pressure to make next year ‘better’ than this year, to map out intentions and desires and be something.
Maybe it’s just that I’m human. And we don’t always have to be strong and soldier through. It’s saying, This is difficult, and sometimes I wish it would be easier.
Maybe I want to arrive. To just get there, dammit, and finally enter the land of fulfillment and joy and ease. Even though I know the journey IS it.Read More...
Today, a giveaway in honor of launching my creative coaching business this month.
I’m giving away 2 x coaching sessions to 2 people with a heart-centered business idea. (Details below.)
It seems ridiculous now that I would spend ten years desperately wanting to do work I loved, but do little about it. A desire so deep, I thought about it a hundred times a day. Some of us are born to give and express our truth through our work – but don’t know where to begin. So we don’t. I didn’t. Instead I worked for eight years in a corporate job that paid the bills, waking up every morning dreading the monotony and, frankly, heartache that came with being immersed in figures, analysis and 4-hour long meetings.
After I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and took time out from life as I knew it to focus on healing, which included leaving my job, it became abundantly clear that part of my wellness path was to find and do work I loved. Enough procrastinating. Enough soul crushing. Enough wishing.
I wanted more.
I knew there was more.
That was my catalyst. And it’s how I found my calling, combining my practical, analytic left-brain side with my creative, hell-bent-on-beautifying side.
It could all have happened much sooner for me.
Really, what I needed to begin – because it’s the first step that’s the most painful and difficult – was:
// Encouragement. Heart-holding to carry me down this unexplored, unfamiliar path so I didn’t feel so desperately alone.
// Then, clarity and confidence with simple, concise steps telling me what to do next, to keep me moving forward without confusion or overwhelm.
// I needed a fresh perspective, too. New eyes on my ideas to bring new (bigger, more beautiful) possibilities to the table.
// And the knowledge that someone who cares about me and my business was there for me, every step of the way. Cheering me on.
Can you see why now my mission and passion is to help people start doing work they love, and to help solopreneurs do more of the work they love?
You’re a solopreneur – or soon-to-be. And I want to help you usher your heart-centered small business idea into tangible reality.
I’m a creative catalyst. With a holistic blend of pragmatic + creative, together we’ll shift you from dreaming to doing.Read More...
And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.
It’s early, before seven. An oyster gray sky, wringing rain out in a gauzy sheet. There is a luminous patch, palest yellow on grey, where the sun waits, patiently or teasingly. Bedroom windows cracked, the wind pushing warm air through the white frame. Tires whoosh through slushy streets. My desk strewn with scrawled paper; bulleted lists, scribbled thoughts stopped mid-sentence, research copied out in a neat hand, and my mind emptied out on pages and pages and pages with a smudgy blue pen, which generously gives a smidge more ink than it needs to. World redesigning, on foolscap paper.
For years I knew the essence of what I wanted but not how to articulate it, not how to flesh it out. Perhaps it’s truer to say that I was too scared to even begin exploring the unknown. There was safety and comfort in keeping my dreams on the back burner, where I could convince myself they were untouchable. That the pain of unfulfillment wasn’t self-imposed.
Now I’m on my own. Alone but not lonely. New.
What I had before is gone. What I imagined I would have, thought I once wanted, is gone before it began, leaving space. Wide and deep, uncharted, waiting.
Life feels very much like when I was nineteen or twenty. I float back in time, feeling the parallel sense of newness, possibility, of questioning what’s to come but having no idea. It’s unusual not to have a sense of how every day will be mapped out, of not knowing with surety what I’ll be doing on a Monday and a Tuesday, on a Saturday and a Sunday, which was the way before I gave up life as I knew it to focus on healing.
It’s fair to say that after two years laser-focused on healing after my diagnosis, and after my marriage ended earlier this year, which dissolved my/our plans for the future, and after the most intense grieving and processing has been done, I’m ready to create again.
This time I will embrace the space. Make it mine, and not fill it for the sake of filling it.
Be confident that what I want is what I want.Read More...
I thought you could love someone too much, as if loving with every single cell of your being were a bad thing. No clue that I’d been generously gifted a rare gem.
Once, I was sure that to fully let go into love would make me weak. That to make a constant offering to serve the heart of the people I chose to be in relationships with, family, friends and romantically, was to give away my power.
I used to believe that everyone close to me would – without a doubt – leave me and hurt me, so after I initially wooed them and let them in, I’d push and push and push them away, waiting to see how far I could go, how long it would take, in a test of their love (and to prove myself right).
I was very, very scared to love and be loved, sure that it – love – would destroy me, not nourish me, hold me, lift me, ground me, expand me, and the person I shared the love with.
Then, in one moment, everything I thought I knew about love – which was dangerously close to nothing – dissolved. Melting away the moment my marriage crumbled.
Now, how ridiculous my old ideas seem. Absurd! Naïve! Ludicrous!
And how sad that I couldn’t see the love I was given for the luminous power it was.
But it was the heartbreak that opened my heart. Oi, what a double-edged sword. The thing is, otherwise I’m sure I would have continued believing the vulnerable, courageous, balls-to-the-wall, heart-on-your-sleeve love I had been offered was for sissies.Read More...