Posts Tagged ‘writing’
it is 2010 and as the year turns from one to the next there are a lot of lists popping up. favorite posts, best blogs and bloggers and all that jazz. i have been at this for less than a year and i am not out there marketing or pushing my blog on social media outlets. mostly i just blog to keep my own head on straight. there is the side benefit of making a few connections and occasionally feeling like what i wrote was semi helpful to someone.
the truth is that as much as i know i am not blogging to win a popularity contest i still feel like a terrible failure sometimes because i am not popular. i am not “on the radar.” i am not one of those “real” bloggers with gobs of readers. there, i admitted it. i know, i know, i do know that gaining a certain number of readers is not the point for me. but still, those voices inside have no trouble piping up about how lame i am. the insecure woman lurking in the crevices of my soul feels like a failure, a loser, a terrible writer with a no good blog that is only fodder for mockery.
there is the truth of it.
the funny thing is that i should be comfortable with my role outside the mainstream by now. i have always been liberal enough in my views to feel pretty far left of group in the center. discovering my talent for telepathy (with animals no less) certainly didn’t bring me closer to a mainstream life experience. more recently my parenting choices have not fit with mainstream parenting. all in all with my politics, woowoo, and parenting inclinations as they are i am not the woman that hordes of other women feel akin to. or, in short, not everyone likes me.
that is ok.
it is just that every once in awhile i have to sit down with myself and have a little chat about it. no, you are not on any lists. you are not a top 50 this or that. no one famous does stomach flips over blog. you are not “waldorf” enough for the waldorf lists or “breastfeeding” focused enough for the breastfeeding lists or…
so on and so on.
i honor that the above facts hurt your feelings sometimes. i am just here to give you a gentle reminder that i love you. i appreciate the work you do. i even like your writing. some days.
truthfully, you know what i just realized? making someone’s list wouldn’t change anything for me. because looking to feel good about myself (my blog, my parenting, my photo’s, my writing, my spiritual growth, my anything) based on an outside source is a losing battle. it is a never ending cycle of wanting more better higher feedback. even if i was on a list i would still fight my own battles with doubt and insecurity. the work is always right here within me. seeking the place from which i can speak truthfully to my self with love and support, with appreciation and respect, with kindness and loyalty and forgiveness.
this blog has become a place i return to work though what is in my mind and my heart. to puzzle through the words to some clarity. something about the blog (the name, the intention, the sharing) makes me take a moment to center and get to what feels the most helpful and constructive to me. i don’t come here to make fun of myself or my life (generally). i seem to return again and again to remind myself that it is ok, that i know how to breathe, that i have spirit guides and teachers who love and support me, that there are things i know that are worth knowing. i come here to find the words to bring peace and joy to my day.
less than one year blogging and i have made a space that is sacred to my path. and my intention for 2010 is to keep blogging, to keep asking myself to take the time to write regularly. not to gain popularity but to elucidate my path and share some space with others who can relate. i want to push myself to accept that this kind of blogging can be scary for me. i want to be the real me anyways – not the version i think would get more votes.
well, if you made it through this one, thanks for listening. i am tempted to go back and edit out pieces of what just happened but i think i’ll leave it.
happy new year friends and fellow woowoo warriors. may finding your joy and peace be a cake-walk this year.
bob marley is singing me a lullaby and the pea is sleeping in my favorite and often mentioned black cherry pfau. i am thinking about our ability to shape our lives with our thoughts and intentions. yesterday i was in a foul mood for so many reasons i think its best to put them in a box and seal the lid shut.
i spent the early evening at a semi-chaotic dinner birthday party playdate which lifted my mood enough for me to do some knitting after the kids fell asleep and then open my journal. i remembered reading this post over at creative kismet a little while ago. the post had me thinking again about the power of stating intention, or of positive self talk, or of creating my experience of my self and my life.
when i was in high school i had a few friends who were a little older then me and they were really into being nice, kind, and supportive. they would leave a note up on the note board for one another that was just a nice drawing and a reminder to “smile.” or that said “you are fantastic have a great day.” i was kind of lucky to fall into their favor and their positivity was much needed. i tried to spread the love and i remember at least one of my friends in my own class being the type to leave me similar sweet encouraging notes (hey jenny if you are reading). this was a kind of unstudied attempt at simple joy. smile. be happy. you are great.
later on in life i came to be in possession of the book becoming a practical mystic which encouraged you to start each day by telling yourself two things you would be that day. for example, wake up and state “today i will be calm and centered.” or, “today i will feel happy and full of peace.” i did follow this practice for quite some time and i was fairly hugely surprised by how much of a difference one minute of focused intention stating could change my day to day life.
as i twirled around in the dark waters yesterday i wondered if it might be time to work a little harder on me. i am sure it is no small sign that i am deeply annoyed that carrie over at the parenting passageway for spending twenty days on becoming a more mindful mother (read self improvement and introspection). if something that would usually appeal to me sounds like too much work it tends to be great big waving in the storm red flag.
last night i took out my beloved oil pastels, and my blank page journal, and i started off big (trying to be accepting of the fact that i do not have the skills of ms. creative kismet) and filled a page with “i am seeking joy, peace, love, happiness.”
that was all good and true but in a moment of clarity i realized that i had to make the shift more — concrete? real? true? powerful?
i turned the page and stated “i already have and will continue to be blessed with a life filled with joy, peace, love and happiness.” it filled the page. it felt a little bit like a lie but i squashed that talk and i remembered that i am NOT my thinking self. and it is that darn thinker who is in there shrieking “we are not peaceful and happy why are you saying that!” i checked in with my true self and she felt like pure white light and that is pretty darn peaceful and joyous. you know? so be quiet all you thinkers.
i put away the pastels and spent one more page making statements about what today was going to be like. that i was going to be calm and patient and loving with my children. that i was going to be aware of my true self and able to quiet my inner thinkers. that i was going to create and be creative and write and feel loving and loved. i can’t remember what else i wrote but i filled that page right up.
it is not like today has been perfect but i dare even those thinker selves in to me to deny the improvement. we are all happier. nothing bad about that.
in the words of today’s lullaby:
emancipate yourself from mental slavery
none but ourselves can free our minds.
maybe when he wrote this he wasn’t thinking it would help some white girl in america to quiet her inner demons. but, i wouldn’t put it past him. the man is a genius.
sometimes i wish i had a way of just leaning into myself and being certain that what i do or what i want to do is worth it. it worthy. has worth.
when i was pregnant with the bean i was working my internship hours for my counseling degree. my supervisor wanted me to record my voice on audio tape giving myself advice on ways to grow in my practice as a therapist.
“on no,” i assured him, “that would be terrible.”
“yes, i hate my voice.”
“ah, well there we have a little problem.”
he was calm and confident and a story teller. he believed in the power of sharing our stories and he believed in the importance of girls and women finding and sharing and keeping their voice. i knew all that but was thinking of it as symbolic. but as i said, with a smile and a laugh, “i hate my voice.” i could sense the weight of it before he even agreed to the problem. he had a funny way of ignoring my wit and sarcasm and talking to the heart of the matter.
i never did record my voice. someday perhaps. someday perhaps i will encourage myself to do some video blogging. just typing that makes me want to hide in my closet but i’ll leave it. all i said was perhaps.
for now i would just like to trust that it is worth my time to sit down and write. to search around in my head for my silent voice and words and have a place where i send them out. even if they echo in all the emptiness. even if i don’t get it quite right. even if i can never tell how much to share and how much to just keep quiet about. i just want to invite my voice to the table. to say, ah yes, you are worth it. and even, a little bit, i like you.
the pool at the y smelled of chemicals and was filled with noise. spashing, joking, teachers calling out, all muted by the wetness and water and the overpowering scent. i was in my brother’s swim class this week because somehow we had missed mine and this was my make up class. i was small and out of place in his class and i clung to the edge of the pool and the grooved cement hoping no one would notice me. hoping it would end soon. hoping to not have to swim.
the teacher stood above us all tall and thin and shrill in her instructions. up a floor, there was a glass viewing room where i knew my mother as waiting. eventually the class would end and i would be free and done and safe. i pressed myself into the tiled edges and kept my elbows bent tightly and my head high above the waters disturbed lapping.
most of the activities of the class she let me skip, or she modified, or maybe she just pretended not to notice me opt out. i did hold onto the kick board with my fingers clutching it so tightly they were cramping and blue white in color while i did some practice kicking.
at the end of the lesson she decided to do a quick round of races before she ended things. we were to swim to the bouy line and back in two’s. she counted the pairs off going down the line and each set did a quick race. i was at the end of the line that had formed and i was certain i would not be racing. certain. sure of it. because, i could not swim like that. i could not do it so how could she have me do it?
truly that must be the moment i started the drowning. in the moment that i firmly believed i could not swim. and when i protested her when she tried to send me out to race. and again when she assumed i was protesting because i didn’t want to lose to an older boy and she assured me she would give me a head start. maybe she was trying to be equitable, or encouraging, or make me brave. she insisted i race. she sent me out ahead. i made it to the bouyline and and i grabbed onto it thinking i could never ever make it back to the wall.
she called out to me to let go and swim back and i either told her no or i just hung on silently. i don’t remember. but i remember her irritation in response, her acidic insistance that i let go and swim back. the shrill rising with impatience and frustration.
i did let go, and swim a few meek strokes of the gasping panicked variety and then i just gave up and started sinking. the real drowning had begun. the decision to let go and slip under. the acceptance of failure. the chlorinated water swallowing me down and all the sounds of the pool area muting more and more.
did she yell to me to try harder?
i don’t know. i know, from the retelling of the story that she stood by the side of the pool watching. that my mom fled the spectator room and flew down the stairs to the side of pool in a frightened rage. that another teacher, a man, jumped in and pulled me out. i do know that the teacher said she did not want to jump in because she had gotten her hair permed that morning and it would be ruined if it got wet. the swim teacher. with a sinking child in her care. she did not want to ruin her perm.
that was one time i drowned. how i remember it through my memory of the experience and my memory of hearing about it. what sticks with me might be not the drowning, the sinking below, the fear, the panic, but the rejection. the truth of knowing that i was worth less than a hair style to someone.
that is still my struggle many days. believing i am good enough, or that i deserve, that i am not fundamentally flawed. believing in my own worth.
in the moments i do know, it is always through my practice, through my spirituality, and through seeing the light in everything. embracing the divine.
but some days i just struggle. i don’t believe i can swim. i don’t want to mess up anybody’s hair.
the house we grew up in had hard wood floors through much of it and hard wood stairs covered by a runner of carpet, dark blue with a few scattered beige flowers that were simple and quiet. the carpet was not terrible plush but i know it was thick enough to cushion a light fall, the thunk of my young body hitting the stairs as my legs escaped me. i had my arms to catch my fall but still my belly would hit and my shins and no doubt i would screech with shame and outrage. i almost remember the feel of the carpet on my face, but that could be from other moments as well.
it was always my brother – older, faster, and generally not too hard on me – who was stealing my legs on the stairs. he’d come up behind me and sometimes he’d just follow me up the stairs but other times, with no warning i could figure out, he would chose to swipe out my ankles and enjoy the resulting plunking of my body onto the carpeted stairs. dark blue wool with the dark blue cottony edging you see on runner type carpet. somewhere between soft and itchy, somewhere between hard and cushioned, somewhere between the bottom and reaching the top i’d be downed.
whenever he walked behind me then i was a little afraid, i would speed up, or i would be overwhelmed by the anticipation of what was possible and i’d run flat out with my heart in my throat. or, i would just go calmly and hope and then wish i had run when i felt the sensation of my stomach on the stairs. thump, bump, bang, squish. when i felt the indignation rise, the hot flash of it all and the spike of tears in my eyes. sometimes, when you are almost making it up and someone just takes you out at the ankles without any warning it is enough to make you deflate.
today, i just don’t want to deflate. i have been doing so well. so instead of letting it all flash out of me i decided to follow my own advice. i made some loose leaf tea and as i poured it for myself it set the intention that the tea would bring me calm, and peace, and happiness. that is all i need to get by today. stomach crushed on the stairs as it may be. just the healing energy i put into my tea.
oh, and the morning picnic i had with chickpea and bean was right nice too.