I've been going through a difficult time lately. Not one thing in particular, just kind of a pile up of things ranging from health to project overwhelm to everything in between.
I'm fortunate and have had several friends ask the magic question.
What can I do to help?
What a blessing.
I almost never respond with a list of things they could do, but I appreciate being asked.
Ever since my husband and I separated, I've been feeling this horrible pressure to BE ME. To throw myself into work and make up for lost time, which isn't fair because my life with my husband was not time lost or wasted. In fact, I've been enjoying certain aspects of him so much in the past few weeks. I've appreciated his humor.
Yet, I recently realized the old adage, "Wherever you go, there you are." applies.
I can run, but I can't hide.
So, faced with the overwhelm, pressure, mental and physical exhaustion, I found myself answering the magic question.
I wrote to a friend, "How can you help? Don't give up on me. Trust in my ability to heal myself and figure it out. Hold space for me and have faith. Let me share my fears or even daily failures, but don't hold them against me. Remind me when I'm sinking that I always come up to the surface... always. Right now I'm using my fins to navigate this time in dark water, but never stop believing that I do have wings."
After I sent her my response I realized that I need to do a little trusting too. I need to have faith and not hold my failures against myself. I need to remind myself that I always come up to the surface (and even higher because I do have wings).
I thought long and hard about what would help me most now and I realized that aside from earning enough income to support myself, I really don't want to do anything big or career building at this time. If I want to BE ME, I should accept the fact that I like waking up and taking my days slowly. I like working from 10-3 with joy and having fun wrapping orders, but I do not like feeling pressure and comparing myself to other shop-keeps who clearly have more of a long range vision for their businesses.
I named my shop Precious & Peculiar (my friend actually came up with it in conversation and I grabbed it right away!) because not only does it sound nice to me, but it also combines two words which embody my love of all things dear and unusual.
I'm gradually getting back to the heart of it. I'm willing to do without salon trips, new underwear, mindless grocery shopping without a list and sometimes even gas for my car. I'm not interested in being the stone queen, I don't need that affirmation at this time in my life, I need to remember why I fell in love with crystals and gems in the first place and share my love of stones in the small ways that make both me and my shop visitors glowingly happy. I find my bliss in creating. . .so creating at my own pace is crucial now. A woman I like, but don't know very well recently described herself as a, 'full-time creative." BRILLIANT.
That is what I am. A full-time creative and this means not only creating art and ebooks, but it means creating a life I want to embrace rather than run away from. This means being OK with less, both in my shop, but also in my bank account for the time being. Keeping my days simple, manageable and mine.
Overall, I know I'll surface and get that burst to make twenty five pieces of art and finish several books, but for now less structured days and more rest are the secret to finding my way back up. Small acts of self-care help too.
Tea and I have been friends. I've been burning candles and making trips to the lake. How about you? What are a couple of the things you do to make your days light even when you are gestating in the deep? Odd, I just looked up the word gestate.
4. ges•tate (ˈdʒɛs teɪt) To develop slowly
There was a time when the thought of doing anything slowly would have been unthinkable to me, but now I'm so in.
Please bear with me while I develop slowly.
I wish I could show you...
when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.