In 2010, I wrote an outline and table of contents for a book entitled, The Next Evolution, which is still waiting patiently to be written.
It's not that I stopped evolving, in fact quite the opposite has occurred. The shifts in my life, the ebbs and flow of relationship, of children growing, of jobs and money and all the life learning put me right where I needed to be in order to navigate this year we've just had.
Without the psychological and spiritual tools in my back pocket, this pandemic year could have looked much, much different. But that's a story for another time. Today, I am being drawn to return to the idea of The Next Evolution.
Who are we meant to be? Collectively and Individually, this humanity and time we are living in? And how do we even get there?
Over the last year there have been many conversations in different spiritual and communal arenas about Ascension, the 5th Dimension, elevating consciousness, etc., and it's not lost on me that at the same time we...
It’s not gone. It’s just quieter, I think as I take a second bite of the salmon. I’m still often weighing the effects of different foods on my body. I am still often reminding myself with first or third bites that what I’m ingesting is not going to have adverse affects. Sometimes I know it will and am willing to take the risks (sugar) and other times it’s enough to stop me mid-bite and reassess the whole situation. I’ll eat around the offending piece. I’ll slyly slip the dog some morsels so it isn’t wasted.
OCD isn’t gone. It’s managed and settled. It’s livable.
I don’t really want to go anywhere.
Not sure how much covid is a reason or an excuse.
I am taking many good, long, hard looks in the mirror--especially after disagreements about exposures and decisions.
The dark night of the soul, they call it. But I had that years ago. I only get glimpses now and am able to acknowledge and work with what...
I’m continually referring back to my teachers--the ones I want to be like, emulate their ability to stay centered amid chaos. I’m better at it myself these days, one of the benefits I guess of a world wide pandemic is that on the other side of sheer panic is a choice to surrender.
I take mindfulness classes. And remember to look in front of me and around me and see the beauty. The stubble of my teenage son’s face reminding me of the passage of time, and the sound of laughter as he and his sisters play another round of rummikub.
I have all that I need. I am lucky. There is food, shelter, and love. What else on earth do I need?
Suddenly, I feel stripped of the need to strive for something grand. I have always wanted to do big things, and at the root never understood that it was because I wanted to feel important. Like I meant something to the world around me.
But I’m learning, too, that that is a given. I AM enough. I am already important by virtue...
I’ve written a lot about how it all started--the foods slowly removed, one by one, as my belly ached or the news report of another e.coli or salmonella outbreak. Red meat. Lettuce. My beloved ranch dressing.
I’ve written about how, over the span of a few months, my weight dropped and my handwashing went up exponentially. Hotter water. More soap. Do it again.
What I haven’t written about is the lingering anxiety that rears its head in certain situations, generally social, when there is less knowledge about ingredients and more probability of cross contamination with others’ hands or breath.
OCD isn’t gone. It’s settled and re-related to. Exposures help, as does a really good support system.
And now, 13 years since severe onset, 10 years since official diagnosis, and 8 years since beginning Cognitive Behavior Therapy and winning a bunch of anxiety wins, we are living in a new era where a lot of people around me are carrying hand sanitizer,...
It's getting closer. I am doing and saying all the things I know need to be done and said, but I am scared. Petrified, actually.
I know I am so damn lucky to live in a place and be in a profession that has covid vaccines available. My partner just got his second one this week, and my dad got his first. Oh goodness, to be able to be with my parents again. It will be a sweet dream come true.
But I don't want it.
No, I'm not an anti-vaxxer. My kids are all up to date and I got a tetanus shot two years ago (you can find that fun video story in my FB history). I believe in the miracles of modern science (in addition to the spiritual science of all things!).
But I just don't want it in me. No shots. No medicines.
I get migraines that last three days and I'm only willing to take Tylenol.
I barely take my multivitamin, not because I don't remember, but because I pretend to forget.
Phobias, OCD, anxiety--whatever you want to call it. My mind swirls with refusals...
You're staring at this blank screen. Cursor clicking. It's so cliche, but cliches are a thing because there is so much Truth to it.
How do you write something meaningful? Uplifting? Authentic? True?
Well, you just start. Like I'm doing now.
No more thinking or planning. Nike says it best, "Just Do it"
So I'm here. Just doing it.
In the moment, one letter at a time.
Despite the cold. Despite the pandemic. Despite the odd tweak of pain in my shoulder which demanded I take a break from a lot of things yesterday.
The body knows well. Much better than the conscious mind sometimes. These paths of energy and dis-ease running through our spaces where we can't see them.
Only feel them.
If we just take a moment to
I grew up with two older brothers, each with their own way of moving through the world. I always wanted to emulate them in one way or another, and--as little sisters do--became a little tough girl.
As a teenager I like to think I exuded a rough and rebellious exterior and a deep belief that I didn't need anyone. I went through a phase of punching mailboxes and being angry at the world. I smoked cigarettes and hid shots of vodka in my Wendy's sprite cup.
But I wasn't a "bad" kid--or all that tough. I was in show choir, got decent grades, and preferred to sleep in my own bed and write poetry in my journal instead of staying late at the party. I just surrounded myself with a bunch of guys and a few close girlfriends who knew me well enough to call me on my BS and hug me when I needed it most. I love them still.
Growing up without sisters, I navigated the world of girls differently. I always felt one degree off from my girlfriends, even if it was just a misperception. I just...
According to Merriam-Webster, there are three definitions of the word, "visibility."
The first is, "the quality or state of being visible." Seems pretty self-explanatory. A state of being seen.
The second definition has a few variables attached:
2a: the degree of clearness (as of the atmosphere or ocean)
specifically : the greatest distance through the atmosphere toward the horizon at which prominent objects can be identified with the naked eye.
Ah, there it is, a trigger word... able to pinpoint with the naked eye. It is easy for the seer to see, but not always so easy for the one being seen. The nakedness mirrored in the eyes of others. Not literally of course, but sometimes being visible--putting yourself out there for the world to hear your message, follow your lead, or critique your creative endeavor feels just as revealing. Exhibitionistic, perhaps. Or maybe just a little fragile.
Other variables from the second definition are what we typically use in...
If you're looking for Part I before you read this, don't bother. I'm starting here at Part II because the before existed in another space and time. Literally. A different internet space and nearly ten years ago.
I've been hoping to write a book for quite some time. "About what?" you may ask. Which is a relatively bright question. But the answer is muddy.
You see, I've always felt like I had a message to share with others. I don't know why, and I'm learning that the why may not really matter so much any more. But the vision pulls me, and I'm allowing it to do so more fully these days.
Surrendering to what is and following my heart.
Every Day Bravery is just a piece of the journey. The piece that has taken my anxious brain on a circus ride of healing and learning and practice. LOTS of practice.
So I've learned a few things along the way about showing up, even when it feels like the last thing you want--or can--do. And I've learned a few things about what showing up for yourself looks...