#reverb14 : day 10 : Generosity

Ack. Ack. Ack.

Ok, so can we talk?

I’ve done it again. I’ve lost my focus. How easily I lose my focus.

This month, December, MY December, is all about shedding the ways that I fake my life, purging myself from expectations, pulling back the curtain and calling the performance over. It is a subtle performance. Not many recognize the rehearsed lines, the practiced ways of showing up, or the layers of costume. I am not even aware of when I shift into performance mode until it all just begins to feel heavy, loaded down with shoulds.

Ten days into December and today I realized, I am on the stage. I am showing up regardless of whether this is the real me or whether or not this is benefiting the real me. I take on challenges because I love to stretch and grow, I love the invitation of digging deeper and seeing with clear eyes. I push myself until I realize I am about to push myself over the edge. Breakdown at my own hands.
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I spent yesterday hanging out with my best friend. It was a great day and as my daughter said later, I had the jokes. There was laughter and catching up on the past four months. At one point, my friend went to the restroom and pulled out my phone and took this photo. Later, I posted it to Instagram with the caption, “the in between times” This is the real me. This is how I really feel. Pensive. Quiet. Serious. Longing for dark.

The opportunity to reflect on this year and to cast wishes into 2015 is just that … an opportunity. Not an obligation. I get to choose if and when and how I show up. It is important than when I do show up, I am showing up as me, myself, and I.

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Tonight is an exercise in shaking off all that I think I have to do and returning to that which feeds my soul. This is the call of generosity right now. To abundantly give to myself.

#reverb14 : day 9 : Shades of Grey

Like most humans, I tend to be a bit black and white in my thinking. I have “good” eating patterns or “bad” ones. I have a “good” day with feeding and settling my bambino or a “bad” one. I am “good” at keeping on top of domestic tasks, emails, blog posts, my twitter feed or I am “bad” at it.

As my journey deepens, I see that this way of thinking is not only unfair, it’s untrue and doesn’t allow much space for the quiet but amazing shifts that happen while I’m not not looking.


As you enter into the new year, what would you like to do/make/have/be more often? How will you bear witness and celebrate the tiny milestones? How will you respond on the occasions when your intentions do not come to pass?

My wish casting for 2015 includes the hope of slower, more intentional living with the understanding that though there is little I can do to control circumstances, I can choose how I show up. I can choose purposeful movement, eyes wide open, and magical everything. Life is nothing but a series of tiny milestones. Everyday awareness, acknowledgements, and celebrations are a must in my new-found way of living. If there is not a holiday, make one up, I say. Find a reason to light the candles, sing a song, and blow kisses to the wind. Be the magic.

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It’s that time of the year again, join us at Kat Mcnalley’s for reflecting and manifesting with Reverb 14

Additional end of the year prompts are available from The Art Journaler:

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I am also using Come Thou Long Expected available from Mandy Steward.

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#reverb14 : day 8 : Connections

The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected to the things and the people that matter the most to us. We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside. 

How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?

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Even though most of my children still live at home, now that they are all older, I find it a challenge to stay connected to them. I try in different ways. I watch basketball and make sure that I am sitting right in the middle of them, asking questions, cheering their teams. I ask about their music and add it to my playlists too. Movies and movie discussions are a favorite connection we all share. For my daughters who do not live with me, I text them when I find things I know they will find interesting. One daughter is all about space. Anything Nasa. My other daughter is vegan and loves owls and Dr. Who. It’s all about paying attention to what they pay attention to, showing interest, and making time.

My husband and I have had an even more difficult time staying connected this year. He works two jobs and with the many the health issues of both of our mothers this year plus the normal chaos of our family, we found little time alone. It’s all about the little things and focused effort to make time and to make what little time we have count. I think our biggest challenge is finding time beyond just dating each other to deal with the cooperative aspects of our marriage. We are still together, still love and like each other, so we must be doing something right.

My best friend went to work full-time this summer and we have not found a new normal yet. I am seeing her tomorrow for the first time in four months. Unacceptable. But again, you do what you can and make the most of what you’ve got.

All in all, connections don’t just happen. They take intentional effort and forgiveness and grace and messing up and trying again.

It’s true in personal life and it’s true in online communities as well.

I have several, wonderful, supportive groups online. In these circles, I find support and encouragement for homeschooling, art journaling, aging process, spiritual exploration. Those circles have spilled over into my creating space for a gathering of women here where I live. We have been meeting for just a few months but I am so blessed to have these freedom seeking women.

In a year that could have been cold and lonely, it feels wonderful to look back and see just how warm and lovely my life is. My humblest gratitude to those who share time and space with me in this great big beautiful world.

 


It’s that time of the year again, join us at Kat Mcnalley’s for reflecting and manifesting with Reverb 14

Additional end of the year prompts are available from The Art Journaler:

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I am also using Come Thou Long Expected available from Mandy Steward.

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#reverb14 : day 7 : Show your Self(ie)

Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2014, self-portrait or otherwise!

For bonus points: make montage of the selfies you have posted for the past four years or however long you have been participating in Reverb! #tbt (Throwback Thursday) photos also welcome.

I am fifty

The first moments awake as a fifty year old woman. I had just opened my eyes and wanted to capture myself awake, awakening, waking up some more. It truly felt like the first day of the rest of my life. Having a new life requires learning new ways, developing new practices, eyes wide open. I feel like I stumbled through the next six months which brings us to now. Right now, when finally, I feel on solid ground again.

As for selfies, here’s a look back over the past few years:

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It’s that time of the year again, join us at Kat Mcnalley’s for reflecting and manifesting with Reverb 14

Additional end of the year prompts are available from The Art Journaler:

68633e04-ebf3-4e04-b7d6-b43816494101

I am also using Come Thou Long Expected available from Mandy Steward.

advent300