This month, my favourite month, is almost over. And I feel as if, for the most of it, I haven’t been present. I feel as if I’ve just been bouncing from one event, one to-do to another without taking a breath. If I wasn’t doing something for someone else, then I was getting prepared to do something for someone else. I’ve had a few moments of disconnect from self just because I haven’t been able to take the time to check in with myself. Or so I thought. I had the idea that I’m too busy for self-care. I was of the idea that I couldn’t hold another thing in my head that wasn’t contributing to the task in hand. Anything that I believed wasn’t adding to the event moving forward then it had to go or didn’t gain my attention. And this included myself, my own self-care and self-love.
Love is my word of 2019. And as we arrive at the end of October with just the mad freewheel down to Christmas and the New Year, I’m not sure if I’m further along this road of love, especially self-love as this is a practice that takes time and commitment. My self-love practice has been intermittent and practically non-existent this month. But instead of beating myself up about it, I’m choosing kindness. I’m choosing to be gentle with myself and to just start again.
“There is no beginning too small.”
— Henry David Thoreau
When things get overwhelming, I take to colour. I think this is the reason I love Autumn so much. The myriad of colours; crimson, pumpkin, golden and umber. See what I did there? I elevated my vocabulary as sometimes I can be lazy and just use the obvious.
Anyhow. Back to the colour fields. Playing with colour fills my pot. Shifts my energy. And makes me happy. A simple task but well worth the effort.
Lately, I’ve started new journals. Square journals. Altered books. Notebooks. Any blank page I can fill with colour I will. I share some of the results here to inspire you to play. To let go and just lose yourself in the process. Forget the result. Forget perfection. And surrender to the joy of play.
I have arrived.
I am home.
— Thich Nhat Hahn
1. Re-entry into my everyday after being away is harsh.
2. The sun glows low.
3. We walk the shore alone and smell the waves.
4. My everyday life is full of kinks.
5. The terns dance within the foam.
6. Strong black coffee steams.
7. Luther Vandross ‘Searching’ on the radio.
8. Emails plying up as is the washing.
9. Box set bingeing late into the night.
10. Not ready to start it all again tomorrow.
When my days are lived at a pace.
When my time is filled with noise.
When my eyes are lit up by a screen.
I feel a creeping dread up my spine.
Red ants invade my hairline
and I feel as if there is no escape.
I’m uncomfortable in my skin,
taking only shallow breaths.
Heavy and awkward, never feeling rest or calm,
I forget who I am.
When I withdraw to slow down.
When I turn off external sounds.
When my ears become accustomed
to the voice deep within my being,
I can feel my soul and she speaks
from heart of love.
I know it’s not all about me …
I took my mother-in-law to her radiotherapy session this morning. Her last one. Yes!!! She got to ring the bell afterward; the sound telling the world that she has completed her treatment.
We do not know as yet if all was successful. But we accept this moment with joy. She has undergone her treatment with courage and grace. And I’ve told her as such.
So when I say I know it’s not all about me … I’ve come home and I’m just so tired. I am exhausted and have just come to bed to rest. To switch off and recharge.
And there is a part of me that wants to beat myself up for being such a wuss, for feeling so tired. I know there is a sense of shame because I feel I have no right to feel this way. I haven’t just undergone cancer treatment. I haven’t been fighting cancer like my mother-in-law for the past year or so.
I’m trying to quieten this critical voice and just let things be; to acknowledging my tiredness which is an accumulation of a number of things. To stop beating myself up if I reach for the next chocolate or chuck of crusty bread instead of that green smoothie or handful of nuts and seeds.
I’m practicing letting it all be and surrendering to how things are, how I feel. How exhausted I am. And it’s hard. It means stripping away a lifetime of beliefs and behaviours that include holding up everything for everyone. That’s the way I should be, the way I’m expected to be by myself and others.
I cried today in the hospital when I saw that frail old woman almost skip into that treatment room. She couldn’t get it over with quick enough. I cried for what she’s been going through. For her family, for us, for our lives, for our fears and for our love.
I cried in surrender as I couldn’t carry on any more with everything packaged up so tight inside, a practice I’m so expert at as a means of just getting on with things.
I realise that the world will keep on spinning if I decide to take a rest now. Life does go on with or without me. With or without you.
This is starting to sound like a Jerry Springer moment, but really take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
I’m learning this and practicing this.
Trying to silence those voices of shame, guilt and selfishness. It’s not. It’s self-care. It’s self-compassion. It’s self-love.
#hygge #alchemy #authenticsheshe #compassion #practice #belovedbodypeace #cancertreatment #family #love #shame #surrender #voice #letitbe #letitgo
Things haven’t been going to plan recently. No correct that. There’s been no plan. There’s been little reflection on my life, on things that are happening. Things are happening to me. It hasn’t felt as if I’ve been in the driving seat of my life. I’ve just had to get on with things. The things that have been demanding my time and attention. All full-time work related. Things I don’t really want to do. But if I want to keep my job, things I have to do.
So because of this scarcity of time and energy, all creative ideas and projects have been put on the back burner. At one point I was getting annoyed about this. And I must say to live with me was hell. But then I remembered HERE. Here I am on hiatus from creative stuff. I gave myself permission to be creative. But when I got into the thick of things, I forgot my commitment to self. Remembering eased the pressure slightly. But it didn’t make me feel any better as I know I am at my best when I am lost in the creating.
I am in the state of waiting until this chapter of my life ends and I can get back to making big shakes in terms of getting to know myself better. Until I can get back to sharing my story, I am waiting. I am practicing waiting as patience is not part of my make up. But during this process, this muscle is being strengthened. So maybe at the end of this phase I can celebrate my developing patience. We’ll see soon enough.