Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Contributing & Balancing Our Self

Photo by Sarah McMurray

It's 12:10 am and I'm awake. Words are spilling from my fingers tonight onto the keys and it's the first day I feel like a writer. I've always been a painter, except for the little 6th grader armed with a yellow legal pad that I wrote my first "novel" on. I wish I still had it. I remember the gist of it - about a heroine (there should always be a heroine) creating a magical life for herself and finding ways to contribute to the world around her.

This month I got the itch - the one that slowly creeps in after awhile of trying to go for a dream and whispered so quietly into your ear, "Who do you think you are? You're not like them...go back to ordinary. You are better off safe and protected by a regular job...," it hisses. "You could get your own place, travel, and be protected."

Today I turned in an article for E.J. and in thinking about it now, recognize my own shedding happened in that work. I wrote about how ordinary lives are actually a gift and that we must learn to embrace, honor and celebrate for the extraordinary gift that it is - a moment to learn, to grow, to be a part of something...

That's what we all want after all - to be a part of something, to contribute to someone or to the masses, isn't it?

The women's circle I'm part of is spending September looking at shedding, exploring "She who is awakening." I love that phrase (from Pixie Campbell) and it reminded me that the things we become fearful of are often projections of things we actually would like to change about ourselves. It's like when you suddenly notice a trait or habit in your lover, or friend that rubs you the wrong way - or you start to notice that you play small in someones presence; you are not fully yourself and you catch yourself in that smallness. You recognize that you have shrunk not necessarily, although sometimes it is the case,  from someone else's perspective, but more often it's actually our own fear about a trait within our self that we dislike.

I've caught myself thinking how others must perceive my life as boring - when the root fear is not actually what others think, but that I, myself, find my life boring in someway. I'm not the same vivacious, outgoing woman I used to be - I'm in a season of deep reflection and introspection which is great and all, but I miss the sassy girl. I want her back.

So how does one regain sass? One of the words used to explain "boring" is "unimaginative" and I would hate to be one of the unimaginative ones - because I think that it means a lack of courage more than anything else.

So here's my big, wild dose of courage and imagination for today: we don't have to push ourselves to the extremes. Rather we need to pulsate and undulate in the middle, creating room for retreat, rest, and deep community connections too. It's so simple and yet so bold. I'm a woman who has fought to produce perfect things, not to rest in the feminine place to gathering. In the past two months as I've journeyed hard with autoimmune disorders and adrenal fatigue I began to feel small for not having the energy currently to produce an epic final project. But the truth is, I let myself get small - out of fear of falling short as a productive, successful woman.

Fuck it. Being a workaholic isn't worth it. Burning the candle at both ends isn't worth it. Finding a beautiful feminine way to be and experience life and create something meaningful in relationship is worth it.

How can we create/give to many without burning out?  How do we honor our selves and protect our time for the things that truly matter without feeling small?

Being small simply isn't worth it anymore. Play into your bigness, your greatness and uncover the beauty that is who you truly are and share it. When we are fully, wholly and wildly ourselves there is nothing boring or unproductive about that.

Where are you playing small and will you allow yourself to grow bigger?

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