I’m not sure where this particular post should go. It’s deeply personal, so blog … It’s inspirational in the way I want my Inspiration page to be, and it also shapes my brand idea of life moving in lines which all have their own kind of beauty. But good, there is a solid theme starting to happen, things are unifying on their own.
Yesterday I had so many awarenesses that I have this nagging sense of being behind with getting the writing and designs out, but the really important ones I want to sketch out now, since connects to all three page topics …
(One,) I don’t get writers block, I get writer & designer Moods. G is probably the only one who should be worried because he lives with me, but he’s not, he’s learned how to trust me. I know this space from being a designer - there is a definite ‘before and after space’ that happens when designing. When you are working towards it and once you know you have something good to work with. Presentable. Writing and working on design ideas for ME makes this Mood that much more intense.
The Artist moods are totally perfect chance to feel negative feelings and have no answers, to learn when the grounding tools like exercise or breathing still don’t work. I’m starting to be able to observe myself kind of from an areal view, to see that a pattern is forming, that my body is generating ideas. And to trust the ride of all emotions into that idea.
Especially if there is a person or persons in my life where the dynamics are not working. How lovely to know by many days of practice to just be in those feelings and trust that something beautiful is going to come out of it. It’s good today, but I did actually said to G the other day, ‘This Spiritual stuff sucks … Who in their right mind would want to be on a spiritual journey. Living from the Ego is SO MUCH MORE FUN.’ I have rather been walking around a lot saying I believe in Messes to get to a thing - resolve, truth, answer - and wow this one was a good Mess / Mood. I’m glad I finally see a rhythm. S has always been saying write it out, even as G to ask me to write it out when I’m in it. I think today is actually the day when I get it, do it, believe it, will commit to living it. And work on toning down the home moping sessions.
Right, so I did write it out and so another really important thing became clear to me. It all started with my questioning what it means to be a strong woman, and what it means for strong women to support each other. What it really means for strong women not to be that cliche that women tear each other apart. In my world, I think there is just enough self awareness to not tear each other apart, we are all proper feminists and know better. But what does it mean to really support each other? How does that look and feel like? Silence doesn’t do it for me and on the other hand I don’t want for me (or you) to function out of ego, so what is the answer? So yes the Sigh! part is that we women may actually fall short of supporting each other when there is any daring greatly stuff happening.
The other day I just wanted to switch friends. It felt like years past of having a superficial boyfriend where there is nothing deeper than the physical, it felt like that kind of disrespect to myself. (Also when I had a script of all men are this and that, when actually those were my choices. The best I could do at the time.) I had the Worrying Thought in my head that I was making bad choices in friends, now too. I felt like it would just be easier to have Oprah’s or Brene Brown’s or Liz Gilberts friends, they support each other, stand up for each other. It sounds funny now, but I was trying to find a way to make that happen. And yet, it’s a valid thing, right, standing up for each other? Who doesn’t want that. Don’t we love the Super Soul Sunday sessions with Oprah in part because Oprah is so good at validating and highlighting that person’s spiritual real life experience. (Talk show culture in America ….)
So here I am being pissed and envious of other peoples friends, stuck stuck stuck and my heart hurts. And someday G is going to support me in recreational weed because I feel like that would just make this spiritual work so much easier.
(Two,) Part of the pattern of this creative process is Find Beauty, find a fucking flower. Because in the moment I don’t care about beauty, in fact, I kind of resent it. How dare life go on in all its glory when I’m not feeling equally beautiful light and airy? Right and then I’m supposed to conjure up Gratitude too. Sheesh.
I took a walk and ran into this German woman wearing this gorgeous orange wool shawl and chatted her up about our love for orange, and how she bought it eons ago and still just loves it just as much as when she first saw it.
My sister in law who taught us to love orange as much as she does is working hard on flipping cancer around. I can only think of her process right now, as I see this Orange, and as I am in my murky darker thoughts. My sis-in-law thinks she can do it alone without asking for help, or talking about it. This orange is for her, as is the realization that this is who I come from, strong silent types. Absolutely the belief that we can fix anything on our own. ‘We are fine. My hair is falling out, but we are fine.’ When I think about Pastor’s families and the ludicrous public aspect of it - how people just want to SEE role models, people just want to see people who appear to have all answers, no problems, touched by God, if at least we can visit that every Sunday … The Northern German culture I grew up in adds another layer of Perfection, which is Sealed Privacy for all things. My one Aunt was horrified that as I as interviewing her for old German recipes that I might actually write about them, and she bowed out of the project. And now having lost that personal affirmation, why not go whole hog, I thought, why not just write what I want to write about and let her pull her German metal shutters down every day at 5pm, and let me raise my shutters, American style, and have my own metaphor to live out, personal brand in tact, which is:
(Three,) We need each other. We need each other’s lines, too. This woman’s orange scarf links me to my twin brother’s wife, links me to all oranges …. Our lines - try as we might to create distances - are connected. Together they create a new pattern, a new unified design too … The shape of the orange wool shawl, the orange designs at Ocean Beach ….Lines, lives and stories, over distance time and space. Here, a quick sketch of my idea. It’s not beautiful yet but it will be. It’s not beautiful yet but that’s the point. You don’t begin with beauty, you end up there.
(Four,) Other than finding visual beauty, finding inspirational words are good to, in busting up my creative Mood. I found this quote by Toni Morrison and it spun me around into realizing that I live with many freedoms that I completely take for granted. When I think of slavery, or being owned and abused by someone else. If you are free ….
“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” - Toni Morrison
My freedom these years is so very different from previous years, when I was encased in a power-dynamic that was layered with with the idea that money creates security, and that anyone will do anything to keep that pay check, even normalize bad behavior. I knew that not only did I want more out of life, that life could be more than a perfect showcase of exterior elements, but that the quality of my life could grow. Having a boyfriend sing to me the most ridiculous and hilarious impromptu song where the only lyric is “love”, and there is very little harmony, when I can’t a) live in the moment, b) take a deep breath, c) go ground myself, d) or make a different decision, for example. How did I land such a beauty-man? By letting go of a certain former reality - a very certain reality - and making open space for new and free. It’s very white of me to take my personal freedom for granted and to focus instead on the things that are missing. It’s also very white of me to have this sense that I deserve more, this sense of entitlement. It’s no defense but I do compare myself to my sisters and the 8 year old in me says they have it all, why can’t I. And more, they had it all when they SAID they wanted it all, so why can’t I. It looks like they are fully in control.
(Five,) This idea of empowering other people is IT, it’s another wave of my awareness that sprung up from my Mood. The complete source of my Inspiration. I still see people look at “spiritual” people as people who talk about spiritual things, but are ALSO doing it from and out of huge celebrity level success. Cheating? A little bit. Not that I mind. They are all totally wonderful - Ann Lamott, Shonda Rhimes, Elizabeth Gilbert …. I realize they weren’t always celebrities and that’s part of their appeal.
What matters more, I realize - and maybe this is my pastor father and pastor’s-wife-mother coming out in me - is Voice coming out of the non-celebrity world. And even more specifically than that, Voice coming out of suffering. Real suffering, actual suffering, not the stuff we create in our heads. There are more people who are doing the Real spiritual work in life and getting zero external acknowledgment for it, and those are the people I want to be lead by, too, if not more.
(Six,) And I realized, that my friend C is my Heroine. I realized that what you are doing with your life is exactly the kind of thing that needs to be supported. This is how I want to shape my brand. People who are doing intense spiritual work without the support of a rich husband, a bubble bath, and outside the frame work of global recognition. This is the piece that always makes me grumpy. This obsession we have for shiny objects and shiny people in this culture. False idols in Christian world, right?, just to show I didn’t forget my heritage.
I wanted to get new friends over this issue of strong women, but then I realized I can be what I want to have … I’m holding myself accountable today as I continue with the Me stuff of all my dreams, intentions, workloads, deadlines, sketches, drafts: to create a significant shift in value. I am free and I have been taking this for granted. I don’t want to waste another minute in living out my values to the best of my ability.
This post is dedicated to you, dear C. You are an absolute Super Hero and your super power is in staying in the life game, in the Arena, fully engaged, not based on particular outcomes. You are the most amazing role model I have ever had … I’m only sorry that I’ve been so blind to see it - you - fully, until now. Thank you for your incredible strength of being, because it’s gorgeous, contagious and truly inspirational. xoox