Health · On Writing · Writing Life

Refine…and Enough-ness

March second today. Holy balls.

I woke up and immediately started to hiccup. Like, deep-lift-your-whole-diaphragm-up kinda hiccups. Not sure what that means…except that maybe I need to remember to breathe more. The hiccups lasted for about fifteen minutes. After I got dressed, tidied my mouth and face, and laid out my work for the day, the hiccups went away. I didn’t notice them leave. Huh.

My words for 2020 are REFINE and ENOUGH. I’m feeling the expansion of each word in my life. Refining is happening a lot at Gertrude’s…some things are visible and some things are not (at least not yet!), but the point is that I’m very conscious of how I can make things smoother, simpler and at the same time more effective. That can be a hard balance to find. It’s also challenging my brain in terms of how it wants to organize things…where my heart wants loads of colour and different ways to design, my brain knows that the main thing is that what I want to be communicated is clear and concise. And, so small but important changes are happening. I’m having to choosing to make these changes bit by bit.

I’m feeling a real urge to go through my clothes and get rid of (donate) at least 50% of them. Remember the days when we had two outfits? The dressy dress for church and events and the day dress for everything else? Me neither, but I know they existed. And so, I’m feeling a mighty purge day coming on that front. I wonder how it’ll make me feel to look at 50% less of choices for clothing. Relieved, I hope.

In all this pushing for refinement, I am acutely aware of amounts of things…and I can feel this kind of humming underneath me coming from what seems like the centre of the planet…whispering for change. Do you feel it too? There is much, much unrest…and I find myself falling into bogs of deep worry several times a day from the bigness of what I know is happening on a very small, energetic level. Paradox is alive.

I’m going to admit that my mind plays horrible films that race through my thoughts like bullet trains…yet they go slow motion when I notice them and I see and feel things I don’t want to write down they’re so bad. They’re fleeting most of the of the time, but sometimes they’re not. Sometimes, I can’t stop watching these short films of pain, destruction, loss and I get really, really, scared. At times, they grab me when I’m trying to fall asleep and I have to sit up and open my eyes to darkness and say: YOU.ARE.NOT.REAL. It’s some Stephen King-esque kinda scary.

Then there’s Matt Damon. He’s been in my dreams lately. We’re camping and he has all these really cool, amazing-for-the-planet things he’s showing me and the other dream travellers who are with us. This morning’s dream had him showing us these beautiful white flowers he had harvested in his home garden. We were to plant them in the forest we were in because of their healing power. He bent down and opened a bit of soil to drop the flower and its roots in. The soil grabbed on like the flower was the magic it was waiting for. Then the flower shrunk a bit, like the soil had sucked out its liquid…and then BLOOOOM the flower tripled in size and seemed to make the surrounding area brighter, more alive. It was miraculous.

Perhaps it was my heart yearning for spring…for this change that I’m feeling to finally show itself…but I believe the lesson is also in the shrinking…like, we’re/I’m maybe in the replanting and shrinking phase…like we/I have to be ‘small’ before I can bloom into something more magical, miraculous, helpful, lasting. Refinement, right?

A week ago today, I returned from my annual writing retreat with Charis Cotter. It was another incredible weekend. Different than the ones before…and we marvelled at that. How we so obviously needed to work on such different things each year.

The space we were in was beautiful. The light was great for writing and creativity. The couches and chairs were conducive to work. But much of our work came in the form of conversation. We talked and talked. We listened and listened. We cried and laughed and talked some more. Never underestimate the power of conversation.

And always have tea and treats to soothe your tummy and help keep your mouth happy for more talking. We drank lots and lots of tea. (Thank you Charis!)

We were also very disciplined about how the day was organized. We had to be in order to accomplish so much heart and soul healing and dreaming. We woke early, ate well, talked, wrote, walked, napped, talked and wrote more then had end-of-day reflections. We were to bed no later than 10pm.

It was very productive, our weekend.

And, of course, we did lots of goofing around.

‘Enough’ came up. Oh goddess, did it ever. The intention behind me choosing this word was to preface it with motivational and empowering words, like: I AM, YOU ARE, WE ARE, I AM DOING, THERE IS…but as we talked and I was honest with myself, it was clear that my intentions weren’t being met. Instead, I was feeling NOT ENOUGH – in too many places in my life – creative and not. And so…we talked about it. I cried. And we trudged through the marshes of my self-esteem, and exhausted, came out on the other side. It’s a daily battle to win – feeling enough. Believing that I am enough. That I have, indeed, done enough work for my creative life, the business, the family. Our daily affirmations now include saying out loud: Great job doing all the work you did today! You did what you did, and that matters. Also, I love you. 

And so, we swim forward making sure to pull to the shore often to breathe, rest and admire the beauty that is all around. Then write about it.

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