two of my favourite things - Oliver & geraniums / no surprise knitting* / the back yard / this morning's breakfast / Virgil (poser) & big Bro' Oliver / yesterday's art day with sweet Bee / oh my Winnie Dixon hangin' with Samuel / daffodils / NessieNess basking in sunshine / Itty Bitty Betty spots a bird / more IBB / posing again / He built both the landing gear and floats from scraps & balsa wood - he's so smart / lovin' some red
Most of my life has been spent trying to shrink myself. Trying to become smaller. Quieter. Less sensitive. Less opinionated. Less needy. Less me. Because I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t want to be too much or push people away. I wanted people to like me. I wanted to be cared for and valued. I wanted to be wanted. So for years, I sacrificed myself for the sake of making other people happy. And for years, I suffered. But I’m tired of suffering, and I’m done shrinking. It’s not my job to change who I am in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. I am worthwhile. Not because other people think I am, but because I exist, and therefore I matter. My thoughts matter. My feelings matter. My voice matters. And with or without anyone’s permission or approval, I will continue to be who I am and speak my truth. Even if it makes people angry. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if they choose to leave. I refuse to shrink. I choose to take up space.
I choose to honour my feelings. I choose to give myself permission to get my needs met. I choose to make self-care a priority. I choose me.
It's so funny because over the life of this blog (seven years July 13th of this year) it feels like I have woken up from a deep sleep over and over again. And each time I wake up, renewed, rested, ready to tackle and take on new & bigger challenges I always imagine that I'll never fall asleep again. Not true. At the beginning of this year I felt Lost ... I was Lost, asleep on purpose, still drowsy through February and March. But Holla April ! I'm awake again and I'm rarin' to go.
Watch your words. Your heart is listening.
I had a really, really difficult time this past year, while going through the last 8 months it felt like shit, plain & simple, and almost everyday. My creative world was both fantastic and absolutely awful all at the same time - that daily ongoing push/pull of emotions made me feel physically sick, made me question, made me insecure, even had me consider leaving my creative life behind because living in it was causing so much angst & inner turmoil.
But the thing about going through shit is when you finally get through it, and you always do (note to self) boy oh boy, you learn so much - about life, about you, about what you want, what you don't want, what you can do (I found out that there's not much I can't do - throw it at me - I dare you), you find out who the people who feed you are, the ones who fan your flames, who always make you shine your brightest and you realize also, the relationships that suck the life & goodness out of you. I learned SO much about my own struggles with anxiety and depression and the mistaken ways I'd been trying to deal with those feelings, always trying to not feel them, always trying to push them away - that's all I've ever know to do because feeling them made me feel damaged, broken, wrong, bad.
I understand those feelings so much better now. It's who I am. I know that it's okay to feel them and the very best lesson I've taken through all this yucky year of badness is to make self-care, and I mean the super extreme kind of self-care, my very top priority. I reward myself with lots of little rituals that feed my soul. I space them out throughout each day. Working hard & steady for a few hours to reach those rewards & and then back at my work again for a few more hours, looking forward to the next treat I have planned up ahead of me - each day.
* no surprise anxiety reducing knitting is the latest addition to my long list of R & R (rituals & rewards).
Each positive thought, every vibrant attitude, all purposeful activities water the seeds for success along your path. You will encounter many seeds for success today. Pay attention to these and feed them appropriately. Then maintain their beautiful growth through conscious self-care.
Happy Weekend !! Oh and a favourite song from long ago I heard recently at the end of an episode of Arrested Development/Season 1 (No. 12 on the R & R list) - I love John Hiatt he makes me wanna dance ;-) oh my good ness that opening 20 seconds - ya know, I think I might be back ;-)