Camp has been over for a few weeks…but our hearts are always missing it long after it’s gone. We thought you might like seeing some of the highlights from May 2012 Brave Girl Camp….it was truly spectacular, sacred, beautiful, amazing, miraculous and fun……….we love every one of these beautiful souls. Wish every brave girl from all over the world could join us……
Archives for EVERYDAY BRAVE
First….I wrote a blog post for every one of you that I really really really beg you to read. It is the best way I could think of to thank you for being you and being here. Please please please read it when you are done here……I wrote it with every ounce of love I could muster up…FOR YOU.
Ok…now to the winners…I stayed up late into the night wondering how on earth I (we!) could ever begin to thank you for what you have written over the last 3 days….this was certainly not anything that was expected……but if you and I are ever face to face (and I hope we are) I hope that you will ask me to tell you my thoughts about the things that you have written……because they are too special for me to write about to the whole public……just know that you have done things for my heart that I didn’t even know I needed so much………….and I stayed up late wondering what I could give you to help you understand just what you mean to us…and what all of this has meant. EVERY DAY as I write the daily truths I wonder if you know that we feel like you are our sisters, our best friends….our companions on this journey in life….I wonder, and I know Kathy does too….if you have ANY idea of how much we love all of you…..truly like you are our own flesh and blood………….to hear that you feel it means MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER UNDERSTAND….and to have you send just as much love, care and beautiful words of encouragement and truth right back to us was almost more than our hearts could bear….my heart literally felt as though it was swelling twice the size of my body all weekend as I read your comments…….this was all so unexpected.
WE WISH WITH EVERYTHING IN US THAT EVERY ONE OF YOU COULD HAVE WON……if you had your heart set on Soulbook….check the class out, it is so worth it….and if you had your heart set on our new books…they will be out soon!! We love you so much….
SO here you are….
Winners of SoulBook
(We will send you a special link to register for the class by the end of the day today.)
Danielle D danid02@****.net
Stephanie F lilnefie@****.com
Virginia W Fullyaliv@****.com
Shaw R shawzam@****.com
Lee W leeweber300@****.com
Lisa A Lracmc@****.net
Lori Ann Loriann.Macko@****
Winners of Little Bird Told Me Volume 1
(Please send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Books will arrive mid- summer.)
Charity M charity.marrone@****.com
Ann Marie amerlino@****.com
Lori Ann loriaweber@****.com
I hope you will read this because I am writing it to you. If there was ONE THING in the entire world that I would ever want you to know….this would be it. If there was one last thing I could say to you…..honestly….this would be it……and after reading all of your comments all weekend HERE…..my heart is so full (as are the hearts of every one of us at BGC) that the only thing I can do to ever even BEGIN to thank you is to tell you this very very very special thing that I really have never ever planned on sharing until I started reading those beautiful words that you wrote that shall be printed and bound into a book that I shall keep beside my bed titled “WHEN IN DOUBT”…..because ohhhh how I doubt sometimes.
There is an ancient parable (you know how I love stories) that dates back hundreds of years….maybe thousands….one that I first heard when I was a little girl but that I didn’t truly even begin to understand until I had been alive for nearly 40 years myself…..it is the parable of the GOOD SHEPHERD…….as sheep herding and caring was such a common occupation…this parable was so relevant that many years back………..the whole basis of it is that the Good Shepherd had 100 sheep and ONE lost his/her way……and the Shepherd left the 99 and went after the ONE….
This story has been of such great importance to me that I actually painted a picture of it to hang in my home to remind me every day of it….
I painted it to remind me that forever and ever and ever for the rest of all of life……we must always be on the lookout for THE ONE…..because after you know the terror of being the ONE who is lost, who feels trapped in the lost-ness….and then the unexplainable relief of being the ONE who is found….it changes you….and you can never turn your face and your life from searching out the ONE again. I painted it mostly to remind me that at one time….for a very many years….I was the ONE. I was the one who was lost in the dark and in the lies…in the despair and in the fear. And….I was lost……….and then LOVE saved everything and TRUTH saved everything………..and somehow if I clung to the Truth and to Love…….I was ok….I WAS FOUND and not lost. So….if the TRUTH and the LOVE are what pulled me out of the dark of the lies and the despair……I knew for sure that if we all could give more LOVE and TRUTH of who we all really are…….that no one would have to feel lost or trapped.
I am still the ONE from time to time….ok, pretty often actually, ok, …..daily I veer off course……but LOVE and TRUTH are infinitely patient and always come back for us….always find us…always ask us to put our arms around their neck while they carry us back to the rest of the fold.
I wanted to tell you…..and I haven’t until now because I wasn’t sure if you really knew or not……that during those very dark and scary years when I was lost…when I waited in the dark wondering if I would ever be found again……..that I promised that if I was found I would do whatever it took to find and help others who are lost too…..and tell them that there is ALWAYS a way back……and make sure that they knew that they were THE ONE when it was time to be THE ONE. The Good Shepherd came to me, bringing love and light and reminding me of the Truth of who I really am in the form of friends, family, books, miracles…….the Good Shepherd came every time. The Good Shepherd IS LOVE.
I know FOR SURE that life is on your side….that truth is one your side…..and especially I know with every single thing in me that LOVE is on your side. When you call out….in whatever form you may do so….prayer, meditation, journaling, hoping, wishing………there are all sorts of wonderful things happening to conspire in goodness on your behalf…….because YOU ARE THAT IMPORTANT….YOU ARE THAT LOVED. I know this to be true in a way that no one could ever take that away from me….ever……….I KNOW it is true that YOU are THE ONE whenever you lose your way…..and if you lose your way one million times…….LOVE will always come back for you.
Soooooo….what I wanted to tell you…because I have cried more tears this weekend than I have in a very long time while reading your comments….one after another that said I FEEL LIKE YOU ARE WRITING THIS JUST FOR ME……….that yes….you are THE ONE…….you are THE ONE that every one of these truths are being written for. When I was in the arms of LOVE when I was so lost, and when I am so lost….these are the very words that LOVE whispers into my ears to help me find my way back……….all that I am doing is writing them down and we are sending them out to YOU…and to KNOW that you KNOW in your heart of hearts that you really are the ONE they are written for means everything…….that sometimes we are the sheep in the fold…safe together with each other, and sometimes we are the ones who are lost…….and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US IS WORTH GOING BACK FOR. YOU ARE WORTH BEING THE ONE.
So when things happen that may seem too good to be true…….and you let yourself believe for just a moment that it really was a little miracle that was orchestrated JUST FOR YOU…on your behalf for YOUR ONE AND ONLY BEAUTIFUL WILD LIFE…….please let yourself believe that it is true. And……..when you are strong enough….whenever you have the chance….and you see another one of the fold who may be lost…….please please please tell them what you know. Tell them that life is on their side…..that truth is on their side….that LOVE is on their side…..and especially that they are loved, known and important enough to be THE ONE.
YOU are the ONE….and I AM the ONE………..and I have always wondered what it meant when people would say WE ARE ALL ONE….. This is my way of believing that is true….we are not just all ONE….we are all THE ONE.
You are so very very very very very very very loved…….thank you for everything.
melody (and kathy and all BGC staff)
We would LOVE to know how our DAILY TRUTHS have enriched your life! We are publishing them into several volumes of books…..
Simply write in the comments what the daily truth messages have meant to you…..whether you read the daily emails or read them on Facebook or our blog….we want to know what they mean to you…..you are welcome to write about as many truths as you want to for more entries….
we love you all SOOOOOOOOO much…and everything we do would be worth it for just ONE of you….but 30,000+ of us strong is a beautiful thing too!!!! YAY!
melody and kathy
I had a little lesson today smack me hard right on the behind…and that is good because I needed it.
There is a bad habit that I am trying to break….and it is something that I have discussed with lots of kindreds who have recently had years-long stretches of life trials……but are now on the other side. It is comforting to know that others have dealt with this too…but it is something that I just want to learn to let go of, once and for all.
Bottom line is…I often have difficulty enjoying good things that are happening because I trained myself during those rough years to expect difficulty, and to understand that nothing is really in my control…and that things can be gone in 30 seconds even if they took years to build. This was a survival technique…and it got me through a lot of yucky years…..but now that we have spent years getting through it, and out of it………I still have some old habits.
The river is high. We live right next to the river. There is a beautiful forest between our house and the river…but the river is running super high this spring….many many feet higher than normal. This means we have not just a little stream and small ponds right out our back door…..but an actual little river and BIIIIIIG ponds…….one of them is stretching almost a mile to the East right now…. it is so beautiful that it breaks my heart to look at it….with all of the trees and rocks and plants and rich dark soil and sunshine reflecting off of it. In fact, last night I woke in the middle of the night, the moonlight was reflecting off of it and I could see it through the window….it glistened and shimmied and was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen…..like the sky was visiting the water and they were all choreographed in a secret night time dance. I stood and watched it for so long…then went to other windows in the house to see it stretching as far as I could see. Then I got sad because I started thinking about how it was going to be gone soon when the river went down…….and how achingly I love this home, and the trees and the water and the peace and the way it seems like it has been waiting for us for all of it’s life. I started thinking about how something could happen and we might not be able to stay….and how I better not get my heart set on it…….better not fall too deeply in love….
But see, it’s too late for that. I am smitten. I am so deeply in love, committed……it’s too late to not fall in love. When the sun came up…..and the pink sky with the big golden light ball started to reflect off of all of it…..my heart broke again thinking about how this water was going to not be here forever.
Suddenly…….my whole soul shook and I felt the words loud and clear…
“MELODY, the water IS here NOW..enjoy it.”
WOW. I know better than this…..and I was falling into an ugly old outdated expired trick. I realized I was thinking more about how to protect myself from the heartbreak of not being here, not having this water……..this whole place……than just ENJOYING IT TODAY.
So I hurried and did my work and spent my whole afternoon sitting with all of it. I took hundreds of photos…even set up a little photo shoot with my other favorite thing…..my boots. I even got in the water to get a photo that I couldn’t have gotten otherwise….in my tights…..
I decided that even if tomorrow it is all gone…..the water……us….all of it…..if this whole big dream is gone……I gotta enjoy every single day of it RIGHT NOW. And……life really is like that, ya know?
So I’m going to work hard on breaking the chains of fear from the past of everything being swept away……..and then carrying that into my future….because even if it never happens, I am already letting myself suffer from it…isn’t that dumb and weird to do???? Especially when I am sitting smack dab in the middle of the best times of my life??????? It is time to BE HERE NOW. THE WATER IS HERE NOW. I AM HERE NOW.
and…..you are where you are. And…every day is temporary….so live it that way. Live in THIS DAY….even if it’s a rough day….remember that it’s temporary….and if it’s a good day…remember that this exact day is temporary……it is precious and good and necessary and amazing and YOURS. Live it.
So here’s a few more photos of this perfectly beautiful day…I took my guitar and enjoyed it….and it was the day that is enough if it is the only one, ever.
Tomorrow will be the one day that is that day…….and I’m gonna try to live it that way. There is so much in the forest that teaches…..like this teeeeeenie little tree that just sprouted up among the big trees…
I knelt down and said ‘YAY YOU!!!!!!!!!!’ ….she inspired me. She is gonna grow even though there’s a long way to go before she is strong and big like the trees around here…she is gonna do it anyway.
Hoping with everything in me that you are letting yourself enjoy every good thing…..all of the goodness, beauty and truth in the world is for you. Enjoy it.
p.s. I have collected cowboy boots for years and years…so people often ask me where they all came from…the answer is…all over the place.
I can find so many sketches, so many journal pages, so many plans and dreams of creating a place that breathes of love…and peace…and beauty…and rest…and solace….and creativity…and community…and family….and loveliness….and nurturing…and fun fun fun….well, we dreamed it up….and now we are starting to live it…..and it is even better than the dreams about it…..
I have to admit….I have been kind of stingy for the last year with information, photos, etc. concerning what’s been going on in my personal world….there’s a reason for that….about a year ago when I did my big Facebook/Social Media 90 day fast…….I completely redesigned my life during that quiet time……and one of the biggest things I decided was that I didn’t want my life to look like a big PR campaign anymore…..after almost 15 years of being in business, and keeping my life pretty public….I wanted to know what kind of life I would really live if I was never going to blog about it or put it in a magazine or make it a show…know what I mean????
Here’s me sitting in my bedroom……we painted our first bedroom set after 20 years….and I did it turquoise…and I am happy to tell you that even though it’s been turquoise for a year, this week is the first time I have showed anyone…because I did it for my heart and soul…..but I know you will love looking too……..(and we will be doing a home tour on the blog this summer too…yay!)
So……why haven’t we shown lots of pictures til now???? After a few months…I kind of got addicted to this new way of authentic living…..living just for my heart and my soul and my family…and doing what I really yearned to do no matter what anyone else thought…no matter what the pictures showed. And we did it! I would challenge you to try it for a while…….try to live your life the way you would if there was no such thing as blogs or facebook….ya know? It really changes everything….it sure did for me.
I was telling our oldest son, Brock….and my husband a few nights ago that I have never ever ever felt so happy….so at peace…so utterly blissed out. We really worked hard to design the exact right life for us…and to be sitting here living it is an incredible, beautiful miracle…especially when I think about where we were just a few short years ago and what a huge struggle things were every day. Here’s us after a long day of working on the ‘ranch’.
Well…..it’s been almost a year since we set out on this particular journey and we are really ready to start sharing with you some of the things we’ve been up to. There are SO MANY THINGS that we will be unveiling this summer…I feel like Kathy and I have both been pregnant with triplets or quadruplets and haven’t told anyone…..but that soon we will show up with a whole bunch of babies …….one of the very very very wonderful, big things that has happened is the birth of BRAVE RIVER RANCH…the place where we will soon be hosting retreats from the turquoise barn and the beautiful ranch house…..and the forest…and the grounds……..the magic of this place goes on and on………my family is also lucky enough to live here. We wake up every day in awe of it’s beauty and peace and sparkly magic…..as a crew…we’ve been working hard on it…the whole BGC crew and friends and family too….
…..there’s still so much to do, every day…hundreds of plants to be planted that will be here this week…..beautiful installations….lots of things we can’t tell yet because we want them to be a surprise for our retreat guests this summer….but here’s some photos we wanted to share. ……..I hope, we all hope, with all of our hearts that you will be able to come join us out here in Idaho soon. We will be announcing several more retreats in coming weeks….different things than we have done before….writing retreats, painting retreats, metal and leatherworking retreats…..so much awesomeness to come so stay tuned…..
I love that we are showing you the blank canvas….in a few months when everything starts to grow in……..wowzers….
Also…these photos are just the back part of the property……in a while we will show you the rest…the ranch house..the turquoise barn…the fields….the front…….the deep forest parts……this is just the parts we worked on this week…..
Lots of beautiful mulch was put into flowerbeds everywhere………..big toys for big boys.
And little toys for little boys………..
If you look closely….you can see Marq trimming the trees and Brock driving the tractor….there is something so heartwarming about looking out the window and seeing this scene……:)
I think we have burned 25 truckloads of old dead wood and stuff that had to be pruned out, cleaned out…….but my man loves fire…especially giant weed torches….and tractors….and trucks…and loud equipment…….so it’s a win/win right?
This is a really cool herb garden that will go right outside the kitchen….to be planted in a few weeks:
This is another rose garden outside my bedroom…..I raked it all out with Kathy and then the boys put in mulch…we are going to do something super cool with those framed out areas…can’t wait to show you…
this is how the path looked when the boys were done with it…
The rose garden between the house and barn……can’t wait to see what colors the roses are!!!!!
We are just starting to plant lots of herbs, flowers and shrubs…
That is the garden spot…….lots of varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers will be planted next week when the plants get here….can’t wait to have garden fresh tomatoes!!!!
And the crew workin’ workin’ workin’….always with smiles and laughter and fun….I love these people!
Here’s my son Brock…posing…I guess that’s what single 21 year olds do……they pose.
But he sure moved a lot of rock to build this rock wall around the perimeter of the back yard!!!!!
And of course Kathy took care of all of us….cooking while weeding, hauling dirt and loving on her grandbabies!
Even the littles got in on the work action….
Such wonderful friends…always show up when we are in need……I love that…and we are always there for them too….love how we can all love each other in this way!
It’s definitely a family affair around here……babies and all…..just one big happy workin’ family …..
Lots of jokin’ to keep it real.
And the boys can always be found where the loud noises and big machines are.
Love working with my daughters and nieces…..
And of course, when the work is done…..we eat and we play………and we feel good about all that we accomplished….it has already been such a super fun Spring….parties, BBQs and get-togethers….so many more to come, too.
And we just can’t wait to start having our retreats…….what we want most is to create a place that feels safe, beautiful, relaxing, invigorating, fun, loving, comforting…….a place where you are treated with the love and care and nurturing that you deserve to be treated with…….that your soul is so hungry for…..a place to rest….a place to remember what you already know but that life has made you forget….
…so…we are creating that place…and we can’t wait for you to get here. xoxo
So…gotta get back to work….we have lots of parties to plan!!! BGC in McCall in just 3 weeks! Then our first BGC here at the ranch shortly after that……..life is so good….the work is hard but the work is awesome. We are loving life….loving it SO MUCH.
OHHHHHHHH…..and soon we will be telling you about our BIG HUGE LAUNCH of the Brave Girl Shoppe……..we are making beautiful products for you to buy……..working nonstop at it…..here’s some of the art I’ve been working on to make into prints and other soul-treats……………we will tell you about it all sooo soooon!!!! xoxoxo
Thanks for sharing all of this wonderfulness with us…..our dream is to have you here with us in person…..and we are working hard to make it so that there are lots of opportunities to do that. We SOOOOOO love having you here…it is one of the best parts of life for us.
Hope to see you soon! Dream big dreams……then dream even bigger ones!
“May today there be peace within…
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”
– Mother Theresa
I started crying a little when I began writing this post earlier today. It has made me all wobbly and teary-eyed and emotional all day and I sort of hate that…especially when I can’t shake it. That means that it’s striking a chord…..and I know it is. The tears came today because I started thinking about a dream I had when I started my first business in my twenties and began my battle with workaholicism……I will tell you about the dream at the end of the post…
See..on Friday I decided to take the day off….and immediately started feeling guilty for it. It has been more months than I can remember since I took a whole day off. I love my work….I love it SOOOO much….so taking a day off seems unnecessary much of the time…I can easily rationalize that I don’t need a break because I love what I do so much.
But what I know when I listen to the deepest part of myself is that I DO need a break…everyone does….but that I have so much guilt because there is always so much to do……and I work slow. I am not one of those fast slap-it-out kinda people….I really meditate and think over my work and I won’t feel finished until it is very detailed and lovingly done the way I worked it out in my head and heart before it becomes real. This puts me into lots of yucky places when I’m tired….especially when I see people who seem to work so much faster….
But after I read through my LIFEBOOK again that I made last year when I decided to redesign my life…and saw this page again…..I knew I needed to just STOP AND REST. I knew I needed to…..
I am wondering if you do this too…make yourself feel guilty when you stop and take a break? If you do…and I do…….and lots of us do….we need to stop doing it to ourselves. In fact…we all need to do a better job of building breaks into our lives and making them essential…..
Well, I took the day off on Friday anyway. It just so happened on the exact same day, the amazing Brene Brown posted this beautiful piece on her blog called THE WORST ADVICE. EVER. (you should definitely read it when you are done reading here. )
After I read it….I decided I was going to go ahead and really have a real weekend. I had a wonderful friend in town…..the weather was beautiful….I had a big canvas calling my name that wanted to be a new painting for my dining room that had nothing to do with work……I had new music I wanted to learn on my guitar, I had food that wanted to be cooked into new recipes….my family was all taken care of all weekend….my work was at a good stopping point….I had ME that wanted to just BE.
So I did.
It was amazing.
I needed it.
It is an ever living battle to remind myself that I am enough, you are enough…we have done enough, we have enough, we will always have enough…we know enough……etc……….that ENOUGH BATTLE is the one that never lets us rest
My rest this weekend made me remember that yes, I am enough. You are enough. We are all enough.
It put things into perspective….the time with people I love made me remember things that are important. The time alone with the air and the trees brought me right back to my deepest place of truth and peace…the place I need to be to be able to move forward. Making art for my own home and my own heart was joy joy joy. Sleeping all night, like a rock, for 2 nights straight was bliss.
I wrote in my journal and I made some big new goals….I spent very exquisitely loving quality time with my friend…..the kind that changes everything because you help each other figure out what is really going on inside those hearts and souls………..the kinda interaction that takes STOPPING AND RESTING for it to happen.
But this morning I started battling the guilt again. So dumb, really.
Then I remembered very vividly a dream I had back in my late twenties………..a dream where I was so stressed out that my husband had no idea how to help me….so he took me to this place and all that I remember was that it was at the very top of a skyscraper…we rode the elevator all the way up to the very top and someone very kind answered the door……my husband said he would be back later to get me. I went in and there was a room FULL of stacks of quilts and puffy pillows and comfy couches………..the people there just told me to rest.
They were so kind and expected nothing of me but just to rest. I would try to work or speak and they would just sit me back down and tell me to rest. When others there would come and talk to me………they would be told that I am here to just rest, so please leave her alone…..
It was the most exquisite dream I have ever had and I have never forgotten it. I stayed there for many days….and then my husband came to get me…………I cried when I thought of that dream today because there is nothing that sounds so wonderful as a world where we would just LET EACH OTHER REST……LET OURSELVES REST.
Can you imagine being treated with so much love by each other that when we were really truly tired…that this is the message? Can you imagine if we told each other this…if WE TOLD OURSELVES THIS…at the end of every day????
Last year when I wrote out the life I wanted to have…….I really did write some things in there about stopping to rest….but, I focused on the goals….I accomplished almost every single one of them already…I am truly living the life I have always dreamed of because of the hard work of figuring it out and going for it……………but we all gotta build in some rest too. I am so thankful I saw this in my book when I pulled it out last week to talk to you all about the upcoming class.
I am going to do better at stopping and taking a rest. I am going to keep encouraging you and everyone I love to do the same. Rest without shame. Rest without shame. Rest without shame. We need to rest whether we are done with what we wanted to get done or not……rest is as important was work and play. We all need to rest. Rest does not mean weakness…….or laziness……rest means smart and brave.
When you are living the life that you choose to live…doing the things that you planned out….saying no to the things that don’t matter….it’s easier to feel like you can rest now. When we are doing things that we don’t really even want to be doing……..we can never stop to rest because we are still looking for what we want to be doing. Living life in your own way = really good rest at night….because there is peace.
Ok….so, I hope that if you have not been stopping to rest…that you will.
And…I hope that if you are having a hard time figuring out what you want to do…where you want to go…and how to get there…that you will join us for CREATING THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE…LIVING YOUR TRUTH, SR2….the online course which starts tomorrow. I can’t wait to make brand new goals…….so excited to do this course with all of you!!!!! (the journal pages shown here are part of my book from the course) LEARN MORE ABOUT IT HERE. bravegirlsclub.com/soul-restoration-2
Do you let yourself rest?????? Would love to hear your thoughts…..
At the end of this post…I am going to ask you how you make and keep boundaries in your life…and what your experience has been….or if you are having a hard time making boundaries…and what this is doing to your life…so be thinking about this, ok?
This is a touchy subject for me and I have typed and deleted, typed and deleted…..typed and deleted. I have come SO FAR concerning boundaries….but still have these yucky issues of guilt that I have to politely ask to leave when they show up……and old confusion that comes up, too…..until I remind myself of everything I have learned about making and keeping boundaries……and all of the twisting, gut-wrenching discomfort that came from the in-between stage of not have ANY boundaries and the new way of living when I promised myself to keep the boundaries I knew I had to make. The in-between is always the worst…….because you are fragile and wobbly and clumsy and some days it seems like it would be easier to go back to the old way because at least you know that old way and even if it is soooo wrong for you in almost every way….because the old way was comfortable and predictable and easy to put on auto-pilot.
But…now that I finally have boundaries, and I work hard every day to live by them……WOW. I finally understand what the wise people in my life were trying to tell me all along when they would say….
“YOU NEED BOUNDARIES, MELODY”
“YOU NEED TO MAKE SOME BOUNDARIES FOR YOUR LIFE”
….and that used to make me so frustrated….mostly because I didn’t know what the heck it even meant. Over the years, I have learned what it is to have boundaries in your life and also how to make them and keep them. I have learned the yucky parts….when you start living the way your heart wants to live and there are parts of how you were living that you have to leave behind. It changes some relationships. It changes the way some people see us. It changes the way we look at things.
It changes the way we answer questions…the way we say yes or no…….it changes our life. BUT…the cool thing is….we are the one doing the changing of our life…not a bunch of outside circumstances that we are constantly having to change color and shape and attitude to match. We are taking charge of our own time, our own life, our own future…our own mental, spiritual and physical health….
…which gives us the time to care for the things that fit INSIDE of the boundaries we have made for ourselves…the important things that matter most but that often only get what is left over after we have given to all sorts of things that we care about…but don’t LOVE…..often our families, our dreams, our close friends, our faith, our souls simply get the few strung out minutes left of us after everything else has taken what there was of us.
I am no expert….I am still learning. I still have a lot of tear filled days when I know I have to say no to things that sound fun and wonderful….to people who are fun and wonderful. I still mess up a lot…a lot. I still say yes to things I shouldn’t and no to things that I shouldn’t. I still say no to things I should be saying yes to, too……….but at least I am thinking hard about what the boundaries are before I commit to anything. That never used to really happen….I used to put it ALL out there, ALL of it…for the taking. I thought that is what you are supposed to do to be a good and nice person…..you are supposed to show all that you have and tell everyone COME AND TAKE IT…IT’S ALL YOURS!!! I am talking about time, skills, resources…emotional energy…wholehearted love……all of it…..ALL OF IT until there is nothing left over.
Well….when you do that….guess what? People take it…strangers take it….acquaintances take it….people at work take it…people at church take it….the internet takes it….food takes it…..habits take it…..old beliefs, thoughts and memories take it….sickness takes it…..even really good things take it….really good people take it…..and you can’t blame them…you can’t at all!!! They are just going through their lives too….doing their best….they have goals and dreams and when you have something that fits into their goals and dreams….it is the best thing for them to fill their basket with what is available to them, you offered it to them! It is a huge gift to them!!! AND IT IS A VERY GOOD THING TO GIVE TO OTHERS….A VERY VERY VERY GOOD THING!! But sometimes we are giving things away that really should be going to someone else or to something else……and then our time, resources, energy is gone and we leave the things and people that we love without what is best in us……..the parts of us we WANT to give to the people and things that we love most. When time is gone, it’s gone. When energy is gone, it’s gone. When resources are gone, they are gone.
THAT is why we have to make boundaries for what we have to give….and where we want to give it……IMPORTANT AND LOVED AND CHERISHED PEOPLE AND DREAMS COME FIRST….and then when there is some left over….THAT is what we give away. The really cool thing is that when you live your life this way….the energy multiplies, the love multiplies, often the resources multiply…….and then we have more to give anyway. Giving our lives to things that we THINK we should be giving our lives to drains our energy, sucks our time and makes us resentful (unless we are joyfully giving it after we have already given the time we need to give to the most important things in our life)
OK….so this sounds all simple and easy…doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. But there are not many things in life that are worthwhile that come easily and stay with us. When things come easily…they go easily too. What this takes is really digging in and figuring out what you are about….what you want to give your life to….how you want to feel….what you want to learn….what you want to contribute to your family and your friends and your life’s work….what you want your life’s work to be….what you believe…..how you want to love…how you want to be loved…..who you want to give your most energy-filled, patient, well-rested minutes and hours to (because there are only so many of those in a day)….
You gotta start making some really hard decisions….decisions that will change your life. You gotta start making decisions that protect the things that are most precious to you…….THAT IS WHAT BOUNDARIES ARE….they are the limits, the fences, the border patrol that protect the things that are most precious to you…….your most important relationships….your most important work…..and most importantly…the sacredness that is YOU…your heart, your ideas….the unique contribution that you can make to the very life and to the world that you can make…and ONLY you can make……..and really, you can only make that one unique contribution if YOU are the one who is in charge of your life……..and when you are giving to the things that you choose, that you believe in, that you were always meant to give to…….when you are full of the bliss, energy and vitality that comes when you are living true to YOU and to your truth.
Here’s some of the questions that I had to answer to get to this place….the questions that I am having to ask myself daily (and sometimes it is really really really hard…..but, worth it)
There are pages and pages of these kinds of questions…and it took me a week or two to answer them all…the funny thing was…the same answers kept coming up…..and the answers got louder, more clear and more insistent the more times they came……they wanted to be heard…..THEN…once I knew the answers….I knew what I had to start to protect, and what I had to build a protective BOUNDARY around……..it has changed everything. I used to be racing, running, chasing and stressing…trying to be everything, do everything and figure it all out…….my family and friends got the leftovers. I have slowly, clumsily and sometimes painfully rearranged my life day by day to follow my own truth….the truth I found in those soul-deep answers. Now I have boundaries. I feel safe. I feel like the things I love and cherish most are safe. I feel at peace. I feel on track. I feel HAPPY.
So…….what about you? Where are you with boundaries? Have you always had them? Have you never had them? If you made them somewhere along the way….how did you do it?
WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO POST AND SHARE!!!!!!!!
thanks for always being so willing to share.
p.s. if you need help making boundaries…the class starts next week…..it will help you figure out the exact life you want to live, why you are not living it right now…and what you need to do each day to get there…would love to have you. CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT
This is one for all of you beautiful dreamers, creatives…makers, artists, visionaries…musicians…writers….mothers…gardeners…friends…lovers…..PEOPLE. It is in ALL of us.
And this is just more about what I talked about in THIS POST.
I am writing this because I am now 100% certain that I am not the only one who used to feel like I was the only one who feels this way. AND when we find that out…that we are not the only one…and ALSO that OTHERS thought THEY were the only one…..a whole bunch of little candles get lit…and what used to seem so dark now is light….and it’s not so scary….and not so confusing…and there’s nothing to feel ashamed about anymore. Because…it just IS….and it doesn’t separate us anymore, but it unifies us. That is soooo awesome.
This is one of those things.
I am finding that when I am in my creative cave, trying to let a new product line, or class, or a new phase of my marriage, or a serious issue with one of my children…..whatever sacred thing it is…..when I am in my cave of creative solitude trying to let something sacred be born creatively, it is a kind of difficult that has no words.
I used to not talk about it because it all felt so unexplainable…and so sacred/ridiculous/out-of-control. Embarrassing even. Humiliating sometimes. Because….when something is trying to be born….an idea….or something sacred….it is sort of all-consuming. No one seems to want to talk about it…..mostly I think, because there are no words. It doesn’t always feel good…..and then you have to explain/defend yourself to others why you are dedicating so much of your life and energy to something that is difficult and sometimes does not feel good. I have found that I hate having to defend myself. Especially when I am trying hard to just live as authentically as I can. When I am doing exactly what my deepest truth is telling me to do. But sometimes…..special people just need to know what the heck is going on with you. They wonder why you are doing what you are doing……
Well….the answer is because sometimes you can’t NOT do it. When an idea or a sacred something creative wants to be born…….it won’t let you NOT let it be born.
I used to think I was the only crazy person who dealt with this dilemma. So…I just didn’t explain my long bouts of creative isolation or brain-fogginess or distraction.
Then, I started to talk to a few of my creative friends and found that as women…..we are always trying/needing/feeling-called to birth SOMETHING. It is part of us, part of who we are….maybe it’s the same for men. I just feel like we are always on our way to creating SOMETHING. And sometimes we just try to hide that part of ourselves, because we think…WHO AM I TO CREATE ANYTHING? But, it still calls to us.
Some of us keep trying to resist it for years and years and years or even just for weeks or months….and truly, it is the worst kind of misery…..way worse than the uncomfortable parts of sitting on bed rest with your idea, nurturing and letting it be born the way it wants to be born….whether it’s a collage or a book or a song or a room needing to be decorated, or a journal entry or letter, or a marriage or a cake or a garden or a scarf to be knitted……or a class to be taught or a home to be built or a new life to be remade.
When we resist it we are miserable.
Sometimes the creative bed rest need only last a few hours, sometimes a few months….sometimes even longer….just depends.
And we get phonecalls and emails and text messages that say “are you mad at me?” or….”why haven’t you called….” and we just don’t know how to say……I am in the middle of growing something sacred and it hurts and it also is beautiful and wonderful and exciting and real, and it is taking all of the energy that I have right now…………
and we don’t know how to ask…..”can you be patient with me? will you still be there when I can get up and get going again? When this thing is born?”
So we get up and do things that we shouldn’t be doing right now. We put our sacred something at risk to get up and do things that are not the most important things right now….things that satisfy the guilt we feel when we don’t know how to explain that right now…for this little short time, I am doing the most important thing that I know to be doing….I am letting something sacred be born.
We have to start letting ourselves go on creative bed rest. It is short…it is not forever. Most importantly…we have to let EACH OTHER go on creative bed rest and not get testy with each other when we have to decline invitations, or when we can’t return phonecalls or emails for a bit…..when we can’t do extra things…..it is temporary…but we must allow each other that. We all have a need to be creative. We need to allow each other that need.
AND THEN….when the beautiful sacred creative thing is born….we need to feel safe in sharing it with the world. We need to cheer each other on in the whole process, and then treat each other’s sacred something with sacredness and respect.
And most of all….we all just need to not really care too much what other’s think of our sacred something. Because that is not what it is about……it is about letting it be born, then loving it exactly how it is, protecting it as fiercely as we can, and then letting it have a life of it’s own……no matter what the critics have to say.
We need to not have to feel afraid of what others will say or do if it is not good enough……..or if it is SO GOOD that it makes others feel sad or jealous or angry or whatever……..because sometimes…..OFTEN TIMES….the thing that wants to be born just HAD to be born…..and it is not in our control. We did not create something to be better or to turn heads…..or to impress or to be judged in any way. So if it is NOT GOOD ENOUGH or if it is TOO GOOD……..we are scared to share it once it is born. And many times, it was born FOR THE VERY PURPOSE TO SHARE WITH OTHERS….to bring JOY, BEAUTY, TRUTH, KNOWLEDGE, HAPPINESS, PEACE and UNDERSTANDING to the rest of us. Sometimes what is wanting to be born in us has NOTHING to do with us……..and we have to let it go out and have a life of it’s own.
Again…whether it is a song or a poem or a photograph or a painting or a meal or a novel relationship or an event or a solution to a problem. Sometimes we are the only way for it to be born….and if we did not stop and listen to that calling…it would never be born…..and someone, somewhere needed that EXACT thing….and that THING, that creative masterpiece was BORN with that purpose in mind.
…and then we knew it was worth it.
I write this to tell you to stick with it. I write this to tell the girl in Colorado who is writing a novel that you might not ever know why you have felt so called to put everything aside in your life aside from your family, and live in this deep loneliness, to finish it……but that you know that you MUST…and that it will be worth it! .And you are not alone!!! And the clothing artist angel girl in Texas who pours her heart and soul into every beautiful masterpiece creates for the world because she wants everyone to feel her love and that’s how she shows it…I write this to the sweet beautiful artist in California who sits in her house making art videos to teach thousands across the world how to make art online…even though it’s so lonely sometimes, because she can’t NOT do it….it is her calling. I write this to the heartbroken soul in Florida who just keeps making art….night after night….because it proves to herself that she is listening to her soul….and because she CAN’T NOT make art…..it is healing her. I write this to the young grandma in Melba, Idaho who pours over every cookbook looking for the PERFECT recipes to feed to others so they know how loved they are. She can’t NOT…..it is one of her callings. I write this to the songwriters and the gardeners and the knitters and the jewelry makers and the painters and the yoga instructors and the dancers and the singers and the comedians and the quilters and the teachers. To all of us who are called to CREATE (and I believe this is all of us)….WE CAN’T NOT.
AND WE MUST LET EACH OTHER.
WE MUST HELP EACH OTHER.
So if you must do it, you must. And some days it won’t feel good….and that is ok. Some days you will doubt yourself…and many days others will doubt you. Some days you will feel guilty and many days others will attempt to make you feel guilty. MANY days you will not understand and MANY MANY MANY more days others will not understand.
It is ok.
It has to be born.
Let it be born.
We need your light, your creativity, your unique contribution to the world.
YOU need to let it happen.
pass it on….pass on the love, the encouragement and the appreciation to every artist you know……