Follow the sound of laughter to find your joy. Sit basking in the glow of twinkling eyes to see beauty. Open your eyes to miracles to be awakened.
Every year, as part of Stratejoy’s Holiday Council – even when unofficially ghosting – I’ve reflected on the past year and set my intentions for the coming year. Less like resolutions and more like core values. Guiding principles in ways of being for the year. A mission statement for my life.
I’ve been rotating between years focused on stretching, reaching, doing the big scary things – or at least making myself admit when I’m avoiding the big and scary – and years savoring, relishing, playing. This balance has helped make small steps toward “my thing” with room to course correct in the forgiving framework of the year’s purpose.
But it hasn’t been enough.
Life is never enough.
As I lie in my husband’s arms this morning reunited from our week apart, I thought, “I will never get enough of this.”
As I drank in the delicious milk breath of my babiest girl, I sighed, “I will never get enough of this.”
As I lay eye to twinkling eye with my first baby girl, whispering in toddler gibberish so not to wake her sister, I knew, “I will never get enough of this.”
This family. Our family.
Your family. This is it.
This is life. This connection. The beautiful, messy, painful, joyful bliss of it. The fragility that quietly walks alongside the feeling of invincibility. This is the purpose.
I never wanted to be one of those moms who lost her individual identity to the co-mingled existence of “mom”. A mishmash of desires, callings, fears and dreams – one richocheting off another faster than my mind had time to process whether they were catapulted from my desire to be a free creative soul or deep, primal need to create the best life for my child.
I didn’t expect to question my friends in secret shame when they said they didn’t want children. While I absolutely don’t judge their decision, an uncontrollable part of me reacts. It tries to voice the indescribable. Tries to explain the undefinable. One part acknowledges how sappy this voice sounds, pleading there’s no way to decide on something your mind can’t yet comprehend. The other part logically acknowledges that this argument has no place, no right and no business being voiced.
But I’ve become that person. I am that mom. I am a mom.
I don’t feel like a defined entity the way I did before kids. 20-something, ambitious, type-A, creative, inspiration junkie, and on and on. But a person with a description. Even if that description went on at length. The point was there was a word for every facet of who I felt I was.
I feel like a cosmic ball of energy points held together in a cloud of light and some magnetic force. I feel a white space filled with lights and emotion. I feel this cloud weave within and around the definable entity I used to associate with my identity.
I feel whole and at the same time shattered into a puzzle that can never be solved.
I float without definition, yet instead of freedom I feel pressure. The pressure from external forces that undoubtedly hold these orbiting balls of energy into a somewhat discernible shape.
There’s no way to fully describe it to satisfaction, so I won’t try.
But at the core I feel centered in a way I never had before. I feel a calm powerful enough to shut out the chaos and hold back the pressure. It’s a center I can find anywhere, any time without struggle. This was never the case before. Before when I was a list of descriptions my center would shift. It would feel questionable at times and be completely missing at others. But now I only have to focus on one thing. It doesn’t magically unravel the tangled web of fears, excitement, anxieties and desires. But it brings me back to peace for as long as I need.
Back to my daughter. She is my core. And thinking of her brings me back to center every time.
At the end of the year I usually join hearts and thoughts with women all over the world in reflection of the year past and intention for the year to come. This ritual is part of a holiday council led by a dear friend, and wonderful life coach.
But in 2015 I did not end the year with my tribe of soul sisters.
In business we are constantly creating new goals and “scoring” ourselves on how well we achieved the goals. Our scores are used in ranking us across the organization where there are clear winners and losers in the pursuit of recognition, promotion and pay.
I did end my 2015 with this.
There was a definitive, dissatisfying, ickniness to this imbalance. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to join my sisters in the council, but more that I was looking for another expression of this process as a challenge to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone. But as with many things in life, without the formality, this goal was pushed in the back of my mind as day-to-day, “more pressing” matters arose. Matters like my 2015 annual review that was due the week before Christmas.
While logically I know such structures are important to the corporate world and the rules that govern it, I can’t help thinking that we’re doing it all wrong. It can’t be assumed that those making up our corporations are taking time to also assess how they feel. Taking time to see if their actions aligned with their core values and how to improve that alignment. Or even if they know what their core values are.
All we can know is that we’re setting arbitrary goals used to then assign a precise value to ourselves. And while it’s not meant to be personal in business, it seems hard to believe that the constant scoring doesn’t impact us as humans. And that this constant feedback loop may be negative to our personal perceptions, and ultimately and actions in and interactions with the world. Maybe it’s all too Polly Anna to think there could be so much more success in business by regaining some of the humanity, insisting on it of our leaders. But it’s something I still feel compelled to chase.
Because I want to feel like I’m more than a number. I want to feel that my leaders see me for more than a cog. I want to feel valued. I want to feel good about the contributions and the time I spend away from my family to serve my company.
But in lieu of any mass corporate upheaval, I’ll continue to chase the balance even if it’s just a one person pursuit. In 2016 I’ve already decided this will need to start by exploring new philosphies and systems in introspection and intention setting. It will need to mean aiming to break out of the paralysis of fear – to instead celebrate it, and recognize good fear as an indication I’m on the right path. That I could be about to make a major breakthrough. That my ego may be scared out of its mind to be lost in evolution on the path to feel more. Feel better. Feel connected.
And the first step has been diving headfirst into The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. Headfirst into the pursuit of feeling more and judging less. Straight into the power of desire.
Wish me luck!
I am a believer in our own innate ability to create magic.
A baby’s first word.
Falling in love.
Giving life to a perfect, tiny human.
Magic baby, Magic.
And especially on nights like tonight, when the moon rises full in all its shining-silver-glory, I’m reminded that we are magic. Recently I fell in love with Amy Poehler’s story about going on Moon Hunts with her boys. She sweetly told of how they get dressed up in pajamas, moon bait (M&Ms) in hand and venture out to catch the stunning view of the full moon where they share their wishes to her gazing glow.
It was beautiful. It was magic. It was the kind of ritual that I can’t wait to craft and share with Zee Shrimpress.
So tonight on this magical, full moon of the Archer, what are you calling to? What is calling you?
Based on this great write-up by Mystic Mama the Sagittarius Moon is for the dreamers and the doers. The magic makers. This moon’s for you.
FULL MOON in Sagittarius is here calling us to see through the fog of illusion to pierce the truth within. There is lots of electric and creative energy stirring but we must meet it with grounded discernment. So let’s find some time to be still and just Be, as we allow the Light of the Full Moon to bring her illumination.
Source: Mystic Mama
I have a real love-hate relationship with Social Media.
Love when it leads me to amazing finds like this beautiful, personalized book for babies…
Hate. Every time I accidentally go “back” or refresh my Facebook or Instagram page, then the ad-rogithm kicks in and I totally lose the posts I was interested in finding, lost to an unending world of auto-refresh-advertising. And I’m in advertising so I get it, but I mean where is the line between necessary evil and little-too-much-evil?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. But…
Hate. Feeling like a dud when I connect with a friend in real life and realize that I didn’t know about something they’d shared on Social Media (see algorithm above), so naturally expected their friends to know about it. It’s not that I don’t try to keep up with my friends, but I am not sure how I feel about the loss of real connection. Honest conversation as the medium for sharing news replaced by the expectation that putting it on broadcast means you’re being heard.
Love. There is a secret group on Facebook. It’s filled with some of my all time favorite women ever. They are my soul sisters. And we have a group dedicated to our highs, lows, laughs, poop talks (’cause shit gets real when you have adulting or when you just have babies…we have both), hashtags, Wednesday Selfies and so. much. light.
These girls (okay, not THESE ^ girls, who are lovely models I’m sure…or else poor victims to Snapchat gone wrong, which we know NEVER happens). My Tribettes? We met thanks to the wonderful, soul sister creating, mama of magic Molly Mahar of Stratejoy. And guess what!? This Leader of Tribes is inviting YOU to join in a week filled with merriment, connection, joy, authentic-gut-laughing-energy-filling-connection. She’s hosting her first ever Summer Camp (#SSC15) this August. AND if you sign up by today you save $150!
So scuttle, scoot and SAVE. Not only on money, but we’re all snagging camp names, and you don’t want to be the kid left with “broccoli” – unless you do, then that’s cool too.
Do one better and make sure to send THIS LINK to a sister you love and think could use a little whimsy in their life.
Oh and by the way, her inspiration for Summer Camp? The time she quit her big-kid-job and backpacked around the world with her then boyfriend (now hubby). And the time they spent their honeymoon couch surfing and connecting with new friends across the states. OH and that time she went to World Domination Summit and…well you get it. In here own words:
Though I wish I could take you around the world for 10 months or on a 4 month road trip — I realize these 5 days of Camp are my chance to create a magical, life-changing, breath-of-fresh-air, woman-circling experience for you.
Mad hearts guys.