Notes on Courage
Inner work for outer action.
For the past two years, it feels like all I have thought about is heARTS. Everything from our philosophy and approach, brand, and messaging, to cleaning the floors and windows. It's been amazing and wonderful-- and exhausting.
From what I've come to discover, it's a lot like being a mom. When you care so deeply for the life of a person (or in my case a mission) it's easy to stop caring for yourself. You become so wrapped up in them-- because they are a part of you, an extension, a reflection.
There are times, during the early days, when the new life that's been created really does need you, depends on you to survive. But then, as it grows, so does the opportunity for you to do the same.
So, I'm making room for myself again. Trying to figure out where I fit in all of this. Just like motherhood, heARTS doesn't end at 5pm-- so it's up to me to make sure I create space to care for my heart, mind, and body and ensure my needs are being met in the process.
Part of ensuring my needs are being met is the creation of this website. I love sharing this journey with others. It's an unexpected gift from the collapse, a) that people are interested and b) that I have the skills to tell it.
Last year, I did my first run at a personal website. I was nearing the end of my rope working for another organization while trying to run my own. I began putting a little energy into promoting myself as a speaker, and thought it could help make ends meet if I decided to make the leap into doing heARTS full-time while leaving behind the safety of a paycheck and health insurance.
That first website was called Falling Into Life, inspired by the words I shared for a public art project in 2011: "Falling taught me how to live."
I'd forgotten about those words until the rabbit-hole that is the internet led me back to them.
It's been about a year since I created that site, and several months since I took the proverbial "leap." I'm still working toward making ends meet, but I've also grown to understand I have more to share and more to do with this life I've been given back.
As I started rewriting the site, I was keenly aware that I needed to strengthen my message.
So what if I have an interesting story? The important question is: Why does it matter to others?
It can't just be about me, the day, the recovery, the growth. What do I want others to do, feel, understand? How can my story connect to theirs?
I took Falling Into Life and added a tag line: From Falling to Flying. I realized that it wasn't just about living, but soaring to new heights. I also realized that the idea of flying, the boldness of it, made me really uncomfortable, which is one of the reasons I need to fly anyway. It's the discomfort and vulnerability that makes it important.
Messages of flight have shown up in all kinds of ways since I first started blogging again last month. There were the flying lessons I got to witness, lots of feathers and even rocks shaped like wings-- but today takes the cake. I'd been thinking about a mural I created with the kids I used to serve, and I thought my message had been something about flying. So I dug through my old photos this morning and sure enough, it did:
Everything about this image amazes me!
To fly, we have to have resistance.
At the time, that was the message I wanted the kids I worked with to hear. I believed they could fly, despite the weights they had to bear. The image came out before the bridge came crashing down. Before I really understood the weight.
My life changed, but the message didn't. It's always been: fly anyway! And it turned out to be the message I needed to hear too.
Two extra a-ha's:
1.) I usually claim there wasn't much artistic about myself until after the collapse, when I was introduced to intuitive painting. This picture (and others of the whole mural) tell a very different story. Somehow, I was able to design and manage an entire mural project without giving any consideration or claim to an identity as an artist! It's really amazing how blind we can be to ourselves.
Something for you to consider: When have you neglected to give yourself credit? It's time to take the blinders off and start owning it!
2.) My second message from the Universe today was the song "This Year I Sing," by Ann Reed (who we had the pleasure to hear in church today). The lyrics for the song are below and are my self-proclaimed anthem for the year. What's your anthem?
About the blog:
This space holds thoughts and ideas generated from my personal journey of healing and recovery from trauma, co-dependency, and white supremacy culture. Opinions are entirely my own.