BHD – Your Piece of The Work

BHD – Your Piece of The Work

Every week in Book Of Days (registration for 2017 opening soon - please sign up for my newsletter to get notified), I come face to face with my tribe with my coffee, my tarot cards, and my bed head to talk about what's happening in my world, and how I'm feeling about the week ahead. These are called "The Bed Head Diaries".

I decided that I really want to share edited versions of these diaries with my entire tribe, in case they are helpful or of some use.

This week's BHD covers 'your piece of the work', and explores 'going dark' as a form of self-care. I also pull tarot for my tribe this week, and we talk about the 8 of cups.

If you find the BHD helpful, and you'd like to support my work in the world, please consider tossing a buck or two in my tip jar.

Going Dark, But Not All The Way

Going Dark, But Not All The Way

I had coffee last night after 8 p.m. despite knowing that I am way too middle aged for that. It kept me up way past my bed time last night, and so, I lost about three hours of day today. I usually get up at around seven or eight. I didn't manage to crawl out of the nest until ten.

Despite knowing how exhausted I would be today, and how pressed for time I'd feel, and how stressed, I let myself just stay up, since that's what my body was going to do anyway. I connected with friends on social media. I watched a few episodes of a really compelling series on Netflix (The Jinx. It's bingeworthy if you like true crime.). I talked out loud to my dog, who is the best listener ever.

I knew I'd be exhausted today (and I am), but after a few weeks of holding my breath, being very careful every where I live (about what I say, about who I say it to, about how I say it), the pure, unadulterated freedom to just *be* with myself for a few hours was well worth it.

I was going to push through today. I was going to film and edit and do all the things that I'd deemed needful. And then I realized that I could switch some things around so that everyone gets more in the end, but I get room to breathe.

I admit I'm congratulating myself for that right now as I face a good six hours of NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO in TOTAL SOLITUDE for the first time in what feels like forever.

Self-care. It's a thing, and sometimes, it requires us to go dark, even if only for a few hours.

***

I know there's a lot of division on line around the #artistsforlove movement, and I know you'll probably look at me side-eyed if I don't mention it, so I will. I'm listening, but not today. Today, I need to be with myself in contentment. Today I need to be in solidarity with myself, and with my need for some time and space that doesn't include difficult conversations. I've been having difficult conversations for months leading up to this election, and I am pretty burnt out.

I hear some of you whisper "White tears. White privilege." Okay. I accept that. I know that there are people who have been having these difficult conversations their whole life. I know that my privilege makes it possible for me to *choose* to have these conversations or not. I'm not looking for a medal because I'm choosing to have them, either. I know I have a platform (I built it myself), and I know I can use it for good or ill (and indifference, in my opinion, is evil in times like these). I wish I knew how to do the things I'm doing 'right' or 'better'. I listen, but I hear many opposing views. The safety pin. The #artistsforlove movement. What to say. How to say it. Who to say it to. When to shut up and listen. When to speak up.

I'm trying, and I'm going to fail at least as much as I succeed. My definition of success isn't even well-defined enough at this point to know what the hell success even looks like, so I mostly see the ways I'm failing. I know this much, though - if even one person feels a little bit seen, heard, loved, acknowledged, or witnessed by these eyes and this heart, that's enough. That's enough of a reason to keep on entering the fray, telling my stories, standing up for what I believe in.

I don't know the answers. I don't. I only know that it feels important to say I SEE YOU, I STAND WITH YOU. That is what I'm convicted to do. I'm not doing it for the sake of self-promotion. Believe me, it would be a lot better for my business if I kept my mouth shut. I'm doing it because I feel *convicted to do it*.

I know I have no right to ask anyone to come at me with kindness. You must come at me as you are convicted to come at me. If you must come at me, come. I will hold it as best I can.

I will endeavour to remain kind, and I will probably fail at that at times, too, but I promise to try.

But for today, I will be over here in my hard won little sanctuary, going a bit dark, but only for a little while, refilling the well from which I wish to pour & pour & pour.

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#artistsforlove

#artistsforlove

Hello, my lovelies. I have been seeking ways to be present on social media given the current emotional climate, and Kelly Rae Roberts has inspired me to jump into the #artistsforlove community project with both feet.

I love this idea so much, and so I created a spread for the project (which I am also featuring in Journal52, a year long art journaling journey hosted by myself & Sarah Trumpp).

This spread took almost four hours (not including drying time) but some things are worth taking that kind of time, and I feel very strongly that this is one of them. I hope you enjoy the accompanying time lapse video as well. <3

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xo

Effy

Showing Up + A Free Lesson from Facing Forward II.

Showing Up + A Free Lesson from Facing Forward II.

I have these moments of unease when I enter the fray that social media has become wherein I genuinely don't know how to 'be' in the world. I show up, because I am very convicted to show up, and I show up as authentically as I can (with the story about the thing I was looking for for sixty seconds before realizing it was in my hand, and the meme that made me laugh, and the request for hugs from my pod, and the quip about fine ground coffee being an inappropriate choice for my coffee maker no matter how 'on sale' it was, because COFFEE EXPLOSIONS every damned time). I show up with links to things people are doing that give me hope. Heartwarming stories, funny stories.

I show up with my 'good mornings' and my nectar of the gods and my sweet moments (like introducing one of my loves to Anthony Bourdain, with whom she is now smitten), or HOLLANDAISE SAUCE with pictures, because hollandaise sauce, or stories about my dog, who is my zen master, best friend, and sweet, sweet fur baby all rolled into one.). I show up.

But I want you to know that I show up a little bit wary these days. I show up wondering *how* to show up.

A part of it is wanting to protect myself. A part of it is wanting to show up in the most helpful ways. A part of it is wanting to show up without *offending* anybody. There is fear & love in equal measure in my wariness.

And if I'm being honest, I'm not always confident in my ability to meet everyone with love.

Still, I am showing up in the hopes that you will meet me where I am with grace, empathy, and understanding.

Today, it occurred to me to ask the world what it needed from me. I asked it, knowing how tired I am. I asked it, knowing that in the interests of self-care (and full disclosure), I may not be able to show up the way I'm needed in this moment. I asked it knowing I may fail to show up in needful ways despite knowing what those ways might be. I decided to be okay with that. I decided to hear the ways I can show up, weigh the need against my own limitations, do what I can, and be content with that.

Today, I'm showing up with something I filmed for Facing Forward II. I am posting it here with no need for you to opt in or sign up or do anything except enjoy it. It is not a transaction. It's a gift.

I'm sharing it because, as one of my students put it, "sometimes a pretty face just will not do." So, I offer this because I have it to offer.

I hope you find it useful.

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There is something very delicious and subversive for me about creating faces that don't conform with societal expectations around beauty. I like fierce faces, sad faces, angry faces, and most especially WONKY faces. This method of creating a face allows me to do all of this with total ease.

In the original class (Facing Forward II) we worked each week with an affirmation. In this lesson, I am opting to work with a DECLARATION instead. This is my fierce answer to misogyny. I do *not* have to be good.

Begin with your PDF

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Right click to 'save as'.

Part One

direct view (left click to access)
alternative download link (right click to save as)

Part Two

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alternative download link (right click to save as)

Part Three

direct view + download link (left click to access)
alternative download link (right click to save as)

Part Four

direct view + download link (left click to access)
alternative download link (right click to save as)

dividerThe Poem

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~Mary Oliver

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Snapshots

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If you have questions, please email me at effythewild@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening,

Effy