I really want to start checking in with myself at the end of each month (or as close to it as possible) in a blog post that reviews the month – how I did with living my word of the year, how I’m feeling, what art got made, what’s happening in my classes, what classes I’m thrilling to, etc.
There are aspects of my life that are really important to me – aspects that are difficult to talk about because they aren’t tangible or easily measured. My sense of connection with what I’m teaching – that, I care about. How well I’m serving my tribe – that’s the stuff. Also: How I’m feeling, how’s therapy going, whether or not I’m progressing in my art in a way that feels good, how are my relationships, how does my spirit feel…those are the things that really matter.
I’m thinking I’ll break it down elementally, which really works for me as a metaphor:
In the realm of Earth: My body, health, energy levels; my business, work, service to my tribe; how well am I receiving? How are things flowing? Am I feeling abundant? Growthful?
In the realm of Air: My mind. What am I feeding it? How are my anxiety levels (while for some, anxiety is a body thing, for me it is a mind thing)? What’s interesting to me? Exciting to me? What am I learning? Researching? What ideas or insights are coming up for me?
In the realm of Water: My heart. How am I feeling? How are my relationships going? What’s happening in my underbelly, my subconscious? What’s bubbling up? What dreams are coming into my conscious awareness? Are my waters calm or troubled? If they’re calm, is there troubled stuff going on underneath? If they’re troubled, is it necessary, or am I borrowing trouble from the past or future (regret/worry).
In the realm of Fire: My empowerment, which includes all spiritual work/study, and my sexuality. What am I passionate about right now? What has me shaking with fury? With desire?
This feels pretty good. I can also see it as providing amazeballs fodder for art journaling.
In The Realm Of Earth
I started January off with a cliche in this realm: I bought a gym membership and started to be more mindful about what I put into my body. While there was a lot of self-talk about setting myself up for failure, something felt *absolutely right* about my choice, so I trusted that. I’ve been going to the gym a few times a week, sometimes with my daughter and sometimes with my daughter and my manfingy. I *love* it. I mean I hate it while I’m *doing it*, but the feeling I have afterwards is amazing. Giving myself the time to go to the gym, do some cardio, do some strength training, and then sit in the sauna before hitting the showers is pure self love. It isn’t always easy to make myself go, but I’ve been pretty successful in reminding myself that I feel awesome when I go. Having my daughter to go with me, to motivate me, is amazing. Watching her work out is inspiring (she’s very fit, and very disciplined!).
My business is coasting beautifully along. I have two live classes at the moment – Book Of Days and Moonshine. Both are just *beautiful*. BOD is weekly and the amount of art coming in through the Facebook group has me gobsmacked, as does the beautiful feedback people offer one another. Moonshine releases new classes every New and Full Moon, and while it is quieter, it is imbued with a sense of the sacred – of women’s work, women circling together – and I can’t get over how much I love it.
I’m in that ‘in between launches’ time that always comes with a little bit of anxiety because things slow to a trickle, but I know from experience that this is a feast or famine business. Either there’s something just opening up, which brings a feast, or things are in full swing and my focus is on teaching, not marketing, which brings a famine. Then again – famine is the wrong word. It’s more like ‘light fare’ instead of ‘full on seven course dinner’. One day, I’m going to full surrender to the ebb and flow without anxiety about it.
In The Realm Of Air
I’m reading Kushiel’s Dart for the third time and really enjoying it. I’m journaling every day, which is a huge anxiety-reducer. Having that time every morning before I launch myself into work to check in with myself, to let everything come up, to make space for my innards to come up and out onto paper has been better than any other method I’ve tried for anxiety reduction. I’ve been writing a little “What is beautiful today” blurb on Facebook almost every evening, and that has served to still my mind, to reign it in and away from the past or the future and into the present moment. I’m study-reading The Gifts of Imperfection, and I’m doing Roots with Lisa Sonora Sunbeam (plodding along at my own pace). I have some generalized anxiety about the number of classes I’m signed up for vs. the amount of time I actually have to give to them, but I am also being gentle with myself about that – downloading what I can, saving it for later, watching here and there and letting myself do things my way.
In The Realm Of Water
There’s a lot going on in this realm that I’ve been taking to Couch Day. My relationship with my step-daughter has so much opportunity for healing for us both but it is full of land mines and personal triggers that I have to be very much on top of. My relationship with Manfingy is in that tenuous “everything’s peaceful” place that always sets my teeth on edge because I find myself waiting for the next shoe to drop. I’m not interested in or seeing anyone else at this time (we’re in an open relationship) and I while I’m intellectually open to it, I am emotionally closed off and not wanting to even entertain the notion. I’m anti-social lately and very hermity and I’m okay with that.
I find relationships difficult (introvert + history of abuse) and full of equal parts good and hard. The hard, though is always good in the end, so I keep plodding along with my trusty books on co-dependence & vulnerability and my excellent therapist, hoping for the best. My heart is tranquil for the most part until something troubles the waters. My history can barreling up at me from the depths, all fanged and full of fury for seemingly no reason (there’s always a reason – it just takes time sometimes to figure it out). Thankfully, there is no lashing out as a result, but sometimes there is a lashing *in*, so this new moon I took a vow to speak to myself as though I am my own loving mother instead of letting my internal task master crap all over me all the time.
In The Realm Of Fire
All of my sensual energy seems to be channeled into creativity. My libido is dormant. I’m not feeling at all passionate about anything. I think winter has cloaked and dulled my senses (as it always does) and the closest I get to feeling really fired up is when I’m at the gym or painting, and even painting feels low key right now. My fire is banked, embers under ashes, waiting for Spring. I feel nourished by cooking slow meals and feeding my family. I feel my spirituality coming through in my art and journaling – but softly, quietly, with no fireworks. I light candles and smudge my space with sage on a regular basis and I let that be enough. I am not doing any other spiritual work aside from remaining open and letting myself feel the season. There’s a lot of spiritual THINKING going on, though, and with SouLodge starting in February + The Inner Temple course coming up in April + my trip to Glastonbury coming up in time for Beltaine, I know that I will be absolutely on fire in no time.
I do feel empowered, despite the winter cloak. I feel like I am in charge of my own life. I feel like all the choices are mine to make, and unlike years past, I have no trouble whatsoever saying Yes, I want that, or No, I do not want that. I feel unfazed by other people’s stuff unless we’re talking about my immediate family, which I think is totally appropriate. I have completely gotten over my desire to shrink to make other people comfortable, and my people pleasing tendencies are wholly in check.
Earth: Keep up with the gym. Keep looking for ways to imbue my business with ease.
Air: Finish The Gifts of Imperfection (with notes). Keep plodding along with Roots. Keep journaling.
Water: Stay open. Stay present.
Fire: Light candles as often as you remember to illuminate the winter blues.
Art Wise: More time for play and experimentation. At least once a week, opt for art over t.v.
Ahhhhhh. That felt good. And you? How was January for you?