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.
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
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.
If you have questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening,