firm and fragile*

.A dear friend the other day, in a loving way, suggested that I get a thicker skin. I've been meditating on that and what a thick or thin skin means for me.

There are periods of time in my life when I feel more centered, more calm, a firm pillar for me, my family, my friends. Then there are times when I feel stripped raw and fragile and a bit anxious and in serious need of being protective of what surrounds me, what I allow in. But in all times, I am a tender soul. I am empathic. I feel most everything profoundly and deeply. I have had do a lot of soul work on being aware of what emotions are mine or of someone else near me, in the same room or walking by (or even virtually). My sweet husband would tell you that I have come so, so far in recognizing these emotions and how I am more able to establish boundaries that help me to be in touch with what is mine and not feel responsible for what isn't.

There are times when my skin is thicker, yes... but right now is not one of those times. My reserves feel low. We are going through a huge shift with our move to Washington around the corner. A lot of energy is going into preparing for it all. My husband is building his client base so that he will be able to quit his day job and support our family with his own business. This means working quite often around the clock and this also means less time for me to nourish my creative diva . Or what one of my friends calls my Creatrix.  It means less time for connecting with those that I love.  Every spare moment of Cedar's nap is spent cleaning and working and attempting to connect with others, yet not feeling present.  Two hours a day goes by so, so fast.  My poor email box is beyond full. I know I have disappointed many people that have reached out and I have been unable to give back the way I would like, or they need. I haven't even phoned my parents as much as I long to. This is crunch time. This is what my husband and I call it. It is temporary but necessary.

I think it is why I am having a difficult time putting what is going on with me in words. There are elements that are holding me back when I usually just let it flow, regardless of how it may be received by others. I find myself feeling protective of my heart. More sensitive to opinions or unsolicited (but well meaning) advice.  So, I've been coming to this space feeling stuck and I am hoping that by writing that I feel stuck, that I will somehow become unstuck.  I know that so much of where I am is a result of pouring what reserves I do have left into Cedar and this very powerful, emotional entry into boyhood for him and also my husband, who has been dealing with some health issues.  I don't have a lot left for me right now, let alone all of the people in my life that wrap me up with their unconditional, radical and uber forgiving love.

The thing is, I know what I need to do in order to feel centered and what type of self love I need and what types of food I should be eating and how much stretching and body movement I need but its the time that isn't there for me to do these things.  Its my energy that feels non-existent at the end of the day.  So, I told my dear friend the other day that I suppose I am in survival mode.  I am navigating what is in front of me.  What I can touch and feel and hold and let go of.

Our lives will be so renewed in June.  And when I say that, I don't have a lot of expectations.  The most simple changes will feel so abundant.  One being that we will live in a house with a yard on a street, with neighbors and children near us.  Right now we live on the 3rd floor in a building surrounded by college students or single seniors that are not super fond of children pounding on a wooden drum in a room full of thin walls.   Just that one shift in our living situation will be so, so massive in our hearts and for our nature-loving well beings.  Any blessings that come into our lives after that will be BONUS.

I already feel braver to share some big things moving around in my heart...just because I have written down here where I am at.  So, you'll probably see me around more.  I just needed to stretch my limbs a bit and take some deep breaths.  I needed to give myself permission to be in a space of thinner skin than usual and embrace my more fragile self gently.

So rather than run and hide, which is what would be so easy to do, I come here as I am.  Tough and Tender.  Firm and Fragile.

my pace.

by the sea.
cedar & me by the sea, taken by jon-erik, processed by me

I woke up feeling tender today.
It could be hormones. Or life shifts. Or dream shifts.

I took a peek outside of the cocoon I have been in. I saw friends that I love doing tremendous things. Teaching classes and workshops. Writing Finishing books. Inspiring the world with original ideas. Being their beautiful, yummy selves that always attracted me to them in the first place. I felt a swell of happiness for them. Humbled they are in my life...and that I have been a witness to their tremendous growth in how they teach me and teach others with all that they are.

Then I looked within and noticed I wasn't feeling enough. That lately I haven't been doing enough. I was comparing. Something deep stirred within me. That feeling where a fire has been lit under my tush. Knowing that my ideas need to be shared. Remembering my story has purpose, as do all of ours.

Then I found this photo (above) on a CD that Boho Brother left on my desk. He took this while he was out here and I remembered what I have been doing. And that is enough.

Now as I write this, I feel more gentle with myself. Trusting that I will find that balance between raising a boy and accomplishing my creative goals. Having faith that I will be gentle when at the end of the day, if I am too exhausted to write or create, that it is okay to rest. Giving myself plenty of space to do things the way I do things...and being okay with that. Even though many of my friends are mothers too and yet still do more than me. Its okay if my pace is different.