The full prompt: (this is one I did out of order, missed) It has been said that you must learn to take care of yourself before you can be effective at taking care of others. How did you take care of yourself in 2012? How will you take care of yourself in 2013?
My self-care this past year was a bit frustrating, confusing and complicated. You see, taking care of myself has been something that for years I just didn’t do. I was like one of those people who drive a car hard, but provide it very little maintenance, only what is absolutely necessary to keep it from dying–get gas, change the oil, and wash the windows when they are so dirty you can’t see out of them anymore, but that’s about it. I brushed my teeth, I slept, I took vitamins, I tried to eat well, I worked out, but I didn’t really care. I had been in an abusive relationship…with myself…for about 20 years, and when you are busy hating and loathing yourself, smashing yourself to bits, there isn’t really a lot of time left over for care, you don’t “waste” your energy on concern, certainly not love.
That is slowly changing. What is frustrating is that I am still mostly in the stage of being aware that I’m not caring for myself, at the same time that I continue to act out the same old ways of being. I can see what I am doing, but I am not stopping. I can see all the ways that I ignore and deny myself, all the places where I push and bully myself. I am aware, but real change is slow going. My way of being with myself, of relating to myself is a deeply rooted habit, sticky and old.
In 2013, I have aspirations to be a self-caring fool. I wish to be well-fed, not starved or stuffed, (thank you, Rachel Cole). I long to restore my body to wellness and full health. I crave balance, to know what that means for me and to live it.
The full prompt: What small pleasures did you discover this year?
Most of this list is rediscovered pleasure, things I had forgotten to do, forgotten to notice, but some things are new: Reading, Skype, Instagram, teaching, writing long loopy love letters, looking at the sky and all its various moods and weather and light, avocado, fresh cucumbers, grapefruit juice, Depoe Baykery, Farmer’s Markets, fresh flowers, baking, collaging, painting, making stuff, long and lazy talks with like-minded and like-hearted people, movies, music, laughing, kissing, whispering, sitting in the backyard, and long long walks with dogs.
The full prompt: What is the one thing that you are most looking forward to in 2013?
Becoming, embodying and manifesting who I really am. Something really cool, very exciting is happening. I gave up on pretending, trying to be perfect, trying to be cool or fit in, and started being myself. Instead of waiting to be invited or given permission, I started–living the life I longed for, doing the work my heart desired, being myself. I showed up with an open heart and when I did, the Universe took note and has been sending me all kinds of wicked crazy support and inspiration and connection, like it was just waiting for me to agree, to say “yes,” to stop waiting for something to happen and just happen. I am so curious to see what is going to happen next, because anything, anything is possible. I am all kinds of possible.
Music to Your Ears
The full prompt: What was music to your ears in 2012, literally or metaphorically?
Related to the above response, the feedback coming my way. The confirmation, time after time, that I’m on the right path. The comments on my blog, the fact that so many kind and gentle people are reading, the invitations I’m getting to be a part of such good things, the gratitude and opportunity and love coming my way.
Last night, Eric brought home this book for me from the library, “I saw it and thought you’d like it.” Him noticing what I’m doing, being so aware of what matters to me, that he supports me doing it is a big deal.
The full prompt: 10 things you were thankful for in 2012? Another list prompt! Big or small – list out (at least) 10 things you were thankful for.
- My three boys, and the memory of the one who is no longer with us.
- The love of family and friends.
- Financial stability and security in a time when so many people don’t have that.
- Even though there were issues, for the most part there was health and wellness.
- The various ecourses I took, workshops and retreats and conferences I attended, projects I’m involved in, blogs I read, people I met that brought such meaningful experiences, so much support and inspiration into my life.
- The sky, the sun and the moon, the weather, the flowers, the fruits and vegetables, the trees, the river, the bees, the foxes, the cranes, the deer, the beavers, the birds, the rocks, the dirt, the trails.
- Long long talks about everything important and everything not so much, kisses, hugs, laughing, long walks and love notes.
- Opportunities to help, to be kind and generous, to ease suffering.
- Books, music, and movies–art, words and stories, the truth.
- My open heart. Your open heart. The kindness and wisdom that reside there.
The full prompt: Did you form any new, or strengthen any existing, relationships in 2012? With who? How did you go about it? If you didn’t, why not? Was something holding you back? Was there someone you wish you strengthened your relationship with?
A few relationships that were previously me adoring or following someone from afar, with maybe a little shared adoration here and there, became real, some of them turning into wholehearted love fests. Some of these people I was lucky enough to meet in real life, to hear their voice, hug them, tell them to their sweet faces how much I adored them, but with others the relationship, which though not literally face to face, got stronger through the shared will of our connection, often facilitated by various technologies. I feel like I have found my tribe, a sisterhood, a collective, that I am supported by “these golden threads that connect us.” I might be weird, but I have found so many others that are weird like me and in that way I know I am not alone.
The full prompt: Where did you spend money through this year? (Author: Kaileen Elise)
This year it was like I did a self directed graduate program, attended life-rehab. I took a lot of ecourses (mostly focused on personal growth, health and wellness, writing, photography, blogging), bought and read a lot of books, attended many retreats and workshops and one big conference, joined the Open Heart Project, studied and practiced my little heart out. And it was was worth every penny, every minute.