I'd had a bit of a realization, recently. Just after recording my "return to podcasting..." I began recording it while I was pushing through creative blocks. Again. Story-crafting. Narratives. Characters in my head. And I've always been a writer, in some form. I've always processed the world internally. Introvert, before I knew what it was.
In my organizing and self-sorting and re-assessing...I noticed something.
That when I am writing a novel, I fade. I don't know how else to say it, but I tend to disappear into myself and live in imaginary worlds. Unchallenged. Safe in my words. And perhaps that's just what creative writing is. But I also noticed that I felt... stagnant. Heavy. In place, like I was stuck in mud. It felt like I was hiding, instead of living.
In writing (and living) Wild Horses, I saw just how much life is out there. How much there is to see, learn, experience. Travel. Life. Adventure. People and places. New, new, new. All those simple pleasures of life that I'd missed. And this was going to be my year to push past it all, to reinvent, to LIVE. Instead... COVID hit and I was pushed further inward, instead. And it's all okay. It was a necessary regrouping. Rebirthing.
And something turned over, in this latest hibernation, this recent self-evaluation.
I work a desk job by day. I sleep at night, I sleep well. And if I spent all those extra hours sitting in imaginary worlds... as much fun as that can be... well, it's no wonder that quaran-ten crept on. There was no movement, except some coffee-break walks here and there.
Recently, I took it back. I took my time back. I admitted to myself that I still lived with hypothyroidism. That I've been blessed with the bizarre experience of peri-menopause - the cessation of periods and the fluctuation of hormones and moods and anxieties and concentration and so on - about 10-15 years too early. Genetic, they say. Annoying, but not dangerous. So, self-care should be absolutely paramount, and it's been last - behind art, behind work, behind parenting, behind proving myself to others, relentlessly...and it had to change.
So, I immersed deeper and deeper and my body wanted deep stretching. Breathing. Connecting. Releasing. So, I took up yoga again, regularly. I am obsessed with Yin Yoga, but do regular vinyasa flow, too.
Online classes, streaming, or videos at home. And I remembered how much I missed it. And I saw that my self-care routine slips when I immerse into novel writing and no matter how I try to do everything, I just. Can't.
Full-time working mother, here. So, in that immersion into yoga, and away from the laptop, something happened. See, just after my first book was done, I did women's workshops. They were successful for a while. Meditations, connecting, friendships, collaborations, networking... And somewhere, I felt unworthy to lead them, not "something" enough to gather and connect with other women. And looking back, I can see so clearly... a path laid out that has led me to such deep self-acceptance and release and a return to what I started out doing.
Long story short, I've recommitted to self-care in a much deeper way. It's a pattern that keeps repeating... I begin on a course to meet or exceed my health goals, then ART HAPPENS and I abandon it all. I choose art, which I thought was the right thing.
This time, I'm choosing to let the art change... into lighter expressions that are healthier in all ways - poetry, songwriting, some fiber crafting, and who knows what else. Creativity is creativity, it never leaves, it just changes shape. I put the book ideas away until I can devote to them, fully, if I choose. They won't go anywhere, all those ideas. And I've decided that I just love yoga and women's workshops a bit more, and I'd rather recommit to those. To me.
So, I'm enrolling in my YTT (yoga teacher training); it's been on the burner for about 5 years now. And I keep putting things in front of it. Part of the fear in that was self-image issues. Me? Teach? But I... etc...
I used to look at myself and apologize. Take issue, and call myself... too big, too awkward, oddly shaped, thick thighed, not a yoga body, too voluptuous, and so on. I couldn't find the beauty in myself that others did.
And now... simply put, I have. I'm rather fond of...me.
And I've returned to a place where I just want to celebrate my body and what it can do. To celebrate each gift, and what it can do. What I can offer with what I've been given, rather than what I ought to get and what I want. Gratitude and reflection are the most magical of elixirs...
The course starts in January and I'm excited. Resistance whispers, but I ignore it these days. ...backseat and shush. Throughout life, in so many circumstances, we're allowed to change our minds when presented with new information, priorities, or opportunities.
Hi. I'm Stacie. And I've been to the bottom. I've been lost and confused and searching for purpose. I've been drowning and grasping and clinging to light, wherever I could find it. I've chased. I've hidden. I've been distrustful and cruel. I've overshared and been absurd and felt humiliated. I've been buried and stunted by anxieties and fears. I've vanished into conspiracies and wormholes and horrors and rage. I've identified periods of depression and sorted through them and their roots, and I've cried and cried and cried through things that have hurt my heart more than I ever believed that anything could. And yet, I stand. I've climbed and suffered and fought my way back to the present moment that feels just perfectly on time and beautiful and sunny and glistening with potential and hope. And I've grown deeply familiar with simplicity, ease, Grace, forgiveness, and compassion.
There's a lot of wrong to see or fear... out there. But there's so much right going on, in here. And when we change what's in here, the "out there" changes its hue, a little.
Perspective is everything.
I'm here to inspire, educate, and connect women and mothers - to remind them they have the power to create pockets of quiet, calm, beauty, and creative bliss in their otherwise hectic lives - whatever those things look like. However long it takes, and it can definitely be a process. Because I believe that a grounded and simplified inner-life leads to greater wellness and long-term success in life, overall.
"You've got to know what you want and be patient enough to let it all unfold, slowly."
I don't post many pictures of myself, but I succumbed this time - while practicing some yoga poses. It's something that I'll have to get used to, I imagine. 2020 has me feeling different and so appreciative of my health. Of the luxury to practice wellness, so easily. This is me celebrating the freedom to love my body, as it is, pain-free and steady, even as I work toward my best health. As it should be for all women.
Our wellness, mine and yours - body, mind, soul - matters. More than you'd ever realize. It's the cornerstone to everything else. Happy Mama, happy kids, happy family, happy work, happy life. I can't wait to share the past 20 years of learning, exploring, adjusting, failing, and reclaiming with you... in some new and different ways, as I explore this next chapter. I'm nervous! I'm out past the breakers, out of my comfort zone, here.
But, steady as she goes... onward. I can swim.
Rambles and opinions and purging my headspace... this might not make any sense.
It's been a long, strange week.
I'm in strange spot, in the middle of vitriol on all sides, trying to wrangle some glimmering light out of what feels so chaotic, right now, to so many.
RE: Donald Trump. 45. POTUS.
I won't blither on too much, I've really got to get another episode of the Queen's Gambit in - oh, do watch it, it's excellent - but I want to say this:
I have a poet's heart and see all things as story-fodder. And here is how, despite so much hurt and frustration and all the rest of it, we can show some grace and yes - even gratitude - to this man.
He came into office when maybe, the people needed a serious kick in the pants. A wake-up call. Asleep at the wheel, lost in our devices and gadgets and gizmos and chats and scrolling and micro-video-making for clicks and likes and taps. We had been falling a bit asleep, a great many of us, numbed by the ever-pulsing hum of social media.
Can you remember life before 2008?
Wildly different, especially socially. What happened in 2008? Well, Facebook happened. I noticed the obsessive, addictive dangers when I first started playing FarmVille and would put off real-life things to tend to imaginary potatoes. I remember *almost* paying real money for virtual fence pieces to finish the level I was on. WHY? Instant validation and praise.
I digress. But we cannot deny that we live in a different world, now. Good and bad.
And I believe that we, the people, needed the snow globe shaken. We were walking into traffic obsessed with our feeds. Checking our likes and loves while driving. Our youth being bullied with embarrassing photos until they committed suicide. Becoming dependent on this fake love for validation that we're enough.
Fast forward. Trump gets elected - many cheer - many sit in utter shock wondering how in the hell it could've happened. How? Many chose not to vote. Meh... it doesn't matter anyway, I have a right not to vote. They don't represent me...etc... there's no good candidate...
And so, we ushered in the season of Trump. And while it gives me a stomach ache thinking of all the times his blatant disregard for decency and respect, his womanizing, his treachery, his offensiveness, and so on... he was, in fact, a catalyst.
...the dynamite that blew up and sprung us from our seats. We chose him?
But I have found a lot of peace in recent years, in the way of acceptance. In realizing that things just have to go how they go, because they can't not. And then... what's the lesson, the down n dirty meaningful bit of insight at the bottom of this... chaotic mess?
A tough one, to be sure.
But there is one. We are our nation. Government... is not some big, bad oppressor ruling over us - distant and apart, controlling and stealing from us.
This is the United States of America. Many states, united in a common purpose, sharing the same ideals and values, evolving together, over time. And we are a democratic republic, powered by our Constitution, a living document. We have representative government, that we elect, intentionally. Balance of power. Checks and balance. We choose.
"No determinations are carried, it is true, in a simple representative democracy, but by consent of the majority or their representatives..." John Adams
WE ARE OUR GOVERNMENT.
Just as we are not separate from our world, we are our world, and our world is us. We too are our country, our country is us. What is a country, but its people and places, united and organized under a premise, a belief, a purpose, an idea?
The era of Trump has shown us, in no uncertain terms, that we let go of the reigns. We expect and want and demand and blame, but the government is us. We choose. We find leaders and learn about their priorities and make decisions. If we can't find leaders, that should be a wake up call to start building them. Fostering a love of service. And returning to integrity within the system.
I am willing to bet that in years from now, we will look back at this moment in time, and see the shift. When we started to really care, again. That new leaders began to tingle and find shock and cracks in the "system," and wanted to get in there and speak their minds. Change it up. That our future, our lives, our country, these things belong to us - for us to believe in, to build upon, to sculpt, to fight for, to protect.
It's like a bad relationship that brings you to your lowest low, but afterward, you are changed. Stronger. Smarter. Wiser. Emboldened. And chart a better and more enlightened course.
And had we not experienced the era of Trump's administration, would we still be numb? Would we have fought this hard for change? Would we be in the streets? Would the wheel turn this much to force so many voters out in record numbers?
Would we have taken democracy back with such gusto, if it wasn't endangered?
You don't now what you've got until it's gone, they say. And to have that glimpse that we've had, can be life changing.
So, thanks Donald Trump. For showing us that glimpse. But it's time to return to service. We'll pay more attention now. We'll be more responsible. You can step down. We'll do better.