May 22, 2012
After the Oprah article hit there was a swirl of energy, the kind of swirl that turns you upside down and you start imagining all kinds of things. Book agents reached out, a TV show producer wrote, all kinds of lovely and dear people filled my inbox with stories and interest.
I started to believe that I was on a new track, that the fairy godmother of goodness herself had come down to make kindness big, big, BIG! I felt grateful, overwhelmed and humbled…and I braced myself for what was to come. …and then, it just sort of never came. Time between communication started to grow longer and longer. I got a little crazy starting to check my e-mail 42,000 times a day, rereading my exchanges…
Was that too forward?
Did I sound weird?
Oh God! It is so obvious how crazy I am! They wanted less crazy, less passionate, more normal.
I am so not smooth or cool, my brand is hilariously real, not polished at all.
And after awhile, this got so tiring that I went back to the thing I love and realized that I had the same exact feeling planning a kindness campaign in my alley with my garbage men that I did when I got the call I was going to be in O Magazine- the rush, the excitement, the thrill.
This feeling would last until the next kindness project was over, or there was a quiet moment, or a new opportunity fell through again…the thoughts would creep in again. I was confused because while the big doors were closing, everything in the grass and roots was beautiful and thriving.
All the places in my everyday kindness world were rockin’…hard. It was almost as if while I was losing my way there for a bit, waiting for the one shot, the small was getting deeper and wiser, despite my doubt and uncertainty…somehow my heart was still winning. How could that be? How could things be going so well and I feel so off at the same time?
I kept thinking, “If I just knew what it was, what I am missing, what track I am on, I can fix it, course correct, fix myself or accept it…this thing is worthy of all that.”
And then one day, out of the blue I got an e-mail…from one of those dear people I met as a result of O Magazine…a friendship that had grown over letters exchanged with sweet Lisa, she had become a bonus mother and mentor and yet we’ve never even met in person. I didn’t ask her for advice, there was no great drama that day but her words came like a salve of understanding over everything, the wisdom that made the pieces finally fit…
Just have faith in that, trust that what you are doing is exactly right. The “how” is none of your business because as you trust the “what” (being and spreading kindness in our world) the how will come to you on a need to know basis. Kind of like traveling a road in the middle of the night. Your (flash)Light can only shine so far along the path. But you keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that the path will reveal itself as your light reaches it.
My heart was instantly shifted. It had never occurred to me that I was on a “need-to-know” basis with the universe…that maybe I am not supposed to know at all or that it isn’t my job to try to figure it out. My light right in front of me is all I need and that it will grow stronger and brighter if the path ahead requires it.
That thought was so freeing yet totally frustrating at the same time for the girl who wishes she could control it all, work harder, do whatever it takes. …and here we are at a gentle surrender again…
…because the “what” is my love, it always makes sense even if it’s hard or unclear, and I know how to follow it. I can wake up and do that everyday. I am already doing it, it is enough. Kindness doesn’t need me or my crap to be together to make an impact on the world.
Maybe it was never meant to be so complicated. Maybe you are meant for something but the how is none of your business and your heart just needs to get completely lost in the what. Maybe the unknown is a kind gift, making space for the greater joy and all that already is and is to come.
Are you sweatin’ the unknown today? or wishing the light was brighter in front of you? Feel free to tell us about it or offer your words of wisdom or hope in the comments.
May 7, 2012
I am burnt. It was two weeks of Jorge being gone for work, a string of speaking, projects blowing up all around, and a hernia repair surgery for my man to top it all off at the end. In the middle of life, my girls have been kicking my ass…long, long days of whining, complaining, drama. I am patient, patient, patient and then I am just D.O.N.E. … an attempt to try to spend some time with them on Saturday night looking at the SuperMoon ended in an epic tantrum from Lyra and then all of us in bed crying.
And I know there is some parenting trick to pull us all out of this funk but for the life of me I have absolutely no energy to sort it out. It’s probably something about how much we all are all holding right now and honoring each other but I don’t even care about all that.
I just need them to get their shoes on and get in the car for Christ’s sake AND to stop acting like jerks for 2 seconds so we can be in this crisis together…but then kids aren’t supposed to do that but maybe I was just hoping they would grease the wheels with understanding a tiny bit. I obviously have forgotten that kids are not adults, and shouldn’t be. (but wouldn’t that be nice in a crisis every now and then?)
I finally crawled into my own bed like an hour later only to be woken up by a wailing Lyra two hours after that, so back I went, into the their bed. I had surrendered to their needs, finally, given up on any expectation I was holding. It wasn’t like I could get my shit quite together but I could lay in it. Quietly.
And then, when she thought I was asleep, Lucy leaned over and kissed my forehead, rolled over and went to bed. It was a tiny bit of grace right in the middle of hard all around. It was tender and sweet…and this is who we all are. We are jerks that are kind and have needs and sometimes push each other to the edge…and we find grace in each other, in ourselves.
…and nothing is worked out, I am still burnt but there is a little something to hold onto, seeing it all mixed up together that will bring me a moment of goodness….and eventually we find our way to saying what we need, or forgiveness or frustration that fuels the way to find the path we need to travel, or life will allow it to just sort of pass on.
So today :
someone will complain they didn’t get to play with the red umbrella yet
someone else will have her first taste of honeysuckle
someone will be devastated we are having peas for dinner
someone else will ask me how I am and I’ll really tell them
someone will be pissed they have to take a bath
that same someone will kiss me on my forehead when we go to bed…
…and I will take it all in, but hold tight to the tiny bits of grace.
*feel free to tell me your tiny bits of grace in the comments
April 30, 2012
So there was a day of Netflix watching…yes, an entire day. Because this is what is required to complete blog posts on some days. And when you can no longer watch even one more episode of Garfield, your mind finally returns to imagination.
It all started with Lyra deciding she should have a picnic in the old red wardrobe that is falling apart. The bottom row usually holds towels but every last one is in the laundry, which incidentally has grown into a small mountain. An empty space is an invitation for picnics and eventually magic.
When she was eventually done picnic-ing and lounging, someone found an old hand-me-down gifted wand and figured out it was indeed a magic wardrobe…and the game began. Someone climbed in, a dramatic wave of the wand and the person climbed out something completely different… it was usually a cat or a frog, but each time it grew more exciting.
I found myself kind of wishing I could climb into the magic wardrobe and come out changed…and there are things and experiences that change us, like magic, quickly- some that harm us that we have to work hard to undo, and others that change or rearrange our souls in profound ways for the better.
…and there are some magic wardrobes that we have to climb into over and over again to try change on until it sticks or to get comfortable with the idea of something that is completely different than what we know or who we are.
…and there are some magic wardrobes that we have to climb into to dream the impossible or to keep our dreams close. I think these might be the best wardrobe moments, because you never know when the magic may actually happen or that the dream is being held when we can’t seem to hold on…or it’s just too big/scary.
…and sometimes the magic in the wardrobe is love, hope or kindness…or truth- the gentle and hard kind, vulnerability or courage.
All of it is important for change to come, or for it to find us, or for us to embrace what is already there.
If you could lounge in the magic wardrobe today, what would you be when you came out? or what would the wardrobe hold for you? who do you wish could climb into the wardrobe with you?
Feel free to use the comments as the giant wardrobe today.
…and don’t you kinda wish you were reading The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe right now? and actually, it’s a red armoire, but wardrobe sounds dreamier.