Thursday, February 21, 2013

strength to strength

so much has happened in the months since my last post...
 
i now own a business called two trees herbals.  i make lotions, teas, salves, bath bombs, goat's milk soaps, lip butters, and flower-petal facial cleansers...

   and my children have finally experienced       
  a) having a room of their very own, and   b) snow!
 
what else has changed in the past five months?  well, friends...lots. 
 
 sit down, sip some tea, listen up:

i used to think i was a flake.  now i know that people called me that because they couldn't handle my constant creativity.  now i revel in my flakiness, hug strangers, hand out heart-shaped soaps and kisses on valentine's day, break out dancing in the aisles of the supermarket.

i used to think my weaknesses defined me. i hid when i was sad or ashamed.  now i know that it is my strengths that define me, that when i dwell in my strengths, i lift everyone around me. the weaknesses are there, yes, but they just aren't that important!

i used to think my periods of depression were unhealthy.  now i know that as a woman, i naturally flow through periods of introspection and vision, periods of action and joy.  when i feel sad i call a friend instead of hiding. when i feel tired i go inside and dream.

i used to think that since i didn't have a career or a car or a title or a bank account or insurance that i was not important or successful. last week a college student asked if she could interview me for her class titled  "success and creativity".  she said "you are the most successful creative person i know!" boy did that spark a radical reframe! i realized i had been living from one belief system and defining success by another.  by my beliefs, i am a raging success.  i have wonderful friends, healthy children, a flexible mind, and i walk lightly on the earth, helping wherever i can. also, i have good dance moves.

i used to think i could make the world better by sacrificing myself.  i thought if i kept my head down and worked tirelessly for others, i would be a good person.  now i know that a good person is lit up, radiant, joyful, inspired.  a good person is not drained and miserable. you can never be hungry enough to feed another person.  it doesn't work that way.

i used to think that i had to be an expert before i could teach.  now i know that if i feel a need for anything, i can just create it.  as soon as i realized this i created an herbal business, began facilitating a women's circle, teaching a yoga class, organizing a conference, proposing and planting a tea garden on someone else's property, and publishing articles in magazines.  i don't have to wait for anyone's permission.  i can just create where i feel led.  whoa! did you guys know this??

i used to think that my poor decisions and weaknesses were awful mistakes that i had to put behind me.  now i know that people living huge lives do not have small problems.  they have huge problems.  we are given huge problems so that we can get over them and then help others with huge problems.  i have learned that the very things that tear me up, bring me to the boil, and devastate me are my keys to helping others. my experience of marriage to a tyrant enables me to guide other women out of marriages to tyrants.  my fury at prejudice against mothers inspires me to create free childcare programs wherever i go, and to support and inspire mothers to stay free, wild, and creative. my brush with extreme poverty and deprivation, and my refusal to ever feel anything BUT abundant and joyful, helps me fight poverty and the mentality of scarcity wherever it crops up.

i used to think that i was one fish struggling upstream alone.  now i know that there are many of us all swimming together, and that i am the fish, the water, the rocks, all of it.  there is more going through me than i know. when i can step back and remember this, re-center myself in my divine purpose as an instrument of expression and evolution, all is right with the world.

also:  north carolina is cold.  you have to wear layers.