Shaping Our World

This morning, I started out by writing an extremely rare rant post. When I got to the end of it, I realized that the point of the thing was not really to complain about the myriad of things that aren’t quite right with the world. What I had really been working up to in that rant was the importance of realizing that we have more ability to create our own world than we often realize.

It can be easy these days to get bogged down in feelings of despair and helplessness, as the times we’re living in are full of uncertainty and turmoil. I’ll admit that for a while, it seemed to me that the solution was of almost utter isolation. Thankfully that mindset has been replaced with a deeper and firmer connection with ideals I’ve believed to be true for a very long time, but had buried in my misplaced desire for acceptance in spaces which do not fit me (thank goddess).

While I certainly am not going to be out roaming the streets among the masses of unmasked people, I have decided to ramp up my community building skills. We really can, to a very large degree, create a world which does fit us. A place to find joy, happiness, peace, compassion, and very importantly, connection. Connection with the world around us, connection with that which is greater than ourselves, connection with other people. Even in the midst of difficulty, we do have the power to do all of this.

You may have noticed that I wrote of that with a lot of certainty, and it’s true, I did. This is because I know it to be true. In a time not too very long ago, I was (mostly) walking that path. There were some kinks to work out, both inner and outer, but it was more good than not. For a few years though, I had gotten sidetracked and lost my way. There were many lessons learned, slates were cleared. In those blank spaces, new things and people have been written and continue to be written all the time.

I’ve learned the huge value of my inherent ability to have, what they called, my head in the sand. Now more than ever I know that my head was not in the sand, it was in the clouds. I’m very grateful to say that it is now climbing back up there. It’s time to return to my ideals, along with some new ones I’ve adopted and get back to creating space and community which are uplifting, compassionate, creative, and loving. Time to wipe the tears, soothe the sorrow, and tame the frustration which comes with disconnecting from our sense of power, sense of belonging, and creative spirit. The direction has been reset, and I’ll be getting back to the work (which doesn’t feel at all like work) of creating an online space which reflects all of that.

Much love,

Tracy

Chronic Worth

Note: This is a re-post. The only thing changed is the title, which I did because the original title didn’t convey the sentiment the heart of what was being said. Many thanks to Julie from Mountain Made Crochet for helping me out with that.

When I first came back to the blog, I wrote about my awful experiences with various  medications for autoimmune disease. On some levels I feel a lot better without them, but my pain is getting a lot worse, and my energy never did make a full comeback. Back when I wrote that post, my mindset was leaning toward telling the rheumatologist that I didn’t want to try anything else after three different ones being so awful. Now that some time has passed, I am going to ask to try again, because the pain is not conducive to much.

It’s not a fun thing to have to choose between severe pain all the time, or the possibility of medication that makes things so much worse. However, I have things that I want to do, and there are a lot of other things that can be tried, so when I have my appointment in late June, I’ve decided to be brave and give it another go. Surely one of the many medications available will be tolerable by my supremely picky body.

What finally made me decide to continue with treatment is noticing that yet another of my fingers is starting to turn sideways. The incessant body-wide pain was already making me lean in that direction, but seeing yet another joint becoming disfigured is concrete proof to me that there is damage being done that needs to be stopped. In the meantime, I’ll be here as much as I can, and I’m hoping that it’s fairly often. Now that I’ve gotten this all out in the open, the next post will be about something other than my health. It isn’t something that I really like to talk about, but it is part of my life that will be popping up.

For several reasons, I’ve felt almost ashamed to talk about my struggles here. While I do not wish for health issues to make up a large part of this blog, I have decided to be a bit more open about it. There isn’t any shame in it, and that is part of my inner narrative that I am choosing to tell to shut the hell up. All the old voices of the past, and even in our society which cause us to place our value in what we produce, what we can do, how perfect we can make ourselves look can hush. It may be a little later in life, but it’s finally coming clear to me just how wrong those voices are and how to see myself differently.

Of course we should always be doing our best to have a life which is meaningful, but it can’t always be about how much money we make, what possessions we have, and all around being a poster child of materialistic success. Not saying that having nice things is bad, it’s just that as a society we all too often make those things the measure of worthiness in a person. Coming to a realization that I will not be rejoining the rat race has really helped me to see the intrinsic value of people, and it isn’t tied to what they do and what they own. While I’ve never viewed the world in that way, this is a whole new level, because those values had been embedded in me when it came to my own worth. So glad to finally have this fading, as I had a hard time fully loving myself and feeling worthy of acceptance. Here’s to all of us finding our sense of worth.

Do any of you go through this?

Word of the Year ~ Mindfulness

In choosing my word for the year, I went back and forth a bit between the words love and mindfulness. For a few months, it was looking like the word love was going to be the word, because it is definitely something which I wish to foster more over the next 12 months. Last year could have easily been summed up into one word, and that word would have been – harsh.

2018 was filled with harsh lessons, health issues, and a good bit of general lack of direction for good measure. For the latter half of the year, I had found myself feeling quite lost. There were parts of myself which seemed to have all but disappeared, and I was on a mission to not only regain them, but to expand and improve them. So, when the time of year came to start choosing a word for this year I asked myself what word would encompass what I would need to foster the work that I was doing with all of the above.

The word love kept coming up, because one of the things which had seemed to change in me over the last year was my own feeling of love for the world at large…it had hardened a bit and there were a lot of feelings of mistrust for others and especially myself. Core parts of myself and my beliefs about things were rattled to their foundations. Then, I started to dig deeper and the word mindfulness just clicked into place as the word for 2019, because it encompasses not only a higher capacity for love, but many other things which will bring me closer to being the person I’ve always been at my deepest levels.

Definition of mindfulness 

1 : the quality or state of being mindful

2 : the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis also : such a state of awareness

I’ve been working with mindfulness for the past several months, and let me tell you, allowing myself to be more present with my state of being has been nothing short of amazing. The biggest thing I’ve noticed with this practice so far is that I’m becoming a lot less reactive. By being in the moment, acknowledging what is without judgement, or worse…overanalyzing things by diving into the past or trying to look to far ahead (which has always been hard for me), my life has begun to change in ways I’ve always wished for.

In just the last few months, I’ve seen a huge shift in my feelings about myself and the world. I am able to be much more of an observer of what is, and this has allowed me to be more appreciative and patient. The interesting thing about this is that at the same time, I am much more able to step back when needed, because my feelings of responsibility for and attachment to outcomes has done a complete turn around. This has been the most refreshing thing I’ve ever experienced, and that is not an exaggeration.

All of this has made it easier to transition back into a more creative state of being. This is something which I’m tremendously grateful for, because this was another one of the things that had taken a big hit over the past year or so, along with my sense of spirituality. Those two things are such an integral part of my core that it was literally painful to experience a prolonged period of time wondering if I’d find them again. Finding a mindfulness practice feels like it saved my life, perhaps literally.

Rather than staying stuck in the loop of trying to force myself to get back to “normal”, I learned to acknowledge and honor what was for a while. So, I spent a few months taking care of what absolutely needed to be done, checking in with how I was feeling, then sitting on my couch binge watching various shows on Netflix and Hulu. I learned to let go of my expectations of myself and others too. After a while, I had given myself permission to just be where I needed to be and enjoy the moment, instead of trying to rush myself through the process.

Before I go, I want to thank everyone who has stuck with me through this huge transition phase. 2018 taught me just how amazing some of the people in my life are. Here’s to a wonderful, and smoother 2019!

Much love ❤