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seeking :: connection

The way to my heart. (it's going up in the studio today @ninabagley) #ilovepoetry

(ornament by nina bagley)

This week has been one of those weeks where I've questioned a few things...how I move through the world online and off, why I'm invited to repeatedly sift through a lesson around feeling forgotten and left out, the contrast of that "left-out" feeling with the way I feel called to create safe spaces for women to show up as themselves, why I live in a corner of the world that I really love but I struggle to make deep connections with people in my own community.

Each day, as the morning fog gave way to grey sky, the winter blahs and the lonelies were clashing around and inside me.

Yesterday, after Ellie and Jon left for school, I was eating breakfast in my pajamas and trying to decide if I had time to take a shower and answer the stacking emails before diving into orders. And then all of a sudden, all I could think about was, "Get out of the house girl because you need connection. And PS you need a haircut." 

In that moment, I actually listened to myself instead of brushing off that wiser than me voice. And that action made something shift.

Maybe it was the self-care move of finally getting a haircut. Maybe it was getting out of the house. Maybe it was taking a break from work even though the to-do list is so long. Maybe it was knowing that a few loved ones who have health issues are doing okay right now. 

All I know is that when I opened my heart to connection, I suddenly found it everywhere:

  • The delightful chat with my hair stylist and a conversation about cultivating trust so that I don't wait five months to come back and say "I didn't really like the last hair cut" but next time trust her to be able to fix it.
  • Laughing with the receptionist at the salon about mama brain and being forgetful.
  • An email from a friend telling me how much she has enjoyed our talks lately (and being so thankful since a huge part of our talks has been her holding space for me).
  • The way the temperatures warmed and the blue sky peeked out against the tall tall evergreen trees in my front yard and I remembered why I feel so rooted in this part of the world.
  • A package from a friend containing not only the bracelet I ordered but also thoughtful treats including the poetry ornament above that will hang in my studio.
  • Your beautiful faces smiling back at me and peeks into your world on Instagram.
  • The easy chatter with my studio assistant as we packaged orders reminding me why it is so important to not always work alone. Having a home studio is such a gift, but it can get lonely because you don't leave the house. Having someone there so you can say, "What do you think about?" or even just chat about what shows you're watching is such a gift. (And of course it is a plus that she's also Ellie's babysitter too!)
  • A few new knitted pieces from my mom, including a cowl meets wrap meets poncho that is exactly like what I've been wanting forever. And hearing the joy in her voice when I called to tell her that.
  • The conversation Ellie and I had in the car after I picked her up from school. She tells me stories now. Even though our evening was intense at times because she was really over tired, I continue to feel awe that she can share how she's feeling and what she needs. And she is so darn funny.

And the list just kept going probably because I was paying so close attention and literally making a list in my head. But the truth is that there was a lightness to the day that I simply needed.

Yet, the other feelings are still there at the edges. And I'm aware of them and listening and trying to understand and be open to all that is there. I still feel lonely sometimes. And that is okay. I still wish for a few things to shift. And that is okay. I still keep finding my way and sometimes it feels like I don't. And that is okay. 

But seeking what I feel like I'm missing is where the choice comes in. Seeking connection. Seeking a friendly voice. Seeking understanding. Being open to it can be scary because you might get hurt, it might not go as you hope...but I was reminded again and again yesterday that the being open part is the only way for me.

Thanks for listening...for sharing your light, your stories...for seeking connection so others can know they are not alone, so you can know...


Reader Comments (17)

Gosh Liz, this is just gorgeous. Thanks for being real and showing up to all the feelings and honoring them for being true, the left-out, fringes lonelies and the little sparks of encouragement and connections and joy. Reading this today really helped me-- thanks so much for being willing to talk about it.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMissy K

Liz, it always amazes me how honest and real you are. I suffer from the same "I work at home and never see another live human being for days at a time" syndrome. It doesn't help that I'm an introvert and mostly LIKE being alone, because there are times when we really do need that human contact - looking into someone's eyes and hearing them laugh - it's so important. So, I think I'll take a page out of your book and go get my hair cut this week and seek out some connection. Thank you so much for what you do and who you are, beautiful lady.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie Jacobsen

thank you for this beautiful post (i love your new haircut btw!)... i think we all struggle with this sometimes. i know I always have, as someone who in truth likes and chooses to live on the periphery, just outside of every box. at least thats how it feels to me. i know deeply what you're feeling. xoxo

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermindy

oh my - oh my - oh my - I just had a gut wrenching exchange with a person and revealed, gave up, threw down a bit of myself that hopefully will not be used against me in the future and with that bit of information also said " isn't that what life is ? walking into our own discomfort ? revealing ourselves and risking ourselves ?" I have always been the person unafraid to push that button and see what happens but afraid to admit the really negative and flawed things about myself....like jealousy. Like wanting the guy to want me even if I don't want him kind of vanity. So I admitted those things and at the end of my email I added a line - which I added here - but deleted in both places because it seems self deprecating and I am all about not putting that "out there" - BOTTOM LINE I hear you sister ! ( cannot make myself go out today, thank god for lily ) It is hard to say the things that you just said - but I hope you feel better for saying them. I did .

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartha of course

Your beAutiful list brought both a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Your ability to recognize connection in those small moments. Something I would like to work on...thank you

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarina D-K

i hear you girl.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbella

And another connection. I too don't like getting my haircut. Somehow I ended up with mine much shorter than I planned, but everyone's complimenting the cut so it must be okay, (right???) I don't like how it is so short that it sticks up in the morning, but thats nothing some water and a comb can't fix. But ugh, haircuts. Do not like.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne

The finding a tribe in your own city is so hard. I long for it too, but cannot seem to find it. Why is that? Surely there are other creatives who long for the same thing. How are we not finding each other?

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLelainia Lloyd

shorter than my usual comment: Liz. You are an inspiration. Thank you for this post.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermaureen shaughnessy

I get every little part of this post. I want a studio assistant. Or, even, frankly, a friend to come over and drag me out of the house.

Love it when the people I adore on line reflect me back to me.


January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEffy

hi liz, thank you so much for this post, your words & honesty are incredible. i feel some of the same things as you expressed (except maybe the hair-- it always grows back! but i know what you mean) :)
i love my journey necklace & it was packaged with such care; i save your notes; they make me feel special so thank you for including them.
you are an inspiration! love, alane xo

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlane

Dear liz,
I admire your honesty. I admire how you show up here and allow yourself space to let it out. Thank you for that. I understand these feelings all to well and it can be such a difficult place to be. Know that you are an inspiration to so many by just you being YOU! I love and adore you. xoxo

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Beautifully written...I relate so much to your thoughts. Loneliness can create such an ache. Thank you for sharing!

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSherri B.

Hi Liz,

I'm a fairly new follower of yours . . . and I have come to really appreciate your honestly. Smiling softly because about a month ago, I paged thru all of your pictures of yourself when your sweet little one was going thru such a hard time. What a lovely, honoring idea!

I, too, could relate to your feelings in this post and am so grateful to hear you speak them. It gives me courage to speak my own.

Wishing you all the best,

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Grace

((Deep soul hugs))

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterColette

I know that feeling. The longing for connection. When studio hours are long and no amount of music can fill that cut-off feeling.
I've lived here 9 years and I've made one friend....I feel very much left out of many many things, family visits, retreats, art camps...mostly because of limited finances, and that frustrates me. It makes me feel that money makes the world go 'round, and it kills my heart. I know the yearning for connection. For more. Thank you for sharing here. For your tender, real voice that I have loved for many years. Thank you for your grace and the lift and the hope.
You are so loved, by so many.

January 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

i have a hard time making friends...real friends.
i know a lot of people. but to call someone up and hang out?
i rely heavily on my two best friends from grade school....i constantly say i want to make new friends
and connections and have deep conversations...but something stops me.
hmmmm...that is totally not what i was going to write...
i guess, maybe, i just wanted to say, thank you for being my friend.

January 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergkgirl

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