I was having a self-loathing sort of morning.
As I went through the pieces of the morning routine, I kept telling myself to shake it off but I couldn't find my way out.
The sort of morning where your to-do list goes from tapping on you to roaring in your ears, mind, stomach. And your toddler screams in your face and you respond with "I'm going to walk away from you now because that is hurting my ears and my feelings" and she follows you screaming and then suddenly just lifts up her arms and wants up but says, "Just don't hug me" even as she is wrapping her arms around your neck and you are wondering if walking away is the right thing because maybe it makes her feel abandoned and you feel so angry that it isn't easier to just trust what you know sometimes. And you aren't sure if there is enough money in the house checking account to cover the bills so you have to move things around a bit to make it work. And you've been awake for too long and the exhaustion hasn't let up since November and you thought it was going to and the disappointment that it hasn't leaves you in tears in the shower where you are finally alone.
One of those sorts of mornings.
So I stood in the shower until I ran out of hot water.
And the shock of the cold water had me saying, "Okay kid, what do you need?"
So I wrapped the towel around me and stood in front of the mirror and looked at my creased forehead and intensely furrowed eyebrows and said quietly to myself, "Soften."
And just as my face relaxed, I wondered why I let go of my long hair last year, so I shook my head and a piece of hair fell across my face and there she was: my pirate self. And I felt myself begin to relax into an almost smile as a bit of mischievousness twinkled for just a second or two.
I could hear Brene Brown saying something about how the wholehearted feel the same shame we all do, but then they replace it with gratitude. So I thought, "Okay, four things right now." And I tried but then found myself harumphing with an "I don't really think there is any joy here" sort of response, and I almost turned away from the mirror, but my feet stayed put and as my face turned back, I saw the truth resting in the circles and the hair across my face and the wrinkles appearing around my eyes and I couldn't stop myself from listing: hot water, my studio, this breath, those darn birds singing their hearts out.
Eye to eye, letting myself lean into the softness there. The compassion. The realness. The beauty.
I asked myself again, "Okay kid, what do you need?"
The answer came swiftly and loudly through me: PLAY
So I'm heading to the studio to let the blue sky shine in on me. And I'm going to turn up Mumford and Sons and maybe download fun. (because I really like those guys too) and find my way to play for a couple of hours.
Because I am trusting I know what I need.
Because I will be able to focus in on the other stuff with more openness and joy when my heart has been given some time to actually feel that joy for a bit.
Because this is self-care: Getting dirty in the realness of what daily life is and trusting it is okay to just feel all of it and then sifting through the resources you know until you find a handhold and then the next and you find your way out. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
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