Look At What Blooms

I was standing over my kitchen sink rinsing dishes when I noticed it. I have a terrarium hanging off the latch of that window with a succulent that is spiky but the skin looks velvety to the touch. Something colorful snagged my attention. It had bloomed.

I have never had a succulent bloom under my care but there it was. One perfect purple and yellow flower. My favorite colors. I picked it up and immediately started smiling and celebrating. It was so pretty.

And then it got me thinking about all of the ways I’ve been practicing Militant Self-Care and all of the ways I’ve been blooming because of it.

Here’s a short list.

Literally, all of my flowers. Even my succulents are blooming.

These are Black Magic Hollyhocks. You’re welcome.

I am watching hollyhocks, lavender, yucca, and sweet peas bloom. I am cutting back my lamb’s ear and making wreaths. We are harvesting raspberries and turnips for making jam and pickles. I’m pulling up dill and chamomile for drying. And because of the healthy boundaries I’ve created around work, I’ve had the time to plant seeds and nurture them as they grow.

I been werkin’ on my fitness like Lizzo.

I am walking 8,000 steps a day. When I take conference calls, I am walking. When my husband gets home, I am walking with him to check in about his day, mine, and what’s happening for the kids. I am making time for meals and counting down the 6-8 fruits and veggies recommended daily. I am drinking water all day too. I’ve even been on a few bike rides.

A healthy breakfast sans my phone.

My hearth and home is my central focus.

I’ve been paying closer attention to what’s going on right in front of my face. I’m not saying that I am not aware of the world’s problems. I still read the news and check in on local organizations and organizers. I am just making plans for the little hearts in my home before I take on any(more) tasks related to saving pieces and parts of the world. I won’t say I don’t ever feel guilty feelings about it but it’s like I tell the kids sometimes…

Mommy is often on the frontlines in ways that aren’t always visible and so when I say no, it is giving someone else the opportunity to say yes because I am not the only answer.

Everyone is pitching in more. Everyone is learning how to tend to our home.

Nothing blooms without care and attention. If you’re ever wondering how you’re Militant Self-care practice is going, look at what’s blooming or, sometimes even more importantly, what’s not.

Here’s to even more blossoms in my heart, my home, and my garden this summer. And maybe in yours too.

Always tending,

PS – Need some help practicing #militantselfcare? Join my group on Facebook for regular prompts, ideas, and a supportive community.

Productivity Does Not Equal Worthiness

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. today singing like a lark. I hopped out of bed, washed dishes, folded laundry and baked a quiche.Shocked

I know. I am as shocked as you are.

As I was headed upstairs to put clean towels into the bathroom, my husband asked me what smelled so good. I said, “I baked a quiche.”

He said, “What the fuck?”

He could not believe what was happening.

Dexter was not impressed.
Dexter was not impressed.

I have always struggled with mornings. I have come to realize that I need more time and quiet than my life can provide without getting up super early. I am stuck between a rock and my alarm clock.

I don’t even believe in alarm clocks.

That’s obviously not true but I hate them so much. Like deep, deep disdain.

Today is different somehow. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and my mind went to work straight away as it always does. Two meetings, a press interview, workshop preparation, donations to count and most importantly, people to thank. Typically, I roll over and fight by body for more blessed, blessed sleep. Today, I took advantage of my strange good nature and got up.

You guys, it’s quiet here when everyone is asleep.

I made room for my brain to have it’s thoughts. I brought out my list of to dos. I didn’t plan to DO anything yet. I practiced mindfulness and added things to my list as they floated over folded towels and whisking eggs. I made my cup of tea and listened to my favorite creative podcast. I had ideas as I used colored pencils to fill in flowers and leaves on a notecard.

I found space in my day for the quiet beginnings my brain seems to need these days.

I’ve been straight up preaching #militantselfcare and my focus has been learning about how I roll in the world. I’m actually giving a workshop on it in a few days. My new found meditation practice has offered me mindfulness that I can take into my day and just discover the way I move with gentleness and without judgment.

As a side note: my first thoughts while coloring today were related to staying in the lines, picking the right colors and doing it RIGHT. I giggled at myself, shook my head and just picked up a damn pencil. No judgment just release. It felt good.

I suppose this wakefulness probably has something to do with the amazing sleep I got last night. I did this weird thing. I went to bed when I was tired. I didn’t play a rousing game of Candy Crush, I didn’t watch two episodes of not much on Netflix. I didn’t kill time by trying to steal it back from the clutches of a busy day. I curled up next to my guy with hair still damp from the shower and fell asleep.

Oh heaven.

I have had some trouble concentrating lately. The spaces between sentences in books are filled with things I should be doing. I can’t seem to decide where to start my day and so I attack it mindlessly hoping that at the end of the day my wild swinging will amount to a knock out.

I’m feeling dissatisfied and a little lost. I’m not entirely sure why.

I’ve been trying a few new things and I’ve been forced into new environments. Change is not my favorite. Neither is uncertainty. Wouldn’t you agree?

I think most would.

My office is between moves. My brand is being built. My book is being researched.

Oh. And my children are home for spring break this week which adds a layer of disorganization that I cannot even explain in words. And by disorganization, I mean that I intentionally didn’t sign them up for any camps, events, activities because I realized I missed them. We’re spending time together. For better or for worse (but mostly for better).

I am feeling unsettled but after last night’s amazing rest. I have to say, I think I was largely just feeling tired. Turns out, they’ve actually discovered the cure for that.

Sleep.

On a certain day, a few weeks ago, I wrote down that I desired to feel productive above all else and then I went to work. I plowed through. I focused. I pushed. I ignored speed bumps, distractions, hunger pains, thirst and rest. I was a raging, maniac of productivity. I got shit done.

I was productive. I just wasn’t very happy. These new boundaries and militant self-care principles are lending me lessons in what feels good. Being productive is my way of feeling really worthy but I’ve discovered it is not my way of being truly happy.

Productivity is my addiction.

I get into these grooves of productivity and it’s like a drug. My brain starts to get all hype and starts saying things like:

Look at you slicing and dicing in that inbox. Ooh, man. You are so good at this. Wow. I wonder what else we can pull off today. Forget about that drink. You’re only thirst is for success. You are just so organized and smart. Don’t let that email slip by unnoticed. You are a magician. You’re not hungry. You’re busy. Keep it up. Ignore that cramp in your foot. Keep typing. Keep building. Slam that leftover cake slice if you have to but get this shit done.

I am not made worthy because I work. I am worthy because I am here. That’s it.

Today, I have been productive and now, I am going to go be happy. I am choosing to be satisfied with what I’ve done and release what I have not. I am setting down my addiction to productivity one mindful day at a time. I am blowing the whistle that ends this shift. For now, rest. It cures what ails ya.

Wishing you sweet dreams,10422206_10153223997448588_38878537589826032_n

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PS – I’m probably napping right now.