Last year, I wrote a short and simple birthday message to myself: Claim your space. Get big. Grow.
Short, yes. Simple…not a chance. I didn’t know what I was asking of myself. But I knew I was tired. Tired of feeling stuck, tired of giving too much credence to the negative voices in my head, to the ways that I was doing things wrong. I was tired of being seen as a mess. By others and by my self. I wanted an out from that life and that perspective. The wheels had been set in motion to start moving that train out of the station … I can list many of the ways that I had started to awaken to my movement out of that negative space…radical self care, regular physical exercise, fueling my body according to what it most needed, letting go of outside perceptions of what and how I should be operating my body, my time, my energy. For the first time in years, tapping into what I most needed. And I started nurturing my heart and soul with a renewed spiritual practice. And I spoke the intention aloud: To claim my space. To not stay small. To rise up.
And I started to allow myself to unfold. To rise up. I started teaching spin classes. At first I was so scared. Scared to be in front of the room, scared to command the hour, scared to fail, scared of being too…too weird. After hours and hours of coaching and tears and months of holding back, I finally showed up. I gave it my all. And now I say weird shit in all my classes, about not caring about your pant size but caring about the size of your heart and your soul, about opening your heart to the world, claiming and protecting your self care time, and that we all help each other rise. And I have so.much.fun teaching that I wonder why I ever held back. I started sewing again – I make dresses and skirts and pants and they aren’t perfect but they are SO perfect. They all have pockets. I love clothes with pockets! I love sewing my own clothes and feeling empowered by my skill of reading a pattern and making wearable art from nothing more than a sheet of fabric. I started writing from my creative space, and sisters, I do not know why I stopped. I love writing from the places inside of me that bubble and rise and want an outlet. I love going back and reading my words and nodding and saying, “YES! Well done, sweet one, you nailed exactly what you were feeling in those words.” I started reading books again, and not parenting books. I released reading out of obligation to reading things I wanted to read, to relax into the dreamy space that a book can take me. I spent intentional time alone, and intentional time with people. I spent time on my bike, on dirt trails and paved paths. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones.
And so on this anniversary of my day of birth, I stand in my nakedness and reflect. Baring it all, owning the highs and lows and successes and failures — and celebrating them all. Because they all got me to where I am today. I am claiming my space, my voice, my authenticity. I am claiming my soul, my feelings, my vulnerability, my light and my dark, holding nothing back. I didn’t know where all those intentions would take me. But with Grace at the lead, I have found myself at Love’s front door.
All of the ways that I grew and walked through the dark and lonely places, they all led me to today. I love where I am in the process, and I love who I am. This gentle love for myself has allowed me to receive love in return. Maybe for the first time in my life. It certainly feels new. All the birthday messages and calls I received on this day, I took them in, I celebrated them and believed them. You do love me! You really do. Because I am lovable. And the overflow of my heart is that I get to shower my love into the world. And that feels utterly limitless.
And my gift to myself this year, is to continue to love myself. To not lose sight of my tender soul, what she needs to thrive and continue growing. A little water, a little sunshine, a lot of devotion. We aren’t done yet…perhaps… Perhaps we’ve only just begun.
As one of my friends said today, “here’s to the best year yet.” I’m. All. In.!