I think what this is is a re-entry post. My laptop went back to Apple for repairs nearly 2 weeks ago and when you’ve missed blogging for 2 weeks so much has happened it’s hard to just move into the being present mode because the bloggery gremlins, used to recording the dailiness of it all, won’t move forward until they catch up. That may likely just be me, but I seem to need to do it. I would apologize but if I did I would spend my whole life apologizing for everything because this is my life and sometimes it moves along in fits and starts (Not real fits, I am taking my meds.) and takes odd turns and moves about the highways and byways of my life in a peculiar fashion, but when all is said and done as long as I accept and love myself this way and keep gently prodding myself so I keep moving forward in whatever fashion I can manage I feel very good about that. Pretty good about that. Most days.
So let me break it down so that perhaps it will be easier to follow along…
First of all I would like to say, in kind of a proud of myself and beaming brightly sort of way, that I have actually been getting a lot done. A lot that I am proud of, feel really good about, and I will share that first.
On May 12 The Spontaneous Art & Life Project & Women’s Circle began with 25 women right out of the gate and it is going swimmingly. I have produced 2 eBooks and am working on the 3rd (The participants get an artful, fun, inspiring, soulful eBook every other Monday between 25 & 35 pages long. I am having a ball designing and producing them and the women are loving them which is very gratifying.) and I do a daily podcast 5 days a week and the women seem to be enjoying them and finding them useful (even though there have been some technological challenges along the way we soldier on) and I love doing the daily podcasts. But it is the Women’s Circle that fills me with so much joy I simply cannot tell you.
The Project & Circle were designed to work hand in hand. When women sign up they get the materials from the Project and then they have the Circle to go to to talk to the other women about what they are doing, we all share our work and our processes and support one another through it all, but more important, as it all unfolds, it is a Women’s Circle in every sense of the meaning of women’s circles since the dawn of time. As women registered for The Project, some weeks in advance of it opening, they were immediately invited into the Women’s Circle where they began to get to know one another, and, as it has always been when women gather, beautiful friendships have begun to form, the level of intimacy, the depth of the sharing, well, it is just the most incredible thing and I love these women so much.
We are, primarily, a group of women midlife and beyond, and that is my focus as I create the material, but it is open to women of all ages and we have women of all different ages in the Circle. Every morning I wake up with a sense of joy and anticipation, filled with a kind of childlike wonder and womanly pride to see that my vision, this work that is the work of my heart and soul and 40 years in the making, working with women in real life circles, teaching, nurturing, guiding, counseling, and more, has come together in the way that I had hoped it would. The material is good, it has been well received, it is being implemented, and the hearts of the women, their very soul essence, is coming together as we weave a community that I will be tending for the rest of my life. It is, in short, a miracle to me, and I feel deeply blessed to be with these women and those who continue to come in. It is the fire that we gather around, it is where I warm myself, where I am healed, to face the rest of the world and my often challenging life. And the work in the Circle fits the name ~ “Healing A Woman’s Heart Through Writing and Art,” and as each woman finds healing taking place inside and shares her experiences with the others, the others are healed too. It is the group energy, it is why women have gathered together for millennia.
So while I have been having some of the problems listed at the outset it is very gratifying to know that each day I am creating, producing, engaging with the women in The Project & Circle, caring for my little family of animals, and myself, and getting on in life fairly well. And as I write all of this it comes to me that I am awfully hard on myself. First of all, women just do seem to be unnecessarily hard on themselves anyway which I hate to see, but living with bi polar disorder is a very real challenge and sometimes an uphill battle every day and despite it all, and even with the fact that I am behind on a number of other things not mentioned here, I realize that I have gotten a lot done during sometimes very difficult circumstances, the constant disruption of my schedules that keep me together and help me deal with my ongoing “stuff” because since my house burned down in February I am dealing with insurance people several times a week and this is really taking a lot out of me. They are finally beginning to rebuild the house but it will still be September or so before Dragonfly Cottage can become a home to us again. All this by way of saying that I realize that I need to be far more gentle with myself. The things that need to be done will get done as soon as I am able but I will be keeping the Project and Circle moving right along. This is my heart-work. I shan’t fall behind on it barring something unforeseen. As my house has already burned down I am hoping other than blips on the radar screen and the usual ups and downs of life forward motion will continue on in a fairly regular fashion. But there is a very real point to be made here.
I have been in miserable shape the last couple of weeks because I am in that “the hurrieder I go the behinder I get” place and I have fallen headlong into gripping fear places that nearly choked the life out of me. And I have so much guilt over things not done I found myself getting paralyzed and unable to move forward with some things at all. And still, I have written here to you — and perhaps more importantly, to myself — that I have been getting a lot done nonetheless. I can only do what I can do. I am ashamed to say that I have been downright cruel to myself and judging myself harshly and that is going to stop right here. I will do my best to get done as much as I can each day and that will have to be good enough because that is how I have to take care of me. And if you are reading this and have problems that in any way touch down on this type of fear, sometimes self-loathing, even harmful behaviors, please, be gentle with yourself. We need to find the grace inside ourselves to move forward in a very tender, loving way. This, too, is why I started The Project & Women’s Circle. I want to help women see all the beauty they truly have inside and I want them to learn to be ever more gentle with themselves.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.
This is enough. What I have written here right now is enough. I have already lopped off several paragraphs at the beginning of this piece that were, simply put, terrified bi polar rambling. I hope the rest is readable, and the content worthwhile. I will spare you anymore, and I will take a nap with my babies, these 4 sweet pugs that are sleeping and snoring all around me, and then I will spend the evening continuing to work on a commission that is long overdue but well on it’s way, and even with that, and my fear around it, I will gently guide myself through the process. It feels good, it is what I love, I will find a way.
I am sorry that I have lost the thread of our communication and I will get back to blogging every other day or so. I love this so much, it is so important to me, but daily blogging is just pushing it and too guilt producing for me and if I catch myself going to that place in any area of my life I am going to nip it right in the bud. I will be back here with you soon. Promise me you will be good to yourself in the meantime.
I send you my love…