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Saying Yes to the Journey (enjoying the process)
Greetings lovely one,
I made a mistake. I told myself that I was taking a breather from trying to force words on the paper. When in fact, I was only procrastinating. I started going down the rabbit hole, thinking about a combination of things as they flashed across my screen in a mind-numbing scroll down my LinkedIn feed. One post talked about vocation, another about personal branding, another bragged about a LinkedIn live that was a “must attend.” And then I start thinking thoughts … and next thing you know my break took a wrong turn down “I’ll work on this tomorrow” road. And I suppose that’s okay sometimes, but I like making deadlines I set for myself (being type A Virgo and all). At this time, I’m staying at a retreat house for two reasons: one, it’s one of quite a few transitory spaces between my move back to the mainland from Hawaii and the start of my lease which isn’t until next month; and two, it’s a tranquil place to finish my chapbook (and if I’m really on a roll, get back to working on my novel).
Well, I’m uncomfortable and struggling to write. My creativity is often tied to my ability to feel some sense of ease — just enough to clear mental cobwebs and write that first word, the first sentence, and oh joy, a paragraph!
I am not too terribly far from the site of Thoreau’s cabin. However, I cannot for the life of me understand how people can just relax in the woods with all these dang on bugs! Ack, spiders! Being an earth sign, you’d think I’d feel one with nature, but I am NOT an outdoorsy person. I have the heebie-jeebies so bad! Thoreau, kudos to you, but this does not spark my creativity. This is my truth, but even without this physical space discomfort, writing has been a struggle since I’ve arrived, even journaling … it’s been a stretch to see my way through the fog staring at me as I pause to search for meaning in my choices yet again.
“What the heck am I doing here?”
I’ve been asking myself that question over and over a lot as I quest for “home” for “place.” It’s an existential human question that I come back to every now and then, but as of late? I asked it while I sat in silent, expectant waiting during my very first Meeting for Worship with a group of South Jersey Quakers because I was supposed to be soooo done with the Church. I asked it as I sat staring up at a statue of St. Teresa in Avila, Spain, still in shock that I was even there in the first place. I asked it at seminary, suffocating under the weighted pressure of an invisible boulder of insecurities, and again when I packed up a suitcase, hugged the tiny bodies of my then one-year-old and seven-year-old nephews, and flew on a one-way ticket to Hawaii with no lease signed, no knowledge of what I’d do past the one month of a short-term rental, a quickly dimensioning credit card limit, a stick of chewing gum, and a tiny ball of hope that I had listened to my gut properly and wasn’t making a huge life altering mistake.
Well, life continues altering in ways I still haven’t fully processed yet, but I have no regrets. I’ve now made my way to Massachusetts, where so many creatives I admire live/have lived. I wanted to be in this space, and unlike some of my other trepidations, moving here felt right from the start.
Yet, still, I ask myself that question.
The moment I heard my call to awaken, I did not take it lightly, but I didn’t hesitate to answer “yes.” The Holy One knows me so well, that I heard the call repeatedly on separate occasions … almost like, “I’m gon’ ask you again ‘cause you can be so ridiculously fickle and skittish for a ‘type A Virgo.’” I remember hearing someone talk of God as seducer. It’s a language of mystics, and I understand it well. But for me, it’s more like “I want you, but I want you to choose to want me.” And I realize that that’s what we do. We choose to say yes, again and again, not out of fear, but from love, wholehearted, surrendered love.
I wanted to be in this space, I wanted to say “yes” to life, to creativity, to a liberated faith walk.
The fog has lifted and there are little bunnies hopping around outside now. Perhaps they were there the entire time, but I was so wrapped up in dodging spider matrixes that I couldn’t see them. I’m surrounded by greenery and am in awe at how beautiful and frightening nature is. I’m led to take the hand inviting me deeper into the unknown — living the questions, living a spirit-led creative life.
Maybe I’ll finish this chapbook after all.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
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What’s the Buzz? Here’s what’s happening
Available now: I’m a contributing writer to the latest edition of “Illuminate” — the only Bible study curriculum written by Friends (Quakers). Faith groups and communities all over the U.S. and some in other countries will be using this study guide in September, October, and November. So can you! You can purchase a print or digital copy of Illuminate here: http://www.barclaypressbookstore.com/ILLUMINATE/Illuminate-Ezra-Nehemiah-Esther-Song-of-Songs.html
Coming up: September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and I’m rolling up my sleeves to prevent suicide and promote mental health awareness. Join me at the 10th Annual Vermont Suicide Prevention Symposium — Creating Communities of Hope Through Empowerment and Action. This VIRTUAL event, hosted by Vermont Suicide Prevention Center (VTSPC) a program of the Center for Health and Learning (CHL) and will take place on September 27 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET. Register now to hear from inspiring thought leaders in the industry: https://vermontsuicidepreventionsymposium.org
* For industry professionals, you are able to get CEU credits for $25, in addition to the standard registration fee.
Ongoing: I’m co-creating stigma-crushing, mental health awareness merch for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Wear your support!
Click the image below to go to the store.
Community Member Kudos: Congrats to colleague and Love Agent, Haena Kim. Her company dBIAS LAB in partnership with The Prosp(a)rity Project just released a new report based on a research journey that delved into barriers to financial well-being faced by Black women in the USA.Grab your copy here: https://bit.ly/financebarriers
Tales from the blog keepers
Is mental health care in the U.S. working? Perhaps if we realize there are multiple tools needed in the toolkit. Here’s why therapy alone won’t save us.
US Agency Releases Free Stock Photos of People With Disabilities. Check it out.
Nothing is more satisfying than dropping into a completely calm, relaxed state of creative flow. But how do we do it? Well, different strokes for different folks but here’s some food for thought on creative flow for optimal writing.
Muse of the month
Blerd’s the word
The question “what was your first anime?” comes up a lot in my online communities. That question dates a lot of us. (Like … wha’ you mean you’ve never heard of Nana or Paradise Kiss?) Admittedly, I actually don’t remember which one was my “one” … my stepfather was a big movie buff, in particular a big sci-fi buff, which is probably the reason I got into it. I remember watching Astro Boy on VHS, as well as Akira around the same time, along with others whose names are long forgotten … City Hunter maybe? I didn’t know it was called anime and didn’t realize what anime was back then either so there’s that. But the stand out for me was Akira. I knew something was different about it, and I was fascinated by that difference. It started my love of sci-fi anime.
This iconic slide has shown up in ways that I can’t believe totally went over my head.
And since it’s not in the video, I’m giving a nod to Keke Palmer and Jordan Peele
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