Monday, January 26, 2015

The alternative to the alternative


I'm not sure if it's where we're at in the cycle of the moon or where I'm at in my own cycle.

Maybe it's boredom or fatigue or the absence of a routine to anchor our days and weeks. Though, equally, it could be because we're on the cusp of the start of the academic year and the brink of the unknown.

Or perhaps it could be the slow realisation that I am not going back to my day job and that new responsibilities are coming and accountabilities are required. Indubitably the fact that all this is new and not everyone realises how important it is, has something to do with it. I'm sure the fact that I haven't had much time to myself, let alone time to write, is a big BIG part of it. (And I realise I haven't told you much about any of that but I promise I will very soon.)

I'm also wondering if I'm getting a bit overwhelmed by some of the research I've been doing for my writing and for my life. The shoulds have really set in and got me questioning pretty much... everything.

Also, I miss The Colbert Report. Particularly the bit where my husband and I hang out every night on the couch and watch something we both really enjoy and actually learn something, then chat about it a lot afterwards.

Maybe it's a bit of all of the above or none of it.

I know I am repeating myself when I say that things feel weird. (And I also want to add that I realise I  didn't do my daughter or myself justice in my last post. "As far as I could see, she was having a meltdown because I offered to buy her an ice cream." I know this not to be true. She was having a meltdown because I was asking her to make a commitment and stick to it for the rest of the day. And she felt it was too much to ask.)

But mostly, I think I'm having trouble admitting that now is not my time.

Everything feels like a massive effort. From getting out of bed to catching up on blog posts to yet another load of laundry to social interactions which are invariably rather enjoyable to making that lasagne I promised my daughter to making progress on my novel.

I'm having trouble mustering the enthusiasm for anything.

And when I do, it's clunky. I'm tired no matter how much sleep I get. I can hardly arrange my pixels productively on the screen. The laundry-to-available-clothes-horse ratio is imbalanced and a few baskets have to sit overnight in wait, with the result that the DKNY dress I bought in New York two years ago has a massive pink stain on the shoulder. The timing of social interactions gets thrown by little people who refuse to nap, or cancelled due to PMS. I make a special trip to the grocery store to by the onions that I need, then make another for lasagne sheets, then realise that our lasagne dish broke last September. I can't even think about the novel, let alone make progress on it.

And, of course, my stinking mood is made even more laughable by the fact that these are all first world problems and hardly blips on life's radar.

Also, the alternative is obvious, right?

I mean, a sane person would be resting right about now. Reflecting, rejuvenating, maybe even managing a bit of gratitude for all they have. If highly evolved, they might even choose to do all the things they feel resentful about in an attempt to reframe the situation and step back into the driver's seat.

But, today, I am reminded of my magnificent friend Max's question: what are you willing to release now?

And the answer makes its way to me through the fug.

I release the need to try and understand what's happening to me now. Because I release the compulsion to try and fix it. Because I release the idea that I need fixing. And I release the blame and shame I have for being a person who feels like she needs fixing.

Because a lot of humans, especially woman ones, feel this way. And I release the notion that I should be any better different.

This post is in response to the second prompt of the Reverb14 reflective writing challenge. All prompts can be found here; you are warmly invited to share your response and link to it in the comments below, if you feel called to do so. 

The next opportunity to connect in this way is April Moon and we'd love to have you join us!



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Old and new, messy and bright



Last night was the first new moon of the year.

New moons herald beginnings. They invite certainty, intention. And signal a window of opportunity where effort towards building foundations will be rewarded, fruitful.

The best I can do this new moon is: let me be present with as much courage and grace as I can muster.

There's nothing wrong. I mean to say, everything is actually humming along quite nicely. 2014 ended with the realisation that everything I hoped for had come to pass. I was also blessed with the chance to rest and recover after being ejected from the conveyor belt that carried me through Reverb, the end of the academic year, the festive season. 2015 promises to be one of the most powerful years ever.

Right now, it feels like we're in a holding pattern. But it also feels like everything is on the brink of changing.

My daughter is on school holidays until the end of next week. Many of the local service providers who support our daily lives are still straggling back from holidays of their own. A routine, including regular babysitting (= writing time for me), is only just falling into place. The hottest part of Summer beckons.

Early signs are emerging that my breastfeeding days are numbered. The changes may be subtle, and mainly confined to my body, but everyone in our house is feeling them.

I find myself obsessed with Black Madonnas, Artemis, the divine feminine. Labyrinths. Bees.

My daughter is starting at a new school this year and we are all, in our own ways, a bit nervous about that.

She had a meltdown yesterday because I offered to buy her an icecream. To be fair, I asked her to think about whether she really wanted an icecream because it was a sweet treat and it would mean that she would not be able to have any other sweet treats for the day. (My daughter has a flair for inveigling her way into more and more sweet treats as the day progresses. Or maybe I am just a sap.)

I let her cry and carry on while I helped her out of her bathers. Then I asked her to help me understand what was going on. As far as I could see, she was having a meltdown because I offered to buy her an ice cream.

"I don't know!" She wailed, "This is just a weird time!"

This week, my best friend finalised her contract for a fantastic new job after many months of seeking. I sent her a posy of flowers from her favourite florist. I couldn't resist its vibrant blooms but also because it was called "The time is bright".

It's hot, overcast and humid here in Melbourne. I had a sacred two hours to myself in my writing studio yesterday and spent most of the time squinting into the glare leeching through my window. I polished off a massive bag of chocolate candy and rearranged the fairy lights on my walls.

The time is, indeed, bright.

And messy.

And as my daughter pointed out, more than a little bit weird.

Last night, I skyped with my therapist and cried a lot. I haven't cried a lot for a long time and they felt like old, old tears.

Beginnings, I am learning, also herald endings.

This post is in response to the first prompt of the Reverb14 reflective writing challenge. All prompts can be found here; you are warmly invited to share your response and link to it in the comments below, if you feel called to do so. 

The next opportunity to connect in this is way April Moon and we'd love to have you join us!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Reverb14: the day after


Thank you, my friends. Seriously: THANK YOU. It's been an incredible three weeks. We've laughed, we've cried, we've vented, we've hugged ourselves tenderly, we've held a veritable Asshatters Tea Party.

I am blown away every year by the community that forms around Reverb and this year was no exception. There were 236 of us, in the finish. And staggering number posted (and shared) every single day. You pushed yourselves out of your comfort zones and shared artwork and selfies, some even made videos! But what awed me even more was that you visited so many other posts and left insightful, supportive comments.

I was thinking this morning that if I had to describe the Reverb14 community in one word, it would be RESILIENT. I have been humbled, time and time again, learning of the paths that brought you here. But reading your raw and feisty words, I can't help but know that you are going to be OK. We are all going to be OK. And surely that means this crazy, beautiful, terrifying world we live in is going to be OK.

Thank you for giving me hope.

A huge shout-out to our magnificent guest bloggers: Max Daniels; Noel Rozny; Brad aka GeekinHard; Jen Allen; Kira Elliott; Amy Taylor-Kabbaz; Marianne Elliott; Amy of The Anxious Hippie; Tracy Brisson; Sophie Appleby; and Jen Lee. We were also very lucky to have been graced with Camille Condon's superb design skills in the form of a blog button and email banner.

I respect each and every one of these talented people enormously and cannot begin to express my gratitude for their generosity of spirit at such a busy time of year. I follow their blogs and twitter feeds and can honestly say that you will not regret doing the same.

Please stay in touch! Let me know what came up for you, your biggest findings, the gifts you'll carry into the new year. Come back in April for a check-in and recharge.

Know that, whatever happens, this tribe you have created will always be here for you.

And you are never alone.

Much love,
Kat x

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Reverb14 Day 21: ending with certainty



Today, I'd like you to revisit what you wrote on 1 December on the first day of Reverb14. 

How does that compare to where you are now i.e. what can you say today with certainty?

Then, without thinking too hard about it, grab a pen and some paper and finish the following sentences:


In 2015, I am open to...

In 2015, I want to feel...
In 2015, I will say no to...
In 2015, I will know I am on the right track when… But when I find myself veering off course, I will gently but firmly…
In December 2015, I want to look back and say...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such an incredible part of this Reverb journey. I’ll be back tomorrow but for now I’m inviting you to sit and marvel at all that you have achieved in 2014 and all the joy that awaits in 2015.

You are warmly invited to share your response in the linky below. Be sure to check out the other amazing responses while you're there! (Trust me, this is how the magic happens.)


This prompt is part of the Reverb14 reflective writing challenge. The full set of prompts can be viewed here once they are published.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Reverb14 Day 20: space for joy (with thanks to Jen Lee)


Today's prompt comes from the phenomenal Jen Lee (photo credit Bella Cirovic). Jen's superpower is harnessing her gifts to offer beautiful resources for the creative journey, usually in loving collaboration. The forthcoming The 10 Letters Project is no exception. 

Jen writes:

One thing I learned in 2014 was how to make space for joy and levity, even in the midst of challenging circumstances or sad times. 

How could you make space for joy in the year to come? How could you protect it?

Thank you Jen!

P.S. If you want to experience Jen's magic in the comfort of your own home, give yourself the gift of Indie Kindred for Christmas (you can thank me later!). 

You are warmly invited to share your response in the linky below. Be sure to check out the other amazing responses while you're there! (Trust me, this is how the magic happens.)


This prompt is part of the Reverb14 reflective writing challenge. The full set of prompts can be viewed here once they are published.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Reverb14 Day 19: signs and symbols


Sometimes I feel like an intrepid explorer through the lush, terrifying, vibrant jungle that is daily life. When I am open, I start to notice clues everywhere; clues which guide me to questions that, in turn, lead to answers. I sense the very real possibility that I am not navigating my way on my own

Recently I realised that I had been gravitating to hot pink. This realisation led me to a photo which, in turn, brought back some memories which then led me to understand something about a burden I'd been carrying for a long time. And in that discovery, I was freed.

Today, I invite you to consider: what sorts of signs and symbols have recurred for you in 2014? Think: repeating colours, shapes, people, sayings, music, images, ideas. Where could they possibly be leading you?

You are warmly invited to share your response in the linky below. Be sure to check out the other amazing responses while you're there! (Trust me, this is how the magic happens.)


This prompt is part of the Reverb14 reflective writing challenge. The full set of prompts can be viewed here once they are published.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reverb14 Day 18: nourishment (with thanks to Sophie Appleby)



Today's prompt and image come from the gorgeous Sophie Appleby aka Her Library Adventures. Sophie is also the co-creator of Wilde Asher, a powerful collection of talismans handmade with her mum and sister. To soak in Sophie's world is to wander in the dusk picking fragrant gum leaves; savour afternoon tea of freshly baked bread and an exotic pot of tea; snuggle in front of the open fire with a crocheted blankie, journal and quill. 

Sophie writes:

In the busyness of the everyday, taking time to nourish the soul doesn't reach the top of the 'to do' list as often as it should. 

What nourishes your soul? How would you like to incorporate more of this into your life in 2015?

Thank you, Sophie!

You are warmly invited to share your response in the linky below. Be sure to check out the other amazing responses while you're there! (Trust me, this is how the magic happens.)


This prompt is part of the Reverb14 reflective writing challenge. The full set of prompts can be viewed here once they are published.