Tuesday, January 3, 2017

On Blogging, Becoming and BEing

My Journey from Unbecoming to Being

As I logged into Blogger this morning, I actually heard creaking and had to clear cobwebs off my face, seeing as my most recent blog post was from August of 2015. Wow! What happens to a blogger who blogs steadily for seven, count them SEVEN years (yep, I started this thing in 2008) to cause her to fall off the face of the blog-o-sphere? Well, allow me to fill you in.
Life's challenges aren't supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are. - Bernice Johnson Reagon

On Blogging

When I started this blog, I was in the middle of a divorce, living with my two kids in my mother's house and trying to make heads or tails out of life, love and more importantly myself. I had thoughts and feelings and insights I wanted to get out of my head and heart and into the universe, and I noticed when I was quite young that people seemed to want to hear what I had to say. So I said it.

As I grew more into myself and embraced single parenthood, I became more and more alive. I decided being a mother, and a single mother at that wasn't going to stop me from being ME and living the life I wanted. I didn't want to be a person who waited until she had it all together, or enough money in the bank, or kids who didn't poop and pee all over themselves to start LIVING, because none of us are promised tomorrow.

And as I wrote, people listened and responded. I didn't have a formula and initially I didn't blog to build a business. I didn't use keywords, and I didn't even really have a focus for my blog other than writing what was on my heart and sharing with the world my journey of being me. It grew organically and it seemed like what I was doing MATTERED.

On Becoming

But once I knew people were listening, and watching, I began to feel like I needed to BECOME, rather than just be. Being seemed so small and insignificant and I felt like now that I was a "real blogger," I needed to get serious. I needed to look at trends and write about what people wanted to read, and advertise and make money and live up to the public persona I'd created. I couldn't just be; I had to be on, all the time. What if I ran into someone at the grocery store? "Oh my gosh, I know you! I read your blog and didn't I see you on T.V.?!" Yes, yes you did.

The more I became the person I thought I was supposed to be, the more I lost myself. I started doing activities with my kids and going on adventures SO THAT I could blog about it. I would scour the goings on of Tulsa looking for something interested to drag my kids to not because I wanted to spend time with them, but because I had to keep up the rat race. If I'm honest, that was probably the only time I did spend with them: forced, orchestrated, choreographed moments and sound bites curated for public consumption. And this extended into the business that birthed from the blogging adventure. Originally, my doula and childbirth educator business grew from my authenticity and passion and genuine desire to do something that mattered, but it became a formula for success, and something I had to do a certain way so I could grow it, track it, teach it, and charge for it.

You know what happened? What had started as a trickle and flowed into a beautiful teeming river of life eventually dried up and as people stopped listening, I stopped talking. I stopped writing because there wasn't anything to write about, unless I was going to write about what was really going on, which was that I was drowning in a life of chaos I'd created for myself. In fact, I actually had a business coach instruct me to give up on Honeybee Mama. "I mean, what are you a beekeeper or something? I don't get it. I can't figure out who you are. It's confusing. Stop that shit." So I did.

Once the shit really hit the fan in my personal life, I decided to get help. I began a journey of self discovery and healing through a life coaching program called Pathways Core Training, along with intentional daily practice of new habits and connection with a community of people committed to living life differently and creating the lives they want to live.

On Being

Things changed. I changed. My world around me changed. My business changed. I realized that I had stopped doing all the things that made me feel like me and traded them in for formulas and recipes and instead of thriving on the confidence and joy that can truly only come from my inner-most heart, I settled for the acceptance and praise from others and did only what I thought would bring me fame and fortune. So I stopped. I stopped listening to others and got very very quiet and still, literally and figuratively. Where I used to run and go to high powered exercise classes, I began to walk or do yoga or sit quietly in my garden and meditate. For the first time in my life I began listening to classical music. I began doing more of the things that FELT right in my heart and less of the things I THOUGHT were right in my head.

Not only did I start feeling like me again, and actually liking the world and people around me, people started listening again. In this community of friends who challenge each other to live authentic and vulnerable lives, a tradition has evolved where many of us have adopted the yearly practice of setting an intention for the year and choosing one word to focus on for that year. In 2016, my word was FLOW. I chose it because I love how I feel when I'm in the flow of the Spirit (the God of my understanding), listening and saying yes, following where it leads in connection with others, inspiration, giving, working in ways I know I'm gifted to work and give to others. What I've learned is that flowing means trusting who is really in charge of the universe and who I really am.

Naturally, that year of intention led me to my 2016 word: BE. I love the flow because I feel most me when I'm flowing and have learned that in letting go of ego and control that the only way to flow is to BE me, and only me, not anyone else. On New Year's Eve 2016, I attended a Vision Board Party to create my first vision board, and I can say I am so stoked to hang this on my wall and live this intention in this new year.

How I Created My Vision Board

  1. This Vision Boards 101 blog post is a great place to start.
  2. I spent time really meditating and being introspective about what I really wanted. Not what I wanted to achieve, or earn or accomplish, but really want I wanted to feel. I thought about what I would need to get me there. I thought about the things I do when I feel most me. I listened to the still small voice inside of me that shows me how the river of life is flowing and where to jump in. What I heard was BE.
  3. I thought of BE as being the center of the flower, and then asked in my introspection what the petals of the flower were. They were Inspire, Dance, Play, Dream, Connect, Water, Yoga and Meditation. These essentially are the paths that allow you to eventually set goals and lead you to the intention in the center. 
  4. I Looked in magazines, and other collections of inspiring words and phrases (craft stores are FULL of these these days, especially in the scrapbooking sections), and cut and pasted the things that seemed to fit together and feel good to my heart until I felt peaceful enough to know the board was done. 
  5. I hung it on my wall!
Will you join me in BEing? Will you hold me accountable in this year to share truth from my heart and to be vulnerably and unashamedly ME, in all my messy, unformatted glory? Because, somehow in all of this, I know that reviving Honeybee Mama is in my flow. And this blog is about to get real again!

What is your intention for 2017? Is it a word, a feeling? I'd like to know! Share it in the comments and if you create a vision board, please share a pic too!!

Love and Honey, 


sillysiller said...

great post. My theme this year is Be Still. I decided this after my year of Be not afraid. I reached beyond my comfort level, which was great. Now I know I can do what I have to do. Next step is to stop trying to control everything and be everything. I put my priorities in order and realized my life is not like any other and my needs and time limits are unique to me. So, I will stop trying to achieve like others achieve and instead achieve like I achieve. :D

Rainy said...

Your blogging and business journey sound a lot like my blogging/creative business journey. I spent a lot of time wasting time trying to be what "experts" in the creative business field told me I should be doing. To the point where I closed my creative business and am just now starting to pick up creative tools again after many months of not.

My word for 2017 is "ME" - self care, filling my own cup, and doing the things that feel right and nourish ME first.


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