In a word, everything. And I didn’t really see how much… until my brain crashed into the front of my skull the night everything changed in late January 2018. Over a year later I am still fighting my way forward from the injuries my brain sustained. One thing that has become so very clear in recent days is that I don’t have enough margins in my world right now to afford not to focus my efforts and if I’m going to be at all effective I have to take care of myself. Self-care and soul care are more important than I ever realized. So let’s talk about that.
A little context to start with. I’m terrible at putting my own oxygen mask on first. I was trained not to. What many of you may not know is that for 20 years, I worked in full-time, sometimes-ordained, senior-level, yes-I-was-actually-a-female-pastor, organizational-church leadership positions. While I met some truly dedicated and kind people, and I also saw (and walked through) plenty of straight-up abuse. I saw beauty as well as profound dysfunction. I experienced the unexplainable. And I watched news of actual goodness be twisted into shame-based narratives that blame, bully, and build all kinds of walls.
My journey has led me out of the manmade system I was in and into a form of wilderness. But this wilderness is filled with life and bushes that burn in ordinary places. I’m now unordained (legally speaking). Papers turned in (a long while ago). Jargon mostly weeded through (I didn’t realize it sounded so strange). With truer relationships & healthier community than I knew were possible with incredible people across a spectrum of beliefs and life experiences.
I can’t honestly talk here about thriving without talking about the inner piece at the center. And that piece is soul care. I’m not talking about religion or what you believe in (although those things certainly can play a significant role). I’m talking about what breathes life into your being. I’m talking about being aware of what inspires you, how you connect to your heart, to yourself and to your world.
Soul care is caring for and honoring the deepest part of who you are. Soul care IS creativity care.
I’m taking a risk wading back into these waters. My terms have grown and changed along with me. My perspective might not fit where you are. If you’ve been hurt by a religious system, as carefully as I choose my words I’m probably going to unintentionally say something triggering eventually. Just because I’m a very imperfect human still trying to find her words. But if you’re a spiritual refugee or your soul story unfolded in ways you could have never imagined, I don’t just see you, I’m WITH you.
I don’t have all the answers, or maybe even any of them, but I am willing to sit with you and hold space to honor your questions. Because you have a right to be heard and have your questions witnessed. You matter. And if you were ever told your questions or doubts weren’t valid or valued, I am so so sorry. Because every single concern you have, known and unknown, is profoundly valid and valued.
I’m going to do the exact opposite of what’s a safe, normal business decision. I’m going to stop trying to fit my life into a pretty set of clearly-labeled and neatly-organized boxes. Real life doesn’t look like a Pinterest-perfect craft storage system. Real life, creative life, is messy, and rich and frustrating and 1000 other things that refuse to consistently fit our narratives.
So… I’m going to start talking more about my soul story as it relates to creativity, entrepreneurship, wholehearted living and thriving… because my friend thriving is an inside job. And I hope me sharing more of my story creates a space for you to explore more of yours.
Keep what fits, bookmark what inspires, leave what doesn’t, there’s never any obligation. Ever. Just freedom to be you, and to be wildly, profoundly, and relentlessly loved.