03 April 2017

As above, not always, as below

So here we are.
April.
Snow still up over my boots, but a serious melt happening right now. The sky is full of clouds saying rain soon, rain soon, rain soon, as if that is a surprise. The earth is heavy with water right now, while on the other side of the earth, this rain, this snow, this water would be traded for gold.

So here I am.
Kate.
Snow still up over my boots, and life happening both above and below ground. Above ground, I turned 50. Della is growing fast, and teenagering already, and Doug is nearly ready for his seasons away at camp.  And I am not ready for that, not really. But here we are.

Below ground, I feel a little more stable. New medication holds the wolves of panic at bay. And I am returning slowly slowly to something that feels more like I used to. At least more like I used to.  But different. I'm different. And I can feel the change in my bones.

I do not want to live wary. (I choose this word, not warily)-- I do not want to live in fear.
I don't. I don't want to live waiting for the wolves to come and steal my happy, steal my autonomy, steal my sense of safety.  I don't want to feel as if my grip is tenuous. I want to feel strong and rooted and ready and able.
And I am shoring those up, digging deep, nourishing myself, and trying not to freak the fuck out when a windstorm comes and shakes the whole thing down and down and down.

I want to tell you about parenting and how, at 50, I am still panging with whateveritis that hurts when pregnancies are announced, and when little ones are passed, arms to arms, and the beginnings, so sweet, leave a longing.  I want to tell you we talk about adopting and how, here I am, knees and soul creaky, imagining and not being able to imagine. Not with this child, not in this lifetime, and then I feel bad for feeling that. As if I should be open.  But my openness is to not knowing what will come. Right now my heart is open in the direction of a family member needing extra love. And maybe that is what I am built for, yes, extra love-- here and here and here and here.

I want to tell you I am working hard at work that pays me with people I love. And I want to say that that is enough. But it isn't. I want to be creating more, writing, learning, self-directing.  My financial fear is still in place, month by month, we make it. Have more than most on the planet, and yet, we are of that group that is one emergency away from catastrophe. So for now, I kiss the ground in gratitude, and make lists of things I want to do when I have time, when I allow myself time.

I want to tell you I am taking care of my body, eating well, and walking and spending time outside. But my last two foods were potato chips and potato chips, and I walked to get them at the kitchen counter but I don't think that counts.

I want to tell you that I am flourishing in this post infertility era, this mid life, this amazing life, and I am and I'm not. there is no post-infertility. there is no post loss. there is life after, yes, but it is never "post", it does not recede. it rides shotgun. and I have come to realize that is what this is. a companion of sorts, a thing that is part of my experience that is not undoable.

I want to stay and write all day, I ache for this ache ache ache for this
but now, the timer is going off, the one that keeps me on track (HA HA HA HA HA)
and, coincidentally, also means my egg is ready to eat. the one I have boiled and will peel and will imagine it is anything other than what it is.


14 November 2016

sending love

to all of us who are hurting: I send love.
to all of us who are feeling that we or our families or loved ones are at risk: I send love.
to all of us who fear for the safety of others: I send love.
to all of us who have fear: I send love.
to all of us who feel despair: I send love.
to all of us who feel alone: I send love.
to all of us who feel hopeless: I send love.

may love win.
may love win.
may love win over hate and bigotry. may my family be safe. may we all be well.

05 September 2016

Crosstalk

anxiety sometimes feels like hunger
sometimes it feels like the stomach flu beginning, a head swimmy dislocation, impending doom
sometimes it feels like drowning or being caught aflame

I am surfing it as best I can. Back on medication to lessen the moment to moment intensity. Doing highly unpleasant therapy in hopes of digging the roots out, but feeling I am battling kudzu, roots cross linking faster than I can dig.

I go from vaguely optimistic to truly tormented to exhausted and depleted and back again.
anxiety leaves grief in its wake.

sadness just is the underlayer, and I am trying to remain open to the messages that all of these things are bringing, but I am just missing my joyous self, my lightheartedness... I am missing me.

I am much better back on the medication, and sweater season will help me camouflage the extra weight that comes with increased stability.

But here is what i know:  even in this shitty space, I am still me enough to see beauty. To stop and notice beautiful ordinary things. To paint raw edged paintings that speak of transformation. I am still present and loving.  And it noticing these moments, I am pulling myself forward, hand over hand hopeful still
still hopeful.

01 August 2016

a friend's new blog

My friend LJ is midstride parenting an infant, and she started a blog that is so fabulously raw and honest, here.  go,  read it.  seriously.    https://malleableforms.wordpress.com/

06 July 2016

blame it on the moon

New moon and suddenly I feel like I have something I can blame, an external Thing that has nothing to do with me.
A moon, phasing....
These past weeks have been so tender-- so filled with tears. I am sure this is a cleansing of some kind, and I am keeping with my intention to bring curiosity to it, but the tears.
holy wow
then, like a sore tooth, I poke at it-- how about this? how about facebook? how about this video? how about this song? and yes, tears. and yes, tears.
and so why am I poking it?

there is this thing happening, this thing, this thing of anxiety and also of releasing. I am practicing both. Practicing how to live with this anxiety until I resolve it, and practicing how to live with releasing. How to allow the tears. Knowing they are temporary. Sometimes, nanoseconds. But this is a grief thing happening too. As if I am letting off little tiny bits, here, I say to the universe, please, take this.... and this.... and this.... a million little exhalations of stored up sadness.

And i am laughing some too. Sometimes flat out, sometimes wry.
short moments but moments and with each I realize how unfamiliar laughter has become. oh Kate of the booming shake the rafters laugh.
that will come, I know it.
it will.


06 June 2016

broadening, deepening

I wanted to post an update on the panic attack tango.
There's been this tectonic shifting happening in my emotional landscape... slow and deep. Things are moving in ways I did not think possible.

I am currently medication free after having really bad reactions to the last few I tried, and finally, just realized that now was not a time I could afford to feel that bad while trying to feel better.  I've dived deeper into therapy-- different modalities than before-- and, rather suddenly,  the sadness spigot was turned on. And the anger spigot. Nothing Big and Dramatic except there is a now a presence where there was an absence.  Tears come a lot now, often, but not for long. Sadness comes a lot now, but not for long.  Anger comes now, but not for long. Each comes and goes, comes and goes, and with each has come such an incredible richness.

Panic attacks are still triggerable- so I am not CURED (angels singing)-- but I am developing a different relationship to it/them.

I know it will not kill me (because it hasn't) and I know it will not stay forever (because it has always passed)-- so now, when it happens, it is horrible.  But then, it is horrible and then, eventually, it is gone again. And I am still here.

I am not feeling cocky, trust me.  This is about reveling in the differences, the changes, the widening, and deepening, the shifting, and the trust.  The trust that I will live, and it will go.  If this lasts? great.  If not? I am so grateful for the break. So grateful.

18 May 2016

Online Journaling Workshop!


Soul Reclamation Online Journaling Workshop


Coming up on June 3,4, 5 (or download to do when you wish)– I’m excited to be offering a guided journaling workshop!
This is about reclaiming parts of ourselves, long misplaced, buried, forgotten.
This is about inviting ourselves to feel more whole.
This is about mindfulness and presence, awareness, and forgiveness and shame-release.
This is about letting go, even a little, of our fierce grip on some of what keeps us from being able to move forward into who we are becoming.

DETAILS
** 5 guided journaling exercises posted on a private page on my heartwork website over the course of 3 days.
** Each exercise could take as little as 10-minutes
** “ Journaling“ could mean writing or not, art or not, but something “external”, not inside your head, usually works best.
** Participate in real time or download for later.
** A totally optional private, temporary, Facebook group (prompts will be posted there too)
** Sliding scale. 0-$20 via paypal .

This is intimate work, and to make it work as well as we can, we will not be sharing the content of our journals. We can talk about process, feelings, context, but the privacy or our writing or other forms of expression is to allow more complete freedom and unselfconsciousness of both exploration and expression.

This may be for you if you are feeling ready to let go of some old shit, while staying safe, present and mindful.
But this is not for you if you feel at any time it’s not for you. Yes, it is that simple. Trust you. Trust you. Trust you.

+++&+++>      This event has passed and it was awesome.  Interested in learning about upcoming workshops? Sign up for my mailing list on www.kate-johnson.com