In the past two years I’ve written two blog posts total. I had the best intentions to write more, but for many reasons, didn’t. And the longer time went without posting, the more pressure I put on that first post back.
Isn’t it ironic how when the most things are happening, there’s the least time to share about them? The past several years have been my busiest and most transformative. I look back at my old posts and barely recognize the person who wrote them. And while during this time it’s felt refreshing to simply live without the burden (bringing my big camera, editing the photos, sorting out my thoughts, actually writing the post) of sharing it all, I look back and feel a loss for all the things left undocumented.
In preparation for reviving this site, I recently sorted through all the old drafts that never got published and silently hit “delete” on each one. Even if I connected to the words, their time had passed, they were no longer relevant. The pang I felt with each erased entry served as a reminder to just say what I have to say in the moment, and not to wait. Things change so fast, it’s hard to remember what is new after the fact. We simply become, and forget about the becom-ing.
One of my favorite ways to start the day is to read a daily meditation from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening. In a February passage titled What is not Ex-pressed is De-pressed, he writes:
“It seems the more we express, that is, give voice to our living, the more alive we are. However, the more we push down and keep in, the more experience can lose its essential tenderness and poignancy, and we may mistakenly conclude that life is losing its meaning. To a man unaware of the cataracts filming his eyes, the world seems dimmer, not his seeing. How often do we find the world less stimulating because of all that remains unexpressed?”
This resonated so deeply with me- both the concept of expression as a vehicle to process experiences, and the consequence of non-expression as well. A written entry is the same as a physical entry; an opening to somewhere new. No entry = locked door. What is missed by not attempting to open it?
The past few years, my main focus was building financial security for our family. This meant working around the clock, taking zero maternity leave, and generally leaving time for little else besides clients and caring for a little one. I felt depleted, disconnected, numb. The opposite of a contemplative life. Our journey to Nicaragua was the turning point for finally stepping away from this conveyor-belt lifestyle and deciding how we actually wanted to spend our days.
During that time I made a list of the “things most important to me above all else” and it came down to:
1- being a present mom for Ben and wife for PJ
2- being present and loving to my closest friends and family
3- blogging from the heart
4- journaling daily
5- meditating daily
6- seeing a therapist weekly
I’ll admit, this list made me feel very self-indulgent, and I wrote and crossed out some version of “build my business” several times. Deciding to step into the slow lane felt scary and wrong, but also oh so right. I knew that in order to lead my best life, I’d need less “do” and more “be”.
It’s been 8 months since creating that list, and in this time I’ve changed my business model and significantly reduced my client load. We moved from vibrant, energetic Venice to magical, peaceful Ojai. I feel closer than ever to my favorite people, our family is thriving, the days feel slow, my journal is full, and my mind is clear. The last piece of the puzzle is sharing it with you all.
So here I am, ripping off the band-aid of that first post back. Returning to this space with renewed interest in digging deeper into life around me, and for recording what’s happening in the moment.
I hope you’ll enjoy being back on this journey with me.
Thank you Meredith for these beautiful pics of our family