I've been tagged by Tifanie with the lovely game, *"5 Things I Do A Day to Keep My Mind Healthy."* If health is measured by shifts & changes, in breath & outbreath, a constant flux of moving emotions, holding on & letting it go while being seized daily by massive bursts of love & gratitude, than I suppose I am fairly well. In any case, I'm cooking every day, & that makes me extraordinarily happy.
So, I Cook.*
Every year I choose an inspiring hardback cookbook to keep my notes in, to hold my grocery lists & magazine tear sheets. The boys draw in them & I tear them to bits. It's always a cookbook that feels very timely. Since I was illustrating Annabelle this year, about a colorful little girl, Apples for Jam was perfect. Organized by color, it's basically Tessa's ode to her girls. The recipes are to die for.
I notice my whole year is basically here in this cookbook. And it's such a picture of the 5 things that keep me floating & lift me when I'm sinking. And, it's pink. Which is nice.
There aren't things I do everyday. But there are practices which come in very different forms. They are such an ingrained part of my community culture that I forget that some of them aren't exactly normal. I come from a powerful community of artist, innovators & entrepreneurs. Most people in my life do these things, as well.
So here they are, with a couple of examples:
I'm making a banner behind my washing machine that says, I Am Creative & Generative.
In these times of uncertainty, that is something I can be certain of.
I create my husband daily by making him Right. As often as Possible.
I create my motherhood. I say that I am Encouraging, Engaged & Connected. I remind myself often by creating notes & displays all over the house.
I create my opportunities to make a difference. I look for projects & initiatives that inspire me & I extend what I can.
I create my community. I tell people who've got something that they HAVE IT. I am an unabashed gusher, & am constantly awed by what you do for yourself & others. Yes, you.
I take note of what's in the way, what's missing, what's present that has the things in my life look the way they do. When I'm frustrated or stopped or hurt or impossible, I distinguish what's up. This often involves some art or a call to one of my many coaches. Luckily my parents, siblings, husband, business partners, & friends are amazing coaches. They don't buy my stories or let me blame anyone for anything! They help me distinguish where I'm responsible for my life & the impact on those around me. We have special doctors that distinguish past memories stuck in our organs & clear them out so they don't stop us in life.
I clear clutter. Clear old thoughts. Clear toys from the path. Clear my calendar. Clear my to do list. Clear my brain. How do I clear my brain? D & I have this conversation:
"Can I clear?"
"Okay, blah, blah, blah...."
The difference is this, he agrees to just be a star in the sky. I clear like the weather passing through. He doesn't fix or change what I say. He doesn't listen to agree or disagree with me. He just watches the storm pass. I agree to be complete when I'm done. "Is there anything else?" he'll ask? "No."
At that point, it's time to create.
I also clear my employees & friends. They clear just like that, & I listen. By knowing what's going on for them I can give them space. They appreciate knowing that I know & then they have space to fully be with me & fully do what they need to. They know I know they are human with full lives & that it's okay with me. I expect them to be happy, sad, frustrated, the works.
*I Let Go
Being extremely ambitious & also having three babies over the last 8 years has trained me to let go of a lot. To practice sequencing. Like, this year. Baby. This year. Consult. This year. Illustrate. This year. Baby. Like, this moment. Nurse. Now. Dishes. Stop. Nurse. Stop. Stop argument. Stop. Nurse. Now, dishes.
Things with babies go slower & they go differently than how I'd design. Unschooling the boys means being ready to go when they show an interest in something. I have to be flexible & open. It's a lot of letting go.
It's wanting to make the pot pie. And ending up holding the baby.
Letting go of the house feeling like a hurricane hit it. I'm so grateful for my home! Trying to direct someone else to make the pot pie. Noticing they can't read my brain which has no recipe cards. And making it myself. It took 3 hours! And look. It was good.