Chelf on the Shelf
You know those motivational cat posters from the 80s? The ones that say “hang in there”? Sure it seemed like great advice at the time, but if 2018 taught me anything, it’s that sometimes the better, albeit more frightening choice, is just to let go.
What people don’t tell you is that when you overcome a fear and release your tight grip on that branch, your work still isn’t done. You free fall until you reach another branch...and then another, sometimes in the span of a single day, and it does not get easier each time you do it. Ugh, really?? You’ve gotta be kitten me!
As I make my way through this holiday season, I can’t help but reflect on where I was, not only a year ago at this time when my life looked so drastically different, but to that August day when I declared to the world that I was intentionally closing the door to one chapter of my life and placing myself into the unknown, jumping off of the shelf and moving into the hallway.
I committed myself to seeking the light under each doorway and ended up picking a particularly ethereal and crystal covered door that had been calling to me for years. One that I had peered into before but had been too afraid to fully walk in. One whose light that was seeping out looked an awful lot like the one I felt inside me.
Reclaiming my spirituality by announcing my new company (lighthouse/haven) to the world was one of the most frightening things I’ve ever done. I didn’t sleep well the nights leading up to it, terror swept through me and I almost gave up before I began more times than I can count. The emotional charge was visceral, I could practically taste it.
When I finally launched, I couldn’t believe the amount of support and love I received from my community of friends and family. No one called me crazy. No one told me to stay in my lane. No one laughed.
The relief I felt was palpable, only to be knocked out by the fear of my next task - putting my heart on the line by announcing and marketing my first project - a monthly women’s spiritual wellness retreat. Oh look! My next branch.
I released that branch by putting the event out there, and the next branch is about seeing what souls will be called to show up to it. The next one is seeing how the event is received. The next one is figuring out if I’ll do it again as planned, and so on, and so on.
I realize that this may be my new normal for a while as I navigate this uncharted territory. I’ve decided I need a new commitment, now that I’m no longer in the hallway. I hereby commit to not being tied to the results of my work. To do what my heart is calling me, urging me to do and not be concerned about how it is received.
Right now, my soul is calling me to create a supportive environment for women to build community and to provide a space for deep healing and introspection. I think it’s especially important during the holidays as self-care is often the first thing to go.
I believe filling our own cups first is the way to show up in the world as our best selves, and that shining our gifts, rather than being afraid of them or hiding them as to not make others uncomfortable, is actually a service to others.
I believe we are meant to be allies, not distrustful competitors, and that the truth-telling by just one woman will open the hearts of countless others who previously were not able to see her or only looked at her in judgement.
I believe that we may be surrounded by supportive friends, loving family and cherished partners and still feel lonely because we are not allowing our inner light, the essence of who we are, to be witnessed and truly accepted, imperfections and all.
I believe that embracing our feminine qualities isn’t weakness but our greatest strength.
I believe we make up so many stories that aren’t true and hold ourselves back by fears that we have created ourselves, resisting sleep with our heads on soft pillows but our minds on beds of nails.
Let me help you remember that there is so much freedom in the act of letting go of those things that no longer serve us. I’ll be by your side during this process because, listen my ladies, I need to remember too. Let’s release the branch together, on the count of three.