True Velocity

A few things I've been up to lately by Christina Rosalie

Giraffe - Christina RosalieHello friends! I've been so busy lately I haven't had nearly as much time as I would like to stop in here and share stories.

Here are a few things I've been up to lately:

:: Writing on Medium
:: Creating a new series of art pieces (this giraffe is one, in progress)
:: Planning a studio sale for the end of March (sign up if you'd like to get first dibs.)
:: Working on a few very cool client projects. I especially loved helping to launch this shop into the world.
:: Reading the Little House series out loud to Bean (and feeling very glad I'm not that kind of pioneer.)
:: Watching Sprout become an amazing artist.
:: Reading this book, and this one.
:: Listening to new music on Beats.
:: Writing every morning in a notebook (I've loved responding to these prompts though I haven't had time to share much here.)
:: Doing a 20 minute vinyasa routine every morning
:: Drinking tea (instead of coffee), skipping alcohol, going to bed earlier, and taking a zillion supplements... and feeling like my adrenals are saying thank you. {Hello energy! How I've missed you}
:: Walking out onto the icy lake with the boys (it still feels bizarre and precarious, but I love all the wide expanses.)
:: Making big plans.
:: Really hankering for spring (and we have many inches of snow in the forecast this week!)
What you've been up to this March? Crazy how time is whirling by these days.

Sojourn: The temporary state of now by Christina Rosalie


sojourn |ˈsōjərn|

noun a temporary stay.
Since December I've been doing yoga every week-day morning. Just a short, half hour vinyasa routine that ends with a few minutes of meditation. Every morning I show up, bend and bow, and discover my hamstrings are still as tight as the day before. Every morning show up, find my breath and focus my attention--and then loose it; find it, then loose it again.
Some days it's less of a struggle, other days it's more so, depending on how willing I am to take this sojourn into the present; how patient I am to sit with non-doing. Sometimes I count slow inhalations; other times I really am just there, in my breath; but many times I'm impatient, bucking up against the uncertainty of the now.
Without a clock, just breathing, time does it's own thing: Slowing to a maddening pace so that five minutes are an eternity of interruptions and distractions. The dog comes wagging. The boys wake up. The winter light glints through the chinks in the shades and flirts with my closed lids. Then all the worries I carry come crowding up, knocking their carpet bags and banging their shoes in the muddy entrance way of my mind.
If there were a clock, a countdown, a promise of what's next I could be patient I think. I could let go, sink in, and sojourn into the temporary state of now. But with the wide expanse of temporariness stretched out before me wide without a way to mark it's passing, each day I am challenged just to sit. To breathe. To be empty, and then to fill.
This has made me consider all the ways that I struggle with being in between, in the middle, in a temporary state of non-action, which is where I've been in my life quite a bit lately as we make plans and circle round them slowly, uncertain about a future that has yet to arrive.

I love this list of prompts so much, I've decided to join Amanda in writing every day as often as possible this month.

Learning things about self care by Christina Rosalie

Wholeness-ChristinaRosalie In these weeks between the 1st of the New Year and my birthday on the 26th, I always strive to clarify my intentions, and imagine what I want to manifest in my next year’s journey around the sun. This year that's looked like going back through all the notebooks I kept: five moleskins in all, and several smaller ones too.
I feel a bit like an archeologist, sifting through the artifacts of my 2013 self; tracing the plot lines and inner narratives that in the moment never appeared connected, but from the vantage point of a year out, there are evident constellations.
I've found notes that, like the most distant stars, indicate the faintest outline of my new book. Each set of randomly scrawled sentences appear now in obvious relation to the others, like the shimmering Pleiades for me to pursue across my imaginations’ uncharted dark the way Orion does after the Seven Sisters each night.
And There are other notes, often repeated, where I tell myself to slow down, to rest, to listen to my core.
Yet I never listened, and followed instead the uncompromising rule of “should.” Pushing far past my limits because it was my default; the only way of being I'd ever known. But oh, there is so much to that fine phrase:

Less doing, more being.

And with the diagnosis of adrenal fatigue and a gluten sensitivity finally answering just exactly why I’ve been waking up as exhausted as I went to sleep for the past year, I found myself faced with a new urgency to take a different course of action:
Saying no at least as often as I say yes. Protecting downtime like the sacred thing it is. Clearly mapping the expectations for projects, and only doing as much as necessary, even if more could be done. Going to bed early, when I first feel tiredness come on instead of letting myself slip into the loop of aimless Internet wanderings, or pushing to finish a project. Coming face to face with "good enough," and letting that really be enough. And then sustaining my body by eating gluten free, without coffee, and instead of running hard daily as I once did, doing yoga first thing every day after writing morning pages.
It feels unfamiliar and strange and terribly vulnerable to be attempting these daily acts of kindness towards myself. And it takes everything to quiet my monkey brain that tells me it is weakness to need this kindness, this self care. Yet I do.
I taped this David Allen quote to the bathroom mirror as a reminder:

You can do anything. Just not everything.

And still. I’ve had the hardest time trying to write about this journey here. Somehow it feels both tender and silly and yes, weak; as though I am in some way admitting defeat. I’ve begun a hundred posts, only to delete everything and start again. Yet I also feel like sharing this work of reclaiming balance and learning to live less forcefully will be useful. I learn from the process of reflection, and also from what you share in return here at the page.

Tell me about self care. Teach me what you know.

To seek balance, and find ourselves instead in motion by Christina Rosalie

closeLikeThis_back We're running. He's ahead of my by a half a stride, and I can feel the way this makes me run harder, then harder still, trying to catch up, to syncopate, to be in step. Finally I ask him, "Where do you see me now? Next to you or behind?"
"Next to me," he says, zero hesitation.
I sprint a step ahead so we're in line, his feet moving in time with mine now, our knees and feet matching in gate. "How about now?" I ask.
I put my arm out like the wing of an airplane, perpendicular to my side, it brushes lightly against his chest. We're exactly in line. "I'm beside you now," I say, "But I wasn't before."
"No way!" he's incredulous. A dozen small finches lift up from alongside the road where the yellow coltsfoot is finally blooming like hundreds of small suns.
We've been running together for years, side by side, more or less in synch, our strides matching save for this irregularity of peripheral vision. Him, just a little bit ahead. Because of the way I'm strung together like a lanky marionett, my legs are nearly as long as his (though his torso is a good 6 inches longer than mine.) I'm made of legs, then ribcage, not much in between. And because of this we've always run together more or less side by side, even at a sprint.
Still, this is the first time I've bothered to ask if that half a stride distance ahead of is something he's been doing on purpose.
Most of the time it doesn't bother me. I like the challenge. I like to run hard, feel my lungs burn and my quads heat with the sure fire of muscle motion. But there are some days, like this one, when all I want is for the effortlessness of togetherness. Neither behind nor ahead, neither pushing, nor being pushed.
He laughs now, his voice ringing out into the cold spring air. The sky is overcast but bright. The pebbles on the road gleam white and copper and ocher in between the soft places where our soles sink in the mud. The fields are greening. The shadows growing long in the gloaming.
For the rest of the run we try it. Side by side. It's such a subtle shift, if I weren't paying attention I might not have noticed it at all. They way my body stops pushing. The way things feel suddenly at ease, in balance.
It's so easy, to let habit become fact. To let inertia shape the channel through which your energy flows. To settle into the way things have always been, even if it no longer feels in balance.
It's easy for this to happen especially when you've been at something for a long time (13 years for us). When the days stack up full of things that need doing and work comes home for the weekend; when dishes wait on the kitchen counter and alone-time and time together are both in short supply.
Harder to bring attention to breath and pulse and heart. To take notice of the way things make you feel; to dial in and really listen. And then to ask, to reach, to wonder, aloud and together until there is a stirring of energy. Activation. Attention. Motivation.

What if instead of seeking balance, we found ourselves anew in motion over and over again?

Slowly, softly, the new year arrived here: by Christina Rosalie

I’ve been wanting so very much to show up here and tell you things, but with the new year came a fever—the kind I remember having as a little girl, and all I was able to do was curl under thick down covers and sleep.

It’s not something I make time for readily: resting deeply, and I think my body knows this. I think it staged a mutiny just as soon as my very last project for the semester was finished and I crashed hard: first a chest cold, then a brief respite right over Christmas at to ring in the new year, followed by a fever that when it broke, left me feeling like a knobby kneed colt, my limbs somehow new and unfamiliar as I woke from a day of sleeping. I felt unbearably grateful to find my hands again, my arms, my kneecaps, scapula, ribs. What a glorious blessing to arrive with these fragile lungs still intact to suck in the cold air; with eyes to watch the birds lift and dive from branch to feeder; with fingers to type these words!

And so I woke, sipped tea, and wrote in my notebook 12 things to manifest in 2012 and a word to true towards, my own inner north.


I’d been thinking of EASE, and VITALITY, and AFFLUENCE, and about the way those words called to mind a certain blooming of soul and career and creative work that I want to dream real this year, and then flourish found me, somewhere between dreaming and awake, while the puppy was on the bed, and the boys too, and it felt so right and true that I laughed.

Flourish (v.) 1. to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way; thrive 2. to develop rapidly and successfully; to achieve success; prosper 3. to be in a state of activity or production 4. to reach a height of development or influence.

For 2010 I chose action; for 2011, fruition, and each word speaks more truth about its year than I could have ever imagined.

Big things came to fruition in 2011. I wrote my first book, completed my fourth semester of graduate school, got a dog, made incredible + soulful creative connections, watched my six year old become a first grader and my two year old become a talking, singing, dancing boy.

And now to flourish in this new life I’ve dreamed possible: doing work that I love as a writer, an artist, and as a social media strategist.

I haven’t shared as much here as I intended about my journey through graduate school, or about my growing love for social media strategy, and the way this field combines storytelling and conversation. It’s been so intense and full velocity and transformative in ways I’m only now able to put my finger on. It has reshaped my view, reframed my capacities, and honed my passions. It’s been pretty cool, really, and I’d like to share more here about that process this winter and spring as I finish up my thesis, and about the process of being a mother while also doing these things.

This is something I’m becoming increasingly aware of, how this truth, more than any other thing, is my trumpeters call, my purpose, my passion. To tell you this: you can do what you want.

Choosing is a myth. Being only one thing or only another isn’t a requirement. And manifesting what you long for has everything to do with finding your true velocity: your right tempo at the borderline between self and world; between mamahood and career; between soul and body.

I don’t always get the tempo right; and there are many days when I’m reminded once again that I’ll always be a novice at my life: new to the curveballs, the passions, the possibilities that come my way. But I’m joyfully committed to the process nonetheless. And that, my friends, is my way of way of telling you: I have big plans for 2012. New offerings, new directions and new adventures. And I can't wait to share them!

xo, Christina Rosalie