self care

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.

When the universe has been listening all along by Christina Rosalie

Brushes + Paint | by Christina RosalieMe and my littlest | By Christina RosalieUnfurling // Christina RosalieSo, dear friends, I have been silent here the past two weeks because everything in my world has been shifting and kiltering and truing towards a new more rightly aligned north.
Two Mondays ago, the same Monday we moved to my in-laws house for the week while our new floors were being put in, I found out that my small department of two at the design studio where I worked, was cut. My role and the department represented new capabilities for the studio, and for various reasons, some better reasoned than others, including a tightening of budgets and pressure to reduce overhead costs, there I was at 10:30 am, suddenly cut loose from everything I’d spent the last year working on.
It was a shock, but not necessarily unexpected. Even though I loved the work, many things about the position were lacking in--terms of resources and internal support, and there were many days that I spent quelling a feeling of panic in my ribcage because of the way things felt perpetually out of alignment. Days when I felt like a singular salmon swimming up through turbines too numerous to count., trying to convert a studio saturated in the language of print, into one with a fluency in online engagement. And so in so many ways it was a best worst-case scenario, for now, after three years of sprinting and preparation, I have the time and capabilities to begin doing work that has my heart.
The work I’ve been hankering to do, and have been doing in the margins, in any extra hour I’ve had. First and foremost: writing again, for real, for earnest. Fiction, essays, the mapping of two future books. And next, work I’m called to do as to do as a creative catalyst: providing creative’s and entrepreneurs with soulful brand strategy and business opportunity coaching.
Already, this work is aligning in ways I could never have imagined, with some super exciting collaborations that have emerged with sudden energy and creative force as if they were lying dormant, waiting for just this chance.
It’s as though the universe has been listening all along.
But oh, the disorientation I felt, having neither the habits of home nor work to hold me for two weeks. I’d end up driving places only to realize I’d forgotten to make a turn. My studio in boxes. Our house a sudden construction zone, with insulation guys and flooring guys and a painter, their coffee cups and machines and dirty footprints tracking from room to room.
Now, finally the house is put back together. New floors, and some new paint for furniture well loved. Vermillion, turquoise, and clean, bright white. It’s been so good to move back in, and to catch up slowly with myself. It feels right-timed in ways I can’t explain.
Snow is still falling, fat and wet. But the days feel warmer, and the sun stronger. There’s mud now in the sunny places on the drive, and the taps are in on all the maple trees. Even though it looks like winter, there is a stirring, a calling from the deep. To rise up, to unfurl, to begin anew.
Thank you so much for not deserting this space entirely, even with my long silence. One of the things I’m most excited by with these changes is that I’ll finally be able to really show up here again.
xo, Christina