Today I walked through a threshold. One that I think I have been walking circles around for years, but never finding the courage to actually walk through. It's a door called naked truth. The truth that while I am in the middle of creating some of my biggest soulwork to date, I am also losing self & the heartbeat of life. Real living. The kind of living that I fervently search for and seek out with the artisans and creatives that I share through my soul work, my magazine. Over the past few months my creative life has shifted in huge ways. I'm no longer sitting behind a desk creating beautiful bohemian pieces of jewelry. I mean, I am to fill my orders that come in, but I have not created a new piece in months. This use to be the thing that drove me. The creation of the new piece. Then the next new piece. Then the next new collection, and on and on. Now, I am spending my days searching for others who are doing similar things to what I no longer have the time to do, to fill the pages of my magazine. I have taken a step back from the creator position, to the messenger position. Of course, I am still creating, just in a different way. Either way, things have shifted. But I have not let go of anything completely. So now, I am taking on being editor in chief of a magazine, being a jewelry designer as orders come through, being a full time blogger on two websites, creating lookbooks, being a fashion blogger, fulfilling millions of other little commitments that go along with each of these things, and being co-owner of my husband's thriving tshirt company, which keeps us busy most evenings.
The things is, I am passionate about all of these things. I have not let go of any of them b/c I love them all so much. They each bring me joy in different ways, and have become such a part of my life. But lately, I have been feeling my commitments becoming very overwhelming. I find myself spending less and less time outdoors, and more and more time online, answering emails. Even though I have so many wonderful things going on in my career I am beginning to feel a deep well of emptiness in life, outside of my career. The things that mean so much to me... walks in nature, date nights, time spent with friends, making art for the sake of making art, writing from the soul, yoga and moving my body, spending time on nourishing my body with real food, dancing to music, hooping, just playing. Doing things for play, and nothing more. I cannot remember the last time I picked up a paint brush. Its been years. I feel like I have been chasing goal after goal after goal for years, and slowly, so slowly that I didn't even notice, things began to fall away. People, interests, intimacy.
Something hit me yesterday, and life became more apparent than ever. I need to stop, slow down, reevaluate, re-member, and start dancing again. Dancing with life. It's hard for me to find this balance. It is my nature to strive and go, go, go. It is my nature to be very career oriented. It is my nature to be more serious, and hermit-like, which keeps me from reaching out to other and going out and enjoying more of life. I am home bound most days, which in turn allows me to focus on my creations pretty much fulltime, non stop. I think the biggest thing that will change that one day will be having a baby. But until then, this is my truth. And I am ready to start rewriting that truth. Or at least recognizing that truth so that I can create new scenarios. I can challenge myself in new ways. Less career focused and more self nourishing choices day to day. I can't tell you how many lists I have made, over and over, of all the things I would love to focus on. It usually consists of things like gardening, learning to cook new and wholesome meals, riding my bike, yoga, meditation, creating art for the sake of art, date nights with my man, spending more time with friends, etc. Things that seem pretty simple actually. But all things that I continually allow to be pushed aside for all the deadlines I have created for myself in my career. It can get confusing and messy when your creative endevours are your main source of income, because they are a must in many ways, just like any 'job' would be. But the lines get easily blurred when you work from home and don't define actual working times, or when your office is in your living room. Life and work are constantly mixing together for me, and at times like now I wake to realize I have allowed the work part to bleed over too much into the life/play/nourish part.
So, I have decided to step back a bit. I am cancelling my winter magazine issue, which is very hard for me to even say. I already had pretty much the entire issue mapped out and everyone emailed, and now I must go back and say I'm sorry to so many people. But a good friend told me today that I'm not saying 'No', I'm just saying 'Not right now'. I really needed that perspective. My perfectionist and career oriented brain feels like I'm giving up. But I'm not giving up, I'm just setting a new boundary for myself. One that will open up new doors and release old baggage. At least that is what I am hoping for. I haven't really taken a break in 5 years. I still have numerous commitments that I will attend to, things I already said yes to. I am already so far behind on so many. But allowing myself to say no to this winter issue gives me a few months to not have that also on my plate. I will still be working in ways b/c well, I have to pay my bills and eat. So I am not bowing out completely, and will still be present online, it just may be in different ways.
I'm ready to return to me. To get back to smiling and loving life more than feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. Chasing dreams is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you have to rest and recharge. I am hitting the reset button.