On Being a Man

This afternoon, I’m simultaneously finishing a chapter of my book (more to come on that later), doing laundry and baking a beautiful breakfast I can eat quickly each morning this week.

A few years ago, doing all this at once would have made me completely overwhelmed, stressed and frazzled.

But it doesn’t today.

Instead, I am completing each task slowly, giving it all the attention it deserves.

Y’all, I am taking SUCH GOOD care of myself. Because I know what it’s like to strive for perfection, to feel like nothing I do is ever good enough, to work myself into a trip to the ER because I can’t stop and allow myself to rest.

But last year, I worked with an amazing coach who would listen to me tick off the things on my list, the schoolwork and the work work and the things around the house that weren’t getting done because of the two things above, and she’d let me FREAK OUT about it, and then she’d stop me gently. And she would point out all the things I was totally KILLING at the moment—the papers I wrote every weekend that were earning As even though I hadn’t cracked a book, the big project I’d just finished at work, the fact that I hadn’t punched that VP guy in the face, and the beautiful space I was creating for myself in our home. Before I could rush off into all the things that weren’t getting done, she would call attention to all the amazing things that were.

And then I was forced to admit that I really was accomplishing some spectacular things.

So it seems appropriate to be writing about all of this on Valentine’s Day, the day of love, because stopping to appreciate myself, pausing to celebrate my accomplishments and lavishing positive attention on myself are key to the process of escaping self-flagellation.

Last year, my main Core Desired Feeling was Fierce, and I definitely found myself having many, many opportunities to embody that. Almost weekly, I had to reach into my pocket and pull out my ferocity.

That got really old really fast, however. In the Fall, I told my therapist that I felt like I was going around stabbing people with a spear. (For their own good of course. They totally needed it. But I was having more Come to Jesus conversations and taking control of more things than I’d like.) And I told her that I was done with fierce, and my Core Desired Feeling for 2016 would be something softer, like Pretty.

But in the end, I chose something else. Because Pretty is nice, but it doesn’t sound like it gets much done, and I still had a lot to do. So instead, I selected Shakti, the embodiment of the divine feminine.

I know now that I can be fierce, that I can push through like a masculine sombitch.

But being fierce ALL THE TIME makes me really tired. And especially cranky, because I think grownups should handle their OWN STUFF.

So this year, I’m working to balance that masculine fire energy with Shakti, the divine feminine, the flowing water energy. Shakti gets stuff done, moves mountains and creates canyons and erodes beaches, but she does it her own way, on her own time.

I want to temper that DO ALL THE THINGS push with the WHAT THINGS WANT TO BE DONE question. Since I can’t do ALL the things, choosing the ones that are ready seems to be a very wise place to start.

One of those is the book I’m working on, which I’ll hopefully be sharing more about this year. You may see some other changes too, like a new email list and some other things that will help me “build a platform” so I can sell the book when I finally finish it.

breakfastBut for now, I’m going to sample this beautiful and fierce breakfast and give thanks to Shakti that it will be waiting for me all week long.

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