After someone I know saw an Instagram post of mine the other day where I shared my overwhelm and frustration of a bad day (made worse by a bad week), I received an email from this person telling me: “this is the time in your life to give up all your own extra-curricular activities” and that I need to “give ALL of yourself to your kids. You need to stop volunteering with the fertility group, stop Potions, stop blogging and spending time online. Right now you need to focus all your energy and focus on your kids. They will grow up quick and once they become more self-sufficient, that’s the time to start thinking about you again.”
Normally, this would have crushed me. I would’ve started judging my parenting and my choices. I would wonder if this person were right and whether I should give up my purpose to focus solely on my kids. I would lose sleep and discuss the email at length with any friend willing to listen trying to justify myself and my actions. It was like this for years for me with the opinions of others. I cared TOO much what others thought. I’d take the opinion to heart so deeply that my heart would break a little. This way of thinking put me in precarious situations in high school I didn’t want to be in. I’ve compromised my values and morals to appease others. I’ve made poor decisions that went against my soul beliefs to tip toe around other people’s feelings. It was a terrible way to live.
But I’ve learned something this year: the more you love your decisions, the less you need anyone else to love them.
Read that again.
When you own your choices and you feel like you’re doing the right things in life, you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone.
If you’re a working mom putting 50 hours a week in, own it. If you’re a stay at home mom battling anxiety and depression, own it. If you’re a free spirit wandering the globe to the despair of your folks, own it.
You be you. You do you.
My “fertility group” is a growing charity making big waves in the infertility community. It gives me a purpose that is bigger than myself. My work here is good and needed. It’s creating Life. Actually. It helps people have babies. I believe I’m teaching my kids the value of community and hard work and selflessness.
My Potions is a small company where I make all natural skin care products because I stand up for Mother Nature and treating our skin safely. I am passionate about taking power away from huge companies who don’t ultimately have our health as a priority and offering a safer solution. On days where I make my small batch creations, my kids are usually at school/daycare or in bed. If they are awake, I include them. I believe this instills the importance of one voice being loud enough to create change and teaches them to follow their dreams.
My blogging/writing is as important to me as breathing. Every word I type is a note, every sentence my lyric. Expressing myself through the written word literally saved my life. I was suicidal after my second miscarriage and using this platform to release my grief and pain through words pulled me out of my despair and gave my life new meaning. When people responded to my words with grace and joy and gratitude, I knew I was doing something right. I knew I couldn’t ignore the ball of emotion that swirls in my chest; the sign for me that Universe has a message and I’m the vessel to give it to the world. My writing feels bigger than me. It’s my connection to Source made possible through the dance of fingers on keys, the creation of a message someone else needs to hear beyond myself. I truly believe one day my kids will read my words and have a better understanding of me and see how much I love them through a different lens.
I hope I’m teaching them the power of vulnerability and choice and authenticity.
All three of these things require a lot of online presence. I’ll admit I could do better with boundaries and time spent but I am learning to set small goals to meet these challenges. For instance, I usually blog Sunday mornings while my son naps and my husband spends time with our daughter. With Potions, I don’t typically answer emails/messages outside of “business hours.”
I’m not perfect. I’m working on finding my way to a lifestyle that suits my family best; one that supports dreams and passions and endeavours-big and small.
Receiving this email was incredibly liberating for me. To read those words without the self-judgement and anger that would’ve normally came along with it was freeing. We all have opinions; it’s how we react to them that defines a person’s character.
I don’t care what anyone says about my life. It’s my life and I own it. Finally.
I don’t compare to other bloggers or makers. I don’t compare to other charities or organizations. I just do what small bits I can do today and hope that those small bits become big bites of change, reform and goodness in the world.
When you own your decisions you own your world and when you own your world, ANYTHING is possible.
How do you get to this point? Are you wondering, “okay, but HOW?” because I know I get hung up on the “hows” of people’s revelations.
How do I stop caring what other people think?
Give Yourself Grace
Sometimes I am on fire with energy and determination and I crush out goals. I clean my house and I have dance parties with my kids and I make potions and I post a sale and the day feels fulfilled.
On those days, I know I have done exactly what I needed to do to feel like I’m enough for my family and this world.
Sometimes I can barely put on pants. My kid watches too much TV, I nap in the afternoon and dinner is coming from a box.
On those days, I tell myself rest is important, listen to your body and tomorrow is a new day. It’s grace made real. I know I’m doing the best I can, this isn’t my normal behaviour and I know I’ll do better on a different day. That’s all that matters.
My relationship with grace is the armour I need against the onslaught of the outside world.
Follow Your Heart/Arrow/True North/Dreams
Some people still don’t know where their heart needs to go. Some people don’t believe in dreams or passions or going for goals with gusto. But I know I’ve always been a writer; the same way I know I’m a woman and I’m five feet tall. I know that writing is integral to my being. I feel it build in my chest and I know something needs to come out. Like a cough. It’s a pressure that needs release and I am the valve that releases it.
When you follow that feeling, that feeling that you are bigger than your own self, you can’t care what someone else thinks. You’re answering the Universe’s call. You don’t have time to put Her on hold, switch lines and listen to the others. You’re only doing a disservice to yourself and to the Cosmos. Who wants to be responsible for ignoring that in favour of someone else’s opinion?
Find Your Purpose
It’s easy to become victim to your circumstances. It’s easy to allow a story to become your identity. But you are so much more than all of that. To heal, we must find that purpose. In other words, your purpose is your salve to your wounds. Where the wound is, the light shines in. It’s up to us to take that light and turn it into a masterpiece. My charity is my masterpiece, my purpose. My friend Lindsay’s purpose is creating art and funding our charity and from there it’s built to become a part of our charity. She’s healing her wounds with the light of community, volunteering and creativity. The woman who started MADD found her purpose in doing so after her child was killed by a drunk driver. She channeled her pain into purpose.
We all have a bigger purpose. Sound woowoo but it’s true. It doesn’t need to be grandiose or seemingly unobtainable. It could be something as beautiful as being a stay at home mother. It could be to be become the manager of a store. It could be to change lives through art or word or music. When you find your purpose, little else matters. How can you care what Joe Blow said on Facebook when you just helped create a Life? Or you received a message that said, “you inspire me” or an employee thanks you for giving them a job?
You only care when you doubt yourself. You only care when your insecurities are triggered.
Did I do enough today to be proud of one thing I accomplished?
Did I give back in any meaningful way to someone/something?
Did I really give my all in that task?
Do I believe in what I’m doing?
Is one person’s negativity/opinion worth changing my *whatever/lifestyle/choices/job*?
Did I follow my heart?
Did I listen to myself harder than I listened to the others?
Can I give myself grace for those things I couldn’t do?
Ask yourself these questions daily.
At the end of the day all we have is ourselves and that inner compass. If you tune in, dial it down and listen you know what you need to do. When you start answering, you become unstoppable.