Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Learning The Art of Gentle and Fierce

Over the course of the last six weeks since my car was totaled and my body was rendered 'limited', I've had a slew of opportunities to re-interpret my relationship with the world around me and those nouns that I am lucky enough to know.

Fears have been greatly reduced in some areas and magnified in others;

I have rediscovered the beauty and power of therapies both physical and emotional...

I have gained weight from obvious and necessary inactivity (normally my heart rate is up at least five days a week; vigorous yoga, brisk walks, etc...) and found myself in the mirror puzzled and charmed by this new woman of exaggerated hourglass proportions...

today I think she's actually completely delicious, frankly.

I have come up with a few new concepts that I'd like to write down so I can reference them in the future:

1. True power is simply facing life openly. Not running. Not shirking. Laughing, loving and functioning in the face of uncertainty and challenge.
Being honest and respectful of one's emotions and caring about those near and dear,
or far away, unfamiliar and brave.

2. My career is only a small part and yet a huge piece of who I am. Not being able to spend hour after hour making (even now) means that I have a larger piece of day in which to explore...

I've discovered passions for so many things I never had the time to look into:

cutting and re-growing succulent plants
roasting chicken and root vegetables
Drawing scrolls
exploratory walks

3. I am allowing God to shower me with experiences and abundance. I cannot steer this ship alone, and I am no longer comfortable with having a limited amount of faith - there IS enough of everything I need in this world.

That has a nice mantra ring to it....

There is enough of everything I need in this world.

I feel like the last few years were lacking in gentleness. To clarify: I had plenty of gentle thoughts about the world, about my friends and family and customers.... I wasn't particularly gentle with myself.

I worked until I burned out....
I burned out until I got re-inspired in a violent way, overcome with design ideas so ferociously it was all I could do to hang on...
and over and over this cycle pitched and howled until the crash happened...
had it not happened would I still be driving myself so hard?

Now I chuckle when the creative urge burns too brightly to even follow: I am doing what I can, and letting it be enough. I am chewing ideas slowly and thoughtfully.

I am sitting still, taking longer breaths.
I am drawing boundaries in ways that have always scared me, trying less to be inoffensive and more to be authentic.

I am engraving more, pushing more into designs that suit this new voluptuous skin. Hammer forming, elk skin belt in progress, etc.

I am not beating myself up for the places I've languished and ironically, this new gentle approach to life has yielded tens and tens of less hours wasted looking at distracting, mindless stuff online.

I am getting more done with less time to spend
and the tiger in my chest
is growing
from a cub to a teenager...

I am not afraid of my life right now, and I am growing more and more comfortable with the idea that I am more powerful than I've ever imagined.

baby steps to

My greatest hope is this: that you (lovely reader) don't require a jarring life experience to set you back on track if you are askew:

ask yourself where You might be kinder to You
in your daily dealings with life and the world
and listen to the response with an open, generous heart.
We should all take our own counsel as we would a friend.



kerin rose said...

xo said...

Amen, sister. I think if we treat our lives and our bodies exactly as we do when we practice yoga, that the wide open space in our center can be filled with so much more than just breath. The Breath of Life goes completely to the soul and touches every part of our existence.

Incredible what we can be filled with if we just pause, open completely, expand and welcome Life to the Breathing Space.

I honor the spirit in you :: lynn

Brooke said...

Thank you for posting this. :)

DalaHorse said...

Really lovely and profound post Allison. I applaud your efforts to stay tuned into the more important things in your life by letting go of the inconsequentials that maybe don't really impact the quality of your life as richly as they should. Always follow your heart...and your gut...they won't let you down. If we aren't learning we aren't what my husband always says! With love, Sue♥

mme. bookling said...

"and the tiger in my chest
is growing
from a cub to a teenager."


I cannot agree more about trusting yourself to be good to yourself. We were given relationships, yes. But we were given our OWN heart to take care of, counsel, and inspire. It brings such a peace to make peace with oneself. It feels even better when those you care about are on that same path. To wayfaring women, preaching self-gentleness and peace, onward and upward!

tattooedblogger said...


Sierra said...

WORD! I soooooo needed these thoughts today...thank you a million times for so eloquently expressing what I has been rumbling around in my head lately. Your words are THE beautiful truth! Aloha!

Michelle said... are you.

This may be my first response to your posts, but I have been admiring your work and your spirit for awhile now. Truly an inspiration.


Artist in the Arctic said...

A gorgeously written post. You have a beautiful spirit.

WillowMetals said...

Absolutely beautiful post. I was reading a yoga magazine last night that was talking about the 8 limbs of yoga and I realized at that moment that yoga would be more important to me than I ever imagined. One of my biggest things in life and especially in the past few years has been to be kind and live in peace as much as possible. With this I feel that I have succeeded but the person that I have overlooked giving these responses to is myself. It is funny how something can happen to us to make us kind of see the big picture in ourselves. Amazing post again Allison!!! ♥♥♥

UmberDove said...

I've read this post three times today.

You are the gracefully fierce tigress.

liz r. said...

Continue to be as kind to yourself as you are to the rest of us . . . and thank you for these words.

Amanda Ford said...

oh! how i can relate.
i needed this.
thank you.

summer said...