Mel

I have been with the same guy for over 20 years. When I say that out loud or put in writing, it blows my mind. I feel like all these years together, all these experiences, he was there but not THERE. Mel is  my biggest fan, my supporter for sure. BUT, his voice is quiet, his approach subtle.  He is on the sidelines, and I’ve always been on the field.

As you can probably tell, I’m very complicated and emotional. I spent many years HATING this about myself. It’s only until recent years where I see this as my super power and I’ve been full blow leaping into what’s possible for my life. And there’s Mel.

I’m reading this Gottman book  and one of the chapters has questions you can use with your partner to deepen your connection. Last night I asked Mel, ” What does home mean to you? ” And he looked at me, with a confused expression. ” It means where we are right now. We are home. ”  I dropped my head and put my palms over my eyes.  BIG SIGH.        ” You really mean that, don’t you?”  I asked. He nodded, looking lost. ” Well, what’s yours?” he asks.

” Home is a place of comfort and ease and safety. Home is safe. Spacious yet soft.  A place to be. Home is what we are creating for our children. for ourselves. I think of our home like our own personal retreat.”   ” HMM.” He replies. Clearly we are on different pages, with this one.

And yet, he is always saying ” Yes. you should do that. Go to Israel, go to Mardi Gras,  go on that cruise, go to grad school in Philly, I’ll help you move. Go open that yoga studio, I’ll help you build it. Go write that book. Go live your life, Pleasance.  We will figure it out.”  His relentless support for my crazy ideas and independence has served us well.

And to be clear, We are not best friends.

Last year I had 3 friends who lost their husbands. In all 3 cases, the couples were madly in love. The closest of friends, confidantes, enjoying similar passions and building really big beautiful lives together.

Watching these 3 people I care about go through this, I started to question my own marriage. I started to think what we had was not real or ” as good” as my friends. I started to get really, really scared and I freaked out on Mel and to my journal and my friends. ARE WE GOING TO MAKE IT?

The truth is, I’m at a point in my life where a lot of my  friends who are married, are pretty unhappy and going through their own struggles. I think this is b/c of a lot of layered reasons like society, stress, fear, pushing things under the rug, etc.

Mel and I are not alone. There are a few times over the past 20 years where I really did not think we were going to make it. There were a few times when I just was crawling out of my skin with our life, with our marriage, with the choices we had made, with the day to day. And yet, somehow after each deepest, darkest valley- somehow we start to climb back up that hill together, stronger.

I know I have done my part… read the books, hired the therapists, started the conversations. BUT at every turn, he has a choice. TRY. STAY. ASK. ENGAGE.

And he has.

Over and over he shows me that people CAN evolve. We BOTH have.

We can grow together and mess up a lot and forgive. WE CAN FORGIVE.

When I met Mel I was wild. Untamed. Messy. So angry. So lost. And he was there. He never left, and it didn’t scare him. He did not really react to it all, to be honest. He just stayed. People said ” He’s good for you, P. But he’s so quiet. He’s so not like you.”

But when you are with someone every season for 20 years.

You know them. You feel them. And yet, he is still a mystery to me.  And I to him.

Recently, he came on my podcast, which was unlike him. And I am proud of him, he really wanted to do it.  It was so nice to hear him talk about his life and share in this way.

I won’t pretend to know what the next 20 years will hold or what on earth might unfold.

But as the seasons change again, and another year starts to come to a close, I realize with compassion that without a guidebook or instruction manual, we are raising these kids and living this life TOGETHER. I think for us, it’s actually really GOOD that we are not best friends. I think for us, fiercely independent souls that the truth is we are BOTH scared and complicated, both only children from divorced homes, both not convinced we were ever supposed to be the ones to get married or have kids. We are bruised. We are human. And somehow, SOMEHOW, we found our way home.

IMG_0395.jpg

 

And again.

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

It’s been months since I wrote here.

It’s been months since I could find words to put on this page and to make meaning from it.

Part of this has to do with ALL the other ways I’ve been creating…

podcasts, Instagram writing, vimeo videos, blogs on lil omm site, weekly emails to the lil omm newsletter….ya know, it’s a lot.

I would sit to write from my heart with no reason and I would just stare at a blank page.

Meanwhile, my journals are packed, I’m flying through them. But that’s stuff that’s just for me. It’s sacred b/c it’s totally mine. I get to be naughty OR nice. I get to rip open my heart and soul and know that the grammar or the spelling or the flow or the nonsense does not matter.

And 2 days before the last post here, I quit drinking. And that alone could fill page after page.. I think I needed to be “alone” the past few months. Truly on my own, truly SOBER. In order to be able to start again.

I created this blog so many years ago to document my life as a new mama who was dreaming of starting her own biz.

And I miss having this creative outlet to just flow for NO reason.. so I’m starting again.

Not for you, but for me.

“Anyhow, the older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Who is she?

I saw her in the bathroom. At first, just legs. I smelled her before I saw her.

The stench of bleach. I heard the scrubbing.

It was hot, really, really hot.

No air circulation at all. So hard to breathe. Sticky. Suffocating.

6 stalls, old swinging doors with that sound when you open and close. that certain creak of old doors and then BANG! when it shuts- it SLAMS.

I heard the creaking first, then the slam behind her. I stood there. She went to the sink.

She put all her supplies in the sink. The cloth, the brush, the bleach, the little bucket.

She lifted her hand and took to the mirror.

Why was I standing there? I was in slow motion. I could not move, it was so hot.

The air was still.

She kept her gaze down. Sweat dripped from her hair line to her neck.

Not even 16.

Clothes, too tight- flesh exposed over the top of her shorts.

Upper arms soft and full coming out of the tee shirt.

Blonde hair pulled tight. Heavy eyes, lids.

I stood there. “oh dear god, send this child love”

I think I stood still to give her some space to breathe.

Like, If I moved, it would hurt her more.

If we made eye contact, I would see in her soul. IN HER SOUL.

She opens another creaky door.

She drags all her supplies into the stall. Hands full, towels under her arms.

SLAM.

CLICK. she locks herself in. so no one can see, so no one can feel- HER.

Quietly, I open my door. I hold it and slowly, slowly let it release, there is no slam.

Aware, I slide the lock into place. No noise.

I stand there for a minute, I can hear her breathing.

These stalls are so small.

I have a hard time moving inside, I wonder how tight it is in there, for her. Oh my gosh, so tight. so small. no room to breathe.

” Love, Love, Love, Send this child LOVE.”

It’s so hard to breathe in here.

I want to know her story.

I want to know why she looks so sad.

I want to hold her hand, brush out her hair, rub oils on her feet.

I want to spend hours listening to her soul. I want to know her pain.

I want to sit with her.

But I don’t.

I finish.

With no noise, no slams, no bangs, no disruption, I wash my hands, shake them dry and walk out.

 

 

Still standing

About a week before I turned 40, my mind was buzzing with the BIG questions. What’s next? Where should I put my energy? My intellect? What is my heart yearning for? And I was pulling aside all my closest friends and confidants- my “advisors” asking for HELP.

The same messaged kept coming back

– “I know whatever you decide will be right for you.”

-“I trust you will figure it out. You always do. ”

– and then I said to myself… ” are you making trouble again!?!?”

I have a tendency ( anyone else?) to start to dig around and find trouble when things are perfectly fine. In fact, MORE than fine. Really good. Like, I am scared to say out loud bc I don’t want to make others feels bad, kind of good.

And, here’s the thing. I have a lot of new things on my plate. I have a lot of things cooking that may bring more exposure, more responsibility, more impact, more followers, etc And it is scaring the sh*t out of me. Growing pains. Fear. Imposter Syndrome. Expansion, Evolving, AGAIN.

Yep, I have spent (and continue to spend!) a lot of time aligning my life and my work, actively engaging in self- awareness & integrating into my life well being practices that bring more of the good stuff.

What are those you might ask?

1. Gratitude and appreciation all the time as much as possible- and not in a BS way- but in a real, authentic just to me and my own values, way.

2. Journaling and reflecting regularly on my inner life, talking with my intuition, listening for guidance. Paying attention to my action, thought and habit patterns through writing.

3. Writing and sharing ( now a podcast!) stories and conversations around living in a deliberate, conscious way- and putting soul self-care on my to do list- Every day. I can NOT believe how amazing and fulfilling my relationships are when I do this. I see myself clearly, and that helps me to see others in a much more loving way. I love being kind, I love to see them, accept them. I let them be.

4. Trust. trust. trust. I have a primary relationship that I trust in, I have a best friend, a body, a mind, a heart that I love more than anything. Nope, not Mel- not the kiddos. It is with myself. I adore spending time alone- just delighting in a book, a stretch, a walk, some music, I enjoy my own company. I honor and prioritize this relationship over all others. And while some might think/ say “that is selfish!” the thing I hear the most from others is– “how do you do it all? the kids? the biz? the marriage?the community work?” And I see my calendar filled with my clients who I adore- my groups that are dynamic and engaging, my family and community- I see my life as a reflection of that self -love and self- compassion. It really blows my mind.

So I circle back to the questions of last week and all I see now is me smiling. With all the ways in which I just live my life as art. Creating, sharing, loving, being, holding hands, hugging.

It feels so good, to NOT have a 5 year PLAN. To not know the outcome.

To let go and let in.

To just be present with what is NOW.

At the end of my life, whenever that moment appears- I KNOW I will have given it my all. I showed up. I went to the darkest places and I made my way through. I did not do it perfectly. There was a lot of mess, but it was MINE! My expression, my experiences, my words, my tears, my asking for help and sometimes just standing on my own, on the earth, arms wide open, shouting ALL THE YES! Do you know what that feels like to save your own life?

All that We Share Is Sacred

All that We Share Is Sacred

By Andre Mol

As we gather together,

May we remember

When you share with me what is most important to you,

That is where listening begins.

When I show you that I hear you,

When I say your life matters,

That is where compassion begins.

When I open the door to greet you,

That is where hospitality begins.

When I venture out to bring you to shelter,

That is where love begins.

When I risk my comfort to ease your suffering,

When I act against hatred, violence, and injustice,

That is where courage begins.

When we experience the full presence of each other,

Because of our shared humanity,

Because of our differences,

That is where holy gratitude begins.

May this space be a table

that is not complete

until all are welcome.

May this table be a space of beauty

where together

we create a series of miracles, and

where all that we share is sacred.

May it be so.

Mother’s Love.

dear mother❤️

you provide and protect

heal and whole, your true nature

How did I not see you?

Not feel you?

Not know you?

I was so lost. So afraid. So alone.

NOW you are everywhere.

I am born from you, we all are.

Never separate, all ways connected.

Within you, within me- ALL is well.

All is seen, heard, felt, known.

inside of me,

never on my own,

never lost.

Just right, here.

LISTEN.

You hold the gifts of my heart.

I receive.

Your rays of warmth to grow, expand, open, if I dare.

And you shower me with rain, whispering {my dear}

get messy in the mud.

You guide-

sometimes boldly,

sometimes gently,

sometimes you scare me.

I scare me.

And then, eventually, peace. perhaps?

I watch you, watch me.

always.

ALL WAYS.