This is what I've been waiting for...I've been planning and preparing, the way I do for winter.
Today, I wore a hat, a down coat, a scarf, two pairs of mittens, two pairs of socks, three pairs of pants, three shirts, and boots. I went outside to play with the children at the Waldorf-inspired childcare where I spend some days each week, and I was comfortable, despite the temperature hovering just below zero.
I was prepared. I was nervous about heading out into the cold, but I was ready.
And now, I'm prepared to share something with you. Nervous, and excited, and oh so eager.
I've been getting ready for this. There is still more in the works -- a series of self-paced ecourses, new free offerings, more blog posts -- but this is what I've been learning and practicing and preparing. For you.
This morning, I'm opening the doors. Seven Ravens Coaching, which is a fancy, fairytale name for ME, is opening its doors.
I am Seven Ravens Coaching, just as I am Storyteller's Dream....
I'm just getting started on this journey, and I'd love it if you came along with me.
There's a link below to the page I've made, all about how we could work together to find your fairytale life. The one that is winking at you from the corners, the one that you dream of, that flits around the edges of your sleep, beckoning.
Click the link below, read a little more, and schedule a discovery call. No strings. No obligations. Just you and me, chatting for 30 minutes to see what kind of magic we could make.
I can't wait to hear from you
IT was happening again. I was scrolling, scrolling, scrolling (cue Rawhide theme song), and it was stopping me dead in my tracks. Whenever I thought I had seen all I could see of Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram, I would hit refresh or pull down on the phone screen, and a whole new host of images would pop up to further drug me.
Numb. That's how I feel when I am online for too long. I get stuck in place, and my hand just keep scrolling, looking for that next hit. And God help me if I've posted something. Then it's checking... and checking... and checking... to see who's liked it, who's commented, who's re-pinning, who's interacting with me.
I'm looking for love in all the wrong places again. And it's not just online. I find myself wandering the aisles of the co-op, looking for the perfect lunch, the snack that will make it all better. Somehow, even when we are behind on bills and I am freaking out about money, I can find the funds to feed my love of fancy groceries.
This is not a serious addiction. I'm functioning. I get up and put on my clothes, I feed the dog and the cats and the child, I go to work, I come home again. Meals get cooked. Laundry gets washed.
But under it all, I'm longing, and searching, and sad. And so I scroll.
Does it happen to you, too? Are you scrolling, and feeling the weight of the feed settling on your shoulders and your heart?
And when all that weight starts settling in, isn't it hard to move?
We are crushed by consumption in the western world. We are crushed by expectations and information. We are crushed by systematic oppression and a deep longing for BE-longing.
We want to belong. To BE ALONG with others.
So we take it in. Others' images. Others' ideas, values, hopes, dreams, thoughts, commands, questions. Others' perfection and promises. Their playrooms, schoolrooms, organizational tips, make-up looks, clothing choices. Their knitting projects. Their birthday parties.
We wake it in, and let it weigh us down.
Sometimes that's okay. Sometimes it's what we need. But in my case, today, it's not. It's hurting me. I can feel myself getting stuck and fearful.
Remember how, in the movie Labyrinth, Sarah finds herself in her room, and the little old woman keeps handing her things -- her teddy bear, her dresses, her music box, all her favorites -- and at first, Sarah accepts them? And then, she starts to feel the weight of all these things, all the stuff, holding her down. Binding her. Trapping her. And she screams, "It's all junk!" and the walls come crashing down.
It's not really junk -- her memories, her favorite things, they aren't junk -- but these aren't really her things. They're substitutes and simulcra, fakes and approximations. Sarah wants to complete her quest, to rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King (oh, David Bowie!!! sigh...) and get back to the real thing.
How do we get back to the real thing?
The antidote to consumption is not necessarily destruction or disposal. It might be deleting all your social media accounts and magazine subscriptions, but it might not be.
For me, the antidote is creation.
You can tweet that, twitterers. The antidote to consumption is creation.
This is not a new idea. I'm not the inventor. In fact, I feel like a late adopter in many ways. I've spent my adult life surrounded by Waldorf-types who are always knitting and painting and creating amazing things for their students and offspring, and by artists, who are always making and trying and creating and tinkering.
KonMari your house.
Walk the dog.
Hug someone for at least 10 whole seconds.
Fix the squeaking door that's been driving you mad for months.
And when even that is too much? When you can't start to do anything? Just one, tiny movement. Make tea.
Walk over to the door, open it, and take a deep breath. Then close the door.
Clear off one square foot of space on a surface that is loaded with shoulds and musts and have-tos.
Take one picture, of anything. Don't share it.
The antidote is creation. That's why I'm writing this post today. That's why I'm going to work on my little storytelling school and my coaching sales page (because I really, really want to work with you). I am building and creating and doing something, to counteract the poison of inertia.
I am continuing my quest.
I am flinging away the fakes and the almost-reals, and grabbing onto this life, my life.
And I'll still check, to see if you read this, to see if you like it, share it, post it, pin it. Because I'm human, and I long for connection and belonging. I long to know that I am speaking words that will be heard. And I am longing to hear that I am speaking to you, to your heart. And I hope it helps.
And not just our creation -- stepping out into the wonder of nature, even on days like this, when it's -20 degrees F. Seeing the sun on the snow, and feeling the frost as I breath in that icy air. That re-connects me to the real, to the true, to the beautiful.
Let's stop scrolling, and start making and sharing from our hearts and our hearths, from our pens and paintbrushes, our feet and hands and voices. Social media can be a place of intense beauty and collaboration, but it needs YOUR voice, your true beauty, your contribution.
That's how we take back our power, and our voices, and our lives. Through creation. Through collaboration. Through lifting up the voices of those who are pressing us forward to finer, truer things.
Look, I get it. I really, really get it. Why do you think I go weeks at a time without posting? Why do you think I announce awesome new offerings on Insta and FaceBook, and then hide under the covers, pretending magic elves are creating online courses for me? The mountains of fear that rise up between me and my goals feel insurmountable sometimes.
What are we so afraid of? Oh, honey, grab a cup of coffee/tea/cocoa/whatever and let's make a list. We are afraid of judgment, of being too loud, of not being "Waldorf" enough, of being too Waldorf, of losing those we love, of losing ourselves... In my case, I am afraid of being tired, of losing my temper, of doing a terrible job...
Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic, says, "Fear is boring." and it is. Fear is so boring. It leads to boring, safe, un-magical lives, where we bind ourselves in with regulations and rules and roles. Shoulds become so much louder than coulds.
Procrastination is not a product of laziness. It's a product of fear. How on earth do we climb those mountains, though? I have a strong aversion to setting goals, because I know I will avoid even the smallest baby step if it's presented as a goal.
THERE IS HOPE, THOUGH!
what I have to do, is trick myself into remembering I'm the heroine of this tale, and this is my call to adventure. Start telling that story (not in those words. People aren't always ready for that).
I keep my goal at the back of my mind. I talk about it a lot. I tell people it's happening. But I don't schedule it on the calendar. I don't do any of those things people tell you are necessary.
Instead, I just do a thing. I don't think about it. I just start something. Transferring email courses into PDFs, sorting laundry, reading a book. And I let the momentum carry me as far as it lasts. I step onto the path into the forest.
Does this make for steady, measurable, quantifiable progress? Yes and no. It's not steady, but it does happen. It happens, as if by magic.
This won't work for everyone. If you like making lists and checking things off, go for it! Sometimes I do that, too.
What is imperative is knowing yourself, and having a clear picture of what you want. Picture is a relative word -- I don't do a lot of visual imagining, like really seeing a physical reality in my mind's eye. What I really do, is tell a story of what will happen. I see the path in front of me as a series of words. I tell the story of what I want to do, and where I want to be, and then I follow the story forward.
So, to recap.
tell the story of where you are going. You have an epic adventure ahead of you.
Then, start off on the journey. Don't think about it too much -- you can easily talk yourself out of the call to adventure.
Just take a step onto the path, and see where it takes you.
You might run into obstacles. You might need helpers. Trust that you are on a journey that is leading you to your heart's desire, and keep going. If you need to stop, and rest, consider that quest done, and rest. The next step will present itself.
All you have to do is answer the call.
It's about courage, not organization or laziness or industriousness or even being good enough.
Fear is boring. Try adventure.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I coach waldorf moms and other sparkly unicorns, helping them find wonder, ease, and contentment. I write about parenting, storytelling, and about living a life with stories.