When I started this blog and website, I wasn't thinking about selling anything, teaching anything, offering anything but my words. I was still getting used to not being a full-time teacher, and I wanted to have a place for long-form interaction. I was never a particularly consistent blogger, or journaler. I had a livejournal, which I loved, because so many of my friends were there, too, and I met lovely people through their writing. There was a sci-fi/fantasy fandom element to it, too, and I loved being able to connect with authors and fans that way. But when facebook came along, and twitter, and they got so big, long form blogging kind of left social media. There's reddit, which I only kind of understand and don't use much, and there's tumblr, ditto. But back in the 2005-2015 years, I was reading a lot of blogs.
I like blogs. I like reading what people have to say. It seems though that personal blogs are fewer and farther between now, and that there are more blogs that are sponsored and affiliated and dedicated to very specific subject areas.
I tried to do that here. I have tried to make this all about parenting and Waldorf and storytelling and biography work and fairy tales. It's been difficult for me, because I often don't feel like I have anything that important to say. I'm really afraid of just putting myself out there, because who would want to read about my life, if they don't already know me. But then, I have been happily reading about other people's lives for years.
There are lots of things I'm interested in talking about. Where I get tripped up, is in feeling like I have to be an expert on anything I bring up. I am not an expert. I don't know when I crossed that line, from being an explorer and an interested person and a dabbler, and became someone who feels the need to know everything before I can speak, and lives in fear of someone commenting and telling me off. Not that anyone EVER COMMENTS HERE. It's like none of you exist, even though the website stats page tells me 421 unique visitors saw this site in the past week.
I tried closing everything down here for a while. My last course offering had 2 signups (three other people asked about it after I decided not to run it), which made me start seriously questioning what on earth I'm doing here. The fact of the matter is, I never wanted to be a businessperson. I wanted to be an artist and teachers, but I think this is an area where I have a lot of inner work and exploration of my preconceptions to do. See all the gaps over there in the archive listing? So many gaps. There's also a dearth of tags on most of those existing writings.
I'd love to recommit to writing here, but it has to be without expectations, without saying, oh it has to be polished, it has to be perfect, it has to be worthy of being reprinted in a magazine or linked from some other blog. I miss writing these paper airplane letters and flinging them out into the void. I also miss having some kind of connection with readers. Are you even there? How hard is it to leave a little comment and say hello? I want to go back and add tags to my earlier posts so they're easier to find, and maybe remove some posts that feel too raw or tender in retrospect.
I hope to offer some more courses and opportunities to work with me, soon, and maybe a membership site? or a patreon page? Would people be interested in supporting my work in exchange for stories or coaching or something? I think I could be a really good coach.
Anyway, there you are. a post. first in ten weeks or something like that.
Hi there! How are you? New year starting off okay?
I have been busy, with two new articles up at Waldorfish.com, both on Pedagogical Stories (what the heck is that???). One of them already has an audio version, and the second audio will be coming soon! We went on a little mini-vacation to visit my aunt in Florida and take in the Harry Potter attractions at Universal Studios, and to walk on the beach and splash in the pool. Since our return, we've been battling various illnesses, and I'm glad that March is here and spring is on the way!
I have also created a new course for your -- all about using stories to help and heal. It's called Little Stories, Big Changes, and you can learn all about it HERE!
and you? what are you doing these days???
here's what I'm pondering and doing and dreaming today...
in the quiet spaces of the year, as we reach toward its turning from old to new, I am dreaming of what I can offer you in this space. What stories I can tell, what journeys we can take together...
What are you listening for in these days? What stories does your heart long to hear? Leave me a comment and let me know!
I wish you a beautiful, health-filled, joyous new year...
With love and many blessings,
So, I made this big "oh, I'll post every day" announcement, and then I got a stomach bug. can we say, "upper limit problem?" yep. we can.
I'm stepping back. I'm going a little quiet. It's advent, and it's also a busy time of year, and I am going to work on balancing these two truths.
I'm pulling in my shingle and my banners, and resting a bit. There is time, and I can determine what exactly I'm doing...
much love to you all, gentle ones. have a beautiful december...
Here's the deal: I posted a thing to Instagram yesterday (you can totally follow me there, but if I don't know you, drop me a message so I can add you to my sooper seekrit, fancy-people list), about how hard things have been lately, and how I was really down and funky. Not in a good, Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk way.
I was laying too much of this funk on a friend, and she did something amazing: she said no. She gently, kindly told me that she needed a break while I upgrade. I was SO HAPPY. I LOVE IT when people set clear boundaries about what they need. LOVE IT. And she reminded me: There's a purpose to all this funk.
There is no shame in being in the funk, in the stew and the muck and the stink and the awful. I was stuck in that smallness and overwhelm and anxiety. I tried pretending I wasn't. Didn't work so well.
What worked, in the end, was hearing that I was UPGRADING. Yup. You know how when you are in the middle of a project, cooking or making art or building, and there is a God-awful, unholy mess everywhere? That was me. I was a mess. I'm still kind of a mess. But I've decided not to be scared and sad about it any more. I'm in the process of an upgrade. Not that there was anything wrong with the old model of Sara, but the new one will be even better.
So, I'm letting myself off the hook. No perfectionism allowed, not even about no perfectionism. No freaking out, even about maybe starting to freak out. I started a little "not-good-enough" panic today, and I stopped it. I overdrew my bank account by not depositing a check before buying groceries, but it's FINE (I have overdraft protection! Thanks, me!) The stories I'm telling at Reindeer Day tomorrow might not be perfect. It's OKAY!
So, because December is a really busy month, I've decided More is More. I'm going to try to post daily, and see what happens. No perfectionism.
Meanwhile, go listen to this total gorgeousness.
that isn't quite right...
how about this:
Give the people what you want to give. Give them the things that make you feel alive. Give them your poetry, your heart. Give what you can part with, and give just a little more.
But don't give away yourself, and don't give into the need to sell and sell.
I'm not doing a lot of things I could be doing, and I'm working on being okay with that. I am working on not needing to figure out what others want from me so I can give it and gain their approval.
What I want to do instead, is find what I can give, and give it.
Here's what I have right now:
I have this thing I do, where I find a story for you. You tell me what you are needing, what feels wrong, or where you are lost. Or you tell me your joy, the excitement you have about something new or old or beautiful. You tell me a little or a lot. And I find you a story.
Just for you.
When was the last time someone picked you out a story, a story that might have a key in it, or a treasure, or might just have the words you want to hear?
And then we figure out why and how this is your story, and what happens next. Together. It takes some trust, some willingness to step into that story.
It's what I have to give. Right now, I have stories waiting for the right people. And I have you -- you are waiting, some of you, for the right story.
If this sounds like something you want to receive, to give to yourself, you can go here and sign up.
I want to give this. Give what you want to give, and let the people who will receive it, do so.
*warning. this gets a little scatological. you've been warned.*
It's not working.
Trying to be anything other than what I am, who I am. Trying to make this into something that makes money, when all I want to do is play. Trying to be the perfect mom/wife/teacher/daughter/anything.
It doesn't work.
It binds me up, holds me back. Nothing flows. My creativity turns into nothing. My heart feels totally tightened and tugged. I snap, anxious and irritated by everything. I believe the lie that my life is something happening to me.
When I tell myself I have to be an expert.
When I tell myself I am failing as a Waldorf mother.
When I tell myself I am a failed teacher.
When I tell myself I am not enough. Not enough of anything.
And it all gets so very heavy.
Then I am afraid to write, to share, because it isn't good enough. It's not hip enough, bright enough, expert enough. I don't look good. I don't sound together and hop and high-frequency and spiritual.
And how does it manifest? Oh, people. All this shit has to get held somewhere.
And it comes down to this: Somewhere, I believe in the core of my being that I am never going to be good enough. That I am never going to the right kind of girl, even though I've been a woman for years and years. I believe I've missed the boat. That I'm too old to ever make my way.
And this blog should be better. Should really be about stories and storytelling and parenting and being a perfect waldorf teacher-mother-partner-artist-person.
And my storytelling isn't even happening on the level that people could call "professional."
And those are ALL LIES.
Is this bloodroot not good enough?
I'm never going to be anyone else. This blog is never going to be SouleMama or the Magic Onions. It won't be anybody else's blog. My courses aren't going to be like the ones other biography workers or storytellers or mom bloggers offer. I'm not them.
The work I'm doing right now? It matters. And even if I were serving coffee or entering data or sweeping streets or proposing legislation or performing surgery or performing puppet plays, it would matter. Work matters.
This ordinary life matters. And even if this blog isn't making me money, even if only 2 people sign up for a course I'm offering, even if I yell at my kid or leave the dishes in the sink for days or lose weight or gain weight, even if nothing changes, it matters.
and I'm tired of trying so hard, and of pretending, and of striving to be something else.
When I was in high school, I wrote a column for my school paper. I called it "Dust Particles," because I thought that was cool. I wrote about life. I wrote terrible poetry with one or two good phrases, because it felt good.
There's a forest of "I"s in this post, and I'm still going to publish it, because I need to prove to myself that this is good enough. Being here, telling you about my life. It's enough.
You are enough.
Your life is worth telling. You're enough.
I'm so delighted to be sharing some storytelling tips this week over at Waldorfish.com! Come learn three easy ways to get started with storytelling for the kids in your life!
Want to tell nature stories, but not sure where to start? Need help making your science curriculum come to life? Wishing you could help your children understand the world around them without resorting to dry facts and figures? Why not join us for a fun journey into storytelling with nature?!? We start in October, and you'll be ready after the very first day to dive in and tell stories that awaken wonder and joy about the natural world! Find out all about it here!
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.