Creating in the Midst of Chaos: My Book Baby has a Due Date
Times have been so heavy and hard and there are days I feel like I can’t do any of it. There are days when I don’t want to do any of it. And if I’m being honest, I have imagined hiding and crying under my blanket, with the hope that my kids won’t find me.
My initial instinct is to wallow in the depths of the heaviness. But, when I give into that impulse, I become stuck. I end up wasting time worrying about feeling bad, sad or angry.
What really feels supportive for me is allowing myself the space I need to move through the feelings. So, I do what works for me and I get on with the show.
I am a momma and “not doing” doesn’t fly for long.
First of all there are the logistics of life and secondly, I eventually get bored and one can only watch Netflix for so long. I need to do things. I want to do things. I have to do things. I know the “doing” is what keeps me going. Oftentimes, un-slumping myself isn’t as easy as knowing I need to do some un-slumping. It is a process for me.
If you have been here with me for a while, you know I love sharing about “body talk”. Being able to listen and tune into what my body is saying and give it what it needs is key for my process. The answers I receive vary, sometimes my body needs sleep and I will try to squeeze in a quick nap or go to bed earlier than normal. Sometimes my body needs to move, so I opt for a walk outside, breathing fresh air, feeling the oxygen move through my body, all while connecting with nature. Sometimes my body is begging to for a deep release and a good stretch session is where it’s at. Every once in a while, my brain is the body part that needs resolve. When this happens, a talk with my husband, therapist, friend or team member leaves me feeling right as rain.
And the most fun answer I receive when checking in with my body is when all it needs is a good cuddle session with my kids or my husband. Cuddle puddle anyone?
The past six months, I have had to check in with my body more times than I can count. It is a consistent ritual for me at this point. These times call for an awareness that is new, even to me. In this time of Covid-19, global unrest, distance learning and wildfires, one of my main focuses has been in the “fine tuning” part of creation. I have been in the final prep stages of publishing my book. Since I was a little kid, I have had a goal to write a book. Throughout life, I have had many iterations of my book running through my mind.
Quite some time ago, I actually started writing my first book. After my husband and I spent years co-teaching a workshop for new and expecting couples, I was inspired to bring forth the offerings in a book format.
We would receive constant feedback from attendees.
“As a new parent, there is so much validation regarding our experience in your workshop!”
“Every expecting couple needs this guidance!”
“We are referring all our newly pregnant friends to you!”
With all the feedback and after much discussion with Rick, writing a book centered around our Mine, Yours, Ours workshop was what made the most sense.
Not that creation comes seamlessly. I have had several delays with my book publication. A big self-induced delay is allowing fear and doubt to creep in. I tend to drag my feet and move into a “stop and do nothing” approach. Eventually, the power to keep going takes over and I always reach out for support. Sometimes, I need someone to encourage me with their words, other times I need some help formulating my thoughts or exploring where the fear and doubt are coming from.
Other delays were simply out of my control, cue Covid-19, global unrest, California fire season and navigating distance learning for my two sweet kiddos. Asking for help isn’t something that comes easy for me, but when I ask, I am always surprised by the willingness to help I receive. Allowing space to process all the worldly chaos has been a necessary actio. Accepting that my strengths do not lie in teaching academics to my kids and finding a solution that works for my family, has allowed for space to open up so that I can focus on where my strengths do lie.
Another thing that played into the delays in publication was a lack of a “due date” for my book baby. In all my other big career centered projects, I had a deadline. For the launch of my workshops, I had a date. For my private practice, I rented space and had a physical “open” to a brick and mortar office. I have realized that deadlines keep me focused and motivated. Regardless of the source of the delays, or the delays themselves, the most important part is recognizing how to move through them and get back to creating.
In times of unrest, we can either choose to get lost in the mix or we can find the steps we need to take to keep moving forward.
My book baby now has a due date. I’m excited (and nervous) to introduce and share this creation with new and expecting parents, my colleagues, friends, family and the world at large.
Upon completion, I started to contemplate our ability to get things done, even when chaos ensues. I started to question how this works. Not just now, in the middle of global unrest, but it also got me thinking about postpartum. We have just spent the past ten months creating a tiny little baby. They arrive and our world shifts, sometimes the moments feel so chaotic, and yet we get things done. We continue to create.
Before my postpartum period with my first baby, I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a balance of being home with my beautiful baby, and I wanted to work a bit as well. Being able to implement my vision was a bit more difficult to get a grasp on. I had the flexibility with scheduling because I work for myself. For a while, it worked to a certain degree, but once my practice started to grow, as did the chaos. I had to get real comfortable with what our new normal was, my schedule was in constant flux, time with my husband was strained.
At the time, I didn’t feel like I was creating much in the midst of all that chaos. In hindsight, I was creating something bigger than anything I could have imagined, a foundation for the future.
Oh sweet mommas, you are creating. Maybe they are things that you don’t recognize but they are your creations. You are creating a foundation for the future, you are creating memories, you are creating meals, you are creating rituals, day in, day out. You are creating.
Take a moment to consider all that you have created in the past six months.
If you are a pen and paper gal, grab your tools. If you are more of a 21st century momma, open your notes app on your phone. Think of everything you have created in the past six months. If you are looking for ways to grow your “Create” list, try incorporating accessible moments of creation into your daily life. Establish a bedtime ritual with your babies if you don’t already have one in place. Instead of throwing a meal together, take time to truly create an eating experience for you and your family to enjoy. Take your dinning experience to the next level by setting the table in a new way, play new music, light candles and get creative with the actual platting of your food. Set aside ten minutes before bedtime to close out your day in a special way. Look for opportunities in life to bring a level of creation in the midst of it all. List it all, the big, the small. I did. I found much joyfulness in witnessing myself in this way. I took the time to recognize all I have created in this six months of chaos.
I Created Calm By Design for Women, a course to help all women find time within the chaos of their lives to make space for themselves.
I finished my book.
I am creating and working on an online program to supplement my book.
I created updates and expansions for my workbook.
I created an evening routine that allows me to take care of myself and my skin, but also makes time for me to connect with my babies.
I created intentionality around reaching out to friends to connect.
I created a weekly ritual with my family, where we look at schedules for the week and plan out our weekly meal plan so that I’m not scrambling at the last minute to figure what to cook that makes everyone unhappy ;-)
I created a new space for my home office that feels joyful and welcoming so that I can be present for my clients.
All of these things are exciting and fill me up. They did not happen without effort. They are things I gradually worked towards, and some are still in the progress stage. Regardless, they are my creations.
Keep your “Create” list on hand, I know I do. And maybe the next time I feel like building an impenetrable blanket fort to escape to, I will open up my creation list on my phone, read it over and feel inspired by all the beauty I manage to create in my life and in this world.
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