Today I haven't wanted to be at home. I did all my week's errands and groceries. I did really important things like rescue a fly stuck in my house, helping him get outside safely. I froze bananas for my next few days of breakfast smoothies. Haha!
Yeah, I'm avoiding sitting quietly with myself. So, I thought I'd write here today.
I figure maybe someone else experiences milestones or calendar dates in a similar way as me.
I wonder if there's some solidarity or kindness I can spread by writing about my struggles here?
You see, five years ago, I learned I received a book contract. I had submitted my proposal and obviously, I heard "yes" back.
I was in shock, but mostly relieved. I had been through three or four very difficult years before hearing my good news.
I thought that perhaps, my life was going to change and doors would fly open for me professionally, after struggling for 15 years to get any kind of "success."
I received my book contract on July 25, 2011. I did the math for you, haha! July 25 is my late, maternal grandma Edith's birthday. I was close to her. She died in 2001.
So, when I found out about my book, it was on the tenth anniversary of not having her alive to celebrate her birthday.
Surely, I thought that the heavens were cracking open, saying to me that I was "on my way," hearing about my book contract on such an auspicious day.
I mean, it had to be a "sign," right? A sign from the universe that my life was gonna change for the better and there would be no more struggle, right?
So, yes, my life changed. But, the struggles became worse for me. Yet, I sit here as I type and can honestly say that I'm the happiest I've ever been, despite things not turning out as expected.
Some well-intentioned folks told me I should get "over it" regarding the disappointment and situational depression I had after my book. I tried. I mean, I had been some kind of healer or coach since 1998, investing much time and resources into my education. I had done personal growth work since the 1980s! I wrote a self-help book.
I tried to heal myself, but it didn't work until I allowed myself to feel all my emotions and feelings. Nothing else worked. Very few of the tools I had were applicable for the situation I created for myself.
I read books. I took classes personally and professionally. I "rebranded" myself a few times, haha! I chanted, prayed, was coached, and cried until I had no tears left.
My life force was dim. I was feeling like maybe I should just accept that my life was going to keep on getting worse.
It took me well over three years to feel alive again and to get my inner spark fired up again. These days, I think I glow.
Today is a milestone, but I'm trying to feel it as a positive one. It's the anniversary of the beginning of my rebirth, the seeds planted for my emergence as a happy Brave Girl.
I don't feel like rehashing my whole story of how things sucked with my book. I have peace in my heart that I did my best and possibly was able to help a few souls with the book.
I've learned that with creative work, I'm just an instrument of the divine and I can't get attached to outcomes. It can hurt when others aren't supportive or loving in the ways we need them. However, even that is a blessing. I think you learn who your true friends are, a good thing to know!
Along the way, I had much devastating loss, grief, and challenges. I lost friends. The support of others in my field and at my publisher went away. I tried to resuscitate everything, but ended up exhausted, flaring up my autoimmune stuff and thyroid, gaining weight and having adrenal fatigue, severe insomnia, anxiety, situational depression, and anemia. These were things that I had in the late 1990s and I thought I had healed them!
Much of my hair fell out too. As a woman, this has been distressing. I have a cute floppy hat collection now. Again, another blessing!
Also, about one year ago in 2015, just after my mom passed away, I had a month and a half with two root canals, two crowns, and two fillings, along with a baseline colonoscopy at an early age! I mean, think about the country songs I could've written. In there, I attended five other funerals of loved ones, not too long after my mom's funeral.
I spent much time, effort, and funds the past three years on my health. I lost nearly 30 pounds. I feel way better. I have energy. I don't even use caffeine any more. Nope.
I'm so grateful and blessed that I can function again. Basic things make me blissful, such as being able to sleep or cook dinner! Yay!
At the end of 2015, I closed my business as a coach and author.
I continued to shed, release, let go, and find my health and happiness after closing my business.
I no longer have the need or desire to build a "following" online, spending so much time and heart energy on that. Being Internet famous has no appeal to me. I feel I was always a heart-centered marketer. To be a success in the self-help field, there are things one needs to do that I'm just not willing or able to do.
I've had many changes and bright spots in my life. I lived in Europe for close to three months at the end of 2014. During my book stuff in the spring of 2013, I did a mini book tour along the California coast. Besides traveling, I've been enjoying attending live concerts, art journaling, taking classes with The Brave Girls' Club, making music, and creating yummy, plant-based meals.
I decided to let go of being anything or anyone for the most part. I don't fit into the boxes of punk rock or rebel much these days. I'm more of a cosmic cowgirl Bohemian hippie, haha! I don't mind labels. I think we outgrow some of them, however.
So, yeah, I was the girl with the dream of being a published self-help author for close to 15 years. I made it happen and then, it kicked my butt with heartache and disappointment.
I made myself suffer quite a bit, but even that was a blessing. I returned to my daily yoga and meditation. I began decluttering my home this year too. I'm shedding my old self.
As I feel better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I'm feeling new dreams' seedlings underneath it all. I still am here to create. I still feel alive and have a desire to help others and our planet.
I'm still me, just a bit altered. I think of altered books, due to me being a mixed media artist. Altered books are when you take an old book and paint in it, making art on top of the pages in whichever mediums strike your fancy.
I suppose my life is much like one of those altered books. My original life story or the actual book I had published have been altered. The past few years, I've been slapping down the gesso to prepare the pages of them, so I can create and put down new stories, hopes, desires, dreams, friendships, paths, creative works, songs, and maybe even other books (*wink, wink*).
I consider my life to be like a art journal page. If things don't go as expected in my process, I can paint over it all and begin again.
What a relief!
In my long winded way, I'm saying that you can always start over. Don't allow the calendar to make you feel too sad either. Use it to celebrate how far you've come along on your journey.
See you on the road...wearing my wild and free wings.
With best wishes,
Lisa Selow (copyrighted 2016)