Hello, dear readers.
It’s been a long absence, full of busy-ness and body-ness. I’m working on a post for you all about my relationship with my body, and new ways I’m finding to engage in body-love and self-care…but while I finish that up, I am beyond thrilled to present to you: the very first of the previously promised guest-posts!
This post was written by the fabulously talented Amy Lee Czadzeck, author of the poetry chapbook “Small Gift”. I’m honored to know her, inspired by her journey and creativity, and deeply moved by her words, here:
I met Sana the first day of my first residency at Goddard College. Sana was one of the seasoned Goddard students that the college asks to come early to help us, new students, to feel welcomed and field questions that come with warm but honest responses. Sana was actively engaged at Goddard. Her presence was one of a non-invasive but welcoming committee in one human form. So imagine my feeling of gratefulness, when she too was put in the same advisory group as me.
I shared a few meals with her, listened to her intellect and passion, and asked her many questions throughout the residency. I do remember she was one of the first I said my goodbyes to when I decided I could not complete my second residency due to health issues. I may have cried and she may have smiled, not in a way that contrasts the experience I was having, but in a way, of gratitude of what she was a witness of.
Sana recently reached out to me to write for this blog. I asked,
“What should I write about?”
She replied with, “…whatever inspires you…”
And that brings me here. I ended up feeling inspired by Sana. There is nothing better to me than friends who are in some shape or form working on healing, whether that is through narrative writing, bodywork, gardening, becoming makers of things.
Under the criteria it would be full of ease and grace the whole way through, Sana offered me three deep dive sessions by phone for 3 weeks. Honestly, the timing could not have been better. I needed to make the space to process a difficult pregnancy (I barfed every day until his birth), a wonderful birth (a crazy experience with a beautiful gift), and now sharing my body with a steady nursing snacker (who right now is sweetly sleeping on top of me as I hit these keys.) Each session I had with Sana, I was met with that ease and grace as promised. And laughter. Healing, can be funny, you know.
Without going into too much detail of matters close to my heart, other than to say, chronic illness in my life has created a theme in which there is a ton of uncertainty that lives within my days coupled with stacks of judgment on myself.
The wisdom that emerged from processing this uncertainty and judgment has sort of become a little list of reminders I carry with me and what I believe anyone with chronic illness would like to explore in their healing process.
1. The puzzle piece that is YOU.
Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. You have your own unique way, experience, process, and shape. Place yourself into your puzzle by being attentive to only what you’ve got going on. The world needs you.
2. Write to your Little One
This might feel awkward but guess what? Your little one is waiting. When is the last time you got to feel some youth in your life and listen to a need and respond to it? Adulthood is hard. Go play for even 10 minutes, and find a way to listen to your little one. Note: My little one liked to visit her school nurse like 10 times a day ’cause she had stomach aches because she couldn’t really handle the rigors of school. She found a hand that held hers there. And now my hands get to help hold my little ones when it’s rough out there. It feels nice.
3. Stand in Your Glory.
This is a hard one. But sometimes it is easier to feel challenged than it is to feel empowered. Don’t shy away. You are doing the work. Radiate when things are good.
4. Slow dance or Slow down. Listen to your BODY.
If you want to develop a new habit, understand hope, forgive others for empty promises, forgive yourself for living with both disease and health, fight with compassion, move in the flow of life, then slow the heck down. Your body needs to catch up to your days. And by the way, your body, it has a lot to say.
Now, I’m oversimplifying everything. I’m not using as heartfelt and conscious intellect that Sana did. What I learned through these sessions comes down to one word, love.
It really is annoying, isn’t it? This conceptually over-written spiritually new agey, old age idea of love. This invitation to retreat daily to embody something deep and real and whole so we can be of better service to others and heck, even ourselves. Ugh. But…
Love, asks us to take care our ourselves. To tend our souls. To live through dark periods in our lives. And to come back out and step into the light. And Love is so freakin’ hard. We try to perfect our love and care. And at times, nothing comes of it. Or so we think.
Love is a constant.
Love, invites us to listen.
Love, tells us it’s okay to have a rounder bottom because that rounder bottom keeps us some good company.
Love, lets us be flaky, inauthentic and alarmingly full of phrases like, “I quit.”
Love, wakes our rage, watches our nightmares come true, and wonders if hope is worth unfolding.
Love, opens its arms and says, “That’s life. Things shift. Well done. You’re ripe. Now, keep on living.”