The past few days I’ve had some looming questions about what’s going on in my life, in the world around us, and about how will things look. I’ve had some career setbacks (small, in the grand scheme of things), but they have added to the question, “are my heart’s goals going to really come into fruition?”
But then, somehow I found myself to a blog post by Courtney Carver (thanks Courtney!..She has no idea how much her writing is in line with my heart’s pullings) and she said “Simplicity is the way back to love.” And that’s when I had what I needed this morning. It was a simple reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing. I promise, it relates to Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is a day of celebrating love. For some, it’s painful. It reminds individuals of either a painful relationship with their mother, even cutoff. For some, it’s a reminder of a longing that hasn’t taken place just yet. I hold all women in prayer today, hoping for those wounds to be healed and transformed. While I’m aware of what Mother’s Day can bring up for others, here’s what it means to me…
Becoming a Mother was a major pivot point in my life. In a good way. Here’s how it changed me:
It taught me what’s most important. I learned how important my time with Alan & Marley is, how to live more freely, and that my heart is yearning for work that is an outstretch of my core being. Minimalism, even if it's not related to physical clutter, is all about being able to see what's most important and letting go of the rest.
It reinforced my path to living more simply. Here we go- this is a big way how it relates to minimalism. Minimalism is about pairing back and focusing on what matters most. Letting go of what’s non-essential. It’s making me think about a time when I did a photoshoot. I don’t think I’ve told anyone other than my husband that I did this photoshoot. (*See my note at the bottom of this paragraph :) ) I did it because I was really struggling with my self-image and it came as a suggestion from therapist. I went, did something completely out of my comfort zone at the time, and came back with a bunch of pictures. As I looked at them, I found one keeper. And that’s all I needed. The picture showed a person who was comfortable in her skin and glowing with joy. How cool when pictures can tell a story of growth. So I let go of the rest. That's a minimalism move right there. After having Marley, I've done that a lot. My desire was reignited to let go of physical clutter...clothing that doesn't make me feel great, items around the house that aren't used. It's moved me to scale back both my work commitments and my calendar. It's so freeing.
*Huge side note: the funny part of this photoshoot is that I mistakenly signed up for a Boudoir photoshoot. The photographer and I were so confused when I walked in showing her what I was going to wear. I was confused because I thought she was judging my plain style (I picked out jeans and a white tank). I'm not against Boudoir photoshoots...but no, I didn't take pictures in my lingerie. But I absolutely took advantage of the foxy fur that was surrounding me!
It created a new dream for the future. I love vision boards, I love goal-setting…I love all of it. BUT…yes…there’s a but…I’ve realized in my own life when I plan without a possibility that things could change I create expectations that might not fit the situation in a few years. Becoming a mother changed some things, like the certainty that we will be in our house for 20 years. This started changing as Alan went back to work after we had Marley and we thought about all the hours we were spending apart as a family rather than together. So, we started dreaming together and asking open-ended questions. “What would it be like if we downsized?” (and is it ok that this will go against what other people want/expect for us?)…”What would it be like if we cut back our expenses?”…”What would we do if we had more family time?”…”If you had your dream job, what would that be?”…Dreaming together brought us closer together as a couple. There’s something vulnerable about dreaming. I think because dreaming is connected to your heart’s deepest desires.
It made me more of who I am. Again, to me, this is sooo connected to minimalism. Pulling away the layers of your false self to be more of your true self. I’ve let go of many layers I’ve worn for years. Here’s how I became more of me. I can say no with no qualms. I set boundaries like a beast. It feels great. On that note, I also give myself permission to re-address decisions I’ve made before. If I said yes when I meant to say no, I go back for a re-do. This isn’t flaky, I’ve learned. I realized that for so long I was a diehard of sticking things out even if they weren’t right. I once had a mentor say, “Well, what if you look at it as really trying something out and finding it’s not for you?” So, if I find I need to re-route, I do.
Possibly my favorite way it’s made me more of who I am is it’s given me the courage to go after what I want most. I love that motherhood has made me more courageous. I’m not sure why, but it has. Maybe it’s because I have a little one I’m teaching about life. And now I have a little one that is watching my every move, so in a way I’m asking myself, “Do I want Marley to learn to go through the motions, or do I want her to create a life she loves? To take (calculated) risks?” It makes me think of the Erin Hanson quote…
“There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask "What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”
I want to teach Marley to risk falling so she can fly! I know children learn best through what they see, so it urges me to risk falling as well.
I’d love to hear what becoming a mother has done in your life. Drop me a comment or send me a note via email! I pray we all have the strength to live from the truth from our heart centers because that’s where God infuses us with the small voice that leads us in the right direction. May we live with courage, pair back on what’s not necessary, and keep on lovin’. Happy rooting, everyone!