I want to go back to the beginning of time and restitch the past. Bolster it with reverence for nature and patience for each other. Remind it that nothing else will matter but health and peace. Tell it to stay close to the basics of Truth, against all odds. Take its leash off and tell it to run wild barefooted through the mud.
It is hard to be a human these days. If you are like me - even if you are an optimist - you’ve had moments recently where you are like, this may not be ok. Things may in fact be doomed. And, so, I am here today to remind myself that IN SPITE OF IT ALL we are still here, doing “it”. We are waking up and trying again, day after day. We overcome the whispers of despair and insecurity and we get our butts up and in imperfect action IN SPITE OF IT ALL. We forget this fact, I mean at least I know I do. And when I ask myself why I forget, I feel my whole body sigh and say, “Because you are tired.” I feel my heart say, “Because you feel helpless.” I feel my mind say, “Because you don’t know where to start.”
If I have learned anything in this weird life so far it is that these three choruses can either haunt me or propel me. I can run in circles and stay distracted or I can put blinders on and do what I can. I keep recalling all that I have learned from teachers like Pema Chodron, who explain that life is not an unfair deluge of destructive chaos but rather an expected vehicle of endurable and informative suffering. I can either get mad every time it pulls up or I can say, oh hi, I was waiting for you.
This is why I have been thinking a lot lately about how I can rally to be that person who sees the Suffering and says, oh hi, I was waiting for you. And maybe - just maybe - I can rally to be the sort of person who sees that this Life vehicle has got a busted tired, an empty gas tank, and a bunch of unhinged toddlers inside and maybe - just maybe - I’d lean in the window and give some clear directions for the nearest mechanic. Go get yourself fixed, I’d say. And no, I won’t give you a ride.
My therapist would be proud of that last sentence. Just FYI.
The point here is that there are ways that I can ready myself for all of This. There are ways we can all ready ourselves. Together. We really can. I believe in you and I know that you are on fumes, but fumes aren’t meaningless. Fumes might look like the end of things, but what if fumes are the presence of possibility? What if they are the part of us that only needs support and cheerleading and little bit of replenishment in order to get back into gear?
It’s our time to bolster ourselves and stitch ourselves back together. There is still time. It is not too late. Not for you. Not for this world. Not for our children. It is not too late.
Now, with all of that said and that peppy attitude infused into these words, I’m also aware that I need to be cautious. I have burned myself out before. I’ve summoned the warrior in me only to then be wrecked by heartbreak, physical illness, and/or circumstance. We’re all at the end of our ropes when it comes to disappointment and disillusionment. So, while we rally, we also have to be vigilant and protect our well being.
I have been considering what that sort of vigilance means and it often brings me back into a familiar landscape of good girl to-dos: Earlier bedtimes, green smoothies, baths, and rest. And while I’m not knocking any of those things, I can’t help but wonder if that version of self-care is just surface level protection. It’s valuable, but is it going to hold us together in the months ahead? I don’t know, but my dissenting personal opinion is that No. It will not. Not entirely.
What will hold me together, then? The answer is clear, for me: My center, my “golden thread”. It is the thing inside of me that speaks so simply and gives me a lifeline in the middle of the darkness. Sue Monk Kidd, the author of The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, first taught me about the golden thread and its symbolic presence in mythology and literature throughout the ages. She taught me that it is gold and glittery and always True. She explained that it won’t hang on to me, I have to choose to hang on to it. And I have to keep coming back to it when I’ve let go. It will always be there.
My golden thread will get me through. Yours will too. This month, here in MommaStrong, I will be dedicating myself to the strength I need to hang on to my golden thread while I flail my way into the months ahead. And I will honor that personal adventure with a more public one here, in reiterating and magnifying the golden thread of MommaStrong. It is a beautiful thread, full of a bunch of well-formed knots, which I grasp in my hand every single day that I opt-in for my functional strength here, with you.
And, so, this October, we will go through ALL of the basics here in MommaStrong, from brace blink rocket to frontals back to mid backs to glutes to underwhelming goals to accountability to winning ugly to beginning again to enoughism. You will walk away knowing, very clearly, what MommaStrong’s golden thread is and how to hang on to it. My hope is that it will help guide you towards defining your own.
Join us. Get yourself ready. Invite your people too, help them get ready (pssst … you can gift them the challenge). Your strength matters more than ever now and your function is what will be tested. Starts Monday, October 5th. Click here to register for the October Flailing into Fall Challenge, either as a current member or a new member.
PS: It is never too late.