What You Resist, Do That (Seven Weeks)

I mentioned in my last blog post that I'm pulling a notecard where I categorized my first sobriety journal, in anticipation of three years of sobriety, I'm reflecting on a bit of what I wrote. Yes, I know, breaking the ODAAT rules, but I like how this exercise is forcing me to look back. My past is not where I live nor where I want to put my valuable energy, the shame that brings up throws me right back in fear jail and once again, I am stuck. But I do need to remember how fragile and precious those first days and weeks were, and how I was like a sponge, sopping up every bit of wisdom I could lay my eyes on. The one I pulled today is about resistance.

It says, "Instead of looking what you are willing to do, look at what you are unwilling to do. Look at the resistance. Because if what ever you are doing isn't working, it's time to try something different." When I reached three months of sobriety, I remember very distinctly the extent of my willingness. I felt so different after that short time, I was much more afraid of going back than I was to try something new. That started with reaching out to people I knew that were sober, telling my friends, No, it's not just for tonight, I'm NOT drinking. This was when I started thinking about a 12-step program, and I didn't dive in just yet, but I began to think it could be a possibility. I started asking myself questions like, Well, why not? Is that true? Maybe, perhaps, I could? I took out that very long list of things I'd been adding to for decades, things that I didn't do, couldn't do, wasn't willing to try, Oh-that's-just-not-me and I took a long look at it. I examined every item. I had an inch of willingness and that was all that was needed.

Will it be uncomfortable? 100% of the time. And there is a 100% chance of failure. If you are willing to jump into that ring, only everything on the other side. Don't compare your first attempts at something to someone else's that is way down the road. Instead, let that be something to aspire to. If someone has what you want, set your intention on the path to get there. Name that thing you want and if you feel contempt come up (sounds like: I could never have that, that is just not me, I've never been able to do that before why do I think I could do that now...THAT voice), that is your resistance. And that is your next bread crumb, grab it.


So those words above me there, yeah, written a month ago and sat here unpublished. The same lessons keep showing up, don't they? I could give a million excuses why I couldn't commit to this series, even though the resistance is the obvious one. I've mentioned that working in seasons really flows for me, since I do have several passions that vie for my time. Lately, I have yearned to work with my hands. Writing is such a cerebral activity and when I neglect my hands for too long, I can feel their ache. My biggest lesson (and by virtue, gift) in recovery has been living in the moment. Whatever program you choose, rigid or loose, meetings or mats, I hope it is a program for living because that is all of it, wrapped up in a pretty bow. 

Living, showing up and say Yes has afforded me friends and opportunities that I just didn't have before. Sure, I had friends and opportunities but I always had an agenda, expectations. Now my checklist is much shorter, my first question true to my intention, Will this bring my joy? If there is a check by that question, the rest seems to fall into place.

This brings me joy.

If you live in the Austin area and haven't been to one of my meetups yet, please come! This was a succulent planting party that my friend Jenn was kind enough to host at her beautiful home. My one item list was definitely checked this day. Friends, this is what living in recovery means to me.

If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it. --Hamilton, the Musical

 

 

If Not Now, When?

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The weight of impermanence. When you say it, it's like it wants to be light like, Hey, Nothing Lasts Forever. And then you remember that yeah, it's not just that shitty mood or that gallon of ice cream that doesn't last forever but also joy and grief and time on this planet. That is the paradox. The only things permanent are the most subjective: relationships and experiences, because even when they've passed or ended, they stay with you. They live inside smells and music and photos and laughter, thank you Impermanence for laughter. 

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

We can cheat impermanence by paying attention and then paying more attention. Lately, I've had to go inside and regroup, take some time to refluff my nest. And with my nest organized and comfortable, I've slowly been able to return my attention outward. A gratitude journaling meetup and workshop with Tammi Salas a couple of Sundays ago was just the reset I needed.

Cultivating relationships and experiences, making connections don't exactly cheat impermanence, it's still there, but they do establish relevance.

I was here.
And so are you.
We did this thing.

I've written about impermanence before and I'm no Buddhist, but it seems like the older I get, the more the lessons keep showing themselves. Now I contemplate the future, and not in a future-trippy way, I don't do that to myself anymore, but I do like to write out what I want my life to look like.

And funny, that looks a lot like it actually looks right now.

 

 

 

 

 

The Unruffled Workshop: Hand-sew a Skirt or Corset Top, June 26

The time is here! Announcing our first three hour workshop on Sunday, June 26, 3-6pm at the Tiny T Ranch in Garfield, Texas. For this workshop, we will be making either a corset top or a skirt from your own tshirts! So bring some of your fave shirts, ideally your bigger (large or XL) fave shirts and we're going to stitch them up, Alabama Chanin-style!

We'll provide the patterns and all of the supplies you need. I'll even have some extra vintage knit on hand. While our hands are busy, we'll have some time to get to know each other. You can keep your head down and sew, but I'd love for us to share things that we are passionate about and how these things offer solutions in our recovery. And I'll start!

We're going to follow up creative time with a guided meditation and a 30 minute yoga class (teacher TBD), so bring your meditation pillow and your mat! And if you have neither, we'll have both. We'll intersperse these activities with tea and fizzy waters and snacks...and music! And a photobooth! So no worries if anyone feels the need to break out in random dancing! How fun will this be?!

A couple of notes about the day: Tiny T Ranch is located at 3409 Caldwell Lane in Garfield, TX, about 30 miles outside of Austin. It is off of 71, all toll roads lead there and if you get to Bastrop, you've gone too far. 

This is a sacred space we've created to hold our stories. We ask that you do not share someone else's story outside of this space. We all want to feel safe here. I will be shooting photos, for fun and for promotional material, but will NOT show your face to anyone but you (after the event, I'll email you a photobooth photo if you had one taken) unless given explicit permission.

Finally, the workshop is $60 and you can go over to the Marketplace to sign up. If you need another payment option (ex: Paypal), just shoot me an email. Please don't cancel! But if you need to, you can do so up to 72 hours before the event for a full refund. You can also transfer your spot to a friend. Expect a follow up email with details and reminders.

Any questions? Shoot me an email at sondra@theunruffled.com. Share with your friends in recovery! I'm capping the group for this one at 15 so that we can all leave feeling like we made great, meaningful connections and we'll hopefully have made some new friends to share our journey with in the future! Please join us!!

 

 

The Unruffled Live...Soon

I started this site because of another dream I had. The original dream was to have a space where like-minded women in recovery could gather, work on a creative project, share stories, maybe do some meditation, perhaps a little yoga and drink tea. There are places in my city that offer a few of these elements but not all and when they do, it always seems to be very wine-centric. The dream seemed kind of big, I didn't really know where to start, so I wrapped it up in a nice silk scarf and put it away in a drawer temporarily. In the meantime, I thought I would take that idea and give it an online presence because that was something I could do, an action I could take. I would still take the original idea out from time to time, look at it, say it out loud still because I just knew something would eventually present itself. And now, the time has come.

It is very much still in the beginning stages, but I'm happy to say that my friend Spike Gillespie has offered up her Tiny T Ranch in Garfield, TX as a workshop and healing space. The details are still being worked but the plan is to offer three hour workshops that will contain all the things I originally conspired for women in all stages of recovery. It's on a beautiful piece of property about 30 minutes outside of Austin, and all tollways lead there. How fun is this going to be?

Here is what I need from you! Are you in recovery and can lead a creative workshop around your expertise? And you live near Austin, TX? I will of course be teaching a few but I don't do it all well. Examples of this would be Paint Flowers! Or Hand Lettering! Intro to Watercolor! You get the idea. I'm also on the hunt for a yoga teacher or two that are in recovery. This way, we'll all be on the same page, speaking the same language. 

It's like the Universe said to me, "If I give you this idea, I want you to create every detail exactly as you want it to be", and This Is It. I am so excited! Can't wait to share the first event with you. It's all happening!! Big love.