Today is my birthday.
In past years I have avoided Facebook on my birthday. My birthday is not typically a day I feel happy and celebratory. This year it felt like the right right place to be.
It’s been over a year since I last was on Facebook or Instagram or most social media.
As I like to say, I was social distancing before it was cool 🤪
Of course for most of this time I’ve been very much connected to the world — in actual, physical communities on the west coast for most of 2019 and then in NYC.
The combination of social distancing and physical distancing during the coronavirus quarantine has been difficult.
Although I value my alone time, I need people and community. So it’s been time to re-enter the waters.
My Anxiety About Social Media
When I first returned to NYC after 9 months on the Pacific coast (first Panama, then Southern California), it was a shock to my system. I could feel my body contract in the energy of New York.
I expect that returning to social media after a long absence will feel similar: overwhelming at times, invasive to my nervous system, suffocating, exhilarating, marked with moments of unexpected joy of experiencing the familiar for the first time and the surrealism of feeling like a stranger in a place I once knew.
I am beyond excited to begin sharing and offering. It’s work that is so needed at this time.
And still, I have felt so nervous about returning. Consumed with anxiety about it in recent weeks, often to the point of tears.
I am filled with many layers of fears, including: did everyone forget about me? Will people still care? How will I navigate social without losing the sacred space I create for my work and my blog?
I know I had to do what was necessary to repair the foundations of my life so I could serve from integrity.
The Big Vision
After years of wanting to ignore my birthday, this year I had wanted to truly celebrate the day. I wanted to gather my friends and community (at least virtually) to celebrate this new chapter and share some of the wisdom from my journey that I know can serve at this time.
I envisioned this birthday as a day of my rebirthing into the world. A day of giving birth to myself.
A Reminder: It’s Not My Plan
But as we have all experienced lately, the Universe often has other plans.
Other things have pulled my attention in recent weeks, and I couldn’t quite get it together to plan the event I envisioned. Then I realized my schedule for the day was already full.
Determined to do something, I settled on the idea to scale it down. I started to reach out to friends to see who was available for a Zoom happy hour.
And then some other shit hit the fan. I knew I needed to prioritize my physical and emotional safety above all else (no need to worry: I’m safe and healthy).
I had to create space for what was most important in the moment: my self-care.
Clearing Time By Creating Space
In my workshops on time and scheduling I often use the example of the “flooded basement” as an illustration of how we can somehow seem to find time even when we say we don’t have time.
When your basement floods, you’re somehow able to clear the space on your schedule to take care of the flood. Things that were once immovable suddenly move. Like magic.
Today was that kind of day. A “do what needs to be done” day. I took a sledgehammer to the schedule to create space for what I needed to do to preserve my health and safety. Funny how that often tends to look like uprooting my life.
Clothes flying into suitcases. Packing up. Moving out and on.
Uprooting tends to kick up a lot of emotions, and this one was no exception. It was a taxing and emotionally draining day. It pulled at my heart — manifesting in pulling a muscle in my upper back. The physiology and the psychology are intimately related.
It did not really feel like a day of celebration. I even forgot it was my birthday.
Where Transformation Happens
In truth, today would have been the easiest day to push off my return to social media. The last thing I needed was to jump into Facebook.
And that’s how I knew that this was exactly what I needed.
Transformation happens in that moment that we want to walk away but we stay with what’s hard and push through.
Getting on the mat for yoga when you feel tired and your back hurts. Staying in the yoga pose when you feel the pain.
Working with the resistance is how we build resilience.
So I logged on to Facebook and posted a message. I checked into a group for one of my communities.
Small steps. Showing up. Becoming visible. A slow re-entry.
I celebrate my birthday by honoring where I am today, and by prioritizing my needs for self-care.
As for that epic re-birthing party? It will happen. I’ve taken the liberty to reschedule my birthday. Your invitation will be arriving soon, if you’re on the list. (That’s your cue to subscribe).
Thank you for being here.