A Solstice Manifesto
Create more art: Yes, I’m talking about art for the sake of doing it, just because. Because it makes you feel alive, and inspired, and because the patriarchy and capitalism tell us not to, and you do it anyway, because it feeds your soul and pulses something real and raw and true in your spirit.
I’m talking taking pictures, writing poems, making zines, playing music, pressing flowers, getting tattoos, body paint, murals, collage, writing letters to your friends, writing a blog, book binding, quilt making, tending to your soul, watercolors, rock and roll, punk rock, real deal, life affirming art.
Not drawn to making anything? I get that we are all different and have different talents :) Support people then that make art, and who inspire you. Support us writers, dreamers, and believers!
Go to therapy/coaching. Since I’m a coach/counselor/healer, I am quite biased, but seriously, therapy is good medicine for you. Coaching is powerful. Your childhood patterns and you being in survival mode for the rest of your life is a raw deal, both for you, and everyone who loves you. Grief and change and loss all affects us, a lot, and that stuff needs a way to heal. Your unresolved trauma is REAL but it can be HEALED. You can find someone you LIKE + do the work.
Not doing this work is actually a huge disservice to yourself. It has consequences, and it’s a disservice to your actual life. IT WILL HOLD YOU BACK. You have so much more in your life to do, feel, experience and create. And relationships to be in that are secure, intimate, dynamic, and supportive. You have whole fields of beauty and intuition and imagination here for you, and just pushing through your life, with your old issues, in your old patterns is not the way to get there. Play a bigger game. Soften and deepen and have a cry. Welcome to the big leagues.
Lean into the mess: Relates to the above. Lean into your life, even when it scares you. There is no perfect. Life is messy, and complicated, and beautiful and REAL AF. Stop trying to put things into boxes, black and whites, either/or. Stop splitting things into good or bad. It’s OK to be uncomfortable. I talk to people every day about the hard things in their lives. It’s normal to not have it all figured out. It’s normal to make mistakes. It’s normal to hurt others, and to get hurt.
Let yourself be ruled by something other than your shame. KEEP EXPLORING! LEAN INTO THE FIRE! Or at least dare to sit beside it every now and again. And just to name it, especially if you are a cis-man and in your 30s, approaching your 40s — stop using having to make money/your career/being a dad/being busy as an excuse to put yourself in a rigid box, and forget about your dreams. That doesn’t mean running away either. It means LEANING IN! We all suffer for it for when you shut down, become ashamed, play out your old, tired story of retreating and silencing and/or manipulating others for your own well being. The rules have changed. Catch up. We need your creativity, true masculine power, and dynamic vision so much. I want the masculine as much as the feminine, I just want it whole + powerful + willing to lean in with me.
Mothering/Parenting is hard work, and you don’t have to be perfect to raise a great kid. There is no perfect pre-school. There is no perfect birth. Formula is not evil. TV will not brainwash and stunt your child, unless you literally leave them there for days/weeks and have no contact with them. If you want to stay at home with your kids, and you can, go for it. If you want to, or have to work and put your kids in daycare, it’s OK, too. Maybe even better. Kids are resilient, and literally have been growing up under all sorts of circumstances for a long time. There is no “right” way to raise a kid. Let yourself and other parents off the hook. Take care of each other. Parenting is hard. Let’s be real and let’s talk about it. Let’s do this, together more. (one note: corn syrup is actually kinda evil, I think, but again, balance it with some kale and brown rice.)
FEEL YOUR FEELINGS. For real. See “lean into the mess” above. Feelings will not kill you. Feeling them will actually help you move through them, digest them, and resolve them. I know feelings are legit scary sometimes. Repeat this though: THEY WILL NOT KILL ME. Your feelings are valid, though. If you get stuck in them, or can’t access them, find someone (a friend, therapist, coach) who can support you in moving through them.
PLAY!! No seriously, put down your phone and move your body. I’m talking to myself, as well. Connect with your inner child, or a real child, or better yet both, and play super hard for a day. Do some cartwheels. Ride a roller coaster. Wiggle around. Get dirty. (Burning Man is popular for a reason, even if that’s no your thing!)
Roam around. Sleep more, work less. Dance. Have more fun. Sleep outside under some stars. Have more sex. Have more conversations. Stop treating everything like a chore to be done, and enjoy your life.
Be in solidarity with people that don’t have as much privilege as you. Be in spaces that aren’t always comfortable for you to be in. Give money away to groups that advocate for non-white/non-hetero/paradigm busting bad ass women. Support women. Believe women. Stop making women do all your emotional labor for you! Be in solidarity with something other than yourself.
Expand your vision of what’s possible in your life: Relates to coaching/therapy. What do you really want? What stories are unlived and wanting to blossom? What do you want to create in your life? Your dreams are important, real, and deserve time, space, and energy to grow.
Build community: You don’t really want more money. I mean you do — I do, too — but only because we are living in a system that only validates that, and only tells you that you are enough if you are constantly making money. IT WANTS YOU TO BE SAD AND DEPRESSED SO YOU WILL BUY MORE CRAP! I also get making a living is real, satisfying, and we have to work in the system where we are at, for now. But at least remind yourself that it may not be the money you’re actually after, but the supposed freedom it promises. (does money buy you freedom? I am honestly still unclear.)
Point being, the antidote to constantly making money is creating + building things with real human beings. It’s community, people, tribes, collectives, supporting one another, dreaming up schemes with other actual humans, childcare co ops, art spaces, activism, gatherings, festivals, retreats, camping out, summer camps, potlucks, book clubs, friends, demonstrations. family, blood and/or chosen, mothers, fathers, rituals, caring for elderly people, networks, resources, getting offline and building something from the ground up.
Make repairs: Not every relationship can be healed, or salvaged, I get this. Its a bummer, espesh when you’re super relational like I am. I’ve been experiencing this in my life this year, and it’s so hard. My heart got broken, and I couldn’t fix the relationship. AND YET. Make repairs with the people you love and that mean something to you. Say sorry. Let them know you screwed up. Say, “what can I do to make this right?” say “what do you need?” Text someone that you care about them. Better yet, buy them a cup of coffee and say it there.
Let something go: Finally, let it go. I mean, it’s all death/rebirth on some level. Truly. When it can’t be repaired, it’s OK for it to be broken and to let it go. You will be OK. Let things go in your life (people, projects, work, stress, taking care of everyone, doing more) that aren’t really serving you anymore. If it’s draining to you, and continues to be, it’s usually a sign that it’s time to move on.
Still here? Wow, I love you, and honored you took the time to read this!
If my words or energy resonate with you, please consider telling someone you know today about my work — both as a writer, and a coach. I’m a creative, and I’m also really good at being a “life coach”. I want to do both. In all honesty, building a sustainable business around healing + creativity is a lot of work! I’m on my own, brave path these days, and I could totally use your help.
So even if you aren’t becoming a client of mine, sharing what I do is a big help. Word of mouth, referral, social media are all great ways to do this.
Interested in coaching with me? I support people in making their dreams come true. I help people live in their bodies more. I help people feel better about who they are, and what they want. (and I’m really good at what I do!!)
Oh! And I have a workshop coming up on January 3rd here in Asheville. Please tell your friends, and come.
Bottom line — I’d love if you could share my work with one other person, today. And while you’re traveling over the holidays, tell someone else. I work with people all over these days! People seem to always be looking for good “therapists” (though that’s not technically what I do, or what I can call myself, it’s a lot like what I do).
And truly, I’m here for you. We don’t have to walk this path alone. We’re all going through it these days. Fuck shame. Let’s connect.
Happy Holidays, return of the light, and may your dreams catch fire like a freight in the night.
To the revolution at home, in your heart, and beyond,