Being a stay at home mom can be lonely, especially when both your kids are in school. You get them up, get them dressed, feed them, pack their lunches, argue with them about not watching tv before school, get their school stuff together, bundle them up, strap them in the car, drop them off at their respective schools...and then you are by yourself.
You have responsibilities, like errands and things around the house, but you don't have a job to go to and a boss to whom you report. If I wanted, I guess I could sit on the couch all day and watch tv and eat Bon Bons. But I don't, and I don't know another stay at home mom who does.
So as not to feel so lonely you are pushed over the edge, it is important for someone like me to be part of a community, It is important to surround yourself with likeminded individuals, who share the same interests. Some people do this through church. Some people have weekly book clubs. Some people do this through mom groups. Some people get very involved in their kid's school. Some people do this through exercise classes (I had my first experience with SoulCycle last week and I have words...but that is for another post).
My community is a little unconventional.
Sure I have the people I see at the gym every morning, and I have mom friends that I meet for lunch, and play dates, as well as being an active parent at both of my children's school, but I tend to find my peace and "my people" through a different, more convenient, outlet.
I am a very creative person - I need to do something creative every day or I feel funny, or empty. Whether it is taking photos, writing, playing the piano, making dolls in my studio, decorating my house, arranging flowers - something needs to stimulate the right side of my brain on a daily basis. To satisfy this creative need, and my need for a creative community, I take online photography classes. I know this sounds strange, but through The Define School of online photography I have met some amazing, creative, similar individuals. By "met" I mean I met the online - I have never actually met these people in real life. That alone sounds really weird, especially to my parents generation I am sure.
Each of the classes I have taken (I think I have 6 under my belt - each 4 weeks) are led by the most ridiculously talented and inspiring women, who have pushed my creative boundaries and made me the "Unapologetic Artist" (also the name of my favorite class I have taken at Define, taught by my dear friend Carolyn Mara Harris, who is also the most bold and brilliant artist I have ever come across - check her out on Instagram @carolyn_mara) that I am today.
|one of my shots from my Unapologetic Artist Class|
Each time I take class there I am giddy with excitement when it starts, and teary-eyed when it ends. If you are like me and want to be part of something amazing with creative women and men all over the world, please check out The Define School.
Now, this second place I find "my people" is a place that I never thought I would EVER touch with a ten foot pole. I am not one for spiritual thoughts or beliefs. I am fine with others believing and practicing their religions, but I don't believe that there is an almighty being who is watching us and judging us and responsible for our behavior and whatnot. I don't believe the words in the bible should be taken as law, but rather a bunch of stories, some with valuable lessons and themes, others just pure crazy fiction.
With that said, I do feel that we all have an energy around and in us, and that there are certain things we can do to shift and move that energy for the positive.
Last year was a tough one for my family, with losses on both sides, illnesses, injuries and just over all bad luck. A friend of mine, and past teacher at Define, happen to post something on Facebook that a friend of her's commented on. That friend happen to be the actress Carrie-Anne Moss of Matrix (and now Jessica Jones) fame. I inquired how they knew each other and my friend pointed me to Carrie-Anne's website, Annapurnaliving.com. At the time Annapurna was offering a 10-day simple meditation course.
Meditation? Chanting and humming and that baloney? Not for me...or is it?
I needed something calming and positive in my life. I needed way to control the stress and anxiety I was starting to feel. I needed a little quiet in my life. I am not one to shy away from trying new things, so I signed up. And boy am I glad I did.
Carrie-Anne is this magical human being. The kind of human being that I wish I was. She is so at peace in her life, and so deep in her thoughts and just the type of person that I really want to be. Every day she would send us a video with some inspirational words, and every day I would anxiously await the ding from my computer telling me I had new mail, hoping it was from Carrie-Anne. I couldn't wait for my kids to go to school and husband to go to work so I could sit on my sheepskin and just "tune in."
This month Carrie-Anne launched The Fierce Grace Collective. As soon as the first email announcing this community/collective (whatever you want to call it) was sent out, I knew I had to be a part of it. For a tiny monthly fee, you join an online community of like-minded women, seeking spiritual support and calming guidance, led by the ethereal Carrie-Anne. We practice our mediation daily (a new one each week), have creative prompts (things to write in a journal about, or even something you can photograph and share) and nightly visualizations (this is where you lay down and listen to Carrie-Anne's calming voice share some of her wisdom and guidance).
At the moment there are about 200 of us, literally all over the globe. There is an online community where we are able to share thoughts and feelings with each other too...and you know I have thoughts and feelings!
Many of these women are stay at home moms like me, looking for some direction in their lives, trying to figure out what is next, so I am excited to get to know them and be on this journey with them.
"My people" might not be able to meet me for tea, as they are scattered all over the globe, and I have never met most of them in person, but we share common interests and passions and are like-minded individuals, and that is all that matters to me. I have real friends in my life, people I see on a daily basis, and talk to on the phone, but I just so happens to have a lot of friends that I can only communicate with through a screen! Welcome to 2016!
Where do you find your people???