It's 2022 & in a few weeks, I will be 38 & S&P will be (publish-wise) two years old...
I started S&P at the beginning of my Sabbatical. I was new to Georgia and needed a slower pace. I started Shalom (God's wholeness & peace) + Polepole (Swahili for slowly & gently) to record my Sabbath journey and share my learnings.
In late spring 2019, we lived in an apartment surrounded by incredible people with children my sons' ages. So in the GA summer months, my friend Leah, other incredible humans, and I would meet at the pool and spend late mornings to early evenings with food, laughs, and splashing children. We had a harmonious rotation of family and friends visiting. And when it was chillier and folks went back to work/school, our days were filled with long walks with my friend, Cachet, and our littles. We met as the only black mamas in a Waldorf environment, and there was an immediate connection due to our similar ideologies and our complimenting differences. We'd eat breakfast, pack whole-food snacks in reusable containers, head outdoors, and return before/after lunch. She'd go her way during nap time, and I'd have quiet to write. For many months, our days moved in & out of a peaceful and tranquil rhythm & flow.
And although (outside of COVID) all of the changes were blessings, and we created a sustainable rhythm that made space for flexibility & productivity; there was this slight "vanishing" that began:
Long blocks of quiet
Days of solitude
Weeks with no interaction with media, email, or the broad world
Living based on our own schedule (vs. virtual lessons, planned playdates, work, etc.)
Daily long walk
Whole food meals
Time with friends (for me & my boys)
Date nights (again)
Phone calls with loved ones
My last nerves (literally)
And before I knew it, I slowly had a dysregulated nervous system. And I could not balance out my nerves until our holiday break & our quarantine (which was by chance). Regulating my nervous system meant quiet time, stillness, and activating my vagus nerve (for a higher vagus tone*). My favorite practices were outdoor prayer, organizing our home, meditation, exercising, talking to loved ones over the phone, and being fully present with my guys (hubby & boys).
*This article is my favorite for learning about refreshing the nervous system by using the Vagus Nerve & below is a short video on the vagus nerve with a breathing exercise.
The past week, I‘ve asked myself two questions that I have never asked myself:
If this was my last year on earth - how would I want to spend it? And if it is the first year of sixty more earthside how would I like to begin it?
And I immediately realized I want to live unapologetically as I've been living during this break (without quitting my job lol). I want to EMBRACE and celebrate who I am. I acknowledge that I may know myself enough to say who I am and what I want, but I have spent a lifetime focused on the woman I used to be, want to be, aim to be, will be, evolving towards, or who others/the world/social media think/want/tell me I should be. And my daily rhythm & dysregulated nervous system was reflective of that.
In 2022, I will rest and abide in my faith - knowing that I am made in the image of God and all things work together for my good. And, so while I am no longer on Sabbatical, I will dive deeper into living & documenting my journey as a SLOW living, PEACE seeking, NATURE loving, HOME body.
I pray that you join me in acknowledging, embracing, honoring, and fully celebrating yourself (as you are) in 2022.