First, here is a sneak peek into part of my business plan, with the description of the focus for this season -
"∞ “Sharpening the double-edged sword.” The second quarter, from the Spring Equinox to the Summer Solstice in June, will focus on the mental self, and the element of air. Inspiration for this campaign comes from the Tarot suit of swords, particularly the Queen of Swords, with her self-awareness, focus, and melancholy. Posts will explore narratives of mental health and neurodivergence, with a series of posts on cognitive traps and maladaptive thought patterns, and how to shift them. This campaign will also focus on healthier approaches to the “positive thinking” trap, and on skills that help us become aware of how our thoughts shape our interpretation of reality."
I wrote that in December (there was also a theme for winter, but I didn't have ducks, let alone a row, at that point), and I'm looking forward to it.
This season, you'll have a chance to see how I use "woo" (in the form of Tarot and other cards, ritual, and myths and metaphors) to help me find creative ways to explore or understand my own narratives and needs. Some of this was evident in February's Fae Week, but this season will be an opportunity to explore this further.
New seasons are an opportunity to shift focus, to remember how everything cycles, to take a moment and reflect on what you need now, assess your current path, adjust as needed.
In my personal life, this first day of spring invites me to plant seeds for healthy emotional nourishment. My fibromyalgia has been worse in the last couple months than it's been in years. I am dealing with more pain, more often, than I have in a long time. This season, I'll be putting on my detective hat and looking for the pieces of #selfcare that have fallen out of my pockets in the last few months.
The first one I'm picking back up is journaling. Not writing for you, my amazing readers. Not writing for either of the books I'm working on. Not writing for the duoethnography I'm co-researching with a friend, or for the coaching blog, or for the freelancing I do over at the PetLynx blog. Writing for myself, which I rarely make time for anymore. Freeform, unguided, unprompted, not-for-anyone-else's-eyes journalling. It feels like an indulgence and a waste. Squeeze another half hour from every day? I have too few already!
But I know that journaling is a helpful tool in my self-care toolkit. There is ample evidence of the healing power of expressive writing, and although I do bring my emotional self into all of my writing, it's not the same as the safety and privacy of the journaling space. So, my goal for this season is to journal for a few minutes every day before I open up my laptop.
The second major thread I'm picking back up for Spring, and the second big announcement, is that I am relaunching Possibilities Calgary (and on Twitter). There will be a blog post coming tomorrow with the details, but my patrons get a sneak-peek.
Possibilities was founded in 2010, and was Calgary's first bisexual & pansexual community group. I approached Outlink to facilitate a group under their umbrella, but they weren't interested. So, we had to do it on our own. I had support from my Women's Studies professor, Fiona Nelson. I met with community leaders to learn how to organize queer and feminist community in safe and effective ways. I had an amazing group of people to help me, and the Possibilities board was such a phenomenal support for me.
We ran for five years, until our last meeting in 2015. Over those five years we expanded to include the asexual community, as well as various elements of the trans community (particularly the non-binary and transfeminine communities). We hosted three annual BiBQs during Pride Week, as well as two Probabilities queer table-top gaming marathons. We met bi-weekly (because I'm hilarious), and we were a resource to many.
But in 2015, a significant percentage of the board had moved on to new cities or new projects, and I burned out hard. We couldn't keep going. Possibilities was on hiatus.
In 2016, I looked at restarting Possibilities, but realized that I didn't have the resources to make it sustainable for myself. It stayed on hiatus.
But now, I have Patreon. Hopefully it will grow, and branching out in these new directions will truly be sustainable. (Can I admit some anxiety on that front? When I burned out two years ago, I burned out badly - exhausted financially, emotionally, and physically.)
But now I have the self-care and narrative coaching. I have a framework within which I can relaunch Possibilities in a way that is (I hope) sustainable and wholehearted. And I have missed it. Community for the queer groups on the margins of the margins - the non-monosexual, the non-binary, the multipy-marginalized - is so critical. I miss it for myself. And I still regularly get messages from people asking if Possibilities will be coming back. Now, the answer is yes.
I am making two monthly commitments when it comes to Possibilities - one in-person meeting focusing on self-care for the bisexual/pansexual/asexual and trans community, and one blog post or article.
If you want to support this work (which fits so beautifully into the framework of "creating self-care resources" - it makes me so happy to have come full circle, to have spiralled around to a new way to approach an old passion), then the Patreon is the right place to be.
So, we're back.
Clarity, focus, and the first greening tendrils of seeds planted years ago finding new life.
It's time to tend some seeds, sharpen our minds, and explore in new directions. Self-care and self-storying for our mental selves, and reinvigorating neglected communities, coming up!