a winter journal: forward

This is the forward from a journal I am preparing to offer as an e-book. It will be available before the close of this year.

In the fall of 2010, I made a decision.  I made a decision to hibernate.  Although I still held a full time teaching job, I made a decision to eliminate all other obligations.  As a summer girl who was so sensitive to Minnesota's dark winters, I always wondered, at the onset of this season, how I was going to survive.  I thought giving myself the excuse to hibernate would shed some light (and, perhaps a bit more energy).  Also, being an introvert in an extroverted position as a teacher wasn't doing me any favors.  Hibernation might give me the chance I needed to refuel.  Hibernation also appeared to be an appropriate solution and way of putting my creative life and art first (well, second, that is, after my teaching commitments).

On November 10 of 2010, I made it official and I sent this email:

Dearest Friends, Family and Colleagues,
I've decided to treat myself to an early hibernation this year.  I've been playing around with giving myself a serious season of solitude for about two years, and at last, it's here.
I'm not going to be a complete hermit, but almost.  I won't be readily available by phone, email, or in person.  I wanted to let you all know this is a planned personal retreat, one I will resurface from in the spring.
Have a fabulous fall and winter.  I'll see you when the trees start to bud.

I think there are a few things worth mentioning before I let you read into these corners of my life.  Although I aim to inspire and encourage, this journal does anything but radiate this type of character.  I think it's important, though, and I will tell you why.  

I think this journal is a perfect example of what happens to someone (me) when they aren't operating according to their own inner guide, when they feel trapped by deeply seeded rules they never consciously decided to believe, knowing the life they created no longer suits them (or maybe never really has), when they are too depleted to seek out any other energy source that would make it possible to create a shift.  I think it's important to learn more about what it's like to be an introvert and a highly creative human being who felt unable to honor the deepest qualities in me that I had spent so much time discovering and, was, at this time, so strikingly aware of.  

These journal entries were made on a regular basis and remain unedited.  They capture the exhaustion, frustration, and (occasional) surprising delight of my experiences the winter I hibernated.  This is an extremely vulnerable piece of work and I ask that you attempt to read it with an open heart and mind.  My hope is that this piece will prompt the reader to begin an inner dialogue with herself or that she may find compassion for another, someone else who may find themselves in a corner without the ability to find their way out.  More importantly, this journal is a demonstration of the symptoms of life when one isn't able to honor their deepest callings, something they have taken years to discover.  

As a postscript, I am now living the life that is aligned with me and I continue to do so - everyday.  
But you can read about that in the afterward.


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