A passage way symbolizes an opportunity, a decision, the unknown. The phrase conjures several images, several responses. The primary image for me is that of a spring forest, a damp and trodden path, fresh vibrant leaves blocking out the sun, low in the sky. Dew covered ferns line the path. At my furthest point of vision, there is a stone archway, not so large it is imposing but enough to block my view of what is beyond. Perhaps it is all my years exploring the forests in the Adirondacks, perhaps my saturation in pastoral 19th century British literature or youthful fairy tales.
In life, our paths are not often lined with ferns or lighted for mystery. They are choices. We can't know the full outcome but we follow our heart, our dreams. With enough tenacity, we create a life beyond the archway.
When Cynthia Cosco left her career of fifteen years to enter the world of wine, she did not know where it would ultimately lead. She began with in-store wine tasting which led to harvest. Harvest led to wine chemist and enology school. Eventually, this led to her passage way, Passaggio Wines. I recently received samples of her 2013 Grenache from Paso Robles and the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley.
The Sauvignon Blanc was pale lemon-green, a clean nose with citrus and green apple. On palate, the citrus faded into green mango and white flower. Granny smith apple skin on the finish. Fresh, inviting, and easily paired or as an aperitif. I started the bottle with some goat cheese and ended with grilled salmon with lemon and herbs. Lovely with each pairing.
Some wines you just don't want to end. The Grenache was one of those wines. What a reward! Brilliant ruby in the glass. Raspberry, cranberry, and nutmeg on the nose. Medium acidity, lower tannins, light to medium body. Red plum, cranberry, bright red cherry, pepper and savory notes. We paired this with filets at my husband's request. My instinct was to do smoky pork so I compromised with some bacon and parsley in the mashed potatoes. It was delicious.
If you've spent any time hiking, you know that sometimes a path is well-marked. Splashes of paint on bark or boulder tell you the way. The trail is worn, the topography dictates. Other times, we aren't so lucky. Three or more trails converge without indication. We have to use what we know, sun path, moss, waterways, our instincts. Often, my husband will run ahead to confirm before the children and I follow. It is nice to have that support.
In life, we can't always count on a map or a scouter. We have to listen, pay attention to indicators, trust our instincts. There will be missteps and missed opportunities. But each step carries us to new understandings. Each path opens to new views. Each passage way reveals and brings us further in our story.
My friend, Elizabeth, The Traveling Wine Chick, deviated from her path as well. Once in academia, she now works in Napa with Cynthia. Each followed their passion and began a new path, not without challenges, but with plenty of rewards. They share their stories and more in the Facebook Follow Your Passion group. Many thanks to Cynthia and Elizabeth for inspiring and sharing these lovely wines.
This post was originally on my personal blog, SAHMmelier. These wines were provided as media samples. I received no other compensation. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
I've been trying to figure out what is separating me from some of my people I want to support when I'm talking about self-care. I was re-listening to a recording by Renee Trudeau and it hit me. So many of us focus on the what and not the how.
Of course we do. I mean, it's so much more manageable to schedule something in a calendar than change a mindset. And that's saying a lot because scheduling 30 minutes to relax can feel daunting.
The trust of it though is that self-care isn't just the things you do for yourself: running, going to yoga, getting a massage, finding time for lunch... Those things ebb and flow. They happen and then they don't.
Self care is the approach you choose to have towards yourself and your life.
I can do things for myself. I can schedule a massage, I can go to lunch with a friend. But, if I spend the remaining times tearing myself down, putting my feelings after others, then all of those "events" I did for myself lose meaning.
Let me give an example. When I started my internship I was working with very poor clients exposed to huge amounts of violence and trauma. Our agency had a workshop on vicarious traumatization and talked about setting boundaries to protect yourself. These boundaries consisted of things like rituals to start and end your day to sandwich work (and theoretically, our thoughts and feelings) into a location or time period so that it didn't spill over into "real life."
eh hum bunk. excuse me. yeah, no.
Trauma, emotions, feelings in our bodies... they don't follow those rules. The lives and experiences of our clients live in our bodies, in our hearts and our minds. We are caretakers of them and carry them with us. Pretending it is not so only ignores the tension in your shoulder, it doesn't fix or prevent it.
Luckily I had a wonderful wonderful supervisor/teacher who introduced me to mindfulness meditation, self-compassion and Tara Brach. She helped me learn to be kind to myself: something few women had ever offered me. It was through this path that I was able to begin to learn that the attitude that I had towards myself was far more important than the things I did to take care of myself.
When you love yourself, and value yourself, there is no other option but self-care.
Because of her, I learned that self-care wasn't just the "doing." It was how I approached my life. It meant that I knew when I had young children I needed to protect my evenings and not work then, even if it meant an existing client could no longer fit in my schedule. It meant that I needed to charge more so that I could cover the higher "cost of working" (i.e. childcare) and still have the money I needed and wanted to be comfortable. It meant that I loved myself enough to believe I deserved to be comfortable. It meant that I needed time in my week to just be me -- not be "mom" or "spouse" or "therapist" but to explore who I am and what my values are in nature and solitude.
I urge you to take some time this week and reflect on the values you have, and the attitudes you carry, that show that you are important, too. This might not be accessible at first. Renee Trudeau talks about how the acts of self-care are the first steps on the path to self-love and I strongly agree. This is a journey. Your massage you scheduled, or flaking out in front of the TV are awesome and amazing steps on that journey. (Ones I particularly cherish.)
What are your next steps?
Where are you in your journey? Do you need to start with setting aside time to do the self care tasks? Are there ways you can bring the value of self-compassion to your day to day? I'd love to hear from you. Comment below or find me on facebook and let me know.
I was just having a conversation with a therapist friend of mine and the HUGE topic of marketing came up. It was immediately followed by a disgusted face (maybe this was on both ends) and a rejection of wanting to engage in any marketing on her end. Of course I followed this up by asking her more about her resistance to the topic – I am putting this mildly, it was an all-out REJECTION! She talked about how the topic immediately makes her think of selling and schmoozing. She even said something to the effect of “I hate selling myself.”
Ok, think for a second, what is your reaction to the word itself? MARKETING, MARKETING, MARKETING. What is invoked? Excitement, disdain, curiosity?? Hopefully no matter what there is some curiosity. Even something as benign as, "maybe there is some kind of marketing that wouldn’t be repulsive".
I truly believe that with most everything in our lives it is important to be authentic to who we are; our likes and dislikes, our values, our strengths and our weaknesses. Maybe chores don’t count because I truly hate laundry, but I can’t use the excuse that it is not authentic to me – although I wish somehow I could!
Marketing is one of those things where the minute we start doing it in a way that doesn’t fit with who we are, what we like, what we are good at etc, we feel the effects of it! We dread it, we sweat awkwardly through big group meet ups, we have to sit on the couch in a fugue state for an hour until the effects of the horrible schmooze fest dissipate. I can very easily list these examples because I have definitely experienced them!
Over time I have learned my marketing voice is best heard by a few people at a time (smaller groups). I mostly just enjoy connecting with people (not selling myself). I also genuinely enjoy talking about the niche I have and the work I do. When this is all in harmony I don’t dread marketing, I don’t sweat profusely, and I don’t need tons of recovery time either!
So, how do you find your marketing voice??
Being authentic – this is the backbone of our conversation today. It is so important to be authentic that it frames how we talk about marketing. Here are a few things to remember about authenticity.
- Check in with yourself before and after you attend a marketing event or task
- What did you like, what didn’t you like?
- What felt forced or fake? What felt like the authentic you?
Keep seeking out the good stuff and weed out the stuff that is not a good fit! You do not have to schmooze it up at a huge event to count something as “MARKETING!” It will come through that that is not your scene and it certainly does not have to be :)