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Earlier this year I received a letter of congratulations from the company that hosts my website. The subject line went something like Happy Fourth Birthday to Honey Help YourSelf! They wanted to salute my efforts by offering me a handful of special discounts and services to mark the occasion. The message seemed odd to me at first, and then it got me thinking: When, exactly, did I start all of this? And more important: Why?
If you had to pin me down on a date, I’d probably tell you Honey began in the form of an earlier blog of the same name more than seven years ago. Back then I thought it might be fun to document my daily experience with a new feng shui book that promised to guide me through a 28-day journey to my authentic self by way of cleaning out the literal and figurative stuff in my living space. I’d been looking for a way to hold myself accountable to staying with the process of change, and I knew that, left to my own devices and flimsy willpower, I’d wind up stuck in the familiar cycle of sabotage that I’d experienced so often. I needed to make the process real by committing to it in a highly visible way, and, as I announced to my then boyfriend, Kevin, doing this book would be just the thing.
Did I mention that Kevin was The One? I hoped he was, anyway. He was handsome, funny, smart, and just crunchy enough not to be afraid of the constant training I’d been doing in the healing arts. He was a willing participant when I needed a guinea pig or sounding board for the new metaphysical world of energy I’d plunged myself into. As he and I both discovered, the more I applied the skills I acquired, to my own life, the more everything shifted—my perspective, my relationship, me.
You know what it’s like when you meet that special person and everything’s starts to click—the birds sing louder, the sun shines brighter, the wheel of your anxiety slows to nearly nothing—only to realize a few months in that the clicking was actually the rumble of your rickety foundation signaling collapse? It took me a while to notice the shift, but I had begun to bloom. The relationship, however, not so much.
He wasn’t a bad guy, but the problem was, Kevin was every guy I’d ever dated—not to mention most of the men I’d known—up to that point: friendly, funny, nice enough, and he was also aloof, noncommittal, discontented, and absolutely not interested in building a future with me. I knew it, and even as I denied the truth in my waking hours, the knowledge pierced its way past my denial, crept into my subconscious dreaming and wouldn’t let me rest until I finally addressed it. Frankly, I didn’t want to end it, but if I intended to grow like I wanted to, then the choice was obvious. There’s this rule I have about honoring the truth once I know it, even when it’s inconvenient to my agenda. When you seek it, the truth with reveal itself clear as traffic signs on a highway, and if we decide to ignore them, we so at a huge toll to ourselves.
Eventually, I broke up with my boyfriend.
Then, I took him back. And within a few short weeks of our vigorous reunion, he disappeared faster than a sugar high. Thankfully, those early days of Honey and accountability helped me realize how many of the choices I’d been making were, in large part, responses to old information I’d been given as a young girl about who I was and how much happiness I deserved.
As I continued sharing my experiences online, I realized I wasn’t the only one interested in ditching old scripts and growing in new directions. In fact, I learned, plenty of us are.
When I consider it in terms of how long I’ve held the desire to be the best version myself possible, and to express myself without apology, I’d have to say Honey Help YourSelf is as old as I am.
I’m convinced that the lives we lead are the real mirrors to what we believe about ourselves. That bit about Kevin is no exception: the fact that he was friendly, funny, nice enough, and also aloof, noncommittal, discontented, and absolutely not interested in building a future with me reflected the story of my own self-image at the time. Acknowledging it was as liberating as it was crushing. So goes the process of growth. When you do an honest inventory of your own loves and losses, the recurring themes will hold lots of information for you, too.
Honey Help YourSelf has indeed grown over the years—from tentative early entries that left me fearful at exposing myself so openly out there, to more recent work on and offline that continue to stoke my passion for spirit and becoming me.
Showing up each week to write and record for the love of it is a reward in and of itself. In many ways I’m still documenting my progress—and pitfalls—working it out as I go. And what I know now is that every detour, past failing and hard-won insight is integral to the process of growing ourselves. The other thing I know is this, and I’m quoting Elizabeth Gilbert since she said it so well: You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.
If there’s anything in my material that reassures you you’re not alone, offers you comfort, urges you doggedly onward, or cheers your victory even when you fall, then I’m more than thrilled about it. And if it serves as a simple shout out from one seeker to another on the path, then that’s even better. In other words, if what I’m doing proves in any way to be useful to you, then, welcome. Have at it. Honey, Help YourSelf.
I have no idea what this blog will be the next time those web people send a birthday card, but I expect that wherever I am, I’ll meet the day with my heart and mouth wide open to tell you all about it.
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