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summertime limeade and values ๐Ÿฆ‹

connection & community courage newsletters Jun 13, 2024

Storytime with Kate

summertime in the south is one of my favorite things.


the summer fruits. the gardens overflowing with fresh everything. the neighbors out in the streets. everybody coming out of their homes and saying hello.


the strawberries. the tomatoes. the generosity. the warmth.


the roadside stands offering a bouquet of flowers, a bag of boiled peanuts, some pattypan squash, and a bouquet of flowers that their kids put together over breakfast.


but on this particular summer day, with the top off my jeep, I ran a few errands before work after a slow morning of lounging in bed, reading, coffee, and fresh eggs.


I had to go to costco for 3 things. It took me a very long 45 minutes...


it's the perfect day for a limeade in a styrofoam cup (I know styrofoam is bad for the environment and sometimes the nature of the day just begs for crushed ice and styrofoam. call me a hypocrite. that's fine with me these days - it used to not be and that was a stressful time for sure).


There used to be an Bill's barbecue inside a little shell station near my house. I walked in and found out from the lady who worked the register that it must have been at least 17 years since I've been in there... true. She told me I could get a fountain Coke.


But that isn't what the day called for. At all.


And I feel like a boomer writing this email by being like, "things aren't like they used to be." And they're not. In some ways that's absolutely incredible - in other ways, things are way too much the same as they used to be. And in some ways, I miss how things used to be. And how free it felt to be a child.


My whole career as a small business owner has been on purpose. Because of summertimes in the south. Because of how much it's meant throughout my life to go into a small store. Where you're often met by the owner who really cares about what they have in that store. They know how to help you and they want to help you. It's not a place for tourists, although tourists are welcome, it's a place for locals.


We've become more and more aware of what's going on globally and our lives have evolved to be more and more global as well.


But when I think about the very first theme of the My Self Study Practice, Presence, what lives in presence for me as I think about this is grief. We're always somewhere else.


Instead of driving, we're on our phones. Instead of talking to the clerk at the store, we're on our phones. Instead of positive interactions with strangers, we order online and pick it up from our front porch.


As I move through My Self Study Practice year after year, I'm becoming more and more authentic. My values are showing up on my sleeve instead of getting packed down with "i should," "be quiet," "don't disrupt," "don't show off."


I have big resistance to this globalization. And I do what I can to make choices accordingly. I've only ever worked for small businesses where I either knew the owner closely or am the owner. Every place I've ever rented, except for 1, I've known the homeowner.


My most authentic self feels most alive in a southern summertime.


As I continue growing my roots deeper and my branches closer to the sun, I'm always struck by the duality of it all. It's deeply frustrating to become more authentic, more honest. But it's also deeply liberating.


I have no problem now walking away from people and spaces that aren't for me. I didn't even have to consider getting a fountain coke :) instead, I decided to write you an email about how much I wanted a limeade - my want can't be met, but my need for connection can - how that little remembering brings me home - connects me deeper to what's important to me, to what I value, to how I want to feel and how I want the world around me to feel. And when it's not like that, how do I navigate it?


And what I know is that I reach for connection - in my roots, and in my branches. That's a way that I am that I'm really proud of. That conflict brings me connection. That during grief, anger, happiness, summertime... I want to bring us as people together. I like that about myself.



And what I want to tell you about your branches that you're growing, is that they're connected to your roots - supported by your roots. Your root system informs how you're growing. How sturdy you'll be in a storm. Your root system informs the world that we're all co-creating.


Elon Musk might have a lot more political and financial power than you do... but he's not local. He's not part of your roots. He's not in charge of you. None of them are.


When it feels like there's nothing you can do, look closer, look smaller, look locally. Look deeper.


There is always hope that can be cultivated. There are businesses you can create with your values. There is parenting you can do with your values. There are generations of hustle that you can break with rest. There are conversations and seeds you can plant with your values. There are songs you can write and relationships you can build and art you can create that are deeply and radically expressed through your values. Your life, your voice, your body, gets to be an expression of your most authentic and deepest roots.


You're Doing Great and I really like sharing roots with you.

Give yourself a break and let your values lead the way ๐Ÿงก


ps. our latest episode of the Self Study Podcast is out and it's all about Boundaries: the Quiet Revolution of Personal Agency and Self Discovery. ;) give it a listen and let me know what comes up for you. What have you started to notice that needs to shift? 

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