Over the weekend I had a wonderful visit with a cherished friend who’s heading into year two of a really rough divorce. Few divorces are without some ugly bits—dismantling a marriage can be difficult and gut wrenching—but her future ex is just being a colossal prick. His narcissistic behavior pushes all of my buttons while breaking my heart—for everyone involved.
Toward the end of the visit the conversation shifted to XIZOZU™ and while showing her a new design, I laughed and volunteered to create a custom medal especially for her that essentially said “Fuck You Husband.” We both lost it laughing over the idea. “I’ m going to do it!” I swore. I mean who would know, right?
An hour or so after she left I realized: I would know. And she would know. Petty and spiteful (though temporarily satisfying!) is not what XIZOZU™ is about and that’s what a cynical medal like that would be—small and diminishing. XIZOZU™ are the very opposite of that kind of damaging negativity.
The medals I make for women are about finding their strength through hard times; they’re about coaxing the positive threads out of life’s challenges; they’re about emotional and physical valor. They’re a place from which to draw strength and direct love.
I am still making her a medal, but it will be a medal that restores her.
This week’s eight things that are worth sharing with friends
Issue #3: Learn to Shift
Creating a life that’s more than standard! What I learned this week about the incredible change that can happen from small shifts.
APPROACH: Whenever I give my OCD friend who loves to clean a hard time, she tells me I’m just compulsively messy. Touché. Imagine my glee when I learned we can all have tidy houses without donating entire days to cleaning the them! Wheeeee!
TIME: Speaking of time not spent doing something, imagine what you could accomplish just by changing how you spend ten minutes a day? After spending 10 mintues reading One Hundred Blocks, I’ve been loosely tracking my day in ten minute blocks. If nothing else, this helped put the time I waste on social media into perspective. We made an easily printable form for you to try it yourself.
Last week the two of us were having an emotionally intense conversation when she laid her hand ever so lightly on the three XIZOZU™ she was wearing, then, as if pushing some sort of activation button, pressed them against her breast bone. She lightly exhaled and as quickly lowered her hand back to the table and lifted her glass of ice tea to her lips. It was a gesture she and everyone else in the busy restaurant might have easily missed. But I got tingles.
The way she touched the medals she was wearing was so completely familiar. It’s something I had recently realized that I do often, sometimes absentmindedly as you might play with any jewelry, but often I do it with intention, as she just had.
I especially find my fingers on my XIZOZU™ when I’m wearing specific medals. Two pendants I wear often honor the loss of my father to suicide. Those I find I reach for them throughout the day when they’re dangling from my neck and when I connect skin to metal I feel a closeness to him and his memory. It’s comforting and quieting.
Without making me sound like more of a party animal than I actually am, a couple of weekends ago I wound up at two local parties on the same day. Both were casual outdoor gatherings commemorating summer’s passing. Someone was wearing a XIZOZU™ medals pendant at each of them.
Confession: I still (and will probably always) get a little thrill when I unexpectedly spot someone sporting XIZOZU™ pendants out in the wild.
At the first party the woman wore three classic bronze with black pendants close to her heart dangling from a leather cord. At the second the woman wore three similar medals but closer to her neck on a black wire choker.
Those two women were as uniquely opposite, at least on the surface, as two females can be, as were the medals the wore.
Yet they were both quite similar too. Both were equally and rightfully proud of what they had accomplished.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
The first woman’s set honored overcoming challenges, the second woman’s set celebrated meeting them. Similar results, but with a small but significant difference.
Sometimes we choose our challenges, like deciding to run a marathon or buy a home. Here we need to focus our energy and summon our discipline to achieve these things.
Other times challenges appear in our paths uninvited, and we have no choice but to find a way through, or around them. Those hardships and traumatic episodes require us to fight for our selves, in the truest, deepest meaning possible, physically or mentally.
In each case, the work is hard. In both cases they deserve medals.