• Elizabeth Bretko

Talking Bout My Quiet

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself." - Harvey Fierstein

When I read this quote today it really struck me because I have been knowing for sometime now that over the course of my most recent challenges in tandem with our divisive political climate, I have lost my public speaking voice.

While I used to shout to the rooftops about everything & anything that moved me the moment that it did, in the past few years, I've gone quiet. Ultimately I think this is a good thing.I'm banking on the fact that I'm bound to find this voice again and the hope that it will be more powerful, disciplined & refined when I do. Meanwhile I strive here to give you a glimpse at what has been distilling in my realm. Here's a piece of art I made that I find hilarious.

It has been a whirlwind of a year for both me & for Uber Herbal. As we head into our fourth year of business I am amazed by all the changes this business has seen in that time. It is not at all what it set out to be but I think the potential it holds is way greater now than anything I envisioned in the beginning. And though the transformation was brought about through constraint, heartbreak & unbelievable loss, I'm grateful for it.

My daughter & I landed in our beloved little town home almost two years ago. BE is home with me Saturday evening to Wednesday mid day. On those days, all is right with our world. It's busy & loud & lovely. Then she goes to her Dad's & I open up the shop. My work week can be unpredictable (customer service deserves a blog of it's own) & demanding. Afterwards, I like to go home & hang out with my dog. We walk or hike & eat & I usually work some more. Turns out, I'm quite the lil' hermit! This chapter has definitely been my quietest this lifetime.

Also, I have been actively decolonizing my heart & my mind. I'll know I'll never be finished with this task. I'm fully pledged to being anti-racist & for me that means listening to Black & Brown voices. I've been hunkered down reading, hearing & thinking on what it means to be Black in America. The privilege I have to learn all the ways my life was set up for success at the expense of, literally on the backs of, Black and Brown People, cannot be over emphasized here. I am hungrily unlearning the white washed version of American history as I untangle the impossibly strong thread that spans the Middle Passage, the near extermination of the Native People here, the birth of this nation, The Thirteenth Amendment, Jim Crow & the industrial prision complex. This shit is thick, ya'll. And if you are white like me, everything you've got (regardless of your own story & the valient efforts/tragic struggles of your specific ancestors) lies on a foundation of systematic, institutional racism. A system that must be burned to the ground. White folks have got a lot of work to do to get with the program. I'm totally in it to win it. So I read, hear & seek Black writers, musicians, artists, historians. I listen & integrate & I (hopefully) improve as a human being & as an ally.

Compassion is the bloom of heartbreak, I think. These two years of being really, truly separate from my daughter's dad, yet still interacting with him because of the kid has been a real dance for me. The gas lighting alone drops my jaw to the floor. Seeing what I lived with so willingly & for so long, well it's humbling, that's for sure. He continues to waste no opportunity to burn & humiliate me, which can be a lot to navigate. So as I've been hermiting I've been working through deep cycles of abuse & recovery. I've been healing my heart, diving deep into owning my shit, following through with my responsibilities, finding my boundaries, generating boatloads of courage, improving my communication skills, releasing, releasing, releasing! I've been listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, distilling into a deeper, wiser version of me & reading, reading, reading! This is my process unfurling.

I have been pounded from boulder to sand.

I have been crushed from grape to wine.

I rise like lotus flower from mud.

I stand firm and smile at the sun.

Then we all dance a jig in the parking lot!

Thanks for reading this lil' check in! xoxoxo

#motherhood #divorce #coparenting #momprenuer #soloentreprenuer #MakersMovement #healing #decolonization #whiteprivilege #whitefragility #blacklivesmatter #reading #toastmasters #writing #dothework


 Über Herbal

103 SW 4th St. Grants Pass OR 97526                                              (541) 210-7320                                                               uberherbal@gmail.com

2019 Copyright Über Herbal LLC