Outwit your doubts. Give them a maze of self care and love that is so vast they simply just peter out, give up, throw up their hands with the hard, gritty work of getting you to make yourself smaller and wander off to doubt themselves.
And one more thing.
Take your inner critic out for a leisurely drive and show them all of the places, faces, crevices and refracted sides of your lovely soul. Let that miserable fucker see the beauty reflected in your eyes and deep within your heart until it simply cracks in to a shattered mess of butterfly wings, flying off to find the love it so richly deserves, just like you.
Show your anxiety the lushness of a single, solitary flower petal. Ask it to slowly brush its fingertips along the roads and byways of its visible veins allowing the softness to seep into your hands as you walk through a veil of mist from your future worry into the present moment.
A few days ago, I was asked in jest whether I had been sleeping around because I sure was getting a lot of press and recognition for the gallery and myself. I rolled my shoulders back and responded with clarity and kindness and moved on with my day; but the comment struck deep and I finally realized that it was partly true.
Like many small business owners, for the past year I have had my hands all over mine. In early April of last year, as I stood alone in the gallery that encompassed my heart, I had to make a decision whether I was all done or all in. I worked, worried, loved and ensconced myself with the act of coming through this surreal time with a beautiful space that could welcome the weary eyed and bring light to their life; and for the most part I’ve been pretty successful.
As the jest drove me deeper toward introspection I decided to come up with a list of items that I have slinked around with, both day and night and I am finally ready to confess.
I slept with my Integrity; waking up each morning and checking to make sure I was standing deep within it. My own integrity, answering to my own standards and acting from a place of clarity.
I slept with my intentions to consider the angles and undercurrents; those misguided and needing reflection and repair.
I slept with my big dreams of a prosperous art business where the work that I created and those I represented were loved and supported.
I slept with my concerns and hopefully woke to discernment and direction for exactly how to work them to a place of calm decisiveness.
I slept with my husband and my dogs knowing when morning came I would feel comforted and blessed.
I slept with a clear conscious that I did my damn level best at every given opportunity and if I didn’t, I awoke with the full intent to be a better person than I was the day before.
I went to bed with the beautiful mantra that I am thankful for what I’ve been given but also for what I could give.
You see, I’ve been sleeping around like crazy and I do not feel one ounce of guilt or shame. I am imperfect, crookedly self critical and committed to taking responsibility to the life I am incredibly blessed to call my own.
So, dear one, I have been sleeping around the Universe and back again and the best part is, I’m still faithful and slap full of wild abandoned joy to my Life and my calling.
What will you do when the world goes to seed? When all of your hopes and dreams have been nudged into reality; when all of your fears are finally laid to rest.
Will you dwell within the confines of this world or will you be elevated to the space between? The space between your breath and your heart; To the moment inserted where the before and after dance; To the place where the pause is more urgent than the forging.
I can look back on my life and know that I have not honored this most sacred of places. I have allowed the “what’s next” drug of choice to encapsulate my well traveled bones and push me swiftly to run past my accomplishments and head long toward another goal, another challenge, another learning curve.
As a creator, I soulfully know that “a creator must create.” But what if, as a collective, we shifted our perspective on what that actually means. What if creating space meant that we saw it as our angelic obligation to allow ourselves to breathe between the finish line of one race and the start of another. What if we imagined a flow of still points that encompassed our lives as much as our ladders of success. What if, my lovely ones, we took it within ourselves as a form of our highest good to believe that everyone is doing the very best they can and that the “very best” shifts moment to moment and from inhale to exhale.
With suspicion running rampant like a tornado across Kansas, there needs to be a time where all goes quiet. A place where a breath can simply be a breath; a step forward is a loving act of kindness and judgment is left behind in the trash barrel of things no longer required.
I simply must believe that this world exists. For without it, we are doomed to frolic in our co-misery of this life and relegate light, breath and space to the confines of illusion.
Be kind. Think the best of those around you and when you look in the mirror and see the person shining back at you, tell them once and then again toward eternity……
I see you, I believe in you and I fucking adore you ❤️
If the past year has proven anything, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that trust has been put on probation. So many divergent stories have been told, so many promises have been made and so many disappointed by it all. There is a deep, voluptuous longing for the truth without agenda. A spiritual calling for our higher self to surface within the turmoil of the outside world. A need, more fervent than ever before, to believe that this will all transform into the bright of day.
With all of the tired wishes and moments of hope, some have taken the path from a collective suspicion aimed at our governing bodies to one of shooting arrows toward anyone who is within our direct line of sight. It’s as if our quivers are full of poisoned tipped arrows and we are lying in wait for the next person who disappoints us to get it through the heart.
Will we feel justified in taking another down when all they simply did was be present? Are we in need of making another wrong for the momentous time we live in that anyone, anywhere, minding their own business can be converted into a “bad” person with an ulterior motive? Has a reaction to a situation become a habit which in turn become an addiction?
If I could encourage each one of you to do something it would be this.
When you feel yourself reacting rather than responding, simply stop. Back up and take a breath. Take a five minute walk. Look outside yourself in the natural world and put the arrow back in the quiver where it belongs.
The greatest power we have within us all is to create tolerance for our fellow traveler.
Now, more than ever, we have been led to a collective state of being. Think the best of the person beside you. They are, just like you, paddling as fast as they can to reach the safety of the shore.
My Mom was a full blooded, multi-generational Italian Seamstress. She had an enormous studio in the basement of our home filled with cloth, thread, needles and go ‘ol Italian verve. I would sit and marvel at the things she made; her hands working magic on anything from clothes to curtains; uniforms to wedding dresses and everything in between.
Once and only once, I sat down at the sewing machine deciding that I too, could replicate what she was doing. It only took running one long seam and my Mom telling me to tear it out that I realized that her craft wasn’t meant for me. It was her place, her sacred space to speak a truth she couldn’t verbalize any other way.
When I finally found clay I knew I had found an avenue for my authentic voice to emerge. Yes, as I started, there were a few pieces that resembled others work, but clearly from the beginning, I realized I had something unique to contribute to the craft. I persevered to see, that without anyone’s influence of design, I could emerge with a voice distinctly all of my own. And, if I am proud of nothing else in this world, I am honored that clay let me find that.
Since taking the photo above, something truly dawned on me just like the sun rising on a clear, cold, winter’s day. The Sun rises every day and yet, every day it’s different. It’s truly always one of a kind but also has the same qualities absorbed within.
As a creator, each and everyone one of us has the chance to see something unique and authentic in our work. By attempting to replicate another’s work, idea or gifts it’s sort of like the Sunrise trying to replicate a Sunset. To be inspired by another’s work is sheer magic. To take their work, manipulating it and attempting to “own” the creation means only one thing. It will never be yours. You will always see the other person within the creation and you, and only you, will have to speak to that falsehood.
I encourage you, implore you and downright get down on my knees and beg of you this. Step away from imitation and replication and just quietly create. It may be shitty at first but I promise you, if you continue to clear your throat and sing with your own voice, you will eventually spread your gold flecked wings and fly. Once you do, the Universe awaits.
And with that, I leave you with a scale of creating from a very dear friend. Think about it; Talk about it; Do it; Do it Right and then my lovelies, Do it Your Own Way ❤️
This vintage, yet timeless song by Buffalo Springfield keeps playing in my head…… “Something strange is happening here; what it is ain’t exactly clear; there’s a man with a gun over there; telling me I got to beware…….”
With the electric ride that we called 2020, most of us breathed a deep, purifying sense of relief when it came to a close. With eyes bleary, weary and wild, we were able to crawl through the tattered passage way of that shared experience into a new year with the hope of a 5 year old on Christmas morning that the package we were about to unwrap was destined to fulfill all of our wishes and dreams.
But, Life doesn’t have a way of working out like our fantasies and, taken with an occasional glass of Prosecco, that’s ok. There will always be events outside of our control, that being the one truth that we can always hang our hat on. We are temporary beings of stardust and water; attached indelibly to the deep sky, the ocean and the earth.
But, what about those things that we can control? With a year stock full of electric slides, roller coasters, dark tunnels and disease, our reactive “buttons” are on ALL of the time. Collectively and individually we are dancing around the next drama, the next disappointment, the next wildfire. And so it seems many of us have taken this blistering and turned it outward. From holding tight through a pandemic we have gotten used to the drama. Waiting for the next stupid quote to flame about, the next riot for justice or another cause that needs “causing”, we have collectively gotten “juiced” by it all. And, my friends, we are close to being broken.
Our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits look like a prize fighter after the 15th round of shared brutality.
And what are we doing with all of this pain? Some of us are lashing out within our sphere of family and friends; making others wrong to deflect the intense pain, loneliness and dysfunction they feel within. Others are inflicting the pain inward, always wondering what they could have done better to be better. And some of the magical folk are simply holding the Light, quietly and sometimes secretly, breathing through the impulse to react and instead giving space and time between so as to respond with kindness and compassion.
I am not here to tell you what to do, all I am here to say is this; Kindness is a religion I can support. If we are truly, as a community, to get through to the light we need to occasionally drop the butter knife we hold to each others heart and just be kind. For a breath, for a moment, for an hour or a day. Each step along the way will help with the transition away from our new shared habit of sparks and flares of fire toward a resting state of love, thoughtfulness and caring for each other.
In the shape of night, we can see what our deepest desires implore. The brightness of a half-full moon shining into the shape of an Angel. An Angel of lightness and hope Of loving and forgiveness Of moments and lives cherished Of lifetimes honored and embraced
In this light there is a delicious ease in laying down the sharpness of our fears. The battles we fought The words we flung The hate we have embellished The bruises we inflicted And the causes we have forged.
For, if we are to be IN the light and OF the light We must relieve the darkness for which we hold And reflect the stellar sky within our hearts Shining fiercely toward a brand new day.
I was young and at the beginning of what was to be a nearly 30 year career as a Massage Therapist. I had been seeing a lovely German woman for quite sometime when, during one session she told me of an experience that she had while living and working as a bank teller in Germany during the height of World War II.
At the time of her story she was young as well. Perhaps in her mid 20’s and feeling the freedom that came along with being out on her own for the first time. She was unmarried, employed and feeling like her life was just beginning.
When she spoke about that time it was with a mix of joy and anxiety. She lived about two miles from one of the largest concentration camps and the talk was uneasy around town about what the German army was doing out there. She told me that everyone in town received a pamphlet. It explained to the fine, hardworking German people exactly what they needed to know. The concentration camps were for anyone who committed a crime. Anyone, including the native population could be sent there. She went on to say that if, upon being found guilty, you would be taken to the camp for a period of time to “concentrate” on your transgressions and then be released back into civilized society once you made reparations for those crimes.
Nothing was said about the thickened, sooty sky; the trains with disused, dirty humans packed in like over proved bread. It was all very simply put to them and they chose to believe it. They actually wanted to believe it. Each needing desperately to hold onto some semblance of normalcy in a increasingly dangerous and debris filled world.
She spoke to me of this while she was in her late 70’s and pondering what she, one small, simple, unadorned German civilian could have done about this. It wasn’t until the camps were liberated that the truth of what was happening came rushing forth like a flash flood in a hot, dry canyon bed. By that time, she had left the country and found safety in this beautiful country of ours. She lived a long, healthy life and while I lost touch with her years ago, I continue to honor her memory and her story as one of the most profound things anyone has ever shared with me.
On this day, and the last few that have passed, I am reminded once again how the public, even our fine Republic of the Free, can find it’s way to overlooking horror for safety; turning our heads from violence for the sake of certainty and letting children run amok in war paint and horns and all the while saying everything is fine.
We are all waging this war in different ways, most of them at odds with one another. My plea for kindness will be unwavering and my determination to stay present with gratitude in my heart for everyday will never be finished.
I just thought this was a story worth remembering.
As I look back on this year with the eyes of a weary traveler, it feels like I have lived in a world created by Salvador Dali. At any moment I’m pretty sure the clock in front of me will start melting on a piano floating in the sky and I will simply think……..Hmmm, I wonder what I’ll cook for dinner. Like the ability to make this shit anymore surreal was just about impossible.
And then, I saw this.
I saw, with my very own eyes, the rise of a blessed Full Moon and the setting of a divine, fiery Sun. In that precious moment, it felt like a portend of the future and a putting to bed of the past. Like the heat of this year was slowly fading and the cool, wispy beams of the Moon were set to take center stage, calming our fears and comforting our souls.
Yes, I’m hopeful. Yes, I’m tired. Yes, oh Yes, my fellow soul exhausted lovelies, I am still here. And hopefully, so are you. Battered, but awake. Soul shot, but healing. Loved but with the aching sense of loss and renewal.
I choose to believe that the best; mine, yours and ours, is yet to come. For in the moment of destruction comes creation. In the moment of death comes Life. And in this very moment, of all moments, comes another breath of a chance to capture the joy that has been waiting there all along.
I bow to the New Year with just a little more humility than I had before and knowing more than ever, all we have is Now.