The Change of Season

As with the weather, our lives have seasons of change. Seasons of transformation. Seasons of stillness and breath.

We all seem to love the other side – you know the other side. The other side of pain and doubt; of longing and uncertainty; of fear and loneliness. But moving through these seasons can be, to put it simply, fucking hard.

I have spent an entire career, 28 years and counting, being of service to others. Now, I in no way call this Martyrdom or anything akin to that pestilent evil form of doing. There has been too much giving with resentment and bitterness in this world for me to ever dirty my profession with this type of “ungiving.” I have found joy, knowledge, compassion and empathy many times over – not just in the giving of those beautiful points of light but in receiving them as well.

Today, I am on the cusp of a transformative period in my life. One that is scary, uncertain and quite possibly, wrong. However, it is an absolute necessity for me. Strange how that is – that the present act of “doingness” or “beingness” becomes so uncomfortable that a change, no matter how terrifying, is the only option. But here I stand. At a precipice of my own choosing; at a place where the only light I see is coming from my next step and of those closest to me.

Georgia O’Keefe is quoted as saying “I have been terrified every single day of my life, but it has never stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do.” Well, Georgia, I get it. We all have to be pioneers in our own evolution. Not an evolution that someone else sets up for us or that we blindly follow, but something we can look back upon, right or wrong, good or bad with success or failure and call it our own. It’s up to each one of us to make those small and sometimes monumental steps in our lives that will determine the next chapter and quite possibly the next volume of memories. To give the credit to another for those things just makes it…….well it makes it shitty badness. Period.

I believe in my work. I believe in my path. I look at what I’m creating and know that I HAVE to continue. It’s not for recognition, although that’s nice; and it’s not for money, although that’s nice, too. My true intention is to be of service in another way. To not only create something to give the world that is beautiful, but to also create the beauty within me.

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Stardust and Light

A couple of nights ago, I was fortunate enough to see the New Mexico night sky as I had never witnessed it before. A night when the sky, with barely a Moon in sight, was full of stardust. It was as if a giant bowl was turned toward earth and all of the planets and stars were spilling luminescence over everything they touched.

I went to a place on the ranch where I could safely lay down, look up and become shrouded in the metamorphic deep, dark, brilliant space of the never ending night sky. Have you ever seen something so beautiful, so ethereal and touched by the divine, that it physically caused pain within your body? Such a gift from a governing heart.

As I walked dreamily to bed, filled with all things of inky lushness, I decided I wanted to wake early to see the transition from night to dawn. I will tell you right now, it was worth the brevity of my sleep and dreams.

From moment to moment I was chasing the fading of the night and the birth of the morning, hoping for just one more moment of magnificence to carry my spirit into another day. One more chance to inhale the ending and look toward the beginning.

Wondering around since this event, I have been trying to figure out the lesson, looking for the message in all of this. There must be something I could retrieve from such beauty, such transition, so routine for the natural world and yet so transformative for me. And then, without warning, it became clear: everything must end and yet, with the sadness of this, there is this undeniable eagerness for another beginning. Another chance to love, to create, to be present in my life for the transitions that are coming to us all.

No matter where I go from here, I go there taking these memories of stardust and light with me. Without the light of the moon, the stars can shine. With the Sun comes another chance for us to shine.

Releasing from the Struggle…..

Struggle………we all have experienced it.  Whether it comes in the form of a decision, a way of life or the resistance to change, all of us have taken our turn on the dance floor.  Now, I can tell you without reservation, that this is not the fluid, graceful dance of a ballerina.  It is a genre that comes in the form of halting movements, shallow breathing and a whole lot of sharp angles.

While I was wondering around the fabric of my thoughts a few days ago, I realized that so much of the struggle we experience is of our own making.  One of my personal “dance partners” has been money.  The flow of it, the lack of it, the larger questions of what exactly to “do” with it.  I was raised with parents who were not conscious of the decisions that they made with money.  I was also locked in a struggle of child support and control with a former husband.  I carried all of these struggles with me, like a cherished book or piece of jewelry.  Letting go of them would leave a huge “hole” in my life.  I mean, lacking anything else going on, I could always concentrate on my struggles…….

It hadn’t dawned on me, until now, that I am able to release from those old struggles.  They are not mine to carry – probably never were.  And, in releasing these struggles, just as I have learned to release and let the clay take the lead, I am also able to forgive and release all of the others that were connected to them. How many other old struggles are stuck in the dance of the dark?

As with any tunnel and the light at it’s end, we have the choice to release ourselves and others from the old, worn out stories of struggle and make room for fresh new opportunities to find more ease in our life.  Our struggles and pain may be inevitable, but they don’t have to be permanent.   

Letting Go……..

As I enter back into my everyday life, I know there will be many nuances and shifts that occur.  There are events in our lives that can take time to glisten all that has been experienced.  

When I left for Ghost Ranch, I had a few things in my life that needed to be laid open.  I needed distance in which to calm down, breath and listen.  I needed to achieve a level of clear headedness that was required to truly look at my life, where I have been, where I wanted it to go and where it was actually going.

I have realized this truth………that it’s ok to let go. To gently and kindly let go of situations that no longer fit or have run their course.  To know that sometimes “your appointment is just over.” To let go of the parts of my life that have taken me away from my center.  To understand that there will always be people that will be disappointed with my decisions and those that are indifferent and still others, those rare, beautiful individuals that applaud and support me at every turn.  And it’s ok.  

At the end of the day, each one of has a responsibility to ourselves to answer those questions.  The questions of individual purpose, our own higher calling, the song of our soul.  Where will it lead us?  Where will we allow it to go?  The only person that can answer those questions for me is me.  

Here’s what I find to be true………..when you shift from your center, deep down at the essence of your being, you know it.  It may feel different for each of us.  For me, it’s an ache that keeps calling to me, sometimes just out of reach.  But every time I find my way back, I can look behind me and see the voice of my higher self was always there, whispering and sometimes wailing for me to listen……….just listen.

I do not regret any twist or turn in my life for it is those winding roads that brought me home.  For all of this and more, I am Thankful.

The Lessons of Moving……Part 1

I haven’t written for quite awhile.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure I had anything of value to say. Since moving to the mountains I have learned a lot about myself……….some of it has been good, some extremely unsettling but all of it is a continuing uncovering of who I am.  Below is a list in no particular order.

1.  I didn’t realize just how burned out that I had become.  When one is in a race, the best that can be expected is to run as fast as you can, for as long as you can, hoping that the finish line will reveal itself.  Solid logic…….if your really running a race.  Otherwise, a recipe for adrenal fatigue, depression and emotional collapse.  Ok, so that’s a little dramatic but you get my point.  My life had become moving from one job, one event, one obligation to another.  The fun and freedom had left my space and an over zealous sense of duty flooded it.  I took things that I loved and made them into chores.  And guess what?  It sucked.

2.  I left behind a full practice of clients that trusted and counted on me with the thinking that people would automatically do the same where I was moving to.  Looking back on this, I am astounded by my naivety.  How could I think that a practice that I had lovingly nourished and built for 23 years was just going to appear where I was going.  No one knew me, trusted me or believed in me.  I had to come face to face with my ego and tell it to take a hike.  I was at a new beginning not a continuation and if I was going to succeed I needed to reach out and show people that I could be trusted.

3.  I miss my people.  I miss that my people knew me……really, really knew me, and loved me for it.  What this has made me realize is that it’s wise to treasure your community for the beauty that it brings to your life and to never be afraid to reach out.

4. Admitting my vulnerability can be terrifying and liberating.  I recently reached out to my community when I was ready to jump off of a 2′ ledge……….I was scared to admit my need for comfort and yet, when I did, the response was more than I could have ever imagined.  Words of love, encouragement, strength and courage came my way and I was humbled.  I said a heart felt Thank you to each one of them and realized that no matter where I am, my people will always be with me.

5. If I sit in stillness and trust the flow, life has a way of working out.  That does not mean to just float along like a leaf in the wind.  For me, it’s been a balance of working, striving, reaching……….and then letting go.

Moral of the story: Love your people, commit to your life and be kind. 

  

Wish You Were Here

It has been a little less than 90 days since my husband and I, along with our 3 dogs and 3 large UHaul’s worth of stuff landed in the mountains of North Carolina. I return to Florida once a month for four days to maintain a long standing massage practice and am asked by almost everyone if I love my new home. Well…….here are the answers I have come up with so far…….
1. Beginnings are full of magic, hope and lots of heavy lifting. How did I ever think that we didn’t have too much stuff??? The velocity of wanting something to work helps for it to work – it just takes more time than I idealized.
2. Endings are painful, emotional, cleansing, cathartic and involve more heavy lifting. Damn! Some of the people I thought would be with me forever have just upped and disappeared……..some I never thought would give me a second thought have been the support I didn’t even know I needed. And the stuff………cleaning out is a beautiful thing but requires fortitude and lots of upper body strength 🙂
3. The mountains are my muse and I am their bitch. No two ways about it – they are in my DNA and they own my heart. I, in turn, work diligently to honor them in my life and in my art.
4. I miss my tribe, my community and my girlfriends. Sometimes, there is no substitute for spending a few hours with a girlfriend that just “gets you”. They don’t need to fix you just the way you don’t need to be fixed. To hear the words, “me, too!!”, is so damn comforting that it makes me want to cry tears of joy knowing that I am connected with another person.
5. I’m a whole lotta of me for new people in my life to take in. A girlfriend called me “formidable” yesterday. I finally understand that it’s not for me to decided whether I am too much or too little………I just “am”.
6. I am stronger than I thought. Putting one foot in front of the other can be an incredible challenge at times but moving through is the best way I know how to get to the other side and find progress and peace for my soul.
7. I am more vulnerable than I thought. Ohhhhhh, this is a tough one for me – Ms. Strong Enough. I am fragile and prone to self doubt and ridicule. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who inspire me to be gentle with myself.
The discovery that in all the change I have encountered the past few months – what matters most, to me, are the treasures of friendship. I bow In gratitude to you, my friends who make up my heart.

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Catch and Release…….

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have chosen to hold on to and what I have released back into the universe. The major theme of my life right now is knowing what to let go of and what to keep……possessions, relationships, places, dreams, realities. There are times when it is so damn easy to ease my grasp, allowing my finger tips to unfurl and open to the winds of change, and then there are times when I would rather feel the pain of the comfortable rather than let go into the vastness of the unknown.

Sometimes, I wish for certainty, in my own life, with my relationships with others, with the universe…….and then I realize that always being certain can eliminate the joy of discovery, not just with life but with the creative process as well. We don’t get to have it both ways. Letting go does not mean laying back and being blown around like a late autumn leaf. No sir – it means you let go of the conclusion – moving toward your desires and future with activities that align with your intentions and wishes. In the Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho, he writes, “when you really want something, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

So, in the spirit of the new year, when I am to be letting go of the old and the universe of things that no longer serve me and my evolution as a person and an artist, I will honor the newness of life and the conclusion of my past. I am moving toward something greater than I have been and that is something to look forward to even if I don’t know what it is.

Setting my intentions, my desires, and releasing them into the universe one breath, one step at a time.

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