I have had the urge to go on a silent retreat for quite some time now. I went on one about 10 years ago for a just weekend and I still remember the insights I got and the peace I felt at the end.
So back in April I did it. I went on a fabulous four day silent contemplative retreat. It was here:
I had been longing for this time away by myself and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. A time of rest, peace, tranquility, insightful contemplation, and spiritual renewal. I want to do this annually. I came back feeling renewed and now several months later the feeling is still with me. Blissful sigh.
I love this scrappy new bird. She’s one of three, all lined up in a row on a faded, repurposed, vintage quilt. My favorite is the tweed layer on her wing. I loved the way it looked on my design wall but I wasn’t sure how tweed would be to work with. Since I do all my applique with hand stitching it worked just fine. I doubt I could have pulled it off with a machine.
It’s been a long time since I posted on here. I got all excited about starting this blog over a year ago. I had taken Kelly Rae Roberts OUTSTANDING Flying Lessons E-course and was all inspired and I felt gutsy. I printed out the .pdf she so generously shared with us, put it in a binder and spent summer 2011 studying it and taking notes and writing down my dreams. I wrote my dreams in detail; I love doing that. Then, I took the first step and started this blog and joined the flying lessons Facebook group for community. Go me!
And then I got scared. I felt silly. I felt like I wasn’t as talented and courageous as the other people who took the E-course and were also starting their blogs. I even, like a dummy, “un friended” my membership in the incredible Flying Lessons Facebook group. I’m very “all or nothing” aren’t I? I was all in, and then just as abruptly I was all out. Bad me!
It was easy for me to talk myself out of maintaining this blog, out of making my art, out of selling on Etsy, out of entering shows. It was easy because I have an awesome day job that I really love. It’s fun for me, challenging, sort of prestigious, and provides a comfortable salary. So I can always ditch my dream by using the ole “I’m way too busy at work” lie on myself.
But now, I’m going for it. I’m determined to not use that easy lie this time. It might take a long time and I might even fail. Actually, its highly likely I’ll fail. Yet I’m excited! I’ll share more in my next post.
Jen Lemen wrote this in one of her deep and sweet blog posts:
“we are all so multi-faceted, so multi-dimensional that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to know us truly as we are. which is why it is imperative that we continue to love one another, that we commit to deeply listening and leaning in to each moment, because none of us know what unseen and vital part will now be revealed”
The collage above is an image board that reflected me really well about 3 years ago. Now? t isn’t me so much. Have you noticed how you change over the years, weeks, even days? I do. Is it really change? I think its just your complexity surfacing. There are so many dimensions and parts in us. They surface at different points in our lives. It is what makes you interesting and special and lovable and you.
The really good bloggers and artists say your blog and art should reflect “you” in a consistent way. That makes total sense to me. I also know, from my day job, how important consistent branding is from a business perspective. So, i’m actually enjoying the challenge of conveying the genuine but complex “me” in a simple and easy to recognize brand. It takes the idea of “creation” to a really fun and personal level.
My answers to stephey’s questions:
to me, being wild and free is being genuinely YOU in all areas of your life: career, home, spirituality, diet, art, love, the words you use. Free to use all the love, good and power — your gifts — without inhibition.
My dream? To live wild and free!
Why does it take courage to do what should be so natural and right?
What are examples of how you are living wild and free?
I highly recommend this book. It’s fun and, in my case, got me a step closer to re.dis.covering myself. Here’s the premise: we all have our own style that can be summarized in two words. This style, when lived out consistently can permeate not only our fashion decisions but our jobs, friendships, homes, health, etc.
My style is genuine simple. The first word describes 80% me and the second 20%.
Genuine: authentic and real, I want to be fully me and deeply appreciate people and experiences that are free of hypocrisy and dishonesty. Sincerity is sweet music to my soul. I gravitate to those who are down to earth and unpretentious. I have a knack for taking the best and leaving the rest. I like facts. I don’t make much time for situations that go against my grain or distract me from my goals. It isn’t too difficult for me to walk away from situations that aren’t healthy for me. Ironically, I sometimes struggle with balancing my outer image with my inner desires — sometimes I have to pretend until it feels real. I have a special fondness for originality and appreciate things that last and endure as well as people and principles that have stood the test of time.
Simple: I tend to be humble and modest. What you see is what you get. I try to be a direct communicator. I express myself candidly and am working on doing it with tact. For better or for worse, I’m pretty good at cutting corners. I like designs that are clean, pared down, elemental, innocent, pure, primitive, quiet, straightforward and are unified with my values.
I just love knowing my style. It feels so good to try to bring my style into all parts of my life. Not just art.
if anyone out there has used this book leave a comment with your Style Statement.
Today is day one of my Mondo Beyondo e-course. Today’s lesson was the third reminder in three days of what i call “magic lists”. These are lists of dreams/desires you want to manifest in your life. The catch, for me anyway, is that the list must include only things I really desire — things that will feed MY spirit (not my husband’s spirit, my boss’s spirit, my mom’s spirit, you get the picture). And, not the things the media always tells us we want — bigger house, muscles, size 4, bigger salary, etc.
I did a list like this almost exactly 12 years ago full of characteristics I wanted in my future husband. Within the year, I met my future husband — totally by chance. We both knew very quickly we were each others soul mate and married the following year. When I showed him my list, he freaked out because it so closely described him. And now, 12 years later and through all the ups and downs of marriage — I know for certain he was and is the one for me.
This article from an Oprah magazine describes the process well. The only element I added was some prayer.
So now, I realize, I need to be making these magical lists for other areas of my life and see what the universe (aka God) brings me.
If you want to find your passion, know your life’s purpose, meet your soulmate, or feel intensely alive, don’t look toward the fun things that fit logically into the flow of an easy life. Ask yourself, “What am I running away from?” Whatever that thing is, turn around. Walk toward it. Face it and conquer it, or die trying.
Hmmm! I’m going to have to think about this for awhile. I’ve been busy “looking toward the fun things” that should fit into an easy life…I guess I need to think about what I’m trying to escape from instead?
When I discovered Janet Bolton’s work about 5 years ago I felt like I’d found my art. I love her work because it is totally original. Her simple lines and stitches reflect a style i just adore. I think I have all of her books and I frequently google to find blog posts from people who have attended her classes. I can’t even imagine how much fun it would be to learn from her at a workshop!