Thursday, April 30, 2009

Taking a break......




Sometimes we can sense these seasons approaching. When you can no longer push aside the growing conviction that you are being invited to do something that feels threatening, uncomfortable and might reveal a need to evaluate on what foundation you have formed your sense of security, identity and purpose. I am not sure what these thoughts all mean for me. Significant events in my life the past few months have forced me to stop and reevaluate where my energy has been going and how much I actually have to offer. Sometimes the cumulitive weight of what we are carrying, being and doing for others catches up to you and something has to give.

As an artist, creating and revealing ourselves is a calling near to breathing. Our social media world has given us ample opportunity to share, reveal, promote, expose and spread ourselves out to far reaches of the world in a way that feels so personal and authentic. It can be a such a powerful way to communicate and has such incredible benefits. But I have this haunting, unsettling feeling that has persisted....about how it all is affecting our capacity for depth and real intimacy in our face to face relationships and our emotional availiablity to those who might even be in our own homes, our neighborhoods, our communities. There can be an illusionary sense of being known when connected everywhere on line...but what of ourselves are we revealing in our being known...and at what depth are we connected to what we are revealing? I find myself needing to ask the questions and listen for balanced answers. As I work and view the world as it presents itself through the computer screen...unfortunately more often than I have breathed in the fresh air lately.... I can't deny the need to redefine what I am doing and restore a sense of balance. I am grateful to have wise ones in my life encouraging a time of backing away....a time to catch up to myself....be present...and move back into the deeper journey I had begun. I am grateful for the invitation.

I realize my work requires use and resources of the internet. I know that I am so blessed and grateful for such wonderful and amazing souls I am lucky to call friends who I would not have met were it not for having risked myself in my artowrk, here in on this blog or other in creative on-line communities. Those who visit here have often extended words of support and encouragement to me as I have expressed my creative journey and work and I hope I have shown that kindness in return. I am just asking myself some hard questions...for me personally....and it feels critical to my emotional and spiritual health that I make room to investigate the answers. My humanity cries out, "But what if they forget me and I vanish into obscurity!" Even behind that cry lies an opportunity to explore concepts of value and self-worth. In reality, this is only one of several impacting situations in my own personal life that has culminated in a halt to how I had been living it recently. Sometimes the plates we are trying to keep in the air need to be set down for awhile.

So I feel the need to listen and check for healthy balance in my life. Go on more dates with my husband. Hold up my end of a conversation with God again. Take my youngest to the skate park...he has been begging me. Go to coffee with my teenagers...as long as I pay of course. Take the dog for more walks....she looks at me longingly when she sees me put on my tennis shoes. Stop and talk to my neighbors....I might have something they need. Read more. Journal more. Write more. Create some healing art for my local community....walk in and actually meet them and place it in their hands. Hike in and stand before that secret waterfall up at Mt Hood. My soul is thirsty for whatever else this space opens up and reveals to me. I need to lay it all down and rest for awhile first. I look forward to picking things back up again when the time is right....when my breathing is fuller and deeper...and the fresh air from a more three-dimensional place has filled my lungs.

So I am sure it won't be forever. I"ll peek in again. I hope to continue Art Blessing Giveaways here and there. I will still be creating art for the healing journey behind the scenes, quietly offering new work on my sites as time, energy and revelation present themselves. Most of what I hope to discover and reclaim I know in my heart will not be found on-line. Just taking time to step back and try to take a little better care of myself! My deepest hope is to open and make space for what needs opening and be in a place to make the changes that are revealed! I pray your days are blessed and you take time to listen....and see if your soul is thirsting for anything....if there are any questions that need answering....or if you just need a breath of fresh air....

18 comments:

My Journey to Hope said...

Lani, I just sent you an email. Please let me know if you don't receive it for some reason. As to your break- I think you may be on to something. Sometimes it's easier to "talk" hidden behind a screen than to risk a face-to-face exposure. I'm guilty of this myself. I hope you are able to rest, enjoy the present moments around you, and discover what's waiting to catch your attention. God bless you in your journey!

-Michelle

Florence said...

Lani, as usual I think God is using you to proclaim His heart to heal the people of this generation. It is so easy to get caught up doing something that at first glance seems harmless...even really fun. But we all know there comes a point where that harmless thing has crossed the line in our life and the risks begin to outweigh the benefits.

We only have so many hours in our day; only so much energy to expend. When the world is at our fingertips it's easy to want to explore it all, touch everything. But the reality is I have children who need to explore their world with their mommy and learn to appreciate the blue sky and the wind in the trees.

Thank you for your brave first step on a journey of rest and change...I am inspired to do the same.

I'll be praying.

Florence

Jaron said...

Sounds like a wise idea for you to take a break. I have a friend who had to have a broken ankle with a MRSA infection to get her to finally sit down and rest. I commend you for listening to God and doing His best for you and your family. BREATHE and just BE. You are loved whether you are on the internet or not.
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour." Isaiah 43.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Well, at least you are in tune with what you need. Stopping. That is something so foreign in our hyperactive world. Enjoy getting reacquainted with yourself and those who really matter most, those around you.

Joyfulsister said...

Rest my dear sister!!!
We all need to step back at times and just reconnect, regroup, and give a lil more to those who patiently wait on the sidelines as we minister and give of ourselves to others . And you know who I mean, our family, neighbors, as well as ourselves. When I stepped away for a time to do the same . I had such a journey with the Lord and connected with family, friends, nature, to smell the freshness of the air outside and the warmth of the sun on my face, I call it the kiss from heaven. I'm due for another one as well and I do look forward to it!!

Be blessed in all you do and I wish you all things beautiful..

Hugz Lorie

Brenda Keck said...

Lani, my reaction to your recent blog is probably not what you would expect. I smiled. I wanted to stand up and shout, "yes! yes!!". More wisdom in your words than you know. I hear your weariness and questions. But, I know this kind of journey reaps RICH returns! I want that for you. I am praying for deep rest and restoration for you during this season. I pray for you to see, hear, taste, smell and feel life at a whole different level. I pray rich blessings on the relationships in your real world. Your intuition about what is needed at this point in the journey is right on. Love you so much.
bk

Zinnia said...

Lani...you are doing the right thing girl. You know it's time to listen to what's going on inside you. That kind of quality time is so precious. I wish you well, and I have no doubt you'll be back soon. ooooxxxx
Zinnia

Stephani Gorman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Yes and Yes again , Lani. I've stepped far back from the online community for the same reasons you've listed here , and I hope you find the balance you need. I think you will :).
Blessings ,
Kim

Anonymous said...

You were mentioned on a thraed in ETSY about how inspiration you are one of their favorites, so I just had to look.

I am so glad I did!

Linda a/k/a Mamapainter.etsy.com or doorno2.blogspot.com

Christine Thuerk said...

Lani , I am only a sometimes reader of your wonderful blog (and asker of travel advice!)I completely know where you are coming from and I see the wisdom of your self discovery here. Go and do what is calling to you and I hope to see you back here as soon as you feel it's right. I will truly miss stopping by and reading your words of wisdom and viewing your inspiring art. Without the internet I might never have seen your wonderful artwork that personally inspired me to try my hand, always hoping that my work would reach out and touch like yours. I will think of you and hope for your successful journey and hopefully a return to your online world too. chris thuerk

Lisa said...

All the best to you. I am so grateful to have met you online. I understand the need to take a break from time to time and to just truly listen to what God is whispering. Much love and peace to you.

Chrisy said...

Dear Lani, I sometimes pop in for a visit...to be inspired by your words and art....I think what you've written about the balance is so true and something that we need to be aware of...hope all is going well in your world...

Joyfulsister said...

HI Lani..
Dropping by to say Hello and see how you are doing. Praying all is well and I'll see you when you get back.

Hugz Lorie

Juls~ said...

Hi Lani,

That was a wonderful post and so many beautiful responses from wonderful people that we bloggers seem to connect with here better than real life sometimes. It seems easier to speak from the deepness of our hearts here online. I truly believe that most of us are *different* and *special*. I believe that many of us yearn to share and communicate at a deeper level than a lot of people in our daily lives. Thus, the connection of kindred spirits.

Our souls reaching out to each other in support, simply because we know what each other's hearts yearn for.

I do understand the need to reconnect with family. In ways, I feel that blogging has definitely deepened this desire with them. Because blogging is an exercise, typically, of the soul and heart. Through blogging, perhaps you hear what you is more important in your own life and it was part of your calling. I speak from how blogging has influenced me.

For me, it was taking off from work. Focusing on my health and my family. Reconnecting as you are - only with the partnership, encouragement, and inspiration of fellow bloggers here :)

I LOVED your post! So meaningful and well-written. Truly beautiful. I am glad that you are listening to your heart. Try to be easy on yourself about blogging and your passionate interests, that's an important part of who you are and your way to give to others, like myself, who hear you and need the written word to drive them towards their life goals.

I believe we all go through phases of reflection and change. Blogging has been a positive influence in my life on a personal level and an inspiration on a creative level.

All in moderation, eh? :)

Juls~

My Journey to Hope said...

Lani, I know you're taking a break, but I'm passing along the "One Lovely Blog Award" to you anyway for your incredibly inspiring blog!

To accept the award, post it on your blog, along with the name of the person who has granted the award, and the blog link. Then, pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Hopefully this will introduce people to some fabulous blogs that are out there!

:) Michelle

Couture de Papier said...

Blessings on your journey thank you for post I can relate..I was hoping to take a break this summer and bask on my beach but am driven back on net by the rain..although my journey is inward and there must be sunlight in there somewhere?!
LOL Denise

Thistle Cove Farm said...

God has blessed you with the gift of wisdom; prayerfully hope you found the serenity you sought.
Found you via Moss Hill Studio via KC Willis.