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 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 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....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Invitation....

Had coffee with a dear kindred one this morning. We talked about our lives, our mothering, our faith, our struggles, our questions and the paths we each attempt to take small steps on everyday. She reached into her bag (she always has the coolest, funky artsy "purses"!) and handed me this small book called "The Invitation". I was so moved by this poem written by Oriah. It resonated with a place deep in my soul. Though we may come from different faith experiences...our common longing for authenticity and being released from "what confines and restrains in our relationships" to "what opens and brings depth"... helped me breathe in deeply and exhale. Hope it nourishes you today.

The Invitation........
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream ,for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure,yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

© Mountaindreaming, from the book The Invitation published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999 All rights reserved

You may read more about the author and her poetic works on her website.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Healing Kindness......

This original creation arrived at my home yesterday and brought tears to my eyes. My fellow "Art Angel", Nellie Wortman, was led to create this amazingly touching piece for my sister-in-law who is grieving the recent loss of her precious child. I wish I could express what is felt like to see her emotion and hear what the piece meant to her. She had never seen anything so beautiful and just held it to her chest. I love when God nudges hearts towards those we might not even know or have never even meant but their experience touches something deep within our own humanity and propels us to give of who we are. As in the case of Ron and JoAnna Pierotti's situation (post below), it is so inspiring to watch what happens when we move with God's spirit and join into other's circumstances, their pain, their journey....enter into a precious soul's story. No matter how seemingly small we may feel our contribution is...together the impact is moving and powerful.

I also received the most beautiful "Healing Doll" sent to me by Lisa Plummer. I was so touched by her gift and have this unique piece proudly displayed in my studio. Lisa's passion for using art to express our deep layers always moves me. Recently, Lisa posted an incredible link to a wonderful website called "Healing Through Creativity". It is an amazing movement and annual event that brings together creative works, presentations and workshops by and for survivors of trauma and difficult life circumstances. They have an open call for submissions of a variety of creative expressions for this year's event to be held in October! So amidst my own heart struggles these last few weeks... these gifts, events and heartwarming generosities...that I feel fortunate to witness and experience.....bring me deep hope. Who might we reach even the smallest of ways?

This is the touching song that was sung at my neices service. May it bring any who need today....comfort and hope. You may pause the music already playing on my blog on the lower right sidebar before viewing.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Prayers for a friend.....

Praying today for my dear friend JoAnna Pierotti and her husband Ron who are in extreme need for provision and prayers for an immediate surgery needed for Ron's life threatening brain tumor. A wonderful account has been set up in their name and it is so encouraging to see friends and strangers coming together to contribute even the smallest amount. It is a heartbreaking situation that is occuring for many across our nation, the loss of employment and with it, health insurance. When we come together for each other its miraculous what can happen. It warms my heart to see that number rise and rise! Click here to the Pierotti's page on Chipin and a heartfelt message from JoAnna. You can follow more of Ron and JoAnna's story on her blog!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Thank you to my dear friend Teri Owens for leading me to an amazing blog, "Ordinary Courage" by Brene' Brown. I was especially moved by an interview Brene' did on a PBS special on the issues of shame and authenticity. I highly encourage you to look through this truly special body of work that she offers through her blog and "Wholehearted" movement. Brene' is currently having a read through on her blog of her book, "I Thought It Was Just Me...Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power". It is always such an encouragement to me to find more resources we can share with each other that help open the door to sharing our stories authentically.

It has been a very hard week on a personal note. Our family is grieving the loss of our precious neice. Although it has been heartbreaking, there has been incredible beauty being woven through all of our hearts as family and friends gather, love and support each other, and just spend time being together in life changing ways. At the same time, I have had some health problems this week and have had to just put put alot of things on hold for now. In this time of rest, God has been speaking and moving in powerful ways. His presence with our family is undeniable!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Prayers of My Soul....

I am always drawn again and again it seems to creating sacred little places to record our deepest thoughts, questions, prayers and hopes. Every now and then, I pull out the sweet diaries I kept as a little girl, childlike handwriting that even then was compelled to write what my heart hoped to speak into being. The personally written words always made the feelings more real...more tangible. I just love the idea of journals created as a piece of artwork. Placing these sacred whispers of our soul in a place of honor, on a sweet easle...with a scented candle shimmering next to it... just seems to usher in the tender voice of God... "Sweet child of promise, I value who you are and are becoming and all that your heart wants to speak...all that you feel matters deeply to me". You may find more images of this new journal and tag ensemble that is being offered in my Etsy Shop(update...journal is sold!).

I came across this video today. It seemed gentle, quiet and beautiful. Some of us may at times struggle with the truth of the message but the place deep within where this peace exists is where the sweetest of healing can take place. Wherever you find yourself today, even if you just feel unsettled in your spirit, the words are comforting. Remember to pause the music currently playing on my blog (on the lower right sidebar) before viewing the "Blessing".