Friday, November 27, 2009

a new home


I have moved ~
Please come and see me where I am Creating Wings!
xo

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Creating Wings


“The world is what you think it is.” – Serge Kahili King


It's a big day! I am thrilled to announce that Jamie Ridler is featuring me on her podcast: Creative Living with Jamie today! It was such a treat to get to talk to her, and I was really honoured to be included. Thank you Jamie!

AND....

My new site is live! I'm so excited about it! It's been a real labour of love, but it is finally real. There are a few pages that don't have very much on them, but you can be assured that I will soon fill them with as much inspiration as I can get in there. It's called Creating Wings. Please come over and take a peek!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Happy Anniversary


"I felt it shelter to speak to you."
- Emily Dickinson

A year ago today we got married under a canopy of trees. The party was blissful chaos, the ladies wore hats, we were surrounded by love, we ate ice cream even though we could see our breath, and it was the very best day of my life.

There are some times that I take what I have for granted, and occasionally I forget how truly blessed I am. But those are more than made up for by the moments when I sit in the middle of my life and realize that I have the most wonderful family in the world, and now a big part of that family is my husband. (Yes, it is still weird to say!) Happy Anniversary my love, thank you for saying 'I do!'

xo

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30.


“One evening a Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people. He said, “My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth, and compassion.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
~ Marci Shimoff from Happy for No Reason


This morning I am up early to work on my new website, and I have gotten so wrapped up in it that I am likely going to be late for work. But today, I don't care. It's a big day for me. Today is the last day of September. October, my birth month, is just around the corner. On the 25th I will turn 35. This weekend I am hoping to launch a brand new website focused on... well... you'll see!!

So that is where I am. I'm feeling like a huge door is opening in front of me, getting ready for this next step. Today I am going to walk to work through the beautiful crisp autumn air. I am going to breathe deep and enjoy the world around me. I've been feeling incredibly connected lately, but I think it is simply because I have been paying attention. So I hope to enjoy this last day of September even with my swirling brain. I'll see you again this weekend!

xo

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nothing


"The effect of the Joy Diet is to shine a light into our hiding places, allowing us to see and remember ourselves and our reasons for being." - Martha Beck

(Hello there! I am sorry I have been away for so long. I've been told my blog over the past few weeks was boring - giggle - I know it's boring to come and see the same old post, but all I can say is that I promise to make it up to you very very soon.)

I've been meaning to begin Jamie's new book group ever since last week. The trouble is that the book is The Joy Diet by Martha Beck and the first thing that you have to embrace is nothing. That's right, you have to do nothing for a few minutes every day. It sounds so easy to type it here, but it has been so hard.

I tried to get up early and do nothing in the morning. But it turns out nothing + early morning + jet lag equals sleep. I tried to do nothing when I got home from work - but there was always something! Then, without actually meaning to on Friday morning (a full week after I should have been doing it every day) I did it. I woke up on my day off and didn't immediately get up. I realized that nothing is something I actually do once in a awhile already, but I have always called it filing. When I have been really busy, sometimes I find myself lying in bed and just thinking. I can almost hear the files slipping into place in my brain as I make sense of what has been going on in my world.

So it turns out that I shouldn't have tried to do nothing, I should have just done it because I already know how to do it. And now I just need to keep on doing nothing at least once a day.

Giggle. Maybe Truth will be easier.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Is all of this hoping healthy?

"From the urgent way lovers want each other to the seeker's search for truth, all moving is from the mover. Every pull draws us to the ocean." -Rumi

I remember having a conversation once with a friend about wanting. I remember her saying that she sometimes wished that she could just be one of those people who was content. The word content gushed out of her mouth with equal amounts of desire and contempt. For her, content had somehow come to equal boring, but also freedom from the constant state of longing that had come to pervade her life.

I could relate then, and I can relate now. I am working at a job that could easily be a career, but I am hoping to get my book published and make a living from that. I am trying to love myself as is, while still trying to lose 40 pounds and make my body healthy and my self vibrant. I am happily married to a wonderful man, but a large part of my heart lives in a completely different country. At no point in my life do I ever sit down in my chair and look at my life and think, 'yes.' I always seem to have something to do to get me somewhere else. It is exhausting.

I have to wonder if I should just stop already. Should I just focus on the career and leave the big dreams of publication? Should I admit to myself that I am going to be heavy forever and forget my hopes of health? Should I ignore my hope that someday I am going to take care of orphaned baby elephants or do a book tour or run workshops for women, or be able to travel whenever and wherever I want to? Should I stop looking forward in my life and start living in it right now? Is it possible to do both?

Is all of this hoping healthy?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Writing advice from Sharon Olds


"Would that we could write about ourselves."
- Sharon Olds

Last night I dashed home from work so that I could make it to Bath. Susannah and I had tickets to see Sharon Olds read poetry, and I didn't want to be late. I need to give a full confession here and say that I don't read a lot of poetry. I can only read one or two at a time or I get too tired. But listening to poetry is a whole different thing. When poetry is written by someone who really loves it and read by that same person, listening to it can feel like a meditation.

She had us sitting in the palm of her hand from her first soft words. There were troubles with the microphone and she had to tie her hair back, commenting on how she had to lose her 'shawl.' Later when the microphones were sorted out, she pulled it free and told us that now she felt safe again. From that moment so did we. We knew that we were in the company of a real person, but one who was about to give us an incredible gift.

After she read some of her poetry she sat in discussion with one of the organizers. I couldn't get very much down, but here are a few of the things she said. When asked about why she draws in her letters she said, "The pen just wants to do different things." She also said that "We as humans have a need to write poems." But my favorite thing (and you'll have to excuse me as I can only give you the gist) was when she talked about her writing process.

She writes longhand in spiral-bound notebooks so that she doesn't get intimidated by beautiful blank books (there was a lot of laughing with recognition in the audience at this one.) She writes quickly, scribbling words out as she goes. She said, "I don't want to put a word in to hold the place of another word." She said that each word has a sound, and it calls other words with a similar sound to it. When you put a word in to hold the place of another word it makes the work into something, and if you go back and change the word to the one you actually want, the whole thing goes wrong.

I needed to savour that a little this morning - that each word has a sound that calls another word to it - and think about it in relation to my own writing, and indeed the way that I think. Not allowing a word in that isn't drawing its like to you and your work is a very powerful decision.

Thank you so much Ms. Olds. You have inspired me enormously.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I guess this means go.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): What life will you be living at noon on September 1, 2014? Who will you be? How thoroughly will your dreams have come true? What kind of beauty and truth and love and justice will you be serving? Will you look back at the time between August 27 and September 21, 2009 and sigh, "If only I had initiated my Five Year Master Plan at that ripe astrological moment"? Or on September 1, 2014 will you instead be able to crow, "I can truly say that in these past five years I have become the president of my own life"?
- Rob Brezsny

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My alter-ego


"A woman must find her own voice."
- Maureen Murdock

If you were to meet me on the street, you would see one version of me. I would probably be wearing jeans and a fleece or a sweater or a t-shirt. I'd be dressed practically and sensibly and ordinarily. You might be able to see from the sparkle in my eyes or the book I was carrying that there was more to me. You might not.

What you wouldn't see is this crazy alter-ego that has begun asking for a voice. You wouldn't see the me that used to scoff at pink who is now looking at pretty floaty dresses on line. You wouldn't notice that I have a secret desire to own red sequined heels (or converse!) And you definitely wouldn't see that I sometimes debate buying rock chick t-shirts and biker boots.

Has anyone else found themselves growing up and growing sideways at the same time?

Shall we have an alter-ego party? I'll host.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fantasy Dinner Party


"Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?" - just about everyone

This is the prompt at Sunday Scribblings this week. Even though I am the co-host, I don't usually do the writing. It's too much pressure to get around and see everyone. For some reason, this felt like something fun to do this time. So... who would I invite to a fantasy dinner party?

I suppose it depends on what you want. Imagine having dinner with a load of true comedians - the Pythons, John Candy, Billy Connolly, Peter Kay, etc. Or you could have a serious meal with interesting women. Wouldn't it be nice to find out what it was really like from Marie Antoinette, Amelia Earhart, Frieda Kahlo, Emily Carr, Katharine Hepburn or Anne Boleyn? Another good one would be a table full of Hollywood Stars. Imagine dining with Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo and Cary Grant! I would also love to share a meal with several generations of my family. As for writers and artists - oh heaven's, there are dozens, living and dead that I would do anything to spend some time with!

But, dear readers, at this stage of my life, on this night, I have an entirely different dinner party in mind. (Note: Dear Universe, consider this a cosmic order!) The dinner party I would most love to host would be: Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Natalie Goldberg, Mary Oliver, Joni Mitchell, Annie Leibovitz, and Christina Baldwin. Imagine the discussions we could get into about creative process, beauty, and passion. I have goosebumps just thinking about it! (What would I serve? I'd get it bloody catered - I wouldn't want to miss a thing!)

Please, universe?! Please?!

xo

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Vision According to Toast


"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes."
- Andrew Carnegie


After several years of cutting pictures out of magazines, collecting images, reading self-help books, perusing catalogues and creating vision boards, I thought I had enough shots to make a proper This-is-What-I-Want board. Then the BBC* came over, bringing with them a NEW pile of magazines and catalogues and in the space of one afternoon I had it. My vision. And it all (except the word *giggle*) came from the same place: Toast.

Boy do they get it, those Toast photographers and stylists. They tapped right into my psyche (and lots of other psyches at the same table!) They know what I want. I just want to be happy.

So what do I want to create in my life? Freedom, Creativity, Abundance, Serenity, and Health, with a little Laughter thrown in. Doesn't that sound good?

Sigh.

Yes.

(For more Dream Boards, go here!)

Monday, August 03, 2009

How to Make a Vision Board


"If you have trouble seeing your goals, use pictures, images, and symbols you collect to keep your conscious and subconscious mind focused on your goals."
- Jack Canfield



What you need to create a successful vision board:

1. Do not be in a hurry. It takes great patience to go through piles and piles of magazines!
2. A huge pile of magazines.
3. Scissors, endless cups of tea and a glue stick or two.
4. Clarity. It's no good just cutting out pictures of the things you want. You need to know what you expect those things to bring you. The funny thing is when you boil everything you ever want down to its essence, all any of us really want is to be happy. Deliriously, gently, deeply, lastingly happy. So get really clear. What does happy look like for you?

What do you want to create in your life?

5. Time. Cut out pictures, words and phrases that you like and then leave them for awhile. Come back to them and sift through the pile. Take some away. Go away again. Find another magazine and cut it up. Send away for catalogues. Look at the pictures: would that be what happiness looked like to you? Make collages of things that you want and live with them for awhile. (Like vision boards in training!)
6. When you have some pictures that you know are just right, start making your vision board. Play with it. Enjoy it.
7. When it is finished, put it somewhere where you can see it every day.
8. Practice paying attention. Be aware of appreciation. Be grateful. (...and keep clipping things out! Sometimes all you need is one picture for the a-ha moment!)
9. Repeat as necessary.

(I'll show you mine if you show me yours!)

For more vision board inspiration: Jamie hosts a monthly dream board session, and to take it a step further, Jennifer Lee has an amazing kit to help you with your vision.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Brit. Bloggers


"There are things you do because they feel right & they make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good." - Brian Andreas


At 11:20am they began to appear at my garden gate. Laughing, talking, carrying bags of food, piles of magazines, and dressed like summer, they soon filled my little house. I have been off sick for over a week now, and they were all just what the Dr. ordered!

Something wonderful happens when bloggers meet, and when bloggers meet that have met before it is magic! We eased back into conversation like we had seen each other yesterday, dancing between topics as big as our dreams and as normal as shopping. We laughed, took hundreds of pictures, talked about toast catalogues, love, life and began unfolding our life visions.


I have lots more to say about them. I want to tell you how truly beautiful (inside and out) Penny is in real life, and how Susannah sparkles and fills the room with her energy. I would like to tell you how Leonie shines from somewhere deep inside, how Jo is one of the wisest fiercest women I've ever met, and that Emma makes me feel like anything I want to do is possible. But I am sleepy now. I have to do the dishes, clean up bits of magazines from the floor and smell the roses that once lived in Emma's garden.

It was a good day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Light Dawns...


"It's time to start living the life you've imagined." - Henry James

At some point in the past, my monkey-brain set out a list of rules and regulations for me. Despite numerous attempts to change, I have been frustrated over and over again when I slipped back into old ways of being. I had tried to change the tapes, why was the song always the same?

Yesterday I realized that it is not the tapes I was aware of that are the problem. I was blessed with an unexpected whole day of solitary confinement (quarantined for possible Swine Flu) and spent it sorting out my office. In the reorganization, I came across two things. One was the folder I had put together shortly after reading The Success Principles, and the other was a mass of composting pages covered in inspiration.

My copy of The Success Principles is dog-eared and fiercely underlined. I really believed as I read it that I would do it - and then I didn't. Disappointment with myself always sets me back. At the time I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me - why couldn't I just do what I knew needed doing to get where I wanted to be? Why do I never follow through with a plan? Obviously I am just lazy.

My pile of inspiration is also dog-eared and underlined. Some sheets are nearly transparent from being folded and unfolded so many times. Notes from workshops, quotes, e-mail, e-books, affirmations and motivations all come to the top of the pile every time I clean, and then just go right back into the pile. Even as I sat on the floor and sorted, the folder went on one side of me and the inspiration went on the other.

That's when light dawned. For some reason all of this time I have believed that the business-focused-driven parts of myself couldn't co-exist with the inspirational, magical side. As I sat there I realized that I did not value or even acknowledge all of the parts of myself. I realized that I can't focus on hard-nosed, serious goals. I am not that person, no matter how much I would like to be. It does not mean that I am lazy. It means that I am different, and I need to do things in a way that works for me.

So I created a folder that encompasses all of who I am on this path. I have a space for goals and a space for inspiration. I have created an ultimate goal and using all of my inspirational tools, I can create smaller, meaningful and do-able goals to create happiness in my life. The upside of it all is that after years of trying to write a mission statement, one came to me loud and clear and simple the minute I had finished putting it all together (I'm not going to tell you yet!)

So it seems that my monkey-brain was right all along. I was doing it wrong, but it was because I wasn't working with all that I am. Hopefully now that I've got it all working under the same cover, it'll be a book worth writing in.

P.S. The photograph of me was taken by Susannah. I like the determination she captured!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Impossible Things

"...sometimes I have believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll


If you asked me ten years ago what my dreams were, I wouldn't have been able to tell you. One reason was that I was afraid to say anything out loud just in case I 'jinxed' it. I also was afraid of wanting something too badly and not getting it, or of getting it and realizing that it wasn't as exciting or as wonderful as I hoped it would be.

If you asked me at any given point in the last five years what my dreams were, I still would not have been able to tell you. Oh, I've had goals and hopes and wishy-washy ideas about what I wanted. I have journal after journal filled with proclamations of, 'This is it! This time I...' But fuzzy, watery decisions to lose weight or get published do not translate into concrete actions.

The irony is that the things that I have really wanted - and worked for - have come to pass, often without me realizing until it was over. When I am specific and do my bit, it happens. Often I think afterwards that I wish I had just been a little bit more clear about the details, because I did get what I asked for. More than once lately I have wished that I'd remembered what I was doing and asked for more! But then I realize that if I'd asked for more I might not have believed it - and it might not have ever happened.

Impossible things. Why is it easy for us to allow some things and impossible for us to allow others? Where do the blocks come from? SARK writes that impossible means, "I'm possible." I think I am going to adopt that as my affirmation this week. Whenever I feel myself doubting the potential in something I want or something I am doing, I am going to say, "I'm possible!" I have no doubt in the Universe, but all kinds of doubts in me. Hopefully by reminding myself that I AM possible and that I am powerful, I will begin to be able to ask for and expect the very best.

Believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast! Roar!

xo

'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'

'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.

'I don't much care where -' said Alice.

'Then it doesn't much matter which way you go,' said the Cat.

-Lewis Carroll

Saturday, July 18, 2009

arms wide open.

"Don't look at the ground! The ground hasn't changed since the last time you looked at it." - Biggest loser UK

I have been here less because I am working on three projects. One of those is a brand new website that is all mine! I'm designing the header at the moment and part of that has been scouring the creative commons at Flickr and istock photo for inspiration. Late late at night in a fit of
desperation, I typed in 'spiritual' as part of a search.

Imagine my delight when image after image came up of people with their arms flung open wide in joy. In amongst the more anticipated photographs of religious icons and images, people stood with their arms flung wide in surrender and celebration.

Intrigued, I checked iphoto to see whether or not I had a picture there of that feeling - and I did! I was alone when I took this shot, but I remember wanting to capture the feelings of beauty and expansion and gratitude that I was feeling in that moment on a walk home. That is a picture of joy. And flung-open arms, it seems, is a common way to show that feeling.

So what about you? When was the last time that you felt compelled to fling open your arms to embrace the space you were in? When was the last time you expressed that much joy? Do you have a picture in your archives of someone with their arms out like that? Is it you? I'd love to see that shot. I'd like to know you've felt that way too!

"Maybe in time, you will find, your arms are wrapped around the sun." - Deb Talan (Big Strong Girl)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

practically a fruit bat!

"You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment." - Annie Dillard


Before I was diagnosed as a coeliac, I had a lot of trouble with food. Dairy, wheat, peppers and peanuts are all quite tricky things to not be able to eat, but I dealt with it. The hardest thing for me to avoid was fresh fruit. If it was fresh and raw, it was not my friend.

Two days after my official diagnoses we packed up and went on vacation to Grenada. I had no idea that I would be able to eat fruit when I stopped eating gluten, but about four days into the trip I started to crave fruit. I started small, dipping into the papaya and watermelon at breakfast. When that went well, I made Mark's Dad pull over at a roadside stand and we bought an enormous bag of passion fruit. That night we had fresh mango covered in fresh passion fruit, and I have never looked back.

So this is the first summer in a very long time that I have been able to enjoy fruit. I've been eating every berry I can get my fingers on - sometimes twice a day - and I have been loving it! I can't get enough. The riper, the drippier the better!

Tonight as I type with fingers sticky from the juice of my first nectarine in years, I would like to wish you the simple wonderful delights of a bowl of your favorite fresh fruit. If I could have you here to enjoy it with me, I would.

Mmmm... I wonder if there are any cherries left in the fridge...

xo

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Jamie Ridler Studios

"This is the leap, when you’re ready to share your gifts with the world, to take the risk and say, “Here. Here is who I am. Here is what I’ve created.” It’s a bold time, a brave time, a time full of risk and of joy. This is when you embrace the deepest truth of who you are and step fully into what you want to bring to this world." - Jamie Ridler

The first week I started blogging I was looking around for creative souls and people who I could connect with. I can't remember how I found Jamie's site. I think I found a comment that she had left for someone else and was charmed by her. When I went back to her blog I discovered that we had both started our blogs at the same time and that her site was as charming and inspiring as her comment had been.

I tentatively reached out, hoping that she would comment back, and an immediate connection was made. We have been friends ever since. (Friends who have never met in person - a situation I hope to remedy this fall!) I have been excited and proud to watch her create a life and a place that is true to who she is and what she wants to give to the world. Today she is taking that a step further and launching her new website!

I hope that you will pop over and meet her if you haven't before. You will soon see what I saw in her back then. She is a feisty, creative, magical inspiration.

Good luck, Jamie! I can't wait to see what you do next!!

xo

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The power of music

"Don't be shy, just let your feelings roll on by - And don't wear fear, or nobody will know you're there..." - Cat Stevens


Two weeks ago I went to see the band Take That in concert. I don't remember listening to them the first time that they were a big deal, but they have reformed and released some really wonderful songs. When I told people I was going, I had mixed reactions. It felt almost like a guilty pleasure to go. But 50,000 people had the same idea. It was a wonderful show. In this world that is filled with doom and gloom, four guys who put on a magical show complete with songs called 'Greatest Day' and 'Shine,' acrobats and a full sized elephant coming out of the ground and walking around are pretty special in my book. I got goosebumps. In fact, I remembered something. I remembered how much I had been missing magic. (Thanks guys for reminding me!)

The next day I took my little ipod with me on my way to work. I listened to 'Greatest Day' over and over and over (am I the only one who does this?) until my soul was singing along again. Then I let the ipod play me what it thought I needed. It is usually bang on. (Note: as I typed this my computer is on shuffle and it just started playing 'Greatest Day!' I love it when synchronicity happens!)

Today I have been messing around with my playlists, and I wondered if I was missing anything! What song do you put on and listen to over and over and over until it heals you? What songs do you put on when you are needing to feel wonderful? What song reminds you exactly of who you are?

(ADDED: I Double Dare you to download 'Don't be Shy' by Cat Stevens, lie on the floor or the ground and play it loud enough to let it seep into your bones. Bliss.)

My go-to favorites? (of the 1268 songs to choose from?)

For sassy:
Happy Girl: Martina McBride
Beautiful: Carole King
I'm Coming Out: Diana Ross
I Can Do Anything: Caleigh Peters
Deb Talan, Deb Talan, Deb Talan!!!

For nudging:
Don't be Shy: Cat Stevens
Beautiful Flower: India Arie
I'm Gonna Do it All: Karine Polwart
Greatest Day: Take That

For wonder:
Beautiful World: Colin Hay
All I know: Art Garfunkel
All this Beauty: The Weepies
The Indigo Girls!
Love You: Free Design

For biting in:
Valerie - Mark Ronson
Speed of Sound: Coldplay
Better Get to Livin': Dolly Parton
I Choose Life (acoustic version): Keisha White
...or there's always Alabama for good old fashioned fun!

This is just a few - but I'd LOVE to know what songs get you. Any guilty pleasures? What makes your soul sing along? What's your go-to for help? Joy? Wisdom? What should I give a listen to?

Friday, July 03, 2009

a rambling return


"Writing is about getting something down, not about thinking something up."
- Julia Cameron

I can't remember which book this is in, but one of the things SARK wrote that resonated with me the most was something about when she was feeling depressed, it clearly meant that she needed to express something. That has been echoing through my head for days now. I have been busy. I have been overworked and stressed out and irritated, and I have not been writing or creating in any way. I tried to figure out what was wrong a few days ago and that thought came back to me.

I need to express something.

I need to get creative!

It's funny how the longer you leave a blog the harder it is to come back to it. I have thought about blogging many times over the past few weeks but once I started back I knew I wouldn't be able to stop. Frankly I didn't have the energy to commit to something else. I didn't have the energy to find a quote and upload a photo (my computer is sloooow!) and then write something about it. HA! So I am not going to. The quote found me and the photo will have to wait, but I am here now. I have broken the ice, and it feels good. It feels good to be back.

Yes, I think I will come back here again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

have a great day.

Perspective


I've posted this picture before. I got it in an email years ago and had it up in front of my desk for a really long time. I think it was the look on his face more than anything that made me love him. I'm feeling the need for a little light relief. I have been in that weird place of low-level stress where you feel like everything is okay, but you can also feel this weird tension growing. I've been waking up realizing that my jaw aches and my shoulders are tense. I know you know what I am talking about.

So this morning as I tried to download photos, write an email and deal with a crisis all at the same time, my computer and my brain crashed at exactly the same moment. I sat and just looked at the little colour wheel spinning endlessly in front of me and then shook my head and laughed. I laughed the absurdity of my brain. I laughed at the unnecessary pain and strain that we put on ourselves. Why on earth when we know better do we let ourselves get wound up in knots over ridiculous things? In the grand scheme of life, how does this tension help?

I know lots of ways to live a creative/ full/ inspired/ abundant life. My bookshelf is groaning under the weight of all of those ideas. But what good are those ideas if I forget them when I need them the most? I think that that is the question I need answered most of all. How do we hold onto that part of ourselves that can see the stars when we are swirling in the ordinary?

How do you do it? How do you keep hold of your perspective?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

sometimes the truth hurts




"Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself."
- Katharine Hepburn

(I wonder what she would have thought about blogging...)


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It's me! It's me!


"I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face."
- Johnny Depp


Yes, your eyes do not deceive you, there is a new post from me! The internet appeared as a series of small green lights at just about 11:00 last night. It's slow, but it's ours and we are not talking too loudly in case we scare it away!

It's been an interesting few weeks, but without going into work or life too much, just know that I have missed you!

Better late than never, the winners of the giveaway were... Genie Sea, Hybrid J and Hundred and One Things - YAY!!!! (If you reply to this post with your email included, I'll send you the possible books and you can send me your address in return.) To those of you who didn't win: I still have a pile of books to find good homes for, so keep in touch and I'll do the draw again soon. And pay attention because who knows what those clever bloggers will cook up to giveaway on their blogs!

Now I am off to get back in touch - ahhhhhhhhhh, connection!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Paying it forward - a Draw!!


Artwork: Lotus Rising by Celeste Johnson

As I write this I am sitting on the floor of my old flat. We have come back to finish getting it ready to rent. I’ve been dispatched to write an article for our new website, but I have been so long away from writing anything, I needed to warm up a bit before leaping back into the fray.

We’ve moved! We are now living in a cute three bedroom cottage in the rolling hills of Somerset. It has a lovely big kitchen, some period features and a fabulous garden of the sort that would make a 9 year old boy delirious with exploratory joy. But we still don't have any internet... and I am so addicted to the internet.

So I’ve missed you all very much, and I know that when I finally get connected properly and fire up bloglines, I shall find that I have been completely out of touch with you all. But as a way of sticking my toe back in, I am going to finally take my turn to pay it forward.

A few weeks ago I won a draw on Celeste’s blog for a beautiful print of one of her paintings. (It’s the one I have included above, isn't she beautiful!? I get to own that print!!) She in turn had been inspired by a draw that Darlene had run on her blog. The only rule is that if you win, you must pay it forward in return and offer something of your own. Now, I am not an artist or a photographer or anything, so I cannot offer you something like that, but what I DO have is the biggest pile of inspirational books in the world, and a deep desire to not have to move them all again. If you have read this blog before you will know that I look on my books as very precious, so you know how much this means to me!

So if you leave a comment on this post by May 30, I’ll enter you into a draw for something delicious from my library. (And believe me, I have some good stuff!!!) I’ll have Mark draw three winners and then write to you with a list of books you can choose from. All you have to do if you win is give something away on your blog in return.

Hope you are all doing well, and I’ll see you again when we have the net!

Friday, May 01, 2009

a box of me


"Having a vision for our future that differs from our current circumstances can be inspiring and exciting, but it can also keep us from fully committing to our present placement."
- from DailyOm



Today I sit surrounded by boxes and the accumulation of nearly seven years of co-habitation. It's nearly time to move, but we most certainly are not ready! In a strange twist of fate, we are moving to a place that we have never seen the inside of. Thinking back on it I realize I have never moved like a normal person ever before so I'm not sure why it's bothering me this time. I wonder if it is because this time I am moving with a husband and more stuff than just what can be packed into a single suitcase.

I have a small box packed that is marked, "Meg's essentials.' I've been putting a few things in it here and there without really thinking about what's going in. This is the box that will be coming in the car with us. Looking in it now I think it is really telling (and a little embarrassing) about the person I have become. The old me always just carried a lighter, a journal, a purple pen, a camera, photographs and a little bag of stones.

So what does the new me need to feel safe in her new space? My box contains: a journal, several pens, the same little bag of stones, the same lighter, a painted rock that reads "manifest miracles", my ipod, a smudging stick, a bigger camera, slippers, a shawl my Mom knit for me, green chai tea, photographs tucked into the journal for safekeeping, the word YES, and not one, but three books (like I am going to have time to read!) So there it is: me in a box. Surely there's a psychology lesson in there somewhere!

I've just been told that I won't be having a phone or the internet until the 18th of May, so it seems I am about to go on a blogging break. I hope that you will come back and see me in two weeks. In the meantime, here are some other things to distract you:

1. I am guest blogging at Jamie's site on Monday. She's got a whole week of guests, so it should be very interesting. We have all contributed our take on balance (ha ha!)

2. Wishstudio has relaunched!

3. Please check out our new (very new and still being tested!) site. It has been a long time coming and we're a bit nervous about it, but here it is! It's called Randomly Challenged.

4. Tell me, if you were going to move and you had a box marked, "_________'s essentials," what would be in it? What couldn't you leave to the depths of the moving van? What would you need to feel like you in a new space?

See you on the 18th of May! Wish us luck and take good care of you.

xo

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

authenticity


“The authentic self is the soul made visible”
- Sarah Ban Breathnach



Conversation with a friend tonight turned to the subject of authenticity. It is a word that is often used on these pages of ours. We struggle for it, we talk about it, we admire it, and rather bizarrely it is also something we try to emulate. But is authenticity something you can find or create? Is it something you have to learn or do we just have it? And how can we tell if it is... authentic or not?

You can usually tell when someone is new to blogging. It is often obvious that they have been reading blogs for awhile. It's the lingo that gives them away. I know this because I did the same thing. I knew what sort of people I wanted to meet and I tried to leave comments that would entice them back to my blog. Very quickly I learned that it was too hard to pretend to be something I am not. As soon as I started leaving comments that were more like me and less like everyone else I started to make friends. I started being authentic.

Authentic is your voice. Authentic is your essence. Authentic is the you that you are in your head. It is honesty about what you stand for and what you want to say. It's not the nuts and bolts of your every day, or what you think people want to hear. You know authenticity when you see it. It's the reason that some blogs 'resonate' (there's that lingo again) and some blogs don't. If someone is being authentic, they give us permission to do the same. It's only natural to want that.

So back to my question. Is authenticity something you have to learn or do we just have it? I've come to think that authenticity is something that you must lean into. It's something that you have to stand at the edge of and test over and over again until you are comfortable with the view. It's about knowing who you are and being okay with that, warts and all. If you can do that, write from that place, and stop trying to be like anyone else, you will find what we are all looking for.

I'll keep leaning into it if you will.

Joy Rebels

I am quite sick today. It hurts to talk. So I am letting this sassy rockstar do the talking for me.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JOY REBEL ARMY GATHERING STRENGTH

Dallas, TX-April 25, 2009

They come from all walks of life and across the world. Joy rebels. There may be one in your own neighborhood.

What is a joy rebel?? A joy rebel is a member of an elite army started by Brandi Reynolds in early 2009. Brandi was tired of the ‘must fix list’ tirade found in most of the self help section and decided she wanted to have some fun, reclaim joy and live a fully authentic life.

And then she invited some friends and they invited some friends and now an army of strong, crafty, fun loving, authentic men and women all over the internet and blog sphere have taken up her cause and marched into the streets and across their web pages with…heart shaped sticky notes. And sidewalk chalk. Oh and warrior names that reveal their innate talents like ‘bubble blower extraordinaire’.

They do things like leave notes in books for others to find. Write joy in sidewalk chalk. Hug trees. And generally wreck havoc on the doom and gloom population glued to the network news.

Anyone committed to the sublime art of being their authentic self is welcome to join this rebel army. Potential warriors can join at http://brandireynolds.blogspot.com. There they will be welcomed into a community of amazing humans, receive weekly missions and get a badge to add to their blog or web page. They should probably not be averse to glitter glue.

Let’s make this a joy nation. Join today!!!
************************************
{Brandi Reynolds is a photographer and joy rebel that clearly doesn’t take herself that seriously. For more info, you can contact her here: brandi@brandireynoldsphoto.com or visit her website here:http://www.brandireynoldsphoto.com}

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weird is...

- moments of vivid clarity while cleaning a kitchen
- realizing that you can have soul mates of any shape and age
- packing your whole life into boxes
- living without the things that you thought you couldn't live without
- being temporarily unemployed
- the meals you make when you are cleaning out your freezer
- nights on the town that make you feel OLD
- waking up with a horrible case of flu only to watch on tv that there is a flu pandemic in the world
- how much you can miss someone

xo

Saturday, April 25, 2009

where I am

To change one's life:
-Start immediately

-Do it flamboyantly

-No exceptions
-William James


This is how we are living right now. We are moving. We were moving in a week but that has been pushed back a week so that the place we are moving to will be ready. I haven't seen the place where we'll be living, but I have a new job and it is a part of that. For so many reasons Mark and I are leaping off of the edge this month. Everything - literally everything - about our life is going to be different by this time in June. I'm torn in equal measures between excited and completely freaked out.

Any tips on moving to help a girl cope?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

thoughts

"As soon as a man lives or sees a thing, that thing instantly becomes part of his soul." - Gustavus Hindman Miller


When I was a teenager I went to see the movie Pulp Fiction. There is one scene in the movie that is incredibly gruesome, but it is also really funny. I remember sitting in the theatre laughing and then being completely horrified when I realized that what was on the screen shouldn't have made me laugh. That moment changed my life.

I remember reading once that everything we see is forever imprinted on our consciousness. That night in the theatre I made the decision to choose carefully what I allowed into my head. I have taken some teasing from people who think that I am being naive, and heard the word 'wimp' bandied around in my direction when I chose not to watch horrific or violent movies, but I have stood my ground. From that moment on I have been choosy in what I allow into my head. Consciously choosy.

Tonight I wonder what you are allowing into your head and into your life. Did you know that whatever goes in will be there forever? The things you see and the things you live are constantly creating your consciousness.

What are you letting in?

Ooh, deep thoughts for a Thursday night.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bloggers on the town!

Susannah, Emma, Pen, Leonie, Jo, & Me taken by Susannah

I'm only slightly embarrassed to say how nervous I was to meet four new friends. In this strange medium we can know the intimate details of someone's life when we have never even seen their face. Meeting someone like that is like going in on the third date, and I had real butterflies walking into town with Susannah and Jo.

I should have known better. It was only a matter of seconds before we were laughing and talking like the oldest friends. With lots of 'air blogging' and caffeine and sunshine, by the time we parted I was exhausted from all of the laughter. They are all even feistier and sassier and wiser and more beautiful in real life than they are on line.

The other thing that happens when you meet bloggers is that you get photographed - a lot - and you know that you will more than likely see those pictures again! But it was okay. It felt natural and silly and like we were documenting the beginning of something.

Here's to friendship and connection and being brave enough to take a chance. (...and ladies, I am so glad that you are in my life! Can't wait to see you in Oxford. xo)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

new me -

"Everything you can imagine is real." - Picasso


Sometimes a girl just needs to spend time with another girl who gets it. My life is quite complicated right now. I'm moving, changing jobs, and basically trying to make a life that looks more like me than the one I am moving away from. I was feeling overwhelmed by the whole thing. I was letting the blog slide, ignoring the creative parts of myself, and forgetting that underneath it all the point is that life is the whole point. Spending the day with this rockstar reminded me again. (Not to mention she sorted out the blog - pretty eh?! The pictures were taken by her as well. Thanks Susannah!!)

Tomorrow we are hanging out with some more bloggers in the beautiful town of Bath. Imagine what SIX of us can get up to!

Friday, April 10, 2009

live...




Live while you are alive...

Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit

Learn to free yourself from all things that have molded you

And which limit your secret and undiscovered road...


Never forget that love

Requires you to be

The greatest person you are capable of being,


Self generating and strong and gentle -

Your own hero and star...

Be grateful for life as you live it,

And may a wonderful light

Always guide you along the unfolding road.


- from Ben Okri's "To an English friend in Africa"
(thanks Genie!!!)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

gaps in the hedge


"In every season of life, there is something to celebrate."


Do you ever stop in the middle of your life and wonder how you got there? Do you ever pause and look at the people you love or the places you are visiting and think, "Wow, look where I am!" Do you ever have those moments in your life where you stop and take a deep breath and realize that you need to be paying better attention?

The picture above is one that my Dad took of one of the roads leading to our house. The way is single track, with a few places where two cars can safely pass. Many of the roads in Devon are like this. Hedges are the order of things. If you were to get out of your car and look over the hedge you could see miles and miles of the most beautiful rolling countryside, often leading down to the sea. Every now and then there is a gap in the hedge where there is a fence or a gate, and if you stay in your car and look quickly you can see glimpses of the beauty that is obscured. People who aren't used to Devon get very nervous and very tense driving around the county. They usually miss the beauty because they are so tied up in the journey.

Yesterday I looked through a gap in the hedge. I was really worked up about all of the craziness coming up in my life, but I was lucky enough to be included in Jamie's conference call. The message was celebration, and I found myself quietly feeling so full and almost overwhelmed by the feelings that were coming out of the phone and out of me. There was so much wonderful laughter and conversation that my skin was tingling with the energy of it and I paid attention with all of my heart. Then I got to talk to one of my best friends in the whole world for the very first time (isn't blogging weird?) and then I spent a glorious evening being silly with some of my family. I paid attention to all of it, and carried that attention over into today when I got to spend precious time with my parents.

Today I wish you more than a gap in your hedge. I hope that you can pull over and pay attention to the beauty that is all around you. Life, love, time and the people that you love are so precious. EnJOY them!

xo

Friday, March 20, 2009

Change


"All forward growth begins with letting go."
- Gail McMeekin


Look what my clever Mom created with a little help from my equally clever Dad! Isn't it beautiful? Now look closer: it's a quilt! My Mom had to make a quilt square for a quilt that was going up in the brand new library that is being built in their town. She had never made a quilt like this before, but with a little help from my Dad they have really made a wonderful work of art! It's a representation of a causeway (bridge) that is the real focal point in the area. It inspires me because they were both willing to take a risk and do something that they had never done before, and the result was something incredible. (It's really beautiful Mom! I am so proud of you!)

The past few weeks have been crazy with a capital C! And thanks to the job that I was offered on Tuesday and must start at the beginning of May and the two week trip I am taking home next week, the next month or so is also going to be Crazy. Isn't it funny that we can go on for years and years doing the same thing over and over again, wondering when it is all going to change, and then suddenly everything changes at once?

In the chapter in Gail McMeekin's book for this week, she talks all about change and letting go. HA! Talk about good timing. The next month will be all about letting go. We'll be letting go of things as we pack up our life here and decide which baggage needs to come with us. We'll be letting go of comfort and safety and pattern and places we know. We'll be moving to a new house, a bigger city, a bigger job (for me) and a new business (for Mark.) It's all systems go.

Somewhere in all of that, I realize that I need to find myself a little sliver of serenity. What else do I not want to pack? My fear of the dark? My belief that I will always be overweight? My untidiness? My procrastination? Do all of these have to come with me? What about my quest for publication? Will I have the time to do it with my new job? Does it get to come? Is it inevitable that all of me will come or can I leave some behind?

I think that the most powerful question I will ask in the next month will have to be, "What do I really want?" Hopefully the only things I will take with me will be the answers to that question.

Friday, March 13, 2009

abundance


"Abundance invites us to live the life we desire instead of settling for less."
- Gail McMeekin

When I was just getting started blogging, I would often read or hear something and I would hear an almighty growl in my head. It would be a deep, grumbling roar that came from the bottom of my gut. It was the sound of something resonating deeply; the sound of me remembering my wild woman. I haven't heard her for awhile, and I had almost forgotten about her, but then the sound appeared again today when I was reading a chapter in Gail McMeekin's book.

It began when I read, "Abundance beckons as a state of mind, beginning with gratitude for what you already have and followed by a vision of what you want to create in your life." Rrrrrrrrr.... Then I read, "Prosperity consciousness demands that you look beyond the energy of money and own up to what it is that truly nourishes you." RRRrrrrr....

Then I rejoiced when McMeekin spoke about being IN your body as key to owning our power and speaking our truth. "As women, we need to find pride in our physicalness and trust our internal knowledge. Body, mind, and spirit - it's all connected." RRRRrrrrrrr.....

And there it was again: the same message from the Universe nudging me in my direction. "This world needs women who will speak their truth and actively participate." Then I heard it, loud and clear...

RRRRRrrrrrrrrRRrrrrOOOOOOOOoooAAAAAAaaaaaaRRRRRrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...and I said, "Welcome back, I've missed you."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

My 300th Post.


"Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant."
- Maya Angelou

(This is the best cheesecake I have ever had in my entire life. It was so good we had to go back another day for another piece. If you are ever in Grenada, go to The Beach House for cheesecake. Believe me. (...and send me a piece, please!!)


This, dear friends is my 300th post! On January 24, 2006 I began this journey. I wish that I could have a big tea party and invite you to put on your best hat and your sassiest shoes and come over for rose petal or green chai tea and the most delicious food you can possibly imagine. We could giggle about all of the reasons that we were too scared to begin blogging, and about how odd it is to tell people in the 'real' world that you have friends - good friends - that you met (gasp!) online.

I'd love to hug you in person and tell you that you are important to me and that the last 300 posts have represented a seismic shift in who I am and how I look at the world. Lots has happened since I wrote my first post, and lots is going to happen in the next little while. I wish I could write a letter to myself 300 posts ago - but what I can say is that whether you start a blog or write letters or meet people in person, the best choice you can make to change your life for the better is to open up, look deep and be honest. Real connections happen when you let yourself be vulnerable. Real change happens when you are brave!

Thank you for being here, and if you ever want to come over for tea, I've got lots just waiting to be added to good conversation. Love to you.

Since we can't be together I will end this post with my most favorite advice for living:

"To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one's own numinosity without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one's own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live." - Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

What is your favorite advice for living?

Rejection.


"The world often knocks us down, and we wear the scars to signify the blows. We have to choose whether to retreat or retry."
- Gail McMeekin

I can not tell you how much I enjoyed the chapter for this week's blogging book group! As I work to get my novel published and begin to get back a few rejection letters, I am feeling twinges of discouragement. As anyone who has read my blog for awhile will know, one of my favorite books in the whole world is Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. At the beginning of this chapter, Gail McMeekin shares that this remarkable book was rejected forty-seven times over twenty years. FORTY-SEVEN!!!

I do not think I could handle that.

Having said that, the thing about the process of writing my novel is that after the year of writing, the editing, the rewriting, the attempts at a synopsis, the sending it out to be read by people and the query letter writing I seem to have developed a healthy emotional distance from the book. I still love it. I still believe in it completely and want to passionately promote it, but it no longer draws blood when I get a rejection letter. I know that it needs someone to love it as much as I do. I am choosing to see rejection letters as notes from people with no imagination or bravery. I certainly do not want someone like that championing my book!

I think that the trick to handling rejection is to have created a list before putting ourselves out there. I have a list of agents and publishers that I am methodically sending work out to. I have a long plan of attack. If a rejection comes in, I file the letter and send the package out to someone else. Just like the only secret to writing a novel is to sit in the chair and write the novel, I have to believe that the secret to getting published is to keep asking people to publish you. (Or hire you or let you hang your art or sell your photographs...)

"Getting ahead in a difficult profession - singing, acting, writing, whatever - requires faith in yourself. You must be able to sustain yourself against staggering blows and unfair reversals. When I think back to those first couple of years in Rome, those endless rejections, without a glimmer of encouragement from anyone, all those failed screen tests, and yet I never let my desire slide away from me, my belief in myself and what I could achieve." - Sophia Loren

Saturday, February 28, 2009

playing along...



Playing along with Kerstin, who was playing along with Susannah, here are my 10 favorite words beginning with the letter b.

Books. This is an easy one for me. Apart from certain humans and my MAC, books are my most favorite thing on the planet. I hope to have a library filled with them in my house some day. If I go to visit someone at their house and they don't have any books, I get quite suspicious and wonder if we can really be friends. To me, books are friends, security blankets, teachers, and as necessary to me as food. My last $10? Definitely on a book.

Beauty. One of the guiding forces in my life is beauty. I believe in it, I look for it, and I revel in it.

Banana. I love this word for a ridiculous reason. I love this word because when I write or type it I have to concentrate every time to keep from adding too many 'na's. Silly but true.

Beatific. When I was a little girl I remember reading that a character had a beatific smile. I had to look it up. I think it was the first word that I ever looked up for myself in the dictionary. I'm glad it was such a good one!

Bewitch. I love this word in all of its forms. I love that it gives me a little tingle, as if there is magic released just by saying it or thinking it. Nothing is ordinary if the word bewitch is involved!

Betwixt. This word is usually coupled with the word between. (They mean the same thing.) The place 'betwixt and between' is always where magic happens. Hmmm... I am sensing a trend here in my words. I think I like magic!

Bliss. This is an obvious one. I think that nearly everyone who ever wanted more in their lives began with the Campbell quote about following your bliss. We are forever chasing this word, hoping to find our bliss, whatever that means.

Brave. I love this word because of what it makes me feel. I love it because of the hope and the fire it holds. I am going to try to embrace more bravery in my life in the next few months.

Baby. I like it when my husband calls me this (who knew!) I like it in Dirty Dancing when Johnny says, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." I like hearing when babies are born into this world. I like that it sounds like a sigh.

Butterfly. For a long time I curled my nose up when I heard about the symbolism of butterflies. It always seemed too easy or too obvious. I preferred to work a bit harder on my messages and metaphors. But lately butterflies have been forcing their way into my consciousness, and I have let them slip through. I am glad I did.

Want to play? You could ask Susannah or Kerstin for a letter, or you could ask me, or you can just open a book and put your finger down on a letter. If you do or if you have, I would love to read yours when you post your list - do let me know!!

Other b words I like: bamboozle, bashful, bath, befuddled, blossom, bouffant, brazen, bumph, buoyant, bustle...

Friday, February 27, 2009

A new cycle.


"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar"
- Mary Byrant


For the past few weeks I have been in an enormous FUNK of epic proportions. I have had a flu/ cold of the sort that make you lie in bed and ponder the meaning of life, and have allowed that to suck me down into the bowels of mood-land. I have been all of the way through the gamut of "I have had enough" through "I just don't care anymore" and right out to the end of "oh woe is me." Ugh. But when I finally got tired of feeling sorry for myself, all of that quiet time made for some good thinking!

I have often read about people's 'A-ha' moments and wished for one. Looking back on the past month I realize now that this whole month has been a steady trickle of inspiration. It's like I have been on an A-ha drip. I couldn't deal with it all at once, so I had to have it in small doses. The sticky, messy metamorphosis that has been my month of February has culminated in a shift. Every single book I have picked up, every television show I have watched, and every bit of inspiration pointed at me have all seemed to send the same message:

We must discover our own truth.

It sounds so simple, but for the first time I think I actually get it. I know I have been yapping on about my new project for ages now, but I am telling you to expect it very soon! I think I just needed this month to be really ready for all that it entails.

"If your knowledge of fire has been turned to certainty by words alone, then seek to be cooked by the fire itself. Don't abide in borrowed certainty. There is no real certainty until you burn; if you wish for this, sit down in the fire." - Rumi

yes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Asking for help.


"Just get up and do your thing and speak your truth. It's as simple as that."
- Lamar Harrington

This week at The Next Chapter book group, the chapter is "Consulting with Guides." When I started blogging it was because I was desperate for connection with like-minded women. I put the intention out there and more importantly, I did something about it. Within a week I had connected with three amazing women. We connected because we were all brave enough to reach out to each other. Within a year of being brave, I had made several wonderful friends, traveled to a creative retreat, and begun writing a book.

But as Gail McMeekin says, "The real story is often much more helpful than a myth." I need to tell you that it hasn't all been perfect. I've been snubbed and ignored, I have lost connections and I have been the ignorer. Reaching out and being creative is HARD, but every time you do it, you get a little stronger and you meet someone new. Today instead of writing about being brave and making connection, I am going to do it, because you just never know where it would lead!

I've always felt that we get messages from the Universe. Well while I was sick I got them loud and clear. The Next Chapter's "Consulting with Guides," my note from the Universe telling me: "It's not what you know, it's who you know... and love," getting a brave invitation to a delightful gathering, and a long talk about publication with two different people are all pretty clear road markers. The consensus? Ask for help. It's all about who you know. Be brave.

So here it is:

I have written a book. I am now seriously looking for an agent for it, and I am having big problems. Can anyone out there give me any advice or a contact name or any information at all to help me in this quest? The book is a novel about a woman finding herself. I have had several people read it and the comments have been wonderful. Most told me they couldn't put it down, several said that they knew of many women that they wanted to read it, and one reader told me that it has completely changed her life. Now I can't tell a prospective agent this as it looks unprofessional, but as this is MY blog, I can do what I like! So I am shamelessly asking: Can anyone out there help me get my book into the right hands to give it the best possible chance in the world?

Because that is what I really need right now!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Permission.


"For too many women, doubting the legitimacy of their inspirations chokes their creative spirit." - Gail McMeekin

This is the first letter of a word that I commissioned from Jessie.  I am delighted to say that I have the word 'YES' coming in the mail!  

As I read through the chapter for this week's book group, I was struck by the number of excuses and reasons that women find to not create.  

I know I am an incredibly lucky girl in many ways.  Supportive parents, BIG life lessons about the preciousness of life, early creative surroundings, an artistic husband and no kids of my own have all conspired together to make me quite comfortable spending time writing.  In fact, in our house we often ignore things like laundry and cleaning in favour of a few more minutes making our dreams happen.

Having said that, I couldn't figure out why the chapter made me so uncomfortable until I read the quote I shared at the top of this page.  I'll add it again here in case you missed it:  "For too many women, doubting the legitimacy of their inspirations chokes their creative spirit." - Gail McMeekin.  As I said, I have no trouble spending time writing, but whenever I pick up a paintbrush I feel like I should be doing other things.  I should be writing - that is where my skills are - that is where I might have a shot at creating something worthwhile.

UGH.

Last year I had a brainwave for a wonderful website.  I am in love with this idea.  I bought the web address, I have been scribbling about it ever since, but I haven't gotten past tinkering with page one.  Why?  Because it requires me to make art and because it is NOT a way of making money.  The lesson? Creativity that creates even the remotest possibility of income = valid.  Creativity that is just creating beauty in the world for the sake of it = something to cram in after all of the other to-dos have been taken care of.  

On Friday I had a little meltdown.  I was at work and was listening to something on my ipod that make me cry.  Luckily I was alone, because it was one of those messy talking to the universe, God, and anyone else who might be listening cries.  I wanted to know what to do to make a situation I am in better.  When I was all cried out (and the universe could get a word in edgewise) I started thinking about that idea again, complete with a new and enticing angle.  In fact, whenever I am feeling sorry for myself, this idea pops into my head again.  I keep pushing it down, thinking that I'll do it when my other shoulds are done.  I think that this time I will listen.  In fact, I am going to make it a priority.

Seeing the act of creating as a legitimate use of our time makes us make time.  It becomes a priority no matter how much washing needs doing or how much other people need us.  The only thing stopping us from focusing on our Self is our own perception of the validity of what we are doing.  We need to place value on the things that we love to do, and then we will not feel guilty doing them.  The world needs our creative energy, it doesn't need more guilt!

"In order to succeed, you must create a space, commit the time, value it, and fight for it.  And yes, give some things up." - Gail McMeekin