Monday, August 29, 2011

In and Out of the Creative Flow

Being in the creative, spiritual groove feels amazing. You feel like you are flowing in the energy of the Universe and everything happens magically for the betterment of your spirit. You feel like life is on your side and your trust that you are on the right path.

Being in the creative, spiritual groove isn't difficult. It doesn't require complicated practices, expensive tools or inordinate amounts of time.

What it does require is the ability to make it a priority. To commit to making it a part of your life.

You would think that once you've experienced the magic of it you would never again let it fall away. But as you might be guessing, that's just not the case.

Maybe you get busy with life and before you know it weeks have passed and you find yourself in a different kind of groove. The groove of obligation, busyness, must do's and must haves. Your days are packed with this thing and that and you are going through the motions of getting and doing. You simply forget.

It's almost as if you are moving through life in a robot-like daze. I imagine it's a survival tactic to keep you from feeling that sense of loss or those feelings of lack. If you don't feel or don't remember you don't suffer, right?

Wrong. You suffer under the surface, deep down in the depths of your soul. You suffer in silence. You walk around feeling like something is missing but you just can't put your finger on it.

There is an ache, an itch, a funny feeling that gnaws at you. It creeps around deep inside looking for a way to wake you up, to shake you up, to breathe some life back into your body, mind, and spirit to get you back on track.

If you're lucky, that funny feeling will begin to wake you up a bit and you will start to remember. You will get flashes of that euphoric feeling you once had, that sense of being right in the world. You will remember that there is another way, a better way to live life. You will remember that it is your right to live with that passion, that excitement, and that connection to the Universe. You will remember that you only get this one life and it is yours to create.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Child-like Confidence

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Michelle. She was beautiful, smart, funny and brave. She thought she was the bee’s knees and could do anything in the world she wanted to do. She loved to draw and would create masterpieces everywhere she went and then she would hand them out to anyone and everyone. She loved animals and thought she might be a veterinarian of course if she didn’t become an artist or an art teacher.

Over the years as Michelle grew up, slowly but surely her confidence started to chip away. What she once knew she could do she started to doubt and then eventually she just knew that she couldn’t quite do anything right. It didn’t matter that everyone told her she was talented, smart, and capable. She only knew that she wasn’t really that great of an artist. She could never be smart enough to be a veterinarian and let’s face it, she didn’t have the guts to deal with death and injury to those poor little animals. She figured she could still be a teacher but not an art teacher because everyone knows that they only need one of those per school and she would never be good enough to be that one teacher who won the job. Her dreams fell away.

As she got older and older she kept trying new ventures, trying to find something that would make her as happy as she was when she was a carefree child but nothing seemed to work. She felt lost, worthless, and every bit of a failure. She embarked on a journey of healing for herself and she cleansed out years of negative thinking. She washed away the pain and began to fill herself up with positive thoughts and spent time remembering that small child who had the world at her feet.

Even as she continued to heal she was brought back to fear and doubt time after time as if she was being tested. Sometimes she would pass the tests with flying colors and other times she would squeak by with a passing grade. But she began to notice that no matter how difficult the tests were, she always seemed to pass and things started looking brighter.

One day she had this great idea for a new project but she just felt that she didn’t know enough to bring it to fruition by herself and she just KNEW she wasn’t a business woman! She could never do all that business stuff! So she started thinking of the perfect person to partner with and lo and behold she found her. Her friend was the yin to her yang and brought a wonderful balance to project.

They started getting together and having conference calls to work through the business plan and figure out the structure and poor Michelle thought she might die. She knew her brain wasn’t set up to do these things and she was tested with fear and doubt once again.

And then something strange happened one night on a call. It was as if she had an out of body experience and she was listening to the words that were coming out of her mouth as she spoke about the vision, the liability and the structure. She found herself thinking, “Who is that woman saying all those intelligent things? Wow, she really sounds like she knows what she is talking about! There is strength in those words and a confident intelligence. HOLY CRAP! THAT’S ME TALKING!!! I might just actually know what I am talking about! I might be as good of a partner to my partner as she is to me. I actually have something to contribute! I think I can do this.”

In that moment she seemed to be transported back to that little girl she knew so many years ago. She felt herself in that perfect little body, with her big smile and fearless attitude and she once again believed in herself.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer Fun With the Kids

Remember back at the end of June when I talked about going out in nature and spending time playing with my kids? I was going to hit a few local hot spots for nature and I had it all planned out. Remember?

Well guess what. Here we are at the end of July and there has been no nature for us. Nope, nada, zilch, zero! Time just seemed to get away from me. The weather has been crazy. Most days have been unbearably hot and when it cooled off a bit it was because we had some severe thunderstorms rolling through.

Even when the weather was good, we were busy with Dr. appointments, orthodontist appointments, daily baseball games and there were just days where we just watched the time slip by. It's crazy how that can happen even when I have it on my calendar each week.

Guess what? It's over! I hit Mother Nature with my 2 youngest boys and it was great. We stopped off at the Fox River after a Dr. appointment yesterday. Yay! We did it!

We walked along the shore exploring the bugs,

the trees,

and the plants.

We talked, we walked arm and arm. I taught them things about life and nature and of course composition and taking unique photographs.

It was one of the best days I had this summer. I was in the moment with them. They were in the moment with me. I loved hearing the excitement in Aidan's voice with each new bug he discovered as much as I loved watching Liam walk gently through the grass being careful not to let a bug land anywhere on his body.

The thing is that they loved it. We didn't DO anything. There was no plan, there was nothing that had to get done. We were just walking, talking, and observing. Liam must have told me about 7 times how much he liked it. He pulled my arm around him as we walked and when it was over and we piled back into the car Aidan was the first to say, "Thanks Mom." What can be better than that?