Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. Rumi

love

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Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Leaning In



"Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news.  But for practitioners or spiritual warriors--people who have a certain hunger to know what is true--feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back.  They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we'd rather collapse and back away.  They're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck.  This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are."     
Pema Chodron from her book When Things Fall Apart



I'm noticing lately how strong the urge is, when things get a little uncomfortable, to seek comfort--to run like crazy toward something/anything that will bring relief.  Sometimes that means turning the computer on, in search of some sort of inspiration--someone else's words that will distract me from whatever it is that i'm  uncomfortably rubbing up against.  Sometimes it's searching through the cupboards or refrigerator, sometimes it's pouring another cup or glass of something.  And on and on.

It is clear to me that in seeking comfort or peace, i'm actually stepping away from it. 

A few days ago, while doing some free-writing with a friend, the following words came out: 

What if i didn't have to run?  What if i could pause and move with gentleness, consciousness?  What if i knew that in running, I am running from peace, from healing, from the arms that have always been there and here--waiting patiently for my return... 


Isn't it nice to know that every moment, just as it is, is the perfect teacher?   I find that very comforting.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Birdsong

I'll let Rumi speak for me today~seems his longing was the same as mine. 

Birdsong brings relief
to my longing.
I am just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say !
Please, universal soul, practice
some song, or something, through me !

Rumi

Friday, May 21, 2010

Not Today

It’s been one of those mornings.

I’ve got a serious (though, I’m sure, very temporary) case of the blahs. I’m thinking it might do me some good to just crawl under that warm down comforter and go back to sleep.

You know those days that just start out yucky?

From the moment I opened my eyes, I desperately wanted to bury my head under the covers, roll over and go back to sleep. And once I finally forced my heavy self out of bed, against every bit of will I have, I couldn’t seem to pull it together. And then I was running late and every movement and task felt like trudging upstream through muck and gook and all things stinky and bad. And, everyone, even the dog and cat, wanted me at exactly the same time.

Menacing hormones, aching head, puffy, tired eyes.

You know those days when you feel like it’s been years and decades since you’ve had a proper vacation? And you’re just seriously sick and tired of doing the same old daily grind stuff (packing lunches, loading the dishwasher, cutting the crust of bread, brushing tangled little girl hair while listening to whining and more whining).

All these ordinary daily things, that I am very aware, if I were to just pause for a second and breathe, and get really present, i would recognize as beautifully lovely gifts. Most days it seems possible to be with what is. And to at least catch a glimpse of the beauty.

But not today.

As I write this there are all kinds of voices in my head telling me to stop complaining, telling me how good I have it—to stop focusing on the negative. Blah. Sometimes it’s good to just get it out on the table and look at it for a while—in all its ugly details.

Most days I could handle it when my second grader tells me I'm The worst person in the world.

But not so much today.

This morning it stung and went way below the surface.

This all started when I couldn’t get her pigtails quite right (I had already tried once and really did the very best I could). She kept saying there were too many lumps (or something). After taking too many minutes of this, I decided that, rather than get further abused by an eight-year-old, I would walk away. I told her that her sister and I would meet her in the car—we were already running late.

A few minutes later, yelling and in tears, she walks out in her socks, (it’s been raining for days and everything is wet).  And for the entire, long, painful drive to school, she repeatedly tells me I’m bad and the worst person in the world.

It was a seriously long five minutes.

Did I mention that it’s that time of the month and the hormones are scattered and crazy and all-over-the-place?

I tell this story this morning for a few reasons. One reason is that it always feels good to dump this stuff out. There is nothing worse than allowing it to fester inside.

Another reason is that I think too often we keep the "ugly" stuff inside and go on with the smiles and "hellos" and the "I'm fines.”

When really we feel like dog-doo.

And, it’s the truth for now. And I think it’s good to tell the truth.

So, that’s me today, just as I am.

How are you?

P.S:  Where is the chocolate when you need it?  Seriously.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wind

Lots of wind this afternoon/evening.  Dark skies.  Branches and leaves covering the neighborhood streets.  Power outage, candles lit.  Dinner cooked over the camp stove.  Lots of garlic and yummy smells.  A glass of wine. 

The sweetness that comes with a change in routine.

Little girl giggles.  Bedtime stories.  Kissable chunky little cheeks.

And now the hum of the heater.  And quiet.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Enough


"Nothing heals us like letting people know our scariest parts: When people listen to you cry and lament, and look at you with love, it's like they are holding the baby of you."     Anne Lamott


I came across the above quote last week and it was one of those moments where i needed to pause and get quiet and let it seep into the deepest parts of me. 
 
And i remember thinking, in a tiny instant, i wish i had written that.  It so resonated. 
 
It's like holding the baby of you...isn't that what we all want?  To share our scariest parts and to still be looked at with love.  To be seen and heard and listened to.  To be loved in spite of all of our stuff. 
 
Maybe even because of all of our stuff.   
 
To let others hold the baby of us.  To not have to apologize, not even once. 
 
And now i'm reminded of those Pink Floyd lines (it's been a long while since i've listened to Pink Floyd but these line have always stuck with me)...
 
And if i showed you my dark side, would you still hold me tonight?  And if opened my heart to you, showed you my weak side, what would you do?
 
Often we're so busy trying; trying to appear wiser than we are, trying to appear more together than we are, trying to appear smarter than we are, more athletic, more motherly, more artistic, more organized, more centered, more easy going, more hip... 
 
Wouldn't it be nice if we could just Be.  Just who we are.  And let that be enough. 
 
No apologies. 
 
Not even one. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Key to a Well-Lived Life: Lighten Up! By Elizabeth Gilbert



Oh!  I just visited Lori Portka's (amaaaazing artist!) site and she had a link to the below article, by my all time favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert.  Oh, how it resonated. 

Along with being an incredible writer, she's real, she's willing to boldly admit her "mistakes," she's funny and light, she's deep and serious--she's just who she is, unapologetically.  Perfectly imperfect.  I adore her.  Read this and then read it again.  Wouldn't it be nice if we'd all just give ourselves a break, allow ourselves to screw up sometimes?  Ah...how refreshing that sounds.



The key to a well-lived life, according to Elizabeth Gilbert: Screw up (often, and boldly), learn from your mistakes, repeat.


Nearly all the women I know are stressing themselves sick over the pathological fear that they simply aren't doing enough with their lives. Which is crazy—absolutely flat-out bananas—because the women I know do a lot, and they do it well. My cousin Sarah, for instance, is earning her master's degree in international relations, while simultaneously working for a nonprofit that builds playgrounds at woefully underfunded public schools. Kate is staying home and raising the two most enchanting children I've ever met—while also working on a cookbook. Donna is producing Hollywood blockbusters; Stacy is running a London bank; Polly just launched an artisanal bakery...

By all rights, every one of these clever, inventive women should be radiant with self-satisfaction. Instead, they twitch with near-constant doubt, somehow worrying that they are failing at life. Sarah worries that she should be traveling around the world instead of committing to a master's degree. Kate worries that she's wasting her education by staying home with her kids. Donna worries that she's endangering her marriage by working such long hours. Stacy worries that the capitalistic world of banking is murdering her creativity. Polly worries that her artisanal bakery might not be quite capitalistic enough. All of them worry that they need to lose 10 pounds.

It's terribly frustrating for me to witness this endless second-guessing. The problem is, I do it, too. Despite having written five books, I worry that I have not written the right kinds of books, or that perhaps I have dedicated too much of my life to writing, and have therefore neglected other aspects of my being. (Like, I could really stand to lose 10 pounds.)

So here's what I want to know: Can we lighten up a little?

As we head into this next decade, can we draft a joint resolution to drop the crazy-making expectation that we must all be perfect friends and perfect mothers and perfect workers and perfect lovers with perfect bodies who dedicate ourselves to charity and grow our own organic vegetables, at the same time that we run corporations and stand on our heads while playing the guitar with our feet?

When I look at my life and the lives of my female friends these days—with our dizzying number of opportunities and talents—I sometimes feel as though we are all mice in a giant experimental maze, scurrying around frantically, trying to find our way through. But maybe there's a good historical reason for all this overwhelming confusion. We don't have centuries of educated, autonomous female role models to imitate here (there were no women quite like us until very recently), so nobody has given us a map. As a result, we each race forth blindly into this new maze of limitless options. And the risks are steep. We make mistakes. We take sharp turns, hoping to stumble on an open path, only to bump into dead-end walls and have to back up and start all over again. We push mysterious levers, hoping to earn a reward, only to learn—whoops, that was a suffering button!

To make matters even more stressful, we constantly measure ourselves against each other's progress, which is a truly dreadful habit. My sister, Catherine, told me recently about a conversation she'd had with a sweet neighbor who—after watching Catherine spend an afternoon organizing a scavenger hunt for all the local kids—said sadly, "You're such a better mother than I will ever be." At which point, my sister grabbed her friend's hands and said, "Please. Let's not do this to each other, okay?"


No, seriously—please. Let's not.

Because it breaks my heart to know that so many amazing women are waking up at 3 o'clock in the morning and abusing themselves for not having gone to art school, or for not having learned to speak French, or for not having organized the neighborhood scavenger hunt. I fear that—if we continue this mad quest for perfection—we will all end up as stressed-out and jumpy as those stray cats who live in Dumpsters behind Chinese restaurants, forever scavenging for scraps of survival while pulling out their own hair in hypervigilant anxiety.

So let's drop it, maybe?

Let's just anticipate that we (all of us) will disappoint ourselves somehow in the decade to come. Go ahead and let it happen. Let somebody else be a better mother than you for one afternoon. Let somebody else go to art school. Let somebody else have a happy marriage, while you foolishly pick the wrong guy. (Hell, I've done it; it's survivable.) While you're at it, take the wrong job. Move to the wrong city. Lose your temper in front of the boss, quit training for that marathon, wolf down a truckload of cupcakes the day after you start your diet. Blow it all catastrophically, in fact, and then start over with good cheer. This is what we all must learn to do, for this is how maps get charted—by taking wrong turns that lead to surprising passageways that open into spectacularly unexpected new worlds. So just march on. Future generations will thank you—trust me—for showing the way, for beating brave new footpaths out of wonky old mistakes.

Fall flat on your face if you must, but please, for the sake of us all, do not stop.

Map your own life.

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed (both Viking).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Be the Light



This morning, after dropping my girls off at school, I was behind a car that had a tiny little bumper sticker that said:  Be the Light. 

Seems to be the message for the day.  The sun is intermittently peaking through the clouds, the tulips are still alive and pretty, the birds are singing their songs.  My heart is full and happy.

I am showing my pendants at a wine opening this weekend!  so i will be outside this morning, with the sun and yummy, fresh air, creating little pieces of art.    blessed.  i am.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy, Happy Mother's Day!

The sun is shining here this morning.  I slept in until 8:00, then ate the most delicious french pastries for breakfast with a cup of french roast coffee--perfectly strong and sweetened.  And then a soak in the hot tub with my two girls.  And now some quiet time alone, outside with the sun and birds.  Feeling deeply blessed. And saying thank you for it all.

Below is a poem i wrote a few years ago for my little girls.   To all you mommies out there, Happy Mother's Day,!  Sending love.


MY PROMISE

Many seasons woven
through the palms of these hands.

These hands cradle
your infant body
skin on skin;
soft, like moonlight on water
or downy wings.

These hands hold
you close enough
to drink milk that grows
you out of feeted jammies
into princess shoes --
the kind that blink
when you walk.

These hands
pull you close
to kiss tiny freckles
and nestle into pigtails
that smell of campfire
and October leaves.

These hands lift
you over sharp peaks,
lead you from dead-end
streets and circular paths.

Always there, holding
and releasing
as you weave new paths
through new seasons

all yours.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Whispers

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to the whisper which is heard by him alone."   Ralph Waldo Emerson


Can you hear your whispers?  What are they saying?  Are they telling you to begin something new?  To put more attention/energy into something you've already begun?  To step closer?  To step away?  To be quieter?  To speak up?  To slow down and take deeper breaths?  To step more fully into the present moment?  To play and laugh more?  To create something new?  To be bolder and more obvious? 

How can you begin to honor or continue to honor these whispers?  Whatever the answer...what small step can you take in the direction of your whispers?

****************************************************


Below are a few new pendant creations!  You can find them in my little shop.

"Wide Open"--Glass Pendant



"Play" Glass Pendant


And a newly listed original...

"Create Your Own Sky"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And the Winner is....!

Number 12!  Diane! 

I let Random.org choose the winner and it chose #12.  I'm so excited to send you a pendant of your choosing, Diane.  Just head over to my shop and make your choice.  You can email me at juliafeh@yahoo.com  and let me know which one you decided on!

Thanks so much, everyone, for sharing your "wild wants" with me.  I so enjoyed reading them all. 

Here's to our every wild want coming true!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Space

****Please click here to enter into my Giveaway!  Only one day left!


"Getting over yourself--your false ego self--is the first step toward living a blessed, charmed, peaceful life.  But that's not enough.  Once you disconnect from your false self, your ego, it's important to actively connect with your authentic, Divine self--your Spirit."   Sonia Choquette

Sitting in my quiet home this morning, listening to the rain and the birds singing outside the window.  Feeling like i want to express something in this space but not sure where to begin with that. 

I've had a pretty long "to do" list lately and my attention has felt pretty scattered and all-over-the-place.  As my "to do" list grows a little longer, I am more and more aware that what matters most is my state of being. I know that my happiness isn't so much about what's happening to me or around me, it's about what's happening inside of me.

When i remember to slow down, take deep breaths, get present with what's right in front of me and say thank you, i feel peace/calm/a sense of purpose.  I notice beauty.  I give and receive love freely.  I am connected to Spirit.

When i forget to do these things, i become a little frantic, stressed, worried, depleted.  Things feel shallow, empty.  My mind takes over.  I feel disconnected and separate.  I am connected with my mind/Ego.

I know that in order to live a "blessed, charmed, peaceful life," i must stay connected to that authentic, Spirit part of me.  I know too that my peace of mind doesn't have to depend on what happens but has everything to do with me slowing down and noticing the beauty that is right here, in this very blessed breathing moment. 

What a beautiful thing that is.