Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Run Girl Run!




So so happy that I said YES to running this half marathon...the event is tomorrow!!!!  I'm totally excited (and a little tiny bit nervous) but mostly really excited!  Feeling very ready to run my little big-ish hiney off!  The run begins at 7:00 am (tomorrow morning).  If you happen to be awake, please send me some good, positive energy!

(Psssssssst....my very loose, gentle "goal" is to run this in under 2 hours.  Eight years ago, I did it in just a tiny hair under 2, 3 years ago, it was just a bit over 2 hours...we shall see.  Like I said, I'm being very gentle with this. :)

Okay, I'm putting myself to bed now.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Simply Say YES



"...the next step is the most important step. Take it
now. Do not wait.

Life is not going to come down there and sprinkle
glitter dust on your shoulders to let you know that you
are Good...or that you are walking the Right Path...or
that you are making the Best Decision.

Take the next step. Right now. Stop waiting for a "sign"
from the "gods." Your sign is your intuition, wrapped
in your desire.

Hesitation is not a stopping place on the road to heaven."  Neale Donald Walsh




Oh, goodness gracious me.  


I'm thinking about that sign I always pass on one of my favorite walking/running trails; the sign that says "Off Leash Area."  I feel a bit like I've been unleashed, like whatever has been holding me back has broken free somehow, like the floodgates have collapsed and now I'm spinning in a sea of goodness and  inspiration and boundlessness.  It feels a bit like flying, and, at the same time, it feels a bit like standing rooted way down deep in blossoming richness.  

As these words appear, there is this mind voice hovering right over my right shoulder, it's saying, you know, for someone who isn't feeling particularly inspired, this might be really irritating to read, can you just lighten up on all the mushy gushing?  

The answer to that question, little mind, is no--I cannot.  I will not.  

Because, here's the thing.  I've decided to say a big, bold, brave YES to all that is calling me, all that is moving me closer to my own light and to yours, all that has been crying for my attention for f-ing Ever.  I'm moving toward what moves me, what quickens my pulse, what excites and enlivens and invigorates and calms and quiets and inspires and whispers and nudges and empowers.  I'm saying YES to all that makes me giddy and all that makes me want to twirl and spin and skip and maybe do the Tango or the Two-Step or something.  

I'm saying YES to my intuition and my desires.  To Love.  And gratitude.  And kindness and softness and surrender.  And presence.  And deep breaths.  And moving slowly and accepting fully.  To giving and healing and opening and allowing and receiving.  To abundance galore! and twinkling little stars and chirping, little birdies.  And blossoming.  And lingering a little longer.

To feeling the fear and doing it anyway.  And Trusting.

I'm saying no, thank you to little mind and YES to all of the above.  

Can you feel the quickening of my pulse?  

Do you want to join me in this???  Starting today?

I don't know what the next step will be because there is only this one right now. I can't add any more details  because I don't know them yet.  This is what I do know...

Alia & I are committing to 41 days of saying YES....to all of the above.  To nudges & whisperings and giving and self-nurturing and Love.  We are going to tell you about it as we go along.  We are going to share with you how invigorating and life-changing it is to deeply honor and move toward all that is calling us, to saying YES to it all.

We've been practicing this like crazy lately, and I can tell you for sure...it's spilling-over-with-abundance.  It's life-changing and life-giving.  Holy shmoly.

Are you saying YES yet?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Preciousness


Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?   Mary Oliver


This morning, as I sit here sipping coffee, soaking in the quiet of my moment, my heart feels like it might overflow.  Sometimes it feels like the preciousness of it all is just too much.  

I am being constantly and continually reminded lately of how very fragile and ever changing and precious life is.  There has been a lot of talk all around me of young, beautiful, seemingly healthy people who have been diagnosed with cancer, who are getting double mastectomies, who are undergoing chemotherapy, losing their hair and experiencing all of the other beautiful and painful and touching and heartbreaking things that come with a cancer diagnosis.  

Last night, I went out to celebrate one of my girlfriends turning 40...we drank fancy drinks in fancy glasses, ate fancy food with fancy names, got a little buzzed and giggled and giggled some more.  At one point, one of the women started talking about how she was creating a hat with hair extensions for her dear friend who was just recently diagnosed with lung cancer.  This friend of hers has never smoked, is super active, and is 42.  Her symptoms started with a little back pain.   We all let this story sink in deep and savored, even more, the sips and bites and each other's smiling faces--awake, even more, to the gift of these precious moments.

This is the message I am constantly getting and being given.  To savor.  To laugh.  To enjoy even more.  To not take for granted a second of this wild and precious life.  

There is so much beauty.  There is so much beauty.

And speaking of beauty....!

I am over at Kind Over Matter today.  Deeply honored.  Deeply appreciating.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

In Celebration of "Lose Your Little Mind"


My eyes are fixed on the most gorgeous rainbow right now, its magical presence seems so appropriate in this moment when I've come here, with my beating-like-crazy heart, to share something that I'm just beyond thrilled to share with you.  I think of all kinds of things when I think of rainbows...magic, pots of gold, giddy, child-like excitement at the mere site of them, rain, sunshine, darkness, light, color, that song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that says, Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.  

I think maybe this gorgeous rainbow is here to join in the celebration, the celebration of turning an idea/vision into something that can now be seen and heard and felt and shared. 

So, now I introduce you to "Lose Your Little Mind," a slideshow created by myself and my beautiful, tender-hearted friend Alia Indrawan .  Our deepest heart desire is to nudge other beautiful ones toward their greatness, this creation was born from that desire.  It comes straight from our hearts with hope that it will inspire you to lose your little mind and lean in and listen, with every part of you, to your big, brave, boundless Self. 

Alia, dear friendwhat a deep honor it has been to co-create with you.  Amy Seeley, it just had to be you & "Beloved."  Katerina, thank you for so generously sharing your gorgeous photos with us.  "Little mind," I very much appreciate you getting the heck out of the way so this creation could come through.  

Dear readers,

We are so giddy-excited that we get to share this little bit of us with you! Please, grab a cup of something and settle in for four minutes.  And please, share, share away!

With love,

Julia & Alia

Friday, April 22, 2011

Practicing Presence

A fearLESS Friday Post...

Photo by Kevin Moul      Taos, New Mexico

I remember this moment with such clarity.

It was an early winter's evening and I was in my kitchen chopping and dicing and measuring and pouring, preparing chicken masala for friends who were coming over for dinner.  I think the reason I remember it so clearly is because cooking (combined with having dinner guests) was typically something that could easily send me into a tizzy.  But, in this particular moment, I was fully there--I didn't allow my mind to wreak havoc on my moment.  Each time my little mind started to wander with thoughts of oh shit, they're going to be here in a half hour and I haven't even cleaned up the house, or, what if this new recipe is a total flop...each time it started to wander away from what I was doing into fear mode, I paused and came back to whatever was right before me.  Chopping carrots now.  Dicing garlic now.  Noticing the breeze coming through the open window now.  Noticing the flicker of the candle now. Breathing a deep breath now.  And each time I came back to whatever was right before me, my breathing became fuller, my belly softened, my mind quieted down.  I remember this thought quietly entering my mind, so, this is what peace is.  This is what happens when I get out of my mind and into the moment.  

This little example of presence came a few years ago, at a time when I was fully committed to being present in my life.  I had just read Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth," and had started really practicing presence.  There was a two week span of time when I continually, moment by moment (each time my mind started to take me down the fear path) brought myself back to what was right before me.  I became the observer, the quiet listener.  I stopped identifying with my thoughts.  I stopped the old stories before they had a chance to back me in a corner.  To this day, I can honestly say, it was the most peaceful time of my life.  The heavy feeling I had felt in my chest for as long as I could remember, just kind of went away--it wasn't there anymore. Things became clear.  Decision making became easier.  I trusted myself more.  It didn't so much matter what was happening outside of me, as long as I stayed out of my mind and in the moment, I felt peace.

It was such a full, beautiful time.

I have continued to practice presence, but, for whatever reason, not with quite the focus as I had during that two week period.  In Karen Maezen Miller's book, Momma Zen, she says, "My practice is to see that nothing ever gets in the way of anything else."  When I came upon these words, a few days ago, they stopped me in my tracks and pointed me back toward words that have visited again and again over the last few months...you really need to stop letting your computer time interfere with the rest of your life.

I've been getting these little nudges that have said, set aside specific times for blogging, emailing, etc...and the rest of the time, turn the computer off.  I've continually gotten these nudges, and continually ignored them, even though I notice that when I'm on it too much or when I'm on it and trying to be with my kids at the same time, I become anxious, my breathing becomes shallow, my chest heavy--even though I've noticed how much it gets in the way of my being truly present.

SO....here comes the little, big decision that I referred to on Wednesday...so sorry to have made you wait.  (Giggle, giggle.)  I'm not throwing away my computer or shutting down my blog.  I'm not taking off for Tuscany or publishing a book (sorry). I'm simply (and not so simply) honoring the whispers that have been trying to get me to listen for months now.  I'm honoring the deeper part of me that keeps saying...it's time to show up, fully, for every part of your life.

So...I'm going to set aside specific times for the computer, and, during the rest of the time, I'm going to show up for what's right before me.  I'm going to practice giving what's in front of me my full attention.  I'm going to do my best to gently pause my thoughts when they start to run away with me and come back to what's in front of me.  I'm going to do this again and again.  I'm going to be gentle and forgiving with this practice.

I read recently that the greatest gift you can give to others is your full attention. I'm going to change this to say, the greatest gift you can give to others and yourself and whatever is right before you is your full attention.  

I'm going to practice presence because I know now is where peace is found...and love and joy and giggles and tenderness and compassion.  And chunky little kissable cheeks and tiny, little girl freckles. And the smell of campfire smoke and freshly baking bread.  And the sound of little birdies chirping and the feel of the sun on my face. I know this is where it's all found and I don't want to miss a second more.  And because I know that no amount of anything that I could ever get or do (even publishing a book or going to Tuscany) will ever bring me the kind of peace I felt that evening in my kitchen.


What's getting in the way of you being fully in this moment?  Is there any time better than now to start practicing presence?  Wanna join me?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gratitude and a P.S

I just had to come on here and share this!  What an amazing project.  Those of you who haven't yet learned about Lori Portka's involvement in this really must go check out what she's doing--totally inspiring.

To find out more about "365 Grateful," click here.

There is definitely something to all of this gratitude stuff...


365grateful.com from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo.


P.S!  I have to tell you...I'm feeling really funny about having left you all hanging about my "important decision!"  Part of me thinks it's really funny that you're all so curious and it's making me giggle!  The other part of me almost feels a little guilty and a little afraid that I'm going to totally disappoint you.  This isn't really a big deal thing, just a little thing that's a big deal to me, if that makes any sort of sense.  Anyway, it's kind-of fun making you wait for this not so big thing.  Giggle, giggle.  Okay, I feel a little better now.  :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Want to Tell You


"Your life is your practice.  Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are.  You are looking for answers, insight, and wisdom that you already possess.  Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself."  Karen Maezen Miller

Art by the beautiful Lori Portka
let us all be thankful

There is so much I want to tell you and I don't really know where to begin, so I think I'll just begin with these words...

I want to tell you that the book I just finished, Momma Zen, by Karen Maezen Miller, has shifted something in me, something that has wanted to shift for a long time.  As much as I have always loved being a mom, there has been a part of me that has resisted fully embracing this role, like doing so would keep me from the "big" aspirations that I have.  I've known for a long time that being present for what is right in front of me is the key to peace...this book solidified that for me.  Thank you, Karen, for gifting me with your words.

I want to tell you about what happened on Monday when my girls were home...I turned off the computer and I turned toward them--with all of me. We ended up going to the store and getting a playground ball and chalked out some big squares on our back deck and played two square in the sunshine for hours and hours.  We giggled.  We had snacks.  We breathed fresh air...we had a day together that felt new and present and connecting.

I want to tell you that, after months of training, on Saturday morning I ran 10 miles!  10!  And that on May 1st (less than two weeks from now) I will be running the Eugene Half Marathon!  I ran this same half marathon 3 years ago and am so looking forward to running it again.  This training has been a huge challenge and stretch for me, there have been a lot of aches and pains and plenty of resistance, but I've stuck with it and come out on the other side.  I love coming out on the other side...the view is so pretty from here.  This running has been such a practice for me; a practice in presence and patience and persistence...and has reached out and touched every area of my life.

I want to tell you that my little mind is getting quieter and quieter.  As much as it has wanted to take over with talk of overwhelm, as much as it tells me I should really get a plan and figure out what I'm doing with my life, that I should hurry up... the deeper part of me is taking my hand and leading the way.  Instead of insisting that I do more or try harder, it tells me to sit quietly and listen, it tells me to trust, that I can simply continue to follow the energy of the moment, that I can let go of the hows and know that I will be lead every step of the way.  Again and again, it tells me to let go.  And, even though my stubborn mind wants to hang on tight, its voice seems to be growing fainter and fainter.

I want to tell you that this daily focus on gratitude has shifted me in ways I can't fully explain yet.

I want to tell you that when I show up for what's right in front of me, answers, insight and wisdom bubble up in perfect time, all on their very own.

I want to tell you that I love your presence here, it is one of the many blessings in my life and so very appreciated.  Thank you for being here.

I want to tell you about an important decision I have made but that will have to wait until Friday...I look forward to seeing you then. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Being New



"Here it comes again: another start of another day.  What a reprieve!  You have incalculable chances to change the ending.  To change your attitude.  To be the new you.  Whether you know it or not, you already are the new you.  Forget what you think, lose the foregone conclusion, and just be new."  Karen Maezen Miller (From her book Momma Zen)




It's a brand new day.  


My little ones are home again today (conferences) and I am going to do my absolute best to be with them.  I'm going to do my absolute best to be with whatever is right in front of me, to let each moment be new.

The sun is shining!  The birds are chirping like crazy.  My heart is full.

Here's to forgetting what we think and being new in every single moment--each new one gives us another precious chance.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Not Listening


Cease trying to work everything out with your minds. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be Revelation.   Eileen Caddy


Not Listening
A fearLESS Friday Post

There are all kinds of deep things stirring this evening and sometimes it just feels too hard to put those really deep things into words, you know?  So, I sit here finding myself typing and deleting, typing and deleting and deleting more, until, once again, I'm left with a too bright white screen.  That flow that occasional pays a visit, seems to be elsewhere this evening.  Which leads me to believe that it might be best to leave this coffee shop and go tuck myself into bed.

But it seems I am continuing...

It's been a pretty intense last few days.  My husband has been out of town, I've been trying to fight off a cold that has knocked me on my ass butt  rump and threatened to keep me there, my oldest daughter had a birthday that included a sleepover, there were 151 loads of laundry to wash and dry and fold and put away (and dusting and vacuuming and cooking and animals to feed and paws to wipe and dishes to do and more dishes to do) and today there was no school...so there has been little downtime.  Not surprisingly, the less quiet time I have, the louder my little mind becomes...it's like it thinks it has free rein to just jump in and carry on with all of its old, dumb BS.

It seems this is the theme of just about every post I read lately...the mind getting in the way of people's peace.  It's what it does best.  I have learned that when it comes to little minds, there is nothing very unique or special about them, they're pretty much all alike.  They love to tell us what we're doing wrong, they love to compare and criticize and measure and demean and point out all of our imperfections.  They love to nag and nitpick and scrutinize. They love to put things and people in boxes. They love to think everything is an urgent, need-to-have it/do it-right-now emergency.  They want.  They doubt.  They try to figure out.  They want more.  They want now.

I've spent a significant amount of time, over the last several years, keenly observing my own little mind and listening intently to the minds of others. And what I know for sure is that this is what minds do--this is their job. They think they're keeping us safe, but, really, they're keeping us afraid and small. And I know for sure that there are far, far too many beautiful, perfectly enough people out there who are still allowing their little minds to run them all over the place.

This is what I want to say to you, little mind...

I'm not buying it anymore.  I know where you're trying to take me and I refuse to go.  I've scoured all of those dark alleys and menacing basements and I've had enough, thank you.  I'm not going to allow you to toss me all over the place anymore.  I know that I can breathe deeply, slow down, get really present and access that much wiser, gentler part of me that doesn't compare or criticize or tell me I'm not good enough.  I know that I can quiet down and sink into that place that whispers kind things and says a holy yes to love.

I have learned that when it comes to my attacking, menacing little mind--I have to be vigilant, softly alert, constantly practicing presence, continuously calling it on its BS.  I've learned that I am not my mind.  I am that still calm witness, that which observes my mind.

I have learned that anything that doesn't speak of love isn't worth listening to.

So, there.

Hasn't little mind had more than its fair share of air time?  Would you like to join me in not listening anymore? 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Listening" at Kind Over Matter Today


My poem "Listening" is being featured at Kind Over Matter...today!  Please head over to Amanda's (I adore this girl) beautiful site, we'd so love to have you there.  <3




Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Love


"Moments of self-assurance in motherhood do occur-joyful, satisfying, and complete-but they are just moments.  In between are long, lonely spells when you feel lost and clueless.  Ahead is another blind curve leading you somewhere you've never been.  Yes, this crying-out-loud life is your crooked path, whose bumps and bends cannot be negotiated through mere reasoning.  Time and again you'll be stripped of your preconceptions, judgments, ideas, theories, and opinions of motherhood and left to go straight on through the inexplicable experience itself.  These gulfs of incomprehension bring the opportunity for spiritual growth and self-acceptance."  Karen Maezen Miller  (From her book Momma Zen)


Today is a very special day.  

Nine years ago my tiny six and a half pound baby girl came into this world.  I'll never forget the feeling of those first days. I remember saying to my husband & friends & family that it felt like my heart was now on the outside of my body--exposed, vulnerable, so achingly, beautifully, deeply and completely full of love--love I had never before known or could have fathomed.  

I remember holding her in my arms, as close as close gets, sobbing, so full I was with love and a deep, primal need to keep her safe and sound and tiny and in my arms--for always and ever.  I remember my heart breaking for, and praying for, all the tiny babies in the world who weren't safe and sound.  

Fast forward nine years and here she is...my spirited, sensitive, beautiful, intense little girl.  How full these years have been of deep love and not knowing, of being lost and clueless, of tantrums and more tantrums, behaviors I had no idea what to do with, things I desperately wanted to fix but couldn't.  Moments of deep joy and equally deep suffering...and more deep joy.  

Oh, how full my heart is with love for this precious little girl.

These gulfs of incomprehension continually and constantly bring the opportunity for spiritual growth, for shedding and deepening--for opening and opening more to the unfathomable beauty of this love.  

I am deeply grateful to be your mommy, Marielle Quinn. Happy Birthday, sweet, sweet girl.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Guy


Yesterday, from eight in the morning until almost 2:30 in the afternoon, my husband ran.  He participated in the  Peterson's Ridge Rumble, a 40 mile trail run that started in Sisters, Oregon (about 2 hours southeast of us).

I just had to come here and share a few photos and brag a bit.  


Here he is (below) at the last aid station.  At this point he had run a little over 34 miles.  The girls & I raced around (in the car) all day trying to catch him running by so we could yell and cheer and give him high fives.  It was a little frantic trying to catch him before he sped by, but mostly really fun.  I tend to get pretty wound up when he runs in these races--I just find it all very exciting.  And inspiring.


The finish!  


Done!  Whew.  Food and rest in order.

So, here he is, my brave, studly husband.  Can you tell I'm proud?  <3

Friday, April 8, 2011

fearLESS Friday...Slowing it all Down



NOW

Without words
we sit in quiet.
Stillness wraps
around us
in its soft, electric way
There is no wanting
or needing to know
what comes next
No questions
or place to get
We are not
tangled
in yesterdays
or turning toward
tomorrow

Just us
and something
that will
remain
through births
and deaths
and lifetimes
infinite nows from now
infinite nows from then


Instead of running this morning, I decided to walk.  Instead of turning on the computer and clicking and searching and posting, I breathed fresh sunshiny air.  I leaned in close--nose to nose with tiny newborn buds.  I listened to what the birds were saying.  I squatted down and dipped my hands in cold creek water.  I took really deep breaths of all that fresh, yummy, pacific northwest air.  

And I took many pictures.  Every time I run lately, in this gorgeous spot, I think...some day I need to come here and walk, camera in hand, and capture all of this beauty and share it with my lovely readers.  So, today was that day.  I had so so much that "needed" doing this morning, but (thankfully) I chose to listen to the little whisper that was saying...just go, walk slowly, take pictures, breathe fresh air, let go of everything else.

Trillium

I'm so glad I listened.  

In a deeper and deeper way, I am learning that it's not about getting or improving or trying to figure out or working harder.  It's about sinking below the level of my busy busy mind and letting truth bubble gently to the surface.  It's about taking one little step at a time, from a place of sweet surrender and fierce trust.  The peace I am feeling as a result of this deep let go is all the evidence I need that this is a good good thing.

Here are some photos I took along the way...all of them are from this morning, all of them are the beauty I get to see every time I run this loop.  I am one lucky girl.

I love this bridge

The Creek

The bench I always run by and say, some day I'm going to sit on you.  Today I sat.

Moss and fern and more moss

Red Flowering Current...oh my gosh, it's so gorgeous and so nice to see color mixed in with all the green






What are your whispers saying?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free Your Beautiful Mind


I can't not share this.  It left me sobbing, open, inspired beyond what can be contained, wanting, trusting...brave.  Thank you, Melody, for your wide open heart.  You are living, breathing proof of what is possible when we follow that deeper part of ourselves.

Here's to getting out of the way and allowing our true lights to shine, no matter what our minds might be saying.  Just let it shine.

Written by Melody Ross from Brave Girls Club

This is another one for all of you beautiful dreamers, creatives…makers, artists, visionaries……

I am writing this because I am now 100% certain that I am not the only one who used to feel like I was the only one who feels this way. AND when we find that out…that we are not the only one…and ALSO that OTHERS thought THEY were the only one…..a whole bunch of little candles get lit…and what used to seem so dark now is light….and it’s not so scary….and not so confusing…and there’s nothing to feel ashamed about anymore. Because…it just IS….and it doesn’t separate us anymore, but it unifies us. That is soooo awesome.

This is one of those things
I am finding that when I am in my creative cave, trying to let a new product line, or class, or a new phase of my marriage, or a serious issue with one of my children…..whatever sacred thing it is…..when I am in my cave of creative solitude trying to let something sacred be born creatively, it is a kind of difficult that has no words.
I used to not talk about it because it all felt so unexplainable…and so sacred/ridiculous/out-of-control. Embarrassing even. Humiliating sometimes. Because….when something is trying to be born….an idea….or something sacred….it is sort of all-consuming. No one seems to want to talk about it…..mostly I think, because there are no words. It doesn’t always feel good…..and then you have to explain/defend yourself to others why you are dedicating so much of your life and energy to something that is difficult and sometimes does not feel good. I have found that I hate having to defend myself. Especially when I am trying hard to just live as authentically as I can. When I am doing exactly what my deepest truth is telling me to do. But sometimes…..special people just need to know what the heck is going on with you. They wonder why you are doing what you are doing……
Well….the answer is because sometimes you can’t NOT do it. When an idea or a sacred something creative wants to be born…….it won’t let you NOT let it be born.
I used to think I was the only crazy person who dealt with this dilemma. So…I just didn’t explain my long bouts of creative isolation or brain-fogginess or distraction.
Then, I started to talk to a few of my creative friends and found that as women…..we are always trying/needing/feeling-called to birth SOMETHING. It is part of us, part of who we are….maybe it’s the same for men. I just feel like we are always on our way to creating SOMETHING. And sometimes we just try to hide that part of ourselves, because we think…WHO AM I TO CREATE ANYTHING? But, it still calls to us.
Some of us keep trying to resist it for years and years and years or even just for weeks or months….and truly, it is the worst kind of misery…..way worse than the uncomfortable parts of sitting on bed rest with your idea, nurturing and letting it be born the way it wants to be born….whether it’s a collage or a book or a song or a room needing to be decorated, or a journal entry or letter, or a marriage or a cake or a garden or a scarf to be knitted……or a class to be taught or a home to be built or a new life to be remade.
When we resist it we are miserable.
Sometimes the creative bed rest need only last a few hours, sometimes a few months….sometimes even longer….just depends.
And we get phonecalls and emails and text messages that say “are you mad at me?” or….”why haven’t you called….”  and we just don’t know how to say……I am in the middle of growing something sacred and it hurts and it also is beautiful and wonderful and exciting and real, and it is taking all of the energy that I have right now…………
and we don’t know how to ask…..”can you be patient with me? will you still be there when I can get up and get going again? When this thing is born?”
So we get up and do things that we shouldn’t be doing right now. We put our sacred something at risk to get up and do things that are not the most important things right now….things that satisfy the guilt we feel when we don’t know how to explain that right now…for this little short time, I am doing the most important thing that I know to be doing….I am letting something sacred be born.
We have to start letting ourselves go on creative bed rest. It is short…it is not forever. Most importantly…we have to let EACH OTHER go on creative bed rest and not get testy with each other when we have to decline invitations, or when we can’t return phonecalls or emails for a bit…..when we can’t do extra things…..it is temporary…but we must allow each other that. We all have a need to be creative. We need to allow each other that need.
AND THEN….when the beautiful sacred creative thing is born….we need to feel safe in sharing it with the world. We need to cheer each other on in the whole process, and then treat each other’s sacred something with sacredness and respect.
And most of all….we all just need to not really care too much what other’s think of our sacred something. Because that is not what it is about……it is about letting it be born, then loving it exactly how it is, protecting it as fiercely as we can,  and then letting it have a life of it’s own……no matter what the critics have to say.
We need to not have to feel afraid of what others will say or do if it is not good enough……..or if it is SO GOOD that it makes others feel sad or jealous or angry or whatever……..because sometimes…..OFTEN TIMES….the thing that wants to be born just HAD to be born…..and it is not in our control. We did not create something to be better or to turn heads…..or to impress or to be judged in any way. So if it is NOT GOOD ENOUGH or if it is TOO GOOD……..we are scared to share it once it is born. And many times, it was born FOR THE VERY PURPOSE TO SHARE WITH OTHERS….to bring JOY, BEAUTY, TRUTH, KNOWLEDGE, HAPPINESS, PEACE and UNDERSTANDING to the rest of us. Sometimes what is wanting to be born in us has NOTHING to do with us……..and we have to let it go out and have a life of it’s own.
Again…whether it is a song or a poem or a photograph or a painting or a meal or a novel relationship or an event or a solution to a problem. Sometimes we are the only way for it to be born….and if we did not stop and listen to that calling…it would never be born…..and someone, somewhere needed that EXACT thing….and that THING, that creative masterpiece was BORN with that purpose in mind.
…and then we knew it was worth it.
I write this to tell you to stick with it. I write this to tell the girl in Colorado who is writing a novel that you might not ever know why you have felt so called to put everything aside in your life aside from your family, and live in this deep loneliness, to finish it……but that you know that you MUST…and that it will be worth it! .And you are not alone!!!  And the clothing artist angel girl in Texas who pours her heart and soul into every beautiful masterpiece creates for the world because she wants everyone to feel her love and that’s how she shows it…I write this to the sweet beautiful artist in California who sits in her house making art videos to teach thousands across the world how to make art online…even though it’s so lonely sometimes, because she can’t NOT do it….it is her calling. I write this to the heartbroken soul in Florida who just keeps making art….night after night….because it proves to herself that she is listening to her soul….and because she CAN’T NOT make art…..it is healing her. I write this to the young grandma in Melba, Idaho who pours over every cookbook looking for the PERFECT recipes to feed to others so they know how loved they are. She can’t NOT…..it is one of her callings. I write this to the songwriters and the gardeners and the knitters and the jewelry makers and the painters and the yoga instructors and the dancers and the singers and the comedians and the quilters and the teachers. To all of us who are called to CREATE (and I believe this is all of us)….WE CAN’T NOT.
WE MUST.
AND WE MUST LET EACH OTHER.
WE MUST HELP EACH OTHER.
So if you must do it, you must. And some days it won’t feel good….and that is ok. Some days you will doubt yourself…and many days others will doubt you. Some days you will feel guilty and many days others will attempt to make you feel guilty. MANY days you will not understand and MANY MANY MANY more days others will not understand.
It is ok.

It has to be born.
Let it be born.
We need your light, your creativity, your unique contribution to the world.
YOU need to let it happen.
pass it on….pass on the love, the encouragement and the appreciation to every artist you know……
xoxo
melody