Karen Kingston: Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Free Yourself from Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Clutter Forever
Another book i wish i could gift everyone. such a great book about clearing our space and only filling it with things that inspire and uplift us.
Ann Voskamp: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Beautiful book about the healing power of gratitude.
Brene Brown: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
I love all of Brene Brown's books.
Rachel Naomi Remen: My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging
I wish I could gift this book to EveRyOnE!!! Beautiful, beautiful, life lessons from a counselor who works with those who have terminal illnesses.
Louise L. Hay: You Can Heal Your Life (Gift Edition)
Wonderful book about positive affirmations.
Julia Cameron: The Artist's Way
Ally Condie: Matched (Dystopian - Trilogy)
This book has joined These is My Words and Daughter of the Forest as my "books for life."
Juliet Marillier: Daughter of the Forest
I expect I will re-read this book at least once every year for the rest of my life. I hope to become a modern-day Sorcha (a master of all things herbs and healing).
Nancy Turner: These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.)
Practically perfect in every way.
"and the heavens wept with me that day" caitlin connolly
with a view out a window
my heart broken
through blurry eyes
asking for my attention
as they wept.
in the silence i heard
these are the tears
i have wept for you.
and i wept anew,
i was not alone.
do you weep for them?
the family i see from my window
the ones to bury their mother
do you weep for them?
our earth-bound time
i begin to ask.
when will you weep for me,
at the end.
when is my time?
holding moments in my hand
the whispers come
now is your time.
not to leave
but to live
with tear stains
and dirt stains
and heart strains.
how do i live?
what do i want?
what do You want?
all of you.
i need you
all of you.
to reach out hands
as i did
it will not matter
your time is finished.
it will only matter
live. . .
with clasped hands
and open hands
wet with tears.
i need you
"she became herself with years" by caitlin connolly
made of spirit
search for the right vessel.
dreamed through God,
for His world.
a message in need of a
not in spite of her
but because of them.
ah, it sighs
a gentle heart,
made soft by pain.
ah, it hopes
a humble heart
where i may reside.
the dream also sees
what the person may not
that she holds
that will give the dream
in words, or colors,
or perhaps in song.
the veil parts
rent with possibility
hands on head,
like a blessing,
transfers the dream,
hoping to be born.
felt in the mind
and gestated in the heart.
waiting. . .
to be birthed through hands and work.
the dream whispers to stilled hands.
the dreams whispers to reluctant hearts
the dream whispers over the voices that say
can't and don't and shouldn't and couldn't
the dream needs to be delivered,
and the deliver needs to feel
as the dream resides
the dream isn't birthed at once
like a child.
it is birthed
in fits and starts,
and smudged canvases.
as the dreams watches itself
become more clear
on paper and
can you see me yet?
the dream asks
as discarded papers pile
easels are reset.
i saw you,
the artist reassures
as she begins again.
the dream takes form,
the message more clear,
more beautiful than the dream had dreamed.
because of the hands and heart that birthed it.
it is finished.
and then delivered
to the world.
and it waits.
the girl in the gallery,
the girl with the book,
the dream hears
a hand held over a heart.
with a step back
as she and her
of the dream
there on the canvas that is no longer smudged
there with the words, no longer unclear.
to accept the dream
that has been waiting
to be birthed
and that dream
i choose you.
even though you are
i see you are
i choose to be
birthed through your hands.
the one at the gallery
and the one with the book,
that sounds like a whisper.
and see something like a glimpse.
skyler was waiting to play lego.com. i had promised him five more minutes. i had this thought nagging in my head for about a week about a name i needed to finish up to prepare for temple work. i knew it would take about fifteen minutes of dedicated time, so i finally sat down to do it.
skyler said, "i want to help you with temple work."
so he sat on my lap and i let him use the mouse to click around the records i needed.
he was so proud and happy.
"is this doing temple work?" he asked.
so we talked about the temple. he told me he would do my temple work when i died or maybe his kids would--he wasn't sure how busy he'd be. i let him know mine was already done.
when we added the name i had been thinking about, i told him that person (his 7th great scottish grandpa was probably dancing around in heaven).
he said something like, "he's not up in heaven, he's right here."
i nodded. "he probably is buddy. he probably is."
skyler said, "i don't know if i want to go to heaven--because it will be too much excitement when i get there--because everyone is so excited for this work i'm doing."
up until that point in the day i felt like i had been swimming upstream. there was a list of things i was trying to get done before we had a babysitter come that night and i just felt like i couldn't get anything finished. finally i just listened to the nagging voice and sat down. and all that anxiety and frustration lifted. i was where i needed to be. after, i was still able to accomplish the things i needed to. . .but maybe the most important thing i needed to accomplish was not just preparing that ancestor's name, but having skyler experience it with me.
february 14, 2014
i've decided to document the kairos moments in my day. for how long? i'm not sure. i've done the gratitude journal, i've done the week in a life of, i've done the gift project, and this idea has been simmering for a bit.
don't know what kairos is? read this brilliant post by glennon melton. it rocked my world (and a lot of other people's as well. . .).
the tricky thing about kairos. i don't know that it can, by its nature even be photographed. the moments are kind of sacred and fleeting. so, there might not be coordinating pictures.
sunday. we came home from tim's parents and dropped the kids off. we went to the neighborhood church to pick up tim's car (that he had forgot after church). so we pulled up into the garage at the same time. i turned and tim rolled down his window. say something was on the radio. he turned it up the volume and belted it out (lip synch style) from his smooth black car and i belted the duet back from my sweet minivan. at one point, he rolled up his window when the words talked about saying goodbye. i actually had a tear roll down my face, it's true. and i sung my heart out until he rolled it back down.
skyler came half way through our serenade and laughed his head off.
and then tim held my hand and we came inside. and tim pretended to be a judge on the voice and pick me for his team and i went screaming for him and jumped up and wrapped by legs around him and he pumped his fist in the air saying, "yes! yes!" because i had kind of been feeling sad that i would never picked on the voice, which is strange because i don't even sing.
and then bronwyn did some high kicks. and i did some. and i was kind of impressed with myself and tim said it was all that yoga. so then i started to show off and all the kids wanted to try. at one point tim reminded us all that we don't have blinds in our living room.
but we didn't care.
sunday family: 2012
these past few months have shaken me up (obviously, if you've been reading my blog:)).
made me think
and i already think too much.
but it has made me really thinkg how do i want to live my life. what do i want to do with my life? what pain and fear am i willing/ready to let go so i don't live a stunted life? what brave things am i willing to do? what are the essentials? what are the things that are most important?
it has also made me check in with my relationships. if there was anyone that i knew that were to die unexpectedly--how would i feel about my relationship with them. would i feel regret? i am really grateful that i felt good about my relationship with steve. there was actually a few issues that had come up a couple of months before he passed away. . .i was working through them on my end and was deciding how i wanted to handle them. i am so, so eternally grateful that i choose the way i did. another way could have gone down badly and i may forever regret it or have also had to work through intense feelings of regret and guilt on top of this grief. now is the time to work on those things. . .even if it is just on our end, even if the other person never knows. it has never hit me really how short life might be.
i feel like i haven't settled yet (these questions). things are still shaken up, like a snow globe. and i'm praying and looking up at the pieces of snow falling wondering where it will all settle. praying so hard. looking for purpose and meaning. and while things are shaken up--i feel like there are something things that might have become "unstuck" that i can now just get rid of.
one thing i've been thinking of lately is i feel like i don't know if i'm guiding our family from our center. it seems like there are so many other activities that are dictated by other people that have me kind of running around to meet other demands and that takes up a lot of energy (school, church, outside activities). but, we love and choose all these things. so, i'm trying to figure that out. i want to live from my center, make those things first and a priority and them add in the other things to enhance that. but, i'm not sure how to make that happen. i had over 25 texts yesterday and 8 phone calls. i think on an average day tim has over 100 texts and phone calls. i feel like my energy is "leaking" a bit to all these things. . .and some of it needs to be devoted to those things, but some i'm wondering if i can preseve or use in a different way. does that make sense?
maybe it's the principle of the balls again. all the balls that were in the air were shaken up in the delicate juggling dance when steven passed away and i'm wondering which ones need to stay up, or be picked up again. and most of them i picked up again and i'm wondering, as i am breathless juggling, if that was a wise idea. there are a quite a few new balls i picked up in the last year or so--i realized a year and a half ago i wasn't doing temple work, volunteering at the school, meditating, exercising, writing, in my current church calling, with three kids in school, and with kids in different activities. i feel like some were essentials to pick up--that made even the process of juggling possible--but they all do take more time and energy. and there are a few balls i've set down for awhile.
hmm. it's reminding me of this post about boxes and balance.
i feel like the boxes and snow are obscuring my vision a bit, as i wait for it all to settle. right now i'm still shaken.
challenge from the artist's way. 20 things you love to do and the last time you did them. . .i wrote this while we were at the park last week (i spent about 20 minutes in the car when some wind picked up).
1. horseback riding (too, too long)
3. photographing for fun
4. shooting hoops
5. hittind softbalss
6. yoga class
7. reading an awesome "brook book"
9. walking with a friend
11. writing poetry
12. making crepes
15. making apple cucumber juice
16. long baths
18. making banana bread/bread
19. posting food recipes
22. author signings
23. read aloud with kids
25. thrift store shopping
26. vision boarding
27. solstice parties
29. writing stories
31. cooking class/original nutrition group
32. whole-istic woman type class
after i finished my list i actually had a moment and realized how beautiful my life was and how many things i love doing i do include. other than horseback riding most of the activities i had done that week, that month, several even that day. there were a few that i had done in recent months.
i have lived in utah for 35 years. i have never ever been skiing or snowboarding.
the older kids went for their first time and were basically rockstars. so brave, so positive, and really pretty darn good.
i only cried once.
when my backside heals i will think about going again.
2) sent an email that i worried and prayed about for a week. and it all went okay. but even if it hadn't i had done a brave thing.
3) sent some writing off. i almost didn't. it was hard in coming and it took hours and it still didn't feel like it was quite at the "snick" stage, but i knew i would regret it if i didn't do it. i pushed through a big wall of fear worrying about what other people would think of me when i realized, "those people would never buy this book anyway." and what i wrote might benefit the people who would buy it.
4) worked through some other issues that i was blessed in the morning to feel like they had been removed from me. and then, i was open to receive inspiration in that very area.
5) went to a class that i had a tiniest bit of anxiety going to. . .but pushed through and it was great.
6) laugh all you want--but i finally returned a bunch of returns hanging around my house. i despise returns. i feel all weird and guilty that i am returning a big stack of things and the people give me disgusted faces that i couldn't repackage the rug in the too-tight plastic when i hand it over to them. done.
7) i made lots of other emails/phone calls that were out of my comfort zone. small, silly. but, sometimes those things plague me and have been super hard the last few years.
8) posting a lot of blog posts to a slightly wider audience.
9) temple trip (even if when i got there there was an hour wait--and i didn't have enough time before skyler got home from kindergarten). but, i had got there, which is often most of the battle.
doing these things opened up a lot of "space" for me. they had all been kind of nagging at me or weighing on me. i do think there is a lot of merit in the concept from donald miller of doing the thing you are scared of five times fast in a row. just get the jitters out and off, so that way i can really dig in and not spend my energy on the outcome or what people thing or what might happen--spend my energy on creating. whether that is writing or service or homemaking.
and luckily, my backside is well enough today to go tubing;).
"Evening Light on Timp" by Heather Graham
i think my great-aunt dora would have absolutely loved this picture. dora loved the mountain view at her window. aren't the colors gorgeous in this piece?
affirmations for creativity. one suggestion from the artit's way is to create affiramtions for yourself--and you know i'm all over that (previous post on affirmations here). many of these beautiful affirmations heather created and i tweaked them just a bit, with her permission. i will add more as i write them.
"I am creative and write brilliantly and sensitively. I'm full of amazing ideas that will bless and help others. I have a purpose and a mission to my work--Keep creating!"
"When I share I don't worry about what people think. I know that my work is my own voice and that it has a mission to perform and will bless and touch some of the peoples lives that need to see it."
"My house is beautiful and filled with cleanliness and order. I have time to accomplish all that I need to do each day. I finish the work that I do. I have faith hope and charity. I have energy and strength and hope. There is order around me. I have Clarity about my purpose as an artist. I'm able to get help accomplishing the work around the house. My work is beautiful. I am happy with the work that I do. My work has worth. I have value as a daughter of God. I am the daughter of the Creator and I'm also a creator. My work has worth and purpose. I have direction and understand what I need to do each day. I am able to keep my house clean and create. I am able to be organized. I can be an organized mother, wife, daughter and do all that I need to do in my callings and genealogies."
"My instructors support me and help me to learn. They help me to accomplish the things I need to do. My instructors help me to reach new heights and see new things. They are supportive and uplifting. Heavenly Father guides me to people I can learn from. Heavenly Father helps me to find people who help me to learn the things that will raise my skill level."
"I get out of the way and allow God to create through me. "
"I allow myself to feel the joy of creating imperfectly."
angel painting by j.kirk richards
"Your loss will also be a window into your old wounds, and like it or not, they are going to come forth. . . negative thoughts that stetch beyond the current loss. . . Where did these negative thoughts originate? The answer is that they originated in the past and weren't healed with love. "--Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Heart
i'm going to be honest.
this grief has been an emotional process.
i moved through some serious down days.
they scared me.
because i've been there before.
and if i had to choose between anxiety and depression,
i would choose neither--ha!--but i would take anxiety with open arms.
i felt i could move through it, if i knew it wouldn't last.
if this was temporary grief, not pushing me back, down into a dark place i hadn't felt for years.
i had a string of good days. . .five to be exact;).
and then some major anger came bubbling up--it almost felt like from no where.
tim gave me an amazing priesthood blessing, after some pretty intense emotions that ended with crying. it was amazing. we were both emotional during the blessing. the two things that stood out very strongly to me were this--the forces of good are always stronger than the forces of evil and that the family history work i am blessed to work on is more important than we can even imagine.
so, i was feeling better. working on the artist's way creative project with my cousin. swapping emails and art. and then ba-BAM! another crazy amount of anger came up. bless tim's heart;), he listened very carefully and patiently and calmly on the phone. texted me loving messages. and then just waited. later, in bed we laughed about it and he said, "i know just to wait and it will pass." 15 years of marriage people, he knows me better than i know me.
i was very thankful to read in the artist's way about anger. i think this is all related to unhealed wounds if you will. some things i haven't been willing to face or wanted to. about myself. but, i'm trying to stay open and not stuff everything away and quit. i'm a little like, "bring it on--all this stuff--while my heart is broken and open--let's get it out and move on with life, healed."
i read a brilliant book (she has a great TED talk) about the mind/body health connection with an amazing questionaire at the end. at the end she said something like, after you go through all these questions (assessing your emotional/mental/physical health) what if you aren't cured? then she answers, you may not be cured, but you will be healed. in other words, the disease may still be there--but you won't be carrying around all the negative energy. i felt so much peace as i read that--and it made so much sense to me.
(and as a side note i have learned that FLAX SEEDS and CHIA SEEDS are kind of a daily essential for my mental health).
i want to check in over the next three months and describe my experience with this 12 week artist's way creative challenge--and i'm sure i will, but it's a little more raw and personal than i ever imagined. i almost backed away and gave it all up (a few times). i almost did a lot of crazy things (one might have been thinking about burning all my rough drafts and notes on my story). the less crazy option was to box it all up and drive it to a friend's house. the other days i have created. poems. revisions. blog posts. journal entries. project outlines. i've kind of been all over the place. i hope at the end of twelve weeks that some serious healing can happen--through creating. sometimes healing can be scary--because we have to look at some things straight on. some of it is more scary than we can imagine and some of the things i have down the last couple of weeks have been so much LESS scary and what a relief to get them out of the way.
i attened an amazing parenting class a couple of years ago. the teacher talked less about how to parent our kids and more about how to deal with our own "stuff" so we could be better parents. she described a story told by an organization teacher at a byu conference. the professional organzier had been asked to help a woman. she went to the woman's house and the woman showed her her basement--the place where she threw anything down the stairs that she didn't know what to do with it. the basement was packed. the stairs were covered. from junk to dirty diapers. an awful mess. the organizer told the woman, go down every day and deal with 10 things. our parenting teacher compared that to going down in our "emotional basement"--through the very tool used in the artist's way "the morning pages." which, by the way, is what meditation i think is also great at. releiving some of that pressure from our subconcious, all the things we stuff in it every day.
although it is quite a process, i feel like i want to deal with it now, not at another even more difficult time of grief. when i know that we are in a good place, that i'm in a good place, if that makes sense.
onward and upward. forward march.