The Lessons of Moving......Part 1

I haven't written for quite awhile.  Honestly, I wasn't sure I had anything of value to say. Since moving to the mountains I have learned a lot about myself..........some of it has been good, some extremely unsettling but all of it is a continuing uncovering of who I am.  Below is a list in no particular order. 1.  I didn't realize just how burned out that I had become.  When one is in a race, the best that can be expected is to run as fast as you can, for as long as you can, hoping that the finish line will reveal itself.  Solid logic.......if your really running a race.  Otherwise, a recipe for adrenal fatigue, depression and emotional collapse.  Ok, so that's a little dramatic but you get my point.  My life had become moving from one job, one event, one obligation to another.  The fun and freedom had left my space and an over zealous sense of duty flooded it.  I took things that I loved and made them into chores.  And guess what?  It sucked.

2.  I left behind a full practice of clients that trusted and counted on me with the thinking that people would automatically do the same where I was moving to.  Looking back on this, I am astounded by my naivety.  How could I think that a practice that I had lovingly nourished and built for 23 years was just going to appear where I was going.  No one knew me, trusted me or believed in me.  I had to come face to face with my ego and tell it to take a hike.  I was at a new beginning not a continuation and if I was going to succeed I needed to reach out and show people that I could be trusted.

3.  I miss my people.  I miss that my people knew me......really, really knew me, and loved me for it.  What this has made me realize is that it's wise to treasure your community for the beauty that it brings to your life and to never be afraid to reach out.

4. Admitting my vulnerability can be terrifying and liberating.  I recently reached out to my community when I was ready to jump off of a 2' ledge..........I was scared to admit my need for comfort and yet, when I did, the response was more than I could have ever imagined.  Words of love, encouragement, strength and courage came my way and I was humbled.  I said a heart felt Thank you to each one of them and realized that no matter where I am, my people will always be with me.

5. If I sit in stillness and trust the flow, life has a way of working out.  That does not mean to just float along like a leaf in the wind.  For me, it's been a balance of working, striving, reaching..........and then letting go.

Moral of the story: Love your people, commit to your life and be kind. 

  

Wish You Were Here

It has been a little less than 90 days since my husband and I, along with our 3 dogs and 3 large UHaul's worth of stuff landed in the mountains of North Carolina. I return to Florida once a month for four days to maintain a long standing massage practice and am asked by almost everyone if I love my new home. Well.......here are the answers I have come up with so far.......1. Beginnings are full of magic, hope and lots of heavy lifting. How did I ever think that we didn't have too much stuff??? The velocity of wanting something to work helps for it to work - it just takes more time than I idealized. 2. Endings are painful, emotional, cleansing, cathartic and involve more heavy lifting. Damn! Some of the people I thought would be with me forever have just upped and disappeared........some I never thought would give me a second thought have been the support I didn't even know I needed. And the stuff.........cleaning out is a beautiful thing but requires fortitude and lots of upper body strength :) 3. The mountains are my muse and I am their bitch. No two ways about it - they are in my DNA and they own my heart. I, in turn, work diligently to honor them in my life and in my art. 4. I miss my tribe, my community and my girlfriends. Sometimes, there is no substitute for spending a few hours with a girlfriend that just "gets you". They don't need to fix you just the way you don't need to be fixed. To hear the words, "me, too!!", is so damn comforting that it makes me want to cry tears of joy knowing that I am connected with another person. 5. I'm a whole lotta of me for new people in my life to take in. A girlfriend called me "formidable" yesterday. I finally understand that it's not for me to decided whether I am too much or too little.........I just "am". 6. I am stronger than I thought. Putting one foot in front of the other can be an incredible challenge at times but moving through is the best way I know how to get to the other side and find progress and peace for my soul. 7. I am more vulnerable than I thought. Ohhhhhh, this is a tough one for me - Ms. Strong Enough. I am fragile and prone to self doubt and ridicule. It's nice to know that there are people out there who inspire me to be gentle with myself. The discovery that in all the change I have encountered the past few months - what matters most, to me, are the treasures of friendship. I bow In gratitude to you, my friends who make up my heart.

2015/01/img_0321.png

Catch and Release.......

I've been thinking a lot about what I have chosen to hold on to and what I have released back into the universe. The major theme of my life right now is knowing what to let go of and what to keep......possessions, relationships, places, dreams, realities. There are times when it is so damn easy to ease my grasp, allowing my finger tips to unfurl and open to the winds of change, and then there are times when I would rather feel the pain of the comfortable rather than let go into the vastness of the unknown. Sometimes, I wish for certainty, in my own life, with my relationships with others, with the universe.......and then I realize that always being certain can eliminate the joy of discovery, not just with life but with the creative process as well. We don't get to have it both ways. Letting go does not mean laying back and being blown around like a late autumn leaf. No sir - it means you let go of the conclusion - moving toward your desires and future with activities that align with your intentions and wishes. In the Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho, he writes, "when you really want something, the universe conspires to make it happen."

So, in the spirit of the new year, when I am to be letting go of the old and the universe of things that no longer serve me and my evolution as a person and an artist, I will honor the newness of life and the conclusion of my past. I am moving toward something greater than I have been and that is something to look forward to even if I don't know what it is.

Setting my intentions, my desires, and releasing them into the universe one breath, one step at a time.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/8dd/50390478/files/2015/01/img_0296.png

Leaning into Now

My husband and I, packing up our little band of misfits and all of our worldly possessions, moved exactly one month ago, to the mountains of North Carolina.  A dream of almost 20 years realized, we have gone about setting all the details of our lives in place. There have been many moments of chaos, anxiety, fear, worry, joy, apprehension, grief, sadness, excitement and calmness.  These "moments" never come with any order or warning.  They just appear from thin air, and when they have had a whirl, they tend to leave just as quickly.

I haven't wrote much about it because I don't like to be off balance let alone appear like a staggering drunk.  But here's the truth.......this simple decision of picking up and moving has had subtle and profound affects on me that I never even thought of.  The good, the bad and the sheerly different details don't really matter.  What does matter is the fact that I am creating more than I ever have - even through the confusion of stability and emotional centeredness.  I am fragile, vulnerable and unbalanced at times, and yet with that melee' has come incredible moments of inspiration and creativity.  Go figure........

I stand in this transition realizing more and more what very little we actually have control over. As I do with clay, I must let go of holding on so tightly, to the old, the comfortable, the familiar and start to embrace the next chapter of my life.  May it be beautiful........IMG_4585

The Exercise of Life

I have issues.....most of us do. Keb Mo, a masterful blues artist sings, " I got a suitcase, I take it wherever I go". Well, packed in my little red sports car of a suitcase is periodical dances with depression. I inherited the ability to visit the darkness from my Dad. He was, for the most part, unable to find his way out. I watched him as well as other people close to me suffer from this and it hurts to see what it does to their light.We all have are own way of handling our emotional dance partner. My own brand of medicine is daily encounters with exercise and creativity. Regular bouts of both soften the hardness and bring light to my life. When I run, I tend to let my mind wander around the universe. During one of these runs I had a revelation and it was simply this....I am loved. Now, I'm not talking about a religious deity sort of love, although that's pretty incredible, too. No, I mean I actually realized just how much love flows towards me. Love from my friends, family, clients, dogs and yes, dare I say, even clay. It was such a bitch slap sort of cognition coupled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I actually started crying, sobbing really, right there in the middle of the street with my dog Daisy looking up at me like I was full of crazy. Now, the admittance of my depression and the realization of being loved may seem disjointed but hear me out. If I can focus and draw upon the fact that I am loved whether by a two legged animal, a person or a seemingly benign product such as clay during these somewhat dark periods then what happens next is indisputable. This simple act of changing the direction of my thoughts instantly makes the heaviness subside. Darkness cannot withstand the light of one candle. And there's more! Creatives know that when we let go of trying to control the outcome of our creation, Magic and life have a chance to show up. In a beautifully weird sort of way, being creative on a regular basis brings forth more creativity and more creativity keeps the boogeyman away and then the whole Love thing shows up and before you know it ....You ARE Love. I just love it when Life shows up and teaches us how to see the light........

IMG_0283.JPG

Keeping My Word

As a long practicing Massage Therapist, whenever a client wouldn't schedule after their appointment I would always say, "I am here whenever you need me." And I meant it.  Fast forward 22 years, and I am now standing on the precipice of my own move and evolution as a person, a therapist, an artist.  I am the person who isn't rescheduling........... In a very vulnerable way, I have gone through the emotional tumult of feeling as though I'm not keeping my word.  I have always been a loyal kind of girl; once I call someone my friend they are my friend. Period.  As a lot of us do, I never thought things would change.  I thought that I would always be here for my clients and I could be, at times, the one stable place that they could come to to get out of the chaos of daily life.  And then............things change, life happens and we either recognize it, readjust our sails and lean into it or we resist it and allow the friction to envelop us.

Clay has taught me that, as in life, there are more things in motion than I am aware of.  I may have a "fixed" idea of how I want a piece to turn out and honestly, that just sets me up for either disappointment or revelation, and it's all about how I view it.  With our impending move to the mountains of Western North Carolina all of the seats of the emotional roller coaster are available to me.  It's my choice which one I sit in.  Should I sit in the front seat leaning into the wind, the change and the excitement?  Or do I sit in the back with a look of abject terror strewn across my face, hoping and praying the bird that just flew by doesn't crap in my face? The position I choose changes on a daily basis, sometimes hourly.  But, in a beautiful, messy, sort of way, that's what the freedom to choose is all about.  Our emotional "being-ness" isn't supposed to be a final destination, it's a journey.

As I say Goodbye to all the clients and friends that I have made over the past few decades, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will STILL be there whenever they need me.  In this chapter, it may be a phone call, a thought, a wish of light moving toward them, but I will hold them in my heart wherever change takes us all. And I know, just as the sun rises tomorrow, they will be there for me.

IMG_1184