One of the tricks to unblocking your creativity in Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way is to take yourself out on an artist’s date at least weekly.  This is a practice that takes much courage and dedication but has benefits untold.  The goal is, of course, to help fill the well of your creativity so that you don’t run dry.

One of my recent artist’s dates didn’t start out as such.  It started with rsvp’ing to a friend’s open studio.  But our weekend got crammed with one event after another.  Even when the goings-on are fun, it is tiring to a family of six to coordinate such a circus!  I thought about not going to the studio, but I felt committed.  Deep inside, I really wanted to go; I just didn’t know if we could pull it off.

With a van full of kids and places to be, my husband waited in said van while I went inside – by myself – to look at the photographs and studio, to make my appearance as promised and to hopefully arrange for portraits of the kids.

I wasn’t expecting what I received.

When I closed the door behind me, I let go of the past.  I walked into the present, wide open to possibility.  Gorgeous, indescribable black and white portraits of people I know and don’t know lined the walls.  I visited with friends I treasure and don’t get to visit with nearly often enough.  A morning’s misunderstanding was cleared.  For the first time I realized that this was a treat for me.

I walked around into the studio, and instead of portraits, now I saw what the photographer entitled “Persistence.”  You’ll have to go to him for the story, but I think it speaks for itself.  The mostly floral images and the experimentation with technique and style whispered something to me I still don’t understand.  After a good fill of admiring, I sat and visited with this gifted photographer.

Again, this openness, this connection I wasn’t expecting.  A new friend, yes.  A fellow Scorpio and one appreciative of spirituality and the journey therein (you could tell from the books on the shelves).  As we spoke, an energy resonated from my heart/solar plexus (hard to be sure which), and about that time in our conversation he was saying something to the effect of how he is sensitive to the God within others, that he could sense it within me.

I didn’t ask for this; I didn’t expect it, nor the tears that swelled in my eyes.  I just came to arrange for some photos of my kids, photos taken by someone who could capture the soul of a person in portrait.  The photos will be taken and taken by someone who will recognize the God in my children; I got what I came for.  I also got an experience of Spirit, though.  I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people.  I am who I’m supposed to be, if even for a moment.  Perhaps that is Persistence, too. 

The best things in life come when you least expect it, when you’re not looking for them.  The truth is, of course, that they’re there all along.

* * *

what better way to express than in images, preceded by a quote that says it all . . .

Thank you.

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Friday for Love

freya.jpgFriday the 13th’s are special in my household, not in a negatively superstitious way, but because my husband and I were engaged on a Friday the 13th many years ago, got married on a 13th, and apparently in goddess traditions, it’s a very good day/number for fertility, marriage and sex (which might explain the four kiddos!).  Add to that the fact that tomorrow is Valentine’s day, and we have a whole weekend destined for Love.

May today be a day of love for you and your partner, a day full of gratitude for your family, and may your heart be open all weekend (and evermore) to the abundance of love both to give and to receive.

(Image is a depiction of goddess Freya.)
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Dare I Say “Weaned”?

lucile-baby-child-1520111-l.jpgIt’s been almost a week since I’ve last breastfed our youngest, who will on Saturday be two years old.  For some that seems like an eternity to breastfeed, yet some might ask why I quit now.

For my first child, breastfeeding was a lonely gig.  I really didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t know where to go for support.  It lasted for all of six months, most of which were spent pumping.  On our second round with breastfeeding, I knew I would do well, and it went like a charm.  It wasn’t until our third child that I actually went to La Leche League meetings, but from then on I was hooked — not to mention that Bradley instructors are ingrained with League philosophy!

In our local LLL group, I’ve made many friends and look forward to meeting more.  I’m not going away so quickly, even if my youngest is weaned.

Can it be true, though?  Back to League philosophy, you’re supposed to wean gradually and with love.  At first introduction of food other than breastmilk, the weaning process is started.  That started long ago, I suppose.  I went away on weekend trips, sans bebe, after she was over a year old, but every time I returned, she quickly assumed position.  (You know what I mean!)

Even now I think she would nurse if I let her, but my nipples are tired.  I feel psychologically ready to move on.  As our youngest and last child, though, I have a bittersweet farewell to the nursing relationship.  I already miss the prolactin.

One thing is certain.  Kids grow.  The time they spend as infants and toddlers is brief, no matter what it feels like when you’re in the thick of snot and slime and dirt and poo.  Fortunately what you remember most fondly are the sweet kisses and coos and laughter, the baby that molds into your arm, chest and abs, and the overwhelming feeling of unconditional love.  You sacrifice your body — breasts and all — for the nourishment and nurturing of this sweet soul.

There will be time to focus on our own body later.  Workouts make great mommy time-outs.  For now I still need to make time to hold the sweet young child as she weans herself from my lap.  Too soon will she be too big for me to hold so close.

(Photo by Raphael Goetter, from everystockphoto.com)

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