Connecting with Artists, the Earth, and Something Bigger Than Myself

wearable earth jewelryWearable Earth Jewelry by artist, Kathleen Nohe

I love supporting artists. My heart just soars when I get the opportunity to do so. Maybe being a writer and others supporting me reading my work, and purchasing my books, might have something to do with it—I know how our hearts and souls go into our work. And I know how vulnerable that can be to put ourselves “out there.”

But it is something bigger for me too. Recently I saw a stone necklace that an artist, Maria Wulf was featuring on her site for another artist, Kathleen Nohe of Wearable Earth Jewelry – that alone I think, is so cool how so many artists support each other in this way.

I knew I had to have one of these necklaces. The fact that she uses different stones that are connected with different energies was intriguing to me. The longer I am alive, the more and more I want to connect with nature, the earth and animals as often as possible.

Having a custom made necklace by Kathleen (Hi Kathleen!) was something that called out to me. So I contacted her through her Etsy shop and told her what colors I’d like.

I was so thrilled my necklace arrived today (with a set of matching earrings!). I had no idea what energy this stone represented, but got goosebumps when I read Kathleen’s note she included:  “The stone you picked is Sodalite – it’s energy properties are to help unite logic with intuition.” Oh my gosh, that is me right now – working on more of my intuition and following it’s guidance. It couldn’t be more perfect.

To top it off, I just “happened” to be wearing the beautiful knit vest today, my dear friend Victoria, made for me – notice the colors? Could they match any better to my necklace?  I don’t know about you, but when synchronicity like this happens, my whole insides light up. Talk about feeling the energy!

The other part I love is that Kathleen took the time to include a personal note. We had connected via email when I ordered the necklace and also found out how we both love special needs animals, which was so cool. But she also said in her note that she feels like she made a new friend. I feel the same way and am grateful.

Our world so big in many ways, but yet when connections like these are made, you can’t help but just know there is something way bigger at work here. Way bigger.

A Writer’s Life is Not Always Sweet

IMG_2239Rainbow Tree artwork done by my friend, Shannon

I think there is sometimes this misconception that writers have it easy. They live happily in their little quiet world, and words just flow out of them, making their way out into the world, and having a positive impact.

I can say this as I’ve found myself, at times, envious of the life of other writers as I perceive them to be in my own mind—that their life is gloriously beautiful and they never struggle to write.

But I’ve realized something big for me lately. When I’m in the flow of writing, my life feels incredibly delicious. It is where I am right now, and the sweetness of this place is somewhere I wish I could live forever.

I can hardly wait to jump out of bed and get to my keyboard lately. Words flying around in my head, waiting to be spilled out through the end of my fingers. They come so fast, I don’t know how I will catch them all.

In fact, as I brushed my teeth this morning, this post was doing laps around my brain. I knew what I wanted to write about in my journal today. I thought about abandoning brushing my teeth – but luckily my toothbrush won the battle.

But a writers life is not always that sweet. I’ve really taken notice lately the ease of how I’ve been able to write lately. I can’t get enough. It fills me up and makes me feel so alive.

But just last summer I abandoned the book I was working on and I did plenty of beating myself up inside about that. But the lesson I see clearly now is that I was forcing it. I also didn’t have the strength for it as my energy was directed in another avenue giving of my time and myself to help a friend.

The outcome of that didn’t end well. It felt like a death to me. I’ve been working through that. And each day I understand more and more why I had to go through what I did. I gave a huge part of my own sense of self away.

You know how hard that is to say that? Me, who is always encouraging others to take care of themselves first? I didn’t heed my own advice. But I also know the time and energy I spent in helping this friend was something I did from the very deepest part of my heart. I’d never change that.

And I’ve come out stronger on the other end. I’m making my way back to me — that inner self who loves to let her light shine. Because when I do, I am truly in the heart of who I am. My life flows and isn’t forced.

This has led me also to a better understanding of what “trust the process” means. This phrase was used often when I took my training to become a SoulCollage Facilitator this past November. Creator of this process, Seena Frost says, “SoulCollage® reminds us in many different ways to trust that everything is happening exactly as it should.”

Isn’t this what life is all about? And this is what I’m really “getting” as someone who loves to write, but isn’t always in the sweet flow of it, and then find myself scratching my head wondering why I can’t always write even though I love it. This. is. normal. I am normal, or whatever normal means. Because in reality I really don’t want to be normal. I want to be me!

It isn’t always going to be easy. How can it? If it was, how would we move to deeper depths to share more the view of our inner world and how we see the world around us? How would we grow?

So I feel like a butterfly lately, awakening from yet another cocoon, excited to spread my newly improved wings.

A writers life, just like life, isn’t always so sweet — but when we can find the blessings in looking back, then, I think, that is what makes life all the more sweeter.

And what a wonderful reminder to take in this lesson, store it in a safe place, and call upon it once again, when we come to a place where we must be patient, and trust the process to unfold yet again.

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that I was interviewed by Nutschell of “The Writing Nut” blog (and yes, that really is her name!) I was her featured writer for her Wednesday Writers Workspace. Take a peek if you wish! It was a fun interview.

Is this When My Love Affair with Animals Began?

barb and kitty eI don’t remember much from being a little girl. Well, yes, bits and parts, it’s details I don’t remember like so many others seem to. This has always bothered me because John can remember so much of his childhood – even when he was 2-years old.

The other day, my mom gave me this photo of me as a little girl with our cat Tiger. I love to see photos like this trying to remember details. What was going through my head at that age? Is this when my love for animals began?

But the cards were against me and my love of animals, when I was diagnosed with asthma. One of the biggest culprits to bring on my attacks was animal dander — especially from cats. It seemed such a cruel trick for someone like myself who loves animals.

As a child, I remember we had to find a new home for our poodle, Pixie. Turning blue and freaking my mom out all the time was taking it’s toll I suppose. I say that lightly, but if I could get in my head at that age, I’d likely have taken not breathing well over having a pet.

That is how it would play out when I got married and had a home of my own. I wanted a cat so bad. I was willing to deal with the “inconvenience” of my lungs not being able to take in air very well.

To some, I know that sounds odd. But being around animals is what makes my heart sing. It never seemed fair that I had to deal with this health challenge when I love animals so much.

For many years, John and I had cats. Jezabelle, Conway, Tigger, Sally, Tucker and Dani. Not all at one time of course, but three at one time.

It really wasn’t until the last one, Dani, passed away quite a few years ago that we decided no more cats. It would also be a few months later that I realized how my breathing changed for the better.

Having dogs, luckily, are a different story as their dander does not bother me nearly as much. So I guess this is the compromise – dogs and happy lungs. I can live with that.

But, oh, if I had my way, I’d have a whole farm of animals to tend to. Maybe in my next life. And please, dear universe, grant me wonderful lungs then too.