The Question of Balance Has Been on My Mind Lately

The Question of Balance Has Been on My Mind Lately

The question of balance has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Spring is here, and with it, I’m wondering how I’ll balance all I wish to do.

With spring and warmer temps on the way I’m yearning to be outside more, spend time with friends, and yet, still wanting to pursue working on workshops I’m planning and facilitating, along with the many ideas for future workshops I have waiting in the tunnel for exploration. I’ve also immersed myself in a few classes the last couple of weeks to fine tune my facilitating skills. How do I do all of this along with all the other basic functions of life?

While in the planning stages of the next workshop I’ll be offering in my home studio (Animal Wisdom and SoulCollage®) with my friend and colleague, Rachel, this question of trying to balance it all came up for both of us. No matter one’s age, as she is twenty years younger than me, it seems that we are always trying to achieve some sort of balance – and maybe it’s just because I’m a woman, but this question of balance seems to be more of a challenge with women.

Just thinking about it as I write this I feel a shift happening of my mind racing and even feeling a little light-headed and anxious. It’s times like this that I also think about all the reading I’ve been doing about the indigenous culture and how their life ebbed and flowed more in balance like nature, following the energy of the moon, and flowing with more ease as nature does.

We’ve been so conditioned as a society to strive for the top, whatever the top is, and achieve material things, and to keep going at a pace that isn’t really possible to keep up with. And then when we try to slow down it can feel like we want to jump out of our skin!…and as if we aren’t doing enough or being enough!

I know that feeling having taken a two month sabbatical after feeling so burnt out in 2013. Initially that is what it felt like. It was so uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to do with myself. But after two weeks, that uneasy, jittery, feeling began to subside. And so I think about that now as I’m questioning this new sense of a shift again within myself as the season changes. And Lord, if that word trust does not come up again as I give thought to all of this.

And I’m reminded of what my friend and I talked about and how I shared that my energy and production level is so much higher in terms of fulling my works mission from mid-fall through the winter months. When I look back over the past six months I’ve accomplished so much!

This need to find more balance of work and play, instead of all work, is knocking at my door as spring slowly makes its way to Wisconsin. And this is perhaps the lesson of what balance looks like for me instead of losing myself in thinking how our culture defines it. How important it is that we each take the time to tune into our own energy patterns and work with them, instead of comparing ourselves others.

And this is why I love writing as I just worked this question of balance all out on the page and I feel so much better. Hope it was beneficial for you, too!

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Be the Light and Come Fly with Me

Be the Light and Come Fly with Me
Butterfly “In The Moment” Energy Painting by Julia Watkins

“You are in transformation. It’s a beautiful place to be.” These are the words I heard from a dear woman who is part of a women’s mastermind circle I’m part of that just began in January of this year.

We meet once a month to support each other in our celebrations, guide us in our challenges, and speak our truth in order to not only move forward in our own individual lives, but to hopefully be the example that shining our light can positively affect those around us.

On this, International Women’s Day, I’m riding on a cloud of gratitude to have been with these five amazing women today and in this time of great change.

For three years I was in transition, which I’d ultimately come to realize was a gift and I write about in my latest book, Wisdom Found in the Pause – Joie’s Gift.

From that transition I realized I was being called to offer creative workshops for women to guide them through their own transitions and transformations, and help them step more fully into their being. It is something I’ve become very passionate about.

But the road hasn’t always been easy because it meant I had to let go of what was in order to accept the call. I had to let go of an identity I had tied myself so closely to, and really, how so many others identified me with as well. That role of sharing the message that dogs with disabilities can live a quality life.

That will always be a part of me. But underneath my work with Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog, my little dachshund in a wheelchair, that little light of mine was gaining new insights.  I was growing stronger in my confidence and my belief’s as a woman. 

As one of the women today talked about her own transformations over the years, it is her horses that brought her to the awakened place she is today. Tears sprung to my eyes as for me, it’s been my dogs. I wouldn’t be who I am today without opening to the lessons they were teaching me.

And while those lessons remain embedded in my heart, and I’ll always have room in my heart to love dogs, I’ve felt called to expand on who I am, (besides someone who loves animals deeply) and share that with others.

So my friend was right, I’m in transformation. Frankie and Joie (as well as my other dogs) gave me the courage to begin to test my wings to see what I was made of. And now I stand on my own.

It’s a place I want to be. But it also means I have to step out in other ways in order to continue to transform and do the work I wish to do, which is facilitating workshops for women – to be a guide in helping others to tap into their intuition, through creativity and connecting with nature and animals – and my belief that when we take more time to pause and listen to our soul, it will ultimately help us to live more meaningful lives.

Being in transition came the understanding of the importance of letting go and accepting. Now being in this stage of transformation means spreading my wings more fully and shining that light that is being called to shine in a new way.

I’m not alone. This I know. Women all around the world are feeling what they sometimes can’t put words to – but I believe it is that little light within you that wants more than anything to shine in your own brilliant way.

So on this International Women’s Day I celebrate each of you and say from the depths of my heart, Let that Beautiful Light of Yours Shine!

Strengthen your intuition through creativity to step more fully into your true essence. Self-paced, video course “Connect with Your True Essence through SoulCollage®.”  I’m here to support you with an optional private Facebook group with this course. Click here to learn more.

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Search for Yourself, by Yourself

Search for Yourself, by Yourself

Do not allow others to make your paths for you. It is your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Accept yourself and your actions. Own your thoughts. Speak up when wrong, and apologize. Know your path at all times. To do this you must know yourself inside and out, accept your gifts as well as your shortcomings, and grow each day with honesty, integrity, compassion, faith, and brotherhood.  ~Terri Jean

I love this quote though may I add, “sisterhood”  to this as well. The quote is from 365 Days of Walking the Red Road – The Native American Path to Leading a Spiritual Life Every Day.

I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the Native American culture. The more I learn and understand, the more my heart breaks for what I feel is such a disservice we did to the Native American’s in our history. How we thought our way was better. How that caused great distress and harm to the Native American’s and to the earth and to our ourselves.

Their connection to the earth, plants, animals,  sky, and the Creator, and the wisdom this offers is something I feel more drawn to everyday of my life. How their connection to all living things is what they instill in their everyday practices and rituals to guide their lives. 

Author Kent Nerburn quotes Ohiyesa, a great Dakota teacher and thinker in his book, Voices in the Stones – Life Lessons from the Native Way, “Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone.”

He goes on to write, “There is no need to justify the purity or sufficiency of your spiritual convictions, no need to defend them through theology or philosophy or argumentation. All that is necessary is that you acknowledge the Great Mystery that is behind everything and present in everything.”

Having read this last night and then the quote from Terri Jean about walking your own road alone this morning, accepting your gifts and your shortcomings, and understanding that the road is yours alone to travel really hit home for me today.

We all take wrong turns in life. I was reminded of that today having just let go of something I thought I wanted to pursue and realizing I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. I’d lost my way of who I was.

What I’m grateful for is that I found myself back to what matters most to me in a relatively short period of time and didn’t spend too much time traveling down what I feel was the wrong road for me.

It was by being in silence and having an honest conversation with myself that I realized an opportunity I was looking to follow wasn’t coming from my heart. When I took the time to tune back into who I authentically I am it became clear that the intention and committment I made to pursue teaching workshops and SoulCollage® workshops is exactly where I want to be.

While the other road I took for a very short time may have afforded me the opportunity to gain more financially, it didn’t speak to my soul of how I want to continue making a difference where I can.

As I read the teachings of the Dakota teacher in Nerburn’s book I was reminded that being open to the Great Mystery, having faith, and trusting the path ahead when walked with integrity and from the compassion in my heart is the right road for me to walk….

And my spirit soars for having found my way back to myself, by myself.


Space still available for Talking Sticks Workshop at Joyful Pause Studio, this Saturday, March 4th, 10am-12:30pm.

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