(part of a gypsy flag I made for a friend)

The past few days, everytime I think I want to check in here, I check out.  My mind is so full at the moment.  I spent yesterday afternoon getting a massage, a sweet much needed gift from a soul sister.  Then later last night I read alot and had some deep soul stirrings arise, which kept me spinning until I passed out in bed.  I woke up today with a migraine, no surprise there, but it kept me on the low quiet side of life all day.  As much as it has not been fun having a headache all day, it was kind of nice to check out once again and read some more.  My mind and soul are swirling about, tangling themselves up in a magical dance that I dont recognize, but I am entranced by.  

Side not, I blogged earlier today on The Bohemian Collective.

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Self Love & Life Lessons >>>

 Today is day 11 of our 30 day yoga (self love) challenge.  So many of us have grown so fond of our group, we have decided to keep it alive way beyond 30 days.  Maybe like, forever?  It has been such an encouraging and engaging group of women.  We are coming off of the high of the first week and are all finding it a bit challenging to keep up each day.  I myself have for sure.  I have already had 2 days where I did not do any yoga at all.  Im completely okay with that, and recognize each day as a day to start over.  Its a good reminder to parallel into life as well.  

Ive been feeling a bit uneasy inside myself lately.  As I am learning more and more of my heart and mind, I find more and more pockets that are filled with ego as opposed to love.  (When I speak of ego, I do not mean the typical idea of ego or being egotistical)  More so of allowing things like fear, certain judgements of others, emphasis on striving to be parts of my life.  All qualities that most of us live with on a day to day basis without even thinking about it.  But when I sit back and actually listen and watch, I see and hear these things.  These ways I want to learn to live without in my life.  Old habits Id like to break as I transition into a deeper level of awareness.  It is so easy to feel wronged by someone, and then to pass judgement on them for making you feel bad.  It is so easy to allow fear to keep us from reaching out to someone or to do something that could ultimately improve ourselves or others around us.  It is so easy to constantly strive to outdo yourself, and to prove what?  Im writing this more for myself, but maybe you will find similarities in your own heart if you are honest with yourself.  We all are afterall, human.  Sometimes we have to fumble around in the darkness long enough to see the light.  

Back to the self love... here are a few pics from this week showing a few things I did for myself.  I stuck my hands in the dirt, which felt so good.  I made yummy food and have drank several mugs of lemon water.  I hooped and tried to take photos at the same time!  (now i need to try that with my yoga). 

 Okay, I think Im not done unloading.  My heart just feels heavy.  Mostly for reasons I wont talk about on my blog.  My heart is with my grandfather in the hospital, with friends, with feeling the void of my parents.  Times like these I tend to retreat into my little crab shell... So luckily my bestie is taking me out tonite.  Im okay, no need to worry... Sometimes it just feels good writing it out.  Sending it off into the universe.  This is life.  The pleasant and the unpleasant.


Recalling my Journey >>>

By candlelight, I sit here.  Ready to check in a bit.  This past week or so has felt full of Balance.  Not in the way you think when you hear the word balance.  But the actual meaning of balance.  The highs and lows.  Balance is one of my personal words for this year.  Or this time in my life, whether that lasts a year or not.  The simple pure understanding that this world is ruled by balanced.  Moon and Sun.  Water and Earth.  Life and Death.  Man and Woman.  Love and Hate.  And the list goes on and on.  Without the other, we would not know one.  (I know Im not stating anything new here, nor am I trying to, just my own little pondering).  Really understanding the need and the requirements for the parts of life that are a bit harder to handle.  Like death, and hurt.  And knowing these are things we have to fully accept in order to fully accept life.  I have been going within alot more lately, allowing myself to walk through these woods.  I find myself scared at times, and even stop and turn around, and realize Im not ready to go there yet.  The process in which we heal is so different for everyone.  There is not a right or wrong way, or no time constraints.  I feel like over the course of the past four years since I lost my mom (tomorrow is actually exactly 4 years)... I have slowly transitioned into new beings.  Or I guess you could say, different stages of awareness within myself.  The first year, I went crazy.  I thought I knew everything, I was wild, rebellious and immoral.  I betrayed people I loved in a powerful attempt to find myself, who was 'I' without my mom???  Like a hurricane, I wrecked alot that was in my path.  I betrayed my own trust within myself.  Then I was betrayed by others in a way that really made me take a step back and look at who I had become.  I spent the next year in anger.  Anger at myself, and complete mistrust of people around me.  I realized exactly who I did not want to be, and what I did not want to allow in my life any longer.  Then after a long time that trust was reunited.  Healed through a learning process that me and those close to me had to learn together.  The biggest problem was that I went from being too open and wild, to retreating into my little crab shell, and I lost a sense of freedom within myself.  I spent so long in fear of others actions that I didnt want to do anything or go anywhere.  I was terrified within myself.  Then I began to create.  Ive always made stuff, but I decided to take it to the next level and make it my real business.  The fire was fueled and I began to feel a new sense of purpose in life.  And I realized I could heal myself in ways about my mom through my creations.  My mom was the one person who just thrived on seeing me create.  I would show her everything the very next day when I made a new painting or photograph.  So I used this image in my mind and kept her at the heart of everything I made.  It has helped me tremendously to deal with the pain of her loss and to keep her alive daily in my heart.  And to follow in her footsteps by living the same type of life she lived and to support my family with it.  I learned responsibility through my work as well.  I learned independence too.  I learned that I was the only person I could rely on to make it work.  Making a living at art is not a matter of a lucky break, its a product of alot of hard work and dedication.  I spent that year finding who I was as an artist.  I liked doing so many things it was hard to pin down what direction I really wanted to go with my focus.  And throughout that year, I had alot of lessons in truly letting go.  In more ways then one.  This past year has been an abundance of the best and worst times.  From reaching the next phase of my life of home ownership, the first thing that really felt like James and I accomplished something huge together and can share in daily.  To losing my daddy.  The friendship that we formed over the past few years since my mom was gone was awesome.  We confided in each other and just really became friends.  We shared our hearts.  And no matter what I did, I realized I could never fill the void that my mom left behind.  She was his soulmate.  His lifeline.  And he felt he needed to go home.  A choice that will forever haunt me, and one that has opened my eyes even more to the delicate ways of this world.  It has taught me the importance of community (being surrounded by people who have my highest interest at heart).  It has taught me to not be afraid of opening up and being vulnerable (even though that brings in people with very cold hearts at times, who try to bully me for being who I am).  It has taught me more about impermanence which makes me a better friend and wife.  I think it will continue to teach me new things throughout my entire life.  I am just now allowing myself to face my fears, and to know that I am who I am, and that is all I need to be.  Im finally in a place in my heart where I am not as easily shaken by people with a vengeful or hateful heart.  And I am deeply learning the things I want to further embrace in this world - especially in my healing.  Im on a very personal journey of the heart.  I dont know where the road will lead, but I will keep walking into the unknown anyway.  I am a child traveler and a year from now, Ill be able to add to this story.  

I am just like any of you reading this.  We are all in this together.  This life.  All on different paths.  All in different timing.  Embrace each other right where you and those around you are. And if you find yourself on a path you are not wanting to be on, search within yourself to find out how to steer your boat in the direction you want it to go.  You are the captain of your life.  And know that things take time.  Healing does not happen overnight.  But it does require you to take the first step.


Cosmic Shifts >>>

*this photo was taken for a shoot I did for Softspoken that has not been fully released yet*

Tomorrow marks the day I will be putting my shops on vacation for two weeks.  For those of you who know me, you know this is a big deal for me.  Ive never really put my work aside for any given amount of time.  I kind of live and breath my work at all times.  Even when Im not working, Im thinking about it.  Okay, maybe I should not call it work, b/c for the most part, it doesnt feel like work.  And it all intertwines, the actual creating, the advertising, the photographing, the emailing, the packaging, the social networking, the errand running, the supply ordering... All of it.  But none of it really feels like work b/c for the most part I enjoy it all.  Okay, except for the supply ordering, I could do without that.  But this holiday season after the wonderful opportunity of being one of etsy's featured sellers, it has been a bit overwhelming.  It seems all my work has become is packaging.  I spend most of my day everyday making the orders for the day and packaging.  No time to make anything new or hardly daydream about making anything new.  I also have not even had a chance to begin to get caught up on tons of restocks for Ruche. And in between it all, I have some big things weighing on my heart as of late.  So Im really looking forward to this time I am taking for myself to explore these things.

Ive been feeling led lately.  Led in directions of healing, of finding news ways of living.  I keep creating connections with lovely ladies who exude love and healing power through their hearts.  I keep landing on websites and blogs that remind me of the deeper places in my heart, places I tend to forget about b/c I spend so much time being overwhelmed in my 'work' life.  Im seeking balance.  Im realizing I need to spend more time for myself and the things I truly love outside of work.  I need to find more time to explore hobby like interests, and take better care of my body, inside and out.  Find simpler ways of doing things throughout my day so that I can concentrate more on these things.  I feel like my heart is calling me to cultivate my life in a preparation for a new amazing chapter down the road.  And a big part of that calling is to slow down.  To learn to be with myself outside of creating.  Besides my huge passion for creating things, I daydream alot about other things that I never allow myself the time to do...

I have made a little list for reference, and I thought Id share it here as a sort of accountability.  These are things that make my heart swoon when I think of them, and always seem to make an excuse for why I cant complete them each day... I tend to do them for a little while, and then fall off with it...

cook homeade healthy meals for dinner
cook more things from scratch
read more books
write poetry
write handwritten letters
sing and record
learn to play the banjo
collage art - for myself
artsy photoshoots - just for fun
connect deeper with friends
have friends over to my house
hula hoop
long walks
bike rides
regular recycling

These all seem easy enough, but it is so easy for me to waste away my extra time.  Alot of it is honestly spent online, which is one thing I need to let go of a bit.  Not my blog, but social networks.  At least really limit my time doing those things.  Or you know, browsing cute clothes online :)  The time I do spend online, I would love to use connecting deeper with the people who are helping me on my path of healing.  Im already learning how to let go of those who no longer bring goodness into my life.  Loss is always painful, but Im allowing it to not hurt me anymore.  

I will still be posting like usual, about all of the things I always do, but I may also be writing alot more about this process, and maybe even sharing my progress with the list above.  I know to alot of people, the list above may seem like all extra curricular activities that no one has time for in this busy world, but these are all things I feel passionate about, and want to slowly add them into my life so they are so second nature I dont have to schedule time for them.  I want them all to just be little parts of my daily life.  And I dont want to wake up one day and realize all Ive done in this life is create alot of work for myself.  When I have children, these are the kinds of things I want to share and do with them.  

Wow.  Sometimes I think a bit too much, eh? 

So, Im very ready for this little chunk of time Im setting aside for myself.  Ive already thought of a ton of things to fill up my time with... but I think Im going to let them all go, and go day by day.  I need this for myself.  It will be a fresh new start to a new amazing year.  From what I am learning, this new year is going to be full of changes within myself.  Cosmic shifts are happening in my soul, once again.  Propelled once again by death, and will hopefully be transformed into a more deeper sense of life.