move forward, live fully, breathe deeply....

there are so many areas in our lives in which we can get stuck...drowning in things, worry, anxiety. Here is my journey to live simply, with the fantastic freedom of 'less is more' as my mantra.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On Criticism.....

What if someone you trusted was brave enough to tell you the truth as they saw it...about you. about something that they think is troublesome? that may be hurting you? or them? or both?

I have always treasured the friends that have dared to tell me the truth.  I don't always agree with what they say, but if they are honest and frank with me, I honor and love that there is sharing.

Sometimes, I can be objective and look at words.  If it is something that I can change to make myself a better me, I usually do.  If it is a gentling of my delivery...because sometimes words are delivered more harshly than I would like when I am feeling poorly, or exhausted...then I can regroup and try again.

Sometimes, unfortunately, I react like a scared little girl...even though I'm in my early 50's, when what is presented feels damning....sometimes I  pout...anger blinding me for a little while...
Sometimes, I hide myself away, buffering myself from pain and self-deprecation.  From inadequacy and judgement.

Given a little time...and introspection...I can usually figure out if it is something which I can accept to help me be a better me...or if it is something that I can agree to disagree on...though sometimes it's a bit harder to leave things behind...(like the trash you see blowing along the roadside)...if it feels like it is a slap instead of a hug (said with malice instead of love...).

I found this poem which sums up how I feel about criticism and how it is delivered...Something that I will try to read daily, so that even in the midst of fatigue I can remember to always, always:

Speak Gently

Speak gently! -- It is better far
To rule by love, than fear --
Speak gently -- let not harsh words mar
The good we might do here!

Speak gently! -- Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind;
And gently Friendship's accents flow;
Affection's voice is kind.

Speak gently to the little child!
Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild: --
It may not long remain.

Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear --
Pass through this life as best they may,
'T is full of anxious care!

Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the care-worn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let such in peace depart!

Speak gently, kindly, to the poor;
Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word!

Speak gently to the erring -- know,
They may have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
Oh, win them back again!

Speak gently! -- He who gave his life
To bend man's stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife,
Said to them, 'Peace, be still.'

Speak gently! -- 't is a little thing
Dropped in the heart's deep well;
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.

David Bates

So let me remember to 
Speak gently.  
Love much. 
 Be kind.  

....and to do All things with love...
Hoping you have gentleness in your day,


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Courage, little bird...

      Sitting, squirming, looking around
I see twigs and walls,
  feathers and tufts of whatnot
         enclosing me -- hiding all that 
I am.

Growing daily into my feathered self
Trying to climb out of the constraints
That hold me in old patterns
I cannot unfold my wings fully...

   Wiggling about ...oh! I have feet!!
Still unable to pull myself to the rim..the edge.
To join the world without
Yearning to fly...

 Finally!  Freedom is almost mine!
Sitting, squirming, looking around.
How do I get to that distant goal?

Leap? Fall? Fly? Fail? Soar?

Twigs and walls, feathers and tufts abound
Enclosure pulling me back
Into patterns and nests surrounded by fear...
Or do I leap into the unknown?


Friday, May 11, 2012

Little Gifts...

 There are so many butterflies, and moths, and general flying insects outside that every time I open the front door there is a greeting of whirlwind fluttering wings...It can be overwhelming! I don't want the moths inside--hiding in the drapes or frantically beating their wings against a light bulb turned on. Somehow, I get as many as possible shoo-ed outside...and the sunlight reveals to me little gifts if I slow down enough to notice them.
a half-dead bush, but the prettiest butterfly finds what it needs..
All about my yard there are dead trees....leftovers from ice storms and droughts in the past 5 years.  I used to joke about them, talking about my "Camp-Dead-Tree-on-the-Fort"...thought that I would make a yearly party celebrating spring or summer around them...(I am one for great ideas, not always making them come to fruition!) somehow, I let life get in the way...really, I let myself get in the way...
overgrown, dead tree...not so pretty to look at!
 I forgot to look for all of the little gifts which surround me and pop up every day.
 Whether or not I feel well.  
Whether or not I am fighting depression.  
Whether or not I am thankful.  
Always there.  
 All I have to do is claim the gift.  
Honor it and the One who sent it, created it, 
                                       (to show that every little detail in my life matters!!)... 

Among the grey, unencumbered branches and limbs...a dead tree shows me I am loved. That all I have to do is open my eyes...accept the gift(s)!!....then turn around and give the little reminder to whoever needs it...and we ALL need it, don't we?

The joy I feel when I find a heart...formed from rock, wood, unexpected piece of cast-off detritus...makes me so thankful.  Therein lies the crux...being thankful!! If I reside in gratitude and joy, there will be no room for low-ness..or focus on pain..  

Sharing my gifts, whether it's pointing out God-given reminders of love, or encouragement through words, poetry, art, laughter, or hugs is my path.  
To wholeness. 
To joy.  
To peace.  
Those are my sincerest wishes for you too!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

after-math of the weekend's yard sale...

I'm slower than I used to be...slower than I'd like to be...recovery from our yard-sale last Saturday is not progressing as much as I'd like...
My home looks like a whirlwind has hit unexpectedly and strewn all matter of items about.  No rhyme. No reason. Just piles dropped on a whim......

this is just a sampling...In every room..there lies piles of stuff.......
more than i need.  more than i want at this point in my life...

It's a cool gray day...the light is muted. the wind is gentle, but almost with a chill.  Sort of fits my mood today.  I am thankful for the 'dialed low' i have a bit of an ache-y head, and my knee is it feels like maybe i have permission to wrap up in a woobie...(cozy blanket)...and take a few minutes 'off'...and gather my strength to get back to my long long task list! 

The truth (TRUTH) is: most likely I'm procrastinating .... I'm supposed to be working on my art...and some jewelry...and supposed to be jotting in my journal for my diabetes appt.   By allowing the clutter, it distracts me from producing the things that will make a difference to my health and my spirit...hmmm....sounds like I need to get to it!  Throw off the bow lines!!!! (get out of the woobie)...Sail forth!!! into my life today!! (get to the good stuff girlie!!)

Sailing, sailing....into the ocean blue of living.....

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I am overwhelmed...

I am overwhelmed.
unexpected gray visits
in the morning mists of
surprise endings.

I am not ready yet..
momentum dallies forth
making decisions for my life
hard and heavy.

My spirit is above
looking down on shattered
torn and broken vessels
scattered about

Death is no friend.
but high above in aerie hearts
music holds me close
please hold me close.

...a new, very sweet friend has recently suffered a terrible loss.  I am overwhelmed with sadness and concern, wanting to comfort and hold her while she is having to bear this pain.  While she does have close friends and family nearby, it is still a difficult thing not to be able to be present. To hug her.  I just needed to express my thoughts...and hope that she knows that there are prayers being lifted for her and her family.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Home again...home again..

My legs are creak-y today! So funny how driving in a car can get you so sore.  I can't imagine riding a horse through Texas...or on a buckboard.  Those were lovely conveniences of 100 years ago... thank goodness!!  Fun for a bit, but I'm glad it didn't take me two weeks on horseback to get to this retreat!

 I have just returned from Vivi Magoo presents Art Retreat on the Prairie.  What a lovely jewelry-making event! I took several classes from Deryn Mentok and one class from Diane Cooke...worth the drive? OH Yes!!
It was so much fun! I learned an incredible amount of little 'attention to detail' that makes a jewelry piece 'art'. 

 The retreat was at Rachel Ashwell's 'The Prairie' in Round Top, TX.  Such a lovely, secluded, peaceful site!  It was like going home.  My cottage looked like it was straight out of "Petticoat Junction" with a cistern looking like it would topple over any second! I stayed in the Bluebonnet Barn...though it had nothing to do with barn! Think shabby chic...think comfortable...think relax...

                  After getting home...and unpacking a little...I worked outside and put together an old iron baby crib painted white.  I have to figure out how to make a support for the seat so I don't fall through it!  But I'm looking to find a little bit of the shabby chic retreat right in my own backyard....when I get the wherewithal together I'll post pics...

....until's hoping that everyone finds a little retreat that makes them feel wonderful...even if it's in your own backyard!