Confirmation

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I’m back from my first intensive; it was everything I hoped for and more. At the closing, we were asked to share what we learned and I said, “I now know, for sure, I am in exactly the right place.” So much of this knowing came from the people I met – people I feel so blessed to journey with over the next two years. Part of it was the decision to stay close to home and not have to travel. Another huge chunk was the integration of creativity throughout our time: music, poetry, dancing and perhaps the crown jewel for me, the availability of a well-stocked art studio that was always open. What can I say? Just give me a pile of magazines, a glue stick and some scissors and I’m happy. LOL The collages in this post were all made while I was away. Lately, I had been feeling a bit flat in this medium, but I now feel re-inspired in a big way. What a gift.

I’m still processing the many insights, integrating the various connections and catching up on my sleep, but I just wanted to check in here and say thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. Your comments, texts and emails meant more than you could ever know. xoS

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Links and Other Thinks

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Why I love Brene.

Why I love Shauna.

Why I love Kara.

I need this: A Guide to North American Feathers.

A great list of memoirs from Jennifer Louden.

A treasure trove of free audio books.

13 dreamy craft rooms.

Toasted coconut butter bites. (Need to borrow my mom’s Vitamix!)

I’m obsessed with mandalas. Anyone want to join me in talking this e-course? (There is a discount when you sign up with a friend.)

Loving, loving, loving the art of Donna Howell-Sickles.

Love this necklace.

Why journal? (Thank you, Andrea.)

Susannah Conway is having a daily photo challenge in April. The theme is LOVE.

Sunday Selections

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Inside this sitting here
this mind pulling knees up close to the chest with tense hands.
Inside this movement of anxiety for the body
and its worries of money,
and its teeth grinning falsely to the solution
of all things surrounding,

Is a seed.

And the hands pressing down into the soil,
and the dreams of generations in the seed
about to wake.

Tonight I will sleep with my worries
through dreams dark with soil
and the heaving cataclysm of the spade
turning earth around me, not speaking of air

or light fused with greenness,
but of darkness and the first leaves
like hands in prayer
clasped inside the seed.

– David Whyte, “Inside”

Beginning

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Thursday marks a new beginning. I am headed to the first intensive in my program for certification in spiritual direction. The theme for this one is Celtic Spirituality, and intensive turns out to be an apt word to describe these gatherings. Five days of lectures with titles like “Pre-Christian Celtic Spirituality and the Archetype of the Goddess” “Desert Spirituality and the Celtic Tradition” and “The Sacred Tree in Mythology and Religion.” There will also be yoga, meditation, group discussion and long stretches of silence, in addition to live music and dancing on Saturday night. Dancing! I’m nervous, excited, a bit overwhelmed and absolutely juiced!

Although I have been diligently reading and writing since January, I have not met anyone in person yet. I know I am a part of a group of 12 people who will be led by a mentor – who, by the way, has a passion for combining creativity and spirituality. Yes, it’s true. As best I can tell, everything feels like I am in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. This journey has been one long exercise (excruciating, at times) in listening to my intuition, following those little whispers and receiving confirmations that leave me a bit astounded every single time. It is believing with my whole heart the last three lines of this poem, that has been my prayer since December: “Life is not a straight line / it’s a downpour of gifts – please / hold out your hand.”

And because you know I frame so much of my life through poetry, I was absolutely gobsmacked by this poem. Since it showed up in my inbox last week, I have been meditating on the notion of “a calling” and what I can tell about “saying Yes.” I have had many close friends in real life ask me how I figured out this next chapter of my life. The short and honest answer is I don’t have anything figured out. I have no idea where all this will lead or how it will manifest. What I do know is that – for me – it started by getting quiet and listening. And I’m not talking about the extended periods of quiet meditation that I am able to find now. I’m talking about that small space between heartbeats; that fleeting moment when nobody needs anything; that tiny pocket of time in which your mind wanders and wonders and suddenly you’re thinking about crayons. Because as I think back to how all this started – and by all, I mean this journey of my 40s, Waldorf homeschooling, inner work, spiritual direction – it all started with wanting some better crayons.

So listen to those crazy little whispers, those tiny voices that won’t leave you alone. You can bet I have more to say about all this, but right now I need to go pack my shillelagh, find a couple of four-leaf clovers and maybe buy a bottle of Jameson on the way. Oh, wow, and it’s St. Patrick’s Day – perfect for setting off on a Celtic adventure.

Thanks for being here. xoS