Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dreams start with a seed

I always seem to come back to the image of a tree when I think about the idea of having dreams and having hope. I am in awe of trees, for many reasons. First, I love how the roots of the tree are so similar to the design of  the branches and leaves as well. The leaf's center branches out from the main center vein, the trunk to smaller limbs. The roots dig deeper into the earth the same way the branches reach toward the sky. Seeing these connections reminds me that our dreams make their way in the same manner. We build our center strong, then we can begin to reach out, edging day by day, closer to hope.


I love to swim and I always think I feel so good after I swim because I am able to get back to more of a rhythmic kind of breath. When we experiment with our breathing then we can see that there is space to play there. There is space to extend, space to condense, space to exhale, space to inhale. We see that it's possible to use our breath to create whatever kind of breath we desire. Once we see that breath is just a tool to a deeper place within, then we're really on to something, then we can really listen to what the breath is trying to say.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rainbows are fragments of hope, pieced together.

I started playing with the idea of broken rainbows recently. I had a sketch sitting in a folder for months, waiting for me to paint it. Then I began thinking about the "the perfect rainbow". It seemed to me that we always see rainbows the same way, Roy-g-biv stripes with cloud on each side. Why don't we look at rainbows differently? Maybe it's the broken rainbows that are the most unique? Maybe rainbows are not even curved? Maybe rainbows come in all different color combinations and so on. I began to realize that the same is true for the lives we envision for ourselves. We have to find ways to make our lives look colorful and stunning, using what we have, even if we have to put it together with duct tape and crazy glue.

Take time to play everyday. It's good for your soul.

How often do we forget this? Play is all about lightening our load, letting go of of what were supposed to be doing and just being in the moment. As adults, we don't "plan" play, we usually have to be forced to do play. We take the world so seriously then we forget how important play is. It's like laughing, we know physiologically that it makes us healthier but it feels just too extravagant. It's self nurturing, so how can that be bad? Playing leads to learning. Playing leads to lower stress. Playing reminds us of how we used to perceive our world when we were young. All good stuff, right? So then why do we resist? Here's what I noticed.
I started teaching at a day camp this summer. The "playing" really kicked my butt. I'm not talking about physically, (even though it was hard in that respect!) but more in the sense that I had to find a way to be in the same zone as the 7 year old. We were playing legos and I noticed how distracted I was. It reminded me that playing is a muscle you have to keep fluid and active. But to play as an adult is a whole other story. I can see when I resist. Usually, it's when all the adult world crap like bills and emails overload me and I push the play aside. Having a 9 year old does help, since she always wants to play something and when I really allow myself to go there with her, it makes me feel good, I have to admit. I do think the world would be a much cooler, calmer and nicer place if we all valued it a little more too. That's my 2 cents. Now I'm going find those legos. :)

Change happens one day at a time.

Doing children's books has been a daily reminder of what it takes to see things through to the end. Kids often ask me how long it takes to do a book and they are shocked when I tell them for me, it usually takes a few years for each book (at least!). So many things can side track me and take me off course too, it really challenges my ability to do a little each day. But in time things always change, it's the way nature works, wether we want it to or not. The trick is keeping the steps on the path, staying on course. You've got to know how to keep your self on course, being honest with yourself about your all your  decisions. One step. One day. One hour. One minute. One second. Small increments mean everything. It's all precious.

We can only live your best life by living.

What does it mean to be "living" really? I guess when I think about it, living is about challenging. Living means looking at your demons, looking at all the things that eat away at you day by day. The inner dialog that goes on, the stories that we tell ourselves. I believe that taking baby steps to look honestly at yourself is a huge part of living. This is much easier said than done because it's hard to be completely open to others and protect yourself from pain at the same time. But when we live fully we find a way to be vulnerable and open while also allowing the suffering and pain lead us through to greater love and acceptance.

Find connections in everything that surrounds you.

It seems that there is something about creativity that lends itself to finding connections. Think about it, if we don't connect things we can't make something new. We have to find combinations that work all the time. We have to seek ways in which things can fit together. Just as everything changes so too, everything is meant to connect with something else in order to grow. But seeking connections can be difficult at times. We get comfortable and we let our fears over ride everything. I guess it seems as though there is a bit of courage involved in finding connections because it's not always easy to wander down paths that are unknown.