Recently, we adopted a little tsunami. A four legged one. Yes, he’s a small dog. After fostering dogs over the summer we became “foster fails” come fall. But what logically should have been a big celebration, for me, became a tsunami of emotions and angst.
You see, I love dogs and have always had them, so it was to my complete shock and surprise that this little rascal was met with open arms by everyone… but me.
As many of you know, I am all about empowering women to thrive in the second half of life. To find their creative mojo and express it authentically. To fully become who we are.
Except when I looked at that little gipper of a mutt, I felt like the self I thought I’d left behind — the one who stayed home caretaking while everyone else was leading their big lives…
As I was settling in to write, he was nipping at my skirts to play ball. As I dreamed of travel… he reminded me that I need to find baby (uh, dog) sitters. And as I walked, where I often meditate and connect with creative ideas… I was instead feeling frustrated with leash training and poop scooping. And then there was the old feeling of “who is going to feed him” as my husband and I once again were negotiating the duties of caring for a small one… and yes, being the “work at home” parent I ended up with the lion’s share.
At the same time that I was resenting the dog, I was just as often finding myself skipping through the house with a squeaky toy or singing as he looked at me, head cocked and brown eyes puzzled. When I got sad, he was a little bit of sweetness and honey in my lap.
Part of me wanted to nurture, and part of me wanted freedom. As I fell deeper into confusion, refusing to actually name this little pup, I started asking everyone their advice. It fell into two camps. The “When my old dog dies I’m never getting another so I can finally be FREE” camp, and the “I can’t believe you are even hesitating, he is the sweetest, cutest dog” camp. I was squarely in the “I don’t know what to dooooooo!” camp.
As Joan Chittister says “Confusion stirs the habitual order of things. It throws the deck of lifestyle cards into the air and puts them back together again. Newly.”
It felt like I was in that new baby fog where I lost track of me, of my desires and direction. But I just kept breathing, listening for what to do, watching to see how those cards would creatively be put back together.
As it ends up, we’re keeping little Louie. Some days it feels like a great decision; other days, not so much. I sense that I am still evolving, and while I don’t want to obligate the future me to something she may not want, I’m also noticing more sparks of feeling alive, kindled by the freshness and glee of our new friend. He reminds me to laugh more, too.
This seems to be the creative process. Different elements arise and get mixed up, confusion reigns (along with fear), and then a direction emerges. Even if an imperfect one. As much as I might want that guarantee that I’ve made the right choice, only time will tell. Meantime, I can both enjoy and breathe through the newly shuffled cards before me. With life, there is no other way…
Feel free to share your thoughts on the blog….
Winter Creative Soul Women’s Circles
January to April 2017
A new round of Creative Soul Women’s Circles begins in January!
The book inspiring the journey is Julia Cameron’s new book “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.”
These Circles are set up to feel like a mini-retreat. We gently open with reflections, there is spacious time for journaling in response to prompts, and small groups of intimate conversation. We will reconnect with our creativity, our desires and what matters most.
To accommodate demand, I’ve just opened a morning Circle (the evening Circle is full and there is just one spot left in the afternoon Circle). For all the details, go here!
Create an Inspiring 2017!
Saturday, January 28
(more details TBA)
Every year we are faced with a choice. We can move forward aligned with what matters most to us, what creates joy and purpose… or we can default to what we’ve always done before.
How about if this year is a little different?
Using journaling and fun creative exercises, we will access deeper wisdom and intuition to guide us to what we truly desire in 2017. Not just what we want to do… but how we want to feel and experience the year.
We will take an unconventional route… and walk away inspired. We will get clear on what we truly want… versus what we “think” we want. And to insure it doesn’t all disappear like smoke after the workshop ends, we will create an action plan with daily and weekly practices to feed our vision…
We will birth this vision in a historic, light-filled Main Street arts space in Elgin, Texas (about 30 minutes from Austin). Join us!