Sitting By The Dock

Squam Lake holds a piece of my heart, it's true, and I couldn't be happier about returning this Fall to celebrate 5 years of Squam Art Workshops. This will be my sixth session teaching here, and while every gathering is unique, the magic of coming together and creating enfolds us every time.

The woods, the water, the loons singing, the docks and rocking chairs and fires in the hearth--we always try to dissect the formula. How does it work? What makes the magic? But we always come up short on explanations, because the truth of the matter is much harder to recognize or admit.

We bring the magic with us.

We create a space where we can show up and receive exactly what we need when we say Yes to unreasonable ideas like giving ourselves the gift of several days away, trying something new, and venturing into the woods with a bunch of strangers in the hopes of leaving as friends.

The minute we say Yes we create space, and then all there is to do is to show up and receive--maybe not what we expect, but almost certainly what we need.

Below are the descriptions of my workshops from the Squam site, and I would be honored and delighted if you would come and play with me.

Tell It.

Become a story excavator as Jen Lee guides you in the hunt for your own story treasures, and learn the secret ingredients that will transform even a quiet story into an epic tale.

This workshop--really, truly!--is for:

  • wallflowers, quiet souls, people who don't know if they have a story to tell.
  • people who know they are holding story jewels but wonder how to share them.
  • those who suspect it might be time to stand up and rock the mic. 

You will complete the day with your own story treasure and everything you need to share it--around the fireplace of your cabin, in quiet confidence with your best friend, or on the Squam Coffee House stage.

It's your story. Tell it.

It's your story. Tell it. Shirts available here. Telling Your Story home study course available here.

Origins

"We are the origin of our work. If that origin is mapped accurately enough, if we are honest enough to name what we find there, then our work is original." --Julia Cameron

 There comes a time in every creative journey to capture the essence of what makes you completely distinctive and unique, and to exhale it like breath into everything you do. 

 There is a path that taps into your inheritance to bring vibrance and electricity to your present and light the way into a future that is wanting you.

This all-day adventure through beginnings, timeless stories and unwritten endings will pull your creative fingerprint into focus so that all you create will be powerfully and essentially YOU. 

Come painters, come poets, come modern dancers. Whatever form your creativity takes, it becomes rooted in your journey, infused with your soul when you discover your Origins.

The Care and Keeping of Eileen Nishi

Photo by Eileen Nishi, westofwhimsy.comWe're hosting a Week of Care and Keeping in celebration of The Care and Keeping of Creative Souls: A Manual, which hits the postal system on Friday, 11.25.11. I invited a few of the creative souls who pioneered this conversation with me in live workshops (and first edition manuals) to share some of their experiences, as well as some of their own Care and Keeping moves. Today we have with us the amazing Eileen Nishi:

I was lucky enough to be in Jen’s Care and Keeping of Creative Souls class last year at Squam Art Workshops. I couldn’t have planned it better as I was feeling particularly vulnerable that Saturday morning after a day of painting with Flora Bowley. I think the idea of taking care of myself as I pursued my creative dreams was probably on the radar . . . I just wasn’t clear about how that looked. Enter Jen + her infinite wisdom (which I soaked up like a sponge!) – and I was back on my feet and ready to conquer the world!

In reality – the one thing I put into practice right away was Jen’s Magic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, which has earned its place as a permanent favorite with my boys. As for the rest? I’ve navigated some big changes this year – so I’ve just been getting around to revisiting those Care & Keeping ideas in the last couple of months. In addition to the original guidelines that included eating right and getting enough rest (something I’m still working on!), I’ve created some of my own Care & Keeping practices that are keeping me balanced as I move forward as an artist.:

  1. Good Lip Balm & Hand Lotion :: I find few things to be as distracting as chapped lips & dry hands. My lip balm favorites are Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick with Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers coming in as a close 2nd. For the hands Aveda Hand Relief is my go to product. Nourished lips & hands make for a happy artist.

  2. Music :: I love to sing. Granted – I’m usually singing in the car by myself, but no matter what the genre (I’ve had a “Best of the 80’s” CD on heavy rotation lately), I find that singing makes me happy. I believe that listening to music you love - whether or not you choose to sing along with it - is key to staying alive creatively. (See Eileen's Creative Jam playlist below.)

  3. Intention :: In the last month I have been actively living an intentional lifestyle. (Another idea I thought sounded good for years, but had no idea how to actually put it into effect.) I have taken a closer look at how I treat my body and what I put into it, how I spend my time and with whom I spend it. Making room for what I want in my life, and moving away from choices that weren’t working for me has created more energy and joy – such a simple idea with mind-boggling results! (Tip: Write everything down.)

  4. Gratitude :: I have found that in times of self-doubt, sadness and exhaustion that gratitude always brings me back to a calm, confident & happy state . . . a place I like to call Home.

 Care & Keeping is vital to my well-being and success – not only creatively, but as a mother/friend/co-worker as well. And while I’m still a work in progress in terms of practicing it, I can say without a doubt that it’s worth every effort.

 


Eileen Nishi is a global "waker" in the making, enlivening and inspiring others through her many roles as an insightful photographer, mixed-media artist, loyal friend and devoted baseball mama.

 


Bonus: Want a peek at what's on Eileen's Creative Jam playlist? Here ya go:

The Care and Keeping of Karen Delaney

Photo by Karen Delaney, deldino.blogspot.com 

 

 

 

"One of my favorite self care moves is sitting down with some hot tea poured into a favorite mug while wearing a pair of knitted gloves that a loved one made for me."

 

 

 

 

 

 

We're kicking off a Week of Care and Keeping in celebration of The Care and Keeping of Creative Souls: A Manual, which hits the postal system on Friday, 11.25.11. I invited a few of the creative souls who pioneered this conversation with me in live workshops (and first edition manuals) to share some of their experiences, as well as some of their own Care and Keeping moves. Today we have with us the fabulous Karen Delaney:

When I first heard Jen Lee was doing a Care and Keeping of the Creative Soul class at Squam Art Workshops in 2010 my first thought was, What kind of class is this? It didn't sound like I would learn any "art" techniques or walk away with a piece of work I created.  It only took a moment longer for that deeper voice inside to say, YES, you need this class. This was the voice of my intuition, my gut, the part of me that really knows what's needed and when I listen I end up right where I am supposed to be. In this case it was Jen Lee's class.
  
I walked away from that class with more than I could have imagined--most importantly the permission to stop whatever you are doing and take a breath, to tend to youself and your needs, to re-fill your well.  If you are not coming from a full place when giving or creating you can become depleted very quickly. This was just what I needed to hear as I was currently in a place where I had given so much and was in real need of re-filling my well. 

 

The Care and Keeping Manual has suggestions that cover the caring of mind body and soul in a clear way that is easy to follow, you just have to give yourself that self care moment or hour or day/s, whatever is needed to get yourself back to full. One of my favorite chapters  is "A Good,Hearty Meal". Preparing a meal filled with loving intentions for myself and others feeds my soul. I have made Jen's Magic Chocolate Chip Cookies on more than one occasion and there are never any left at the end of the night.  Another big one for me was, "Give the Gift of Being Seen".  I was so good at seeing others but really struggled with lettting myself be seen. I found out being seen is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others.  When you share your story and it resonates with someone else it brings about that feeling of connection that I feel is needed in the world right now. Knowing we are not alone is so important.
 
When I am taking good care of myself I notice my steps are lighter, I am more grounded and actually feel like I am standing straighter, my mood is even and I smile more. The opposite is true when I am not taking good care, I feel physically heavier, spend more time in that head space, slouch over, my jaw gets tense and Watch Out, because I can blow my lid any minute.  These are my cues that I haven't been taking good care of myself. Once you learn your cues it gets easier to see when you need that self care moment.  One of my  favorite self care moves is sitting down with some hot tea poured into a favorite mug while wearing a pair of knitted gloves that a loved one made for me. I am both tactile and visual so these things combined comfort me, and it only takes a few minutes to give myself some care.
 
Karen Delaney is is a healer, through words and images, who is known for her empathy and her ability to deeply listen. She is a highly sensitive person, which she used to regard as a curse, but understands now is a gift, as is she.

Squam Snapshots (2011)

Diana+ camera with medium format film. Photos of me taken by Jolie Guillebeau. Hammock: Jolie & Jenica. Also pictured: Carol Michael, Program Coordinator

Favorite Squam 2011 moments:

  • Dreaming up new possibilities with Maya and Jolie on my cabin's porch while Jolie painted the view.
  • Meeting fellow teachers like Helene, Shari, and Penny for the first time, 
  • and spending soulful sessions with my oh-so-gifted students.
  • Stealing long chats with Flora
  • and receiving a much-needed dining hall intervention from Linda about the value and worth of my work.
  • Sharing a cabin that was both a quiet, sacred space, and a place of celebration with Pixie and this Maya.
  • Dancing in front of the fire, letting myself party and play with my peers in a way I don't get to do often.
  • Meeting, as always, the people I'm meant to meet.
  • Being entrusted with the stories of others and reveling in the ways we intersect and find one another.
  • Letting myself receive as much as I gave.
  • Savoring a soy hot chocolate and a morning of refuge at Mocha Rising,
  • and teaching the cute kid at Holderness General Store how to make one of the same with the kind of authority that New Yorkers in particular can summon.
  • Kate in all her wild honesty, turning the drive into a sacrament.
  • Watching dear ones take their place behind the microphone, or tell a long story for the first time on a stage.
  • Being among friends in a place in which only two years ago I was a stranger.
  • Truing up my heart in a simple conversation or embrace with touchstones like Mary Beth, Cal and Sarah.
  • Getting to show up, give my humble offerings, and find myself--welcome, loved, home.

Squam Essentials, and an Art Fair

I'm bustling away over here, gathering and packing up all my essentials for Squam Art Workshops on Wednesday. I'll be bringing everything from my new lip balm and favorite slippers to other must-haves like these:

A sweet blue mini-cardigan, which I just finished knitting, that was inspired completely by (aka shamelessly ripped off from) Jolie Guillebeau when I was with her this summer in Portland. I love the glazed buttons I found for it here in my neighbhorhood. She'll have one just like it, but better.

My dreaming of the sea necklace and earrings by Liz Lamoreux, which pair perfectly with the above new mini-cardigan, and always remind me of the rhythm of the waves, the great mirror of water and sky at the shore.

The next knitting project to pair with the rocking chairs all over the campgrounds--on the porches, in front of the fireplaces. These socks on size 0 needles are super portable and so soft to work with. My thoughts fall right in line as the stitches do the same.

A train case for my camera gear has been on my wish-list for over a year now, and when I found this one for a song at a boutique near my sister's home in Colorado, I knew it was the one I was waiting for. Can't wait to nestle in my cameras, films and more.

Boxes, boxes, and more boxes of good things are arriving every day. One more visit from FedEx tomorrow, and it will all be here. (Those lucky Squamsters get the first peek at everything.)

Are you Squam-ward bound? What essentials are you bringing?

If you're in the area on Saturday night, I'd love to meet you at the Art Fair, and you can be among the first to see what's coming this fall. It's an amazing celebration of creative work--join us if you can.

 

Checking In and Catching Up

I'm posting this picture today because I imagine us sitting in this lovely spot, just checking in and catching up. Nothing too profound or heavy, just a "what's new since last time we talked?" situation. We might admire this cool piece of art on the wall and I would sip a cup of hot water or peppermint tea. I love watching the people. I wish I knew what these two were talking about, and what point of connection brought them to this place, on this day, together.

I'm feeling better and better all the time. Partly because I'm having big breakthroughs in the health and wellness department, a subject on which I usually experience a lot of resignation--you know, putting up with things because I think they must just be my lot in life and not really having hope or an expectation that I could feel or be better. The resignation and the symptoms are both so nice to say good-bye to. My appreciation for the healers who care for us, mind, body and soul, is vast and deep.

It's also made such a difference to read this book on Jolie's recommendation and realize that some things I struggle with could have an explanation other than being straight-up character flaws. It's like finding a way into a new level of kindness toward myself that I was in sorry need of, and having someone bulk up my self-care tool kit even more.

I especially love what Elaine Aron had to say about the struggle to share new work that I shared about recently:

The difficulty, I believe, is that normally we artists work alone, refining our craft and our subtle creative vision. But withdrawal of any kind increases sensitivity--that is part of why one withdraws. So we are extrasensitive when the time comes to show our work, perform it, explain it, sell it, read reviews of it, and accept rejection or acclaim. . . . Much of the suffering of sensitive artists could be prevented by understanding the impact of this alternating of the low stimulation of creative isolation with the increased stimulation of public exposure which I have described.

Ohmygodiamnotcrazy.

It's hard to know what else to say about this right now because I'm still processing it pretty deeply, but it has made a big difference to do interviews around the web lately. It turns out that I have things to say, but I'm so close to new work by the time it comes out that it's hard for me to have the distance required to anticipate what others might wonder or ask or want to know about it. (Another one I loved doing was for Karen, who is graciously giving away Finding Your Voice to one lucky commenter.)

I am racing a bit against the looming summer vacation, trying to see how much I can get done before the girls are home for ten weeks and my solitude shrinks to a trickle. I'm working on the next Voice and Story Course, and cooking up all the good things I can for my students and friends at Squam in September.

So, that's what's happening over here. I'm dying to hear what's going on with you--jump on in the comments and tell me, and it will completely make my day.

More soon...

Update: I keep forgetting to mention that you can now find site updates on Facebook.

 

Through Someone Else's Eyes

Polaroid by Sarah Ahearn, sarahearn.com

Susan and me, in class. Photo by the amazing Lisa Parks, curiousgirl-lisa.blogspot.com

Photo by Lisa Parks, curiousgirl-lisa.blogspot.com

One thing that came up over and over again at Squam by the Sea was the importance of telling each other what we see in one another.  So often our vision of ourselves can be distorted like a circus mirror by the past (think, The Ugly Duckling), by our own insecurities, blind spots or fears.

These were emotional conversations as we realized how hard it is to see ourselves with the same gentleness, compassion and love that others hold in their eyes when they come to rest on our faces.  I think this is why I spend so much time looking at the photos taken of me--there's something in my own eyes that I'm trying to adjust, there's a way I'm training myself to see the way they do.  To see that mysterious thing that's present through someone else's eyes.

To Stand Between Light and Dark

Just before sunrise on the Outer Banks, Horizon Perfekt, xpro Lomo Chrome film

Before I arrived in Nags Head, I had already heard about Jockey's Ridge State Park, and how the top of the ridge hosted great views of sunrises and sunsets.  From this high point on the island, you can see the sun rising over the ocean on one side of you, or the sun setting over more water on the other side.  The house I was staying in backed right up to the ridge.

On the last morning, I slipped out with a few last exposures in my camera and climbed to the top of the small mountain of sand to watch the sun come up.  We'd had a full moon, and it was still hanging high to the west even as the sky was dressing in morning light.

I got to the highest point and watched the horizon come alive with color.  Then the sun rose above the ocean, large and electric red and I stood suspended in between night and day.  I looked straight ahead in between the sun and moon and the light drew a line down the center of my face and frame.  To my right, crickets chirped loudly and to my left birds sang.  I tried to hold the paradox of having a foot in each world, of standing literally across the threshold of light and dark, night and day.

It was such a powerful moment for me, and such a visceral experience of my interior journey as I've worked to stand on the threshold of my own sun side and moon side, to own them both equally and integrate them into an awake and aware whole.  It's amazing to see and feel in my own body that there is a way to stand in the presence of the full moon and the rising sun, to hear at once the chorus of the songbirds and the crickets, to have light and dark draw their line down me and not be split.

By the Sea

There's nothing like walking through a New York City airport with pieces of your heart falling out of your pockets every time you bend over or turn too fast to make you wonder if Squam can still work its magic on you.  Or if you can still work your magic on it.

And there's nothing like losing your voice on the first day to make you wonder if you are truly the best person to lead a workshop called Finding Your Voice.

But so it goes, sometimes.

Luckily, just as speaking softly can prompt others to lean in a little closer, treading squarely inside your own tenderness can encourage others to take your hand and explore some corners and crevices of the heart together.

People talk a lot about Squam magic, and most of us have our own theories about how and why it rocks our worlds so deeply.

But imagine if for four days, people called out very gently, "I think you dropped something--is this little piece of heart on the floor yours?"  And the full moon kept you company in your sleepless hours and a real live hammock rocked you like a baby.

Imagine that you let your own dreams slip out in a quiet room or over sunset sand that they were received with careful cupped hands and eyes shining with love.

Imagine being seen and being loved at the same time, and the new futures that would rush up to your feet in that moment like a wave.

I imagine that you might call it magic, too.

You can see more of my Squam by the Sea photos here, or the group Flickr pool here.

What You Need to Know When You Come Home from The Lake

Yes, it was real. Even those moments that felt like they were happening to someone else.

Looking at the pictures always helps you believe this.

You really were that brave.

And you were loved for it. So deeply.

Nothing you gave went unnoticed--not one glance or gaze or word or smile.

It wouldn't have been the same without you.

And you aren't the same. So when you are fidgeting in your old life, feel the places where you need to expand.

It's okay to not know what to do next.  Laying down is always good for the not-knowing moments.

Remember how you were gentle with yourself, and choose to be gentle again.

Remember how you let yourself be seen, and practice being seen again.

Remember how you were loved, and practice loving yourself the way others loved you--without requirement.

Feel the earth quaking below your feet, and know that a hundred new futures were made. Fate is just adjusting.

Hold what happened there in a sacred place.  Build yourself simple reminders.

And when it is time, act boldly, with this lake of creative energy under your feet and this fire of belonging at your back. 

If there's anything you learned, it's that you're not alone. Not ever.

Merch: Available Online for a Limited Time

This year, for the Squam Art Fairs, I designed a small line of apparel.  It seemed like a fun and light-hearted project.  But once my items arrived, I couldn't believe how soft and comfortable they were, or just how good it felt to wear those words close to my heart.  It felt amazing, as if something true could seep into me by osmosis. 

They felt so good that I didn't want to wear anything else.

Some people noticed the shirts in the Spring Squam pictures and enquired about them.  I don't like anyone to be left out, so I'm making them available here on a temporary Merch page--for how long, I do not know.  I'll try it out for a week or two, and see how it goes.  I'm not set-up right now to ship the apparel items internationally, but that may come.

I'm so happy to share the soft and cozy goodness with you.  Go on over, and get 'em while you can.

Photo by the amazing Tracey Clark.

Squam Art Workshops: The Journal

I am so excited about The Journal, Volume One from the talented souls at Squam Art Workshops.  Chock-full of beautiful art, luscious photographs, inspiring words and even actual journal pages--this has got to be the next best thing to being there to soak in the magic in person.  I wrote a piece for this project, and my beloved friend, Jen Gray, has been weaving all the goods together--I can hardly wait to get my hands on it.

Regularly $25.00, you can get it for $19 when you pre-order before 7/23/10. 

Is anyone as excited about this as I am?

Squam Spring Session Photo Album

I'm an early riser, and this was my view from the rocking chair on the porch while my cabinmates were still deep in their slumber.

This was our cabin. 

Morning on the dock.

This cozy cabin living room is where my classes were held, complete with sofas and old-fashioned rocking chairs.  A couple mornings it was even cool enough to light the fire.

Some of my students went out to the dock to do their exercises.  Doesn't it look dreamy? 

An impromptu Cal Patch fashion show in our cabin with Jen, Thea, Michelle and Jonatha.

Here are a few Diana Instants:

Saturday afternoon we took a trip to the nearby town of Center Sandwich, NH. 

With my new friends, Gin and Arrabella.

The yellow butterfly in the center of this pic was always flying around just outside our front door.

Meg's rocking the pink hair and her new tattoo.

Meg with our cabinmate, the amazing Cal Patch, and our beloved Mackenzie.

I still have a few more pics at the lab right now, if you can believe it.  Somehow seeing all the photographs has helped me with the transition back home.  It's like looking at them helps me believe That Really Happened and wasn't just the best of dreams. 

Meet Me at the Art Fair

I hope that some of you dear readers can join us for the Squam Art Fair and Squam Revelry.  I am jumping up and down over here because this time I will be joined by my sister, the master of fun and play: Meg Brothers.  We'll be sharing a table, featuring her scrumptious Spring Line and some top secret new goodies from my studio.

At my last Squam Art Fair, it was so fun to meet companions from the region as people came from all over New England for the evening.  I would be so thrilled to connect with you--please come if you can!

Reasons to Join Me at Squam Art Workshops in June

Squam Lake, Diana Instant+

You won't want to live without the hot new merch I'm designing for the Squam Art Fair.

In my classes, get your hot little hands on a piece of my new curriculum project, not yet available to the public, that will take you in-depth on our topic for a month afterward.

Learn how to weave your stories, then learn about access points to courage and cycles of belief.

In the afternoon, loosen up with a vinyasa flow set to hip tunes, learn to spin yarn on a spindle, create your own t-shirt pattern, or learn how to knit a seamless sweater.

Hear some of my true stories first-hand at a special storytelling session on Friday night.

Sitting on the dock and dipping your toes into the beautiful Squam Lake is the best way to welcome summer.

If you've been looking for your creative tribe, there's no better place to find it.

Being loved, nutured and mentored to your bones will carry you for a long, long time.

 

There's still room for you!  Join us.

UPPERCASE

UPPERCASE: A Magazine for the Creative and Curious did a lovely feature on Squam Art Workshops in the Winter 2010 issue.  I had a good time being interviewed for it with some of my fellow teachers.  The article, written by Christine Chitnis, and the photographs by my beloved friend, Andrea Jenkins (aka Hula), really captured the warmth and beauty of these gatherings.  I'll be teaching the Story Weaving class that is mentioned in the article again this year in the June session, in addition to new classes in June, September and October.

I can't say enough about the loveliness of UPPERCASE Magazine, which was a finalist in the Society of Publication Designers' Magazine of the Year category.  Subscribe if you can, and if you see the cost and wonder, can it possibly be that exquisite?  Know: Yes. Yes it can.

Squam Art Workshops

Registration for Squam Art Workshops 2011 is now open.

The creative community at Squam has been transformative for me, and I can hardly wait to be back this fall.

 

 

Here's what I'm teaching:

Tell It

 

If you are dreaming of telling a story onstage, or just spinning a riveting tale for your friends over dinner, this workshop is for you.

During this interactive and engaging day, you will learn how to find interesting and important stories in your own treasure chest of experiences and memories, and how to help them look their best before sending them out into the world.

You will complete the day with a story that is ready to share: around the fireplace of your cabin, in quiet confidence with your best friend, or on the Squam Coffee House stage.

It's your story. Tell it.

 

 

 

Care & Keeping

Doing creative work is a distinctive kind of journey. Creativity has its own cycles and seasons, its own storms to weather and sunny days to celebrate. The Care and Keeping of Creative Souls introduces you to ways of caring for yourself (and your friends) along the journey that are both practical and profound. It will give you tools for navigating the terrain of a creative life.

Well-cared-for artists are prolific artists. Come join us and learn how to get unblocked and untangled, how to keep yourself healthy and balanced all along the way.

Confessions part 1, or Standing Out in the Open

out in the open, Central Park, photo by Meg Brothers, www.megbrothers.comSince this week's journey through the journal is partly about the things that we regard with judgment ("uninteresting", "unimportant", "too unspeakable to write"), it seems fitting to do a brief series of confessions here to go with it.  The next post will feature a page from my own copy of Take Me with You.

But, in the spirit of Go Big or Go Home (as my husband likes to say), here's one to start us off:

When I got the email saying the Squam 2010 class descriptions had gone live online, I couldn't even open them. Now, granted, I had other things on my mind at the time, but even so this was a moment I'd been regarding with trepidation for months.

The new classes weren't easy to plan, to describe, or to send to Elizabeth. She even called one day to talk me off the ledge when I was feeling nervous about committing to so much so far ahead of time, and doing it publicly nonetheless.

"There's this book I've been working on, and I think it should be a class, and I hope you aren't disappointed because it's not really a writing class," I said, and then I told her about my emerging project that didn't even have a title but seemed something like a care-and-keeping-of-artists-kind of manual.

"I trust you completely," was her reply.  And then she gave me everything I needed to move forward: understanding, permission and space to be in the emerging and unknowing between now and June.

The classes alone aren't my problem. The first problem is the audacity of my intention to write and publish companion books for all the classes I teach this year.  (I'm teaching in the Spring, the Fall, and at Squam by the Sea.) I'm compelled to do this, but I have no idea how I'm actually going to pull it off.  The second is the voice that is always waiting in the wings for its cue to jump onstage and declare while pointing to my chest, "Who do you think you are to do such a thing? What you know is so small compared to all that you do not."

And it's true.  I do not know many things, and anything I have to give I can only offer with humility.

So perhaps the two problems are really just one thing in disguise: fear.  Fear that I'll publicly fail to deliver all that I've promised, or that my work will be found wanting, which for me always boils down to the fear of not being loved.  These things are with me always, quietly humming in the background, but these next projects have them shouting and gesticulating and hogging the stage.

So I'm taking my own advice about courage, and recognizing that bigger leaps need to be solidly rooted in bigger love.  I'm trying to let love in more deeply than I ever have before, folding my hands quietly and handing things over to a more abiding trust than I have ever practiced, and confessing my fears so that courage can find me out in the open and not have to search for me under a rock.

Even though standing out in the open like this feels small.

 

What could you confess, in your journal or here in the comments section that would help courage find you?

"I see you just as you are, and just as you are not, and I have nothing but love for you." --Fortunes