If you have travelling down this long journey with me, you might recognize this one.
Back in May, I decided to challenge myself creatively. I wanted to explore my own creativity at this time in my life and also encourage others to do so along with me. The very first prompt was to draw a spiral and here is what I drew:
I repeated this drawing in my Book of Hours today along with poem, The Chambered Nautilus, which I had originally wrote around the shell.
When I drew this spiralled shell on May 1st, I had no idea I would end up here. My only intention was to grow. To be open to growth by both going inward and outward. After 131 days of the process of creating each and every single day, I have found myself simultaneously doing both – spiralling in so that I may spiral out. As I move outwards, I learn more about what lies in the centre of myself.
At the end of May, I wanted to continue my daily creative endeavours through writing on the blog for 100 days – writing in a rush, scribbling the life in front of me. I didn’t want to overthink my writing. I wanted to find flow. At the end of June, my creative output morphed into my Book of Hours.
Over the past 100 days, growth and change happened in every aspect of my life. I made peace with my home through a process of tidying that encompassed gratitude and joy. As my children physically outgrew their bedroom spaces, we reorganized our upstairs bedrooms with the help of friends and we are all happier. I am happy to downsize and to greet the morning sun in the back room and my girls love their large bedroom that is completely dark in the mornings. They feel like we’ve moved into a new home and love it even more. My youngest two have grown closer sharing the middle room. I often find them cuddled in the cozy cocoon swing that we put up in the middle of their room,reading a book together. My perspective of homeschooling has refreshed especially as I see my family for who they are right now – it is all about family and learning together for the love of it and of each other. The 7 of us plan to spend a lot of time with each other this year learning the same things together. My relationships have deepened as this project has opened me up to healing and gratitude.
Through this project, I have had the pleasure of meeting and connecting with the most beautiful souls this summer – you know who you are! – either through this blog or in person. I have been able to put myself together again. I had always thought I was whole and was in denial that I was fragmented. The part of me that is an artist and as a mentor/teacher to other mothers was broken. This project has helped me accept both tasks and own this part of me.
My husband asks me, “Who are you?” on a daily basis. I am not the pessimistic, stressful, anxious, and angry person that blamed the past, was impatient with the present, and feared the future. In simplest terms, I see every day as a gift. In my 37 years on this earth, these past 131 days were the first days in my life where I jumped out of bed each day because I couldn’t wait to show up to life. It is amazing to me the hell I created for myself all these years.
It is in giving that we receive. I have received far more than I have given. 131 days of waking up early, sunrises, creation, meditation, writing, exploring, joy, gratitude, and love. There were a few days when I wanted to quit but then I would get a message that the post was exactly what was needed to be read that day by one of you. Each time I held back, I felt blocked and anxious. Each time I gave and shared, I received love in abundance right back and creativity flowed.
I hear a voice that sings. It is not a voice in the distance. It is not my own. It is ours. Yours and mine together. Telling our stories to each other, stories of both struggle and redemption, are the only ways we can teach and learn compassion. We are all in this together. I have felt the wisdom and the calling of the ages support me in this project. Comfort is found in words from decades, centuries, and thousands of years ago.
But I have also found it in the stranger who shared their story about once being a young mom too and that now she travels the world and her kids are fine. I have found it in an email sent by a friend wanting to talk about what I have learned. I have found it in sitting next to my mother and my father as I feel complete and total love and forgiveness for these two people whom I had chosen to be my parents. I have found it in the excitement for the upcoming Book of Hours workshop. I have found it in the soft and gentle encouragement of my own mentors: Jane, Alison, Jean, and Barbara. I have found it in fellow mamas on this journey who share their stories and listen to mine without judgement. I have found it in an ocean that loved me back one day. I have found it in the gratitude for each moment that led to this one, especially the moments of grace as I surrendered to the Divine.
Every day I find love, peace, and joy in front of me. I just have to choose to see it.
Right here and right now.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the right here and right now.
Obviously, I can’t just stop it here. This practice IS the destination. I arrive over and over again. To stop it would cut the flow. I have another project in mind. More details tomorrow.