Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rock Bottom

i.m afraid that’s where i have landed.  i don’t even want to write about it but i seem to have no choice.  in my head, i’m writing….. so here goes.  4 years ago, i started setting up my retreats.  stepping waaay out of my comfort zone, inch by inch and it seemed to work.

 i had found something that seemed to bring all the pieces of me together.  teaching, art, nature, planning, hiking, photo powerpoints, connecting with other women, etc. it became quite consuming and i put vast amounts of time into making them happen but was so rewarded when they did that i was inspired to keep going. i even dared to hope that i had found “the thing”.  the singular pursuit that fueled all my passions and even had the potential to become financially rewarding. big stuff. 

 4 retreats – each one a struggle to get off the ground, but each one an amazing experience in its own right, thanks to the fabulous women that stepped up and attended.  i had a simple goal:  bring women together who need to find,  re-find or refine their creative mojo and help them do that.  i thought i had a little momentum going and launched a 5th retreat.  it wasn’t meant to be and i blamed it on bad timing.  i waited a few months and tried again.  again i could not get the sign-ups to make it happen.

i was down but not out.  instead of retreats, i moved into teaching some classes (with the idea of meeting women who would eventually be interested in a retreat).  i taught “creativity unleashed” and loved that, then moved into my favorite “contemplative photography”.  i taught that 3 times and loved how it evolved with each session.

so after 2 years, i was hoping it might be time for another retreat.  i had so many great ideas for it and spent a lot of time and positive energy putting together activities, art projects, agendas, “homework”, menus, goody bags, raffles, etc. etc. i did have some sign-ups and quite a bit of interest in it.... but in the end, it wasn’t enough and it turned out to be just one big emotional roller coaster. 

on-again, off-again, on-again, waiting, waiting…. as soon as i would get ready to cancel, i would get another inquiry.  i probably should have pulled the plug a long time ago, but  i did not want to let go and was still trying everything to make it happen and thought it might until yesterday.

so it’s over.  and i have a need to be honest here.  it’s not a “disappointment”.  it feels painful - more like a death.  because, despite all those who have said “not this time, but next time”, i don’t think i have it in me to do it again. 3 strikes and i’m out.  it’s draining and i can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

i know for years i have written here about ways to deal with life’s difficulties.  radical gratitude.  the healing of nature.  the healing of art.  staying present and in the moment.  turning the energy of sadness around into something positive.  that will happen…. eventually.

i’m not there yet.  i still want to crawl in a hole and hide. i will move forward, but at this moment it’s impossible to imagine anything else that could energize me as this has.  as i’ve often said, one foot in front of the other…thanks for listening – as always, it does feel good to write it out.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Magical Place

here’s how it happened.  we took a hike to redwood gulch, right off highway 1, which ribbons through big sur.  stu was fighting a cold and after a quick perusal of the area, he and bailey retired back to the car, granting me permission to “take my time”.

ha – sweeter words were never spoken!  in the middle of a redwood gulch, with no other looky-loos present, ideal temperatures, sun filtering through the trees and time on my side?  this, my friends, is a recipe for bliss!


 and it didn’t’ take long for me to find the magical place…. i climbed up a wee bit higher than what had been advised in the hiking book and was well-rewarded for my efforts because there was a magical pool.

now i could try to describe the clarity of the water, the redwood needles floating in it and the dripping drops sending off ripples in all directions…. but i prefer showing to telling.

still breathing it in as i look back at these pics....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Finally Home!

i figured it out.  i have been traveling 5 weeks out of the last 10.  a little crazy. i have slept in 8 different beds in something like 17 different towns (not the best recipe for success for an insomniac!) and while i would not want to trade the experience of seeing all these people and amazing places…. there is also something to be said for the routine and stability of being at HOME.

because other than taking a whole lot of pictures, home is primarily where the creative stuff happens.  in spite of packing journals, art supplies and well-intentioned lesson plan books, not much of that actually happens on the road.  it’s mostly about planning, going places, seeing people and experiencing new things…. which is wonderful.  the good stuff of life. 

but i need a balance.  for me, the time to anticipate before, and process and reflect after, is just as important as the trip itself.  in this case, it all happened so fast that there wasn’t quite enough of that.  a little of a blur.  but it’s ok.  i’m home now and soaking it all in. 

i have to hit the ground running with all there is to do right now, but i have my moments and i’m starting to incorporate what i’ve seen and where i’ve been into the pot that fuels my creative output.  it’s all there….. ready for a big spoon to stir up and see what materializes….. it’s good to be back!!

(these pics were all taken during our 3-day family reunion extravaganza in minden and lake tahoe, nevada…. that was the first part of the latest trip…. more to follow….)