Wednesday, August 10, 2011

time to reflect

I've noticed I have returned to photographing myself as a shadow or reflection. I catch myself standing by windows looking out but also looking in. And it makes sense to me as I feel I am standing at a threshold - or more accurately lingering by an opening - looking back at where I've been and feeling uncertain as to how I am to step forward.

Part of what is unsettling me emerged when I was considered this week's offering of a reflection for 52 photos project and the injunction to "get creative." Which I know was meant in a playful, encouraging sort of way but landed on surprisingly raw and tender ground for me.

I thought about reflections and despaired at my lack of enthusiasm to really explore this subject with my camera. I almost didn't participate. I just wasn't feeling the enthusiasm to bring forth something new and, well, creative. As if being creative is synonymous with being innovative, original and unique.

And I'm not feeling very unique these days.

Then it struck me - this is where I am right now: I'm done with trying to be creative. My journey isn't so much about discovering a creative self - as if such a self were a new species of exotic bird or monkey (even one that flings paint in an uninhibited way) - as it is coming to understand and befriend myself. I am tired of struggling, striving, mis-perceiving myself as needing to be something more or somehow different, as if a shinier, artier version of myself will make me feel better on the inside. What I need is to bring that inside out and love it and her to pieces. Heaping forgiveness, understanding, respect and appreciation for the me that has survived and thrived on this arduous journey that is life.

So maybe I am waiting to take that step forward because there is unfinished business to tend to within myself.

I've entered the SouLodge and ready to recommit to those practices that nurture and sustain me: meditation, time in nature, an attitude of gratitude for the bounty of gifts that lie scattered all around me but which I overlook as I gaze outward. It is time for some solitude and silence; and it is time to let myself get a little lost because I have spent far too long looking for a final destination. I am already there. I want to know it and yes, I just want to have some fun.

I am creative; life is creativity folding in upon itself. It is not something I need to work at as much as something I need to nourish with attention, commitment and patience. I am surrendering - yet again - to the flow that is my life. I am lighting a candle on my altar as an act of faith and trust in myself to awaken to the gifts that continually fall like ripe fruit into my lap. To comfortably own and express my gifts.

eggshell found on a great spirit walk this past weekend

My circle, my tribe, my family, mentors, teachers, spirit sisters - inspiration swirls all around me. But in the end the task is for me to turn within in order to shine more clearly. To live fully is to embody creativity. And I am beginning to suspect creativity is just an outward expression of Love.

fire spread; Week 5 of The Elements of Art Journaling

Over in Effy's place we've been pondering Fire this week. We explored what is burning within us and took that inquiry onto the page with some active arting to music. Devotion and surrender. They keep coming up for me ...

So excuse me, I'm closing the window, drawing the blinds and cranking up the music. Dancing my crazy dance and doing it for me and me alone. Well, me and perhaps Krishna who plays a mean flute.

Something is about to be cracked open. Until then, I may be a bit reclusive. Or quiet (I am always visual.)

But if you want words ... and you really need these words ... then take a listen to these broadcasts by poet/philosopher John O'Donohue. Just be prepared to have your life - your soul - cracked apart.

And be sure to watch this video - it will be the icing on the cake.

(Mel ... this one's for you ... I will meet you by the lake in the middle of the woods ... and I plan on skinny dipping!)

Don't forget to enter our giveaway this week: two original paintings by Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio and an original piece from me and Cowgirl. All the details are here.


  1. Lis. I'm loving that you showed up just as your are in this moment - and that you are nurturing your spirit as you see fit.
    You are a gift.

  2. Lis. This. Is. Beautiful. What an honest opening, revealing truth and sharing your heart and soul here. I am happy to know you. I will return. ~ how was the skinny dip?~

  3. YES my friend, a big huge YES..
    Your are my teacher and I am yours ;-)

  4. that bird egg shell is such a beautiful gift! your words are like a gentle wind, reminding me to be present and open. thank you.

  5. Dearest Lis-
    What a powerful post.I can so relate to the feelings of not being unique or having to give so much energy to be the true me.I am exhausted & longing to devote more time to inner quiet without the striving,without the need to even share it with the wider world.
    Thank for your gifts of inspiration!And that John O'Donohue. . . You & Mel got me totally hooked on the guy!Can't wait to listen to the podcasts.
    Much moon magic,

  6. oh, sweet wild woman!

    you Know that i Know where you are...and it isn't entirely because of the smudges of Nutella you left on the tree trunks....

    yes, to the inwardness -- to exploring our vast inner entire world to discover that is entirely our own.

    "And I am beginning to suspect creativity is just an outward expression of Love." - WOW!! that's brilliant and YES, i totally agree.

    i woke up at 4am thinking of your words on fear and the notion of Just Being Me...and of course i couldn't get back to sleep.....because that's what it comes down stop trying to fix what isn't actually 'broken'.

    pardon the muddy footprints and bits of twigs...i'll sweep up on my way out...


    ps. skinny dipping is the ONLY way to swim in moonlit forest pools....;)

  7. Lis;
    I love how you truly spoke from the heart and how you spoke like you were talking just to me. Your photo was beautiful and your words were sincere!
    You are unique, and beautiful and oh so inspiring to many! Thank you for being exactly who you are!

  8. your post is very open, honest, and actually inspiring. i hope you find what you are looking for!

  9. maybe you don't feel very unique (these days) but you certainly are : ) LOVE : *

  10. "What I need is to bring that inside out and love it and her to pieces. Heaping forgiveness, understanding, respect and appreciation for the me that has survived and thrived on this arduous journey that is life."


    "And I am beginning to suspect creativity is just an outward expression of Love."

    you're a star, a true light.