Wednesday, April 13, 2016

circles of support

Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness
And the infinite tenderness shattered you like a jar
- Pablo Neruda

You would think given my silence here, I have little to say.


It seems my words (along with images and miscellanea of my days) are filling a growing assortment of notebooks and journals. It actually has become a bit of a job keeping things in some semblance of order ...

It strikes me that my many notebooks are like jars housing the various collections that comprise my ever-increasing curiosity which is the strength and the vulnerability of a multi-passionate creative.  

Or the makings of a looney bird. But I've always admired the eccentric, the independent minded, the cackling and colorful crone making her own damned way thank-you-very-much!

My little neighborhood has been rocked by devastating news. Neighbors on an exotic vacation were in a terrible accident. They won't be coming home. I look out my front window and I see their dog being walked by their adult children and my knees buckle.

They won't be coming home. 

It's not like we need any reminders that life is incredibly short and unpredictable. But we do ... I know I fall into the trance ... that I will have second chances, that I will continue to have options, that I will skirt accidents and disasters along with illness and traffic jams. When the veil drops and life comes crashing in I realize how grateful I am for the many circles of support I've gathered about me. My spiritual practice. My family. My friends. My notebooks filled with reminders of why I choose to live life with an open heart, even though doing so leaves me vulnerable to the pain of loss and grief.

I am grateful to be part of many circles of women choosing to come together to hold space for each other. My own local circle met this past weekend and in the spirit of Spring we each shared what the circle has been for us in the past and what seeds we want to plant for our future. 

what remains after circle ... tea leaves and heart wisdom

I look at my girl and I want for her to know how it feels to sit in circle and to have her experiences witnessed and valued. To be seen in such a manner is powerful beyond words. When I was waiting for our adoption referral, I attended a prenatal yoga training program. At the end of our weekend the instructor invited all of the pregnant women to move to the center of our circle for a blessing. Not being pregnant in the traditional sense of the word, I stayed on the outside of the circle. Afterwards, I shared with another in the training my hurt over being excluded. That I could have gotten up and moved to the center, only occurred to me after the fact. My reaction was fueled by my own exclusion, my own lack of imagination to claim what I wanted.

Thankfully, that woman spoke to the instructor and it turned out a group of us traveled to the airport together. There I was invited to the tiny meditation chapel where this intimate group circled around me and blessed me and my future child with chants of love and blessing. 

I am looking at this book as a possible starting point for a mother/daughter circle.  It is a seedling of an idea ... And until it happens, I make sure when my circle meets at my home to invite my daughter over to say hi. These women - who are my dear friends -  are like her aunties. That she knows she is seen and welcomed and love by each of these women is such good medicine. For my heart and hers.

So I circle back to what supports and sustains me. My creative practice.

My spiritual practice. Family time. Nature.

And circles created by loving hearts and arms. 

I am finding deep support and inspiration through Fierce Grace Collective and Painted Pages Workshop. If you want a good hour or so of inspiration, if you want to be stirred by the question "How can I stretch myself to live fully with purpose, with heart?" then watch this and be ready to link arms.  


  1. I just found your blog. Love love love. Please do keep writing and sharing your beautiful creative spirit!

    1. Oh, Thank YOU! You have no idea how much I appreciate every response here ... from everyone! Oh, I will continue to post and I hope to have a little more "energy" to pull me back in :) xo

  2. it is wonderful for your daughter to witness your women's circles and to be invited to be part of them. even if she at some point chooses not to participate, it is a grounding and helpful thing for her to see. she will know the possibility and value of such support for herself.

    1. yes yes! i so agree ... to model all the options ... it is such a wonderful environment and one day she will realize not everyone makes the effort and hopefully remember how nourishing it was for all in the circle and all on the edges. xo

  3. thinking of you, linking arms from here. xx

    1. Feeling those arms Suzanne :) thank you sweet friend xo