Monday, February 7, 2011

monday inspiration celebration: circle of support

It struck me the other day that what I am going through is intense labor as I give birth to my creative self. I should say, in case you haven't noticed the different between Cowgirl and myself, I have not gone through actual physical labor but this is how I image it might feel: moments of incredible euphoria, feeling empowered and acutely alert, awake and alive swinging wildly into moments of panic, intense discomfort, doubts and fear. I find myself clear and lucid and then withdrawing into isolation, quiet, and a kind of darkness where I rest and await the guidance that only comes with complete stillness.

My fearless painting practice is unlocking new doors within me; I am gaining insights into who I am and who I am choosing to become. There are days I want to crank up the music and dance wildly around the living room and other days I want to crawl into bed, into a cocoon.

Within all of this I am recognizing the importance of community and connection. I find myself leaning upon others when my energy and courage flag and then there are glorious moments of celebration when our practice carries me/us into a new phase, a new cycle. There is this sense of each of us bringing forth something new, tender, vulnerable and utterly amazing.

Where am I in this cycle? I am thinking I am in the transitional phase:

Women feel this stage in different ways. It can be intense and overwhelming. You may feel zoned in to your labour and only able to make abrupt demands. You may shout and feel impatient with everyone. You might feel shaky, shivery and sick. Or you may feel none of these things! (

Zoned, impatience, shaky ... check, check, check.

So I gather my circle of wise women - my creativity doulas and midwives - around me and ask them to cheer me on. Feeling drained today, I pulled out all the art mail I have received in the past few months (remember my pledge to return to snail mail? Not only have I been sending out mail, but unsolicited art mail has been making its way to me) and I was struck by my good fortune to have so much richness in my life now. This is my inspiration for today: all of you who show up every day to your lives and celebrate the gifts, the beauty, the magic around you and within you. I see the fruits of others labors and I am inspired to keep going.

I cannot talk about inspiration without mentioning this post by Kristen - words which are honey to my soul.

And today I received my hawk medicine bundle from Pixie Campbell. (For Pixie's great video on smudging and how to use the bundles, go here.) Hawk has always been a powerful totem for me and lately I've felt pulled to dive in deeper to his teachings. I have felt motivated to redo my altar which has 2 hawk feathers upon it and now this bundle. In fact, I have done a little energy cleansing for the Chinese New Year, smudging the entire house while Cowgirl rang our Tibetan bell. It was quite a party: the two of us singing out welcome and wishes for the angels, fairies, gnomes, goddesses, and spirits to bless our house.

So I guess I am readying everything for the eventual arrival of my baby self, my creative being. Cleansing, blessing, gathering friends and inspiration. Sounds like classic pre-birth behavior doesn't it? And there's this good news:

Transition means that you're nearly there. With support you can get through this stage. Thankfully, there's often a lull at the end of transition when the contractions pause and you and your baby can rest. (

Rest ... that sounds good right now!


  1. What a beautiful medicine bundle! And look at all that wonderful mail art - you're so loved:)

  2. ahh! breathe!!! love the analogy of giving birth to a human to birth of a creative endeavor. :)

  3. Hey Squammie Sis, I have been feeling very shaky and out of sorts.. frozen in place actually not getting much creative work done as I tend to my emotions .. I wrote these words Monday to try to move myself. and as always you are an inspiration.

  4. Hello fearless creative warrior!!!!

    I am so inspired by your journey! Also, I want to mention that the card you sent me is on my "art window" and I see it every day and smile and treasure it! :) Now that's good stuff!!!! That is the good stuff of life and I feel so blessed to have "bumped into you" and all the inspiration and warmth and creativity that has come with it.

    Thanks for sharing your creativity and your honest and heartfelt journey!

    much love,

  5. Hey Lis,
    So cool to see my little postcard that I sent you, amid such creativity and inspiration - I was touched. I'm struggling with life at the moment in several ways, but seeing it made me smile and realise how important my creativity is to me. I've been avoiding my art materials recently, worried about what might come from my head and my heart onto the paper, but maybe I need to be brave and get back to it...
    Missing 21 Secrets!!
    much love
    Emily xx

  6. Emily! Send me an email! I have your snail mail, but no way to contact you now that 21 Secrets is over. As I was going through all the goodies i have received in recent months, your lovely and loving card jumped out at me ... it was the message i needed to receive in that moment!

    Do stay in touch ... my email is: lishofmann(at)novia(dot)net

    Be brave! We are all here to support and encourage you. Your creativity is calling to you!
    xo Lis

  7. Oh Lis....I love watching you bloom and you are and isn't it such hard open to the world under the light of the sun or stars?? It is...and yet you are doing it with such grace...sending you more love