Lollygagging!

It’s amazing what a little “near death” experience does for your perspective!

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It sure makes you pause.

Reflect.

Breathe.

Let the love in.

It sure makes some things seem really important

and other things, just plain silly.

It sure does slow you down.

And speed you up.

It sure makes a soul absolutely grateful for each day

and utterly determined to live with more joy every second.

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And, is it my imagination, or does the changing season seem more colorful this year?

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Does the last sweet drench of monsoon seem more precious?

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Is there more time for lollygagging: lounging, lingering, loafing?

Do the days seem richer, deeper, and more soul-full?

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Is there more time to bask, to read, to nap…?

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YES!

I’m learning to lollygag,

to dawdle,

to take it all in,

slowly and with more grateful

attentiveness.

Autumn is my season–both in life and in heart.

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This year I am celebrating it with absolute gusto

and an enormously enriched appreciation.

I am glad to be here…

despite the Shakespearian circus of politics,

and the dire state of man & beast,

I am happy to be here.

Thank you for joining me on the journey.

Life is beautiful

and challenging

and full of adventures

and setbacks

and miracles.

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May you,

like me,

fill your heart,

your soul,

your mind,

your hands,

and your life

with love and gratitude.

Happy Lollygagging!

Love Kait

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credits:

(1) http://www.zen-mama.com

(2) Kaitlin Meadows

(3) siedepreis@ Getty images.com

(4) http://www.azworkerscompattorney.net

(5) http://www.hollysierra.com

(6) http://www.fabricebackes.com

(7) http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk

(8) alfredo11 on Flickr

 

 

 

 

Party, Party, Party!

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Oh my gosh! What a BLAST!

Saturday we had such fun at The Creative Cottage celebrating my 70th birthday!

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THANK YOU to the 30 fabulous folks who popped in for Sarah’s yummy ladybug cupcakes and the dozens of others who sent jolly well wishes & beautiful gifts to help create a very festive beginning for this exciting next chapter of my life!

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I had such a marvelous time! Each of you added so much to my day!

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My amazing Divas, Alice, Mary, & Dolores (and Thea who escaped without a picture)…

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Lucy (who worked so hard to help me get over my fear of having a birthday party–I’m hooked now! Can’t wait for my 75th!)

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Awesome arty sisters Barbara, Gogi, & Sarah (the cupcakes were sublime!)

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Nancy S. who brought wonderful school supplies for the Girlz!

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Chris who is one of my favorite writers.

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Karen Z. who is my fabulous Picture Rocks pal.

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Celeste and Cissie, sisters with sass!

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Ellie & Morgan and the gang enjoying the fun.

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Crazy-wonderful Judy and Anne (who made it such FUN!)

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Smiling Berta.

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Sweet Nancy K. (with Dolores looking over her shoulder)…

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Adam from the studio next door.

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Penny just back from three months in Alaska!

And the delightful surprise of sharing the day with an important mentor in my life

Rosemary & her pal Austin.

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Thank you to ALL of you…and the many not pictured here but always in my heart!

 

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I had the most amazing time and was utterly surprised by your exquisite gift of a handmade book embellished by so many of you into a keepsake I will treasure FOREVER!

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And special thanks to my Beloved Albert who worked sooo hard to help me heal and embrace your outpouring of love.

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It was an absolutely awesome party and I couldn’t have been more honored and humbled by your love & well-wishes!

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It was a day I will always cherish!

THANK YOU with all my heart!

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(P. S. Reality Check: Here I am on my 49th birthday at my dear friend’s Ski & Sandi’s home in San Diego!)

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Blessings Abound!

jan-11

Love Love Love From Kaitlin

©Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

By Kaitlin Meadows

HEALING MOJO

Life is messy, crazy, WONDERFUL and I am so very, very, VERY grateful to still be in it!!

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Image from: kathisgardenart.blogspot.com

Two weeks ago I was in the hospital with my heart in the steel grip of something that quite nearly killed me.

There were tubes & machines, monitors & tests, whispered consultations & worried glances.

Only after several days in the ICU did I realize…

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Image from: http://www.wildwomansisterhood.com

Only when I was flat on my back, tethered down by machines, dependent on others to keep me afloat, did I realize I had done this to myself.

NOT by being a bad person or failing to exercise enough or by not eating all my vegetables.

NOT because I smoked or drank or had a wild lifestyle.

But precisely because I filled my heart way too full with all the cares of the world, the Girlz that I mentored, my friends who were going through their own setbacks and heartaches, and my own inclination to CARE too much!

My weary, old, prickly heart just couldn’t take it anymore and it had to get my attention. And it certainly did!

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Image from: http://www.bloglovin.com

Thus began this difficult, challenging, AMAZING process of personal healing.

Apparently…

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and this whole experience has served to open my heart in wonderful new ways.

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Image from: http://www.healing-journey-energy.com

I learned that I am surrounded by people who truly love and care for me,

who are willing & eager to help carry my burdens,

and who have sage advice about how to live a full, compassionate, empathetic life without killing yourself in the process.

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I learned that healing is a spiritual practice I must be committed to for the remainder of my life and that nutritious self-care is not selfish.

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I learned that…

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Image from: http://www.HealthyPlace.com

and

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Image from: @axiom.attic

Most importantly, by sharing my saga with you and receiving the loving flood of your cards & well wishes, I learned

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Image from: http://www.wildwomansisterhood.com

So, though you won’t see me for a wee bit here while I regroup, please know that I am doing the work of recovery, grateful to have the opportunity to focus on it with few distractions, making progress each day with all of your love & support.

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Image from: http://www.sun-gazing.com

THANK YOU to all of you for your amazing out-pouring of love!

THANK YOU to my Darling Albert.

Thank you for LIFE!

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Image from. http://www.theglitchmovie.com

Come celebrate life with me on September 17th, 10 am to Noon at The Creative Cottage!

Standing With Love & Deep Gratitude In Your Healing MoJo,

Kaitlin

© KaitlinMeadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE!

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Sometimes gifts arrive in unlikely packages.

Occasionally they are the answer to our prayers.

Sometimes they come disguised as setbacks.

Often they arrive late, with no return address.

Other times, they arrive just in the nick of time.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 24, 2016, alone at The Cottage, I collapsed.

I was transported via ambulance to UMC-Banner Hospital in critical condition.

The paramedics told my wonderful husband Albert that I was five minutes from death.

That I am here to tell you about it all is a miracle.

The rapid, courteous, professional EMS response team from Tucson Fire Department and the fantastic cardiology team at Banner/UMC brought me back.

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I will be forever grateful.

And astounded.

I see it as an enormous, shiny, one-of-a-kind gift that was sent to change my life in the best of all possible ways.

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(image from: http://www.psychologytoday.com)

My heart attack was what is called “broken heart syndrome” in lay terms (because this kind of heart attack is most often triggered by emotional stress or constant anxiety)

or Takotsubo stress cardiomyopathy in medical terms. The name “takotsubo syndrome” comes from the Japanese word for a kind of octopus trap  because it resembles an octopus sitting on top of the heart with tentacles squeezing the heart into severe cardiac spasms. It felt like my heart was being squeezed in a steel cage and I could not unlock it.

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(image from http://www.etsy.com)

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is rare, comprising less than 2% to 3% of people in western countries who suffer from a heart attack.

Stress is the main factor in takotsubo cardiomyopathy, 90% of cases are women of “a certain age” with over 85% of cases set in motion by either a physically or emotionally stressful event that immediately prefaces the start of symptoms.

The cardiologists explained to me that some people process their lives through their heads, others through their guts, and a handful through their hearts. I’m one of those folks who processes positively EVERYTHING through my heart. It has always been so. It’s in my hard wiring. I care, I feel, I hurt, I cry. It’s what makes me Kaitlin…but…

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Having miraculously survived, it is my singular responsibility to regroup and refashion my life so it doesn’t try to kill me again!

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At the moment, I am a determined archaeologist on an intensely emotional excavation, trying to unearth the triggers that caused this crash and working on disabling them so that I can embrace the joy-filled, creative, loving life I believe I am still destined to live. I will need a little time to heal, to regain my strength, and to create new rituals of self care.

Here’s how you can help me:

Please hold my place in your lives until I can recover

and know that as I map new resting places for my heart

you are all part of what keeps me going toward the happy life ahead of me.

Remind me often and in your sternest, most loving voice NOT to take on ALL the woes of the world

and to…

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(image:©2014 Cherilyn Clough http://www.LittleRedSurvivor.com)

My plan is to take a couple of weeks off at home under the incredibly loving care of my Beloved Albert who single-handedly pulled me back from the brink into his loving arms and our beautiful life together. I am going to heal and come back better than ever to celebrate and to honor this amazing gift of life renewed.

Please know that I am completely invested in keeping The Cottage as our tribal sanctuary, spirit lodge, and inspiring playhouse of shared creativity.

Be assured, my romance with my own “wild & precious life” has been rekindled.

My determination to continue to be a light in this world, to be a loving, creative, joy-filled playmate and an endlessly grateful (and much humbled) steward of my own life-force has become my singular focus.

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And, please, remember that I love you and am filled with absolute awe at your loving me back.

Come have a cupcake & a hug on my 70th birthday party on the 17th of September at The Cottage so I can personally thank you all for the overwhelming love and encouragement you are lavishing on me.

Please be grateful for every moment of your life!

Keep ya posted… 

LOVE LOVE LOVE & so much gratitude!

Kaitlin

Who’s heart is prickly

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(image: pricklypearheart from http://www.annemckinnell.com)

but it is strong!

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(image:www.inerties.tumblr.com)

Delighted and proud to be a…

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© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.