Making The Leap!

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I feel like I’m leaping out of speeding clown car, careening down a curvy, fog-soaked road, in the dead of night, toward a tiny beacon of light, flickering on the other side of a huge chasm. Leaping over it is an act of pure faith. 2017was definitely not a good year for me. Perhaps the whole devisive political climate set the incessant negative tone, or perhaps it was my dear, loving husband being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Maybe it was everything in general and nothing in particular. Maybe it was in my stars or something I ate. But 2017 was a very rough year for me and most people I love.

Don’t get me wrong–there were lots of “life lessons”…bless their little hearts…

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The biggest of which was learning on a very personal and visceral level that

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It’s a mighty powerful lesson and one I grappled with after my own heart attack in 2016. But it’s amazing how easy it is to gloss over. Ignore. Push down. Forget.

Turns out, there are some things that you just can’t wish away…starting with a POTUS bent on pillaging the country, whipping up hatred, repealing health care, and destroying environmental protections and public lands. There are just some things you can’t pretend aren’t real. Cancer for instance. 

But…

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I’m from a stubborn, head-strong, heart-proud, clan of renegade wimmin who power through things on their own. We “buck up” when things get tough. We grit our teeth and hunker down and do what needs doing. We’re terrible at asking for help and even worse at accepting it. We figure other folks have plenty to worry about in their own lives and need not be bothered by what’s going on in ours. We prefer to suffer in silence. Eat a lot of chocolate. And watch 1940’s noir movies on Turner Movie Classics in our jammies.

But…in 2018…

2018

I’m going to trust that you want me to take better care of myself.

I’m going to believe you want happiness and peace and good health for me, as well as for yourself. 

So, in 2018, I’m going to take more time off to play and laugh and make art and have adventures. I’m going to spend every moment I can with Albert and my family. I’m going to take Albert on an odyssey for his 80th birthday in late January to visit his beloved son Erik in Grass Valley and swing by my beautiful sister Kim’s homestead in the Sierras. We’re going to spend a couple of days at a fun, funky cabin in the Chiracuas for Valentine’s. I’m going to San Diego to visit my dear, old friends, Allan, Sandi, Ski, Ann, Virginia, Mnimaka, and others in April…and there WILL be a beach trip in September! In short, we’re going to LIVE every single danged moment we have left! I’m letting go of being such an over-doing, over-committing, over-obsessing person and use one (and only one) mantra in 2018…

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The list of things I hope to do better in 2018 is short and sweet. No grand plans to change the world, save the planet, or single-handedly put an end to child abuse, racism, and war.

After years of dedicated resolution-making, intention-setting, and vision-boarding; here are my simple hopes for 2018…

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My word for the year is: RELEASE.

Release ideas, people, things, obligations, relationships, and responsibilities that no longer serve me. Release guilt & shame & “never enough.” Release the demeaning, critical, mean-spirited self-talk I so often whisper to myself. Release the notion that my house has to be perfect to entertain friends instead of just a cozy, messy, life-spilling, joyful filled space for people to eat, drink, and be merry. Release the bad habit of trying to juggle too many balls in mid-air. Release clutter and collections gone viral. Release expectations and projections and being “stuck.” Release old hurts and slights and inscrutable break-ups with people I have loved.

Release dreams that no longer fit: I’m just never gonna make it to the jungles of New Guinea,  for instance, or learn to play the cello. There’s a very good chance I’m never gonna finish my novel Brogan’s Book or challenge Mary Oliver to a poetic duel.

But I can learn to savor, enjoy, celebrate, and uplift all the things I love and believe in. I can spread joy and creativity and the marvelous healing balm of deep friendship. I can love and be loved and make tiny contributions to making the planet a better place. I can keep The Creative Cottage afloat and throw open the doors to greet you with hugs & laughter when you come to play. I can remind you to

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Maybe that’s all I can do. But I have to believe it is enough. Enough to give, enough to share, enough to be just my whole, flawed, messy, HUMAN self in front of you because you can see through all that and into my heart. Where I love you. Where I will stand beside you, hoisting up the banner of our shared belief in love and friendship and healing.

So, here’s to 2018 and here is my wish for you…2018 7

I love you and will continue to plug away at life if you’ll join me in the glorious, difficult, absolutely relentless work of being a change-agent for joy. I’ve got your hand. We can get through it together. We’re on the high, windy, sacred cliff of Third Mesa in the land of Hopi as the last sun of 2017 sets over the mountains and the first glorious, radiant moon of 2018 rises to guide us on our soul’s deep and joy-full journey together. Let us begin…

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Happy New Year!

With Great Love & Renewed Hope, Kaitlin

P.S. Check out my classes–please note some changes due to “Albert & Kait’s Great Adventure” in January!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

By Kaitlin Meadows

Solstice for the Soul

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It has been a very long, challenging year and I will be so happy to see it gone…

I find myself burrowing down into the deeper realms of myself, discarding old, worn-out, dog-eared dreams, and tossing all the broken, sad, exhausted parts of myself into the blazing, healing Yule fire.

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I’ve learned so much this year.  I’ve expanded my soul–stretched and morphed and walked it through fire. I’ve learned to cherish every little moment and celebrate every little joy. 

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In this season that can get so crazy and busy and full of “to do’s” and “must have’s” and “gotta do’s”–I have decided, instead, to go simple and quiet and peaceful.

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I’ve decided to slow down and get a grip on pure joy.

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I’ve decided to hunker down with my Beloved and read books, listen to music, dance in the kitchen, and give myself permission to rest, refill, and replenish.

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In this season that can be so frazzled and fraught, I’ve decided to keep it simple and soft and as gentle as can be.

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I’ve decided to lighten-up on all the impossible demands I make on myself, to stop focusing on all the “what if’s” and “if only’s” and start congratulating myself on all I was able to accomplish this year, all the happy moments I enjoyed, and all the members of our wonderful medical team caring for my dear Sweetheart so he can continue to be my brave, funny, smart, loving, devoted life mate.

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It’s been a very rough year but I have been surrounded by love and caring and thoughtfulness. My tribe, near and far, has cushioned the blows and bandaged the wounds.

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Despite having to cancel some classes to take Albert to chemo treatments, feeling too pooped to be the lively social butterfly I have always been, and being prone to sudden gushes of tears; you have stood with me, stepping-in to teach classes, water the plants, keep the rent paid, make coffee, bring delicious snacks, and share so generously your fabulous stashes of talents & supplies. You have laughed with me and cried with me and made art with me and shared your hearts with me. I am eternally grateful for you in my life!

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You have been the fire that warms me and throws light on my path. It is because of you I’ve made it through this no-good, rotten, good riddance year and I thank you with all my heart for your love and tenderness!sol 21

Though the world is crazy, the politics of our time disgraceful, the state of the animal kingdom in grave peril, the souls and spirits of so many ravaged by war and hate and greed…please keep your own heart safe, your own spirit well-nourished, and keep at the proud, endless work of love and revolution!

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P. S. And go see the film “Jane” at The Loft if you want to be uplifted, encouraged, and given a little extra incentive to be your best self.

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P. S. Please come join us for our annual Winter Solstice Party!

Winter Solstice Holiday Party & General Merriment: Thursday, December 21, 10 to 12:30: We’ll have a jumble sale, an artist supply swap, a holiday card exchange, delicious food groups, much laughter, and many fine hi-jinx! Come let’s party together before Christmas. Bring food to share, items for the jumble sale, art supplies that need swapping, and a heart-full of joy!

And then come create a gratitude journal to start the New Year!

“Thanks A Bunch” Gratitude Journal: Saturday, December 30, 10 to 12:30:  Let’s focus on all we have to be grateful for and happy about! I’ll provide a small, spiral-bound book for you to collage, paint, and decorate. I’ll share prompts, dividers, and embellishments to make your book a special place to deposit all your gratitude. $20–all supplies included. 

Please check out Marnie’s new classes starting in January–click on the Marnie Is My Muse tab above.

Much Love and Many Blessings of The Season to You and Yours!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved.

Images from Pinterest with thanks.

 

 

 

By Kaitlin Meadows