Hello Beautiful Friends~
Where in the world has Kaitlin been?
I’ve been away on the most incredible inner soul voyage–replete with epiphanies and dragons, dark night’s of the soul and radiant moments of utter clarity & peace. It has been six weeks of intense soul searching and letting go, deep family time and intentional solitude, plus a dash of much needed shifting and stretching mixed in.
I’ve loved every minute of it and cherish the healing time I was able to whittle into the long prayer stick that has been my waaaaay too busy life.
I had a wonderful holiday season: cozy & warm & full of twinkling lights, good friends, and much simple joy! I languished and lazed: read books and took walks, saw movies and spent time in nature. I had long, loving, sweet days quietly snuggled in at home with my Sweetheart.
In the process, I spent some deep time re-thinking my life and the use of my time and re-calibrating my direction and intention. I even dusted off many long dormant old wishes and dreams!
It took me a while (and much trial and error!) to come up with my guiding words for the year, but they finally came to me on a moon-full night around a campfire.
My words for 2019 are: PAUSE & REPLENISH.
Pausing is not easy for me.
(It’s danged near IMPOSSIBLE if truth be told.)
I’m a chronic, persistent, insistent over-doer, over-thinker, and over-feeler.
I was taught that idleness is a waste of valuable time, better spent doing something for someone else and that self-care is a selfish and self-centered indulgence.
I’ve always had a boat-load of energy, run circles around everyone I know, and been the quintessential over-achiever. I prefer being fully engaged at all times with everything that crosses my path. I lend my whole heart to everything I do.
But, it’s taken me years to learn that living life at that pace leaves little time for reflection, introspection, and rest. After my own heart attack two years ago and, now, my Beloved’s on-going cancer and chemotherapy, I’ve (finally) begun to embrace the philosophy that…
As an experiment, I’ve been actively practicing a new way of being for six weeks now–learning to re-prioritize the “good stuff” instead of all the “have to’s” and “gotta’s,” learning to ENJOY tiny moments of exquisite bird song and glorious Tucson sunsets, and gently (but firmly) beginning to navigate my life towards some exciting new soul-stretching adventures.
In my lengthy inventory of gratitude, I found soooo many things to celebrate and cherish. Including the realization that this February marks my eighth anniversary of being the Mistress of Merriment at the Creative Cottage!
All those years ago, when I wrote in my Mission Statement that it was “My hope is to provide a safe, nurturing space for women to share solace, inspiration, creativity, and joy while building deep and abiding friendships,” I could not have known what a fabulous experience it would be! I could not have predicted what a loving, supportive community we have built together. Eight years ago, I could not have imagined holding an average of 125 classes a year (that’s over a thousand classes!) and doing so much social justice, youth mentoring, creative writing, and counseling work at the Cottage! And, most certainly, I could not have known what an amazing tribe we would become!
You have generously supported my classes, volunteered to teach classes of your own, made amazingly creative “stuff,” celebrated each other’s triumphs and setbacks, laughed and cried and supported each other through sickness and health, through hard times and good. You have shared your stories and your resources, boosted each other, celebrated together, brought yummy potluck food to share, and even helped with the dishes.
Thank You with all my heart! You have helped make my life so full and FUN and bubbling over with JOY!
as with all things,
it is time for a change…
I need to replenish myself.
I need to learn new things, try new things, explore new things, and have new adventures.
I need to embrace these
I need to follow the sage advice of Melody Ross, a delightful spirit sister/teacher, who counsels ways to live a beautiful “real life.” This is from her Brave Girls Club–(sign up for it–it will feed your soul!)
Dear Growing Soul,
Please, dear friend, let yourself keep growing. Do you hear me? LET YOURSELF KEEP GROWING. Let yourself change. Let yourself learn. Let yourself become. Let yourself let go of who you once were if it’s time for you to become something new.
And the fact is, it’s time for all of us to become something new all the time. We are living, growing beings. This means that every time we grow, we are different than we were before. There is no shame in this, there is nothing wrong with this and there is also not a real way to prevent it from happening. Because it is supposed to happen this way.
Who you were is different from who you are. Who you are is different from who you will become. You are meant to progress in this way, everyone is. Don’t let anyone steal this miracle from you and don’t let yourself try to steal it from anyone else.
Sometimes we have giant growth spurts and we grow out of everything that fit us before. There are growing pains, but it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Change is hard and and change is beautiful and change is absolutely necessary.
Grieve and let go of the old, and open your hands joyfully to the new. It will make everything just a little bit easier, beautiful friend.
It is going to be okay. You are going to be okay. You are just right just as you are, and you were just right just as you were, and you will be just right just as you become. Trust this. Life is a beautiful messy process and you’re growing new wings.
You are so very very loved.
Melody Ross believes in living a REAL life, with bumps & bruises, with setbacks & heartache, but mostly, with LOVE. Her advice came to me at just the perfect moment. My head was incredibly stressed- out with all the usual negative self-talk: I wasn’t doing enough, that I should be out there trying to save the world, that I hadn’t written a new blog post in over a month, that I couldn’t think of any new classes, blah, blah, blah…I was still struggling with that same old “I’m not good enough” demon even as my heart was INSISTING it was long past time for me to PAUSE AND REPLENISH. Melody reminded me change is awkward and bumpy and messy as hell…when I read her note I had one of those moments…
It’s time for new beginnings!
Big changes in my life:
I’ve already started a wonderful weekly bookmaking class with the talented Maria Lee at Pima College, won a coveted writing residency to work on my book projects, started attending a movement class, scheduled several art retreats, made plans to spend more time with my sister in the Sierra’s, and about to begin a modest new hiking practice.
My new little business called Enhanced Environments, (I de-clutter, organize, and re-enchant other people’s creative spaces), is taking off big time (thank you!) and, it turns out that I just love helping folks reclaim their creativity and sense of personal peace in their homes & studios. (Call me if you are in need of some re-enchantment!)
I am taking Seth Apter‘s workshop at PaperWorks and I’ve signed up for a three month series with Naomi Ortiz at Antigone based on her soul-healing book Sustaining Spirit: Self Care for Social Justice. I’m learning to play the kalimba, starting to create new metal sculptures, and eagerly begin a massive re-enchantment process at my home studio, The Vortex. AND, I’m already preparing my spring garden for more herbs and flowers!
These are my commitments for now:
and I firmly believe it’s okay to
I am already feeling better, stronger, healthier than I have for a very long while.
I already KNOW that I am on the right path.
I’m EXCITED about my life again!
In February, at The Creative Cottage, we will begin a new chapter too.
There will be more emphasis on Creativity Chix adventures: invitations to join me at other people’s classes (Andrea Edmundson‘s mosaic classes, Marnie‘s jewelry making classes, Ben’s Bells, etc.), plus more shared matinees and plays, more music and merriment meet-ups.
At The Cottage, I will hold only 4 classes a month until June and then we’ll regroup and see how things feel…please support my classes if you can–if we want The Creative Cottage to survive I will need your help with the rent (and the merriment)!
Let us embark on all our changes with excitement and not regret, with all our love, creativity and friendship…will you join me?
Come join me! And may we all celebrate new possibilities together!
Stay tuned–we’re going to have a very fun new year together!
With love & gratitude and a big dash of excitement,
Your Mistress of Merriment,
P.S. Check out classes for February & March by clicking the Cottage Classes tab!
© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2019. All Rights Reserved.