Practicing Peace

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Summer in Tucson, Arizona is my least favorite season. I am NOT a hot weather person. An Irish lass by heritage, a redwood forest hippie by inclination, 82 degrees would be my ideal summer high temperature…preferably by a body of water (I love oceans best but a creek will do)…under a canopy of trees (redwoods are the best but I’ll take big, old oaks too)…in my daydreams I live in a hut by a river or in a shack by the sea–never, ever under a saguaro.

But here I am. And here I must be. And it’s up to me to make the best of it.

There will be no vacation this year. No trip to the beach. No jaunt up to the Sierras to see my sister. No respite. I’m stuck. Two more months of “too hot for humans” in Tucson.

Can’t tackle any big projects. Can’t spend too much time outdoors. Can’t abide the heat and the glare. Can’t take another moment of the pathetic high crimes & felonies of our politicians. Can’t. It’s too much! It could drive a woman CRAZEE!

So, my “homework” for this sizzling season is Practicing Peace.

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Not “visualizing” peace or “praying” for peace, but actually WORKING toward BEING peace.

Slowing down. Appreciating. Taking in. Breathing out.

Neither creating nor participating in drama.

Reading. Writing. Sewing. Staring off into space.

Re-grouping. Replenishing.

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Observing the antics of two fledgling Great Horned Owls born in a high crook of our huge Grandfather Mesquite.

Blessed to see the delicate unfolding of the fleeting, one day blossoming, ceres cacti.

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Sitting on the front porch with my Sweetheart to watch the sunset after a monsoon storm.

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What I am beginning to understand is, these days, 

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My days of scurrying around, trying to juggle 15 balls in the air (while whistling the entire score of Evita) are over. It’s time to let soooo much go…to make choices that promote my personal peace…

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Eliminating as many old, worn-out obligations and “have to’s” as I can has helped me enter a wonderful new phase in my life. It gives me so many more opportunities to be tuned in to the amazing moments of ordinary life.

I was deeply inspired by one of my favorite mentors, Asia from One Willow Apothecaries in a recent blog post in which she wrote about choosing peace.

You can choose peace, even when everything in the world is telling you that you must push, strive, change, transform, end it all, or begin something new.

You can choose peace, even if that means upsetting the expectations of others.
 
You can choose peace and still change your life from the inside out. In fact, sometimes peace is the path to transformation itself.
 
You can choose peace and still be blessed with an abundance of creativity, love, nourishment and magic— it’ll just arrive differently. Less like an asteroid, and more like a white votive, glowing steady in a hallowed alcove.

So whenever a new opportunity or invitation comes up ask yourself: Will this increase my sense of well-being? Does this support me in nourishing my overall existence? Will this help me cultivate peace?”

It’s amazing, if you make the conscious decision to step off the roller coaster, jump off the carousel, and not feel so compelled to do do do, buy buy buy, go go go, worry worry worry, your life gradually starts filling with peace.

One day at a time.

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And remember, my life ain’t easy. It’s complicated. There’s much going on. It’s not as though I don’t still have a huge number of responsibilities and chores. Keeping my tiny art studio and classes afloat, tending to the needs of my very ill husband, being a writer and an artist and a social justice activist, maintaining our small oasis at WildHeart Ranch to be a vibrant sanctuary for critters and plants…there’s plenty to do but…

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That’s what I’m doing this summer–what about you?

Here’s my prayer…

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what’s yours?

Let’s you and I meet, out beyond the heat and hate, out under the big oak, by the side of the singing creek. Let’s take a picnic and spend all day playing, laughing, talking, and dreaming…

Together, let’s always

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Love And Peace From Kaitlin

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2019. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

By Kaitlin Meadows

IN THE STUDIO, HIBERNATING

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Summer in the Southwest is like winter in the East. Time to hibernate.

Summer in the Southwest is a great time to stay indoors, out of the heat, “in the studio,” spending long, happy hours puttering, playing, and creating.

The above picture is not really my studio of course–but the one I dream of. A cute little gypsy wagon, a boho vardo, a magical retreat down a winding green path, snuggled in the deep, cool woods.

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It’s a place entirely set aside for JOY!

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A place where my books and paints and projects can be left out & messy because

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and play is sacred work for an artist. 

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Of course, in my dreams, it has fabulous storage options,

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and innovative ways to store all my loot.

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It would have infinite wall space, a record player (I LOVE records!),

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and, definitely, a cozy day bed where I could relax with the kitties between creative outbursts.

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In my magical creative space, there would be all the tools I’ve ever dreamed of

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and a huge, high wall I could hang big canvases while I worked on them.

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While we’re dreaming, my studio would have all the light and air and space I needed to feel inspired…

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plus a colorful little lounge where I could sit with my friends, sipping intoxicating beverages and laughing all day.

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In my perfect studio, I’d make raw, powerful, evocative work like Freda

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because, after all,  it’s all about the ART…

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So, picture me in my fantastic imaginary perfect studio, spending the whole long, hot, glaring summer ensconced; dabbling, dancing, reading, & painting in a creative chaos of joy…

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because, after all,

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But, for now, I find my art making space where I can–sometimes at the Creative Cottage, sometimes in my converted garage studio, The Vortex, and sometimes just on the kitchen table. The important thing I’ve learned is

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So, please come join me, in your fancy studio or on the kitchen table,

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Because, really, summer in the Southwest is for hibernating!

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Love and Happy Creating,

Kaitlin

(Hibernating)

© Copyright, Kaitlin meadows. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

By Kaitlin Meadows