It’s Complicated

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It’s complicated.

Life. Love. Family. Politics.

Work. Friends. Responsibilities. Politics.

Health. Sanity. Projects. Politics.

It’s complicated.

Sometimes sublime.

Frequently scary.

Always intense.

One way or the other,

Never a dull moment!

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I know you’ve been worried about me.

Calling…e-mailing…wondering what’s up with Kait.

Well, it’s certainly been interesting times….

I think you’ll agree.

The shock & awe takes a daily toll.

It’s hard not to be pulled under.

Some days I manage to stay afloat

only by sheer will & gumption.

Mostly, I’m just hangin’ in here

because I’m determined

NOT to give up…

on peace…on love…on kindness…on miracles!

kind I’ve seriously had to recalibrate my life…

since the heart attack,

since the election,

since I began to understand

that a huge shift 

was happening in my life.

I needed to pull in,

get quiet,

ponder deeply,

and try to figure out

how the heck

to move forward again.

I learned that

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So, for the last couple of weeks

I’ve been trying to find my way:

looking for signs,

reading tea leaves,

taking the pulses

of our times.

Like you,

I’ve been confused…

muddled…

anxious…

angry…

scared…

and holding my breath.

But

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That’s been my healing balm.

That is why I haven’t managed to write a blog post

or conjure a March schedule

of Cottage classes and events.

That’s why

I’ve been out of touch.

That’s why

I’m still a little

bruised & battered.

But here’s the good news:

I made it through the strict six month probation period since the heart attack!

There was great concern among the docs that I might not bounce back at all.

But with the loving care of my Beloved Albert

and your beautiful friendship,

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I am very gratefully still here!  

Mind you, I’m not a 100%

and I’ve been warned

that I will never be again,

but I’m trying to get used to operating

at about 50% (with naps).

It’s been sooooooo humbling.

And disconcerting.

As you know,

I’m used to running at 150%!

Fully present.

Totally engaged.

Utterly over-committed.

More good news: I’ve gained a whole new respect

for healthy boundaries

and unapologetic self-care.

I’m really learning to prioritize

what really matters!

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So, this is just a little note

to let you know

 I’ll be unplugged

for another week please.

I’m gonna stay home with Sweetie

and do some more healing and enjoying.

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Talk among yourselves.

Cultivate all the joy you can.

Know that I am sending such love

and gratitude,

(AND a big, goofy KaitieBug grin!)

More soon.

Really.

Soon.

I’ll be back.

Please hold my place in your lives.

Take very good care of yourselves.

Peace Out,

Kait

P.S. Such happy memories of my sister Kim’s visit and so glad so many of you got to spend magical, creative time with her. She’s a huge part of my heart! Next blog post full of pictures and stories from our high-jinx together!

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© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved. 2017.

 

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By thundermoonstudios

WISE WIMMIN RISE UP!

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It was remarkable! It was amazing! It rocked my hippie soul!

The Tucson Women’s March

(in solidarity with demonstrations all over the world!)

drew 15,000 men, women, and children

of every race and creed, every age and orientation,

AND there wasn’t a single arrest or act of violence!

I am convinced…

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Some of us have been “hibernating” since the election…

talking, drumming, sitting in circle, conjuring,

and preparing ourselves…

but on January 21, 2017 we came out of hibernation

ROARING with new energy and passion!

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 Saturday people came together…

thousands and thousands and thousands of them in Tucson!

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because we must…

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I am pleased that young wimmin and male allies, who have different life experiences than I do, different needs, different worries, came to join us in this struggle.

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Like many women my age…

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but I have grandchildren and the Girlz With HeART and

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willing to do what I have to make sure we

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I am no fool,

I know this is going to be a fevered battle

but I feel energized and enthused about continuing to be a part

of a movement I first joined in 1966.

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We’re baaaaaaaack!

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We had a poster making potluck at The Cottage…

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a sisterhood of untamed wimmin who know…

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who have been through many trails and setbacks in their own lives 

but continue to say…

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because we have become the wise elders

who thoughtfully carry the history of many social justice causes

and the experience of much hard work in the trenches,

over many decades,

into the future…

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Each in our own way…pulling together…

speaking up for children, the earth, the homeless,

the rejected, and, especially,

those who have experienced violence and hate.

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We gathered at The Cottage,

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car-pooled to Armory Park,

and joined  thousands  already assembling on a rainy, windy day!

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It was exhilarating to share the positive energy

and to see so many of us willing to take to the streets

to protect basic social, economic, and spiritual values.

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There were lots of messages,

lots of causes & concerns…

but, most importantly,

I think women proclaimed loud and clear…

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For some of us, this struggle is very personal…

we have been working for decades

to insure that women have every opportunity

to honor themselves and their bodies

and to make informed, supported choices.

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Many of us remember the brave, relentless suffragettes

who risked imprisonment and death

to assure women have the right to vote.

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Saturday we proved we are ready for and willing to

stand up, speak up, and act up

to continue to focus attention on those who are most vulnerable…

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Never under-estimate a group pf empowered women!

We refuse or to comply,

to be silent,

to think we are powerless,

to allow hatred to win…

and we’re NOT going away,

we’re in it for the long haul…

we’re in it to win!

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Are you in? Will you join us? Can we count on you to help out?

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Stay tuned…

we have lots of wonderful plans and much hard work to do…

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We’re a powerful, passionate, creative tribe and we’re up to the challenge!
We’re ready to RISE UP!

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Meanwhile…

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With peace and love and solidarity,

Kaitlin

P. S. Check out new classes and let me know QUICK which you’d like to attend!

©Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Hibernation!

Whooooooosh!

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(image from spiritualevolution1111.tumblr)

The news is in. The planets have shifted. The stars have aligned.

The old year is gone and a new one peeks cautiously

from under a blanket of national darkness.

A new era is coming and it will require much of us.

It will demand our full attention.

It is either a clarion call to our higher selves

or a siren song of hopeless despair.

It will ask us to either evolve

or devolve.

We decide.

It’s up to us.

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We need to be ready for its challenges and prepared for its setbacks.

It is time to assemble our tribe…(ask yourself who matters in your life? who has your back? who do you want to warrior and rest beside?)…

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It is time to prepare our best tools…(we will need our wits and our wit, our strength and our softness, our wiles and our wisdom)…

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It is time to reach into our deepest souls together

and divine new ways

to make our stand against hatred, ignorance, war, and death.

We must be up to the task. We must be

Brave.

Determined.

Undaunted.

But, we must also be

funny and kind and full of love.

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We have work to do.

Fences to mend.

Bridges to build.

People to feed.

Hearts in desperation to heal.

It is our calling, our sacred duty as wise women, to do this work,

to speak this truth,

to mend these wounds,

to stand for what is right,

to be the unrelenting voice of The Mother.

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There is no shirking this.

No leaving it for someone else to do.

It will require everything we are made of.

And more.

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Are you ready

for what will be fierce times to come?

I realize that in anticipation of the long, bumpy road ahead,

the intense journey on which we are about to embark,

I will need to hibernate for a few weeks…

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I will take January off to prepare myself.

To rest myself.

To nurture myself.

To cultivate the strength I will need
for the work ahead.

I will take January off

to rebuild my strength,

to refine my focus,

to bolster my resolve

to be sure-footed on the perilous path ahead.

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There will be no “official” classes at The Cottage

this month…

but I will offer several opportunities,

later in the month,

for us to gather at The Cottage,

to brainstorm,

to uplift each other,

to invent our personal survival strategies,

and to hold each other dear.

Meanwhile, I will be working on lots of new Cottage classes, workshops, artist dates, field trips, gatherings, and creative intentions for 2017.

I will be inventing new ways to deepen and intensify our practice at The Cottage

and I will be conjuring concrete ways we can make a positive difference in our broken world.

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I will also be working to “release” (release is my word for the year!)

lots of “stuff”–

(possessions, responsibilities, expectations, worn-out old stories)

and, FINALLY, I hope to learn to gracefully accept your very kind offers of help.

Teresa has offered to help me build a website,

Marnie is inspiring me at clay class,

Anne is going to use her spatial skills to help me revamp my home studio,

Marilee will be taking over all the responsibilities of the Girlz,

Karen Z and I are sharing creative play days in Picture Rocks,

and many of you have offered to help with a big “spring cleaning” at the Cottage.

Thank You!

But, mostly, in this period of hibernation

 I will be following doctor’s orders

by taking a tiny, necessary respite for my heart

to continue mending,

to rebuild my stamina,

and to strengthen the muscles

I will need for the challenges ahead.

In a few days I will have more details…

but I didn’t want another moment to go by

with you worrying “What’s up with KaitieBug?”

I’m doing okay,

but I really, really, really need this time off

to honor the doctors who brought me back to the living

and to spend time with my darlin’ Albert,

who deserves a healthy, happy, inspired partner

to be his loving sidekick on the journey ahead.

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(image from P. J. Crook)

So, I’ll see ya’ll soon…

stay tuned

and please remember Kaitlin loves you

and counts on you to continue to be

the wild, wonderful, wise, renegade wimmin

of our blessed Creative Cottage tribe.

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© Kaitlin Meadows 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

By thundermoonstudios

Learning To Be Peaceful

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Everything about the season says “Rush, worry, be stressed!”

Everywhere there is incomprehensible bloodshed and mayhem.

Friends, understandably, are feeling a wide range of emotions: grief, rage, hopelessness, and fear.

There is plenty to be crazy about. There is every reason to be scared.

But I’m learning that I, alone, am responsible for my own peace.

If I’m going to be any good for the struggles ahead

and if I’m going to be up to the challenges that are coming,

I must not squander my energies on being angry or depressed.

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So I’m refusing to be pulled into the seasonal frenzy.

I am rejecting the urge to be immobilized by woe.

I’m learning to be peaceful instead.

I know, first hand, how very precious life is

and how quickly it can be snatched away.

I promised myself,

if I survived the heart attack,

that I would be grateful for every moment

I have left,

that I’d take absolutely nothing for granted,

and that I’d fill my life

with all the joy & love & peace

I can!

So, I won’t be manipulated into being a part of the craziness.

Despite all that is going on in the world, I’ve decided to be peaceful.

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It’s not easy.

It takes some work.

Sometimes I slip a bit

and get frustrated by all the gaudy commercialism,

all the rampant capitalism,

all the greed when so many others are suffering.

But I am determined to stay steady at the task

of being my best and highest self

despite the frenzied season,

despite the excruciating political times,

despite the odds–all odds.

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So, in this season of change and transformation,

I come to you with so much gratitude

for all the fellowship and joy we have shared together this year,

for all your kindnesses when I was ill,

for helping make the Creative Cottage

such an amazing place

for us to share our stories & our hearts.

I love each of you for all the gifts

you have shared with me,

all the love you have lavished on me,

and all the happy times

we have enjoyed together.

Please hold my place in your life

as I bumble off,

she-bear Kait,

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for the whole month of January

to give myself some time to heal

and regain my strength

after a few more major medical adjustments get taken care of.

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I plan to stay in my pj’s and cuddle up with my Beloved.

I plan to do some major revamping of my life…

reinvent my home studio,

dust my sewing machine off,

do a good spring cleaning of the studio,

make some art,

read a lot of books,

finally get a website up,

and plot a new path for 2017.

I will crafting new ways

to be a more effective advocate for peace,

a firmer voice for social justice,

and a more powerful tool for

love, compassion, and creativity…

all the while practicing how to be peaceful.

I will be back in February

with some exciting new classes,

some wonderful Creativity Chix field trips,

and the wonderful magic that is our

lovely little Creative Cottage

clubhouse.

Happy Holidays!

Much Love From Kait

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Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle in your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. May you remember that your friend Kaitlin sends you love, laughter, and light!

 

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved

By thundermoonstudios

Wild Women Rise!

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Tis the season to join hands in circle,

to come together in peace,

to drum and dance and sing and pray.

To laugh and love and celebrate

all we have to be grateful for

instead of lamenting all we’ve lost.

It’s time for us to pull together

in our creative tribal communities

and invent new ways to survive and thrive.

No sense tryin’ to autopsy the corpse of what used to be,

or what we’d like it to be,

or what it could have been.

No sense tryin’ to figure it all out…

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It’s time for us wild wimmin to get at the serious work of re-dreaming the world!

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I’m excited about the new swell of energy and focus I am feeling in our tribe…

the re-inspired determination to stand up for justice and kindness and truth…

our mutual agreement NOT to bring anymore talk of politics

or the hateful ones

into our sacred Cottage space.

I know it’s scary but…

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We recognize that we are sensitive, fragile beings

and that this election cycle has wounded many of us deeply.

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But we are not alone.

When we come together at The Creative Cottage

we help each other over the rough patches

and begin the work of healing together.

We make art while we gather  because

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and many before us have used their art to save their lives!

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At The Creative Cottage

we have vowed to shift our work to deeper places,

to make art that matters,

to find new ways to stand up,

to speak out,

and to make a positive difference.

We aren’t opting out.

We’re not going away.

We’re not giving up…

we know that

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We took a few weeks to let it all sink in,

to grieve,

to be afraid of what our future might be but…

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and we have decided to use our creative spirits to

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to reclaim our power,

refocus our resolve,

and rebuild hope

in whatever ways we can,

with renewed determination,

hands & hearts joined.

I am proud of you for stepping up,

for not losing hope,

for being the brave wild fierce gentle creative wimmin you are!

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So here’s to moving forward,

arm in arm,

hand in hand,

heart to heart.

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Come join the Creative Cottage tribe of warrior renegades in re-dreaming the world!

We have work to do and joy to share!

My Love Is With You,

Kaitlin

© Copyright Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credits With Thanks:

(1)  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

(2) http://www.orangejerimiah-2911.com

(3) #manifestjustice@instagram.com

(4) http://www.psycho2go.com

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

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

(7) caazolin.tumblr.com

(8) http://www.kolettehall.wordpress.com

 

NOW WHAT?

Begin the healing.

Be gentle with yourself and others.

Don’t contribute to the cesspool of hatred, name-calling, and hopelessness.

Move on.

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Vow to yourself:

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Go quiet. Stay strong. Refuse to be defeated by hate.

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It is time for us to pull on our oxygen masks and prepare for a bumpy ride.

But we do not give up.

We do not run away.

We do not lose HOPE.

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We are strong.

We are resilient.

We are resourceful.

We will survive.

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We are a tribe.

Of loving, caring, creative, soul-full women.

We have endured much.

We can endure more.

But we must stick together.

Nourish ourselves.

Prepare for a long siege.

Pack lunches, bring flowers, and make music.

Our children and grandchildren are watching.

Will we be lost, swept under, made powerless?

Or will we rise up!

Will we sing!

Will we keep at the tasks of healing and caring and creating and spreading our love?

Or did he win our souls too?

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We are warriors!

We are renegades!

We are sage women!

Rise up singing, laughing, dancing, and praying.

But RISE UP!!!

It is our time.

We are called forward.

We are the tribe.

We are the hope.

We are the elders.

Get up!

Come forward.

Rejoice in your heart.

Love is what we make.

Hate is what we leave behind.

I am with you.

We are in this together.

I love you.

You are my tribe.

Here is my hand.

Let us go on together.

 

 

By thundermoonstudios

LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE

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I love life!

Every single, danged moment that I’ve been blessed to enjoy since my heart attack two months ago has seemed sweeter & more precious.

Even the rough patches. Even the “off” days.

I love it all–the craziness and the peace.

The hard work and the leisure.

I feel so blessed to have any of it, ALL OF IT!

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This was especially true last week as we spent several days on an autumnal camping trip at our favorite little Forest Service cabin.

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Days filled with reading, writing, hiking, napping, star-gazing, & fire-staring.

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Days spent breathing in the luxury of  “free” time; unscripted & unfettered.

No schedule. No pressure. No electronics!

Complete peace & quiet.

Four hours working in my art journal!

Three new poems!

A pile of library books!

Heaven!

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Plenty of time to observe this dashing red-naped sap sucker,

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to enjoy brilliant Venus,

(with pals Mars and Jupiter)

rising early in the cool evening sky,

to hear a chorus of raucous coyotes

calling up the moon.

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I’m learning to “be” instead of “do.” 

It’s a surprisingly hard process for a dedicated over-achiever!

But I’m getting the hang of it and I love practicing.

There are new priorities at WildHeart.

We start each morning on the front porch…(with a small tribe of busy hummingbirds, bunnies, and quail as companions) as the sun spills gold over the mountains.

Sunsets we sit out by our new little backyard pond with its tumble of musically falling water.

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I’m finally learning to say

“thank you kindly, but no”

to being on boards, serving on committees, or needing to “help save” the world.

I am eschewing (isn’t that a cool word?) busyness.

I’m retiring from being “in charge” of anything.

I’m declining even the loveliest of invitations in order to make art and putter in the garden and enjoy a quiet life at home.

I’m filling my calendar with “wanna do” stuff rather than “gotta do” stuff these days.

 No more kerfuffles. No more angst, drama, or tizzy.

No more mostly self-imposed stress.

Life is too short. Trust me. 

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It’s time for others to pitch in, pick up the gauntlet, and carry on.

I’m finding more nourishing ways to serve and discovering gentler ways to live with passion and purpose.

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Life in the slow lane. I love it!

Going at about half speed these days and I can barely keep up!

I have the lingering fragrance of wood smoke in my hair,

a happy glitter in my eyes,

and a very, very happy heart!

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Happy Autumn!

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With Love and Gratitude,

Kaitlin

Mistress of Merriment

P. S. New Cottage classes for November & December will be posted on Friday–I’ll have  all sorts of wonderful plans for your creative fun and several Creativity Chix excursions to share! stay tuned-we’re gonna have such FUN!!!

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credits:

(1) http://www.cheriannrevill.com

(2) http://www.decorista.com

(3) Kaitlin Meadows

(4) Kaitlin Meadows

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

(6) Kaitlin Meadows

(7) @twogonecoastal

(8) http://www.spiritualunite.com

(9) http://www.growingbolder.com

(10) http://www.katrinamayer.com

(11) http://www.bobmoawad.com

 

 

 

 

By thundermoonstudios

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!

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Love Love Love From Kaitlin

©Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

By thundermoonstudios

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.