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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Letting Go!

Learning to go with the floooooow…

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Image from http://www.artprojectsforkids.org

(Well, I’m trying!)

But sometimes life just throws you for a loop

and unravels all your well-woven plans.

Case in point?

My dear, caring, thoughtful friends wanted to throw me an amazing little 70th birthday party.

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Image from the wonderful collection of Inge prints: http://www.ingelook.com

A date was picked, a place was selected, food & games were discussed.

It was going to be mermaid themed pool party at Lucy’s beautiful home.

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Image from http://www.marnieismymuse.com

Mermaid Marnie was going to be in charge of festive activities.

Anne was gonna send out e-vites and keep the fuss to a minimum for me.

Sounded like a perfect plan.

I must admit,

at first I was scared.

I’m just not a birthday party type girl.

I hate all the fuss and (believe it or not!) I’m excruciatingly shy.

But these wonderful friends persisted

and plans were rolling along…

frankly, I started to get a little tiny bit excited…

when BAM!!!

Life stepped in.

Unbeknownst to me, my beloved Albert had been hatching a plan

to SURPRISE me

with a week-long reunion with family & friends.

Talk about abundance,

count your blessings,

life is good!

But whoops, what about the party???

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Oh my gosh, my friends had worked so hard…what was I to do?

When it became clear that life had other plans for me,

I was forced to cancel the party

and proceeded to make travel arrangements.

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Image: let go and enjoy the ride from Etsy.com

“Some people believe holding on and “hanging in there” are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
Ann Landers

But there were bumps and tangles–

getting a whole raggle-taggle family together 

via planes, trains, buses, yaks, and clown cars

is harder than it looks!

Like my sister Kim in North Fork,

too much of a good thing

can be just toooo much!

Kim volunteered to grow all the sunflowers

for her daughter Michelle’s September wedding.

She plotted and planned and consulted the garden fairies

and planted hundreds of sunflowers for the wedding.

But, because of screwy weather

(and, I can’t help but think, the wicked sense of humor of garden fairies),

the sunflowers are all blooming like crazy NOW

(waaaaay too early!)

sunflowers Kim

Sunflowers on Kim’s hearth

My take-away from all this?

We can make our big, luscious plans

but life sometimes has another script for us.

Our job is to make the best of it–whatever it is.

“Letting go helps us to to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.”  Melody Beattie

But, in a wonderful, ironic, and oh so comical twist,

when the dust settled and all the tickets were all in hand,

it turns out I’m leaving a couple of days AFTER my birthday.

So here’s the new plan…

I’m just gonna go with the flow…

relax, have fun, and celebrate my birthday with you all–

no big party, no big hoopla, just cupcakes and laughter.

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Please come join me at The Creative Cottage on my 70th birthday, Saturday, September 17th, from 10 to 2 for a little cupcake celebration.

Pop in for  some tasty morsels, some delightful co-mingling with friends, and some hearty giggles at my expense.

Hope you can come!

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Image from: http://www.facebook.com/ShutUpImStillTalking

Here is my new mantra–thanks to Lucy:

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word… She just let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions Swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely.. Without hesitation or worry.. She just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety …that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations …about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement ..and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report ..or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree… She just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was.. and it is just that.

In the space of letting go.. she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

from: Rev. Saphire Rose Ernest Holmes

let go

Image from Facebook/Zen To Zany

LOVE LOVE LOVE FROM KAITIE BUG

Learning (ever so slowly!) to LET GO!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Be Careful What You Wish For!

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Summer in Tucson is not for wimps!

Months & months of three-digit temperatures.

Unrelenting drought.

A sun so searing you’d best be indoors most of the day.

Need I say I HATE it!!!

And that I shall never, ever, EVER get used to it?

But

(dragging my heels every dang-gum-step-of-the-way),

ever so slowly,

I am FINALLY embracing strategies to cope with Tucson summers.

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(Image from http://www.seanparkerphotography.com)

I get up a 5 a.m. to water the gardens & feed the critters–

(including our desert tortoises who are ravenous this time of year for big red, strawberry-like, cactus apple fruit!)

Breakfast Treats

All in all, it takes us several hours a day to keep our little ark afloat.

The demanding (but ho so rewarding) daily stewardship of WildHeart Ranch is our yoga, our zen, our passion.

When I’m not convening magic at The Creative Cottage or “rousting about with me friends,” on the few days a week I get to “just stay home & BE,”

I read books and make art and watch a good number of old black & white Turner Classic Movies.

One of my favorite treats is just taking a little moment to curl up with my Sweetheart and siesta for an hour in the hottest part of the day.

So I manage.

I tolerate.

I compromise.

But still…

my heart craves cool, green, wet, water.

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Recently, after too many one-hundred-and-ten-degree days,

I did a voodoo, heathen, pagan set of humble little prayers for rain.

I repeated the mantra, “rain, rain, come and play” several days running.

I chanted my poem

As If To Capture Rain

 the potter builds

            vessels of mud

like the swallow,

            like the wasp,

each a compartment of birthing,

            of deep sleep

remembering clay

            and moving water,

the mica

            skimmed from gilt.

rivers that carry the memory

            of rain

in their sluice

            through the country

of our waning seasons.

            there is more

to the story

            than that

but it is not told

            in words.

part of it is silence.

            part of it is music.

there are some tears.

            and a light that splits

the horizon

            into flames.

the birds speak

            of it

in trees

            and frogs sing

 of it

            in marshes.

the story is always told

            in the ancient manner,

with the palms

            thrust up,

as if to capture rain.

(Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2008. All Rights Reserved)

monsoon

(Image from Mike Olbinski Photography on flickr)

I called in the rain.

It’s all my fault.

Today, we got 2-and-a-half-inches

of lightning-laced,

absolutely torrential rain 

in a couple of hours!

Roads washed away.

Power went out.

It stranded people in rushing water.

It caused major havoc.

It was a real “gully washer”–

it was everything that defines “monsoon Tucson!”

But,

I swear,

I only wanted a gentle, slow,

three day-long,

deep soaking,

female rain.

I guess I learned my lesson.

Be careful (and specific!) about what you wish for!

Too much of a good thing, in this case, was waaaaaay too much of a good thing!

But, here’s the good news,

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(Image from: her-heart-on-fire.tublr)

So after a few days of mud and “skeetoes,”

after some clean up and regrouping,

there will be another glorious sunset,

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(Image from: http://www.saguaropictures.com)

another day to be grateful,

and, probably, lots more reminders

to be careful

what you wish for!

Love & Lovely Rain from

Monsoon Kait

red bubber boots

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

SPIRIT WEAVER’S WEB

“When we attune to the rhythm of Grandmother Moon, we step into remembrance of our divine feminine blueprint, recognize our place in the natural world, feel connected with women everywhere, and embody our truth from the sacred source of love.” ~Achintya Devi

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Image from: http://www.healingwingsretreat.org

I have been quiet. I have been still. I have gone deep.

I have been in intense council with my powerful, generous, wise spiritual tribe.

It was a time of serious foraging around in my soul,

a time of acute personal inventory,

and a time to conjure a blueprint for the spirit lodge I wish to build of my life.

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Imagine everyone of us joining hands and creating a giant circle around mother Earth. With eyes to see and ears to hear we are paying attention to the smallest details of this sacred planet. As we feel our own heart beat with unimaginable joy and ecstasy. We pray together for lasting peace and equality. We are called upon by the nature spirit to listen to the wind and dance together in the sun. All our ancestors join in song and dance as we blossom like a bud into a flower of God.

It was so good to be in the company of wise wimmin 

with strong hearts, open minds, & expansive spirits

who have shared my spiritual journey with me for decades.

I’m not gonna lie,

I’ve had a few bumps this summer…

not being able to go to the Sierras to be in the jolly good company of my Beloved sister Kim…

only marginally managing the unrelenting heat of another summer in Tucson…

and passing forward my Girlz With HeART Project to eager new stewards.

Understandably, I have been feeling a bit muddled & unfocused about “what’s next?”…

and, maybe, too eagerly I began quickly to fill up the space I had just cleared out in my life!

It felt like I needed a few weeks to process it all.

Though a caregiver, a counselor, and a sage carrier for others myself, it was time for me to seek counsel from my trusted allies.

Melody at The Brave Girls Club offered this gem:

“Letting go of things that you have outgrown is painful and sometimes even takes you to a period of grieving over what you have lost.

Just because something feels painful, it doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision.

ALWAYS go back to the point where you made a difficult decision and remember the peace you felt when you knew you had made the right choice.

The most important decisions often come with a great deal of sacrifice…you often have to give up something good for something that is best for your life.

Often we have to grieve over the good thing that we had to give up to be able to get to the best thing.

It will pass.

One way to make yourself very sad and miserable is to keep trying to keep the tip of a toe in the ‘good’ old life, while trying to move forward into the ‘best’ new life.

Turn your whole body to face directly where it needs to be and let yourself be there, heart and soul.

Let the old stuff go when it’s not helping you to be your very best self or when it’s keeping you from enjoying and LIVING your life in the very best way.

Let yourself grieve if you need to grieve, then let yourself move on.

It is time.”

aug blog 13 Image from: http://www.sagegoddess.com

So I gathered my sacred tools, my Irish drum, & my adventurer’s kit bag.

I opened my heart to a vast willingness to dance & sing & cry & make powerful magic.

aug dance Image from: http://www.pathwaysofwisdom.com

Imagine everyone of us joining hands and creating a giant circle around mother Earth. With eyes to see and ears to hear we are paying attention to the smallest details of this sacred planet. As we feel our own heart beat with unimaginable joy and ecstasy. We pray together for lasting peace and equality. We are called upon by the nature spirit to listen to the wind and dance together in the sun. All our ancestors join in song and dance as we blossom like a bud into a flower of God.

And I ecstatically leapt into the fire of some very intense spirit work.

aug blog 15Image from: http://www.grovecoven.com

“For we women are not only the deities of the household fire, but the flame of the soul itself.” Rabindranath Tagore

This is what I learned.

It is not time to convene our Sage Sisters Elder’s Council quite yet.

Things are in too great a flux.

It is the season of siesta.

We must rest & recharge.

We must each, in our own realms, “walk our talk” and craft our intentions.

Making art together, sharing our stories, building our tribe…that is our work for now.

aug blog 17Image from: http://www.artofthegfeminine.com

“You are needing a moment of recuperation and restoration of your reserves.

There is a lot of feeling brewing behind the scenes for you and you could find a great deal of comfort if you turn towards your inner life for a moment.”

That is the advice I left the circle with.

In this brief interval until Autumnal Equinox, I traditionally take time to re-direct, re-focus, and re-invent my path.

Honoring the wisdom of my spirit circle, I shall do just that.

I will quietly hunker down in my she-bear cave

(between beautiful days spent with you all in the loving circle of our tribe at The Creative Cottage)

and I will weave my web.

 aug blog 12 Image from: YouTube.com

We are all connected in a beautiful web that stretches and flexes and catches the light.

May you be nourished and uplifted by whatever spiritual allies you have in your own life.

Heed their counsel.

Celebrate your own wisdom.

Listen to your heart.

Follow what feeds your soul.

All the rest, as my dear Albert says, is just “poopadoodle!”

aug blog 14Image from: http://www.obaitori.typepad.com

I extend my eternal gratitude to my own special circle of  Spirit Weavers and the beautiful Creative Cottage tribe!

P. S. Look for new August schedule under the Cottage Classes tab and new Creativity Chix adventures under that tab!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Images attributed where known; otherwise, gleaned with thanks from Pinterest.

 

By thundermoonstudios

LEARNING TO TRUST

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Have you noticed:

life has been impossibly challenging

in light of recent murders, on-going wars, continuing bigotry, and intensifying world violence?

Some of you, responding to my last blog post about choosing to be happy,

have asked how that’s possible given the state of the world and the depth of its problems?

This is what I think:

life is a beautiful, glorious, magical thing and (whatever happens)

it’s our responsibility to live it fully, to live it with purpose and passion,

and to work tirelessly to make it better.

Yes, life is full of challenges, setbacks, and senseless acts of utter incomprehension,

but our job is to weather what brings us grief

and to celebrate what makes us happy.

I struggle every day with news of more bloodshed and cruelty.

As an empath, as an intensely sensitive human being,

the plight of the Earth and her people

touches me deeply.

Frequently, I feel discouraged and powerless.

Sometimes, I even lose my way a little and get really scared.

What saves me is this observation by the Dali Lama:

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So it’s my job to choose happy, to choose joy, to work for peace, to vigil for justice,

racism kills

to raise my voice and open my heart

with all those of you who are,

in your own small, steady ways,

lifting up the light and holding the love too.

As an over-thinker, an over-feeler,

easily swept away by emotions that almost make me shut down completely,

I have to remind myself to :

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I have to remember that

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When the world gets particularly crazy, bloody, scary, and sad,

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I have to remember

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and that

back

So, this is what I do…

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I just keep on truckin’…

keep on loving, keep on teaching, keep on sharing, keep on believing…

How dare I look for happy in a world of chaos and bloodshed?

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I trust.

I trust the good. I trust the love.

I trust the great capacity of humankind to correct our course.

And when that doesn’t work, I pray.

In my own way. In no temple, at no alter, to no god. I pray.

“Divine Universe, please add my love to the cauldron,

my sweat to the struggle,

and my commitment to the cause

of peace.”

I know…

change

so I prevail–even when it’s soooo hard,

even when it seems hopeless,

even when I doubt we can do it.

I prevail.

In my home,

in my Creative Cottage,

in my LIFE,

this is what I stand for:

july 2 blog 2

I am learning to trust

that if we all do what we can,

with what we have,

where we are,

things will get better.

Trust

and do the hard work.

Trust

and spread the love.

Trust

and say your prayers.

Love From Kaitlin

The She-Bear

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Images With Thanks From Pinterest

 

 

HAPPY!

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It’s the choice I make minute by minute every day!

Despite troubles and woes and setbacks and challenges.

Despite all the bad jujus in the world.

Despite chronic pain and annoying infirmities.

Despite the loss of old friends…

cherished delusions…

and a few little dreams.

Despite mean people

and unspeakable acts of terror.

Despite floods and fires.

Despite EVERYTHING.

I, FINALLY,

(is it too late to be a late bloomer?)

came to realize (daaaaaa)

that I’m in charge of my own happiness.

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Despite some pretty intense nudgings toward more pious activities,

some very serious careers and responsibilities,

a long “nose to the grindstone” sort of a life…

pardon me, but these days,

I’m going for happy!

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Okay, let’s talk…

go get a cup of tea and hunker down.

Some of you have written me–

all concerned and sad that, after our glorious Summer Creativity Camps,

I decided to pass the torch forward for my Girlz With HeArt Project.

Not to worry.

We did a SPECTACULAR job for over five years!

It was a glorious experience! It was a miracle!

It changed my life and their lives and your lives through sharing their stories and shenanigans with you.

They inspired me and humbled me and broke my heart and filled it back up with pure love.

Their grit and grace.

Their resilience.

Their lively spunkiness and sass.

Their hopefulness in the face of so many heartaches…

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It was a totally intense, completely demanding, and incredibly rewarding experience!

But, as the old She Bear Kaitlin was emerging in my archetypal life,

I began to receive firm instructions from the universe:

learning to let go and let be,

learning to get still and pray,

learning to trust and give thanks.

AND to know when it was time

to pass the medicine wand on to eager, capable hands reaching up to carry it for the next exciting leg of the journey.

Powerful lessons.

Still processing.

Many of you were actively, hands-on, every-day, deep-in this program with me. THANK YOU.

Many of you cheered us on, gathered supplies, shared gifts, bought clothes, transported carloads of girlz. THANK YOU.

Many of you slipped an extra gift into the collection box on your way out and whispered “For the Girlz.” THANK YOU.

It was such an honor to share our beautiful, heart-breaking, magical, impossible vision with you.

We did it–together–against all odds, we touched the lives of so many young women and they touched our lives too.

THANK YOU. Each and every. All and then some.

happy 1

Some of you are worried because I’ve actively cut back my summer schedule to avoid the heat-stress illness that laid me low last summer

and you think that portends the end of The Cottage. No.

Actually, I’ve posted some new classes for July (check them out by clicking the Cottage Classes tab) and

I’m really excited about a new project I’m incubating that deepens and intensifies the way members of our little tribe can contribute our wisdom to others.

It’s called SAGE SISTERS: A Council of Conscious Eldership–more about it very soooooon!

Some of you have lamented that I’m not so available, accessible, or “out & about “as I once was.

True.  Fast nearing 70, I’m getting a little crotchety.

These days, I’m inclined to curl up in my home; reading, making art, working in clay, tending my garden, learning to relax instead of racing about on various exciting errands of intellect or passion. But it’s all good. It is time for that. It is the season for that. It is my new “normal.”

I’m sorry you can’t see it through my eyes.

All the changes and adjustments have been made after much introspection and prayer.

And a very grateful heart.

Each choice has been totally life-enhancing for me. Trust me.

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Sure, it’s been hard. I’m not gonna pretend otherwise.

I’ve been talking about it for months and months and months…

roll down through the past blog posts to see the many times I’ve spoken of my urgent need to slow down.

To breathe. To rest.

To dismantle my enormous life of over-commitment.

To ease back from too many responsibilities.

To learn to stop stoking a life-long tendency to over achieve.

I ain’t Super Woman (and I have no desire to be)

but you may not have noticed cuz (in the past!) my actions said otherwise.

Nope. It ain’t been easy.

I default to my old ways more that you can imagine.

Sometimes I still bite off more than I can chew…

but I’m learning to nibble, to savor, to take great pleasure in small bites.

I’m still not very good at it.

BUT I’m getting better. Little by little. One day at a time.

happy 12

Lemmie tell ya this: watching people die for a living (hospice nursing),

watching people create in order to re-enchant their souls (The Cottage),

mentoring young souls to soar and dream and leap into their lives (The Girlz With HeART)

taught me that life is too precious and fleeting and magical to get stolen by the petty b.s. of daily life.

Drama (and her ugly twin sister melo-drama) are wickedly bad habits I’m determined to leave behind.

I wanna be HAPPY

but it’s a full time job pushing off the joy-killers and the hate-spewers.

I wanna be HAPPY

NOT when everything is in perfect balance and I live in the pages of Bella Grace.

NOT after I put the needs of everyone else in the whole world in front of my own.

NOT when the dishes are done, the laundry is folded, and the dust bunnies are vanquished.

NOW!

happy

So this blog post is all about choosing happiness. Consciously. Daily. Against all odds.

Not to say my heart doesn’t break over the Orlando massacre, the Flint water poisonings, the endless wars waged in the name of peace.

Not to say that I have opted out of caring or being compassionate or contibuting a thousand tiny acts of good in my life. No.

But, as an elder now, I see how predictably people as hyper-sensitive, as super empathetic, as easily outraged by injustice as I am

are swept under, are devoured and spit out by the world if we don’t embrace self-nurturing behaviors.

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So this is what I choose. Happy.

NOT blind, sugar-coated, candy-land obliviousness to the sorrows of the world.

NOT unfeeling, unthinking, self-serving, mean, self-centered arrogance or worse. No.

Just happy, grateful, honored to be alive, thrilled to have you as my friends and allies on the journey. Happy.

Happy. With the tiny moments–

the hummingbird bathing merrily under the spray from my pre-dawn garden watering,

the good book that inspires a shiver of awe that we have writers who so perfectly capture life,

the beautiful butterscotch and burgundy sunset through monsoon clouds.

Happy and blessed that I have the wonderful pleasure of spending these last years of my life with my beloved life companion Albert

who makes me smile everyday…daring me on to new challenges

happy 10

and greater joy!

happy too

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” George Bernard Shaw

I want to be HAPPY

like these wonderful mentors who have struggled with much, been defeated by much, and endured much

but who chose to be happy.

happy 3

Ready to party... former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Happy like children who find joy in the moment.

happy 5

Happy that I have such amazing, goofy, dear friends to share the adventure with.

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happy 9

Just plain old, every day, heart splitting Happy!

happy 6

We can’t cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. –Joseph Campbell

So if you want me, listen for the laughter…

happy too 4

and watch for the delight!

joy 3

And I double dog DARE YOU to click on this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRMOMjCoR58

and dance and laugh and cry and BE HAPPY!

Much Love and Big Dollops of Happiness (with sprinkles on top!)

Kaitlin

(They don’t call me the Mistress of Merriment for nuthin’!)

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016 All Rights Reserved

Images thanks to Pinterest